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View Diary: Why I don't claim to be a progressive (154 comments)

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  •  I agree with most, maybe all of your goals (1+ / 0-)
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    TiaRachel

    But I consider myself a progressive.  But I disagree with you on one major thing.

    Progressives in this era, on the other hand, are being asked to defend a doctrine of incremental change leading to a better world, when nowadays declining rates of economic growth clash with increasing demands for corporate profit.
    If anybody is explicitly advocating for incremental change, its the conservatives--particularly the David Brooks style conservatives.  

    Progressives want radical change, they fight for radical change--they just don't always get it.  the reason they don't get it is pretty simple...asshole conservatives like David Brooks.  

    Was ACA incremental? Yes.  Did I support single payer? Yes.  Could single payer get through congress? No (see asshole conservatives about that).

    The goal of progressivism is not incrementalism, rather the result has been, in the best cases, incremental.  In numerous other cases the conservative radicalism has made incremental changes for the worse.

    I can't say I actually care much what you call yourself.  We agree on most policy points, and your desire for radical change is no different than mine.  The only difference I can see is that you feel there are ways (unspecified) to make those radical changes occur right now, and place the blame on progressives for failing to achieve it.

    Me, I feel that radical changes could occur right now, and place the blame on conservatives for failing to achieve it.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:19:02 PM PDT

    •  Could you quote me -- (1+ / 0-)
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      ek hornbeck
      The only difference I can see is that you feel there are ways (unspecified) to make those radical changes occur right now, and place the blame on progressives for failing to achieve it.
      any actual passage of what I wrote that bears out this interpretation?  I sure can't.

      "The problem with the Left isn’t that it’s too austere and serious; it’s that it doesn’t take itself seriously enough to make the changes necessary for political practice." -Bhaskar Sunkara

      by Cassiodorus on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:24:40 PM PDT

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      •  Sure (0+ / 0-)
        In this environment "progressivism" appears as a sales-pitch for the Third Way.  Progressives are now people who tell you to vote for the Democrat because she/ he is better than the Republican -- it might still ring true, but it becomes less and less important with each passing election, with each issue that becomes vitally important everywhere but in Washington DC.  Once progressivism was robust; today it has reached a cul-de-sac.  If anything, today's world needs a class struggle more than ever, and a vision of civilization free of capitalism and the crises it promotes with increasing frequency (see e.g. Greece, Spain, global warming, pollution in China, war in Africa) today.  When the capitalists, with their governments in tow, are forcibly undoing all of the good done by the progressives and social democrats around the world, while at the same time bringing Earth's ecosystems into increasing crises, another compromise is not going to restore the world to stability.
        Let me put this another way.  Something that many forget is that many of those who cried "liberty or death" got death--but also a bit of incremental progressive change for the better.

        So yes, scream from rooftops and fight for radical change--with luck that change will come, and without the fight for radical change, we won't even get incremental change.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:33:03 PM PDT

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        •  I can't claim to agree with your reading. (1+ / 0-)
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          ek hornbeck

          Nowhere in that passage do I suggest that radical changes are possible right now.  

          "The problem with the Left isn’t that it’s too austere and serious; it’s that it doesn’t take itself seriously enough to make the changes necessary for political practice." -Bhaskar Sunkara

          by Cassiodorus on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:41:36 PM PDT

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          •  Oh, sorry (1+ / 0-)
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            Cassiodorus

            I thought you were questioning the "blaming the progressives" portion of the quote you pasted, not the "radical change right now" portion.

            Funny thing is that I do believe, with the right alignment of stars, the right rhetoric and the right strategy, we could get radical change right now.  

            For example, by my best guess we were only 4-5 votes short on Medicare for all (AKA single payer).  That would be a fairly radical change, and we were surprisingly close.

            We were close, and though I do not know what the right strategy and rhetoric was, I do believe it existed.

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:52:29 PM PDT

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