Je Vous Dis, Merde! 19: From Trump-Resistance to Progressive Revolution

In a recent New York Times Magazine piece, “The New Party of No,” Charles Homans explores the troubled fortunes of the Democratic Party since the 2016 Presidential Election fiasco, terminating in the catastrophic Presidency of Donald Trump, and the dystopian dawning of The Age of Trump-POTUS.

The one ground of existence and unity in the Democratic Party, currently, is resistance to Trump, the alt-right, and the Republicans: hence, to the extent they now have any reason for being or clustering together at all, it is only so that they can be the new nattering nabobs of Trump-negativism.

This past week’s Democrat filibuster of the confirmation process for Trump’s first US Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, ultimately overridden by Senate Republicans invoking the so-called “nuclear option,” is a perfect example of this.

Nevertheless, this purely negative mode of being and clustering cannot hide the fact that the Democratic Party remains, essentially, a bastion of centrist, neoliberal, Establishment, static, status quo politics, papered over by the feelgood rhetoric of inclusion and multi-culturalism: in short, Clinton(s)-Obama politics.

Correspondingly, the only even remotely progressive politicians in the USA today are Bernie Sanders, a grassroots socialist in the tradition of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the New Left, and Elizabeth Warren, an economic populist in the tradition of the New Deal.

All things considered, then, the most reasonable conclusions to draw are:

(i) that the Democratic party is going down into the ash-heap of history, and

(ii) that the next genuinely progressive step forward in US politics is far beyond the ash-heap-bound Democratic Party and something closer to “Our Revolution,”

which is an outgrowth of Bernie Sanders’s Presidential campaign.

Indeed, many progressives are talking about a Sanders-Warren independent ticket in 2020, which I also proposed back in early January.

That all being so, we need to ask ourselves: beyond resistance to the morally and politically regressive and even neo-fascist politics of Trump, the alt-right, and the fat cat Republicans, precisely what sort of a revolution should progressives be envisioning?

In my opinion, a progressive revolution should introduce long-term, fundamental changes in moral orientation, and in economic and political structures, within US society, accompanied by a concurrent revolutionary process towards bringing about the same sorts of changes everywhere in the world.

That is, a progressive revolution has to be in the spirit of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and The Freedom Budget created by A. Philips Randolph, Bayard Rustin, and Martin Luther King, Jr., but also taking all of this one huge step further.

In short, a progressive revolution has to be an international, global revolution, and not merely a national, American, domestic revolution.

A progressive revolution has to be driven by rational passions for universal respect for human dignity, for alleviating or ending human oppression, and for active mutual aid and kindness.

A progressive revolution has to end poverty and economic oppression, by means of an adequately generous system of Universal Basic Income aka UBI.

A progressive revolution has to change the way we think about human work, by focusing on life-work as opposed to job-work, and also has to end both unemployment and shit jobs, by means of UBI together with a 15-hour workweek, Universal Free Higher Education, and a system of Eco-Jobs.

A progressive revolution has to end the human oppression of no or inadequate healthcare, by means of Universal Free Healthcare, aka Single Payer.

A progressive revolution has to end culture wars and the corrosive, divisive politics of identity, and also has to end the global crisis of displaced humanity, whether refugees or internally displaced persons, by means of open borders and the politics of empathy.

And a progressive revolution has to end the oppression of gun violence,by means of repealing the Second Amendment and gun abolitionism, thus ending the second “peculiar institution” in the USA.

Then and only then will “Our Revolution” be Everyone’s Revolution.

And to those who say that a genuinely progressive revolution is impossible, either because they simply can’t see past the cognitive walls inside themselves, or, more deviously, because it’s in their own economic self-interest to disrespect human dignity and create or exploit human oppression,

Je vous dis, merde!

***

“Je vous dis, merde!” (literally, “I say to you: shit!” or more loosely, “You’re so full of shit!”) is a morally and politically defiant slogan invented and first published by an early 20th-century Catalan anarchist who used the nom de guerre “Miguel Almereyda.” Almereyda, who was murdered in a French prison in 1917, was also the father of the famous French film director Jean Vigo, who immortalized the same slogan in his breakthrough 1933 film, Zéro de conduite, aka Zero for Conduct.

Here is the seven-part platform of The Wake The Fuck Up! Party , aka The WTFU Party —

1. Universal Respect for Human Dignity (URHD):

· Human dignity is the absolute non-denumerable moral value of every member of humanity, and everyone ought to try wholeheartedly to treat everyone else in a way that is sufficient to meet the demands of respect for human dignity, especially including (i) alleviating or ending human oppression, and (ii) actively engaging in mutual aid and mutual kindness.

2. Universal Basic Income (UBI):

· Anyone 21 years of age or over and living permanently in the USA, who has a personal yearly income of $50,000.00 USD or less, and who is capable of requesting their UBI, would receive $25,000.00 USD per year, with no strings attached.

3. A 15-Hour Workweek for Understaffed Non-Bullshit Jobs (FHW-for-UNBJs):

· Anyone 18 years of age or older who is living permanently in the USA, who has completed a high school education, and is mentally and physically capable of doing a job, would be offered an eco-job, paying a yearly wage of $25,000.00 USD, for fifteen hours of work (three 5-hour days) per week.

Thus anyone 21 years of age or older with a high-school degree and who is also mentally and physically capable of working, would have a guaranteed yearly income of at least $50,000.00 USD if they chose to do an eco-job.

The rationale behind the three-year gap between (i) being offered an eco-job at 18 and (ii) beginning to receive their UBI at 21, is that every young adult who has finished high school will have the option of pursuing three years of part-time or full-time free higher education without credentialing, i.e., for its own sake, after high school, before making longer-term decisions about what I call job-work and life-work.

***

Here are a few more details about UBI and eco-jobs.

(i) The UBI is to be paid by a monthly stipend check.

(ii) Eco-job income is not taxed.

(iii) For all individual yearly incomes of $50,000.00 USD or under, no tax will be levied; hence for someone receiving their UBI and also doing an eco-job, no income tax will be levied.

(iv) For all individual non-eco-job incomes, for every $1.00 USD earned above the standard UBI of $25,000.00 USD, the monthly UBI stipend is reduced by 50 cents, until the recipient’s UBI is reduced to zero; hence for those individuals with yearly non-eco-job incomes equal to or under $50,000.00 USD, the maximum UBI + non-eco-job income sum is always $50,000.00 USD.

(v) For all individual yearly incomes over $50,000.00 USD, for every $10,000.00 USD earned, that surplus income is taxed at the rate of 1%, with the highest surplus income tax rate being 50%; hence the maximum surplus 50% tax rate starts at individual yearly incomes of $550,000.00 USD, and applies to all higher surplus incomes.

***

4. Universal Free Higher Education Without Credentialing (HEWC):

· Everyone would be offered, beyond their high-school education, a free, three-year minimum, optional (but also open-ended beyond those three years, as a further option), part-time or full-time universal public education program in the so-called “liberal arts,” and also in some of the so-called “STEM” fields, including the humanities, the fine arts, the social sciences, mathematics, and the natural sciences.

· For many or even most people, their HEWC would fall between (i) the end of their high school education at age 18 and the corresponding availability of eco-jobs, and (ii) the beginning of their UBI at age 21.

· But HEWC would be open to anyone with a high school degree, no matter how old they are, provided they are mentally and physically capable of doing the program.

5. Universal Free Healthcare (UFH):

· Every human person living permanently in the USA will receive free lifelong healthcare.

6. 2-Phase Universal Open Borders (2P-UOB):

· Phase 1: Starting in 2021, there will be universal open borders with Canada and Mexico, and everyone who moves across those borders and then claims residence in the USA, will receive temporary or permanent residence in the USA and also full membership in the system of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs/eco-jobs, and UFH in the USA, with the precise number of new temporary or permanent residents to depend on the current availability of (i) adequate funding for UBI, eco-jobs, and UFH , and (ii) adequate living accommodation, in the USA, provided that all new residents also fully respect the human dignity of everyone else in the USA and elsewhere in the world.

· Phase 2: Also starting in 2021, the USA, Canada, and Mexico will collectively form a Global Refugee Consortium (GRC), with three-way open borders to any political refugee, economic refugee, or asylum seeker from anywhere in the world (aka “global refugees”), who will receive temporary or permanent residence in the USA, Canada, or Mexico, and also full membership in the system of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs/eco-jobs, and UFH in the three GRC countries, with the precise number of new temporary or permanent residents, and the precise distribution of new residents among the three members of the GRC, to depend on the current availability of (i) funding for UBI, eco-jobs, and UFH , and (ii) adequate living accommodation, in the three GRC countries, provided that all new residents also fully respect the human dignity of everyone else in the GRC and elsewhere in the world.

7. Universal No-Guns (UNG):

· No one in the USA, including police, internal security forces of all kinds, armies, and intelligence forces of all kinds, has the moral right to possess or use guns of any kind, for any purpose whatsoever, because the primary function of guns is coercion, and coercion is immoral.

· UNG would be implemented by repealing the Second Amendment to the US Constitution in 2021 and then universally banning the possession or use of guns thereafter.

I’m also assuming that Universal Public Education (UPE) — universal free access for all human persons of any age to good public education up to the end of high school — already exists in most countries, and needs no further justification.

Where UPE does not already exist, it would automatically become a necessary part of the seven-part WTFU Party package, thereby making it a eight-part package.

Mr Nemo, Nowhere, NA, 7 April 2017

The WTFU Party is a sub-project of the online mega-project Philosophy Without Borders, which is home-based on Patreon here.

Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.

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