Some of you might recall the enthusiasm I expressed over the victory of the democratic party in November. Indeed, for me these days the entire goal is to find a way to be a bit optimistic and affirmative in a world of critical and political theory that strikes me as having become fashionably pessimistic and self-indulgent. As in all things, optimism is quickly diminished when confronting the corruption of party politics. Nancy Pelosi has decided to bar labor representatives from meeting with freshman representatives to discuss the economic direction of the country, thereby giving the middle finger to labor in the United States. I think this is a lethal error, and that moves such as this account for the rising tide of religious fundamentalism in the United States. It is not by mistake that the same demographic that once made up the labor movements of the past is today aligned with the religious right. The rise of Christian fundamentalism can be plotted against the attack on labor movements in the United States, starting in the early seventies. In the face of globalization and perpetual layoffs, and a lack of political representation, the only option seems to be one of becoming Stoic and turning towards God. No wonder we are inhabited by such apocalyptic visions. It’s as if the United States has become Heideggerian, believing that “only a god can save us now”.

For years I have heard the same argument over and over again: “The democratic party may not be the best, but there’s no alternative. If you vote otherwise, then they will lose and things will be even worse than they are now.” This line of reasoning is an example of a forced vel of alienation– “your money or your life!” –and insures that nothing changes or is ever done. Concerted efforts need to be made to organize and create genuine alternatives to this status quo, and the spectre of this argument or line of reasoning needs to be demolished.

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