February 11, 2017
The processes of dissolution that have brought down the East Socialist bloc almost thirty years ago have now spread to the West. The global ideological paradigm, which was so triumphant at the time as to arrogantly proclaim itself “the end of history,” has been suffering one defeat after another.
First, in June 2016, Brexit marked the beginning of an end of the European neoliberal project. Then, in November 2016, came the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election, which Trump himself called “Brexit plus,” emphasizing the ideological similarity of the two events.
Like the collapse of the Soviet Union decades earlier, both Brexit vote and Trump’s victory were presented by the mainstream media as sudden and unexpected. Supposedly, not even the intelligence agencies could foresee them happening, otherwise, it is claimed that they would have done more to protect the political status quo.
Of course, this entire narrative is the product of a profound self-deception. The neoliberal globalist elite projected the kind of political reality it wanted to see and swept all anomalies and deviations under the rug. It was not willing to confront the consequences of its activities. It preferred to operate by ultimatum rather than by dialogue. Memorable, in this respect, were the threats directed at the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis by his European colleagues.
Now, it is too late to return to the past. The results of the presidential elections in France, especially if the candidate of the right populists Marine Le Pen wins, will represent the kiss of death for the Brussels bureaucracy. Le Pen was seen in New York City right after Trump’s victory and the leading pro-Putin Russian newspaper Izvestia recently published an interview with her on the front page. It is clear, therefore, what a new International looks like. Perhaps this is a kind of revenge for the defeat suffered thirty years ago, but without any internationalist-socialist phraseology: it is a discourse of pure Ceasarism and the charismatic-populist force.
Global geopolitical and ideological clashes are also reflected in the U.S. domestic politics. Here, in California, I have, for some time already, followed carefully the development and activities of the California independence movement.
Ten days ago, the California attorney general officially approved the initiative of the “Yes California” Movement for the change of an article in the Californian Constitution, which defines California as “an inseparable part” of the United States, and the subsequent holding of a referendum on Californian independence in March 2019. If the proponents of this initiative collect about 600,000 signatures by July 25, 2017, the initiative will be put on the ballot in November 2018. Considering that there are about 18 million registered voters in California, it appears likely that enough signatures will be collected.
The recent public opinion polls show that the support for independence at this time is about 25 percent. However, if we take into consideration that the majority of Californians oppose Donald Trump and his policies (he won only 33.2 percent of the Californian vote, while Hillary Clinton got 61.5 percent), obviously, there is plenty of political space for the support to grow over time.
At the same time, a lot of work is being done on the formation of a new independence-oriented political party, the California National Party (CNP). According to its political program, the CNP is a party of the Left and it stands firmly on the principles of multietnic solidarity, peace, and international cooperation. Its main argument for independence is precisely the protection of these progressive values and the use of Californian economic resources for their defense. After all, California is the sixth economy in the world and its contribution to the U.S. military budget is bigger than the military budget of Russia. The CNP leaders claim that their biggest political inspiration comes from the Scottish campaign for independence, which will likely be intensified now that Brexit has become a certainty.
Even though it is still not officially registered, the CNP had its first candidate run for a political office during the electoral primaries in the district of San Diego. His name was Louis Marinelli and he came in third with 6.4 percent of the vote.
It is very curious that Marinelli is a non-Californian American citizen who has lived in Russia for years and is known as a strong critic of the U.S. foreign policy. Could the whole enterprise have started as a Russian-engineered intelligence operation whose vector has changed after Trump’s victory? Marinelli declared himself as a Trump supporter and left the party. The CNP is now headed by Trump’s political opponents.
It needs to be kept in mind, however, that after the American Civil War which was fought after the secession of 11 federal states, the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling that the secession could legally come to pass only via a constitutional amendment approved by 38 federal states and two-thirds of the U.S. Congress. Mission impossible!
This column was originally published by the Montenegrin political weekly Monitor on February 10, 2017. It was translated into English by the author.
Kovacevic on Geopolitics