War, dreadful war, and Tiber flood
I see incarnadined with blood.
-- the Sibyl
As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see "the River Tiber foaming with much blood".
-- Enoch Powell
Whether Powell was just a racist dickhead or some dude with ears licked clean by the temple snakes, he and many others were, are, and always will be justifiably afraid of the consequences of smashing established social institutions.
Arguably, the Late Unpleasantness didn't turn out well for a lot of folks, though it freed some People of Color from at least one form of slavery, and if you're reading this, you've probably reaped a few benefits from that little tea party that some of our ancestors threw, even though it didn't turn out so well for a number of other groups.
On a lesser scale...
Several people died in the Haymarket Riot, a handful of anarchists were later executed [or committed suicide], and the cause for which the tens of thousands of workers were demonstrating -- shortening the work day to 8 hours -- wasn't immediately instituted by management, but an awful lot of workers since then are indebted to those early labor activists.
More recently, in fact mere weeks after Powell's speech, rioting in France at first only hardened the hearts of the morally conservative, authoritarian government,
but now, 40 years later,
France is a liberal, egalitarian society with perhaps the finest, or at least the most coveted, health care system in the world.
In light of all this, I have a modest proposal for you. Instead of working to heal the rift in the Democratic Party, now is the ideal time to part ways with the centrists and form the NFP -- National Feminist Party -- because NWP is already taken, plus there's that unfortunate W that we'd be better off without.
We'll ask Hillary to run as our first Presidential candidate for 2008, right after -- or perhaps right before would be better -- the Democratic Party Coronation of Obama, be it May 31, June 3, or the upcoming contretemps in Denver. She's got the chops, she's got the following, we'll just need to convice her to break with her centrist past and adopt a slightly more socialist [single-payer national health insurance] and populist [rescind corporate personhood] platform, but that might not be too difficult once she's no longer bound to the DLC.
Rather than the bland, homogenized, post-racial, post-feminist ideal of the Obamaites, I envision a possibly unruly but mostly like-minded assemblage of ovarians and penisians who will all be able to profess outright admiration or even envy of each others' melanin status. And while we won't have to go back to square one, the first thing I'd like to see is passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, with updates and improvements, of course.
The danger is that we'd be very unlikely to take the Presidency in 2008. Hillary's got roughly half the Democrats in the country rooting for her, but given the chance to jump off the cliff, a fair number of them will opt for safety and go with Obama. And while there's a good chance that splitting the erstwhile Democratic Party in two could leave McCain with the lion's share of votes, it's entirely possible that once a third -- and demonstrably leftist -- party is available for a yardstick to measure the other two against, many more Republicans will be comforted by, and will likely vote for, Obama's evident centrism.
History warns us that if we're the bleeding edge, the instigators of radical change, we'll be the ones to take the biggest hit, and we might even have to wait a generation or two before we become acceptable and unremarkable and society at large incorporates some of our goals. It's worth trying though, and no time like the present, and all that jazz.