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 (one week ago) Permalink

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

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 14:49 (one week 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 (one week ago) Permalink

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

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 14:58 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week ago) Permalink

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

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:19 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week ago) Permalink

wrt haidt i mean

ogmor, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:46 (one week ago) Permalink

there's a pun in there somewhere

imago, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:48 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week ago) Permalink

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

Mordy, Thursday, 9 November 2017 16:01 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week ago) Permalink

challops: soviet + chinese communism is actually right-wing

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

Everything is an angry centrist overreaction to the last shit

Gary Synaesthesia (darraghmac), Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:58 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week 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 (one week ago) Permalink

or 18:30ish if you're feeling impatient

Simon H., Saturday, 11 November 2017 03:29 (one week 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 (five days ago) Permalink


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