Is the West Experiencing a Left-Wing Drift? (the international left politics activism, news, and strategy thread)

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hottt off the DSA's local wins a couple of days ago, here's a place to discuss current left movements and orgs, ponder strategy and all that fun stuff. not gonna police/define what "left" means too rigidly except to say there's already a democratic party thread

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 14:44 (two months ago) Permalink

I guess the only hard-and-fast rule is no comedy podcasts allowed

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 14:49 (two months ago) Permalink

anyway some fun things to talk about might be

- the DSA's electoral strategy plank and where it stands (or should stand) in relation to other strategies, also the challenges presented by growing 4-fold in the space of a year
- Corbyn's Labour and its prospects for forming government and/or its ability to potentially productively disrupt the Brexiting "process" (such as it is)
- wtf is happening with the Canadian left
- wtf is happening in other places

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 14:57 (two months ago) Permalink

oh and
- talk about what orgs yr involved with, if any!

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 14:58 (two months ago) Permalink

Olympia WA just elected a fierce and principled homeless advocate, running for office for the first time, to the city council. She beat the incumbent, a real estate developer. This is fantastic news for a small city with an escalating housing crisis.

sciatica, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:03 (two months ago) Permalink

That is v cool! I was just reading about that.

On the more theoretical end, here's a centrist tackling the Corey Robin book on the history of conservative pols/thinkers

http://theweek.com/articles/735841/lefts-myopic-obsession-fairness

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:05 (two months ago) Permalink

in the panel kingfish posted in the chapo thread Chibber argues that fascism only succeeds when there isn't a viable leftist alternative and that the right-wing drift in the West was a temporary phenomenon that is now receding as options like corbyn/sanders become more viable. i'm not so sure how that comports w/ his theory of ww2 (where he argues precisely the opposite - that the strength of the left is what led capital to throw its lot in with fascism) - these two ideas seem to be in tension. maybe he's just pushing for a middle ground - a left powerful enough to be a viable alternative to fascism for the downtrodden, and he's not too worried about labor challenging capital anytime soon since we're a long way off from another dictatorship of the proletariat.

Mordy, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:07 (two months ago) Permalink

On the front of "capital throwing its weight around" in the face of a strengthened left, I was heartened to see talk of Labour preparing to counteract capital flight should they ever take power

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:09 (two months ago) Permalink

- wtf is happening with the Canadian left

Would appreciate any kind of discussion on this, even pointers to good news/commentary sources.

jmm, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:15 (two months ago) Permalink

idk how accurate this is but I don't think this is so much a left-wing "drift" as much as it is 18-35 year olds in this country realizing what happens when they don't vote

frogbs, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:19 (two months ago) Permalink

slash realizing they have no viable economic future under the current order

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:19 (two months ago) Permalink

this moral foundations stuff that is deployed like a trump card in that damon linker article (& elsewhere) could do with some more discussion

ogmor, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:38 (two months ago) Permalink

CR definitely took notice of the review and will probably provide a rebuttal of some kind, I feel a bit out of my depth as I haven't read The Reactionary Mind

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:41 (two months ago) Permalink

hate reading a whole book so i can pull it apart is where i draw the line

ogmor, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:46 (two months ago) Permalink

wrt haidt i mean

ogmor, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:46 (two months ago) Permalink

there's a pun in there somewhere

imago, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:48 (two months ago) Permalink

re: the Cdn left, my current summary would be "we're all watching to see what Jagmeet inevitably waffles on" and that our general terminal smugness is our biggest impediment. I haven't even noticed the Trudeau Paradise Papers stuff get much traction.

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:49 (two months ago) Permalink

fwiw that article above is essentially my complaint about CR's book. it smooths out an awful lot of [to my mind] legitimate concerns of conservatism in order to make a moral argument. and esp a moral argument that is easily made in practically any situation - there is no ideology where you cannot find losers of the ideology being oppressed. iow there's no exclusively liberatory ideology cf the great Leftist States of the 20th century.

Mordy, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:57 (two months ago) Permalink

i just realized tho why are we talking about conservatism itt?

Mordy, Thursday, 9 November 2017 16:01 (two months ago) Permalink

but the degree of inequality does vary. the fact that something can't be completely eliminated is no argument against reducing it

ogmor, Thursday, 9 November 2017 16:49 (two months ago) Permalink

what i meant is that one could v easily make the argument that the left is about oppression and inequality and you can see bc every time there's a communist state they end up killing millions of ppl through the rigid enforcement of dogma. the question is always who is oppressing whom. now rightly you could argue that soviet + chinese communism should not be how we measure the motivations underlining leftism but then you can do the same for conservatism. my point is just that if you're looking to defame your political opponents on oppression grounds you'll have plenty of fodder no matter your ideology.

Mordy, Thursday, 9 November 2017 16:52 (two months ago) Permalink

ha, i think real world examples are salient, but for what they tell you about power rather than what they tell you about ideology

ogmor, Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:05 (two months ago) Permalink

I haven't even noticed the Trudeau Paradise Papers stuff get much traction.

Do you mean the stuff about Bronfman's offshore accounts? Was JT or the LPC directly implicated?

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:20 (two months ago) Permalink

I imagine Canada will probably remain a country of milquetoast centrist liberalism for a while. We never drifted as far right as some of our allies and will probably not experience as intense of a left-wing backlash?

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:24 (two months ago) Permalink

That said, there have been some legitimately good ideas coming from the NDP, especially Ashton (and the Greens). I'm eager to see more advocacy for things like a green energy transition Crown corporation, socialized finance options, socialized pharma care coverage, someone actually standing against more pipelines. In a minority govt situation, this Liberal govt might be more push-able than the last one.

An NDP provincial government may well be likely in SK, I think?

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:30 (two months ago) Permalink

challops: soviet + chinese communism is actually right-wing

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:32 (two months ago) Permalink

That said, there have been some legitimately good ideas coming from the NDP, especially Ashton (and the Greens).

I (along with all the Marxist goons I roll w/) voted for Ashton even though she was disappointing on QC, hoping she remains a prominent voice for the party going forward. I really got the feeling she pushed the overall tenor of the leadership race significantly left.

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:54 (two months ago) Permalink

Everything is an angry centrist overreaction to the last shit

Gary Synaesthesia (darraghmac), Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:58 (two months ago) Permalink

Maybe this belongs more on the CDN politics thread, but curious to hear what other leftists/Canadians on this thread think.

I voted for Ashton and am definitely far to the left of Jagmeet, but from a tactical POV, do you think he may be - in an instrumental way - better for the medium to longer term prospects of the party insofar as he will likely be able to win over some of the more left(ish) or progressive people who voted for Trudeau in 2015 (and either moved more to the left since or have been disillusioned by the betrayal of campaign promises, etc.).

I know this way of thinking can lead to a slippery slope, but I wonder if his leadership of the party might help - to some degree - galvanize (or at least sustain some forward momentum for) the NDP in a way that an Ashton, Angus or Caron victory may have?

Federico Boswarlos, Thursday, 9 November 2017 20:53 (two months ago) Permalink

I voted for Ashton but I don't think her platform would have been electorally successful, if I'm honest. But I am of the pessimistic view that liberal centrism is the best we can expect from a federal government in Canada and so the federal NDP can best function as a sort of parliamentary pressure group.

-_- (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:07 (two months ago) Permalink

Two huge problems for left politics in Canada: the national dependence on oil leads to a situation in which a large proportion of the public view the oil patch as a sacred cow which precludes widespread popularity for environmentalism which must be a pillar for any left-wing movement; another important part of any left movement in canada must be indigenous rights, decolonization, reconciliation. these ideas are given plenty of lip service in mainstream canadian discourse but anything that actually threatens entrenched interests or even, you know, calls a spade a spade - wrt the opprobrium that comes from many corners the second someone uses the words "settler colonialism" or "genocide" etc. - is anathema to a large proportion of the canadian population.

-_- (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:13 (two months ago) Permalink

I voted for Ashton and am definitely far to the left of Jagmeet, but from a tactical POV, do you think he may be - in an instrumental way - better for the medium to longer term prospects of the party insofar as he will likely be able to win over some of the more left(ish) or progressive people who voted for Trudeau in 2015 (and either moved more to the left since or have been disillusioned by the betrayal of campaign promises, etc.).

my concern is that his platform may not wind up distinct enough from the Libs for a significant number of voters to even consider jumping ship

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:14 (two months ago) Permalink

and JiV otm, Canada is much more backwards than the US on these issues in some respects

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:14 (two months ago) Permalink

On oil, possibly. I don't agree that the US is more progressive on aboriginal issues. Afaict, these barely even register as an issue on the national level in the US.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:19 (two months ago) Permalink

Simon, that's totally a fair point, though I also wonder if Singh will be able to bring some amount of first-time voters to the NDP (I doubt it will be massive, but stil...) or people who had formerly been unaffiliated with any party. He may also be appealing to culturally conservative immigrant groups who vote PC (to generalize) and win over more votes.

Jim, yes, both are also two massive problems that any progressive force will have to reckon with and, in the near future, am not sure how they will be able to reconcile.

Federico Boswarlos, Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:31 (two months ago) Permalink

Young/new voters are definitely where I'd be focusing on trying to mobilize if I were an NDP strategist, yeah.

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:34 (two months ago) Permalink

I know Habermas has been progressively lurching to the centre over the course of his life, but even I'm quite surprised he wrote this glowing article on Macron.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/juergen-habermas-on-the-european-vision-of-emmanuel-macron-a-1174721.html

Federico Boswarlos, Friday, 10 November 2017 19:19 (two months ago) Permalink

Fun with (American) history:

https://soundcloud.com/deadpundits/ep-34-the-democratic-party-the-left-w-adam-hilton

Dead Pundits Society - Ep. 34: The Democratic Party & the Left w/ Adam Hilton

Adam Hilton, visiting lecturer in Politics at Mount Holyoke College, is on the show to talk about the history of the Democratic Party and its interaction with the left. Can the Democratic Party be used as an instrument of socialist advance? And what is the nature of the Democratic Party, anyway? Tune in to find out.

Find some of Adam's writings here:
-"Bernie and the Search for New Politics," https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/06/bernie-president-unions-mcgovern
-"Searching for New Politics," https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/bernie-sanders-new-politics-democratic-party-realignment-primary

Google Murray Blockchain (kingfish), Friday, 10 November 2017 19:20 (two months ago) Permalink

I know Habermas has been progressively lurching to the centre over the course of his life, but even I'm quite surprised he wrote this glowing article on Macron.

He seems to be using Macron as a stick to beat the German political establishment with. They need beating, but get a better stick.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 10 November 2017 19:28 (two months ago) Permalink

thanks for that kingfish, SPD is a reliably good cast even if I find the main guy mysteriously grating

Simon H., Friday, 10 November 2017 20:11 (two months ago) Permalink

Proctor likes to stir shit for better or for worse but I enjoy his guests most of the time

Google Murray Blockchain (kingfish), Friday, 10 November 2017 22:42 (two months ago) Permalink

One of the socialist candidates I can vote for in municipal elections later this month is named Charisma Fries. I might vote for her just for that reason. I will probably just vote for the party, though.

Frederik B, Friday, 10 November 2017 22:59 (two months ago) Permalink

Sounds like the name of one of the bands on scott's Leftover College Radio Station Indie Rock Records thread

Terry Micawber (Tom D.), Friday, 10 November 2017 23:16 (two months ago) Permalink

Latin America seen as part of the West? I think that's where the latest drift began. Different forms of a populist left to varying degrees in Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil and so on. Its under tension - and in Brazil its collapsed to quite a dangerous situation for the environment..

xyzzzz__, Friday, 10 November 2017 23:32 (two months ago) Permalink

On the front of "capital throwing its weight around" in the face of a strengthened left, I was heartened to see talk of Labour preparing to counteract capital flight should they ever take power

― Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Due to Brexit capital flight could happen anyway. Business is practically telling Labour they could put up with a erm diminished influence and profits as long as Brexit is the softer option (access to the single market). That's an opening, of sorts, to bring more things to the forefront and keep those ppl on their toes.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 10 November 2017 23:36 (two months ago) Permalink

skip to about 13:30 in the latest Trillbilly Workers' Party for a very good RL Stephens segment on DSA/American left stuff, particularly the old race/class question

https://soundcloud.com/user-972848621-463073718/episode-35-who-are-we-w-special-guest-rl-stephens

Simon H., Saturday, 11 November 2017 03:24 (two months ago) Permalink

or 18:30ish if you're feeling impatient

Simon H., Saturday, 11 November 2017 03:29 (two months ago) Permalink

this is all pretty dope imho

Good thread of what DSA has been up to this week. https://t.co/0mv1eo63k0

— Sturgeon's Law (@Sturgeons_Law) November 13, 2017

Simon H., Monday, 13 November 2017 04:53 (two months ago) Permalink

m-f feels (felt?) pretty punk rock. stripped down to the barest nub of honesty and humor and conversation and swearing. short eps. an ineffable sense of what the kids today call "moving the culture forward". it's not political in the way this thread is looking for in general though

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/m-f/id1241489297?mt=2

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 30 November 2017 14:13 (one month ago) Permalink

I was listening to Flux of Pink Indians yesterday and Rudimentary Peni today. I suppose it makes sense to listen to Crass next

imago, Thursday, 30 November 2017 14:15 (one month ago) Permalink

socialist economic darling/enfant terrible Matt Bruenig made an appearance (his first, I assume?) in the NYT today:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/opinion/inequality-social-wealth-fund.html

Simon H., Thursday, 30 November 2017 14:17 (one month ago) Permalink

RE: DSA/Garcia/Rosa, I don’t think a DSA endorsement of Rosa would matter very much. Gutierrez has endorsed Garcia and that counts a lot. Gutierrez is overwhelmingly popular in IL-4 and hasn’t gotten less that 74% of the vote in the last two primaries. I can’t imagine his constituents going against anyone he anoints as a successor.

Jeff, Thursday, 30 November 2017 16:37 (one month ago) Permalink

I gotta say, while I agree (mostly) with their platform, I don't understand what the DSA is trying to do strategically.

The tea party template would seem to be the best approach—obtaining guarantees of support for single-payer, education debt reform and "no" votes on Near Eastern wars from center-left candidates under credible threat of a primary.

But this looks like typical progressive infighting.

it me, Thursday, 30 November 2017 18:57 (one month ago) Permalink

AFAICT they haven't run any candidates that have served to prevent Dem-identifying candidates from getting elected

Simon H., Thursday, 30 November 2017 19:02 (one month ago) Permalink

Any chance they can take to run someone and promote socialist ideals and proposals without getting republicans elected is fine by me

Simon H., Thursday, 30 November 2017 19:03 (one month ago) Permalink

Well, that's the thing—they don't actually run anyone. They just endorse them. So they should use *that* as a bargaining chip—in safe districts, obviously—to pull the libs further left.

It worked for the right.

it me, Thursday, 30 November 2017 19:08 (one month ago) Permalink

That was their old model, more or less, as I understand it. With the influx of new blood less interested in trying to "reform" or influence the Democratic party, that's changed somewhat. One of the major national slates discussed the difference between electoral strategy vs "electoralism" here https://www.dsamomentum.org/platform/

More broadly, the electoral plank is (again, this is based only on what I've read) just one thing they're interested in and not the principal focus.

Simon H., Thursday, 30 November 2017 19:14 (one month ago) Permalink

From that link:

Rather, we propose an approach that could be called building a “party beyond the party,” one that formulates a clear political program and develops, runs, and disciplines candidates in select campaigns.

Sounds like a Tea Party model to me. I also notice that Medicare For All is explicitly endorsed, not only as a policy (duh), but as a rallying cry:

Medicare for All has become a key working class demand and enjoys strong majority support across the country.

I would note it's a key middle class demand as well. So why go after Garcia, an automatic "yes" vote on Medicare for All? It would seem to make more sense to target the center-left, making it politically unacceptable for any Democrat to hold any other position.

it me, Thursday, 30 November 2017 19:32 (one month ago) Permalink

I agree that it's questionable, but a) I'm not sure it's indicative of a larger problem and b) it doesn't seem like it'll make much of a difference - Garcia seems like more or less a sure thing

Simon H., Thursday, 30 November 2017 19:42 (one month ago) Permalink

LanaDelRaytheon outed as harasser?

louise ck (milo z), Friday, 1 December 2017 04:09 (one month ago) Permalink

🤭

.oO (silby), Friday, 1 December 2017 04:22 (one month ago) Permalink

https://www.jacobinmag.com/author/lana-del-raytheon?page=20

sleeve, Friday, 1 December 2017 04:24 (one month ago) Permalink

matt breunig on sovereign wealth funds in the nyt today https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/opinion/inequality-social-wealth-fund.html?_r=0

flopson, Friday, 1 December 2017 07:01 (one month ago) Permalink

I re-read the Harper’s Magazine excerpts of the jury selection from the Shkreli trial today.

https://harpers.org/archive/2017/09/public-enemy/

If we can’t convert this elemental anger into concrete political action, we don’t deserve to be called “the Left.”

it me, Sunday, 3 December 2017 05:20 (one month ago) Permalink

the wild part is of course that everything they're so angry about was perfectly legal

Simon H., Sunday, 3 December 2017 05:36 (one month ago) Permalink

Imagine passionately wanting to convict this guy of something and then, when handed the opportunity, so nonchalantly disqualifying yrself from doing so in the name of saying some snarky bullshit

sleepingbag, Sunday, 3 December 2017 06:34 (one month ago) Permalink

I've never been called for a jury before. are potential jurors under oath?

Simon H., Sunday, 3 December 2017 06:55 (one month ago) Permalink

In the US I believe I was under oath for voir dire

.oO (silby), Sunday, 3 December 2017 16:13 (one month ago) Permalink

In any event you are instructed not to lie during voir dire and in fact encouraged to volunteer the truth unprompted

.oO (silby), Sunday, 3 December 2017 16:15 (one month ago) Permalink

Interview with Lee Carter

Google Murray Blockchain (kingfish), Tuesday, 12 December 2017 21:54 (one month ago) Permalink

awesome conversation with Keeanga-Yamahtta-Taylor about her new book

The Dig - Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: Recovering Identity Politics from Neoliberalism

<p>Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor returns to The Dig to discuss her new book<span> </span><i>How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective</i>. Forty years ago, a group of black feminists coined the term “identity politics” in the Combahee River Collective Statement. For them, it was a way to identify the various ways that capitalism, racism, patriarchy, and homophobia created a set of interlocking oppressions. And the point of identifying how those systems operated together was not to create an itemized politics of particularity, as is too often the case today, but rather to create a framework for solidarity. Thanks to our sponsors at Verso Books. Check out<span> </span><i>Futures of Black Radicalism</i><span> </span>and support this podcast with $ at Patreon.com/TheDig

Google Murray Blockchain (kingfish), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 22:38 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Dammit, oh well

Google Murray Blockchain (kingfish), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 22:39 (four weeks ago) Permalink

this is great, thanks

Simon H., Thursday, 21 December 2017 03:03 (four weeks ago) Permalink

The Portland DSA chapter got a guest op-ed into the local paper.

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/12/a_class_war_brewing_guest_opin.html

Over 850+ comments so far!

Google Murray Blockchain (kingfish), Monday, 25 December 2017 01:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Nice!

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 26 December 2017 02:50 (three weeks ago) Permalink

How do we connect white socialism in Oregon with black self-preservation in Alabama?

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 26 December 2017 03:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

whatever "white socialism" is, DSA has been pretty good in its direct-action and rhetoric about not being that

anyway the answer to most questions is to provide more compelling options so that people don't disengage from politics entirely as they seem likely to down the road in Alabama

https://rewire.news/article/2017/12/20/long-take-southern-white-democrat-elected-black-voters-shift-right-less-week/

Simon H., Tuesday, 26 December 2017 14:00 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Doug Jones will never ever get to do anything, he will lose in 2020 and Dems won't have any power until then. The sooner he - and others, I guess, but mostly he - accepts that, the better.

Frederik B, Tuesday, 26 December 2017 14:15 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Fred, shut the fuck up for once

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Wednesday, 27 December 2017 03:50 (three weeks ago) Permalink

How do we connect white socialism in Oregon with black self-preservation in Alabama?

― El Tomboto, Tuesday, December 26, 2017 3:24 AM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Check out Robin Kelley's Hammer & Hoe--Alabama in particular has a strong black socialist history. The Communist Party in the American South was a remarkable institution rooted in the black working class that had more to say and do with poor sharecroppers than any black American org til SNCC.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Wednesday, 27 December 2017 03:54 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I think Fred misunderstands the import of the fact that Doug Jones was until recently a middle-aged white U.S. Attorney in Alabama. He is not and never will be a fervent supporter of the broad progressive agenda that would appeal to urban northerners.

Jones will carve out his own personal agenda, try to get re-elected, and seek to remake the USA in whatever mold he imagines to be the best and most like his own values and those of a majority of Alabama voters. The consensus platform among Senate democrats, such as it is, is very limited compared to the highly disparate ideas and ambitions of democratic senators. We have a very weird system that is hard for foreigners to grasp and confuses most Americans, too.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 27 December 2017 04:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Nothing good comes from him trying for re-election :( I read this interview with a staffer of his, and it's just all so so wrong: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/26/16810116/doug-jones-alabama-polls-roy-moore The worst thing I've read was that he isn't hiring black staffers. If there's one thing he could do for the future, it's giving activists from the base experience in Washington, but instead he seems scared.

I still thing he did everything correct in the campaign, though, and the handwringing over him was misplaced. But his campaigning is over now.

Frederik B, Wednesday, 27 December 2017 09:38 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Feel free to handwring all you wish, but the amount of 'good' you seem to expect out of an Alabama senator is poorly calculated.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 27 December 2017 17:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I'm pretty sure you're misreading what I'm writing.

Frederik B, Wednesday, 27 December 2017 17:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Garcia and Ramirez-Rosa are going to vote the same on practically every issue of consequence. What's the point of replacing a guy who's 95% left with a guy who's 100% left?

Rosa has dropped out and endorsed Garcia.

Simon H., Tuesday, 9 January 2018 18:31 (one week ago) Permalink

I lost track of which thread the Cooper piece on the history of neoliberalism was posted on, but here's a follow-up, an overview of what American socialism might look like

http://theweek.com/articles/733970/dawn-american-socialism

Simon H., Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:56 (one week ago) Permalink

Has anyone read Inventing the Future by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams from a couple of years ago? I meant to read it when it came out but had passed - I revisited after finding it second hand a few weeks ago. It's a fairly provocative - in places - polemic against much of how the left conceives of its own efforts and strategies (both on a small and large scale).

While it's a bit out of date - it must have been mostly written in 2012 or 2013 - and failed to anticipate the successes of Corbyn or Bernie's mobilizations of so many people on the left, it nonetheless raises some very valid points and interesting criticisms about the current moment.

I'm only halfway through so have yet to get to the substance of their more prescriptive/alternative vision, so will withhold any judgment on that for now, but would be interested in anyone's thoughts on the book/its claims/critiques/etc.

https://www.versobooks.com/books/2315-inventing-the-future

Federico Boswarlos, Thursday, 11 January 2018 21:16 (one week ago) Permalink

Yeah, I just finished it a bit ago. I like it. They’re authors I wish would find out about my old philo prof Frithjof Bergmann’s “NewWork/NewCulture” Project.

Crazy Display Name Haver (kingfish), Thursday, 11 January 2018 21:43 (one week ago) Permalink

i've been mostly avoiding it because yknow something something cookshops of the future but if it's good i might try it

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 11 January 2018 22:00 (one week ago) Permalink

I read it and liked it.

The Bridge of Ban Louis J (silby), Thursday, 11 January 2018 22:01 (one week ago) Permalink

Half of the book is more focused on criticizing ineffective ways of organizing similar to what _Hegemony How-To_ did than actually being about the future.

Crazy Display Name Haver (kingfish), Thursday, 11 January 2018 22:29 (one week ago) Permalink

https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2018/01/09/19594215/prominent-tenant-activist-margot-black-is-stepping-down-as-allegations-of-racism-roil-her-organization

that's how you connect "white socialism" in oregon with "black self-preservation" in some kind of theoretical alabama.

at this point i've decided learning how to pound nails into my nose is a more positive and healthy use of my time than trying to align myself with "progressive" causes.

Arnold Schoenberg Steals (rushomancy), Friday, 12 January 2018 00:57 (one week ago) Permalink

As a counterpoint, we had our local BLM chapter write a long article calling out our local Jobs with Justice chapter over concerns about the way their work was done: slights were cited, deeper questions were raised about whether black activists were being tokenized by JWJ's work, it was suggested they were being used instrumentally without meaningful reciprocity or investment in their priorities. Similar in some respects to what you've linked.

JWJ took the concerns seriously and invited the writers of the piece into a dialogue & a difficult process that ultimately took a year. In the end both orgs issued vulnerable & powerful public follow up statements that indicated a shared sense of progress with difficult ground yet to be covered. It struck me as a powerful positive model of what it can look like when people meet one another in good faith to resolve these kinds of difficult questions.

So don't pound nails up your nose. There's good to go around.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 12 January 2018 02:11 (one week ago) Permalink

thanks for that

sleeve, Friday, 12 January 2018 02:15 (one week ago) Permalink

that's really great to hear, hoos! i'm glad they managed to work things out and come to a respectful and conscientious understanding. hopefully they don't wind up running into bob dylan. he might wind up singing a woody guthrie song and they'd have to take a couple more years to work out the inherent problems in that before they could do anything else.

Arnold Schoenberg Steals (rushomancy), Friday, 12 January 2018 09:13 (one week ago) Permalink

i guess what i'm trying to say is that bottom line is, i'm not a decent enough human being to be meaningfully involved in that kind of work and i don't really believe i ever will be. apologies for the sarcasm in my last post. i do really have a lot of respect for anybody who can do this kind of work, but i can't.

Arnold Schoenberg Steals (rushomancy), Friday, 12 January 2018 09:29 (one week ago) Permalink

I hear you--some of the cyclical dynamics involved in this work can be challenging. Never count yourself out forever though, man. We need every hand on the plow, now more than ever.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 12 January 2018 15:28 (one week ago) Permalink

Check it out, efforts in Arizona are getting noticed by douchebag state legislators:

Arizona Legislator Bob Thorpe's New Bill Attacks Socialists, People Under 40
ANTONIA NOORI FARZAN | JANUARY 12, 2018 | 7:30AM

State Representative Bob Thorpe, a Flagstaff Republican best known for trying to keep college students from voting and making racist remarks on Twitter, is at it again.

Thorpe's latest bill, HB 2277, seeks to designate "American free-market capitalism" as the state's official political-economic system.

As Thorpe explains in the legislative intent section of the bill, he's concerned that The Youths are all converting to socialism because they don't know better...

Crazy Display Name Haver (kingfish), Friday, 12 January 2018 22:10 (one week ago) Permalink


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