The old order is dying. (About this blog)

The old order is dying. For too long it has enslaved, abused and hollowed out humanity, ruling with lies to conceal its exploitative heart. For generations it has brought endless war, misery and suffering. For what? To enrich a tiny handful beyond all reason.

 

It has dominated us for too long. Its continuation threatens all life on Earth. Its end is long overdue. We must help it to a peaceful and speedy death.

 

The world is in great turmoil. Country after country rises up against the old forms, but nowhere have we been able to overthrow existing arrangements. The disintegration of the world revolutionary movement – seen in the failure and later breakup of the Soviet Union – has left confusion in its wake. But the old revolutionary movement had to collapse – it had become part of the decaying system. Its disintegration was a prelude to the end of the old order.

 

Occupy Wall Street was a foretaste of a new system and a new way to get there.

 

The rulers sensed this and dispersed OWS before we could retire them. Though today’s movements show great promise, they are also likely to be co-opted by the system’s vast and still active capacity to absorb and stifle opposition.

 

A new politics is necessary, for survival and transformation. We must craft a new language to pursue this end. We must discard the “Leaden Language of the Official Left” (Galeano).

 

This blog hopes to promote discussion to pursue these goals.

2 thoughts on “The old order is dying. (About this blog)”

  1. Hi everyone:

    Before I comment I thought I should briefly introduce myself so you know who I am and where I’m coming from. My name is Celyne Camen and I am a single mom raising a 14 yo part Mexican-part Russian son who is a chess master and a composer of modern classical music. My son has schooled himself for almost three years now after I let him drop of out the public school system because of paralyzing boredom and a teacher who was penalizing him because he insisted there was racism and poverty in the US and she disagreed. I’ve lived a fairly bohemian gypsy existence on the margins most of my adult life, traveling around the US, and living in the rural Southwest, Oregon and Mexico mostly. I came to live in Philadelphia recently to take care of aging parents. I call myself a writer though I’ve never made much of a living from it. I have been involved with various social justice issues for many years, mostly Mexican, Indigenous and Black human rights, antiracist issues, environment and food justice, and peace activism. Recently I was involved with Occupy Philly where I co-led a women’s group. After OP ended I worked with Global Women’s Strike and locally with DHS Give Us Back Our Children supporting low income mostly black women who have their children taken away because of poverty. Lately I’ve been supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. My son and I are very involved with scholastic chess and in overcoming the inequalities black children face in the sport and in the education system in general. I’m really interested in what other people are doing to sustain themselves, to survive and transform these days and look forward to the discussion. Following are some of my thoughts after reading Paul’s Bermanzohn’s blog.

    What (from my humble experience) made the Occupy movement viable toward change and enabling great numbers of people from different backgrounds and perspectives to pursue a new future collectively was the fact that it was a 24-hour around the clock occupation. Occupy provided a space of constant motion that boostered participants from the effects of ennui, alienation and atrophy. It allowed for free discourse and respect for all people regardless of their class, education, or political awareness. We lived with and cared for each other, played the roles of both teacher and student, leader and follower. There was internal strife but it was always turned toward striking out at our calcified molds and there was truly a feeling that the oppression that had held us down for so long could be lifted. While it lasted I personally found this so empowering and observed the effects on other participants and I believe that even though the movement has splintered it will have lasting effects that has opened up a space in the world for complete revolution to follow.

    The Black Lives Matter movement has sparked something new. It feels like the next step, something that in Occupy was building at the time of its physical collapse. There was much debate between focusing on purely economical class divides as opposed to those issues of people of color. There were many in the movement who did not see the connections, the needs, or who were only just coming to see them. Black Lives Matter can shine light on these issues and change perspectives. It has potential to build a new base of radicals, to take down the current system and to put something new in place, but I also fear that the old guards will do horrible violence to oppress the youth who are leading this and that other older radicals will co-opt and destroy it. I support the movement and have been nominally involved locally, but I am as yet unsure what part I should play as a white anti-racist.

    I agree our collective imagination has been stifled and the majority of people have been undereducated and filled with so much propaganda that they cannot see a different future or a way out. But I saw how daily living, daily effort to pull ourselves out from under this training could rejuvenate our curiosity and intelligence, but we have to keep throwing ourselves out of our comfort zones to do so.

    I live in a devastated metropolitan area, where most communities live in fear, cannot free their minds let alone their bodies because they are so filled with worry about how to feed and house themselves and their children, how to avoid the violence that surrounds them daily and how to avoid mental and physical constraints that are lodged within their schools and jobs. They deal with the ever present threat of being thrown into prison, of losing their children to violence, jails and the child welfare system. If they dare speak up, or act out they may be killed by the police or end up behind bars, silenced until death in solitary confinement. There is such an abundance of political prisoners at this point it is beyond reckoning. The blurs between who society deems a criminal, whistleblower or freedom fighter is beyond confusing. There is external and internal racism that needs to be constantly reckoned with. So while I appreciate Paul Tobin’s remark to free our minds and understand that he may be in a space and community that can have some feeling of freedom, we must take into account the majority of people who need more support and who need to crush historic lies and write new narratives. Perhaps Paul Tobin and those like him can link with those communities that are still struggling and benefit each other. I feel we have to do this together, the separation and gentrification of our neighborhoods, the boundaries and borders must be crossed and abolished. It doesn’t serve for only some of us to be enlightened and unburdened. And then together we must build something new that comes from all of us as equals. I think books like Gerald Horne’s “Counterrevolution of 1776,” are necessary and helpful. I ordered it and look forward to reading it and sharing it.

    That is what Occupy taught me – the power of crossing every line and breaking down all our conditioning, but how to stay in this state and continue? I find myself continually falling into old patterns, of getting stuck and bored and hopeless without the continual community support Occupy afforded. For me this is the challenge. To be actively and continuously involved in my own and the collective transformation. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and very alone.

    Like

  2. Survival and transformation

    Hi everyone:

    Before I comment I thought I should briefly introduce myself so you know who I am and where I’m coming from. My name is Celyne Camen and I am a single mom raising a 14 yo part Mexican-part Russian son who is a chess master and a composer of modern classical music. My son has schooled himself for almost three years now after I let him drop of out the public school system because of paralyzing boredom and a teacher who was penalizing him because he insisted there was racism and poverty in the US and she disagreed. I’ve lived a fairly bohemian gypsy existence on the margins most of my adult life, traveling around the US, and living in the rural Southwest, Oregon and Mexico mostly. I came to live in Philadelphia recently to take care of aging parents. I call myself a writer though I’ve never made much of a living from it. I have been involved with various social justice issues for many years, mostly Mexican, Indigenous and Black human rights, antiracist issues, environment and food justice, and peace activism. Recently I was involved with Occupy Philly where I co-led a women’s group. After OP ended I worked with Global Women’s Strike and locally with DHS Give Us Back Our Children supporting low income mostly black women who have their children taken away because of poverty. Lately I’ve been supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. My son and I are very involved with scholastic chess and in overcoming the inequalities black children face in the sport and in the education system in general. I’m really interested in what other people are doing to sustain themselves, to survive and transform these days and look forward to the discussion. Following are some of my thoughts after reading Paul’s Bermanzohn’s blog.

    What (from my humble experience) made the Occupy movement viable toward change and enabling for great numbers of people from different backgrounds and perspectives to pursue a new future collectively was the fact that it was a 24-hour around the clock occupation. Occupy provided a space of constant motion that boostered participants from the effects of ennui, alienation and atrophy. It allowed for free discourse and respect for all people regardless of their class, education, or political awareness. We lived with and cared for each other, played the roles of both teacher and student, leader and follower. There was internal strife but it was always turned toward striking out at our calcified molds and there was truly a feeling that the oppression that had held us down for so long could be lifted. While it lasted I personally found this so empowering and observed the effects on other participants and I believe that even though the movement has splintered it will have lasting effects that has opened up a space in the world for complete revolution to follow.

    The Black Lives Matter movement has sparked something new. It feels like the next step, something that in Occupy was building at the time of its physical collapse. There was much debate between focusing on purely economical class divides as opposed to those issues of people of color. There were many in the movement who did not see the connections, the needs, or who were only just coming to see them. Black Lives Matter can shine light on these issues and change perspectives. It has potential to build a new base of radicals, but I also fear that the old guards will do horrible violence to oppress the youth who are leading this and that older radicals will co-opt and weaken it. I support the movement and have been involved locally, but I am as yet unsure what part I should play as a white anti-racist.

    I agree our collective imagination has been stifled and the majority of people have been undereducated and filled with so much propaganda that they cannot see a different future or a way out. But I saw how daily living, daily effort to pull ourselves out from under this training could rejuvenate our curiosity and intelligence, but we have to keep throwing ourselves out of our comfort zones to do so.

    I live in a devastated metropolitan area, where most communities live in fear, cannot free their minds let alone their bodies because they are so filled with worry about how to feed and house themselves and their children, how to avoid the violence that surrounds them daily and how to avoid mental and physical constraints that are lodged within their schools and jobs. They deal with the ever present threat of being thrown into prison, of losing their children to violence, jails and the child welfare system. If they dare speak up, or act out they may be killed or end up behind bars, silenced until death in solitary confinement. There is such an abundance of political prisoners at this point it is beyond reckoning. The blurs between who society deems a criminal, whistleblower or freedom fighter is beyond confusing. There is external and internal racism that needs to be constantly reckoned with. So while I appreciate Paul Tobin’s remark to free our minds and understand that he may be in a space and community that can have some feeling of freedom, we must take into account the majority of people who need more support and who need to crush historic lies and write new narratives. Perhaps Paul Tobin and those like him can link with those communities that are still struggling and benefit each other. I feel we have to do this together, the separation and gentrification of our neighborhoods, the boundaries and borders must be crossed and abolished. It doesn’t serve for only some of us to be enlightened and unburdened. And then together we must build something new that comes from all of us as equals. I feel books like Gerald Horne’s recently-released “Counterrevolution of 1776” are helpful and necessary. I ordered it and will read and share it.

    That is what Occupy taught me – the power of crossing every line and breaking down all our conditioning, but how to stay in this state and continue? I find myself continually falling into old patterns, of getting stuck and bored and hopeless without the continual community support Occupy afforded. For me this is the challenge. To be actively and continuously involved in my own and the collective transformation. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and very alone.

    What do others do?

    Like

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