In the US, the poor and exploited are to be found in the great cities and in the rural South. In the blue states and the red.
The most amazing thing about America’s downtrodden is that they are divided between being supportive of progressive policies and being racist fascists.
In red states, the Republican Party enjoys the support of the poorest and least educated members of society. Even though the Republicans advocate programs and policies that are adverse to the interests of all but the richest of Americans, they have managed to enlist the support of the rural poor, the middle class, and older Americans with appeals to racism and religious zealotry.
The resultant religious fanaticism, fueled from pulpits and by right wing talking heads and radio hustlers, is markedly closer to being revolutionary than are our supporters on the left.
Were a revolution to occur anytime soon in America, there is little doubt but that the outcome would be a right wing theocracy.
Some on the left fantasize that there is a huge contingent of socialist-leaning Americans who have eschewed politics and voting due to disenchantment with the political choices available. They believe that those disenchanted and disaffected Americans are just waiting to embrace a socialist alternative or join in a socialist revolution.
I wish that were true.
I wish we were as close to revolution as my optimistic comrades suggest. Unfortunately, we aren’t even close.
America is probably the least likely nation to become socialist. Even at the height of socialist popularity in the US, in the early 20th Century, socialism never gained traction. Even those most likely to embrace socialism turned their backs on socialist candidates and socialist parties.
After 150 years of capitalist anti-socialist propaganda and disinformation, socialism is less popular than ever in the US, even though the plights of workers and the poor have gotten substantially worse in the last 50 years.
The prospects for socialist revolution elsewhere do not seem particularly promising, even in countries with vibrant socialist political activity and organized opposition to the capitalist state.
If socialism cannot deliver revolutions in the Third World and in countries with strong socialist constituencies, it is foolhardy to expect socialist success in America anytime soon.
There are constituencies in the US that are closer to being revolutionary than are the poor or labor, traditional strongholds of socialist sympathy.
Those constituencies are Animal Rights activists, Environmentalists, social justice advocates, anti-war activists, Occupiers, consumer advocates, feminists, people of color, and the LGBT community, with varying degrees of ardor.
Should revolution finally come to America, and leftists are a more substantial factor than are religious lunatics, the success will be due to a broad coalition of anti-capitalists.
Unlike socialist revolutions of 100 years ago, it will be led by philosophical leftists as opposed to abused workers lashing out at squalor and injustice.