Ken Burns sat down with Jacobin to discuss his new documentary, Benjamin Franklin, and how the founding father’s spirit of humanitarianism and progress led him to establish America’s first abolitionist society two years before the Declaration of Independence.
Klein draws here on the argument of Kevin Anderson, of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change in Britain, who indicates that rich countries will need to cut carbon emissions by 8–10 percent a year. “Our ongoing and collective carbon profligacy,” Anderson writes, “has squandered any opportunity for ‘evolutionary change’ afforded by our earlier (and larger) 2°C budget. Today, after two decades of bluff and lies, the remaining 2°C budget demands revolutionary change to the political and economic hegemony.”
There is something strange about this political farce: it seems so extreme, with very little public comment from politicians forced to be polite, with one corrupt politician and hopeless idiot against the future: the outcome cannot end well…it throws down the gauntlet of revolutionary response…this is the last chance for some kind of climate change action…how could such a man be so blind to his own instant historical absurdity?
“Poor and low-income people are saying that we can no longer wait for voting rights, living wages, healthcare, immigration reform, and so much more.”
After decades of living between Cuba and Nicaragua, writing and editing for Nicaragua Farmer’s View and Havana Times, Circles Robinson shares his thoughts on how leftist governments succeed or fail to stay true to their revolutionary roots.
The left needs to open an explicit revolutionary challenge to the current reign of braindead politicians.
Socialism is too political, and ecology is too limited or still subject to (environmental) elites: we have suggested an ecological socialism as ‘democratic market neo-communism’: the two together can provide a line of attack. The latter is ready to ship, today, even if it needs expansion: it can bypass the prejudice against bolshevik style nightmares, and state capitalist bureaucratic black hole economics. We point to revolutionary options, but have always nonetheless offered a version of this to the evolutionary groups, beside the revolutionary suggestion. In fact, the electoral groups can also simply make a revolutionary demands on reformist turf with something like the nationalization of capital interests at a moment of crisis. Nationalization has problems and we prefer what we call a Commons but it has happened thus before, and there is no reason we can’t at least speculate about electoral revolutions, even as we proceed with the more realistic revolutionary refoundationalism. Thus the evolutionary and revolutionary could merge, or operate in parallel, or in tandem or in succession.
But we are out of time for compromises: the range of capital interests are too far gone for reform or coexistence with a hand wringing ‘very concerned’ sentimental left.
The lives of billions are at stake, and that makes the question of a kind of warfare come to the fore. Those who wish to pursue a non-violent path can operate in parallel and in any case the options of revolutionary action are still too marginal to realize against the militarized colossus we face. But that is going to change. A non-violent faction can pull ahead in the nonce. But we cannot leave the fate of billions to gandhians if another way emerges as possible.
The expropriation of capital should be obvious at this point: look at Exxon: this kind of capitalist org is prima facie the result of ‘primitive accumulation’ with respect to the fossil fuel resource which should have been part of a Commons from the start. Now this malevolent corporation based on the theft from a Commons and whose own research saw the danger in the 1980’s is conspiring to preempt action on climate change, capitalist genocide. We can only assume a form of insanity has overtaken the political and capitalist leadership. Intervention is required.
Revolution an impossibility? the issue will surprise us, not doubt at all…Peaceful demonstrations are and always were proto-revolutionary…