Recently, an editor at Hard Crackers discovered that many students in his classes were having their homework assignments written for them by an artificial intelligence (AI) program called ChatGPT, a piece of software that draws on the collective knowledge of the Internet to engage in conversation with users. Much of this writing demonstrated profound insight and uncommon wisdom, so we decided to ask ChatGPT some political questions that have been on our minds.
HC: How favorable are the conditions for revolution in the United States today?
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or beliefs, but I can provide an analysis of the conditions that may lead to revolution in the United States.
It is important to note that the concept of revolution is complex and multifaceted. In general, a revolution refers to a fundamental and rapid change in the political, social, or economic system of a country, often achieved through force or mass mobilization.
Based on current conditions and trends, it appears that the likelihood of a revolution in the United States is low. Here are some factors to consider:
- Stable Democratic Institutions: The United States has a long history of stable democratic institutions and a robust system of checks and balances that prevent any one individual or group from gaining too much power. While there have been challenges to this system in recent years, including the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the vast majority of Americans continue to support democratic institutions and processes.
- Strong Economy: Despite economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has a strong and diversified economy that provides opportunities for many people. Unemployment rates are relatively low, and many Americans are enjoying higher standards of living than in other countries. This economic stability makes it less likely that people will feel compelled to take to the streets in protest.
- Non-Violent Protests: Over the past few years, the United States has seen a number of protests, including those in support of racial justice and against police brutality. While some of these protests have been met with violence, the vast majority have been peaceful and non-violent. This suggests that people are still willing to engage in the democratic process rather than resorting to violence.
- Political Polarization: While political polarization is a major challenge in the United States, it is also a factor that makes revolution less likely. Many Americans continue to identify strongly with their political party, and the two-party system provides an outlet for people to express their views and work towards change through the electoral process.
Overall, while there are certainly challenges facing the United States today, the country’s stable democratic institutions, strong economy, non-violent protests, and political polarization make it less likely that a revolution will occur in the near future. However, this could change if conditions deteriorate significantly, and it is important to continue to monitor social, economic, and political trends in the United States.
HC: In the meantime, what kind of projects exist for a leftist to get involved in?
ChatGPT: There are a variety of leftist projects and organizations in the United States that individuals can get involved in, depending on their interests and goals. Here are a few examples:
- Grassroots organizing: Many leftist organizations focus on community organizing and building grassroots movements around issues such as economic justice, racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, environmental justice, and more. These organizations often rely on volunteers to help with outreach, canvassing, and mobilizing supporters.
- Labor organizing: Labor unions have historically played a key role in the leftist movement in the United States, and there are many unions that welcome volunteers to help with organizing efforts. This can include activities such as talking to workers about their rights, helping to organize strikes and protests, and building solidarity among different labor groups.
- Political campaigns: Leftist candidates and political parties often rely on volunteers to help with campaigns, including activities such as phone banking, canvassing, and data entry. Getting involved in a political campaign can be a great way to support a candidate or party that aligns with your values and work towards electoral change.
- Mutual aid networks: Mutual aid networks are grassroots organizations that provide direct support to community members in need, often outside of traditional government or non-profit structures. This can include things like providing food, housing, transportation, and medical care to those in need. Many mutual aid networks rely on volunteers to help with organizing and distribution efforts.
- Media and journalism: Alternative media outlets and independent journalists play an important role in shaping the narrative around leftist issues and movements. Getting involved in media and journalism can include writing, podcasting, video production, and more.
These are just a few examples of the many projects and organizations available for leftists to get involved in. It’s important to research and find a project that aligns with your values and interests, and that can make a meaningful impact on the issues you care about.
HC: OK, but what about the question of political organization? What are the adequate political forms for advancing a revolutionary leftist agenda in the United States today?
ChatGPT: The question of political organization and the most effective political forms for advancing a revolutionary leftist agenda in the United States today is a complex one, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, here are a few perspectives on the topic:
- Building a broad-based coalition: Some leftists believe that the most effective way to advance a revolutionary agenda in the United States is to build a broad-based coalition that includes a wide range of progressive groups and organizations. By working together, these groups can leverage their collective power to push for systemic change and build momentum for a more radical agenda.
- Building a revolutionary party: Other leftists argue that building a revolutionary party is the best way to advance a leftist agenda in the United States. This can involve building a political party that is explicitly committed to socialist or communist principles and that works to build popular support for revolutionary change.
- Participating in electoral politics: While some leftists are skeptical of electoral politics, others argue that it can be an effective way to advance a revolutionary agenda. This can involve supporting candidates who align with leftist values and principles, running for office oneself, or engaging in direct action campaigns to pressure politicians to adopt more radical policies.
- Engaging in direct action: Direct action campaigns, such as protests, strikes, and occupations, have a long history in leftist movements and can be a powerful way to challenge the status quo and push for revolutionary change. By disrupting the normal functioning of society and calling attention to systemic injustices, direct action campaigns can build popular support for leftist agendas and put pressure on those in power to make concessions.
Ultimately, the most effective political forms for advancing a revolutionary leftist agenda in the United States today will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific context and conditions in which one is working. It’s important to engage in ongoing dialogue and debate about these questions and to experiment with different tactics and strategies in order to build a strong and effective leftist movement.
HC: How can the militancy of the George Floyd Rebellion be sustained in enduring leftist organizations? Is this even possible?
ChatGPT: Sustaining the militancy of the George Floyd Rebellion in enduring leftist organizations is a challenging but not impossible task. Here are a few ways that this might be accomplished:
- Emphasizing the importance of direct action: The George Floyd Rebellion was characterized by a willingness to engage in direct action and confrontational tactics, such as property destruction and looting. Leftist organizations can sustain this militancy by continuing to emphasize the importance of direct action as a means of challenging the status quo and achieving radical change.
- Building solidarity across different movements: The George Floyd Rebellion was notable for its intersectionality, with activists from a variety of different movements coming together to demand justice for George Floyd and push for broader systemic change. Leftist organizations can sustain this militancy by building bridges across different movements and emphasizing the interconnectedness of different struggles.
- Prioritizing the needs of marginalized communities: The George Floyd Rebellion was fueled by a sense of outrage over systemic racism and police violence, particularly against Black communities. Leftist organizations can sustain this militancy by prioritizing the needs and voices of marginalized communities and centering their struggles in their work.
- Embracing a diversity of tactics: The George Floyd Rebellion was characterized by a diversity of tactics, with activists engaging in a range of different strategies and approaches. Leftist organizations can sustain this militancy by embracing this diversity of tactics and recognizing that different approaches may be necessary in different contexts.
- Building strong networks of mutual aid and solidarity: The George Floyd Rebellion was notable for its emphasis on mutual aid and solidarity, with activists coming together to provide support and resources for those who were arrested or otherwise impacted by the protests. Leftist organizations can sustain this militancy by building strong networks of mutual aid and solidarity that can support activists and sustain the movement over the long term.
Ultimately, sustaining the militancy of the George Floyd Rebellion in enduring leftist organizations will require a sustained commitment to radical change and a willingness to experiment with different tactics and strategies. It will also require a recognition that there are no easy solutions or quick fixes, and that building a truly revolutionary movement will be a long and difficult struggle.
HC: OK, but doesn’t the emphasis on slowly building a revolutionary movement, as a long and protracted process, risk verging into reformism in practice?
ChatGPT: It is possible for an emphasis on slowly building a revolutionary movement to verge into reformism in practice if it becomes divorced from a commitment to radical change and a willingness to confront systemic injustices. However, it’s important to note that a long and protracted struggle to build a revolutionary movement is not inherently reformist, and can in fact be an effective way to build the power and momentum necessary to challenge the status quo and achieve radical change.
The key is to ensure that the focus on building a revolutionary movement is grounded in a deep understanding of the systemic nature of the problems we face and a commitment to addressing them at their root. This may involve working within existing systems to build popular support for radical change, but it should never involve compromising on fundamental principles or abandoning the goal of fundamentally transforming society.
Ultimately, building a revolutionary movement is a complex and multifaceted process that requires a deep commitment to radical change, a willingness to engage in ongoing experimentation and debate, and a recognition that there are no easy solutions or quick fixes. It is possible to build a revolutionary movement that is both committed to radical change and grounded in a long-term perspective, but it requires a sustained commitment to these principles and a willingness to adapt and evolve as the struggle progresses.
HC: Is there potentially revolutionary content within the American tradition of prison and police abolitionism, or should we orient instead to the young people who rioted and looted in 2020 without necessarily having a developed political framework?
ChatGPT: Both the American tradition of prison and police abolitionism and the young people who rioted and looted in 2020 without necessarily having a developed political framework contain potentially revolutionary content that could be harnessed to advance a radical leftist agenda.
The tradition of prison and police abolitionism challenges the fundamental assumptions of the criminal justice system, arguing that punishment and incarceration are not effective means of addressing social problems and that they are instead used to maintain systems of oppression and control. This critique is rooted in a broader analysis of the ways in which race, class, and other forms of identity intersect to shape social power relations, and it offers a powerful framework for challenging the status quo and building a more just and equitable society.
At the same time, the young people who rioted and looted in 2020 were driven by a sense of outrage over systemic injustices and a desire to challenge the status quo through direct action and confrontational tactics. While they may not have had a developed political framework, they were engaging in a form of resistance that has the potential to build momentum and inspire broader social change.
Both of these approaches offer important insights and opportunities for building a revolutionary leftist agenda in the United States. The challenge is to find ways to harness the energy and momentum of these movements while also developing a deeper political analysis and a clear vision for how to achieve transformative change. This may involve building stronger networks of solidarity and mutual aid, engaging in ongoing political education and organizing, and finding ways to bridge across different movements and communities in order to build a more unified and powerful revolutionary movement.
HC: How can we build a positive vision for a post-capitalist society, and work toward realizing it, in a moment when political movements are stuck simply being against the existing order?
ChatGPT: Building a positive vision for a post-capitalist society is essential for moving beyond a politics of opposition and toward a politics of transformation. To do this, we need to engage in ongoing conversations and debates about what a just and equitable society would look like, and what values and principles should guide our efforts to build it.
One important starting point is to identify the root causes of the problems we face and the ways in which they are interconnected. This may involve examining the ways in which capitalism, racism, patriarchy, imperialism, and other forms of oppression intersect to shape social power relations and perpetuate systemic injustice.
From there, we can begin to envision alternative social and economic systems that are based on principles of solidarity, mutual aid, and cooperation rather than competition, exploitation, and profit. This might include exploring alternative models of ownership and control, such as cooperatives, public ownership, and community land trusts, as well as alternative models of governance that are more democratic and participatory.
To work toward realizing this vision, it’s important to engage in concrete organizing and advocacy efforts that are focused on building alternative institutions and practices that embody these values and principles. This might include supporting worker-owned cooperatives, community land trusts, and other forms of alternative economic institutions, as well as advocating for policies that promote economic democracy, such as worker co-determination and participatory budgeting.
Ultimately, building a positive vision for a post-capitalist society requires ongoing engagement, experimentation, and dialogue, as well as a willingness to learn from the successes and failures of past movements and struggles. It also requires a deep commitment to building relationships of solidarity and mutual support across different communities and movements, and a recognition that building a just and equitable society is a long-term project that will require sustained effort and collective action.
HC: What can just one person do to begin making this a reality?
ChatGPT: As a single person, there are many actions you can take to contribute to building a more just and equitable society and to work towards a post-capitalist future. Here are some examples:
- Educate yourself: Read books and articles on socialist theory, history, and current events. Learn about the various forms of oppression and how they intersect with capitalism. Attend lectures and discussions, and engage in conversations with others about these topics.
- Get involved in local organizing: Join a local chapter of a socialist or leftist organization, attend meetings and events, and volunteer for campaigns and initiatives that align with your values.
- Build solidarity: Work to build connections and relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and communities. Support grassroots campaigns and initiatives led by marginalized communities.
- Support alternative institutions: Seek out and support cooperatives, community land trusts, and other alternative economic institutions that embody values of solidarity and cooperation.
- Participate in direct action: Join protests, rallies, and other direct actions that challenge systems of oppression and demand systemic change. Build coalitions with other activists and organizers to increase the impact of these actions.
- Vote and engage in electoral politics: While electoral politics alone will not bring about systemic change, participating in the electoral process can help elect progressive candidates and pass policies that align with socialist principles.
- Practice mutual aid: Engage in acts of mutual aid, such as sharing resources, skills, and knowledge with others in your community. Build relationships of care and support with those around you.
Remember that these actions are just a starting point, and that building a just and equitable society requires sustained effort and collective action. Start where you are, and work to build connections and relationships with others who share your vision for a better world. Together, we can create the world we want to see.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this essay are ChatGPT’s alone. Hard Crackers does not endorse the replacement of human intelligence by machines, or voting. Cheating on your homework is fine.