A Blueprint for Revolution
With the prospects of both social and environmental disaster looming ever closer, the progressive, cooperation inclined “Left” remains impotent and fragmented. It desperately needs a plan, a solid blueprint of actions that will enable it to consolidate its impact.
Common Ground Policies
While politics is often a complex philosophical medley of ideals, there are a certain number of self-evident truths that the progressive Left can agree on.
- Capitalism encourages accumulation and exacerbates inequality.
- Inequality is detrimental to all levels of society.
- Growth and continual consumption are incompatible with finite resources.
- Individual liberties are eroding along with the accountability of corporate interests.
- Politics has become a soap opera of bullshit all across the world.
- War, torture, and the abuse of vulnerable people are not acceptable.
Progressive movements need to focus on these values, putting aside any differences between the various factions, rejecting self-interest, and remaining open to working together.
There is also common ground that can be achieved with the centre. Technology, individual rights, and government corruption are all things which can be addressed when coming together with conservatives and libertarians.
By focussing on what we do have in common rather than what we don’t, we can achieve so much more.
Replace the media
There needs to be a two pronged attack to destroy the current mainstream media while creating a better one.
The current “mainstream” media is a pathetic excuse for news, saturating us with commercial interests, crime, accidents, and celebrity garbage. It shows us an endless stream of problems but distracts us from the root causes of these problems.
It also pushes a political agenda – either a right wing agenda for the benefit of its rich owners (e.g. Fox), or a “woke”, “left” wing agenda as part of a virtue signalling arms race (e.g. Washington Post).
Meanwhile, real, consequential news takes a back seat; important stories like US financial giant Blackrock buying up Ukraine or the Federal Reserve deliberately throwing workers under the bus to save “the economy”, are almost invisible to the general public.
There needs to be some real progressive balance. Unfortunately, recently many truly progressive outlets have been silenced for daring to speak out against the US war machine following the invasion of Ukraine. Many of these outlets would be considered “true Left”, but being Anti-war now equates to being a bigot, and they are shunned by the new, Ukraine-flag-in-their-profile-picture, virtue-signalling-without-doing-anything-productive, woke “left”.
There also needs to be more on the ground, easy to access news. The (true) Left and the liberal Right need newspapers and mainstream TV slots with bite-size, lowest common denominator news, pushing a shamelessly anti-establishment agenda – but catering it to the masses. But it’s unlikely to get it – following last year’s censorship campaign, it will need new, stronger distribution means.
Scaled up Grassroots Activism
There’s no doubt about it, when it comes to spending money on advertising a political movement, the Left are being beaten hands down. More money and resources need to be injected into putting progressive arguments in front of people. These arguments will be countered, and that’s Ok. The requirement is simply to start a dialogue, and to counter the mainstream capitalist narrative.
At the same time, true progressives need to step up their online operations. The establishment is becoming highly effective at infiltrating political groups and bringing them down from the inside with trained, paid trolls. They cast doubt, disrupt communication, misuse authority, and attack.
These are tricks as old as time; yet the Left still falls for it, becoming defensive, engaging, and wasting time. Instead of firefighting, the Left needs to take the initiative. It needs a strategy; a battle plan, or this will not be a fight it can win.
Meanwhile, many Left wing movements have become bogged down in theory, fallen to infighting between strong egos, infiltrated by neutralising, woke politics, and have generally lost sight of their main focus – offering an alternative to capitalism which removes the need for war and inequality.
Highlight negative aspects of capitalism
It’s time to go for the jugular and attack any weakness, highlighting dangerous policies, incompetence, corruption, conflicts of interests, philosophical non-sequiturs at every opportunity.
When the narrative is blatant, when the arguments are repetitive and wrong, we need to be there, merciless and loud, discrediting capitalism at every turn. When they tell us to “Go shopping”, we need to stand up and tell them: “Go fuck yourselves”.
A Positive Vision
If there’s one thing we need more than anything else, it’s a positive counter-vision. We need to demonstrate powerful alternatives at every opportunity. For this, pro-capitalists really have no counter; any positivity they offer is either substanceless rhetoric or a retrospective illusion.
Imagine, instead of the TV news being about car crashes, break-ins, and celebrities, it reports on scientific breakthroughs, successful cooperative movements, people’s achievements, gambling mafias being dismantled*, children no longer having to work in cobalt mines.
Instead of GDP, we shine a light on reduced inequality and the happiness index. We talk about what could be done instead with excessive military spending.
With a positive vision, we can offer a truly progressive future: a world able to adapt to constantly changing scenarios, while embracing science, technology and global cooperation. We can move towards doing what is right by ordinary people. We can build a framework of compassion and try to reverse the selfish modus operandi of a century of capitalism.
*This didn’t go so well