The need for a functional left wing in US politics

I have just seen this from the Political Compass

from the article:

Please note that the positions on the chart are based on speeches, manifestos and, where applicable, voting records .If positions markedly change during the campaign, we will revise the chart accordingly. Already the positions of Trump and Clinton differ slightly from the primaries chart.

What? I thought that people were telling us that Hillary was moving to the left, yet compared to the primaries she had moved to the right and become more authoritarian.

This is not about who you vote for in November, IMO Hillary is the least terrible option who can win that contest.

This is about how neo-liberalism passes for left wing in the US, and how we could change that.

Any ideas?


Better education? Progressives seem to be making a serious effort to get involved in politics from the bottom up, which is where the real work tends to happen. The more people are engaged in shaping local politics, local education systems (including at the university level), and to take that up to the state level in order to take back the democratic party and the state houses from the right, the more we’ll get progressive politics into the national conversation and hopefully produce real progressive candidates for national offices.


Gimme a bit of an ELI5 here.

I’ve never been exactly a fan of Secretary Clinton, but she has my vote this go-round as solidly as she would have had it in 2008 had she won that primary. I’m perfectly satisfied with her experience and chops and backbone and all that, and I expect her to be a slightly better president than her husband was.

But I am curious: on what issues, in what ways, is Donald Trump to her left?


At least through the primaries and the first half of the summer (when I turned off the presidential coverage completely except for what I see on BB), Tramp was running to Hilldawg’s left on military intervention policy (attacking her votes for Iraq, Libya) and by opposing free trade agreements.


Definitely this. We “Farther Lefties” need to keep the Sanders momentum while winning local races and getting our real positions out there.

It’s important to run real lefties in the presidential primaries because it’s a huge boost to awareness but where we’re going to make real long term gains is in showing we can win local races.

I’m also going to start encouraging people to absentee vote in the non-presidential election years because Democrats failing to show up in those years has so many of our states controlled by Tea Partiers. They rendered the ACA nearly pointless in my state … along with a huge list of other ills they’ve visited upon us through off-year voting.


Shh! You’re scaring people.

“One of the concerns [the foundation] has had since its establishment is that an emerging generation of Americans has little understanding of the collectivist system and its dark history,” said Marion Smith, executive director of the organization. “Unfortunately, this report, which we intend to release on an annual basis, confirms this worrisome impression.”


It’s the economic left, not the social left. I’d assume it is protectionism that pushes Trump slightly to the left.

It is worth noting that Trump is still to the right of the DUP in Northern Ireland, and they are not socialists by any definition of the term.


I’ve taken this inventory several times over the past decade-and-change. I’ve noticed two things:

1)  On the economic scale, I haven’t moved much at all. Still seem to be around that of most Green parties.
2)  On the social scale, I’ve been steadily moving down towards ‘Anarchism’.

I don’t know whether to read this as me becoming left-libertarian (sup, Chomsky?) or just someone who’s fed up at this point.


If you have only one functional political party it has no reason to stay functional very long; not when the alternative is gross incompetence and death.


The author also writes:

Capitalism, on the other hand, is viewed favorably by 64% of those over the age of 65, compared with only 42% of millennials. In fact, more than half of millennials say the economic system works against them, while four out of 10 call for a “complete change” to ensure that the highest earners pay their fair share.

How exactly did the author get from there to ‘millennials are warming up to communism’? Millennials, like Gen Xers before them, are just wising up to the fact that our current practice of capitalism is, well, kinda messed up. ‘Social capitalism’ isn’t an oxymoron—it just means having businesses embrace community that extends beyond their shareholders and that they can’t just make a profit at the expense of the natural resources and communities supporting their operations. It means having businesses act as good stewards of their environment, both physical and social.

You want to improve the favorability of capitalism among young voters? Start practicing it responsibly.


I’m always in that bottom left corner. I have adopted some more left-wing ideas as I’ve gotten older, and stayed consistently liberal, though it’s not because I’m fed up, but just that for the most part, left/liberal principles match my values reasonably well, and generally left wing ideas about governance make the most sense to me. I’m not a radical, though, since liberalism matters more to me than left-wing ideals.

I did enjoy recently having a FB political argument where I was called “liberal” as a pejorative not by a right-winger, but a fairly radical leftist who really loathes Clinton. 2016 is the weirdest election season ever.


I had to read that second-to-last sentence twice. Wow.


It’s pretty common to see or hear dislike of liberalism from the far left, and has been for quite some time (I first saw it over a decade ago). It makes sense if you think of liberalism being to the right of socialism, which it historically was (and still is in Europe).


It makes good scare-mongering copy, mostly. But also, they have to keep up the fiction that the only alternative to capitalism is actually commuism as it was lived and experienced in the 20th century. That way, you don’t have to justify anything, just point to the Stalinist purges and the Chinese cultural revolution with a knowing look and you’ve made your point.


In Capital, Marx makes mention of “cretinous liberals” throughout Europe… here:

“Thus Russia conquered with one blow the magnates of the Danubian provinces, and the applause of liberal cretins throughout Europe”


[quote=“the_borderer, post:1, topic:87763”]
This is about how neo-liberalism passes for left wing in the US, and how we could change that.[/quote]
You’re English, no?

Look everybody, we’ve got a nationalist!
(tee hee)


I feel like this should take into account Trump’s constant flip-flopping and extreme vagueness on just about every issue and he should occupy a vague region along the top of the compass.

He’s like an electron, you can’t pin down where he stands and what he’s going to say when you ask him where he stands at the same time.


I’m for open US borders except for the English. Brexit proves they can’t be trusted with any important political decisions.


I can sort of respect an (hypothetical) organization that argues that Stalin and Mao, and Pol Pot, and Kim and countless others have caused human misery on a grand scale, and that it is irresponsible to gloss over that. What I cannot respect is an organization that preaches fidelity to Friedman as the solution.