avatar
Front Matter for the Future


Below is the front matter of a recent book, RPS/2044: An Oral History of the Next American Revolution, which features 18 future revolutionaries telling their personal stories of their involvement in a revolutionary process spanning the next 27 years. The book includes thirty chapters dealing with all sides of their future struggle. The premise is the book has come to us from an alternative U.S. on an Alternative earth, time-shifted from ours. That is explained in the Foreword, below. Also below is an annotated Table of Contents, A Video Playlist for the book, an Introduction by the interviewer, Miguel Guevara, and a timeline of events.

On the one hand, I hope what is below will spur some readers to visit the book’s web page, which not only has the front matter, but various interviews, articles, means to post, etc., or to get a copy of the full work. After all, everyone likely to read this article realizes the future will be bleak, even dystopian, unless some massive process of social change addressing all sides of life interactively unfolds successfully. Shouldn’t we all therefore wish to hear from folks who have been part of just such a process, albeit for a time-shifted version of our society? On the other hand, if this article falls short of accomplishing that aspiration, I offer it as the first in a series of posts. Others will be chapters from the book…

 

RPS / 2044 

An Oral History of
The Next American Revolution

By Miguel Guevara & Michael Albert

 

Interviewees: Lydia Luxemburg, Bertrand Dellinger, Juliet Berkman, Andrej Goldman, Senator Malcolm King, Governor Celia Curie, Harriet Lennon, Rev. Stephen Du Bois, Cynthia Parks, Mayor Bill Hampton, Barbara Bethune, Mark Feynman, Anton Rocker, Peter Cabral, Robin Kuntsler, Leslie Zinn, Noam Carmichael, & Dylan Cohen

 

Oh, the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they’ll be smiling
And the rocks on the sand
Will proudly stand
The hour that the ship comes in

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they’re spoken
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean

– Bob Dylan

 

Table of Contents

Foreword
In his own United States, in his own 2040, Miguel Guevara began questioning eighteen prominent revolutionaries… 

Video Playlist
Can a music playlist usefully accompany an oral history?

Introduction
From 2030 to 2036 I wrote over 500 topical essays.

Selected Timeline
Selected RPS events, project’s, and campaigns by year.

Chapter 1: First Steps
Juliet Berkman and Andrej Goldman discuss the first major march and boycotts.

Chapter 2: Overcoming Cynicism
Juliet Berkman, Senator Malcolm King, and Andrej Goldman discuss overcoming resistance, and early momentum.

Chapter 3: Getting Started
Andrej Goldman and Bill Hampton discuss hope, activism, and program.

Chapter 4: 2016
Senator Malcolm King discusses the 2016 Election.

Chapter 5: Reacting to Trump
Andrej Goldman and Senator Malcolm King discuss Trump winning.

Chapter 6: The First Convention
Andrej Goldman, Senator Malcolm King, and Cynthia Parks, recall the first convention and its immediate aftermath.

Chapter 7: Initial Commitments
Cynthia Parks and Andrej Goldman discuss vision, structure, and program.

Chapter 8: Forming Chapters
Cynthia Parks and Andrej Goldman discuss building RPS chapters.

Chapter 9: Housing and Rights to the City
Bill Hampton, Cynthia Parks, and Harriet Lennon discuss transportation, housing, and rights to the city. 

Chapter 10: Actor’s Activism
Celia Curie discusses Hollywood activism.

Chapter 11: Health and Class
Barbara Bethune and Mark Feynman discuss the initial emergence of the health front and class conceptions.

Chapter 12: Athletics and Religion
Peter Cabral and Stephen Du Bois discuss athletic and religious renovation.

Chapter 13: Courageous Courtrooms
Robin Kunstler and Peter Cabral discuss legal upheaval.

Chapter 14: Media Makeovers
Leslie Zinn discusses media makeovers.

Chapter 15: Economic Campaigns
Anton Rocker discusses minimum wage and workplace organizing.

Chapter 16: Concepts
Lydia Luxemburg discusses ideas at the heart of RPS.

Chapter 17: Values
Bertrand Dellinger and Lydia Luxembourg discuss values at the heart of RPS.

Chapter 18: Defining Ourselves
Dylan Cohen, Malcom King, Lydia Luxemburg, Bill Hampton, and Barbara Bethune discuss shadow government.

Chapter 19: Gender and Race
Juliet Berkman, Bill Hampton, Lydia Luxemburg, Cynthia Parks, Noam Carmichael, and Peter Cabral discuss gender and race.

Chapter 20: Class
Mark Feynman, Lydia Luxemburg, and Juliet Berkman discuss class.

Chapter 21: Leadership, Pace, Solidarity
Robin Kunstler, Celia Curie, and Noam Carmichael, address leadership, pace, and solidarity.

Chapter 22: Reforms, Revolution, Violence
Lydia Luxemburg, Andrej Goldman, Peter Cabral, and Juliet Berkman discuss reforms, revolution, and violence.

Chapter 23: Elections
Mayor Bill Hampton, Celia Curie, Lydia Luxemburg, Bertrand Dellinger, and Malcolm King discuss electoral participation.

Chapter 24: Political and Kinship Vision
Bertrand Dellinger and Lydia Luxemburg discuss Political and Kinship Vision.

Chapter 25: Economic and Cultural Vision
Andrej Goldman, Peter Cabral, Lydia Luxemburg, and Bertrand Dellinger discuss economic and cultural vision.

Chapter 26: Media Seeds
Bertrand Dellinger, Mark Feynman, and Leslie Zinn discuss media future.

Chapter 27: Health and Justice Seeds
Barbara Bethune, Mark Feynman, and Robin Kunstler, discuss health and justice future.

Chapter 28: Education and Economy Seeds
Bertrand Dellinger, Anton Rocker, and Harriet Lennon discuss education and economy future.

Chapter 29: World and Planet
Bertrand Dellinger, Dylan Cohen, and Stephen Du Bois discuss international relations and ecology.

Chapter 30: Ship Ahoy
Miguel Guevara has a few final words.

Afterword
Did our oral history move you? Did its participants make useful observations? 

Postscript
In November 2044, Senator Malcolm King interviewed after being elected President of the U.S. with his running mate, Governor Celia Curie.

Addendum
Excerpt from Miguel Guevara’s Press Briefing, April 9, 2045.

The Interviewees
A brief biographic list of this oral history’s eighteen interviewees in the order they first appear in the book.

 

Foreword

By Michael Albert

In his own United States, in his own 2040, Miguel Guevara began questioning eighteen prominent revolutionaries about their Revolution for a Participatory Society (RPS). From the resulting interviews, Guevara stitched together an oral history, RPS/2044.

Guevara lives on an “alt earth” whose initial divergence from our earth shuffled people, morphed names, tweaked events, and shifted time 28 years. Alt earth’s 2016 closely resembled our 2016, but when we endured 2016, alt earth enjoyed 2044. Our future won’t mimic their past, but could their experience inform ours? Could their commitment inspire and incite ours?

An eye blink ago, in our own 2016, 52 activists and 2,000 additional advocates signed a statement titled, “We Stand for Peace and Justice.”

“We stand for peace and justice. We see an organized anti worker, anti minority, anti immigrant, anti woman, anti LGBTQ, anti ecological, pro imperial, incarceration minded, surveillance employing, authoritarian reaction proliferating around the world. It calls itself right wing populist but is arguably more accurately termed neofascist. It preys on fear as well as often warranted anger. It manipulates and misleads with false promises and outright lies. It is trying to create an international alliance. Courageous responses are emerging and will proliferate around issue after issue, and in country after country. These responses will challenge the unworthy emotions, the vicious lies, and the vile policies. They will reject right wing rollback and repression. But to ward off an international, multi issue, reactionary assault shouldn’t we be internationalist and multi issue? Shouldn’t we reject reaction but also seek positive, forward looking, inspiring progress? To those ends:

“We stand for the growing activism on behalf of progressive change around the world, and their positive campaigns for a better world, and we stand against the rising reactionary usurpers of power around the world and their lies, manipulations, and policies.

“We stand for peace, human rights, and international law against the conditions, mentalities, institutions, weapons and dissemination of weapons that breed and nurture war and injustice.

“We stand for healthcare, education, housing, and jobs against war and military spending. We stand for internationalism, indigenous, and native rights, and a democratic foreign policy against empire, dictatorship, and political and religious fundamentalism.

“We stand for justice against economic, political, and cultural institutions that promote huge economic and power inequalities, corporate domination, privatization, wage slavery, racism, gender and sexual hierarchy, and the devolution of human kindness and wisdom under assault by celebrated authority and enforced passivity.

“We stand for democracy and autonomy against authoritarianism and subjugation. We stand for prisoner rights against prison profiteering. We stand for participation against surveillance. We stand for freedom and equity against repression and control.

“We stand for national sovereignty against occupation and apartheid. We oppose overtly brutal regimes everywhere. We oppose less overtly brutal but still horribly constricting electoral subversion, government and corporate surveillance, and mass media manipulation.

“We stand for equity against exploitation by corporations of their workers and consumers and by empires of subordinated countries. We stand for solidarity of and with the poor and the excluded everywhere.

“We stand for diversity against homogeneity and for dignity against racism. We stand for multi-cultural, internationalist, community rights, against cultural, economic, and social repression of immigrants and other subordinated communities in our own countries and around the world.

“We stand for gender equality against misogyny and machismo. We stand for sexual freedom against sexual repression, homogenization, homophobia, and transphobia.

“We stand for ecological wisdom against the destruction of forests, soil, water, environmental resources, and the biodiversity on which all life depends. We stand for ecological sanity against ecological suicide.

“We stand for a world whose political, economic, and social institutions foster solidarity, promote equity, maximize participation, celebrate diversity, and encourage full democracy.

“We will not be a least common denominator single issue or single focus coalition. We will be a massive movement of movements with a huge range of concerns, ideas, and aims, united by what we stand for and against.

“We will enjoy and be strengthened by shared respect and mutual aid while we together reject sectarian hostilities and posturing.

“We stand for and pledge to work for peace and justice.”

Here is a list of the We Stand Statement’s Initial Signers:

M. Adams U.S., Ezequiel Adamovsky Argentina, Michael Albert U.S., Vilma Almendra Colombia, Bridget Anderson UK, Omar Barghouti Palestine, Walden Bello Philippines, Medea Benjamin U.S., Peter Bohmer U.S., Leah Bolger U.S., Patrick Bond South Africa, Jeremy Brecher U.S., Leslie Cagan U.S., Adam Carpinelli U.S., Avi Chomsky U.S., Noam Chomsky U.S., Marjorie Cohn U.S., Steve Early U.S., Mark Evans UK, Bill Fletcher U.S., Lindsey German UK, Angela M. Gilliam U.S., Linda Gordon U.S., Andrej Grubacic, U.S., David Hartsough U.S., Chaia Heller U.S., Pervez Hoodbhoy Pakistan, Kathy Kelly U.S., Joanne Landy U.S., Dan Leahy U.S., Rabbi Michael Lerner U.S., Mairead Maguire Ireland, Ben Manski U.S., Robert McChesney U.S., Miranda Mellis U.S., Leo Panitch Canada, Cynthia Peters U.S., Francis Fox Piven U.S., Justin Podur Canada, C J Polychroniou U.S., Milan Rai UK, Manuel Rozental Colombia, Boaventura Santos Portugal, Irene Ramalho Santos Portugal, Lydia Sargent U.S., Kim Scipes U.S., Marina Sitrin U.S., Norman Solomon U.S., Verena Stresing France, David Swanson U.S., Rudolfo Torres U.S., Tom Vouloumanos Canada, Bob Wing, U.S.

The We Stand statement didn’t yield a broad U.S. project, but Black Lives Matter, the earlier Occupy Movement, the Sanders campaign, the Women’s March, on-going anti-war resistance, persistent Sanctuary organizing, and vigorous anti-Trump resistance broached the likelihood of more to come.

Interviewed at a People’s Summit in Chicago, heading into summer of 2017, the noted actor, producer, and activist Danny Glover voiced widespread activist sentiments: Develop clear vision. Seek fundamental change. Transcend being peripheral to power. Avoid circling wagons.

Guevara’s RPS/2044 takes Glover’s advice. Can an oral history from a revolutionary alternative future inspire advance in our world? Time waits for no one, and time will answer.

– Michael Albert, 2017

 

Video Playlist

As I prepared channeled RPS/2044’s many eloquent voices for release in 2017, I turned seventy. In my years of journeying from under-aged neophyte to over-aged veteran, people, events, books, talks, and beats, melodies, riffs, and lyrics led the way. The people, events, books, and talks informed RPS/2044’s interviewees’ words. What about songs?

The playlist below reveals my limited tastes, but for me each song’s message, sound, and original context augment RPS history. Perhaps it needs additional entries. Perhaps we can together add some in later editions of RPS/2044, in print and/or online. In any event, the playlist like RPS/2044 are a work in progress.

The site RPS2044.org includes links to video performances of each entry.

Chapter One: First Breaths
Chuck Berry: Roll Over Beethoven
Elvis Presley: Jailhouse Rock
Billy Holliday: God Bless the Child
Impressions: People Get Ready

Chapter Two: Overcoming Cynicism
Rolling Stones: Satisfaction
Otis Redding: The Dock of the Bay
Jackson Brown: The Pretender
Lorde: We’ll Never Be Royals
Sam Cooke: A Change Is Gonna Come

Chapter Three: Getting Started
Woody Guthrie: I Ain’t Got No Home
Nina Simone: Mississippi Goddam
The Beatles: Here Comes the Sun
Bruce Springsteen: The Rising

Chapter Four: The 2016 Election
Woody Guthrie/Pete Seeger: Deportees
Odetta: Jim Crow Blues
Richard and Mimi Farina: Bold Marauder
Buffalo Springfield: For What It’s Worth

Chapter Five: Reacting to Trump
Creedence Clearwater Revival: Bad Moon Rising
Bob Dylan: A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall
Iris Dement: Wasteland of the Free
Rhiannon Giddens: Freedom Highway

Chapter Six: The First Convention
Mavis Staples: You Are Not Alone
Ben E King: Stand By Me
Tom Morello: Let Freedom Ring
Bob Dylan: It’s All Over Now Baby Blue

Chapter Seven: Initial Commitments
Lead Belly: Bourgeois Blues
Alejandro Escovedo: Wave
Laura Nyro: Save the Country
Chrissie Hynde: Revolution

Chapter Eight: Forming Chapters
The Tokens: The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On
Odetta: This Little Light of Mine
Bob Marley: Get Up Stand Up

Chapter Nine: Housing and Rights to the City
Billie Holiday: Strange Fruit
Bruce Springsteen: Youngstown
Amy Ray: Laramie
The Clash: London Calling

Chapter Ten: Actor’s Activism
Donovan: Catch the Wind
The Neville Brothers: Sister Rosa
Gil Scott Heron: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Bob Dylan: It’s Alright Ma

Chapter Eleven: Health and Class
Jim Carroll Band: People Who Died
Paul Simon: The Boxer
Bob Dylan: Maggie’s Farm
Drive By Truckers: Once They Banned Imagine

Chapter Twelve: Athletics and Religion
Jimi Hendrix: The Star Spangled Banner
Donovan: To Try for the Sun
Bob Marley: Redemption Song
Joan Baez: Blowing in the Wind

Chapter Thirteen: Courageous Courtrooms
Bob Dylan: Hurricane
Bruce Springsteen: 41 Shots
Ruthie Foster: Lord Remember Me
Rage Against the Machine: Killing in the Name

Chapter Fourteen: Media Makeovers
Simon and Garfunkle: Sounds of Silence
Jimmie Cliff: Sitting Here in Limbo
Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows
John Lennon: Imagine

Chapter Fifteen: Early Economic Campaigns|
Jim Page: I’d Rather Be Dancing
John Lennon: Power to the People
The Clash, Revolution Rock
Leonard Cohen: Democracy

Chapter Sixteen: Concepts
Buffy St. Marie: Now That The Buffalo’s Gone
Shannon Labrie: It’s Political
Randy Newman: Political Science
Public Enemy: Fight the Power

Chapter Seventeen: Values
Lucinda Williams: Soldiers Song
Neil Young: After The Gold Rush
The Clash: The Call Up
Louis Armstrong: What A Wonderful World

Chapter Eighteen: Defining Ourselves
Neil Young, Rockin’ In The Free World
Indigo Girls: Go Go Go
Jimmy Cliff: The Harder They Come
Bruce Springsteen: Born in the USA

Chapter Nineteen: Gender and Race
Aretha Franklin: Respect
Indigo Girls: Closer to Fine
Nina Simone: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free
Laura Marline: Next Time
Ani Difranco: I Am Not A Pretty Girl

Chapter Twenty: Class
Hooray for the Riff Raff: La Pa’lante
Drive By Truckers: What It Means
Valerie June: Workin’ Woman Blues
John Lennon: Working Class Hero

Chapter Twenty One: Leadership, Pace, Solidarity
Maryanne Faithful: Broken English
Patti Smith: People Have the Power
Jimmy Cliff: You Can Get It If You Really Want
The Clash: Spanish Bombs

Chapter Twenty Two: Reforms, Revolution, Violence
Tracy Chapman: Talkin’ ‘bout a Revolution
Thunderclapp Newman: Something in the Air
Rolling Stones: Street Fighting Man
Joan Baez: Farewell Angelina

Chapter Twenty Three: Elections
Creedance Clearwater Revival: Fortunate Son
Paul Robeson: No More Auction Block
Rolling Stones: Brown Sugar
Run for the Jewels:  “A Report To The Shareholders / Kill Your Masters”

Chapter Twenty Four: Political and Kinship Vision
Sharon Jones: This Land Is Your Land
Nina Simone: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free
Beatles: Dear Prudence
Lady Ga Ga: Born This Way
Joan Baez: We Shall Overcome

Chapter Twenty Five: Economic and Cultural Vision
Peter Gabriel: Biko
Los Lobos: Revolution
The Roots: Next Movement
Kendrick Lamar: How Much A Dollar Cost

Chapter Twenty Six: Media Future
David Bowie: All The Young Dudes
Lucinda Williams: Born to Be Loved
Tom Morello: Which Side Are You On
Public Enemy: Get Up Stand Up

Chapter Twenty Seven: Health and Justice Future
Johnny Cash: Man in Black
Bruce Springsteen: Badlands
Prince: Sign O the Times
Bob Dylan: Chimes of Freedom

Chapter Twenty Eight: Education and Economy Future
Pink Floyd: Another Brick in the Wall
Mavis Staples: Wrote a Song for Everyone
Jackson Browne: Lives in the Balance
Jefferson Airplane: Crown of Creation
Bob Dylan: Times They Are A Changin

Chapter Twenty Nine: World and Planet
Marianne Faithful: Broken English
Buffy St. Marie: Universal Soldier
Phil Ochs: Cops of the World
Shannon Labrie: War and Peace
Bob Dylan: Masters of War

Chapter Thirty: Ship Ahoy
Phil Ochs: Ringing of Revolution
Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah
Los Lobos: Will The Wolf Survive
Chambers Brothers: Time Has Come Today
Bob Dylan: When the Ship Comes In

On RPS.org the above references appear as links to YouTube videos. Enjoy!

 

Introduction

From 2030 to 2036 I wrote over 500 topical essays for a Latin American media project. They required immediacy, preferred facts to lessons, and welcomed names, dates, and happenstances but not whys, from wheres, and to wheres. I obeyed, but I also griped. In early 2037, I happened to read an oral history of social media. By late 2039 I began interviewing 18 participants in the on-going U.S. Revolution for a Participatory Society (RPS). From 2039 into 2041, I heard about initial aims, early activities, and the birth, maturation, and success of seeking a better world.

My interviewees evaluated RPS’s early efforts in health, housing, urban relations, economics, entertainment, sports, religion, law, and media. They recounted RPS’s gender, race, and class policies, and its approach to solidarity, leadership, and correcting its own inadequacies. They explored RPS’s shadow government and shadow society programs, and described RPS’s social vision. They addressed ecology, health, legality, education, media, economy, city life, family life, elections, international relations, and prospects for final victory.

But, my questions had an intent that left much out. I asked about events, programs, ideas, and feelings but always and only seeking to understand the emergence and success of RPS. I asked questions that ignored the mindsets and history of the twenty five years’ opponents of change, fascist or liberal, of new technologies, of economic, social, and cultural trends, of fashion and sports, of cultural creations, scientific and, medical, of natural and even global warming caused storms, and even of wars and near wars and interventions and near interventions, if at all, only to illuminate the forward motion of RPS. Of course what I didn’t ask about is important, it just wasn’t part of my limited agenda.

In 2041, I excerpted their interviews into topical chapters and prepared a website (available at http://rps2044.org) to display testimonials, reviews, related essays, and comments. At that site you can add, comments, complaints, suggestions, and explorations, and send questions to myself or to any interviewee. The website includes YouTube links for all items in the Playlist.

Everything worthwhile about RPS/2044 is due to the interviewees. The flaws are mine.

Miguel Guevara, 2041

 

Selected Timeline 

pastedGraphic.png

2015 Sanders Runs
2016 Black Lives Matter Program
2016 NFL Anthem Protests
2016 Sanders’ Our Revolution Founded
2016 Trump Elected

2017 Immigrant Sanctuary Movements
2017 Expanded Minimum Wage Movement
2017 Women’s March Repudiates Trump
2017 Church Sanctuary Movements

2018 Athletes Sanctuary Movement
2018 Anti Trump Civil Disobedience
2018 Global March for Sustainability

2019 Detroit Wages and Anti Violence Rally
2019 War No More Rallies
2019 Wall Street Peace and Justice March

2020 Firearms Manufacturers Boycott
2020 Campus Military Divestment
2020 Initial RPS Meetings/Groups

2021 Public Schools for the People
2021 Olympics Decentralization Movement
2021 Athletes for Community Safety

2022 RPS Founding Convention
2022 College Athletes Movement
2022 First Hollywood RPS meeting
2022 Journalists for Social Responsibility

2023 Religious Renovations Movement
2023 Hollywood RPS School
2023 One Hundredth RPS Chapter Meets
2023 Press the Press Campaign
2023 Community Control of Police

2024 RPS Campaigns for Balanced Jobs
2024 Alternative Media Renovation Campaign
2024 Legal Workers Conference
2024 High School Athletes Movement
2024 $25 Hr. Minimum Wages Campaign

2025 RPS Schools for Organizers
2025 30 Hour Work Week
2025 RPS Defining Second Convention
2025 RPS Shadow Government

2026 National Bike Campaigns
2026 Rights to the City expansion
2026 Five Hundredth RPS Chapter Meets
2026 Gender Roles Renovation

2027 Apartment Organizing
2027 Amazon Sit-down Strike
2027 UPS, Fed Ex…Strikes
2027 Online Curriculum Campaign
2027 National Alternative Media Coalition

2028 1000th RPS Chapter Meets
2028 Collective Alt Media Funding
2028 Military and Prison Conversion
2028 People’s Social Media
2028 Pharmaceuticals’ Protests

2029 Movie: Next American Revolution
2029 2500th RPS Chapter Meets
2029 California Campus Workers Strike
2029 Harvard Med School Strike
2029 National Grad Students Strike

2030 Prisoners Strikes
2030 Hotel and Motel Occupations
2030 Medicine for Health not Profit

2031 Chicago Public School Occupation
2031 Hollywood Strikes
2031 RPS People’s Clinics Movement
2031 National Public Schools Occupations

2032 RPS National Nurses March
2032 Colombus Factory Takeovers
2032 Public Schools for the People
2032 Malcolm King Senator of Ma
2032 National Coop Coalition

2033 Students for Balanced Jobs
2033 Cleveland Workers Movement
2033 People’s Prison Reform
2033 NY, LA, Chic., SF Worker Movements
2033 Hospital Renovations Movement

2034 Celia Lopez, Gov. Cal.
2034 National Bloc Movement
2034 National Prisoners Strike
2034 Coops for Self Management
2034 RPS Factories for the People

2035 Chicago Health Workers Strike
2035 RPS Community Planning Movement
2035 National Health Workers Strike
2035 Coops for RPS Economy

2036 Industry Wide Strikes
2036 Global Climate Action Strike
2036 Participatory Budgeting Campaign

2037 Week Long U.S. National Strike

2039 Interviews Begin

2041 Interviews End

2042 RPS Published

2044 President Malcolm King

2045 RPS Construction Proceeds

Leave a comment