Is it RI.P. for the Bern movement yet?
I certainly hope so; any movement named after an establishment politician is a bogus movement, IMHO. I don’t recall there was any ‘MLK movement’ or a ‘Malcolm X movement’ in the 50s and 60s. Hopefully, we can all go back home from our vacation at the ‘Feel The Bern’ theme park and get back to reality. But will we ever?
You can expect the traditional analysis about why Sanders failed in his ‘revolution’. In this blog I have focused not only on him but on the left itself. The left has itself to blame for their disappointment with Sanders’ revolution. But you will NOT find ONE article where the left takes a look at itself and takes responsibility for this recent ‘revolution’ debacle. They bought into his mystical aura (never tells a lie) and into his ‘moral economy’ or moral ‘revolution’.
UPDATE: The ‘Sanders fooled us‘ parade started as soon as he lost NY. And as I say here, the left doesn’t look at itself: they were ‘fooled’ by Sanders, just as they were by Obama. This Counter Punch article ( April 22, 2016 Bernie Sanders: the Candidate Who Came in From the Cold by Jeffrey St. Clairis) is excellent at its criticism of Sanders. It says what I said in this blog, including that Sanders used his followers when he could have used their energy to put the fear in the oligarchs hearts, like taking the (fictitious) 27k people rally in NY’s Washington Square park to march to Wall Street. Worse: NOW they come with the true facts about Sanders’ the imperialist hawk. All that I said in this blog is now been ‘uncovered’ by the disappointed and disaffected professional left.
Then there is this article at Politico, again, sucker leftists taken for a ride:
Bernie’s Failed Revolution
How Sanders fell short of changing the Democratic Party.
By Bill Scher April 20, 2016
As I asked in my post about the left’s failure to learn from the Obama ‘movement’, What happens now to all that anger and ‘hope’ the Sandersnistas burned for him, provoking Trump’s followers at those rallies, even getting physically hurt? Don’t expect Sanders to channel that energy into more effective tasks after he wraps up his campaign.
There are links on this blog to Bernie’s pre-primaries statements about how he is “now” part of the democratic establishment, that he will run as a democrat from now on, and that he would not only not hurt the party, but will also actively protect it. Protect it from what? For one thing, protect it from any efforts at the creation of a third-party. That alone and on itself should be enough cause of mayor disappointment and depression to his berniebots: the locus of the ‘revolution’ was restricted to the democratic party.
And because of that, the ‘feel the bern’ movement is heading towards the same leftist’ graveyard where they buried their Obama Hope and Change movement after he won the elections.
So what went wrong this time?
The answer to that question will be debated by professional political analysts and leftists for months to come, if not years. I offered for your consideration the points in the posts about the left and their inability to learn from recent history. Now I add a few more elements.
What is a ‘Movement’?
There are many definitions, but, to me, if there is no coordination of any kind, then it is an anarchy movement. The OWS and the BLM movements reject authority and hierarchical organization, and don’t have any philosophical base. Who benefits from that ‘arrangement’? The oligarchs, the ‘billionaire class’.
The oligarchs have their own organizations with its own philosophical underpinning. They may be internally divided, after all, they too are humans and can’t agree on everything, but the effectiveness of their organization is seen in that they control all the power in our society. They can get together and organize new ‘grassroots’ movements when necessary for them, disrupt the legitimate ones, use the MSM to vilify and discredit leaders and movements…we are in their hands. If it were not true, we would be living in an Eden.
But the new left eschews ‘traditional’ types of organization and pretend to gain power by ‘will power’. The Bern movement functioned like the OWS and BLM movements. Sanders didn’t create any structure to integrate the ideas of his followers. When he goes back home to Vermont after the primaries, he will be pondering on what to do with his post-feel-the-Bern once-in-a-life-time adventure. He probably will focus on his campaign to be re-elected to the Senate. For sure, he keeps the money he raised, of course; it doesn’t go back to help continue the ‘movement’. It goes to the DNC and the democratic party, and to his Senate campaign effort.
As for the Bern movement, it will probably die with the primaries.
Any movement to come, for at least the next 10 years, will suffer the same prognosis: death by delusion.
Class identity and Sanders’ ‘0.1% of the billionaire class’
I know, class identity sounds so old fashion and passe. Is breathing passé? Is money passé? Is class divisions passé? Is class struggle passé? Reformed capitalism is ‘the new political black’. That didn’t happen by magic, people. The struggle to reform capitalism is the by-product of the defeat of the working class by the capitalists, that’s all we were left with: try to reform the system, try to make Wall Street and Monsanto grow a heart.
One of the most appalling characteristics of the OWS movement, made painfully patent during these primaries, is that most of them belief that Wall Street can be reformed, they don’t say how, of course. And Sanders losing the primaries is due in part to that NY Daily News interview where he came across as an ineffective leader incapable of giving a simple draft of how he was going to fix that ‘greedy’ institution.
And the fact that Sanders’ followers are ‘threatening’ to vote for Trump shows the limits of that ‘revolutionary’ class consciousness.
Today, the ‘struggle’ is about reforming WS, about ‘consumer protection’.
The working class has become a ‘consumer class’. For that we can thank Sanders and other ‘leftist’ politicians. It’s not Elizabeth Warren’s fault or any other elected politician; as far as I know she is not a ‘leftist’, she is part of the establishment with a progressive bent, which is fine; we need people like that in Congress. But I expect more from ‘leftists’: they are supposed to know better. Instead, we get from them Orwellian language.
In my post “Bernie’s Fight Against the Billionaire Class is Bad News For Us” (I know, I’m bad at catchy titles) I discuss the ‘historical’ shrinking of the capitalist class we are fighting against.
The Evolution of the Fight Against the Capitalist Class:From Against All of It to Against 0.1% of It.
From about the beginning of the industrial revolution, the working class have fought against the capitalist class, against all of it. Then, from the middle of the 20th century up to 2010, and as evidence of their loss of political power, ‘we the people’ was wagging a battle against a ‘mere’ 10% of that class.
Then, in 2011 came the new wave of leftist progressivism in the form of the OWS movement: their fight was reduced to against a bare 1% of the capitalist class.
Now comes ‘socialist’ Sanders, who has decided that the youngsters should fight against ONLY the 0.1% of the capitalists, and that said class should be known from now on as the ‘billionaire class’, not the capitalist class. Also, a vote for him is a vote “for yourselves” or for the “working family“, not for the working class.
In other words, the last vestiges of the socialist ideology of class identity (capitalist or working class) is finally gone in the new millennium with Sanders’ new brand of ‘socialism’.
Sanders revisionist formulation of who is the enemy of the working class (only the 0.1% of the billionaires), is not based on ignorance or omission, not even on ‘tactic’ to bring the voters into his ‘movement’.
He has almost exclusively identified as the evil class only a portion of Wall Street, “the greediest” elements in it. He seldom mentions any other elements of the capitalist class: the war mongering armament corporations (he has even used police force to defend them from protesters), the surveillance corps, not the globalist health insurance corporations…Only WS is our enemy, per socialist Sanders. His agenda for reforming WS, shall he become president of the USA, reflects clearly his true class alliance.
It’s not to the one you think.
Next: I’ll finish this ‘assessment ‘ of what went wrong with Sanders’ revolution, and give a more optimistic assessment of what is to come for the leftist movement.
I recommend this article from the Jacobin, it has excellent (from a professional writer, as opposed to this bloger) info about Sanders’ support of the democratic party.
The Problem with Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders’ choice to run as a Democrat means he can’t present a real alternative to Hillary Clinton.