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Diehard liberals, and the progs who love them

By Owen Paine on Friday January 5, 2007 04:22 PM

From an earlier post here:
... these [conservative] ideologues are quite prepared to see their party lose if they think it would be better for their cause in the long run. When was the last time you encountered a "progressive" Democrat who could do as much? Imagine the Tartarean howls of execration that would greet, say, a Kosnik who advanced a similar argument.
So where is the mirror image of this conservative wisdom on the left? Where are the progs able to put long-run principle over short-fuse power -- or rather, not power, but "access"? why are most American progressives, like their liberal counterparts, so ready to take crumbs in hand today over loaves tomorrow?

Unlike the conservatives, who have a vision -- that dwarf state drowing in Norquist's tub -- are these progs by implication saying "we angle for crumbs cause that's all there is to get out of this system"?

Loaves and fishes for the little guys are just a mirage, a cruel hoax that the mainline Dem hacks morph into a perpetually unfullfilled hope, so they can get elected. For progs, the Dem party is the party of perpetual solace -- the party ready to represent America's gaggle of balled-up and cast-aside minorities, the party of the placebo effect and the occasional stitch in time.

Yes, the Dem party mission is simple: "fashion the best possible, most credible little-guy hope-inducing mirage."

Or is this too melodramatic a view of the proceedings? Not all core Dems are hacks; there are liberals too, and I suspect that like all top salesman and preachers, many of 'em get seduced by their own bunkum, get carried along by it too, carried along toward the next bad awakening, the next state of denial.

But there is a difference here between liberals, glib or globy, and base-following progs. As my old pal Max S suggests, progressives -- real progressives, at least, unlike liberals -- understand we have a struggle betwixt economic classes underway here, at all times and in all places, and this class struggle has a cruel 24/7 cutting-edge social reality. Your class either advances or retreats; there is no stasis, no time to consolidate turf won in prior struggles. And if your class happens to be the job class, then the market system spontaneously attacks your gains all over the place. For profit-seekers of all ages, its like the Cole Porter lyric: "night and day you are the onnnnnnne..." It's touted with deft sublimity as "creative destruction" -- i.e. the corporate gain max system has a hard-wired internal program: profit share max and wage share min. So you gotta fight like hell, or fall back and back and back -- which, by the way, we all know; the consensus of pundits agree that job holders have been doing worse, class-wise at least, for over 30 years now.

So the jobsters are but the milch cows of private profit, and our government and our loyal opposition public repute party constitute, even at full throttle, but a very mildly recalcitrant pair of instruments in the hands of these board room trolls (just ask Ralph Nader). And the liberals are simply out there trying to do good, trying to help the little stiff with a lily-white hand, either for virtue's own sake, or to save the system from the excesses of the corporate torture barons.

It can't be stated often enough: liberals, even the best of 'em, are by conviction prepared -- albeit with large salty tears running down their cheeks -- to watch the small ones swallow shit. If liberals a la Gore lose, whether by hook or crook, to the barons, then they say with a wince "Sorry, next time, when we're in charge, we promise it will be prosperity in every garage."

But real progs see a different social scape. They know that the state, our state, cannot change hands from one class to another -- in fact it can only get passed around among the class brethren like the one eye got passed among the three hags in the tale of Perseus. Knowing this, real progs they can think on the longer term and await the ripeness of time. Real progs know damn well it takes a movement, a fierce, not-to-be-deterred movement, able to at least threaten a far bigger crisis, that forces the class splits up to the surface, where the many can see clearly and distinctly the sifted few who got the rest of us into this hellfire.

(And if that's so -- if, as some of us progs believe, the system only responds to deep class crisis -- then explain the CIO in the late 30's and the black liberation movement in the early 60's. In the former case, the crisis had passed, and in the latter, the country was experiencing unparalleled prosperity. The theory may need a little more work.)

In any case, progressive America needs to get up from its chair, turn its back on the spavined donkery, and plunge into the moving stream out there beyond the cubicle. Social and class conflicts are past simple intensity and stress now -- a desperate fury is rising, and if we progressives do not mobilize and self-organize now, the huge surge of the people in motion may come upon us unprepared, and without even a tarry, pass us by -- leaving an opportunity missed and the prospect of an even more terrible reckoning.

Comments (4)

js paine:

i didn't write that
j alva scruggs done it
i swpied it out of prose envy
my mania knows no bounds
my oj simpson moment approaches
step by step neare nearer
i caught it this morning
me from my car window
--its a mitsubishi gallant after all
and in the right light it turns purple ---

tell j alva not to fear me
i will devour another other
he i just nibbled
it was a trial
a pilot bite
a taste test

and folks let me tell you
after years of torturing trhe language
the taste of my betters words


J. Alva Scruggs:

Me? I'd sure like that to be true. I've got a head full of cotton wool, JSP, and that's well beyond what I could write. If that's mania, we could use more of it.

js paine:

perhpas so j alva
but then perhaps u fibble here
out of guile
out of pre arranged contrivance

i'm calling bobw
to arbitrate

alan S bring your 16 mm bell and howell
i have audio equipment enough for this simple meeting of minds

we will get to the bottom of this draft
planted in my hotmail files

don't think i'm fooled
i know
its a plot to undermine
my reputation
visit the tomb
of chief justice emeritus
winny rhenquist
back in the early reagan years
he was on the same
body mending
and mind reading medication
i'm on now

its lantos and frank
they're trying
to turn my public image into that
a plundering phrase oaf


I agree on all points, JSP. Good post.

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