At some point we will need a February Revolution.
At this time much of what we can say about the future is lost in the confusion of the Nice Liberals with Big Egos. You remember this group: these are the people who are going to save the world, but without any reference to what actually saving the world would physically entail. And so, consequently, they're doing it to please themselves.
Climate change, for instance, is about the end-results of fossil fuel extraction; but the Nice Liberals cannot bring themselves to reason that if fossil fuels are extracted, as indeed they are, they will be burned -- and so their "solution" to climate change is to "reduce carbon emissions" without any sort of forcible reduction of carbon extractions. So it is assumed that if the government buys a bunch of solar panels from corporations manufacturing them on the cheap, the rest of the world will magically stop extracting fossil fuels. Meanwhile, summertime will just get worse every year.
Or, for instance, with police violence -- the Nice Liberals assume it can all be handled with diversity training, whereas the actual solution (de-policing communities) is ignored because it's unpopular with the police unions.
The ACA was a "solution" tailor-made for the Nice Liberals with Big Egos. It was with unshakeable optimism that its promoters told the world that it was totally okay to provide universal health coverage while leaving the insurance parasites in control over the whole process. It was heavily advertised on Daily Kos throughout Barack Obama's tenure in office. The Nice Liberals with Big Egos of today recognize its failures but continue to promote "universal health care" without mentioning that the problem is not that people don't receive health care but rather that medical bankruptcy is all too often the outcome of "universal health care."
What the Nice Liberals with Big Egos tell us, today, is that they (or, rather, the neoliberal social climbers they "reluctantly" endorse) are the only alternative to rule by those evil Republicans (who are also neoliberal social climbers). Now the Republicans, as Richard Wolff points out, are a crisis cult. Here the word "cult" deserves definition. A cult is a situation wherein large numbers of people are there to worship people and principles based on ideas that are patent absurdities. In the Republican case we are told that we must elect criminals because, you know, "criminals." My guess is that the Republicans disappear when the Nice Liberals with Big Egos can be taught to avoid standing at the front of the parade which would otherwise oppose Republicanism. Cults don't last long because of the absurdity of their premises -- they're maintained through brainwashing, which doesn't last forever.
Today the Nice Liberals with Big Egos are in power, under the heading of "Biden is Not Enough but Better Than What Came Before." There's a piece in The New Republic titled "Joe Biden Isn't Close To Being a Historic President Yet" which might be behind a paywall. It's not important; the point of the article is to compare Biden to FDR, and FDR didn't have to deal with climate change, so comparing Biden to FDR is of no use. A big deal is being made of the fact that the Biden regime is behaving in a less neoliberal way than any of the neoliberal regimes Joe Biden has supported over his long political career. There is as of yet only a vague collective recognition of how bad things have gotten.
The fact of the matter is that nothing the Establishment is doing is up to the task at hand, and so at some point there will have to be a revolution. Now, the reigning definition of "revolution" here will have to be in terms of desire -- a revolution is when an entire society decides it wants something else. We will have to decide we don't want climate change suicide, or pandemic suicide, or war suicide, or any other form of suicide. And we'll have to decide we don't want "hey we're the big (D) and we endorse something slightly less than suicide but it's still suicide." And that will be the revolution.
The idea came to me when reading a piece on Andreas Malm: "The Kaleidoscope of Catastrophe." I don't know how many of the readers here have perused the works of Andreas Malm. Malm is a really curious fellow -- brilliant in some ways, inappropriate in others, but not inappropriate in the usual, Nice Liberal with Big Ego, way. His most recent work Corona Climate Chronic Emergency is a must-read on the relationship between capitalism and the pandemic. What happens, as Malm explains in the book, is that capitalist exploitation (sure, wet markets, but also palm oil plantations) drives businesses into areas inhabited by bats, which are carriers of significant numbers of diseases. Eventually, as large animal habitats disappear, the diseases which were meant for them migrate into the infestation of human beings. This, Malm explains, is a chronic problem.
Andreas Malm's solution to what he describes as a steadily worsening state of affairs, however, appears as a sort of "ecological Leninism," and thus something for which there is no agency on Earth advocating it at present (as Kaleidoscope of Catastrophe explains). Malm's solution, therefore, is described as an October Revolution without a February Revolution. Malm, in short, wants some sort of government power to solve the climate and capitalism and disease problems without any sort of messy process wherein such a power could be established in the first place.
Which brings the discussion back to the February Revolution, the necessary prerequisite to anything better. What was the February Revolution? The February Revolution was a strictly Russian affair; we will need a global February Revolution, as our "leadership" today is a global cabal of the super-rich and their client politicians. It happened in 1917, during the First World War; it led to the abdication of the Czar and the creation of a caretaker government with not much legitimacy. The basic history of it is that the First World War destabilized Russia. At some point the German-Turkish blockade brought the Russian economy to ruin, the troops mutinied, the Czar abdicated, and the Czar's brother refused the role. Thus the Duma, the advisory group put into place after the failed revolution of 1905, created a new "Provisional Government" for Russia. This, then, is what the world should eventually hope for, a February Revolution in which the old order disappears to free people up to imagine a new order. Hopefully by that point we will have more good sense than the Russians had, and we won't create another October Revolution, in which a new dictatorship was imposed upon Russia once again.
For now, we wait, and we think and act in small-scale political groups. But, yeah, at some point, probably after the Nice Liberals with Big Egos are silenced by the sheer depravity of the spectacles to come, and after some sort of alternative organizations are created to consider what to do in the real future (and not the one imagined by Joe Biden), we will need a February Revolution.