Ken MacLeod's comments.
The title comes from two quotes:
“Work as if you lived in the early days of a better nation.”—Alasdair Gray.
“If these are the early days of a better nation, there must be hope, and a hope of peace is as good as any, and far better than a hollow hoarding greed or the dry lies of an aweless god.”—Graydon Saunders
It wasn't just another election. Something broke this week.
More than half the US electors have voted for smirking evil. They've voted for a President who openly believes he is above the law. They've voted for torture, tyranny and aggressive wars of conquest. They've voted for religious obscurantism. They've cast a vote of confidence in the past four years, and asked for four more years like them. They've done all this because they believe that this is what it will take to make them safe. They've voted against liberty for a little temporary safety, and they deserve and can expect but little of either.
Until today, it remained something of a question whether or not the people of the United States would use the ballot as a means of demonstrating their desire to maintain nominally democratic norms. As it stands right now, the question has been answered ... in the negative. The combined power of the corporate media, the corporate parties (and their corporatised labour unions) and a contrived ‘culture of fear’ have turned the average American voter into a Pavlovian nightmare. The end result has been that the Bush regime, which came to power through a bloodless coup d'etat in 2000, has now been effectively legitimised through a large 'vote of confidence' by over 50 million Americans.
A plurality of Americans has, through their votes, chosen to approve the burial of the second republic in favour of imperialist empire. Their legitimising of the Bush regime and their support for the 'culture war' has irreversibly broken the continuity of American democracy. The process of Weimarisation is complete.
Certain wooden-headed elements of the left will, of course, continue to assert that little, if anything, new has happened as a result of this election. They will continue to see the old institutional facades in place and will impressionistically conclude that all talk of a new period in American history as delusional. They will note that the uniquely American brand of anti-democratic, anti-worker corporatism that has taken hold in Washington does not correspond to what they read in history books and vulgarly conclude that nothing has really changed. In this author's view, these are little more than the echoes of the past and should be treated as such.
It is time for class-conscious working people, revolutionary socialists and communists to face forward and begin to come to grips with the new situation confronting us. Working class unity will have to take as its starting point the development of a common assessment of this situation and the revolutionary democratic tasks that inevitably flow from it. Left unity - if such a thing is still possible - will have to be its by-product.
Today, I mourn the failure of the 215-year-old 'noble experiment'. The republic is dead: long live the republic!
It is time to begin the world again. We can start here, in the first territory of the Revolution, land of Locke and Cromwell and Paine, by bringing down that man of blood Tony Blair.