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Strain builds on the fault line

By Owen Paine on Thursday May 11, 2006 09:16 PM

The split ticket stuff has me posing this question -- are we about to see a spontaneous spliting of the Orthrian two headed brute?

Instead of much ado about nothing -- which has indeed been our three squares since '66 at least -- is this the massive buildup of subterranean class forces that leads to a great divide a la the 1890's? And no, we didn't get a permanent new major party like we did in the 1850's, but we got the serious morphing of one major from just a second cola party to a plausible enough uncola party.

Any Kos type, at this point, would note with consternation that this uncola party was an even lesser half electorally than it was as the cola alternative -- and stayed so for nearly all of the next 36 years.

But our hypothetical Kosnik would have missed the point, as usual. A real difference had been created, and survived -- a difference that no opportunism of the DLC kind could entirely remove. Once that fault line started expressing itself in the early 90s (I mean the 1890s of course, not the awful more recent 90s), it didn't settle down till it reached hegemony through the New Deal.

Mark me down as an optimist on this one. I'd lay even odds on another such massive social-political upheaval, well before Bush II applies for Medicare.

Comments (9)


buy the way gang
i know you all get the mechanism by now

as the space aliens say
in 'earth vs the flying saucers'

a series opf catacysmic convulsions

of the economic kind

category 8 episodes

1873 1894 1929

a cat 8's
been a long time coming
maybe we'll have to settle for a cat 6 or 7
the 1970's early 80's
was like series of induced cat 6 jobs
bingo reagan rev
possible miss read signs are part of cat 6

but even if its a global cat 6 and
let the orthrians and their corporate buddies reframe as they way
this time i say
the skunk won't take
and the middlin jobbular folks will call the shot
the way they oughta ....

As Tom Stoppard once wrote: "Generally speaking, things have gone about as far as they can possibly go, when things have gotten about as bad as they can reasonably get."

I don't think things have gotten nearly as bad as they can reasonably get.

The 1890s brought us the Populist Party, which for a time challenged the hegemony of the two-party system, but ultimately got absorbed back into the Democrats, which I think serves as an unfortunate object lesson in the difficulty of breaking the power of the Democrats to seduce liberals and activists. Some leftists call the Democrats "the graveyard of progressive and social movements", and the case of the Populist Party illustrates how that happened. We saw similar things going on with the various incarnations of the Progressives in the first decades of the 20th century.

I would rather see vibrant and living 3rd party movements arise and sustain themselves, rather than reform the Democrats.

J. Alva Scruggs:

In looking for disasters that can change the course, and people getting ahead of the curve on them, I follow the reinsurance news. When they start raising rates dramatically, people with fixed assets get nervous. The smarter capitalists start to come out in favor of Bismarckian social welfare programs that let them lay off some of the risk. Cretin capitalists fight it tooth and nail.

The current pivot point is global warming. It's possible that our agitation, if it gets big enough, might force the Democrats into benevolent pork for those who need it most.

I'm not sure what happened to a comment that I thought I posted here, so I'll repost it. In the 1890s, we saw the emergence of the Populist Party as a powerful alternative to the two-party system, and the Populists even won electoral votes. But ultimately, the Populists faded into history as its voters folded into the Democratic Party.

This is a phenomenon that has been repeated a lot over history--it is why many on the left call the Democrats the "graveyard of progressive social movements". It seduces those on the left into joining the party, and then the power of the movement gets diluted by the more powerful interests who control the Democratic Party.

We saw similar things going on with the Progressives in the early 20th century.

For that reason, I don't want to see the Democrats reformed. I don't want to see a replay of the 1890s. I want to see a powerful third party movement that will emerge and challenge the duopoly, rather than hoping to reform the Democrats.


Haikuist -- Sorry about the missing comment. This has happened before once or twice, as far as I know -- I approve a comment and then it vanishes into the aether.

j s paine:

" I want to see a powerful third party movement that will emerge and challenge the duopoly, rather than hoping to reform the Democrats "

well call me your inside
for i wish to make a path for this or any other third party to land and grow
among the philistines
hence my pledge point :

any donk who won't encourage a third party candidate or an independent candidate or is caught trying to put a butter slide under any third party trying to obtain ballot access
will never get my vote or any one elses vote i can influence
lets have n parties
the more the better

J. Alva Scruggs:

At this point in time, and for the foreseeable future, I'm no-donk no-how. The changes the party would have to undertake to alter that are unlikely to ever catch on. I'm keeping the faith with Stop Me partly for that reason, and also because it encourages recognition of something more important, which the thugs of our political culture actively work to negate: institutions exist to serve people.

I just know that I'm gonna' scream the next time some Demo sneers that 3rd Parties need to "prove themselves first." Yeah, it's really great to hear that shit from somebody who cheers her own masters on while they fix yet one more lock on the duopolistic cage and throw away the key, all the while exhorting those trapped within to "prove themselves."

Wankers, the lot of them. May they get the drubbing this Fall that they so richly deserve.

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