The opportunity for an uprising is certainly there and the Black community has reached a threshold of an uprising but the more general question of the radical left and democratic socialism, Bernie version or the real thing, remains latent and it is important to consider whether the current protest marches would ever support a true uprising with some novel placards as to socialist issues. There is a very strong black bourgeoisie that would put a stop to that at once. The larger left however should look on in wonder at the way this protest movement on the issue of race has shown a venue to actually protesting in public. An amazing development. The larger left has been incapable of that, no doubt in part because the powers that be have already preempted it with the threat of draconian crackdowns, and because the black movement here is no real threat to the system. It is only a threat to racists, a point to debate perhaps, but the point is clear more or less.
The situation resembles the yellow vests whose staying power was also very great but finally petered out with nothing accomplished. Their limited demands could not energize a larger left even as its exemplars e.g. the unions were defunct and useless.
The current movement is so intriguing and valuable that a different left should stand back and sees how it plays out. Life has its surprises and this is one.
It would be very nice to see a protest of democratic socialists but the savage response might be too much. Or perhaps not. The same should have been true of the current movement, but not so. The problem is that the realm of democratic socialism has no real platform. That is the problem with marxism, what to say of feckless reformists, as we have noted many times. The current left dominated by marxism is almost useless: the implication of their statements is that bolshevism was a nasty outcome but with the same platform, slogans and no blueprint of what to do they will do better next time because they are such nice guys.The left hasn’t done its homework.
In any case at some point these black rebels in such fine form will confront the limits of a movement that is not universal even as the movements like socialism that embraced the universal lost a part and left the issue of racism to fester. But they have so much that is possible in a reformist sense that we should cite their action as beautiful as is. But the socialist lefts of the past never properly addressed the issue of racism and most naturally the consequence is that blacks aren’t going to be fooled by socialist promises. Our idea of a universal class with subclasses might help to see that the ‘working class’ focus of the past, while very broad, was still not universal and ended up with splintered publics. All of this applies equally to feminist initiatives.
Our idea of the universal class helps to see that all the factions are still limited and we need a way to unify multiplicity in a new kind of unity, at a minimum as colaitions.
Socialists need thus a new tactic to work in tandem with many groups. Not that they haven’t done so before. The idea of the universal class can help there to see that the working class focus has its limits (an in fact almost all the leftists are middle class) but can be a prime focus but not a complete realization of the social mix as a whole. Marxists want to put the working class in power to control everything without stating what is to happen to everyone else. Liquidation? The older left’s platform was so flawed its failure are not surprising.
This BLM has taught the left something important and finally they have managed to protest in public. Any socialists onlookers have to be almost jealous of this feat, but at the same time bide their time for what we suddenly see in this new history of civil rights action is a new opening from which to learn something, and also a guarantee that the issue of race won’t be sacrificed once again on the altar of working class obsessional focus.
In fact, a revolution from a mix of classes is the only option, one based on universal principles and the trend to a universal class to which all can assimilate.
This sudden eruption on race is a stroke of luck for the left, because it has tested the limits of capitalist repression at its threshold triggers.