Random Shots: The Revolution Looks Forward

Against the Current, No. 38, May/June 1992

R.F. Kampfer

LEFT AND RIGHT both tend to assume that the collapse of the Soviet Union means that Washington will be able to call the shots for the whole world. The last time the U.S. was in such a powerful position, including a monopoly on the atomic bomb, was in 1945. The next decade brought the ejection of capitalism from Eastern Europe, revolution in China, a military stalemate in Korea and the revolt of the Third World. The best-laid plans ….

Congratulations, Teamsters. As Winston Churchill put it: “This victory does not mean that the end is in sight, or even the beginning of the end, but it definitely marks the end of the beginning.”

Political Punditry

NOW WE CAN see why George Bush failed to finish off Saddam Hussein when he had the chance: He was saving him for the `92 elections.

Most of the voters have come to agree that Bill Clinton was right to dodge the draft during the war in Vietnam; but where is the recognition for those who went into the armed forces to build the revolution?

Kampfer’s Kulture Korner

NOW THAT OLIVER Stone has solved the Kennedy killing, maybe he can unravel a greater mystery: Do the lyrics on the Beatles’ Abbey Road album go “nowhere to go” or “know where to go”?

For the final episode of the Cosby show, Bill will dump his cholesterol-watching wife and their yuppie brood, and split for California with Vanessa Williams.

The Senate’s failure to deal with sexual harassment shows us that Thelma and Louise had the right idea after all. If that seems a bit extreme, women could use paint-balls for a first offense, rock salt for the second and hollow-points as a last resort.

Life Styles

WORKING AT Bickfords, we could always spot the men whose wives had them on diets. They would duck furtively in right after work to gulp down the roast pork with mashed potatoes, heavy on the gravy, before they went home to their skim milk and lettuce.

You can tell that Chrysler has an aging work force when all the radios on the line are tuned to the golden-oldies station.

We hard-core smokers find it highly ludicrous when Madison Avenue tries to hang a macho image on a filter-tip. Notice also that back when everybody smoked, auto companies charged extra for a dashboard lighter, which is now standard equipment.

When pop-ecologists say that pre-industrial people lived in harmony with nature, do they mean that enough small children died to keep the eco-system from being overloaded?

Shop Floor Notes

THE ONLY WAY Lee Iacocca can hope to make a profit on the `92 Daytona is by claiming they were all stolen from the shipping lot, and collecting the insurance money.

Critics charge that the UAW should have cut a deal with General Motors to keep the Willow Run plant open. This assumes that if Michigan made concessions, Texas would just stand there with its face hanging out. In fact, Texas would make bigger concessions, leading GM to demand even more from Michigan. Where does it end?

It is highly fitting that Iacocca should be identified with the classic Mustang: all style, no performance.

Closing Thought

ONE COMMON FEATURE of all reactionary movements is an orientation toward the past, seeking a return to some mythical golden age when the world was a better place. The socialist movement began with its eyes on the future, but it too has proven vulnerable to nostalgia. Whatever shape the coming revolution takes, it will not be a rerun of the seizure of the Winter palace, the Flint sitdown strike or the Spring of `68. The future belongs to those who are able to imagine something new.

© 2020 Against the Current

May-June 1992, ATC 38