WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO WIN?
(And What Is the Yardstick to Measure the Success of Our Efforts?)
[Click here to read specifically how to have affordable housing for all]
[Click here to read about the false and immoral arguments that some use to oppose affordable housing for all]
People deserve an honest answer to the question, "What will it take to win?" Here it is.
To make our society be the way the vast majority of people want it to be, a society in which ordinary people are not treated like dirt by a rich, privileged and powerful ruling upper class as is the case today, this is what it will take.
It will take a very large and very determined mass movement that explicitly aims to remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor; that aims, in other words, to make an egalitarian revolution as discussed further here.
When a movement like this is growing, only then will the rich and powerful begin to fear what might happen to them (being removed from power!) if they don't stop treating us like dirt as much as they do presently (by doing things such as building luxury housing instead of affordable housing). Only then will we win even modest good reforms. And even what we win this way will be at a high risk of being taken away again by the rich who remain in power.
To truly win, we need to remove the rich from power with--as stated above--a very large and very determined mass movement.
By very large I mean a movement with the support of about 80% of the U.S. population (but also international in scope as discussed here). This is realistically possible because at least that many people would LOVE an egalitarian revolution even if they currently think it is impossible.
By very determined, I mean so determined that a critical mass of members of the military forces will know that if they refuse orders (from the rich) to attack the egalitarian revolutionary movement and they go over to the side of the revolution and help it defend itself against those who may attack it violently, then there will be a very good chance that the revolution will succeed and the rich will be removed from power and--this is key!--that they will not be severely disciplined (possibly executed) for mutiny or traitorous action.
Not only must the egalitarian revolutionary movement be determined, it must also be explicit in saying what it is determined to do, that it is determined not simply to win some reform that leaves the rich in power but to remove the rich from power and create an egalitarian society in which an oppressive ruling class cannot come to power again, as discussed in "How Can Abuse of Power Be Prevented." If the movement is not explicit this way, then members of the military forces will NOT have any reason to be confident that the movement's success--due to their refusal to obey orders to attack it--will protect them from being severely disciplined (possibly executed) for mutiny or traitorous action. Therefore, if the movement is not explicit this way, it will not win.
Most soldiers want an egalitarian revolution for the same reasons most civilians do (they didn't enlist to keep the rich in power, did they?), but until they see a very large and determined and explicitly egalitarian revolutionary movement they will be afraid to refuse orders to attack us. This is discussed in more detail here.
This is why the most sensible and practical and useful thing for us to do today--for both the short term and the long term--is to build this egalitarian revolutionary movement right now.
Yes, removing the rich from power is difficult. No, it is not impossible; it is possible because it is what most people want very much!
Furthermore, it is really just wishful thinking to believe that there will be any substantial and long-lasting improvements in our lives until we have removed the rich from power. Please read about why this is so here.
The rich will not step down from power just because of some vote, no matter who is elected. We need to remove the rich from power--make them no wealthier than anybody else!--using whatever force is required to do so. Otherwise the rich will remain in power and continue to treat us like dirt, in countless ways as discussed in some detail here.
What Is the Yardstick to Measure the Success of Our Efforts?
If we intend to actually WIN, as described above, then--realistically!--we must measure how well our current efforts are succeeding in creating the kind of massive, determined and explicitly egalitarian revolutionary movement that it will take to actually win. Our yardstick must therefore count how many people are participating in building this kind of movement.
Our yardstick is NOT about counting the number or importance of reforms that we may or may not win. Yes, it is wonderful to win good reforms. And yes, the best way to do that is by growing the egalitarian revolutionary movement, because this, more than anything else, frightens the rich and often causes them to grant reforms to "calm the waters" in order to avoid being removed from power. (This is why FDR implemented the New Deal with Social Security, as you can read about here.)
But reforms that the ruling class grants one day it can and often does take away the next day or do something that renders a once-important reform not so important later. For example: "After Raising Hourly Wages to $15, Amazon-Owned Whole Foods Reportedly Slashed Workers' Hours" and "Amazon-owned Whole Foods’ decision to drop health benefits for hundreds of part-time workers reveals how promises to workers like CEO Jeff Bezos’ recent pledge are worthless."
Similarly, after the Civil Rights Movement won the huge reform of abolishing racist Jim Crow laws, the ruling class instituted the New Jim Crow of racist prison incarceration.
If we think that obtaining good reforms is all we need to do to be on the road to truly winning, and if we therefore stop building the explicitly egalitarian revolutionary movement and think only about winning reforms, then we will LOSE!
How Long Will It Take to Win?
Nobody knows how long it will take to win. Certainly there is no guarantee that we will win in the lifetime of anybody now living.
But so what?
One of the most meaningful and satisfying things one can do in one's lifetime is to contribute towards growing--even just a little bit!--the kind of movement that can, when it gets large enough, truly win in the future, even if it is the distant future. Doing this in one's lifetime makes one's life far more meaningful than doing something else that may achieve some temporary benefit but does not actually help people make a good and just AND LASTING society in the future.
A wise person, when asked "When is the best time to plant a tree?", said "Twenty years ago, but the second best time is today." We plant trees for the enjoyment of future generations even though we may not live to see the mature tree. Shouldn't we plant the seeds and nurture the seedlings of the egalitarian revolutionary movement today even though we may not live to enjoy the egalitarian society where people are not treated like dirt? Isn't this one of the most important and meaningful things we can do with our lives?