Art and RPS/2044
Written in the page-turning style of popular narrative fiction, Michael Albert, aka Miguel Guevara, provides the reader with an explanatory history of the 30 year period of revolutionary activity that took place in the United States beginning with the Sanders presidential campaign of 2015 running on through to the election of President Malcom King in 2044 and the construction of the Revolution for
a Participatory Society which began in 2045. Along the way, interviews with the leading revolutionaries that enable us to understand how the values, visions, and strategies of the participants propelled them forward, helped them to overcome the cynicism, divisions, as well as liberal self-delusion, and how they were central to creating successive actions that a sustained revolutionary movement. The theme here is winning and how winning becomes possible.
What struck me as an artist is how one important source of the revolutionary spirit seems to have emerged out of sites of musical and poetic enchantment within a disenchanted world. As one hears successive revolutionaries recount the process of their own personal radicalization and empowerment, one senses that “being moved” or the sense of personally feeing larger is a key element that feeds resistance as much as it does one’s larger vision. Juliet Berkman, a militant feminist born in 1993, for example, tells how she was “transported” not only by the solidarity of the civil rights era that preceded her but by the music of the movement as well. Bertrand Dellinger, born in 1966 who gets involved in anti-nuc and anti-war activism, explains how he was “enthralled” by the music and poetry of Bob Dylan. Again and again we learn that the motivation to get involved in building new revolutionary institutions not only derives from the felt need to resist the grossness of establish values and crimes or even primarily from a sense of solidarity among repressed communities, but also from the sense of feeling more powerful that is rooted in any number of art forms. Albert provides, as a part of the history of this period, well over 100 music videos, accessible via YouTube, to give the reader a
sense and the feeling of what a musical soundtrack to the process of creating a participatory society might sound like. The book is as instructive as it is empowering. It is an ode to winning a new world and it is convincing.