The announcement tonight that President Obama will escalate the war in Afghanistan will leave a lot of people depressed and cynical. Combined with the administrations over-all lack of progressive policy, much less a shift in capitalist-imperialist ideology, this latest blow can have several effects on those who were invested in the " Hope for Change We Can Believe In" slogans of so-called "democratic" politics. They will either retreat into apathy and dissociation or they may be shocked into a further radicalized analysis. Much depends on the organization of those with positive, alternative narratives such as the IWW.
Combined with the economic shock of failed Market dogma and the realization that climate catastrophe is inevitable, this continuation of a War Without End on Terror should be the final blow, the final betrayal, that lifts the veil behind which too many American workers have been willing to blindly dream for escape. A general disgust with political parties, spectacularized culture and grotesque consumerism may coalesce into positive transformation if we can find the energy and the courage to engage everyday people in dialogue and if we inspire others through loud, risky, direct action which challenges illegitimate, corrupt, venal authority head on.
Unemployment, home foreclosures, falling wages and foreign wars are all connected in ways that the IWW has been talking about throughout it's proud history. At every kitchen table, in every workplace lunchroom, on every street corner and local gathering place, people will be asking hard questions about their core beliefs. They will be confused, frightened and worried and we need to share our ideas about Industrial Unionism with folks and welcome them to a safe community committed to real justice.
The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies: Opening the Dialogue - Presented at an Open Forum for the Interim Director of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. March 11, 2011. Also available as a PDF and as slides...
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