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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/4/17

Weaponized Truth: The Indispensable Movement's Key to Success

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Introduction: An "Unplanned" Article

This was not an article I planned to write. Instead, having recently published Part 1 of a series on our new Indispensable Movement's memes and catchy rhetoric, where I introduced and justified our key "Swampzilla" meme, I was planning to write Part 2, performing the same service for some of our most crucial (and fun) movement lingo.

The Complete Kama Sutra--they wrote the book on love. And knew about .mouth Congress. before Congress did!
The Complete Kama Sutra--they wrote the book on love. And knew about .mouth Congress. before Congress did!
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But in response to Swampzilla--and also to my introduction on Facebook of the derogatory term "formaldeheads" for identity-politics liberals (which I'll briefly explain later)--several critics accused me of juvenile name-calling and suggested progressives are much better off talking about the issues (say, single-payer health care or tuition-free college) that people care about. Eminently reasonable as that sounds on the surface, it's actually totally wrongheaded and woefully inadequate to confronting the crisis of an illegitimate system steeped in corruption and burying the truth about itself in an endless stream of lying propaganda.

What's needed is peaceful political revolution-- and revolutions do a hell of a lot more than politely offer packages of popular policies. Even when peaceful--as the Indispensable Movement fully intends to be--revolutions are about wresting power from oppressive, determined enemies hell-bent on keeping every last shred of that power. And using it to prevent-- or at least, effectively hamstring--Congressional action on all popular policies.

By forcing me to think out and write a full-fledged justification for the revolutionary strategy of the Indispensable Movement, our critics may have driven me to write an even more important--a more "indispensable"--article than either the Part 1 or Part 2 article in my planned series.

Regime Legitimacy Crisis and "Verbal Revolution"

To the politically "woke," the shocking ascent of someone as morally reprehensible and politically illiterate and unqualified as Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency--in what's obviously a two-party system--spells a crisis of legitimacy not just for our system, but for both major parties that monopolize power within it. As I noted in my Part 1 "Meet Swampzilla" article, the fact of Trump's disgusting rise to power signaling a crisis of legitimacy for both parties is both a matter of simple common sense and a convergence of informed leftist opinion.

To reiterate that convergence of leftist opinion (with some slight change), I'd like to single out (among many worthy possibilities) two leftist intellectuals whose analysis is especially pertinent to my case, Anthony Monteiro and Naomi Klein. While Monteiro's podcast is the same I referenced in my "Meet Swampzilla" piece, the "some slight change" refers to my now citing a Klein article closely related to, but somewhat different from, the one I linked to there. My reasoning for the change is that the Klein piece now cited more directly and squarely places blame on the Democratic Party--where it rightfully belongs--for Trump and his "nightmare" regime. Klein's piece is sweet validation for Indispensable's Swampzilla meme--while makes both major parties essential components of the "swamp lizard" ferociously guarding our pestilent political swamp.

While I'm especially pleased to see a leftist of Klein's moral and intellectual heft express herself so directly on Democrats' blameworthiness in electing Trump, I by no means intend to slight Monteiro's brilliant analysis of bipartisan illegitimacy. Rather, it's supplementary to Klein's analysis--and especially vindicating of Indispensable's updated inclusion of "War Street" (alongside Occupy's nemesis Wall Street) as a second corrupting force delegitimizing both major parties of our two-party system. As Monteiro forcefully and insightfully stresses, worldwide perception of the illegitimacy of bipartisan warmongering U.S. foreign policy--a perceived illegitimacy that renders that policy impotent to achieve its stated goals--has become a source of grievance even for U.S. audiences, despite a domestic propaganda machine that strives tirelessly to blind U.S. citizens to what the global public plainly sees. So Monteiro, supplementing Klein, validates Indispensable's foundational analysis of an illegitimate two-party system in bondage to Wall Street and War Street.

This foundational analysis is the Indispensable Movement's truth--the truth that, per this article's title, our movement seeks to weaponize. But what exactly does it mean to "weaponize" truth? And why should anyone bother; can't truth simply speak for itself? To answer the second--and easier--question first: no, truth simply can't speak for itself; in a system clinging to its last shreds of legitimacy through control of major media and mass propaganda, truth, left to its own devices, simply can't reach the critical mass of activists and voters required to effect desperately needed change. If having the truth alone guaranteed success, the Green Party--light-years closer to the truth of Naomi Klein's climate justice vision than either major party--would have long ago become the dominant U.S. party. Instead, it has remained a marginal party that even many progressives deeply sympathetic to its aims don't consider viable.

As Klein herself (along with leftist stalwarts like Chris Hedges) rightly emphasizes, it will take a mass social movement, not merely a party, to end the truth-strangling impasse of current U.S. politics. The Indispensable Movement offers itself as that social movement; having offered the correctness of our foundational analysis as a major credential, we further vindicate our fitness to lead the needed political revolution by stressing the spot-on relevance of our method: our efforts to weaponize truth. To grasp what we mean by that, it's essential to digest an essay by another "Chris": the late--and tragically flawed--great Christopher Hitchens. In his essay "The Verbal Revolution," Hitchens provides the needed framework for grasping Indispensable's concept of weaponized truth.

Establishment Violence to Language vs. Revolutionary Violence with Language

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Patrick Walker is co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy (RAP) and the Bernie or Bust movement it spawned. Before that, he cut his activist teeth with the anti-fracking and Occupy Scranton PA movements. No longer with RAP, he wields his pen (more...)

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