Some on the left are getting it right. Mickey Z. channels Derrick Jensen’s talking points in his call for decentralization.
By Mickey Z.
08 September, 2012
World News Trust
Photo Credit: Mickey Z.
“I think it is dangerous to confuse the idea of democracy with elections. Just because you have elections doesn’t mean you’re a democratic country.” —Arundhati Roy
A liberal and a progressive walk into a restaurant called Democracy.
The sign outside promises, “Exercise Your Freedom of Choice with Our Varied Menu.”
Here’s what that menu offers:
Double Cheeseburger Deluxe: $100
Double Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe: $100
Liberal: I don’t even have to look. I already know what I’m getting.
Liberal (to waiter): The usual, please. Just make sure none of that evil bacon touches my less evil meat and cheese.
The liberal and the waiter share a chuckle.
Progressive (to waiter): You got any vegan options?
Waiter: Well, we’re working towards that, you know, one baby step at a time. Be patient but of course, keep hoping.
Liberal: Change takes time. Lots and lots and lots of time.
They all nod solemnly.
Progressive: I was really hoping for a salad.
Liberal: Let me guess, a green salad?
The liberal and the waiter share a loud laugh.
Progressive (to waiter): Can I order a salad?
Waiter: Oh, you’re free to order anything you want here. This is Democracy.
Progressive: Okay, cool. I’d like a salad. (to liberal) Democracy is swell.
The waiter soon returns with a single plate upon which sits a greasy, oozing, bloody-rare double cheeseburger on a white flour roll alongside a deep-fried batch of GMO potatoes. The liberal’s eyes light up before taking a big, drippy bite.
Liberal: Mmmm, not a hint of bacon. Tastes like progress to me.
Progressive: Where’s my salad?
Waiter: We don’t serve salads here.
Progressive: But you said I was free to order anything.
Waiter: Sure, you can order whatever you please, but the only people who get to eat in Democracy are those who pick something that’s on our menu. (pause) And by the way, your hypothetical Green salad costs $150.
Progressive (takes out credit card): Oh well… I guess I’ll try again in four years.
Um, we don’t even have a “second” party…
“We must no longer have the illusion of acting through the action of a politician. In the spirit of Emma Goldman, we must wake up, we must become daring enough to demand our rights collectively.”
The electoral system — as it stands today — is utterly rigged yet, the liberals and their ilk still cry: “We must vote. People died for that right.”
While I’m not really clear what that debate point even means, I do have a far more urgent question for the “vote or die” crowd: What about the people (and all forms of life) dying right fuckin’ now precisely because of how we choose to vote?
Whether we select Democrat or Republican, the global carnage continues. So, let’s save the melodramatic homilies and accept that there are far, far better ways to express dissent than taking part in an explicit farce.
After all, if so many of us agree that the current model of human culture is a living nightmare, then why do we even participate? More specifically, if we recognize the need for urgent and radical change, why do we willingly and enthusiastically partake in blatantly fraudulent elections?
At this point, I can hear the two-word liberal chant: Supreme Court.
You can also cue the two-word progressive chant: Third Party.
Mic Check: Don’t you mean second party? (insert rimshot here)
Hey, I would love to find a way to embrace this approach — really, I would — and I will admit to a teeny/tiny smirk when Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein says stuff like this: “Under the Democrats, the ship won’t go down quite as fast, but a sinking ship is still a sinking ship. Your objective is not to get onto another ship which is going down a little bit less quickly, this doesn’t get us out of there alive.”
Liberals: Supreme Court. Supreme Court. Supreme Court. Supreme Court.
Progressives: Third Party. Third Party. Third Party. Third Party.