|Keith Hart on Sun, 5 Aug 2018 06:11:39 +0200 (CEST)|
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|Re: <nettime> What does Trump get right?|
>I want to stand with the youth of this country and throw every punch I can for socialism. This is a revolt I can imagine, it's the very one I and so many others have been pushing for over the last twenty years -- but the difference is, we were theory and the kids are fact…What all these people are describing as a possible political outcome is in fact social democracy, but they use the word socialism to insist that we will not accept another hypocritical liberal compromise with the powers of debt and limited liability.<
Thanks for your sympathetic and concrete response. Yes, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Alex Foti and many others remind us of the need to remain anchored in the social reality of particular regions, as you and I are in our different ways. Of course, politics must start with the immediate circumstances of where each of us lives and ageing products of the Cold War and even earlier need to ask ourselves what we can contribute to the struggles of youth today. Since the internet went public, young geeks have helped me to particulate in the revolution and I often ask what I can give the in return. The answer turns out to be history, something I have more of than they do. I help them to place themselves in history. This must be a one level world history, but also each person’s life history and all the levels that span the two.
Let us suppose that the two sides struggling for the future of society are totalitarian bureaucracy and democracy. “Socialism” and “liberalism” both played a checkered role in the history of the last century, so I doubt if we can assign an unequivocal value, positive and negative, to each. The challenge for democracy is how to reconcile equality and freedom, as Tocqueville taught us, which means for us social and liberal democracy. But the point of my previous comment was that we need to identify more closely the social forces driving totalitarian bureaucracy today and these are overwhelmingly the corporations rather than national governments, political parties and a few prominent “leaders”.
Moreover the problems we are all face are at once personal and global. If democracy is to prevail, we need to develop political strategies that extend our reach from the local to the global, as the corporations already do. “We in the old centers of capital accumulation cannot imagine the revolts of tomorrow”. But the revolts of tomorrow are gestating now in places that do not normally get reported on CNN. I always insist that young Americans bring tremendous resources to the drive for democracy, as they did in the Pan-African movement, two world wars, the Vietnam war and civil rights, the free software movement etc. The emergence of democratic socialism there now is an inspiration for us all. So there is no disagreement there.
It must be because I am an anthropologist, but I do believe that much more could be made of the fact that each of us is a human being linked to the rest of humanity. One synoptic focus could be raising consciousness and developing appropriate means of action against the use of command and control principles by corporations who, when it suits them, claim the legal rights of individual human beings.
Yours from Durban, Paris, Stockholm and the world,
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