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Wed Feb 22, 2017, 11:32 AM

 

Pop leftism is a form of disaster capitalism.

And ironically, Naomi Klein is one of the disaster capitalists.

People like Sarandon, Nader, Stein, Greenwald, Moore, etc etc, as well as the people who undermined Gore and Humphrey, and who tried to argue that they'd come to power by "resisting" Hitler after sabotaging the German Social Democrats, who try to market themselves as "dissident, anti-establishment, etc etc" and try to undermine electable, mainstream people on the left no matter what they do or how left they move, calling them some variant of "neoliberal", are actively causing disasters (the elections of far right authoritarians) so that they can profit from said disasters by trying to position themselves as "leaders of the resistance", which they can translate into book deals, popular influence, etc etc. That's how Greenwald got big in the Bush years, despite being a right-wing libertarian, for example. However a key similarity between them all is that they seem more interested into parlaying their coverage of social issues into celebrity, rather than actually doing anything on the ground about it, largely because "doing something" generally is not sexy or brings the headlines (a similar principle is at work in warfare, in which amateurs study tactics, which are sexy, and professionals study logistics, which are not)

Another pattern of this type is that once a left candidate DOES win, nothing said candidate is good enough. Even though there are obvious legitimate criticisms of the political and policy constraints put upon all candidates in this system, and of the socio political economic system itself, none of that is explored, it's usually simplified and distilled into "TRAITOR" "NEOLIBERAL" "SHILL". This of course does nothing to actually change the system, but it does sell books to low information voters who don't want to hear that they're the ones who need to organize, not wait for "The Revolution" to fix everything (revolutions are hard, need massive popular support, STRONG civil institutions, and a good plan after the old order is swept away). Of course, this dampens support for the left and gives initative to the right, but this plays into the narrative and gets them more attention and book/merchandise sales.

Finally, a major key element is the audience. In general, these writers tend to appeal to privileged groups who have limited experience in actually navigating oppression and tyranny, but are looking for a way to feel like they're making a difference. This of course, creates conflicts with either experienced organizers who understand that shit doesn't work, or with people of color who question the narrative, the strategy, the emphasis on purity, or all of the above. In short, a lot of pop leftist figures try to sell a glamorous revolutionary narrative to middle class college kids and hippies, this gets challenged by people who have faced real oppression, and the former lose their shit because they'd rather have their narrative than engage with the reality of how to make change (basically through persistent, long term organizing, oftentimes facing intense resistance from the establishment, building from the ground up until it goes national)

The key to all this is that these figures aren't really interested in changing society in a more progressive direction. They're more interested in making money by pretending to be interested in changing society in a more progressive direction. Michael Moore is shilling all over the place saying every Democrat is "establishment". Susan Sarandon is openly shilling for Trump. Jill Stein made a few million off heartbroken Democrats after actively helping Trump win. So on and so forth. The fact is, it's hard to sell "incremental politics" in a book or movie, and it's hard to sell "I'm farther to the left than the leftmost American party that can win but I support them because that's the pragmatic way to achieve progress". This doesn't even get into people like Greenwald and Assange who push the "America is the Great Satan" narrative and glosses over the failings of American adversaries.

All in all, Democrats and others on the left need to avoid these kinds of pied pipers because they are at best a distraction for progress, and at worst are actively working to impede it.

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Reply Pop leftism is a form of disaster capitalism. (Original post)
forjusticethunders Feb 2017 OP
AJT Feb 2017 #1
David__77 Feb 2017 #2
ymetca Feb 2017 #3
DefenseLawyer Feb 2017 #4
TransitJohn Feb 2017 #5
eniwetok Feb 2017 #11
kcr Feb 2017 #15
eniwetok Feb 2017 #17
forjusticethunders Feb 2017 #21
eniwetok Feb 2017 #29
uponit7771 Feb 2017 #16
JHan Feb 2017 #6
zipplewrath Feb 2017 #7
eniwetok Feb 2017 #8
LanternWaste Feb 2017 #23
Blue_true Feb 2017 #9
fishwax Feb 2017 #10
boston bean Feb 2017 #12
Cha Feb 2017 #13
Starry Messenger Feb 2017 #14
MrScorpio Feb 2017 #18
BumRushDaShow Feb 2017 #19
JHan Feb 2017 #27
forjusticethunders Feb 2017 #20
La Lioness Priyanka Feb 2017 #22
oasis Feb 2017 #24
sheshe2 Feb 2017 #25
Blue_Tires Feb 2017 #26
Yavin4 Feb 2017 #28

Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Wed Feb 22, 2017, 11:36 AM

1. I agree.

I do feel some are genuine , but there is a purity test for them that no one can, or should have to, meet.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Wed Feb 22, 2017, 12:10 PM

2. I understand that the Social Democrats also opposed the Communists.

I don't think it was just the German Communists who were responsible for the division of the German left prior to and immediately after Hitler's assumed power. That may not be pertinent to your point, I understand.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Wed Feb 22, 2017, 12:15 PM

3. "Welcome to the Machine"

Ah yes. The conundrum of being compromised by your own success in decrying the status quo. I am hoping that the simplest solution to social unrest will be to concoct a "business plan" of paying everybody off, as it is cheaper in the long run than trying to kill or incarcerate all dissenters. The profit margins are rapidly declining in that sector. Resistance is a "growth industry". How may be "capitalize" upon it?

Once the Great Beast has devoured, regurgitated, and re-devoured every conceivable "social ill", but still finds it is starving for a bigger "return on investment", perhaps it will start cultivating the herd for profit, rather than continue in its scorched earth policy of environmental annihilation.

It is my fervent prayer that Pink Floyd's "All in all you're just another brick in the wall" will transmogrify into Richard Brautigan's "All watched over by machines of loving grace."

Then, perhaps, we shall all finally see, paradoxically indeed, that to bow down before the Great Whore (Mommy Gaia?) is our best option...

Apocalypse .. yesterday!

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Wed Feb 22, 2017, 12:21 PM

4. You're right, Bob Shrum. Stay the course!

 

Trust the Establishment, it has never let us down. That's why we live in this workers' Utopia today.

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Response to DefenseLawyer (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 22, 2017, 12:31 PM

5. :D

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Response to DefenseLawyer (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:20 AM

11. Green Party Derangement Disorder...

Dems and Greens should be natural allies. It's our dysfunctional electoral and political systems that drive them apart. But some are determined to hold those systems blameless, so they'd rather insist Green candidates deny themselves the right to run for office and Green voters not vote their conscience. What else can we call it but Green Party Derangement Disorder... and those afflicted just push Greens further away.

Our political system tends to destroy any democratic instinct in people.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 07:46 AM

15. Aren't you doing the very same thing?

It's ok to hold Greens blameless, but go right on ahead and blast Dems for being resentful of the two party system working against us.

You are right in your assessment of the system and how it works against us. Where I think you're wrong is your assertion that only one side is responsible for acknowledging it. It does no good to ignore the system and work as it if doesn't exist. You either change it or work with what you have.

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Response to kcr (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 10:54 AM

17. Are you saying that if Greens run... they are blaming Dems instead of system?

I guess this is your core conclusion in discussing the presidential races:

"It does no good to ignore the system and work as it if doesn't exist. You either change it or work with what you have."

Sure those dysfunctional electoral and political systems... the EC which would take an amendment to abolish (or try to negate with the Popular Vote Interstate Compact which I assume may never happen... or if it does, will fall apart as soon as a state is forced to vote against its people) and it's a terrible dilemma. And arguably we got the Bush and Trump Juntas because Dems (can't expect the GOP to push for democracy) never laid the groundwork for true democratic reforms in the past. Contrast the Dem's actions with the far Right which in the 70's... spurred by the Powell Memo, developed a multifront, coordinated strategy to turn America into Amerika. It's why we have Alec, Starve The Beast and massive debt, those Orwellian Right think tanks, The Federalist Society and the politicization of the courts, the War on Labor, the defunding of the Dems etc.

The Dems simply have not have any corresponding offensive and in large part I've never in the past 40 years seen the Dems have any long term vision of where they want the US to be in 20-50 years... and without a vision there simply will be no strategy to get there... in this case finally making the US into a democratic nation. I've never heard Dems EVER push for what seems to be a core democratic value... that each persons vote should weigh the same in terms of representation on the federal level. It's court mandated on the state level http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/377/533.html even if it's lack of civic equality in the vote because of state suffrage now has given us Trump and a GOP Senate. After Bush 2000, the Dems responded by trying to game the system with the Popular Vote compact while not giving ANY thought to a more strategic, long term plan. And granted I've not heard the Green do this either... but they have no power.

Our very dysfunctional electoral and political systems created and perpetuate a two party system and since we can't count on the GOP to ever want to reform a system that works in their favor... that falls to the party that DOES have power, that DOES claim to value democratic principles, and that DOES have the most most to lose in an antidemocratic system. In that context I can't blame progressives who get frustrated with the center, center-right nature of Dems.


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Response to eniwetok (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:55 PM

21. You work with the political system you have.

 

That is the problem with so many people on the Left. They think that with enough "willpower" or "determination" or "steadfastness" or something related you can just force through the changes you want (which is actually a fascist concept now that I think about it). Yes, the system is bullshit, we all know this. But we have to WIN under these rules so we can change them. As much as I hate Rahm and everything about what he believes, he has the correct approach to politics; very reminiscent of Lombardi, winning isn't everything, it is THE ONLY THING.

Winning is the only thing, because of all the people that get hurt if we lose. Even the people that get hurt when we can't go far enough to the left to help them, get hurt MORE when the Right wins. We have to win. Anyone who cares about what the Right will do to the vulnerable should have the Left (in whatever form it takes, even if the faction of the left with the most power isn't as left as you or I would like) winning as the highest priority. Voting Green does not help the Left, as a broad entity, win. And there are ways to move the Dems left, that do not involve doing things to help the Left lose.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:30 PM

29. I beg to differ, a bit...

"But we have to WIN under these rules so we can change them."

That's not what the Right did when it set out in the 70's to turn America into Amerika... they created Orwellian Right think tanks like Cato and Heritage to reframe political debates. They created the Federalist Society to politicize the judiciary. They created ALEC. They developed the Two Santa/Starve the Beast strategy to buy votes with irresponsible tax cuts then use debt to undermine the safety net. They sought to defund the Dems by going after unions and trial lawyers. They wanted to make the media less informative by getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine. True they could only enact some of these plans once in power... but the strategy was there.

Dems also need to think long term... and central to that is to finally have a long term vision of where they want to take the nation in 20-50 years. But Dems tend not to think past the next presidential election. If we want to move to a more democratic, multiparty system like most advanced industrial democracies... the ground work has to be laid.

I think that under our antidemocratic system... which is protected by a dysfunctional electoral system and a civic religion that not even most liberal Dems can break free of... making the US perhaps the most reformproof system on earth... there also has to be a long term strategy to lay the ground work for reform. A couple thoughts... there should be movements in states with citizen referenda to turn at least one branch of their state legislatures to proportional representation... so parties more liberal that the Dems can get seats not only to break the braindead duopoly of the two parties, but to model what democratic government can look like. Since the federal system is essentially reform proof where states with 4% of the US population can block any reforms, there should be a movement to change the amendment formula so it's population based. There also should be a movement not just for a affirmative constitutional right to vote, but for for civic equality in the vote as a basic civil right... by that I mean all votes weigh the same in terms of representation. This value SHOULD be so basic to anyone who calls themselves a Dem... and yet even most liberal Dems buy into our federal system where that right is destroyed by the concept of state suffrage.


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Response to DefenseLawyer (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 07:52 AM

16. ... and gerrymandering and voter suppression don't exist dammit!!! :rolleyes@DemsSuckCrew

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Wed Feb 22, 2017, 01:16 PM

6. agreed..

You summed up my gripes with many on the far left. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish them from far rightists who similarly crap on government.

Apocalyptics or "disaster capitalists" usually don't engage in governance in any meaningful way because they consider themselves above the grind. This is the self righteousness of the uncompromising ideologue who honestly believes he or she has a superior moral compass to those who devote their lives to public service. You'll hear the unending drone of "all politics is corrupt" , "we need a revolution" and when pressed they can't give specifics.

And I don't think this insane month of Trump, and his incompetence, will be enough to sway their mindset because they don't want to really deal with the messiness of politics. Governing ain't easy, it can be difficult and tendentious, conflicted and occasionally corrupt. Yet they've no respect for political skills and really believe that people like them would be different, while scoffing at those who toiled in the fields for years, developed relationships and honed the art of compromise to be effective legislators who try their damnedest to deliver what their constituents need. So they'll crap on the centrists, even those who lean to the left, because nothing is ever good enough. And this attitude isn't just towards representatives, but activists who dare not agree with them 100% of the time, and who've done far more and put in more effort to bringing about meaningful change in people's lives.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Wed Feb 22, 2017, 06:45 PM

7. 16 years of incrementalism

The problem with this point of view, is that 16 years of democratic administration, and roughly even more so of various levels of congressional control, have watched a decline in the middle class, and backwards movement on the regulation of the banking industry that brought the economy to its knees, and the rise of conservatism to where we are today. We also have a huge rise in mass shootings. The democratic party is in the worst places it's been since before FDR. Kinda hard to blame that on the "purists" when "incrementalism" has been the theme for so long. That kind of governing has left us where we are today. And it appears it will get much worse in the next 4 years, or at least 2.

Our greatest gains have come in the courts, even with a "conservative" majority.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Wed Feb 22, 2017, 07:28 PM

8. TRANSLATION: Corporate Dems are OK... but not Progressives...

Got it!

The far right had NO problem back in the 70's of developing a coordinated strategy to turn America into Amerika... but if those on the left want to continue the FDR New Deal and LBJ Great Society... and come to grips with the fact that the US is not the noble nation the Right wants us to believe in.. those people must be condemned.

Sorry.... I blame our defective electoral and political system for make Dems hate those who should be natural allies. Any one has a goddamn RIGHT to run for president... and any citizen has a RIGHT to vote their conscience for Nader or Stein. If we had a fucking rational electoral system with Instant Runoff Voting... no doubt those who voted Green would pick the Dem as a second choice.

And you're also absolving that antidemocratic abomination for the election loss. After all HCR WON. What other democracy puts up with this shit where a candidate REJECTED by the People goes on to "win" an election? Where are those Dems trying to reform our fucked up system? Maybe if FDR had started a reform movement we'd have a rational system by now... one where there was no EC... and one where 18% of the population didn't get 52% of the Senate... and where Dems now represent 33 million more Americans than the GOP but the GOP gets to run the Senate. Gee... if not for our antidemocratic system DEMS would be in control of both.

You need to get your values straight... and start thinking about the defects in the system that create these dysfunctional dynamics. But I suspect you won't.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 05:54 PM

23. Seems a rather inaccurate translation predicated more on your own bias

Seems a rather inaccurate translation predicated more on your own bias than the OPs premise.

No doubt, you read precisely that which validated your bias, and dismissed anything that didn't, regardless of your petulant suspicions, or irrelevant caps.

Values, indeed. Good luck, cupcake.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Wed Feb 22, 2017, 11:20 PM

9. Republican voters are disciplined, angry and sometime hateful

voters. Some members of the far left get so rapped up in opposing other Democrats that they can't see infinitely larger danger in a republican getting elected, that is why we lose many races that we should win, at all levels of government - then republicans get into office and gerrymander and cheat to make winning harder for Democrats - then the purists list gerrymandering and voter suppression as problems when in fact the tendency of purists to blow up other Democrats was Genesis in the cycle.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 12:17 AM

10. the names you've mentioned don't really have much in common with one another.

Greenwald isn't on the ideological left, as you point out. Sarandon is pretty much on an island in her support of Trump. I've no interest in rehashing Florida Decision 2000, but whatever one thinks of Nader's role in that debacle, it's inaccurate to suggest that he hasn't put in work or hasn't contributed to positive/progressive change over the years. Klein is Canadian, so it would be somewhat bizarre to expect some sort of conventional relationship with the democratic party from her; still, she's offered plenty of criticism but also praise over the years. As for Moore, just about nobody was preaching the difficult work of organizing more than he was during the last election.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:29 AM

12. Gave you ur 5th rec. good op. Very thoughtful.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:56 AM

13. Thank you, forjusticethunders.. Avoid them like the plague.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 10:56 AM

18. I see no lies.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 11:15 AM

19. You forgot Tavis Smiley and Cornel West

and the whole thing is spot on.

These folks "agitate from the left" and will actively promote a number of issues of interest to liberals and progressives, using their star power to get that message out.

But then they will always insert some poison pill argument into the narrative, where they will suddenly transform themselves into some high amplitude "signal" amongst the "background noise" of the chorus of united voices in order to redirect the attention back to themselves again.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:12 PM

27. ahh Cornel West...

who only really started disliking Obama because he felt he was shunned by him or some nonsense.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:52 PM

20. The question that needs to be ask is "is this person's income or wealth"

 

dependent on society getting worse? Keep that in mind if you see someone pushing the "dime's worth of difference" argument. Just like Blackwater and BAH profited off the destruction of Iraq, people like I mentioned in the OP want to profit off the destruction of America.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 05:27 PM

22. this is brilliant. sorry i missed it.

 

thanks for spending the time to write it

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:03 PM

24. K and R. It's time to wake up and smell the coffee.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:05 PM

25. KnR

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:12 PM

26. kick

The trouble with populism is it will always need a singular scapegoat to be the lightning rod of "voter anger"

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Response to forjusticethunders (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:20 PM

28. If Bernie had won the presidency, they would be tearing his administration apart

Calling him a traitor to his revolution.

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