It’s funny to think of a politics of possibility in the current context.
During my days of research with co-operatives, people from a prevalent school of thinking on the left often belittled my investigations (and the enterprises themselves) as weak, privileged, vulnerable and incapable of standing up to the global capitalist economy. By contrast, people on the right (none of whom I found in academia) thought co-ops were cool. Maybe that’s because they didn’t come from a critical (academic) perspective or maybe, they didn’t think that my project should be taking down the forces of capitalism.
As a doctoral student (2005-11) much of the left seemed invested in the idea that we needed a global alternative to fight global capitalism. My reading of Gibson-Graham and the Community Economies Collective offered a critique of and alternative to this view. Remember “Beyond the Global vs Local”? That perspective lead me to Western MA to work with Julie Graham.
The narrative of empire and fear seems to be even more prevalent and more salient today. The mainstream media demands that the public listens to “science” while censoring dissenting alternative scientific perspectives. Had it not been for consorting with people whose perspectives are on the other side, I might not have questioned the scientific and political discourses offered by mainstream media and academy in the present context.
Very rational people on the right and the left compare the current political climate in the US to Nazi Germany. The left sees federal forces arresting peaceful protesters in Portland and thinks of the Nazis. The right sees rioters vandalizing and taking over city blocks in Seattle and Portland (while Democrat politicians excuse them) and sees federal forces protecting American democracy. People on the left fear guns held by second amendment supporters, while, people on the right think they may need guns to protect their property, their rights to speech, protest and even to work and go to the gym.
Many of my lefty friends and colleagues are very socially distant so I can’t be sure but it seems that the left broadly speaking, has fully invested in the mainstream narrative of the global pandemic and its necessary global response which follows these steps: 1) Shutdown; 2) Outlaw or belittle alternative treatments; 3) Invest in vaccines; 4) Secure lives by limiting personal liberties and closing enterprises, schools and many public services until there’s a vaccine.
Protesting is fine but going to church is not.
Many people on the right view this as: shutdown, shut up and behave (wear masks, social distance) or things will never go back to normal. –Until there’s a vaccine.
If you question these goals, you cross into the territory of white supremacy, anti-vax, deep state conspiracy theories. Maybe worse, if you question these goals, you appear indifferent to the exposure of your parents and friends in vulnerable populations.
The governor of Massachusetts just mandated the flu vaccine for children to attend school. This is just the beginning. The next one up is the experimental, pre-purchased corona-virus vaccine.