READER COMMENTS ON
"'Nowhere To Go'?: Nader's Short-Sighted Tactics Reinforce 'Lesser Evil' Paradigm"
(39 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 1/24/2011 @ 3:21 pm PT...
PULL THE DEMOSHITS TO HE LEFT OR ALLOW THE CORPORISTS TO BRING IN THE SO CALLED LEFTISTS JUST AS THEY DID WITH THE RIGHTIST TEA PARTY. NO DICE STINKY
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
Anthony J. Kuspa
said on 1/24/2011 @ 4:44 pm PT...
Hey, CAN IT, Canning! Nader would have quit the race in 2000 if Gore had agreed to support just three of seventeen issues that Americans supported by 75% of voters! Gore refused to speak for "Social Justice", living wage, universal health care, and/or minimum wage.... but Gore could not embrace NOT A SINGLE issue of the seventeen, any one of which might have increased his base substatially. He also refused to take Greg Pallast's documentation of 60,000 Gore votes dumped in trash in Florida. Gore really planned to lose that race for some reason known only to the Republocrats and Demoblicas, with the accent on "mob", perhaps.... Gore got "Current TV" channel soon after his cooperation with corporate bosses.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 1/24/2011 @ 4:44 pm PT...
How well does that work out for Dennis Kucinich? That doesn't work at all. And how can someone in a Democratic Party primary gain any traction by expressing how that party itself is part of the problem?
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 1/24/2011 @ 4:56 pm PT...
It seems Mr Canning has forgotten how the DLC and its "media" allies engineered the combat between Obama and Clinton whiletossing Kucinich and Edwards under the bus. And there is every reason to believe any candidate to Obama's left would suffer the same fate. Greider has reached the same conclusion, although he states it differently, http://www.thenation.com.../end-new-deal-liberalism
Political change will eventually arrive in the USA. However, it won't be coming from either faction of the Corporate War Party--CWAP.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/24/2011 @ 5:56 pm PT...
It is truly sad to see those on the Left having as much trouble thinking outside the box, and resorting to slogans, when their myopic worldview is challenged, as many on the Right.
Karlof1 @4, for example, states:
Political change will eventually arrive in the USA
Really? And what will bring it about? Repeating the same third party strategy that had Nader capture 2.9 million votes in 2000, and only 700,000 in 2008?
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."--Albert Einstein
It is easy to fall back on a slogan like, Corporate War Party, to describe the Democratic and Republican Parties, jointly, but the truth is that there is a vast gap between those citizens who make up the rank-and-file of the Democratic Party and the corporate-controlled political elites of that same party.
That gap, which Noam Chomsky coined the "democracy deficit," is reflected, for example, in polls showing that, at various times, single-payer health care has been favored by the American electorate (not just Democrats) by a 2-1 margin.
If you folks were familiar with the body of my work here at The BRAD BLOG, you'd know better than to suggest a lack of understanding of the role played by the corporate media in policing the scope of discourse in every U.S. election.
It was an issue, for example, that I discussed in Single-Payer and the 'Democracy Deficit' wherein I discussed that fact that:
In August 2007, some 67,000 voters took part in an internet "blind poll" survey which set forth the policy positions of Democratic candidates for President but did not include their names. Obama, the charismatic “change” candidate whose soaring rhetoric is second to none, received a meager 3%; Clinton, 3.6%. Kucinich was the choice of “a phenomenal 53%.”
There are three reasons why I believe that Ralph Nader, as a declared Democratic candidate in 2012, can fundamentally change the dynamic. First, while I've admired Kucinich, Nader is far more charismatic. Second, since Obama is the incumbent, it is doubtful that any other candidates would take on the President in the primary --- Kucinich already said he won't --- so there would be a clear choice. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the gap between "brand Obama" and the reality of the past two years has been so stark, that a well-orchestrated Nader campaign during the Democratic primaries might be more effective than you realize.
Then again, I'm old enough to remember the impact of Eugene McCarthy in 1968. Perhaps many of you are not that old.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 1/24/2011 @ 7:11 pm PT...
Anthony J. Kuspa -
While you tell Ernie to "CAN IT", you seem to be agreeing with his general point here, so I'm a bit confused. Nonetheless, Gore's "loss" in 2000 had little to do with Nader. Setting aside that he actually won the election (as long as you count receiving more votes in the U.S., more votes in FL, and therefore more electoral votes, than anybody else), he should have destroyed Bush so that it wasn't even close. He didn't, and has only himself to blame. Nader was not a legitimate factor against him.
Justin Jeffre asked:
how can someone in a Democratic Party primary gain any traction by expressing how that party itself is part of the problem?
Such a candidate merely needs to make the case for Progressives. He doesn't need to discuss the "problem" with the party itself. That will be obvious. And while he/she would be unlikely to win, the result, hopefully, would be introducing actual progressive ideals to the campaign and reminding Obama who it is that actually elected him in the first place.
It seems Mr Canning has forgotten how the DLC and its "media" allies engineered the combat between Obama and Clinton whiletossing Kucinich and Edwards under the bus. And there is every reason to believe any candidate to Obama's left would suffer the same fate.
If the Obama/Clinton fued was "engineered" as you suggest, it was smart for the DLC to do so, in that they (presumably) backed Clinton and knocking out all the other competition was in their best interest. But that has little to do w/ the point that I believe Ernie is trying to make above. Yes, folks would work to damage whoever a progressive challenger to Obama emerged to be. But it would force a discussion of Progressive ideals, just as Ross Perot forced a focus on fiscal issues that were otherwise being ignored.
Perot didn't win the election, but he moved the conversation and, with it, the agenda of both of the other candidates.
Also, please note Ernie has not called for an independent third party candidate (who could take away votes from Obama or his challenger). He's called for a progressive challenge in the primaries. Big difference.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 1/24/2011 @ 7:46 pm PT...
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 1/24/2011 @ 9:18 pm PT...
Maybe, Ernie. But I'm not at all sure. As you note again, Kucinich's policies in 2007 were far more popular with Americans than the other candidates'. What difference did that make? That's just the will of the people. This seemed clear to me in the previous presidential election cycle, too. Kucinich and Sharpton(who IS charismatic)would consistently get the lion's share of roars from the "debate" audience crowds. To my eyes and ears their forcefully and unapologetically stated, clear, progressive positions were what the audiences craved and supported. Overwhelmingly. But the media acted like this wasn't happening and never took them seriously as candidates. Soon they ceased to exist as candidates.
I believe I witnessed a similar phenomenon at the comedians' rally in October in DC. There were hundreds of thousands of us. A Comedy Central rally was hugely more attended than the Fox funded Beck rally. The Stewart/Colbert nations ARE America, far more than the Obamatrons, the Tea Partiers, The Foxholes, and the Rebukelicans. But it's as if we don't exist. That's the way Obama, the Repubs, and the media treat us.
I'm not getting from your article here why Nader or anyone else isn't going to suffer the same marginalization from the media that Kucinich, Sharpton, and Edwards already have. Why would it be any different another time around?
I would love you to be right but I'm thinking it's more like pitchfork in the streets time. Or some modern version of that. And perhaps that is not mutually exclusive to what you're advocating here. I'm just not convinced what you're urging can work because the media so effectively controls the nation's discourse at the moment. And so far except for the lesbian and the two comedians the media will have none of what we the people actually want. To me it seems like change will require an enormous awakening and energizing of the sleepy populace. I'm working on it in my own humble way.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 1/24/2011 @ 10:28 pm PT...
Ernie, better check the mirror for the person not "thinking outside the box". The Left is so marginalized in the D party (really it's effectively the DLC party now), that there is no way a true progressive would be taken seriously as a Primary challenger. Even folks like Kucinich are not allowed to vote their conscience when it really counts (remember the Health Insurance sellout bill). Oh, and I remember 1968. It sure as hell isn't anything like 1968 now.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2011 @ 12:48 am PT...
Democracy in America is and will continue to be a farce so long as the majority of Americans do not vote, continue to play with themselves and their latest electronic gadgets, and so long as they tolerate government of, by, and for the plutocrats. Maybe if the plutocracy continues exporting what little is left of our industrial base to China, and after it finally realizes we can and will no longer be able to support our own Pentagon, even at drastically reduced budget amounts, maybe after we reach $50 trillion in national debt and 25% unemployment, maybe people will wake up. In the meantime, it is folly to propose that yet another presidential election challenge by anyone against the plutocracy will succeed in resurrecting what little is left of a government that used to be 'of, by and for the people. " A sad observation for Mr Canning, who thought he was fighting for democracy in 'Nam, to have to read but thanks for your effort and sacrifice in any case! Time will tell. With Congressional "approval" ratings at 13%, it won't be long before this entire government collapses and a new order arises.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/25/2011 @ 8:25 am PT...
As always, David Lasagna provides thoughtful commentary, even when we do not agree, and, on this one, we don't.
Of course the corporate media will seek to marginalize Nader or any other progressive, irrespective of whether they run as a Democrat or a third party candidate.
The question presented by this piece is not whether progressives face a daunting task in piercing the disinformation fog of the corporate media's electronic curtain. They do!
The question presented is not whether Nader and Hedges are right in describing Obama and the DLC as shills for Corporate America. They are!
The question presented is simply a strategic one. How best to take on the corporate beast?
Do we continue with a strategy which Nader and Hedges concede is a "nowhere to go" strategy because of the "lesser evil" paradigm, all the while bemoaning the "cowardice" of the American electorate, or do we look in the mirror and realize that it is our own inflexible strategy which has reinforced the "lesser-evil paradigm"?
The millions of Americans who make up the rank-and-file of the Democratic Party must be given a broader choice than Obama or a Tea Bagger. The ideal time to do that is during the Democratic primaries when the "lesser-evil paradigm" is not in play.
Nader could change the whole dynamic if he immediately re-registered as a Democrat and began publicly speaking out as to why he is challenging an incumbent President.
As to the corporate media, they cannot be defeated by a tactic--the purchase of political ads--that further enriches and empowers them.
It is best to think of the corporate media as an earthen dam which holds back truth. Water overcomes an earthen dam by seeping in, around and under the dam, to the point that it eventually collapses.
Progressives must find ways for the truth to penetrate in, around and under the corporate media. The ideal means for doing so would be real grass roots organizing around a Nader 2012 Democratic primary campaign, starting now! That organizing should not only focus on electing progressives but passing a Constitutional Amendment that puts an end to "corporate personhood" and Citizens United.
Democracy, assuming ballots are actually counted, affords the opportunity for peaceful, revolutionary change.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/25/2011 @ 8:44 am PT...
Re AD @10.
Your assumption that the government will simply collapse and a new progressive order will miraculously arise like a Phoenix from its ashes is as unfounded as your assumption that my stint in Vietnam was occasioned by a belief that I was "fighting for democracy."
I operated under no such illusion. I was drafted.
What most people who've never experienced the horror of combat do not realize is that when you're being shot at, you are so F'ing scared that political thoughts don't enter your consciousness. It's you, your brothers next to you, muzzle flashes, noise, explosions, a fear that comes with recognition that your next breath could be your last!
Neither Hedges nor Nader share your assumption that anything good will come from our present course. To the contrary, both predict that the end result of that course is "corporate slavery."
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2011 @ 9:23 am PT...
It seems to me that the Democratic Party followers have been late in reasearch of facts.
9/11 is still ignored by too many leaders, and "progressive" media.
Brad has covered FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in tremendous ways.
Collen Rowley, another FBI whistleblower regarding 9/11, has been covered here as well.
Anthony Shaffer, another intelligence whistleblower who "is not a truther" is another important story to cover. The Pentagon did infact buy his first 10,000 printed copies of, "Operation Dark Heart".
These people, combined with the testimony of 9/11 Firefighters witness to explosions; video records of explosions; as well as over 1,400 licensed or degreed Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, should be enough for people like Chomsky, and I beleive you too Ernest, to start openly supporting 9/11 Peace and Justice activites.
Unfortunately the world will not change too much until this type of crime is exposed.
Feel free to keep hoping though, I do.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2011 @ 9:31 am PT...
Thanks for your reply and kind words. With your further elaboration/clarification I think we much more agree than disagree on this one.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/25/2011 @ 11:45 am PT...
Brad wrote @6:
Yes, folks would work to damage whoever a progressive challenger to Obama emerged to be. But it would force a discussion of Progressive ideals, just as Ross Perot forced a focus on fiscal issues that were otherwise being ignored.
Perot didn't win the election, but he moved the conversation and, with it, the agenda of both of the other candidates.
Agreed. But I should be clear. I am not proposing that Nader make a tactical decision simply to advance the progressive agenda. I've suggested it because I think there's a good chance that Nader, as a Democratic primary candidate who need not face the "lesser-evil paradigm", has a real shot at winning!
I say that because 80% of the American electorate fall within the category of wage and salary employees (when not unemployed, of course). On issues, like the perpetual war on terror, single payer health care, corporate crime, and preservation of social security, 2/3 of Americans actually stand with Nader.
The key is to pierce the corporate media policing which strives to insure that elections are not issue-based. The key is to inform the American people that Obama, and of course the so-called "Tea Party" candidates who are a part of that corporate subsidiary, GOP, Inc., do not stand with the American people on issues that truly matter.
And thank you, David Lasagna, for your sincerity and always well thought out comments.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2011 @ 12:31 pm PT...
It's more than just a candidate that will be needed.
The campaign in 2012, if progressives are to have any impact, must be THREEFOLD:
1. Come back to the political process. It's time that WE ALL GET INVOLVED AND MAKE OUR OWN CHANGE!
2. Nobody can tell us who is viable. WE THE VOTERS decide who is viable. UNDERDOGS CAN WIN!
3. The candidates themselves.
Without all three, it can never happen.
But, the good news, is that there are a lot of disenfranchised people out there on social media who can be reached WITHOUT the aid of the corporate-controlled media.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2011 @ 12:34 pm PT...
My use of the word eventually wasn't meant to imply soon. I apologize for your misunderstanding. Mr Canning isn't the only one musing about the need to challenge Obama. I'm merely observing it will not accomplish anything--unless--the challenger sticks to a very simplified set of policy goals: Strengthening Social Security, ending the wars, and solving the deficit by cutting the Imperial budget by 60%--policy goals Obama is dead-set against.
But just where is this wundercandidate? There's been essentailly zero critique of Obama from Democrats to his left, which is a prerequisite for the essentail media recognition that Obama is being challenged from the Left. Such media coverage is also a very big if given its previous and current behavior.
How do you think a candidate will be portrayed by the media if s/he demanded accountibility and justice for the crimes committed by the current and previous administrations, which is a necessary step to changing the current political trajectory? It's a moot question because we already know the answer--such a candidate will be airbrushed from existence as was done in the past three presidential elections.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/25/2011 @ 2:32 pm PT...
I sincerely appreciate that you've remained to carry this dialogue forward, Karlof1.
It appears, you and I are closer in thought than your initial post suggested, assuming your apology for my mistake is tongue-in-cheek.
The point of my article is that one does not have to already be a Democrat at this point in time in order to be a qualified progressive who would challenge Obama in the 2012 Democratic primaries. It could be a Green, or an independent, or, for that matter, a socialist, who need only re-register as a Democrat in order to run against the incumbent President in those primaries.
As I stated in the piece, this is strictly a tactical procedure; not an abandonment of principles. Indeed, doing so reflects it is not the party label one places on the candidate but the substance of their ideas which should form the basis for support or rejection of their candidacy.
Nader is the first to come to mind because he is so well known. But certainly there are others, either now connected with Progressive Democrats of America, or outside the party who could consider this.
Finally, and with all due respect, Karlof1, in asking how that "candidate will be portrayed in the media," you've posed the wrong question.
The real question is how successful a serious Progressive candidate will be in exposing the degree to which the corporate media is seeking to manipulate public opinion, and, more importantly, how successful the grass roots can be in bypassing the corporate media to drive home substance and truth, including the dire need in this country for a fundamental reform of the media itself. I believe that is part of the excellent points made by Charlie Levenson @16.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2011 @ 10:52 pm PT...
Ron Paul has done almost exactly what you suggest Nader do on the other side of the aisle. I'm not sure it has been successful at all. Last election his own party laughed him off the stage. The Tea Party, which had some roots with the Ron Paul movement was quickly taken over by Fox News and other corporate powers.
In other words, I don't think anything will be won with Nader joining the Dem party, although I don't think anything would be lost either. Basically the system is screwed with no easy way out.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/26/2011 @ 8:54 am PT...
Bad analogy, Disllusioned.
First, for nearly 100 years, the Republican Party has been the exclusive province of wealth and power. Its followers are indoctrinated proponents of corporate capitalism as the source of liberty--the ideology which masks the reality of corporate tyranny.
While the DLC sold out long ago, the rank and file of the Democratic Party shares an affinity to what the Party stood for under FDR, or better, under former VP Henry Wallace.
Second, Ron Paul, while sincere, is not a progressive. He is a libertarian. While he abhors foreign conquest, when it comes to corporate America, he shares the same libertarian "blind spots" that his son, Rand possesses. Ron Paul, like all libertarians, sees the threat to individual liberty coming solely from government--a blind spot that plays into the interests of the billionaires at the pinnacle of the corporate capitalist plutocracy.
Nader is the embodiment actual policy positions favored by the vast majority of rank-and-file Democrats--a point underscored by that 2007 blind poll that set forth candidate policies but excluded their names producing a landslide for Kucinich over Clinton and Obama.
Third, I am not suggesting that a decision to run against Obama in the 2012 primaries would automatically translate to victory. To succeed it must be accompanied by a mass movement that bypasses the corporate media's electronic curtain.
Finally, while I am not surprised by the number of "it can't be done," negative responses, I think many of you have missed the point.
Progressives have limited options. First, they can throw up their hands in defeat, crying about having "nowhere to go" and bemoaning the "cowardice" of the electorate. Second, they ignore electoral politics altogether and hope that (a) the corporate security state collapses under the weight of its internal contradictions and (b) a new egalitarian democracy miraculously arises in its place. Third, they can pursue the same Third Party strategy that has not only proved a dismal failure but has produced diminishing returns as a result of the "lesser-evil" paradigm. Fourth, they, with a Nader or another well-known progressive at their lead, can evade the "lesser-evil paradigm" by targeting Obama and the DLC during the 2012 Democratic primaries.
Now, if the naysayers who've attacked this post have a better idea, I'd welcome it.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 1/27/2011 @ 1:32 am PT...
Ernest, I get your point.
I think what you are suggesting might be able to harvest a few more votes for Nader than what otherwise might happen.
Though, the entire system is out of balance, it would take much more than a man in the W.H., the balance requires everyone to have their internal revolution: an idea really.
Without ourselves in a whole, healthy mental space filled with critical thought and rational debate, can we solve the issues of today.
My internal revolution came from many things, selling my car and biking for years helped...(I own a car again now)
I do believe, as stated before, that without public awareness and support for the 9/11 Crime Investigation we can hardly go anywhere.
As stated by Peter Dale Scott: Deep Politics
Or by Peter Phillips: State Crimes Against Democracy
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 1/27/2011 @ 2:26 pm PT...
It is worth a try Ernest.
The only better alternative is to convince Obama to run as a republican, since that would seem to be a bit closer to the reality before our eyes.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 1/27/2011 @ 11:06 pm PT...
My poem: My Audacity to Hope addresses this corporatist presidential agenda. I am tired of it. Our country has moved so far to the right. Congrats Brad on your blog's 7th year.
Here is my poem: My Audacity to Hope
My Audacity to Hope
I cannot believe that I have been caught up in:
The audacity to hope,
For a better America.
The insanity to dream,
For our constitutional rights.
The ecstasy to think,
That America would become a peaceful superpower.
And the sadness to know,
That this was all a huge PR campaign.
Change, was a hopeful way of gift wrapping,
More of the same and worse.
More of my poetry is at epoemsaboutlife.com
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 1/28/2011 @ 11:14 pm PT...
Kucinich was actually in the lead until the media demonized him then ignored that he existed.
As far as a 3rd party, that will never happen as long as we have the way out dated Electoral College that should have been abolished over 75+ years ago.
With the EC in place a 3rd party is an impossibility and the duopoly of the Dem/Rep know this perfectly well which is why they are never going to change it because they know if they do they are toast.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
Mark S. Tucker
said on 1/29/2011 @ 1:22 am PT...
Stopped in to BB to see what was what with your scintillating essays; always love reading your stuff. As you know, I'm almost fanatically reticent to participate in forums such as this - not for their many merits but because, as evidenced, they're so lice-ridden with the same ilk of trolls and zombies one finds on Trekkie blogs. It appears the continually decaying remnants of the OpEdNews Weenie Left Brigade coupled with the e'er slavering Conspiracy Theorists Theorizing Conspiratorially Theoretical Conspicuous Theological Conspiricisms travel without restraint…or discretion.
However, unsurprisingly, everyone seems to have missed the sly way you oft round your argument. The various knee-jerks who rail against what *seems* to be an initial defense of the pathetic "Left" (Center) in America (a puling, braindead, maundering self-parody) shown in your:
"The 'Lesser Evil' paradigm can only be overcome if progressive 'leaders' recognize the need for the emergence of a truly progressive candidate for the 2012 Democratic primaries"
...(Ern, that is SO full of baggage!) and elsewhere apparently could not hold a thought in their hallucinating heads until reaching:
"Those primaries, at the very least, would provide an avenue for advancing an unapologetic progressive agenda which seeks nothing less than a revolutionary dismantling of an increasingly privatized corporate security state and the erection of an open, egalitarian democracy which places the needs of the many, and of a sustainable planet, above the ever-growing greed of the privileged few."
…a complete refutation of that preceding sentiment. The barely subordinated sub-text is about as hard to determine as the, um, *diabolically* hidden fact that, say, Rush Limbaugh is an obese, rough trade, hysterical rodent, hm? In the Philistines' defense, I will admit that that peroration arrived much too tardily, a schedule that appears to be what lathered the excitable into a froth.
The real problem is of course nothing less and nothing more than capitalism (and then its idiot-savant incestuous sister, religion), which actually died about a half century ago, creating a festering, mordant, noisome carcass that has exuded nothing but plagues and other closely related pestilential exotica. Unfortunate to the intelligent few, no one noticed, and, thus, all and sundry have been ineluctably infected, now enmeshed in the throes of a predictably inevitable schizophrenia.
This has given rise to fevered fantasies such as the wish-conviction, crafted by Boy Scouts Local 501, Hartmann Chapter, that electoral politics are meaningful, especially in an age of unrelenting electronic fraud far outstripping its own erstwhile catamite, paper ballot fraud. Emma Goldman had a few thoughts about electoral systems and the vote, as you may recall, and Mayor Daley exercised himself vigorously re: the reputedly inviolable pulp route.
Beyond all that, however, the question becomes (actually, given that electronic fraud has been endemic for decades, all other questions are mooted, but let us pretend there's indeed hope): What are the alternatives? Progressive Democrats of America? Naw, Lesser of Two Evils writ supramundane. Libertarians? Oh please. Really, the only sane alternatives are the ones banned: all the 'Isties' (socialist, Marxists, anarchists, communists, etc. - throw freethinkers in there as well…er, freethinkists???)
Ironically, your whole essay, while well rendered as always, albeit straining to secure a berth in Centristlandia, could've been scrapped and just that last pre-Update section, quoted above, retained. *That* would've been flawless!
Oh, and in view of the complete vacuity of terms like 'liberal' (originally an economic pejorative) and 'progressive' (in saner times an adjective, not a goddamned noun), a "truly progressive candidate" would be a member of neither corporate Party, Democrat (incl. its elite artificially protestant sub-phyla: PDA, etc.) or Republican (incl. its still-birthed children: Libertarians, Tea Baggers, etc.), would exist well outside any of that pettifoggery, and would be what no "Leftie" (Centrist) would recognize in any event: a *true* Leftie, a Parenti-type, a Chomsky-type, perhaps even a Vidal-type, and so on. Such personages, though, we lament, give the children nightmares.
Keep up the good work.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/29/2011 @ 8:59 am PT...
Nunyabiz @24 wrote:
Kucinich was actually in the lead until the media demonized him then ignored that he existed.
I am not aware of any poll, other than the 2007 "blind-poll" which made no mention of the candidates' names which ever placed Kucinich above John Edwards, let alone Clinton and Obama.
If you are aware of one, kindly furnish the link.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/29/2011 @ 2:58 pm PT...
Well, Mark, I supposed a truly progressive anarchist would be a member of no party at all, esp. since party membership reflects some degree of authoritarian structure.
But do you really think that Chomsky gives "the children nightmares?" I thought his role was to enlighten.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 1/29/2011 @ 7:00 pm PT...
""What sets Kucinich apart from the other “losers” is the fact that he was winning debates and polls while the corporate media was writing him off as a loser and, more importantly, marginalizing his voice and keeping his populist ideology out of the presidential contest.
Let’s go back to the early stages of the race, when ABC hosted a full debate with the top 10 Democratic contenders. An ABC news poll showed viewers choosing Kucinich as the winner by a large margin, with 34 percent believing he bested Obama (22 percent), Clinton (14 percent) and Edwards (four percent). Most polls are of questionable accuracy, but this one was conducted by the same organization that later contradicted its own findings by declaring that Kucinich didn’t have enough support to warrant inclusion in subsequent debates. Kucinich was still polling strong in November when CSPAN’s viewers chose him as the clear winner of a seven-way debate. In that poll, 41 percent of those queried chose Kucinich as the winner, compared to 18 percent for Clinton, 15 percent for Obama and five percent for Edwards."
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/29/2011 @ 7:44 pm PT...
Not to nit pick, Nunyabiz, but a poll showing that 34% felt Kucinich won the first debate is not equal to a poll showing who would receive the most votes.
During the CA recall, voters, by a wide margin, said that Green Party candidate for CA governor Peter Comejo won a four person debate by a wide margin, yet he finished a distant third to the Republican and Democratic candidates.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
Mark S. Tucker
said on 1/30/2011 @ 3:05 am PT...
Hoo boy…where to start? Well, let's see: "progressive anarchist". Not *too* redundant. No party? Anarchists *are* a party. The connoted sub-text, of course, is that anarchy would lack structure, and it's perhaps cogent but only in this respect: 'anarchy' is a foolish word and always has been. 'An' (no) + 'archy' (government) is the dictionary definition of insanity. I tumbled to that in college when reading that aggie-tyrant Bakunin (true, he had some great ideas but his Jeffersonian agrarian "paradise" would be hell on Earth for artists - I suspect, like Herzen, Mikky had more than just a bit of the aristo in him). Self-governance is where one starts and then builds from there. Most anarchists are such poor thinkers that none, you may have noticed, even tumbles to the fact that the word is pretty effin' stupid. I'm kinda stunned Noam never spoke to it. Though I have always called myself an anarchist, it was always with a smirk and to cause a ruckus. 'Freethinker' is the true Left status, even if only in nomenclature, but Americans haven't a clue, not since Ingersoll.
"Children" was a fairly obvious metaphor for progressives and liberals. I'm a little stunned you didn't get it. And, you're right, Chomsky's role is to enlighten. That's what frightens the Air America/PDA/KPFK "Left" (Center). There's a wry old saying: "A slave does not want freedom, he wants his own slave". The "Left" does not want an end to capitalism, it wants to be filthy rich. It can't think outside the capitalist box for a nanosecond. That's the entire problem: no class analysis, no end to capitalism, no Left except in pure ideology. Poll the BB audience and see who wants capitalism extirpated.
I rest my case, counselor.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 1/30/2011 @ 7:42 pm PT...
Nice article, Brad, but I do have some criticisms.
Nader shouldn't register as a Democrat. Just look at what a disaster Dennis Kucinich's campaign was. That's what happens to real progressive Democrats: They are silenced. Kucinich's campaign was lost because the media ignored him. Same with Mike Gravel.
The whole system needs to be changed. There needs to be zero bias in the election process; from the TV debates to the voting booth.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 2/1/2011 @ 6:40 pm PT...
There's a logical disconnect here. The Democrats are aiding our descent into a totalitarian oligarchy...so we need to register as Democrats? You didn't really address Hedges' and Nader's assertions - you just dismissed them and then talked around them. Registering with one of the two evils does the opposite of getting rid of that terrible, somewhat false choice!
Not to mention, Democratic primaries are not the place at all for revolutionary change. They're a place, at their most radical, for reformists to act as a safety valve against revolution. That's not to say positive change can't come from reformists, but if you think a genuinely progressive candidate can really succeed in any significant way int he 2012 primaries, just look at Dennis Kucinich's performance last time.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 2/2/2011 @ 8:06 am PT...
With all due respect, Ross @32, the "disconnect" is yours.
When you say the "Democrats are aiding our descent into a totalitarian oligarchy," you are lumping all of the working class, rank-and-file members of the Party who've been deceived with those who have done the deceiving, Obama, Clinton, DLC etc.
This article is about a means to take the reigns of the Democratic Party out of the hands of the deceivers and placing them in the hands of those who are prepared to speak truth to power, including the veritable truth suggested by Mark Tucker that our core problem is capitalism.
You are flat out wrong in suggesting that I did not address Hedges' and Naders' concerns. The truth is that, on matters of substance, the three of us are in agreement. Where we differ is on tactics. Neither Hedges nor Nader denies the existence of the "lesser-evil paradigm." What Hedges and Nader fail to recognize, however, is that their third party strategy reinforces that paradigm.
The next President of the U.S. will either be a Democrat or a Republican. Crying about a "cowardice of the Left" will not alter that unassailable fact. It also will not be altered by having Nader run as a socialist, communist, or anarchist as seems to be suggested as "the only sane alternative" by Mr. Tucker--about as sane as self-immolation.
Aside from a topic, long a core subject of this blog--a verifiable voting system where all votes lawfully cast are counted--an effective progressive electoral strategy requires a direct challenge to a corporatist Democratic President during the Democratic primaries, period!
That so many seem incapable of getting past the substantive deficit of the corporate Democratic leadership to a call for an effective progressive, electoral "strategy" is profoundly shocking.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
Mark S. Tucker
said on 2/3/2011 @ 7:16 pm PT...
Following up on your 2/2 reply to Ross@32, which interpolates my running commentary, I fail to see where you came up with the exceedingly bizarre assertion that I "[seem] to be suggesting" that Nader run as a soc/com/an candidate. Re-inspecting my two inputs, I fail do not note any usage of the word 'Nader' or any allusion to him. My argument, though I like the guy and have voted for him in the way past (and laughed uproariously at suggestions by "progressives" and "liberals" that such an act was "wasted and counterproductive" [Jesus, what on Earth passes for erudition nowadays among "prog-libs"???]), tackled everything but Nader, who, when he lately wrote the idiotic posit that only the super-rich can save us, shut the door rather abruptly on many of us who exist in the True Left (soc/som/an/etc., anything but fucking Democrats, who are actually the new conservatives, the Republicans being the walking dead). In light of that, much is explained in the perplexing recent past proposition that he and Ron Paul might tag team. Nonetheless, I'll be happy to have you point me to what I missed in myself, as I find no hint whatsoever that I proferred the least suggestion thuswise, gory but incandescent immolation notwithstanding.
My entire point was, is, and shall remain that capitalism needs to go. End of story. Will that happen? Not a chance. Watch as the sad smothering remnants of what was once a token True Left in, say, KPFK usher in en regalia, for instance, the Dem spin device of Air America's sad past now transplanted: Hartmann, Papantonio, Kennedy Jr., Seder, etc. Next listen to Harrison pronounce that meaningful insightful terms such as 'bourgeoisie" are passe, old hat. Then look to the rapidly decaying KTLK and its Dem shills: Rhodes, Malloy, Hendrie, Miller, Press, etc.
Dem, Dem, Dem, Dem, Dem, Dem, Dem ad nauseum. I'll put the inquiry to *you* instead: What is this "effective progressive electoral 'strategy' " you name but do not detail? Where can we find it? Or is it a vague something only half-imagined? And……do we really want an "effective progressive electoral 'strategy' " ushering the Dems *back in*? Good Christ, I would hope not. They're half the problem, are just as untrustworthy as the Repubs, and would eschew all promises like their golden guy, Obama, the moment after victory. Thus, with all due respect and desirous of reading this strategy you're reaching for, what you gesture towards is nothing so far, though I could be wrong and stand ready to read it.
Returning to communism et al, I think my attack on Bakunin and on semantics re: anarchy should indicate my sentiments regarding trad Left structures and their increasingly impotent posturing nabobs. Communism a la Bob Avakian? Oh ye gods! Marxism in the mode of Proyect? No thanks. Socialism via Bernie Sanders? Heh! He can't even measure up to Nader, who's basically a Libertarian socialist (OW! Shit! I think I just got a brain hernia!). As you know from Veritas Vampirus, I've suggested a number of new modes of thought re: economics as well as the idea of Veblen's Institutionalism in a completely transparent mode of bureaucracy, which is something that's unavoidable in any system that must administer to millions upon millions. What I haven't unveiled yet (I'm abandoning anarchy per se), is 'social autarchism', returning the latter part of the term back to its true roots (auto = self + archy = rule) away from the idiotic pretension that monarchialism is inferred. I bed that autarchism down in a socialist general structure so that it does not take itself too goddamned seriously.
I'm transcending Marx's dictatorship of the proletariat for something a little closer to Parse's simultaneity paradigm (as versus the Libertarian totality paradigm) leading into the grand theory of 'human becoming' and the facilitation of it rather than erecting a new static system that's decayed before it even gets off the ground. What you're reading all the current '-isms' into is not at all what I'm prescribing, though I'm not abandoning Marx's genius either. And that's the key: Marx is still very much misunderstood, this I know well from what little I've read of him, chiefly through Harington, and, wryly enough, Marx himself predicted this would happen. We've been Barnaysianly PsyOped (throw the Mohawk Valley Formula in there too) for decades to the point that we haven't a clue what we're talking about when we use the words we use, especially 'democracy'.
That's why so much of this conundrum refuses to resolve: we have no clue what the hell we're talking about.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 2/5/2011 @ 8:45 am PT...
Ernest, I'll address what you said point by point.
1. "When you say the "Democrats are aiding our descent into a totalitarian oligarchy," you are lumping all of the working class, rank-and-file members of the Party who've been deceived with those who have done the deceiving, Obama, Clinton, DLC etc."
First, of course the Democratic leadership is the most culpable here. But so, to a certain extent, are the progressive elected officials and, yes, the rank and file, who continue to support the Democrats even after NAFTA, after failing to pass the EFCA, and after so much failure.
How much of that is their fault and how much is a systematic failure into which they've been wrangled? It's hard to say, but it wouldn't be a bad thing at all to give them an alternative. Here in Philadelphia, we ran a working class union organizer with the Green Party - a practical no name before his run - for state rep and within the city he got 23% of the vote. Not a win, but it was the best any third party candidate had done in a 3 way race in PA for decades.
2. "This article is about a means to take the reigns of the Democratic Party out of the hands of the deceivers and placing them in the hands of those who are prepared to speak truth to power, including the veritable truth suggested by Mark Tucker that our core problem is capitalism."
This is a whole separate debate, but I don't think there are any anti-capitalist candidates who could challenge Obama and get any traction, except perhaps Bernie Sanders. Even Dennis Kucinich is a capitalist. The work of building a viable left in this country won't happen in a presidential primary and probably won't happen in a presidential general election, either.
If you really believe that "taking the reigns" of the Democratic Party is possible - especially in just one presidential election - you're ignoring history. Historically, the Democratic Party plays the role of co-opter of movements - like the antiwar movement in 2006 and 2008, the Populist movement in the late 1800s, arguably even the Civil Rights movement (although why that didn't extend to economic issues is more complicated than the other two examples). It is a force of the establishment first and foremost.
And you're a very smart person, along with all those other smart people (like Norman Soloman, Michael Moore, and others), so it confuses me as to why you continue to support the Democratic Party. People like you and those other personalities, Dennis Kucinich, and Russ Feingold keep progressives and radicals within the Democratic Party when otherwise they would recognize it for what it is.
3. "You are flat out wrong in suggesting that I did not address Hedges' and Naders' concerns. The truth is that, on matters of substance, the three of us are in agreement. Where we differ is on tactics. Neither Hedges nor Nader denies the existence of the "lesser-evil paradigm." What Hedges and Nader fail to recognize, however, is that their third party strategy reinforces that paradigm."
I realize that this is a tactical disagreement. And you still haven't explained, unless I missed it, how exactly third parties reinforce the "lesser evil" paradigm. I would think that having to choose between two parties (yes, two extremely capitalist parties) would be the main thing enforcing that idea.
4. "The next President of the U.S. will either be a Democrat or a Republican. Crying about a "cowardice of the Left" will not alter that unassailable fact. It also will not be altered by having Nader run as a socialist, communist, or anarchist as seems to be suggested as "the only sane alternative" by Mr. Tucker--about as sane as self-immolation."
The why focus on the presidency? There are about 6,500 state legislative seats in this country and hundreds of thousands or millions of other offices up for election in this nation, iirc. Not to mention, there is a plethora of non-electoral activism for progressives and radicals that could be more effective than running in the most top-down race in the land.
And a note on self-immolation...perhaps it's not sane, but it did spark the revolutions in the Middle East. I'm not sure if that says more about what's sane or the act of self-immolation.
5. "Aside from a topic, long a core subject of this blog--a verifiable voting system where all votes lawfully cast are counted--an effective progressive electoral strategy requires a direct challenge to a corporatist Democratic President during the Democratic primaries, period!"
See, I'm not even sure if I'm totally against this, but it cannot exist in a vacuum, like the 2006 and 2008 Democratic challenges to Republicans effectively did. By that, I mean that there needs to be a broader movement on the left in tandem - including third parties, movement activism, and even more radical stuff, although I don't think, other than perhaps a few select primary races at the very, very most, the Democratic Party can reasonably play a party in it - or it won't be effective at all.
6. "That so many seem incapable of getting past the substantive deficit of the corporate Democratic leadership to a call for an effective progressive, electoral "strategy" is profoundly shocking."
I'm not sure what you mean by this. I am calling for exactly that - only I disagree about what that strategy is. And I think much more than electoral politics is needed.
Just a final note, I supported Mike Gravel (and Dennis Kucinich a bit) in 2008. The point that they were ignored, which has been brought up a few times I think, is completely right. And any progressive/socialist/whatever challenge to Obama would not be immune from that, just as so many forms of dissent have been increasingly silenced in America.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 2/6/2011 @ 8:29 am PT...
Re Mark Tucker @34:
Mark, I stand corrected.
Since my piece was principally a response to the Nader/Hedges complaint about "cowardice" on the Left as an explanation for the quadrennial dismal showing by third parties in presidential elections, I had assumed, erroneously, that when you wrote "the only sane alternatives are the ones banned: all the 'Isties' (socialist, Marxists, anarchists, communists, etc.") that you were ascribing that thought to the topic at hand--the tactical advantage for those who ascribe to the "banned" alternatives to register and run as Democrats as part of an effective electoral strategy.
As you know, Mark, I've enjoyed your on-line commentary/newsletter, Veritas Vampirus, precisely because it reflects the brilliance of a true "free thinker," from one who is self-described "Left of the Left."
As an intellectual exercise, Veritas Vampirus has skewered the inept thought processes of those who advertise themselves as Left, but Veritas Vampirus, for that very reason, is simply incapable of the form of diplomatic consensus building required for an effective electoral strategy in the face of a political reality that exists in these 21st Century United States of America --- a reality reflected Ross' unwillingness to acknowledge that our core problem is capitalism.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 2/6/2011 @ 8:58 am PT...
Re Ross #35
I truly appreciate the time and effort that went into your point-by-point response.
Unfortunately, while you profess to understand that my article was strictly a matter of tactics, the substance of your response reflects that you do not.
You complain that my article focused exclusively on Presidential elections; noted that there are thousands of state and local elections and non-electoral progressive strategies.
Respectfully, had you read my piece more carefully, you would know that it was a response to a Chris Hedges piece that concerned only Presidential elections.
Hedges suggested that a vote for Nader or McKinney in the last election was an exercise in courage. It was that, but it was also an exercise in futility.
My piece did not denigrate or even minimize the need for non-electoral, progressive strategies, including those we see today on the streets of Egypt. It did not address state and local elections, but since you've added them, perhaps you can provide me with the percentage of state and local elections that the Greens won in 2010.
You seem to assume that, by registering as a Democrat, Ralph Nader will become something he is not. Nothing could be further from the truth.
While I consider myself principally what Mark Tucker describes as a "free thinker," if I had to adopt a label that most closely resembles my political thought process, it would be socialism--though there are aspects of anarchism, with its rejection of authoritarian societal structures and relationships that I find intellectually appealing.
I am also a registered Democrat.
I believe you have erred in your assessment on where Kucinich and the millions of working-class citizens really stand on the capitalist vs. socialist divide. I say that, in part, because I find socialist ideals embodied not only in the question of who owns the means of production but in the basic concepts of the commons and res publica. Indeed, you will find an element of socialism even within the body of the U.S. Constitution whose preamble recognizes that the core purpose of government is to promote the general welfare.
Kucinich's support for a single-payer healthcare system, as well as support for Social Security, embodies socialist ideals.
And poll after poll reveals that the vast majority of Americans support those positions as well.
What lies at the core of my piece is a 1969 statement made by my freshman history professor that was so profound, it has stuck with me all these years. He said:
"If the American Right can be criticized for its insensitivity to the plight of the common man, the American Left can always be criticized for its inability to count."
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
Mark S. Tucker
said on 2/9/2011 @ 2:10 pm PT...
As Shakespeare would put it: What archery! As ever, you hit a crucial point in this effort we all labor under, Ernie. I've had this conversation with Brad and others, and, to a man and woman, their sentiment is as yours: Veritas Vampirus and similar efforts are only just so effective. And that's absolutely true, we at best stand in the shadow of the large far more vanilla blogs, too many of them run by absolute morons (OpEdNews), possessed of perplexing split personalities (AlterNet), erected as paycheck factories for nominally "Leftie" businessmen and scribes (BuzzFlash, TruthOut, etc.), or any of a catalogue of illnesses.
None, however, of the big venues - and I mean NONE - and only a few of the small ventures conduct the full-spectrum analysis required for a hope of any real shade of truth emerging anywhere, just partisan propaganda for the holy mission of whomever is in the light. It's amusing to us on the sidelines. Dems imagine themselves bathing in the radiance of God, but they're not a whit different from Republicans, who are equally convicted in their very similar holy biased positions. There's good reason for this: the Dems are the new conservatives, they just don't realize it. The Repubs are zombies, dead and dangerous because of it. Both sides splinter (Libertarians and Tea Baggers from Repubs, ProgDems from Dems), thinking they're shiny new births, but the sideliners chuckle. All we see is Mama reflected in not-so-cherubic faces.
None of the offshoots are capable of self-analysis, of themselves or their progenitors, frightened the moment such is dared and reality seen. That's because all and sundry are looking at one thing only: power and riches. That's the obscene verity none dare expose and the analysis that must not be conducted. There's only one party in America, the business party, the distinctions of Republican and Democrat are meaningless (something Brad's been *kinda* getting at lately but not in that fashion), and that's what some of us are so goddamned tired of. Conduct even a momentary shred of class analysis and the entire charade falls apart. Especially tiring is the yowling that, yes!, this is so!, but, gosh!, we need SOMETHING IN THE MEANTIME till we get to Nirvana!!! Funny, though, how that something is always just more of the same, just an endurance contest to see whether those with wealth will, through blather and dumbshows, again be able to out-wait the subordinates who make them that wealth or whether the demagogued masses will have finally had it. The ace card is the smoking ruins aftermath no one wants but which the Dems and Repubs, both unutterably wealthy, will be more than happy to provide if ever truly threatened.
Democrats want their depredations acted out more slowly, Republicans more quickly. That's the only difference. Both, however, turn into madmen the moment the game's revealed. Proof? Look at Congress. You either go into it wealthy to protect your business interests, creating or skewing law to that end, or you become wealthy off the ultimate of all insider trading scams, Washington DC. That's all Congress is, nothing more, with a few oddball exceptions proving the rule quite clearly: the Dennis Kuciniches, the Alan Graysons, the Bernie Sanders'es. And with them, it's just a matter of time. Look at Kucinich who held out for a true healthcare plan until put to the test by Obama and a secret visit, then folded like a deck of cards, a matter of experiential testing rather than the custom of blathering from a rostrum.
To wrap up my part in this exchange, then, I'd like to discuss the, um, size problem and one or two other matters a moment more, as I think the point of such efforts as Veritas Vampirus are misunderstood outside its readership and yet are part and parcel of the common cause at the peripheries of the Dem/Repub mime show - and I know a few conservatives who sometimes astound me, making Dems look the weenie Right Centrists they are. More, it's in line with your, Nader's, and other notables' work even though we fuss, argue, and grow (oh Christ, now I'm sounding like Randi Rhodes!).
I and my publication aren't attempting to be all things to all people. I wouldn't want to even if I could, too damn Boy Scouty. I know you understand that well. Rather, I'm one of those oddballs who tries to help the capable become more capable through his own work, an arrogant avocation from the git-go, absolutely, but there it is. Anarchistically, it's an ideal state, but, socialistically, it's far from as pan-persuasive as I'd prefer, a Catch-22.
However, what effected my radicalization after being ousted from OpEdNews.com by that idiot decoy conservative Rob Kall, a golem correctly terrified I was a true Leftie, was the data sent me by an artist/aesthete/Marxist who's a part of the NYC Truthers. She'd been a reader of my columns at OEN (which started as arts critiques before getting political at Kall's request) for some time and followed to V.V. when I began it years ago, she and a quite decent readership I'd established at the OpEdShitehole. One day, I experienced, precisely through the agency of her extremely well chosen article-sends, what is in Zen called a 'kensho', an awakening, and not a paltry one. It shook my world for quite some time but was fully-formed the moment it happened, though I'm still articulating the event and its consequences to myself even now. From that, I rapidly progressed from what was a fairly kindred position *somewhat* in league with the AirAmerica "Left" to a solid true Leftist mindset, something I'd been grappling with for decades but couldn't intellectually finalize until that moment. Some who have read my work since the OEN days still don't understand the whyfore in that transmogrification, but that's as may be; one takes responsibility for the truths one knows, and that's what I did.
That responsibility started in the form of a growing discontent with AirAm-isms and became an analysis of the "Left" (Center) embodied by Hartmann, Rhodes, Malloy, etc., an examination precisely in the style they themselves undertake to expose the Right. Ah, but on the "Left", what's good for the goose is poison to the gander, so, where once these, er, icons raved ecstatically about my essays, now I became, in their fevered view, at one with the fascists they purport to fight (but couldn't find with a map, themselves more than content to be capitalists and members of the bourgeoisie). In other words: true Leftism terrified them, who are all admitted Centrists. That, btw, was not at all unexpected and is the price of truthtelling: one falls out with liars, unwelcome in the nine tele-villages, no longer a club-member, which I never wanted subscribership in anyway. This, I'm afraid, is the natural evolution of the intellect and essential to whatever freedoms one seeks. The herd is all well and good but hopefully not satisfactory, not as it stands anyway; it certainly isn't desirous of the isolation eventuating from transcendence, no more than it's avid to be the target of the anti-intellectualism so redolent in the "Left", so spasmatic in the Right.
One goes with one's strengths and ideals. What you, Brad, Hedges, Floyd, Silber, and a number of classical thinkers posit and create is more of a piece, I contend, but the means whereby ends are achieved are many and addressed where one's strengths lie, how ideals speak. As a form of contrarian elitist, I want the entire world politically undifferentiated and everyone most resident in the highest expressions of themselves that they can be. That's not a herd task, not at first, it's a who-the-fuck-can-even-understand-this??? job reliant upon helping inter-groom a klatsch of headily oriented individuals to grasp something akin to the Buddhist Vow to awaken all sentient beings, then do their part en masse but not necessarily united (
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 2/9/2011 @ 6:27 pm PT...
Mark S. Tucker @38 wrote:
None of the offshoots are capable of self-analysis...
While there's a great deal that emerged from Mao, especially during the Cultural Revolution, that I've rejected, one of the core concepts he came up with was the idea of "criticism, self-criticism."
If we are not capable of critiquing our own thought processes, we are also not capable of intellectual honesty.