Saturday, July 12, 2008


The ruling class doesn't fear any ideology, any alternative lifestyle choices, any theories. Elite clubs of intellectual snobs refining radical theories pose no threat to them, either. Intelligent people who have an inflated sense of their own self worth are very easy to buy off and neutralize.

Narcissistic Code Pink style antics and guerrilla theater are useful to the ruling class and are welcomed and encouraged by them. Speaking truth to power? You might as well throw marshmallows at a charging rhino. We need to speak truth about power to the powerless.

It is broad participation by the people in politics that the ruling class most fears and works hardest to prevent. That is why saying in essence to millions of people that "you aren't smart enough (or pure enough in the case of the New Agers) to join our elite club" is the kiss of death for any serious political movement that claims to be in any sort of opposition to the ruling class.

This is a chronic problem and blocks or cripples any attempts at mobilizing the working people. I believe that a relatively small group of people control all discussion and all power on what passes for the Left in this country, and that they would sooner surrender anything else - including selling all of us down the river - before they would let go of their sense of exceptionalism, superiority and entitlement.

"Liberal" has come to mean "a superior sort of individual," while "progressive" has come to mean "an individual traveling the path to enlightenment and transcending above their inferiors." No matter how many radical theories or what ideology or superior personal spiritual beliefs you set out as window dressing, the cult of the enhanced and actualized individual will always be contradictory to and destructive of efforts to build the working class solidarity that is essential to any serious political change.

Why are there so many arguments, so much bitter antagonism, such paralysis and confusion on much ballyhooed “Progressive-Liberal-Left”?

Because people fight for their positions as though their personal identity depended upon them, as though their existence depended upon their political position or theory. That is because their personal identity does depend upon their political positions. They are one and the same - "be the change you want to see." People actually mean "seek the change that suits who you are as an actualized individual" since it never involves self-sacrifice or focus on the needs of others, but always on individual personal choices and self-expression. In fact, their political positions are not political positions at all, but narcissistic expressions of their personalities.

Now I recognize that many people here define themselves as "independents" and therefore, may reject whatever came before... but it is still important to know what that was.

It is also true that "liberals" and "leftists" may find themselves allied on many issues or tactics and may well need each other under those circumstances.

Finally, it is true that "liberal" or "leftist" may refer to "political labels", applied by "the right", by others, or even by oneself, and have no particular relevance to the actual issues which divide "liberals" and "leftists".

Nonetheless... historically, liberals and leftists are not merely different points in a common spectrum but, in the end, they are implacable enemies. And the issue is precisely joined on the issue of class, as has been mentioned before but now seems to have disappeared from the general lexicon.

If the term "left" has any meaning other than a purely relative one, it is as that group of political ideas, parties, movements, and organizations which believes that politics is driven less by ideas than by interests and that those interests are based on economic class. Radical republicans (Civil War variety), revolutionary democrats, social democrats (including even a sizable chunk of the British Labor Party and the German SDs of today), socialists, utopian socialists, agrarian socialists, communists, anarchists, anarco-syndicalists, and nihilists - if these do not agree on anything else, they agree on the centrality of social classes even before they divide on what to do about them.

In contrast, "Liberals" explicitly reject the centrality of social classes. If such exist at all, they are assumed to be trumped by a common interest (national or otherwise) and any division is based only on transitory political opinion or policy. They are united with "Conservatives" in their agreement on the fundamental norms of society and on their long-term objectives (most importantly in the defense of private property and the projection of "national interest"). Indeed, for them, the current organization of society is the only one conceivable.

To the Liberals, the Left is a competitor for the same political constituency they claim to represent. The Left fosters "national division" and "class hatred" where moderation and "cooler heads" might otherwise prevail. They are often hand-cuffed by the "extreme demands" and "lack of reform mindedness" of the Left. If things come to a head, they can even justify arresting the Left... in the interest of "the greater good", of course (see Palmer, McCarthy, many more...).

The Left returns this attitude with interest... They regard the Liberals as the reform party of the ruling class. From this standpoint, the Liberals most assuredly need the Left. We are the monsters-beneath-the-bed that they invariably point to as a reason for the Conservatives to negotiate "reform"... "If you don't deal with us you may have to tackle the great unwashed". That is what "playing the class card" or "race card" means.

What exactly do we need the Liberals for? If there turns out to have been a misunderstanding of biblical prophesy and all Liberals are suddenly captured by the Rapture and disappear from the face of the earth how much worse off would we be? Would Rove suddenly be "turned loose" ‘cause Joe Biden was no longer there to protect us?
A little political haiku:

They ask:
"Why can't we just get along?"
We ask:
"Which side are you on?"

It is rare to find anything that is not dominated by capitalism, it is the rare person for whom the system is working, the rare industry that is not being ravaged and destroyed by corporate power, the rare neighborhood that is not being destroyed, it is rare to find a public resource of any kind that is not at risk.

The United States is being transformed into a banana republic. A class of people is starting to form, apologizing for and defending the oligarchy in exchange for a certain amount of privilege and comfort, and beating down the peasants or anyone who speaks for them. Educated, mostly white, "liberal," they have infiltrated all through the Democratic party and liberal organizations. It is remarkable to me to hear them, since they sound exactly like the upper class mouthpieces in Latin America have sounded all these years and use almost precisely the same arguments. They are singing a bittersweet, syrupy, seductive song - the sing song lullaby of the oligarchy.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Is it a coincidence that liberalism has become dominated by the relatively well-off, and that simultaneously economics are no longer front and center for the Democratic party but are merely a minor side issue?

All of the liberal causes are important, once you already have a certain degree of economic freedom. None of the causes are very important to the rest of the population. This is the built in bias of the liberal community that leads to an inability to stand strong against the ruling class or to connect with the average person, and has now led to people who are supposed opponents to the right wing taking anti-immigration and pro-free trade and free market positions, and support the war on drugs and the war on terror. The Democratic party and liberal organizations have become the biggest supporters of the new aristocracy, while dominating all political discourse that is not overtly right wing and suppressing any true politics of opposition from emerging.

The rest of the people in the world suffer, in order to support the conditions that allow about 10% of our population to enjoy the luxury of living in the realm of political musing and theorizing. The lives and outlook of that 10% are seen as the standard, as the given, as the norm. It is not the norm even within any metropolitan area, unless you ignore minorities, ignore the elderly and infirm, ignore the working poor and single mothers, and ignore the millions of people working blue collar jobs.

All day long in the media, that 10% - white, upwardly mobile, educated, tolling around in new cars, climbing the corporate management ladder, buying expensive homes, having full access to health care, having access to excellent public education and municipal services, taking fun and exotic vacations, buying the latest gadgetry and trinkets - is presented as being representative of "us" - who we are as a people.


“I sit on a man's back choking him and making him carry me. And yet assure myself and others, that I am very sorry for him and wish to lighten his burden by all possible means. Except, by getting off his back.”

- Leo Tolstoy

Those of us on the Left have heard for decades now sentiments such as "what will ever make you happy?" and "you are a purist" and "no one agrees with you" and "that may be what YOU want, but you need to be practical" and "OK if you reject them, who do YOU think would be the right person? What is YOUR choice then?" and "it is easy to criticize, but do you have any positive suggestions or do you just like to whine and complain?" and other similar statements.

"Not revolution, but evolution" people said when Clinton was elected, and we were harangued to see Clinton as some sort of wonderful new direction from the Reagan years. “We” got NAFTA.

"Now “weeeeeeeeee” have control of the House, and you have to be patient." Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. We don't have jack. Nothing. Ashes. A big sick cruel joke is what we have, and the joke is on us.

But “We” have "Dennis" - finally a man who "matches my personal spiritual values so that I can vote my conscience."

WTF??? Are we picking a guy for a high school prom date???

Have “We” fucking lost our minds??

Weeeeeeeeeeeeee weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee - second only to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee meeeeeeeeeeeee a candidate for meeeeeeeeeeeeee and IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII.

I don't give a damned what any fucking liberal's personal little choice is, and I am sick of hearing about their latest knight in fucking shining armor. (e.g. Obama- The Audacity of Hype)

There are a number of implied assumptions behind this "not perfect enough for you" line of assault - and make no mistake, it is an assault, designed to silence people and terminate consideration and discussion. "Are you happy NOW??? Will you stop bothering us with your gloom and doom NOW???? Can we stop listening to you NOW????"

To say that the “latest-greatest” Obama (for example) is being rejected because he is not quite perfect is to imply that he is kinda sorta there, or “in the right direction” or presumed to be an ally. What is being pointed out here is not that Obama and The Dems fail some perfection test – an imaginary test that suggests that he/they are mostly OK but has a few flaws that only perfectionists would notice, and a test that the people being accused of using it are not using - but rather that these people are not at all, in any way, remotely, or vaguely aligned any of the working people and that the notion that they are aligned with us is all a carefully created and totally false illusion. What are presumed to be "flaws" – which a few of us are supposedly unwilling to overlook in our stubbornness and obtuseness – are actually accurate glimpses through the camouflage at the whole picture, not minor peripheral and insignificant flaws.

They aren't minor flaws in an otherwise perfect gem – they are indicators as to the true nature of this chunk of manure painted up to look like a gem so as to fool people. Looking through the holes in the fancy paint job at the interior of the object, and saying it is not a flawed diamond, it is a chunk of manure with a coat of paint hastily slopped on to make it look like a diamond is merely pointing out the hypocrisy and unreality of the liberal fetish.

On another level this assault is wrong-headed and destructive, and that is in the implied assumption that politics is a matter of personal taste - “well that is what YOU want but not very many people agree with you.” FUCK THAT. Politics is about the greatest good for the greatest number, not about “what I want.” The narcissistic belly button lint gazing is completely antithetical to working class solidarity, and is nothing more than an amusing little hobby for the pampered and spoiled and selfish latte' liberal.

Beyond the question of whether or not this particular person is perfect, I also reject the assumption that we are all looking for a person to begin with, and that looking for a person is the essence of politics.

Barack Obama is the enemy. Looking for a person is the problem, not the solution. Insulting, frustrating, and silencing the most perceptive among us is what is destroying the possibility of a strong Left emerging, and is the tawdry and amoral House Negro work that keeps the ruling class in place. THAT is the fucking problem, and that is a LONG way from the snide and demeaning accusations that critics of Obama and others are being a prissy little perfectionists, carping and fault finding for the sake of irritating people or being a party spoiler.

This “you are being a perfectionist” propaganda is infinitely more destructive to the Left than anything that ever comes from the right wingers, and is one of the most important bulwarks of ruling class power.

This is not nit-picking. It is not "being negative." It is not being a "purist."

This is the whole battle.

We have tried being polite, reasoning with people, documenting the truth, respecting and considering people's complaints that we are being too harsh, too radical, that we are making attacks, that we are alienating allies, that we are hurting "the cause."

None of that has worked.

The years slip by. Conditions grow worse and worse, The danger grows and grows. The ruling class gets stronger and stringer. Polite nicey-nice "can't we all get along children and play nice?" is bringing no positive returns and there is nothing to lose by speaking the truth as harshly as needs be to get the message across.

Maybe the bottom line is whether or not we all seek the same depth of changes in our society. There is no doubt in my mind that whether under the control of Democrats or the Republicans, the number one beneficiary of political decisions, be they foreign policy or domestic, will be large industries/the extremely wealthy - that is, the general protection of the status quo, and the continuation of a capital-before-people mentality, the right of the US to impose its will on nations for the benefit of its corporations.