on peasant revolts and vote-forcing

An emailer calls political comedian Jimmy Dore, who recently campaigned on YouTube to "force" a Congressional vote on universal healthcare, a "showboat" and I don't agree. Disgust at the Democratic Party shilling for moneyed interests drives Dore's ranting more than the desire for more followers -- if he wanted those he could just bash Trump. Dore's flaw is an overuse of superlatives when he starts ranting, calling something the worst when it's just bad. And his #forcethevote initiative during a pandemic was a good idea, even though that particular inflection point (Pelosi's election as Speaker) has passed.

Political theorist Benjamin Studebaker makes a good case for Dore here. Another writer, Yasha Levine, gives more qualified support. Levine believes Dore and like-minded commenters put too much faith in the federal government to solve problems. "They really think they can meaningfully impact change on a federal level," he writes, "despite the fact that beyond their popular podcasts and YouTube channels and their pitiful collection of Congressional seats, there is no organized political movement to back them or their policies up."

Studebaker, in a later post, makes a similar point, expanding it to cover populist movements on both the left and right. Compared to real threats to oligarchic power in the US in the 1930s, he believes, the riots of the past six months have been closer to the peasant revolts of the more distant past. "When the peasants go to war, they never win. They are never well-organized enough, and their weapons and training are always far too inferior to give them any chance at all. Despite this, peasant revolts can go on for a long time and cause a lot of devastation. But there is never really any danger of the rebels taking the state and holding it."