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๐ŸŒฑ 2024's Global Context: An Interconnected Right-Wing

Part II: Democracy, The Democratic Party, & Easing into the 2024 Election

Sam Chavez
Sam Chavez

Table of Contents

๐Ÿค“ Bite-Sized Knurd: 2024 will be one of the biggest election years for global democracy. At home, the U.S. faces growing political violence, a rise in authoritarianism, and a deeply divided left. This yearโ€™s election will have lasting impacts so letโ€™s ease into this year, understand the landscape, and what we can do.

In Case You Missed It: Substackers Against Nazis

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Welcome to 2024! ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿผ

Just seeing the number is enough to bring night terrors, but we have done it. We have officially entered the biggest election year of our lifetimes.

We are zooming towards a consequential election in November in the U.S. with far too much at stake. In fact, 2024 is the biggest global election year in history! Around 4 billion people will be casting ballots this year in 60 countries. At home, the U.S. faces growing political violence, a rise in authoritarianism, and a questionably corrupt court system. And thatโ€™s just whatโ€™s happening on the right!

But first...You may notice a new look and no Substack!

I moved platforms! After publishing a joint open letter to Substack leadership about our collective concerns about them allowing Nazis to publish and monetize on the platform, I decided to take the leap and build a new home with Ghost. Since then, I have been building the new Roots of Change media hub.

Ghost is an independent publishing platform. They are an open-source platform that does not take a cut of creators' profits (aka 0% fees! aka more money directly to creators!). This is where the internet is and should be going and I want to lead by example. What I like most is that Ghost allows me more flexibility to communicate with you in a customized way. (I hope the amount of spammy emails you get on my behalf goes down dramatically! Update your email preferences at the bottom.)

While Substack is backtracking on its stance to let Nazis monetize on their platform, I have been increasingly uncomfortable with the platformization of Substack and lack of creator control. I think fellow Ghost writer, Justin Cox, outlines how many creators feel.

Democracy in Disarray

When we talk about the stakes for global democracy, the media makes it sound a lot more heroic than it is. Itโ€™s about good vs. evil and slaying the bad guys. I understand the urge for black-and-white thinking, but if 2023 has taught us anything, itโ€™s that we live in the grey.

The fact is that democracy is in disarray. While it is true that the U.S. and many countries across the world are facing a tilt toward authoritarianism, itโ€™s also true that the democracy that Democrats often celebrate is deeply flawed and wounded. Weโ€™re facing an election where our institutions are so frayed and many are feeling disheartened by the lack of progress.

Since the 80s, Republicans and capitalist interests have been on a crusade, if you will, to rid the world of โ€œsocialistโ€ lifestyles through deregulation in business and lots of regulation in peopleโ€™s social lives. Starting with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, this meant dehumanizing folks who were already marginalized to score political points with aggrieved white working-class voters, while slashing the regulations that had been established to support the social fabric for all under The New Deal.

Fifty years since that project began, the right-wing has achieved โ€œvictoryโ€ for their evangelical voters by restricting half of the countryโ€™s medical freedoms, while the wealth gap is larger than ever. The candidacy and first term of Donald Trump was enough for The Federalist Society to stack the courts with three new judges, two of which were questionably rushed or delayed. It was also enough to bring a new era of political aggression that influenced people to turn toward greedy interests in the face of a decaying social fabric.

The Global Context: Whatโ€™s really at stake?

We are also seeing how this phenomenon is not as close to home as we would like to think. New reporting has been trickling out over the last few years about how connected the wealthy and right-wing political interests are across the globe.

Each new report adds more layers to the deeply interconnected web of increasingly extreme right-wing governments (the UK's Rishi Sunak), global PR and consulting firms (Edelman's promotes oppressive regimes), and billionaires (manufacturing outrage to crush DEI). The latest news is about an organization called the Atlas Network. They are a shadowy think-tank (or as George Monbiot from The Guardian calls them, junktank) that works as intermediaries between right-wing money and right-wing governments to enact their repressive capitalist vision.

โ€œThe dark-money junktanks, and the Atlas Network, are a highly effective means of disguising and aggregating power. They are the channel through which billionaires and corporations influence politics without showing their hands, learn the most effective policies and tactics for overcoming resistance to their agenda, and then spread these policies and tactics around the world. This is how nominal democracies become new aristocracies.โ€ - George Monbiot, The Guardian

What is clear from this report and others is that the right wing is ready and willing to wage war on all aspects of life to enact their vision for the future. As wealth has risen to the top, especially after the pandemic, the wealthy have been able to influence more layers of society through deregulation and stripping of democratic norms. It all feels very masters of the universe with their cigars in a back room. And I think that's how they like it!

The Hope Behind the Curtain

While it is somewhat jarring to think about the global connections that are all working towards a blindly capitalist future a la Parable of the Sower, it does give me hope to understand the connections. Each of these actors is playing by the same playbook. When Rishi Sunak condemns trans women and shocks the UK tabloids with a vulgar statement about people's bodies, heโ€™s using the same playbook that Donald Trump will use as he campaigns for a โ€˜Get Out of Jail Freeโ€™ card, aka the presidency. We can defeat the disinformation and shock politics when we move in the same direction towards a vision of something better.

This month, as we ease back into the year and begin to wrap our heads around the 2024 election in the U.S. and its consequences globally, I hope to bring some thoughtful analysis on the suppression of progressive politics, where we are political, the steps towards achieving, and strategies we can consider throughout the year.

Like this week's newsletter? Forward to a friend to help spread the word! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • ๐Ÿ“š AI Legal Battle Heats Up - The AI legal conflict is kicking into high gear. The New York Times joins the ranks by suing OpenAI and Microsoft over use of copyrighted work.
    • ๐Ÿค“ The Root ๐ŸŒฑ - Is AI like Napster? AI is all anyone can talk about, but itโ€™s business model may be illegal. Stealing from Batman, SpongeBob, and Nazis isnโ€™t a great idea. Move fast, break your business.
  • ๐Ÿ“š Trump Wants to be Compared to Nazis - โ€œThis is the game he loves to play โ€” contaminate reality with hatreds that unite the right and divide everyone else.โ€
    • ๐Ÿค“ The Root ๐ŸŒฑ - Talking about him as a Hitler figure makes him look strong. Using language to make him weak, a fraud, a traitor, a two-time popular vote loser demoralizes his supporters.
  • ๐Ÿ“š Insulin is Capped at $35 - โœจSome good news to start the year ๐Ÿค— Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act that Democrats passed in 2021, insulin prices are capped at $35!
    • ๐Ÿค“ The Root ๐ŸŒฑ - People deserve to have financial freedom. Our government can make the right decisions if we push them and elect leaders who are ready to take action and advance real progressive values. Let this be a reminder of our role this year, to elect leaders who will act for that vision.
  • ๐ŸŽฌ A Lesson on The Black Panther Party - I love @jordxn.simone review of building a revolution with community and care at the front.
    • ๐Ÿค“ The Root ๐ŸŒฑ - Listen to her words in how we can be in this moment. We must decenter ourselves and build the future in community.

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Reflecting on how my 2024 organizing begins. Who's in for a chaotic year?!

โ™ฌ original sound - Sam @ Roots of Change - Sam @ Roots of Change
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Sam Chavez

Sam is a writer, strategist, and curious human. She founded the roots of change agency in 2020. Sam is a queer, white, LatinX activist whoโ€™s passionate about a livable planet & equitable societies.


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