How to revolt, yesterday, today, and every blessed day

Deep democracy must be for all in equality or it is for no one. There is no room for the white supremacy that underlies not only much of U.S. past but also much of U.S. present.

Please check out this excellent piece in yesterday’s Guardian about African Americans joining with Native Americans on the front lines of the people’s grassroots struggle for justice using non-violent direct action.

The author, Ijeoma Oluo, links her struggle as an African American and a feminist, and also recognizes how the blame game encompasses a broader set of issues:

I stand with Standing Rock, because we, like you, have had our babies stolen from our arms and our language and history stolen from our mouths. We, like you, have seen our culture turned into costume and our art turned into advertising.

We have all have seen our blood drench this soil in the name of white supremacy, our infant mortality rates climb in a system that aims to keep us in poverty and ill health. We, like you, have seen our men and women die in the streets at the hands of murderous cops. We see your water threatened today by the same carelessness and corruption that has ruined our water and threatened our health in Flint. And we see people look at you today and say, like they say to us: that the poverty and the incarceration and the illness and the crime – it’s all your fault.

To me this evidences the permanent revolution of the masses. All leftists of whatever race or ethnicity should stand up, embrace it, and be in solidarity with it. The days of the class struggle standing outside of the race and gender struggles for justice and equality, or failing to join in the struggle for the seventh generation’s need for ecological justice for Mother Earth, are over.

I have previously written:

[W]e human beings are in dire trouble, and the status quo will not suffice, but we have to move forward to justice lovingly and democratically as the permanent revolution of the masses or we will destroy each other in the process of trying to save ourselves.

We should “[r]ecognize the inherent relationship of true democracy with the permanent revolution of the masses”:

We the people cannot escape our continuing revolutionary responsibility. A viable socialism will not spontaneously generate, but it cannot be imposed. It must be democratically “articulated.”


A few of us, or even a substantial minority of us, cannot act successfully in isolation or as an undemocratic vanguard to a decent society for all. A viable socialism will be inclusive and reject discrimination, privilege, nationalism, and exceptionalism. Striving to build walls or islands of privileged “justice” surrounded by oceans of injustice is not articulating a viable socialism.

A decent society for all must ultimately and continuously be articulated by the masses themselves. That is the essence of true democracy. A society of true democrats will itself be a living articulation of a viable socialism.

Note: This is not a piece on the limited application of the “armed struggle” approach in most settings. I fully support the armed struggle of the Syrian Kurdish anarcho-socialists, who also through their emphasis on equality embody the democratic revolution this piece espouses.

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