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More Deep Thinking

By Al Schumann on Friday December 31, 2010 11:48 PM

The hard truth is that until the Left gets onto the field in a much more serious way and starts engaging the Right in its “war of ideas” -- including making major investments in media, think tanks and other means of getting information to the public -- politicians will continue to disappoint and embitter the Left. So will mainstream journalists. -- Robert Parry.

Lady Poverty

That's a recurring trope with pwogs. The big problem, needless to say, isn't a lack of idea-propagation infrastructure. They have an embarrassment of riches. What they're lacking is ideas. The only one they have is: vote for Democrats. That's it. They flap their gums a lot in between voting for Democrats, but none of it is meaningful.

Comments (6)

Parry can't see his blinders. His argument is: until "the Left" gets institutional it won't be able to be institutional. Which makes zero sense, when you understand that an "institutional" left ceases to be radical, or leftist, in any common understanding of the term.

He's asking radicals to co-opt themselves, in order to continue being effective radicals. I'd call it sneaky, slimy and evasive - but he really means it and he can't see the gaping hole in his logic.

Then again, neither can Fabians or 4thInt party Trots, so, whatever...

What they're missing is quotation marks. "The left."


That's it. Nothing more.

Al Schumann:


I think Parry's epistemic collapse may be even worse than tautological tail-chasing. There's an entire herd of Democrats that genuinely believes they labor under a think tank gap, a shortage of organization, grass roots and astroturf, a lack of patronage structure and a lack of funding. Empirically, there's nothing to that whatsoever. They have more enough than to compete and they exist in greater numbers than the comparable Republican bloc.

But when push comes to shove, they invariably find that their immediate interests line up tidily with that Republican bloc. They'll carp about the outcome and their share of the trickle down, but they'll never, ever do more than fume about new marketing strategies.

They buy into the actually existing system completely, they accept its terms reflexively and beautiful losing is their livelihood. They can't begin to conceive of doing anything else.

I agree that the left has plenty of ideas, there are books and blogs and DVD's and articles full of ideas. People who identify with the left have clear ideas about what's wrong with the country and relatively clear ideas about what needs to be done to correct those ills. What they don't have is any practical method for putting those ideas into practice.

The answer is not better marketing. No amount of marketing or Lakoffian reframing can overcome the fact that there is no political vehicle available to the left other than the Democratic Party and that party is run by people diametrically opposed to the left agenda. Even if the party were to be taken over by leftists, they would have to run for office at a huge financial disadvantage. Were they to win, they would be stymied by the Constitution itself and its design to protect the interests of the propertied against the emotions of the masses.

I don't believe that electoral politics holds any possibility for the left, and revolution is a fantasy even the most dedicated Marxists have given up. Even massive non-violent resistance is damn unlikely and if it happened, it's hard to know the outcome. Suggestions?


Someone, maybe here, cited someone like Parry, recently, saying the Democrats know perfectly well how to phrase policies that would appeal to a large number of citizens, and even set the country on some kind of reconstructive path; they just don't want to face the cold stares and non-returned phone-calls they would get from their friends the bankers.

Senecal beat me to it.

I had an exchange with some liberal shouter dude on another blog. I commented that what Jon Stewart and his ilk refuse to say --in accordance with what network/cable advertisers and Big Media have instructed them not to say-- is as important in the long run as the actual content of their shtick. There was no reason for me to worship and adore these people so long as they calculatedly give out only half the truth on any given issue.

Liberal Shouter Dude said didn't I care how smart they are.

I said no. They're smart enough to know the whole truth, but they also know how to placate their advertisers. What good are their smarts to me, then.

Liberal Shouter Dude shouted that I didn't understand how important it is that smart people "suck the dicks" of advertisers because otherwise they wouldn't be able to get on TV and share their Oh So Important Half-Truth with peasants like us.

(Well, that explains how that crucial other half of the truth got metaphorically muffled, I guess. Still, ewwwwww. Not a metaphor I want to deal with while I'm still trying to digest lunch, Thank You.)

At that point, I disengaged. I hate shouters anyway. I particularly hate shouters who can't type ten words without revealing that they spend way too much time watching internet p*rn.

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