The need for a functional left wing in US politics


#21

That’s worded rather charitably. Anyone preaching fidelity to goddamn Friedman can go blow a goat, as far as I’m concerned…


#22

How about the Welsh?


#23

Didn’t the Welsh also vote for Brexit?

Now open borders for the Scots I could get behind. Get Nicola Sturgeon over here to run for office.


#24

You may be interested in this article


#25

Worth pointing out, though I just assume it’s common knowledge these days.


#26

###There Is No Nobel Prize in Economics
It’s awarded by Sweden’s central bank, foisted among the five real prizewinners, often to economists for the 1% – and the surviving Nobel family is strongly against it.

http://alternet.org/economy/there-no-nobel-prize-economics


#27

Alluded to in the first line of @jerwin’s link. Now if you can tell me why the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a Norwegian instead of a Swedish committee…


#28

It’s not an unknown sentiment:


#29

Because the Peace Prize is a pathetic joke (cough Kissinger cough) held in contempt by those who put in the work to earn a real Nobel?


#30

Chickens and eggs. Nobel specified it would be a different committee in his will, long before any of them were awarded.


#31

Even as a person known for nor being terribly liberal (to say the least) I too would like to see a functional Left in the US. Definitely not more zombies of the Old Left but something actually functional.


#32

Half Scottish, and I think being English at the moment is an embarrassment. I wish Scotland would hurry up with independence so I can get myself a passport for a decent country.

I have family in the US though, and a friend who, although born English, grew up in America and considers Boston to be her childhood home.


#33

Right? Having two functional political parties means that you get real, substantive debates about the issues that effect us all and it gives us real choice.


#34

Intentional? Or not?


#35

Not, I guess? Fast typing and not paying attention?


#36

OK. There are, of course political models that suggest that elite groups decide which topics are “open for debate” and which issues are important-- in order to effectuate a change in the mood of the body politic; regardless of whether those specific issues affect, in any serious way, the “individuals” who comprise the body politic.


#37

Replace the Left/Right with Socialism and Capitalism, and we’ll have a fairly accurate representation on what this nation really need.


#38

Pragmatism is the anti-ideology and for that reason, you’ll never find it on the political compass. Use what works best to achieve a healthy, vibrant society. The Nordic countries embrace capitalism earnestly, they’re just not total fuckwits about public services like education and healthcare. They understand where the profit motive ceases to be productive or worse, becomes counter-productive.


#39

Seems as good a time as any to restart this discussion!

I have been a lifetime leftist, coming from mostly neutral parents in a small town of liberal New England. I figured out at a very young age that selfishness and competition is absurdly inefficient, and that many societal norms and structures really exist to keep individuals busy and predictable so that they can be exploited and easily managed. So knowing this even in elementary school I socialized much differently from those around me. In early adolescence I spent most of my free time in libraries (pre-internet, and my parents forbade BBSs). My town had some decent reading about the left - but mostly covering a certain span. I grew up reading about the Yippies, Black Panthers, and SDS. It looked like there was a big social revolution, but confined to the 1960s-1970s. And when I put out my feelers to find out what people were doing like that in the 80s-90s, I was disappointed to not find very much. Everything seemed to have atomized very small - you could find a few out of the way bookshops or communes in far off places, but there wasn’t much street-level action happening that I could see.

Some of why I suppose big left movements might have fizzled was that the vanguard seemed to move to academia in the later 20th century instead of with the labor force like in the earlier years. A laborer could be expected to be involved in their community for decades, but a college student often for only four years - IF they could even afford to go. In some ways I think the shift made sense: Marxism (and contemporary capitalism) for instance was devised with a somewhat industrial-age sensibility. I thought it was more progressive to assume that a modern proletariat would be in retail, service industries, and IT because that’s what I saw. And organization seemed to be strongly discouraged in those areas. But as I grew up I learned that in many regions there is still a large population of people in manufacturing and agriculture who have been screwed over quite badly. I am not surprised that - as we have recently been reminded - these people feel irrelevant to an elite left of academia.

What interests me now is how to organize. When I discuss these things with people online and in meatspace people are either disinterested or wary. How is it that people in the left community turn on each other so quickly, and have had such little solidarity compared to groups such as the Christian conservatives and tea party? It seems ironic when I compare the level of communication skills on display. It is also hard for me because I do not really have interpersonal relationships with people, so if I don’t understand how even casual acquaintances meet and do anything, I am probably not in a good position to figure this out. How to organize, communicate, and network? How to engage people with kinds of social movement which the mass media tells them are a relic? Maybe use some decentralized, protocol-based social media system which can be reasonably secured. Offer assistance/cooperation with those who want to live communally to make the most of scarce resources. It is tough because nearly everything which seems like common sense to me is completely dissimilar to how most people live. Yet if what people do is only superficially rather than fundamentally different, it is likely to be co-opted and make minimal difference. AAAIIEEE!


#40

Hate and or fear. It’s easy to define yourself by what you ain’t. It’s more difficult to define what you are.
Othering people brings the group who are doing that together. Bringing people down Iis simple, easy and there’s little room for argument.
Trying to raise people up is more difficult, like the way it’s much simpler to destroy than to create.
If you want to bring people together as a cohesive group, there needs to be a single, simple thing to rally around. The right know and understand how to use that. So perhaps that should be co-opted.

Instead of making America great again, maybe the next rallying cry of the left should be Free America.
Free choices in healthcare, especially for women. Free to love and to marry who you want. Free to practice your religion without fear. Free to walk around without being targeted for your colour or gender.
America was built on freedom. Trump is hell-bent on removing that.

So… Free America*.

*With every 6th purchase!**
** Hey, got to get at least one joke in. :slight_smile: