The Streets or the Ballot Box?
A New Year is almost upon us. Good luck to all of you, for you will need it. Who knows what 2010 will bring? Certainly not the restoration of "normality." The system seems incapable of reforming itself, which means change, if there is to be any significant change, that is, can only come from below – in the work places, in the neighborhoods, in the streets. (But doesn't it always come that way?)
(For a glimpse of what 2010 will probably be like see Dmytry Orlov and
The rulers seek to demobilize us, as a means of immobilizing us. They want people to cease to act, to no longer go on strike or take to the streets. But such attempts have a way of coming back on them. When the workers rise up, the system's supporters are at a disadvantage. They are much less likely to get in the streets, in opposition to the revolt, than the workers who are in revolt. They believe the passive-ist ideology of their masters. Then there is the authoritarian character structure they have imbibed since birth, which encourages passivity. The authoritarian character is notable for being submissive, cowardly, sheep-like, fearful and weak. These are the last qualities on earth to encourage self-activation. Obedience is also part of the authoritarian conditioning and is a handy tool for the masters. The sheep will cheerfully do whatever they are told. But the masters have to tell them to act. In the era of the democratic facade they don't wish to be too obvious in whipping up a lynch mob against trade unionists or environmentalists.
Hate radio and TV stirs up the sheeple, it is true. If all the hate radio and False News fans were to act upon their beliefs, we would be living under a reign of terror. But, thankfully, most of their hostility is expended verbally, or on abusing their spouses and children, and rarely gets to the level of public action.
The rulers attempts to mobilize their base in an extra-parliamentary manner occurs when they are so threated by reform they take the fascist movement out of their tool box. But even then, the workers are not conquered by right-wing mobs, but by the army. We have the example of Chile where the so-called middle class protests were miniscule in comparison with the workers actions. It was the military that crushed them, not the flock of violent sheep. So too, strikes are not broken by thugs, who the workers send packing, but by state terrorism.
The ballot box is the perfect place for cowards. They can, without fear of response, vote for governmental bullies who will then carry out the attacks for them. There will be no pay-back for their votes. In the streets and workplaces, on the other hand, they risk a thrashing. The ballot is their territory, the streets are ours.