Thursday, December 03, 2020

Quote of the Day

The rot is the [political/economic] system’s embracing of the neofascist wing of the ruling class, which is Donald Trump and company, and the neoliberal wing of the ruling class, which is Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The reason some of us argue against Trump, in the form of a vote for a milquetoast, mediocre, centrist Biden – who’s head of a rotten Democratic establishment – is because we’re trying to stop the American march toward fascism.

. . . Fascism calls into question the very possibility of any kind of radical Democratic politics, across the board. But there is still a difference between a neofascist catastrophe and a neoliberal disaster. Now, it looks as if we’ll be wrestling with a neoliberal disaster. That’s another way of saying that the rot is there, it’s just that with Biden, the rot proceeds much more slowly. And so we still have to have mass mobilization, we still have to have serious social movement, motion and momentum. . . . pressures on Democrats in the House and certain kinds of alliances with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. But I think we can conclude that the Democratic Party is simply unable to serve as an institutional vehicle for serious struggles for truth and justice. That’s the conclusion right now I think we have to draw.

That’s why I’m spending a lot of time with Brother Nick Brana and Sister Nina Turner and with Marianne Williamson and the others with the People’s Party. But I think the crucial point here is that we’ve got to be able to have a politics of solidarity. What I mean by that is that all the talk about identity – racial identity, gender identity, sexual orientation identity – is crucial, it is indispensable, but in the end, it must be connected to a moral integrity and deep political solidarity that hones in on a financialized form of predatory capitalism. A capitalism that is killing the planet, poor people, working people here and abroad.

The neoliberal versions of identity politics are exactly what Brother Adolph Reed has taught us for the last thirty years; it’s a form of class politics. And if we don’t understand that, we fall right in the trap of what we underwent with Barack Obama. And we can’t fall in that trap again.

Cornel West
Excerpted from Daniel Denvir’s
An Interview with Cornel West
December 3, 2020

Related Off-site Links:
Cornel West Explains His Vote for “Neoliberal Disaster” Biden – Tori Sousa (The Daily Pennsylvanian, November 8, 2020).
Dr. Cornel West: People Went to Sleep Under Obama; Pay Closer Attention to Corporate Greed and Pentagon Militarism Under Biden – Ann Brown (The Moguldom Nation, November 20, 2020).
Obama Knows Something About Slogans That Disappoint People – Kim Brown (The Real News, December 4, 2020).
How Neoliberalism Reinvented Democracy: An Interview With Niklas Olsen – Daniel Zamora (Jacobin, April 6, 2019).
The Third Way Is a Death Trap – John Patrick Leary (Jacobin, August 3, 2018).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Progressive Perspectives on the 2020 U.S. Election Results
“As Much the Sounding of An Alarm As a Time for Self-Congratulations”
Election Eve Thoughts
Election Day USA, 2020
Who Half of Us Are
Bye Bye
We Cannot Allow a Biden Win to Mean a Return to “Brunch Liberalism”
Eight Leading Progressive Voices on Why They’re Voting for Biden
Deep Gratitude
My Summer of Supporting Progressive Down-Ballot Candidates
Progressive Perspectives on the Biden-Harris Ticket
“We Have an Emergency On Our Hands”: Marianne Williamson On the “Freefall” of American Democracy
Marianne Williamson on the Movement for a People’s Party
Hope, History, and Bernie Sanders

Image: Cornel West at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona in January 2018. (Photo: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons)

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