Why TOSCA Seems Necessary

Why TOSCA Seems Necessary [Unedited, first draft]
by RMO

“What’s new and worsening by the day are the depth and degree of the structural and ecological crises facing human beings and other species within and beyond the Superpower. Those crises cannot be meaningfully addressed in a desirable and democratic fashion within the framework of the currently dominant sociopolitical framework. It is thus nothing less than a life-or-death existential imperative for popular forces to transcend the normal limited parameters of U.S. politics. The people increasingly have no choice but to go beyond the pathetically narrow spectrum of ‘choices’ offered by the dominant domestic institutions, hierarchies, and doctrines.” — Paul Street

We start in California because it’s manageable. And because of the fact that even in a loss — if we garner enough support in the process (with unique means) — what we do in this influential state will command an international spotlight, create historic ripples virtually overnight.

A Green Party loss or a Peace and Freedom loss — even if they double their votes from the last time out — will not do enough soon enough. Victory? Even core members of those parties don’t entertain such fantasies; they’re stuck in the notion of planting seeds for the future. For flowers that will never bloom. In time. They are permanently marginalized. Electoral reform is not on the way. Popular interest in it is no more slated to be honored in a meaningful way than, say, popular interest in proper health care coverage.

That’s why ALL frustrated left-of-center parties (in California) have to pool their energies for one worthwhile electoral effort… if they’re going to play in that arena at all. Them AND as many non-voters who have dropped out. AND as many felons as possible, citizens who have been disenfranchised. AND interested parties who reside outside of the state, or even abroad. Citizens can play a meaningful role in all this from all sorts of angles.

Whatever, it is essential that The Delusion of the Democratic Party be acknowledged. For starters. For, ultimately, we must be headed for the kind of actions which are touched upon in the conclusion of http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/23720.

The whole TOSCA shebang is about pushing whatever number of citizens who haven’t succumbed to cynical resignation irretrievably… to do something — ONE THING — in solidarity (as they continue doing whatever else they’re doing). Without requiring lots of their time. Without requiring any money whatsoever. [This latter point is one of the crucial elements alluded to in the reference to "unique means" above. Following that paradigm is essential to creating the potent grassroots groundswell that will be necessary when the powers that be attempt to undermine whatever strides we make. As things stand, established third parties have no backup plan for dealing with electoral fraud, no potential punch to offset the very predictable playing with numbers which would kick in if they began to threaten age-old parameters. Only TOSCA is talking about this sort of thing... ahead of time.]

Look at what Paul Street says in response to a comment by Lance Selfa:

“Along with the revival of real resistance comes the urgent need for new politics. Without a political alternative that is independent, and to the left of, the Democratic Party—that is, from both parties of big business—anger at Democrats in office will always mean turning them out for Republicans, and vice versa. Such an alternative to the two-party shuffle won’t be built soon, but it must be built.”

I concur on the whole, though I would add that we’re running out of ecological and repressive-technological time to build serious grassroots movements and independent left political alternatives in what is still the world’s most powerful and dangerous country. The alternative has to be built soon. I presume that I don’t need to elaborate on the ecological issue. By “repressive-technological time,” I mean that the power elite enjoys ever-deepening technological and related institutional and informational capacities to liquidate the rights of free speech, privacy, public assembly, and the like. The specter of corporate-imperial totalitarianism within and beyond the U.S. “homeland” (a lovely phrase that Obama uses now) is not to be taken lightly in my opinion.

We do not have the luxury of planting seeds along the lines of obsolete paradigms. And — until someone shows me something else that’s on the table that can do the trick — I submit that TOSCA is the only game in town capable of forcing institutional change without embracing an arthritic snail’s pace.

And all that aside, the great potential for horrid ultra-violence which might be generated by the confrontations projected in the conclusion of Paul Street’s article — confrontations which seem necessary and inevitable — might be ameliorated or alleviated with TOSCA’S non-violent, legal approach… to helping the public to self-educate and act. [Pause.] A last stand along those lines?

Please contact Richard at tosca.2010[at]yahoo.com ASAP. The question of HOW to pull off the whole shebang can be addressed one-on-one. TOSCA will die in the starting gate for sure if people know from the start what others will or won’t do. With such an attitude nothing fresh and vital is likely to emerge.