I have two reasons why we aren’t fit to govern, one reason why we are, and a firm belief as to whether or not we ever will.
Why Americans Can’t Govern Themselves
The first reason is obvious: Americans aren’t even trying to govern ourselves. In my town, we just finished critical local elections with about 5% turnout of eligible voters. “Eligible voters” is the electorate plus the large percentage who didn’t even register.
The issues were really big and really clear. The establishment was lined up on one side and the people on the other. Everybody had a big stake, but hardly anybody responded.
The other thing against our ability to govern ourselves is the crippling divisions between those few of us who have shown that we give a damn. Example: my group called a rally last Friday, then had to try to reconcile with two other groups calling conflicting activities. We were able to come together with one of them, but the other wouldn’t budge. Here’s a laugh for you, the two groups most divided, most sectarian, least concerned about building a unified movement, were factions of “Indivisible!”
The divided progressive organizations make little effort to work together. They may call for “unity” all the time, and they do, but their idea of “unity” is “everybody follow me!” Very few of our disparate groups have a coherent strategy that makes any sense.
Hardly any of us recognize the central role of the working class in any effort to make progress against the 1%. If we did, we’d be working hard to stop Congress and the State Legislatures from undermining organized labor, but we aren’t.
Why Americans Can Govern Themselves
It’s all relative. I just made a couple of points explaining why the American people can’t govern ourselves, but I didn’t mention that we are far better prepared than the people who are running things now. One could start clicking the days off the calendar before the rich capitalists destroy all of us, including themselves, with their wars and pollution!
So the American people may not be very fit to govern, but we’re miles better than the present rulers!
Who Will Win the Contest?
Our side will win. It’s only a matter of time. Human history can be thought of as a struggle between knowledge and ignorance, between reason and superstition. In the long arc of history, knowledge and reason are the winning side.
In my fifty years of activism, I’ve seen extremely hopeful trends developing. People are better educated, smarter, and more capable than before. Much more! Major organizations like the AFL-CIO have re-invented themselves and now promote progressive unity. Old divisions like racism and homophobia are much less effective than they were.
Folks worry today that the capitalists will soon choose to govern through fascism rather than the time-honored American method of limited democracy. I’m one of those worried people, but even a dreadful period of fascism would be temporary. The capitalists cannot solve the problems they caused that way or any other way.
Given time, the people will prevail. I just hope we live that long.
I’m still broadcasting on http://www.knon.org/workers-beat/ at 9 Central Time every Saturday. Join me and call in 972-647-1893.