There’s no question that crises are opportunities. As the infamous economist Milton Friedman once said…
And, well … Friedman was correct. This was proven in his CIA-backed “shock therapy” experiments in the Global South. During a crisis, when people are disoriented, afraid and focused on survival, it is much easier to push through horrific policies that will punish working and poor people with austerity, further privatize our commons, and transfer wealth from the bottom to the top.
But Friedman’s legacy didn’t end with his own work. We see the Shock Doctrine playbook everywhere in US policy.
We saw it in the “rebuilding” of Iraq, the responses to Hurricanes Katrina and Maria, and of course, the Great Recession, where millions of families were allowed to lose their homes as the banks and Wall Street were saved by socialism for the rich.
And we see it today, with this latest bipartisan effort to rapidly bail out corporations and the wealthy, while tossing scraps — slowly — to the working class.
We see it with “The Resistance” supporting small business relief dollars going to lobbyists for behemoth industries, like fossil fuels and Big Pharma.
We see it with Joe Biden’s brazen hire of Larry Summers, who helped architect the horrific response to the last economic meltdown, and is famously quoted as saying,
“One of the reasons that inequality has probably gone up in our society is that people are being treated closer to the way they’re supposed to be treated.”
We see it with NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is currently being lionized by the media and the Democratic Party, even as he slashes Medicaid during a pandemic and is putting the future of New York squarely into the hands of Google and the Gates Foundation.
And recently, we learned how Democratic leadership really feels about economic relief to working people:
Let’s return to Milton’s quote one more time:
“Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.”
To the establishment, the “politically inevitable” is full capitulation to the insatiable demands of the ruling class, which was previously “politically impossible” because there wasn’t a crisis to exploit.
But the working people of this country have “ideas that are lying around” too.
We know it is now “politically inevitable” that workers and tenants continue to strike, and that we must continue building power toward a #GeneralStrike.
We know that a revolt is now “politically inevitable” if our elected leaders continue to steamroll over us with austerity while enriching the ruling class.
And we know it is now “politically inevitable” that the Democratic Party be replaced by a brand new party — a party that meaningfully opposes corporate rule and fights for economic, racial, social and environmental justice for ALL of us.
Join us this Thursday at 8:30 pm ET / 5:30 pm PT for a National Call, co-hosted with Our Revolution Los Angeles, to discuss the next steps in the political revolution and toward a people’s party. View the agenda and sign up here.
More than 600 people signed up in less than 24-hours! And Our Revolution Los Angeles has called on other OR chapters to openly discuss next steps and poll their members on whether they want to continue trying to reform the Democrats or build the major new party that the large majority of Americans want.
On Our Revolution’s national volunteer call Monday night, other chapters spoke up in support of Our Revolution Los Angeles and shared links to our announcement. OR’s Executive Director Joseph Geevarghese angrily said, “No one has ever been successful mounting a third party campaign. We need to work within the system.” But he’s wrong.
It took a new party to force FDR into the New Deal. It took a new party to get the only statewide public bank in the country in North Dakota. And it took a new party to abolish slavery in America. That last one, the Republican Party, went on to replace the Whig Party and dominate Congress and the presidency for the next 70 years. And none of them had the internet.
Even to our north and south, it took a new party to get single-payer in Canada. And it took a new party to elect the Bernie Sanders of Mexico just two years ago, President López Obrador, whose new party Morena crushed the neoliberal parties that had ruled the country since the Mexican Revolution a century ago. Just four years after being founded as a party, Morena took the presidency, majorities in both houses of the national legislature, and the majority of the governorships.Now that is a political revolution!
For a new place to celebrate all things MPP, be sure to join our Reddit r/PeoplesPartyUSA/!
Looking forward to great things,
Carol, Colin, Elise, Jamie, Kaitlin, Michelle, Nick, Phil, Rod, Shelly, and Suzanne