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This diary is of course a response to a previous diary, which was on the Rec List at Kos when I woke up Thursday morning.  "What happened to the energy of hope here at DailyKos?" AntonBursch said Thursday morning.  Of course, there was the follow-up diary on Saturday -- but that one didn't seem to add much to the first one.  Yeah, OK, some of us are motivated by hope, others by despair.  Focus on what we are saying in defense of our attitudes.

There is one obvious question begged by such diaries.  What, precisely, should we place our hope in?  Should we hope that Obama brings about paradise on Earth, when the electorate properly learns to hate Republicans and vote them out of office (presumably next year)?  Is Obama finally going to experience some pushback from the "Democratic Left" to the extent where he would actually improve his policy mix?  What, precisely, is going to happen to give us hope?  Should we hope that aliens descend from outer space as they did in Arthur C. Clarke's classic (1953) novel Childhood's End, and bring peace and utopia to humankind?

I can be persuaded otherwise, of course, but I don't think that hope of the progressive, electoral variety will come to DailyKos.com until Markos adjusts his FAQ a bit.  "More and better Democrats" and "no promotion of third party candidates" have shown to be a good way of promoting the concept of "my party right or wrong" rather than of progressive hope.  (That may not have been the intention Markos had in setting out such rules, but it appears to be the result, and if there are still plenty of interesting things to be seen here at DailyKos.com, I'm not sure progressive hope is one of them.)  I'm not going to say more about this, because I don't want it to distract from the main topic of this diary, which is to say, hope.

I have, in previous diaries here, contested the idea of progressivism itself.  The diary titled "Why I don't claim to be progressive" contains my main argument.  Progressivism was a good thing in the Progressive Era, but in my view is not radical enough for this era, in which society is in fact regressing for lack of an alternative to a capitalist system which has claimed the world and is experiencing exhaustion at all levels.  Thus there remains the possibility that progressive hope may itself be an illusion for us and that what we need is a more radical hope, or at least a different sort of hope than that encompassed by progressivism.

In light of this possibility, then, I would like to suggest other species of hope -- and below the fold I will attempt a preliminary investigation of what that hope would consist of.  Many of my observations are going to appear as side-notes upon first inspection -- but what ties them together is a piece by a neural biologist, titled "Epigenesis, Brain Plasticity, and Behavioral Versatility: Alternatives to Standard Evolutionary Psychology Models" (Complexities: Beyond Nature and Nurture: eds. Susan McKinnon and Sydel Silverman).  My opinion boils down to this: I think that human beings, with their vast reserves of brainpower and versatility, are capable of figuring out how to manage their affairs without entirely screwing up life on the planet.

For those who haven't read my diaries before, I'll summarize briefly what it is I think we have to overcome with our hope. We need to deal with our threat to the ecosystems of planet Earth, which significantly means that we've got to mitigate global warming but also we need t deal with our species' predatory behavior toward itself and toward its other living things.  In order to do this, we've got to overcome the division of humanity into social classes, and design something better than capitalism for our mutual sustenance.  There are of course all of the other divisions of the human race, but I think that there's an important distinction to make between a simple recognition that people are different from each other (which itself shouldn't prevent the application of humanistic standards in social relations) and the erection of barriers and problems of "foreign relations" between us and those "other" people.

At any rate, in the following analysis I will try to show that human beings are creatures of enormous potential, but that such potential has yet to be reconciled with the historical realities of human existence.  There is, however, hope for some sort of revolutionary unleashing of human hope and versatility, such as has been at points in time been put on display in recent uprisings (e.g. the Arab Spring, the uprisings in Latin America and Europe, the Occupy movement).

One of the main reasons we might experience an exhaustion of hope in today's political climate is that progressive consciousness is itself constraining.  Its focus upon incremental reform and political realism tends to trap it in the hegemonic confinement with which "ordinary people" have to contend.  An example of how this works in actual practice might be the political concern with "jobs" so often heard in progressive quarters.  Sure, it's important that the unemployed are granted "jobs," and it's bad not to have a steady income.  In a world in which immediate survival counts above all else, jobs are important.  Since the Reagan presidency, however, the Right has reframed the discussion such that the task of "job creators," and thus the progressive concern with "jobs," has been hijacked by the Right's bias in favor of capital, and thus also of capitalism.  In this regard, some political writers (Harry Shutt for example) have suggested that the well-being of the working class, and not "jobs," should be the real issue.  Shutt, however, is an anti-capitalist, and not a (mere) progressive, and thus not constrained by progressive consciousness.  This theme of expanded consciousness will continue to be reiterated below.

As regards political realism, it's nice to consider, as Saul Alinsky does in "Rules for Radicals," that "the basic requirement for the understanding of the politics of change is to recognize the world as it is" (p. 12), and to accept, as Alinsky did, that "political realists see the world as it is: an arena of power politics moved primarily by perceived immediate self-interests, where morality is rhetorical rationale for expedient action and self interest" (pp. 12-13).  There is a solid reality behind such pronouncements.

But if this "arena of power politics" is itself the "bad scene" that needs to be changed, then (if we are to follow Alinsky's own method) we need to make an issue of political realism, and indeed of the political habits of the society that makes it into hegemonic truth.  Doing just this was the genius first of the Zapatista movement, and then of Occupy, and this genius appears to have made it (in some form or another) into the future of mass social action.  See, e.g. the transformative spirit of the movement for change going on now in Istanbul.

Total social transformation, then, stands outside of incrementalism, reform, "more and better Democrats," and political realism as a possible realization of hope.  Per Alinsky, we start from where we are, but then we change our understanding of ourselves through a different view of the bigger picture.  In following the rapidity of communication and transportation in this era, this different view, this renascence of hope, is more likely today to come upon people rapidly, as opposed to slowly.

The problem with pessimism extends beyond progressive despair -- the current vogue in intellectual fashion is also likely to produce more pessimism as regards the future.  Consider, for instance, the co-optation of the various "Left" belief systems by the "Third Way" -- so, today, we have "Left" thinkers who do not call for economic justice.  Solutions proposed for "global warming" do not properly mitigate it.  Rather, numerous "global warming" publicists are telling us that if individual, petit-bourgeois consumers can be persuaded to reduce their "carbon footprints" by some small amount through a "cap-and-trade system" or a "carbon tax," the owners of the fossil fuel reserves will magically pump less for everyone to burn.  Numerous forces wish to improve society and "save the Earth" without necessarily disturbing the economic and political status quo in the least.  The ultimate challenge for the mass movements which periodically interrupt business as usual, then, is to disturb not just society, but rather the hegemonic thinking which proclaims that all will be accomplished within, and only within, the status quo.  This is the environment in which "action for social change" is now advertised by organizations which belong to what Jane Hamsher calls the "Veal Pen."  Raise your voice!  Be heard!  But don't mess with the actual power structure, based as it is on social class, money, and property.  This, then, is the intellectual barrier to hope that needs surmounting.

One strand of an intellectual vogue which today calls itself "evolutionary psychology" (reminiscent of a previous trend calling itself "sociobiology") promotes a line of thought which attempts to "pin down" human nature without regards to really-existing revolutionary elements within human nature itself.  Contrary to such efforts, neurobiologist Kathleen R. Gibson starts from these premises:

Creativity, versatility, and advanced learning capacities are primary hallmarks of the human mind. Our species inhabits six continents that encompass environments as diverse as the Arctic, the tropical rain forest, and the Australian outback. Individual humans routinely move between different climatic zones and cultures, and they readily adapt to the dramatic technological and social changes that now occur within individual life spans. Moreover, in less than ten thousand years, a mere blink of the eye in evolutionary terms, much of the human world has moved from a hunter-gatherer to a postindustrial lifestyle, all the while exhibiting such extraordinary reproductive success that our very numbers now threaten the planet.

These accomplishments reflect the ability of humans, working individually or in groups, to devise novel solutions to new environmental challenges and to transmit these solutions to others through social learning processes. This human behavioral versatility stands in contrast to prominent evolutionary psychology models that posit that the human brain is neither a generalized learning device nor a generalized problem-solving device.

Gibson's reasoning, then, is the foundation for what I myself would call "hope."  Given what human beings fundamentally are, I think we can solve our social, economic, and political problems, daunting as they may seem.

A hard look at what Gibson is proposing, in her short piece on neurobiology, is worth our time in this regard.  Gibson suggests three properties that human brains use to contribute to human versatility:

1) Neural plasticity: the human brain is not entirely a fixed entity, with specialized functions confined only to fixed spaces in the gray matter.  Rather, who we are is the result, even at the brain level, of our negotiation with our environments.

2) Epigenesis: a combination of environmental as well as genetic influences (rather than the genetic determination of instinct) determine brain function.

3) Mental construction: human brains differ from nonhuman brains in their ability to develop higher levels of reasoning -- we are thus able to handle significantly advanced levels of thinking.

So if we have gotten this far, through our versatile brains and bodies, what would prevent us from going further, and using our versatility to "save the world"?  We might start by inquiring into other factors which contribute to human versatility:

1) nutrition: if 1/8 of the world's human population suffers from "chronic undernourishment," what (outside of the capitalist notion that all who want to eat must pay) stops world society from ending hunger?  Since human beings are importantly what they are through environmental stimuli, adequate nutrition will go a long way to ending the mental poverty of the human race.

In this regard, food charities, food stamps, and community gardens all have their function -- though all of these can come together in an impromptu social custom called Food Not Bombs.

2) upbringing: perhaps the best starting place for reflections upon the connection between upbringing and versatility would be Annette Lareau's "Unequal Childhoods," which suggests that the main divide in differences in upbringing is between lower-class and middle-class children, and that the middle-class children are granted an advantage in life by virtue of an upbringing focusing upon "concerted cultivation."  Lareau:

Organized activities, established and controlled by mothers and fathers, dominate the lives of middle-class children... By making certain their children have these and other experiences, middle-class parents engage in a process of concerted cultivation.  From this, a robust sense of entitlement takes root in the children.  This sense of entitlement plays an especially important role in institutional settings where middle class children learn to question adults and address them as relative equals.  (1-2)
As Lareau suggests at length in the second edition of Unequal Childhoods, "concerted cultivation" is a mechanism by which class privilege is handed down from parents to children.  "In schools especially, today's institutional rules of the game require parents to be actively involved in order to maximize opportunities for their children." (311)

From the perspective advocated in this diary, two things stand out from Lareau's analysis: a) the middle-class children have the advantage of a greater education in versatility, and b) the "institutional rules of the game" are in charge, and all classes follow them.

Thus you can see two advantages in the understanding of capitalist reality, one possessed by each class.  The lower classes are uniquely poised to see through capitalist fatalism, as it dooms them to futures of ongoing disadvantage; the middle classes can see the advantages of an education in versatility.  With everyone working to maximize human versatility we should be able, together, to get to a future containing some degree of hope.

Unfortunately, the standards and testing movement has reduced the concept of "education" to that of a transmission of facts and skills -- but that's just prep-work for privatization, for the drab, supposedly inevitable continuation of Homo Capitalisticus in the period of natural history that Jason W. Moore calls the "capitalocene."  Standardized tests are not daunting for those with the resources to prepare for them, but that's really beside the point.  Real education is about preparing people (especially children, but really anyone with any degree of neural plasticity) to take control of the collective future, keeping in mind Paulo Freire's aphorism: "The future does not make us.  We make ourselves in the struggle to make it."  The sort of education I am recommending, then, falls within the purview of critical pedagogy.

3) diverse experience of the universe -- and here it is important to remember that Gibson argues that our mental advantage over less versatile animals (e.g. apes) consists in our ability to perform acts of "higher-order" reasoning: "the increased information-processing capacity of the human brain allows humans to combine and recombine greater numbers of actions, perceptions, and concepts together to create higher-order conceptual and behavioral constructs than do apes." (34)  Ostensibly, there is an extremely high limit to the versatility of the human brain, though a diversification of experiences may result in what has typically been called "higher consciousness," involving a greater apprehension of the universe.  The novelist Aldous Huxley expressed this attempt to "break on through" through experiences in his 1954 book "The Doors of Perception":

Another novelist, Graham Hancock, brings his own "doors of perception" understanding of experience to an interface with the present-day human social and ecological realities:


A few summary words are appropriate here.  The reasons for pessimism are many, and appropriate to the human predicament in the current era.  It's going to take all of human versatility if we are to overcome our current situation.  But if there is any real reason for hope in our world, it rests not upon "omigod let's do something, anything, and if we all do it together we can institute incremental, progressive change," the reasoning promoted by many of our most prominent activist organizations, but rather upon a revolutionary unleashing of human social versatility upon the world, as it builds upon a prior framework of increasing versatility for human brainpower in the current era.  Our task at hand, then, is to expand human versatility to the extent possible (and I don't mean legally possible), in wait for the moment at which it will cause a revolution in human thinking, and in the case of its success the capitalocene will be brought to a screeching halt.


Works Cited

Alinsky, Saul.  Rules for Radicals.  New York: Vintage-Random House, 1971.  Print.

Anton Bursch.  "What Happened to the Energy of Hope Here at DailyKos.com?"  DailyKos.com.  Kos Media, LLC.  25 July 2013.  Web. http://www.dailykos.com/...

Cassiodorus.  "Why I don't claim to be a progressive."  DailyKos.com.  Kos Media, LLC.  23 May 2013.  Web.  http://www.dailykos.com/...

Cassiodorus.  "Anthony Giddens' Beyond Left and Right: An Autopsy."  DailyKos.com.  Kos Media, LLC.  21 April 2013.  Web.  http://www.dailykos.com/...

Cassiodorus.  "Uprising of Hope: An Ethnography of Zapatismo."  DailyKos.com.  Kos Media, LLC.  06 February 2008. Web.  http://www.dailykos.com/...

Clarke, Arthur C.  Childhood's End.  New York: Ballantine, 1953.  Print.

"Critical Pedagogy."  Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.  27 July 2013.  Web.  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

"The Doors of Perception."  Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.  28 July 2013.  Web.  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

"The Food Not Bombs Movement."  Food Not Bombs.  The Food Not Bombs Web Collective.  n/d.  Web.  http://www.foodnotbombs.net/

Gibson, Kathleen R.  ""Epigenesis, Brain Plasticity, and Behavioral Versatility: Alternatives to Standard Evolutionary Psychology Models."  Complexities: Beyond Nature and Nurture: eds. Susan McKinnon and Sydel Silverman.  Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2005.  23-42.  Print.

Hamsher, Jane.  "Van Jones: A Moment of Truth for Institutions in the Veal Pen."  Firedoglake.com.  6 September 2009. Web.  http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/...

Lareau, Annette.  Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life.  2nd ed.  Berkeley CA: U of California P, 2011.  Print.

"Paulo Freire."  Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.  14 July 2013.  Web.  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Shutt, Harry.  The Trouble With Capitalism.  1st ed.  London: Zed, 1998.

"2013 World Hunger Poverty Facts and Statistics." Hunger Notes.  27 July 2013.  Web.  http://www.worldhunger.org/...

Originally posted to Postcapitalism on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by Voices on the Square.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm sure the DKos editors are chomping at... (24+ / 0-)

    ....the bit to promote this piece to the front page. (I really hope, if for no other reason than out of spite, they actually end up doing that, by the way!)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:19:30 PM PDT

    •  Markos is respectable (14+ / 0-)

      This diary threatens respectable people. Fat chance.

      The FP has many good posts but none of them challenge the basic assumptions of how our system works.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:40:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nonetheless -- (8+ / 0-)

        my diary does petition Markos to alter his FAQ and site rules.  Hopefully his reaction will be proactive.

        Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

        by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:43:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And actually, it's not said outright here but (8+ / 0-)

        the whole culture of meritocracy is founded on a lie.  Cassiodorus talks at great length about our plastic brains, but not this implication.

        Almost every 'genius' in history simply started at an earlier age doing what a competent person did later. In fact, our geniuses were generally considered mediocre and disappointing people in all areas until a 'late bloom.' Darwin and Einstein were. Mozart had spent a Ph.D's duration of practice in music performance before he was 10. The real difference between geniuses and the forgotten is interest and a head-start, not innate ability. That lie is used to suppress working people and keep them thinking that they deserve mediocrity. The belief that there are better people than others allows middle-class children to be the 'entitled' assholes that they sometimes are--drowned in their parents' snobbery.

        Unless you're a warrior or athlete, genetic differences in human potential seem to be pretty irrelevant.

        The people with the great resumes and the great writing abilities were mostly just people who were forced from an early age into the gifted kid programs and the networking and all the 'soft skills' that poor kids never receive. I would know, I went to an elite school. Even our school's president said that we were not the brightest, but we were generally competent (except for the recruited athletes).

        So in other words, specialization is an ability that comes with access and privilege... and personal dedication. I'm not suggesting that anyone can be a rocket surgeon. But we think people get paid more for being more awesome is really just a sneaky way to preserve class.

        Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

        by Nulwee on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:50:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In general, people are not paid more for (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          congenitalefty

          being "more awesome", as far as I can tell, but based on supply and demand, for the most part.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:33:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ^ Always a nice cop-out reason for inequality (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi

            from my favorite pseudoscience, economics.

            Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

            by Nulwee on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 01:58:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  how is it a cop-out? n/t (0+ / 0-)

              Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

              by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:27:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Economics is theoretical and its models (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Chi

                are built on assumptions. I would know since I probably have more economics education than you.

                Whenever you face a question, like, 'why the fuck do imaginary supply and demand curves explain a CEO's pay when a plumber is actually more necessary for society?' you are re-directed to the theoretical model. Nice feat of circular logic.

                Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

                by Nulwee on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:31:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I would think that plumbers being (0+ / 0-)

                  more necessary for society wouldn't lead to them having a higher salary if there were also a high number of people available to be plumbers. However, when I said "for the most part", I had in mind the case of CEOs, because I think there's some collusion going on there.

                  I don't doubt that you have more economics education than I do.

                  Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:39:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I meant to add (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't think necessity for society is necessarily a factor, but rather the necessity for the interests of business owners or other employers.

                  Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:41:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Our genius -- (7+ / 0-)

          impressive as it is -- has not yet been given a fighting chance to act in the areas where it is most needed, by which I mean what is informally called "saving the Earth."

          Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

          by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:38:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Even as all available evidence challenges those (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Lyon, WisePiper, k9disc, P Carey

        assumptions.

        That's one thing I'd like to talk about in the Caucus diaries.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:53:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have been puzzled as to how the term progressive (16+ / 0-)

    got resurrected from the dustbin of history. The social reform movement at the beginning of the 20th C was mostly about middle class do gooders trying to dictate to the working class how to morally up lift themselves on an empty stomach. The more militant movements associated with new deal liberalism did make some attempts to organize the working class to speak for themselves.

    The progressive movement of the 21st C seems to be about middle class whining over their 401k's and lost housing equity. They definitely don't want to talk about the working class.  

    •  Since this middle class -- (8+ / 0-)

      was no doubt exposed to the "concerted cultivation" discussed in Annette Lareau's book, and thus grew up into assertive (dare I say competitive) members of the middle class, it is no doubt a sign of frustration on their part that they complain a bunch during the election offseasons.

        Having been disciplined to participate competitively in the race for a limited number of jobs in a capitalist system, however, their purview doesn't seem to have transcended that system just yet, and so they vote the same old politicians into office year after year.

      Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:28:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am not sure I share your contempt..... (11+ / 0-)

      I don't have a 401K, I have a 403B. What choice do I have but to be concerned slightly about it? Hardly any American has a fixed pension now which is the real problem. We joke at my place of work that our retirement plan is "death" but it kind of is not a joke. I don't even know if I qualify as middle class. I am not clear on what that actually is these days.

      The problem is that the middle class have been trained to seek solitude in the policies of the ruling classes and detach form any sense of consciousness about commonalities and I think frankly that is a distinctly American state of existence.

      •  My rather sarcastically stated point (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        undercovercalico, Nulwee, blueoasis, Chi

        was that instead of realizing that their notions of class privilege are simply an illusion and organizing to do something about the situation they simply sit around and feel sorry for themselves.

        •  Granted.... (0+ / 0-)

          I do think that there are working class people worried about housing equity for example, that it is not just a middle class concern. And frankly everybody feels sorry for themselves once in a while. Not very productive of course.

          •  One of the many problems with the (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            undercovercalico, aliasalias, Chi

            Occupy movement which briefly looked like people trying to do something was that it was seriously class bound. It was mostly initiated by recent middle class college graduates who were shocked that they couldn't find a decent job. They had no ability to reach out to groups like unions and minority neighborhoods. It wasn't so much personal deficiency on the part of the individuals as the bubble in which they had spent their entire lives. They had been brought to believe that they would always be taken care of.

            •  Occupy got quickly (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              k9disc, blueoasis

              disemboweled by the MSN and other critics saying they did not have focus. I think your critique is a fair one.

              However, reaching out to unions does not really have the cache in creating opposition considering what 10-12% of the American work force is unionized and most of them are also self interested trying to fight against scaling back collective agreements. They don't have time to be oppositional in the broader sense they are too busy fighting for their lives.

              •  Occupy might have had a more fighting chance (3+ / 0-)

                had the encampments been allowed to last longer.

                Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

                by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:47:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yup.... (5+ / 0-)

                  But the longer the encampments stayed, the more people actually tried to understand them, and you can't have that.

                  PS, Cass, I always enjoy reading your diaries, always something substantive.

                •  Actually, Cass, I think that we needed (7+ / 0-)

                  more realistically to appraise the fact that we were unlikely to keep the encampments more than 6 months, given what we were up against. We needed a plan for what to do after the encampments came down, preferably a plan which incorporated the takedown in as part of our next strategy, so that our "failure" could end up powering the next step.

                  But in order to have these things, the first thing we needed was a willingness to admit that we were going to "lose" in the sense of not be able to keep the encampments forever, and nobody wanted to admit that. Secondly, we needed (I think) to have a plan for how to keep the community together when we lost our place. I felt that one of the ways to do that was to make alliances farther within the mainstream, instead of just trying to get people to come out and sleep on the concrete.  Third, we needed to figure out exactly what the encampments were providing for us, and figure out alternative ways to provide for those needs. And fourth, we needed a way to actually make decisions and have plans at a movement-wide level, which nobody wanted to do, because everybody wanted a leaderless non-hierarchical movement that operated via consensus.

                  Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:10:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  occupy lost the moment it decided to be apolitical (0+ / 0-)

                  In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
                  Shop Kos Katalogue
                  Der Weg ist das Ziel

                  by duhban on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:35:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  There were a couple of times (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                congenitalefty

                that unions showed some interest and there was a complete breakdown. Unions are certainly not a backbone for a major organizational effort at this part but they are still a part of the political landscape and they have useful organizational skills. That was simply one example. We are broken up into atomized groups that can't connect with each other and that has happened by design, not by accident.

              •  The problem of reaching out to unions (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassiodorus

                (which Occupy did in Portland, and they were involved in the more important protests), is the unions often want to impose the top down command structure which they have in common with corporate America.

                I witnessed a lot of seasoned activists come to Occupy expecting to be ushered into immediate key positions (since they have so much experience, ya know), and when they were treated as if equal, rather than elite activists, they quickly would get fed up and leave in frustration.

                I've read and listened to many critiques of Occupy, and I have almost always detected somewhere in the discussion the same underlying complaint about people feeling as if "naive, inexperienced kids" were telling seasoned activists what to do. No one wants to come right out and admit to this, so various other critiques are used, but the horizontal nature of the movement was something some people simply were not culturally adapted to, coming as so many were from a firmly capitalistic and hierarchical society. They were too old, too entrenched, and couldn't deal with it.

                And yet, as Graeber so well pointed out, if Occupy had been directed by these same seasoned people with the same old approaches to electoral politics, using traditional mainstream methods (like Moveon, for example), Occupy would not have succeeded in making the "1%" and the "99%" worldwide memes.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:58:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  There is a certain element of privilege in having (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chi

              the time to engage politically - in reality and in terms of perception.

              I think that it makes for an easy excuse to allow those living on the edge and those treading water or drowning to not step up.

              Also corporate propaganda really does a great job of stoking fear and 'proving' this belief.

              I did some work with a local Green Party with the African American social justice community in MD back in the late 90s. I was that young, white, clean cut fresh out of college guy. I seemed to be kind of exempt from this critique of privilege, but the older (and poorer) Green activists, who were white, were not.

              Needless to say, it was not an effective coalition. It's a shame too... The Black and Blue (collar) coalition should be a natural one, but this idea of privilege - racial and economic - is a tremendous stumbling block and red herring.

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:41:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There has been a long term (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                k9disc, bygorry, Chi

                systematic corporate driven effort to castrate the infrastructure of political action. It has been highly successful.  

              •  A lot of these "privilged middle class white kids" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassiodorus

                quit their jobs (if they were lucky to have one) and risked a great deal to live in squalor in camps to get the Occupy movement off the ground.

                And there along with them were Blacks, Hispanics, homeless, elderly...  in Portland, anyway.

                This "privileged" meme regarding Occupy is so self serving to traditional mainstream political groups who wanted to bend Occupy to their purposes, only to be told "no, thanks, we are approaching this in a new way," the older, seasoned, traditional activists screamed "privilege" along with a plethora of other epithets for want of a better basis for criticism.

                What bullshit.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 08:12:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  The "anarchist movement" infiltrating itself (0+ / 0-)

              into OWS didn't help matters, that movement has zero common interest with unions or minority groups.

              •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassiodorus

                the anarchist movement historically has worked with unions. Google the CNT, IWW, and the early 20th century role of anarchists in the labor movement.

                Google May Day, Hay Market Square Massacre. May Day (the international day labor is commemorated in most of the world), comes from anarchist historical events.

                And at my Occupy events on Portland Oregon, the Unions were very much involved. I saw familiar, conventional union activists at most major occupy demonstrations.

                And anarchists did not "infiltrate Occupy, they actually were instrumental in starting the movement, and were always at the core of it from the beginning.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 01:49:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  At Occupy Portland (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cassiodorus

              people of all economic classes participated. They did reach out to unions, which were very much involved with the more important Occupy events.

              And as to minorities, Hispanics and Blacks were involved in Occupy in Portland. In a recent protest march on Mayday (a commemoration of the HayMarket Square Massacre which Occupy has much in common with, considering Occupy's links to anarchism), a large group of Hispanics led the entire march and the chants were all in Spanish.

              As to outreach, just before the major eviction from the parks (Occupy in Portland occupied three large, adjacent city parks), there was at least one affinity group enlisting volunteers to go door to door in various neighborhoods to tell people about Occupy to increase interest. These kids were amazingly well-organized.

              To dismiss the young people as rather wimpy middle class fops who thought they would always be taken care of is inaccurate. These were very smart kids, very street wise, very astute and well informed.

              Gee, how dare they think they should have jobs: Newsflash. We all have a right to live, have good jobs, and a decent income. And these kids know that. Most of them were well adapted to living without adequate income.

              And at Portland Occupy, older people with gray hair were well represented, teenagers were present, Black activists were at the core, women were in key positions and more than well represented as facilitators (there were, in fact, better than the men and in Portland were in high demand), the homeless were taken in, fed, and sheltered, in short, there was plenty of diversity. And Portland had, according to people who had traveled to various cities to see the Occupy camps, one of the largest in the country (by some accounts the largest).

              Many of the kids I talked to were well educated about socialism, anarchism, were very politically aware, highly experienced considering their age levels.

              And Occupy was a success.

              I'll let David Graeber, one of the core founders of Occupy, explain it, with an excerpt from his book, The Democracy Project, A History, A Crisis, A Movement:

                 

              Almost every time I'm interviewed by a mainstream journalist about Occupy Wall Street I get some variation of the same lecture:

                       

                      "How are you going to get anywhere if you refuse to create a leadership structure or make a practical list of demands? And what's with all this anarchist nonsense - the consensus, the sparkly fingers? Don't you realize all this radical language is going to alienate people? You're never going to be able to reach regular, mainstream Americans with this sort of thing!"
                       Asking why OWS refuses to create a leadership structure, and asking why we don't come up with concrete policy statements, is of course two ways of asking the same thing: Why don't we engage with the existing political structure so as to ultimately become a part of it?

                          If one were compiling a scrapbook of worst advice ever given, this sort of thing might well merit an honorable place. Since the financial crash of 2008, there have been endless attempts to kick-off a national movement against the depredations of America’s financial elites taking the approach such journalists recommended. All failed. Most failed miserably. It was only when a movement appeared that resolutely refused to take a traditional path, that rejected the existing political order entirely as inherently corrupt, that called for the complete reinvention of American democracy, that occupations immediately began to blossom across the country. Clearly the movement did not succeed despite the anarchist element. It succeeded because of it.""

                          The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement

                          by David Graeber

                          http://www.akpress.org/....

              The fact that Occupy is now an international household name, that nearly everyone on the planet is familiar with the phrase "the 1%" vs "the 99%", the fact that for the first time in ages the media actually reported protests, rather than ignore them, the fact that Romney began to lose ground when he began to appear just like one of those one per-centers, indicates success.

              I'm interested in exploring and developing more of these mold-breaking, game-changing approaches.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:37:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I don't have any contempt for you, for my part. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Lyon, FishOutofWater
        I don't even know if I qualify as middle class. I am not clear on what that actually is these days.
        Boy, does that ever encapsulate the reality of it.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:56:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A confluence of reasons ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... since, as is often the case, the history seems to be over-determined.

      There was the dissatisfaction of the New Left and New Age movements of the 70's with Post WWII Liberalism, with its elitism and tendency to make their peace with the war mongers ...

      There was the successful tarring of the Liberalism by the radical reactionary movements (including, ironically, sometimes with New Left and New Age thinking), leaving people who would have been calling themselves "Liberal" without a moment's second though in the 1960's looking for some un-tarred label ...

      There was the dissatisfaction of some with the New Left and New Age movements, looking on them as playing with the fairies down by the garden gate, looking for something that smacked less of wide-eyed naive idealism ...

      ... and surely there had to have been some historical accident, with some people styling themselves as progressives, or "progressive {category}" catching the attention of some others looking for a label.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:08:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I started to call myself a Progressive in the 90s (8+ / 0-)

      because I could not identify with Liberalism, or rather what liberalism had become - neoliberalism - I just could not get with that economic program.

      I liked the Progressive Era economically and socially, as it clobbered the Gilded Age - harnessed business interests, gave rise to greater social and economic justice and paved the way to a more Democratic Socialist reality.

      That was before I got introduced to passive revolution and the residual fascist/statist tack that we seemed to turn towards after WWII.

      At least that was my thinking at the time...

      I was initially excited for the Progressive moniker to get some pick up until I looked around and Hillary Clinton was now a Progressive.

      So, I think I'm just going to go with Socialist for a while. It's nice to say,"Democrats/Obama are not socialists! I am a socialist, I should know."

      But any moniker is just bullshit, IMO, as there is no continuity of political thought - nobody really has a clear definition of any of the -isms.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:33:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Neoliberalism is not derived (4+ / 0-)

        from new deal liberalism. The term is related to 19th C British liberalism which was all about free trade and free markets.

        When I find it necessary to tie my views to a specific political tradition, I find that undifferentiated democratic socialist is the best fit.

        •  I don't think I said it was, but that's what (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, congenitalefty

          Liberalism became post McGovern.

          I didn't run away from it because of Dick Cheney's sneer,"Liberals," I would have worn that like a badge of honor.

          I ran away from it because of Clinton, and the 3rd way, pretty much and market based freedom.

          My disenchantment with New Deal liberalism is that it was a move to co-opt the Left yet leave the Plutocrats in power - that passive revolution thing - the new normal.

          I kind of look at Obama as the anti-FDR - he's co-opting and neutering the fascist rise and doing the best he can with it - but he's going to ensconce it into our national fabric, like FDR did with the Left.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:04:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The new deal was a flawed creation. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            k9disc, nickrud, Chi

            It basically gave a limited group of workers better access to economic and political possibilities. It left out lots of others, women, racial minorities, etc. After the war the establishment tried to shove the lid back on. It blew off with the various movements in the 60s, when the people who had been left out started demanding a place at the table.

            •  Well, it was the times, really. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chi

              I mean black people were disenfranchised everywhere socially until the 60s and women were second class citizens until they became necessary for the 2 bread winner family.

              I hope that doesn't come off as rude or unfeeling, and I certainly don't want to discount the beautiful work of feminists but it really was a different time in the 30s.

              I find the flaw in the New Deal to be that the energy of the Left was stolen by pretty decent socio-economic success and corporate propaganda took over.

              Had the Left played out a bit more, absent the thunder stealing of the New Deal, corporate propaganda and all of it's plastic trappings might have faltered and failed.

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:15:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Part of it was a function of the new deal coalitio (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                k9disc, Chi

                They were dependent on the southern Democrats for their strong majority. The solid south was expert in getting what it wanted for its votes. At their insistence agricultural and domestic labor were excluded from both the Social Security Act and the Wagner Act. The intended effect of those exclusions were to eliminate most minorities from coverage. It wasn't just prevailing social attitudes. It was Jim Crow in a national level.

                •  Great point... something I always have to check (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Chi

                  myself on is the several role reversals with the GOP and DP - hearkening back to historical Democratic principles is not always a great play.

                  Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                  by k9disc on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:38:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  my father worked with Black people in the CCC (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  k9disc, Chi

                  (Civilian Conservation Corps), yes by excluding agricultural workers it excluded Black people but my father talked about working for the CCC in an interview by a guy writing a book on the CCC in particular and his answer to one question was that yes there were Black people working in the same camps with him.

                  It wasn't "Jim Crow in a national level", at least not then from what I learned about it , and I grew up in the segregated South (never had one Black student in my elementary, Jr. High or High School) so I do know what Jim Crow looks like.

                  One thing for sure is that the meme about Black people not employed under the New Deal programs needs a rebuttal before it sinks in as truth.
                  http://www.rooseveltinstitute.org/...

                  With respect to the critical issue of employment, for example, we know that by 1935, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was employing approximately 350,000 African Americans annually, about 15% of its total workforce. In the Civilian Conservation Corps, the percentage of blacks who took part climbed from roughly 3% at its outset in 1933 to over 11% by the close of 1938 with a total of more than 350,000 having been enrolled in the CCC by the time the program was shut down in 1942. The National Youth Administration, under the direction of Aubrey Williams, hired more black administrators than any other New deal agency; employed African American supervisors to oversee the work the agency was doing on behalf of black youth for each state in the south; and assisted more than 300,000 Africa American youth during the Depression. In 1934, the Public Works Administration (PWA) inserted a clause in all government construction contracts that established a quota for the hiring of black laborers based on the 1930 labor census and as a consequence a significant number of blacks received skilled employment on PWA projects.
                  African Americans also benefited from the Federal Music Project, which funded performances of black composers; from the Federal Theatre and Writing Projects, which hired and featured the work of hundreds of African American artists; and from the New Deal’s educational programs, which taught over 1 million illiterate blacks to read and write and which increased the number of African American children attending primary school.
                  As the leader of a political party that was heavily represented in Congress by racist Southern Democrats who supported segregation and even opposed the adoption of a federal anti-lynching law as an infringement of state’s rights, FDR had to choose his battles carefully and at times appears timorous in the face of racial injustice-especially when viewed from today. But this is the President who appointed a far greater number of blacks to positions of responsibility within his government than any of his predecessors, so much so in fact that this group became known as the “Black Cabinet” or “Black Brain Trust” in the press. FDR was also the first president to appoint an African American as a federal judge; to promote a black man to the rank of Brigadier General in the Army; and, incredible as it might seem, the first president to publicly call lynching murder — “a vile form of collective murder”-which W.E B. Dubois applauded as something that sadly was long overdue. Overall FDR’s administration tripled the number of Africa Americans working for the federal government, including thousands of black engineers, architects, lawyers, librarians, office managers, and other professionals, and under his leadership, and with the strong support of Eleanor Roosevelt, the Democrats included the first specific African American plank in the party platform at the 1936 convention.
                  I understand to triple what had been done before is a low bar but I think the above stats showed that bar was cleared by a good bit

                  without the ants the rainforest dies

                  by aliasalias on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:15:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  the media and the culture wars (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Lyon, k9disc, WisePiper, Chi

        have fucked up the definitions of all the isms.

        I bet nobody has any idea what a liberal is except that they tax and spend.

        If nobody will claim a label and serve as an example of it, in the public eye, nobody is going to know what it means.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:58:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And that's what I love about the Progressives too (4+ / 0-)
        I liked the Progressive Era economically and socially, as it clobbered the Gilded Age - harnessed business interests, gave rise to greater social and economic justice and paved the way to a more Democratic Socialist reality.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:58:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You said it--not me! (5+ / 0-)

      "The progressive movement of the 21st C seems to be about middle class whining over their 401k's and lost housing equity. They definitely don't want to talk about the working class."  

      There was a bit of discussion in the blogosphere about Portland's recent failure to pass water flouridation.  Much of that prompted the realization that "New Oregon" is an ostensibly more liberal place with tons of parents worried about what their kids consume and not really any sort of concern about social justice or people outside the self-narcissistic modules of human organization.

      Being liberal is basically about gay marriage and buying organic food from corporations now.

      Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

      by Nulwee on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:35:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is not, Nulwee. (4+ / 0-)

        And I totally get what you are saying, and you are correct from a perception standpoint, and while I understand that perception is reality, it's really not.

        That is the logical reach for the Party faithful and the logical play for victims of the propaganda of consumption.

        Since I came of political age, Consumption choices have been at the top of the list for actions that one can take in 'being the change'. It's natural for that to become the MO of consumers.

        The thing that you are missing in your assessment is the potential or possibility with just a little bit of energy towards proper social and economic justice.

        Our current problem is that there is nobody 'serious' that is serious about these issues and we lack the proper target to line up against. These issues are seething right underneath the surface - the absolutely abysmal state of social justice in our country is a ticking timebomb, IMO. Black people getting shot, dogs getting shot, corporate waste, fraud, abuse, power, and malfeasance? All of these things are just grating on our body politic.

        If only we had some trusted people and some trusted information offering a proper diagnosis of our trouble, I think that bullshit, consumer based expression of liberalism would disappear and may be replaced with something more realistic and empowering.

        But we can't. The corporate media won't allow it. The political class is owned by corporate. And both of those institutions are doing the level best to confuse and divide our People.

        Anyway, blah, blah, and a little more blah...

        I hear you and get your point, and it's apt, but it's not reality. It's inauthentic and a result of being disempowered.

        Empower people and that will change. And people want to say I'm a cynic...
        Peace~

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:55:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was being sarcastic with the last part. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc, duhban

          I do not think that's the sum of liberal identity.

          But yes, there are many people who essentially do not and will not care--and those are people who vote Democratic. They're not people who look at this site. They're the people who delete me on Facebook if I post more than 6 links to this site or anything else that's political per year.

          They're sort of like the new 'silent majority.'

          Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

          by Nulwee on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:21:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see it like that at all. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisePiper, k9disc, Odysseus

      I think it was an angry response to corruption in government, which amounted to the very rich having way too much influence over both parties. So what if it came from people who had full stomachs--would you prefer that the middle class yawn at corruption in government, and leave it all to the working class?

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:55:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Pro-Weiner diary on the front page doesn't... (9+ / 0-)

    ...add to this community's credibility, IMHO.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:21:02 PM PDT

  •  My gawd (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    duhban, auron renouille, marsanges

    so much focus on labels and attitudes. Meta squared.

    That said, I like the end note format. Very nice touch.

  •  This has already been (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee

    diaried.

    Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied, or realised. "Praxis" may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas. This has been a recurrent topic in the field of philosophy, discussed in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Paulo Freire, Ludwig von Mises, and many others. It has meaning in the political, educational, and spiritual realms.

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

    by Empty Vessel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:36:17 PM PDT

  •  incrementalism (11+ / 0-)

    This is a tough one.
       The fact is that incrementalism has been the only thing that has ever worked in American history. The slow reforming movement has led to a stable democracy and general prosperity.
       Historically this has been the way to go.

     However, our current situation was never meant to be permanent. Our government and economic system has never been more disfunctional. The ability of the public never more unable to effect real change.
       Jefferson famously said the tree of liberty needs the blood of patriots and tyrants now and then. That may not mean now, but it means eventually.

     BTW, good diary.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:42:56 PM PDT

    •  Y'know (9+ / 0-)

      things start getting weird when I start seeing the same quotes on DKos that I see on the bumper stickers of Tea Baggers.

      The thing that is never overly discussed by folks who use that quote, whatever their political orientation, is who is the tyrant and who is the patriot, and who sheds more blood?

      I'd add, unless its a blood orange, I prefer to water my trees with water.

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

      by Empty Vessel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:47:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And you should be skeptical (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WisePiper, k9disc, duhban, Odysseus

        A violent change is never something to consider lightly.
           As long as there is the real possibility of reform from non-violent action then that is the way to go. Once blood starts flowing there is no telling where things might lead.

          But I will say that things will only continue to get worse unless people believe that they can change things for the better. Cynicism, while it may be considered "cool" or even "smart", will get us nowhere. Cynicism is a dead-end street.
           Put another way, optimism is is necessary for a functioning democracy.

        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

        by gjohnsit on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:59:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My skepticism (8+ / 0-)

          on this sort of thing is based on a fairly simple calculation.

          If you can't get people to stand in line for a an hour and vote a couple times a year for the cause you want them to vote for....what are the chances you are gonna get them to take up arms, and potentially die for that same cause?

          Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Isaac Asimov

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

          by Empty Vessel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:03:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then your skepticism is just another name (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WisePiper

            for cynicism.
               It sounds cool but it accomplishes nothing.

            It's strange to see so many people here who voted for "hope" now willing to defend the same candidate based on cynical reasons.

            None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

            by gjohnsit on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:13:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who said I voted for Hope (5+ / 0-)

              I voted for Obama.

              But seriously, you never answered my question.

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

              by Empty Vessel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:16:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You didn't pose the question to me, but (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassiodorus, Odysseus, aliasalias

                I'd like to throw in my two cents:

                People don't take up arms as a reaction to job insecurity, retirement insecurity, food insecurity. They take up arms (or, at least, many will) when there are literally no jobs to be found that pay a survival wage, no conceivable "golden years" destiny beyond starvation when one can no longer work, the actual (not just feared) absence of food on the table for prolonged periods of time.

                The irony here is that those who dismiss the possibility of violent revolution as a response to the ongoing and escalating theft of wealth by the 1% are arguably the strongest abettors of inevitable violence, when they stand in the way of vitally necessary and substantive course correction.

                In my view, the "pragmatic" incrementalists are unwittingly paving the way for that which they turn a blind eye to.

                Refusing to resist = choosing to collaborate. Please give two shits.

                by WisePiper on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:30:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So you'll just wait for the war? (0+ / 0-)

                  Or will you try to get people in line to,vote for your causes in the meantime?

                  I don't see the point of your comment.  Seriously, I really don't.  You seem to concede my point, people ain't gonna fight when they can vote...then somehow turn around as my fault.

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

                  by Empty Vessel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:25:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  One of my "causes" is fierce advocacy (0+ / 0-)

                    for the abandonment of the failed LOTE strategy. This involves persuading people to withhold their vote from Democrats who are destroying the Party brand by their actions and fostering apathy among the base.

                    Refusing to resist = choosing to collaborate. Please give two shits.

                    by WisePiper on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:50:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  UH (0+ / 0-)

                      And that has exactly what to do with any comment I have made in this diary?

                      I have addressed only one thing, that it's easier to get people to vote than to get them to fight a war.  

                      Seriously, who are you talking to?

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

                      by Empty Vessel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:53:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I was addressing your illogical (0+ / 0-)

                        contention that the difficulty in motivating some people to vote has some bearing on whether people might engage in violent revolution. In other words, I was offering an answer to the question you posed to gjohnsit.

                        Refusing to resist = choosing to collaborate. Please give two shits.

                        by WisePiper on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:03:25 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  So you think it's easier to get Americans to (0+ / 0-)

                          Fight a war against America than it is to get them to vote?  A real war, with guns...and casualties...and the blood of patriots. Seriously?  Cause neither ghosh sit nor I were talking about a metaphorical war. Me were talking about the real thing...with dead people.

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

                          by Empty Vessel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:06:39 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  EV, I think you're being intentionally (0+ / 0-)

                            obtuse.

                            You're framing violent revolution as analogous to a get-out-the-vote drive.

                            MY point is that revolution is a reaction to perceived lack of alternatives in desperate circumstances. When exercising our franchise delivers up the same cast of miscreants serving the interests of the PTB, revolution becomes less unthinkable.

                            Refusing to resist = choosing to collaborate. Please give two shits.

                            by WisePiper on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:22:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do we have that "perceived lack of alternatives (0+ / 0-)

                            Right now?"

                            If not, what will you be doing right now other than try to get people to vote for your cause?

                            My point is this, it's a fuckload easier to win with the ballot box than Ammo box.

                            I'm not saying anything complicated.

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

                            by Empty Vessel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:29:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Bowing out now. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'll just reiterate, voting LOTE fosters despair and desperation, as the voters learn that little changes, and, in fact, continues to deteriorate. Despair and desperation are the seeds of revolution.

                            (I really am bowing out now. I'm not going to respond this evening to any assertions about how much worse things would be under Republican governance. That argument misses the point, and I need to go now.)

                            Refusing to resist = choosing to collaborate. Please give two shits.

                            by WisePiper on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:50:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Have a good night. (0+ / 0-)

                            But I have literally not said a word about republicans or enabling them in this thread. Not once, not even a little.

                            What I am am saying is simple, you are more likely to get Bernie Samders as president through the voting process than through revolution.

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

                            by Empty Vessel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:54:02 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  That Would Be Stand in Line for 4-6 Hours to Vote (5+ / 0-)

            if they're the kind of people who would vote for our policies right now.

            We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

            by Gooserock on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:22:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think I agree with GJ, it is kind of cynical. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, gjohnsit, XenuLives

            We're not given anything to vote for. We're given things to vote against or to hold our noses to support due to unchallenged, corporate sponsored, political realities.

            We're asked to fight over and over and then our blood and sweat gets rolled right into into corporate sausage legislation.

            I'm actually not disheartened that such a large percentage of people don't vote. It actually tells me that they understand that the system is broken. It gives me hope. If we had 90% turnout in this sham of a Democracy, that would probably do me right in.

            What disheartens me is that Democrats decide to take the cynical route and chase "independent" voters with public relations gimmicks who are not ideological kin. Instead of empowering and energizing the 50+% percent of the population that is turned off to voting who actually have some political kinship with the Left, the Democrats run away from disruptive change and play into the safe and stable, status quo.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:28:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I would never consider violent change (0+ / 0-)

          unless I were forced to.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:16:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  War is inherently unstable. (0+ / 0-)

          Democrats want to Defend America and all Republicans want is war.

          My how I wish that second sentence were true these days...

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:20:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The American Revolution itself -- (8+ / 0-)

      was not an "incrementalist" affair.  We didn't secede from the UK in stages.

      Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:48:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The new deal may not have been a revolution (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD

        but it sure did turn over a lot of apple carts.

      •  Though we did arrive at the position ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        duhban

        ... of the decision to attempt to secede from the UK in stages.

        And surely the more radical of the time saw the decision to make peace with the devil in the form of the institution of chattel slavery as a far from complete secession from the institutions that had been established in colonies of the UK.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:12:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This won't be popular to say (4+ / 0-)

        but I will say that the changes from the America Revolution were relatively minor, and thus incremental.
           There was no real change concerning slavery, women's rights, or rule by the wealthy elite. It was mostly about a change of elite.

          Now if you want to talk about real change, you have to look at the French and Haitian Revolutions. The ruling elite was completely overthrown in both cases, and that's why it got so damn bloody.

        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

        by gjohnsit on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:48:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And led to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jiffypop, TheLizardKing, duhban

          There's the rub.

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

          by Empty Vessel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:52:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            duhban, aliasalias, congenitalefty

            The French Revolution was betrayed (several times). But at the same time it mortally wounded feudalism in Europe and indirectly led to the end of the Spanish Empire.

              Revolutions rarely lead to where they were intended, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
              However, too often they are betrayed and lead to a large loss of life and disastrous results.

             OTOH, revolutionary movements are also an act by people with hope. People without hope never risk their lives to improve their world. It doesn't just take courage to be in these movements. It also takes a belief that the world can be better.

            None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

            by gjohnsit on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:21:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The most important part of the French Revolution (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheMomCat, aliasalias

              was the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen -- which of course built upon the US Declaration of Independence.  Two swift strokes, and the world was changed forever.  Not incremental.

              Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

              by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:33:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  it was vastly incremental (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nickrud

                because in the US it did nothing for anyone but white land owners which really was a continuation of the British concept.

                In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
                Shop Kos Katalogue
                Der Weg ist das Ziel

                by duhban on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:38:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The words in those documents (0+ / 0-)

                were a real break from the past - commoners claiming the same right to depose kings that the barons had claimed hundreds of years previously.

                Implementation? Incremental. The same assemblies pre-revolution continued to run the states. The same people held the wealth. In some ways implementation was a step backwards. English law forbade settlement or exploitation of the lands beyond the Appalachians in an attempt to honor their treaties with Indian tribes that had helped fight the Seven Years War.

                We all know what happened to that law in 1783.

                47 is the new 51!

                by nickrud on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:47:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  There were several important parts of the French (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassiodorus, congenitalefty

                Revolution.
                  France outlawing slavery in 1794 (despite Napoleon restoring slavery in 1802) had an immense impact on the world. By 1811 the slave trade in the western world was effectively outlawed.

                  Napoleon's ill-fated invasaion of Spain in 1808 led directly to almost all of latin america achieving independence by 1824.

                 But the biggest change was the weakening of the rule of monarchs in Europe. The republicans of France stood up to all the monarchies of Europe and repeatedly defeated them for decades. It set an example that people wouldn't forget

                None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                by gjohnsit on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:52:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I go by David Graeber's definition of revolution (0+ / 0-)

                  that the revolutions of 1789, of 1848, of 1917 and of 1968 were revolutions in which that which constituted common sense changed.

                  Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

                  by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:54:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I wonder whether this discussion is ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassiodorus

                ... proceeding based on more sweeping use of the term "incremental" than is relevant to the long running strategic argument between more incrementalist change strategies and more radical change strategies.

                That is, during the lead-up to the US revolution, there were those who favored more incrementalist approaches, and there were those who favored more radical approaches. An incremental process of incrementalist strategies being tried and failed (eg., petitioning the Court of King George III for redress of grievances) and growing numbers becoming frustrated with their failure and convinced that there was no progress to be had without a radical break ...

                ... which could be accurately described as an incremental process of building up the support for radical change.

                And, indeed, the process of attempting the incrementalist strategies for change was itself a critical part of the building up support for radical change, since the demonstrated inability to gain redress for grievances within the existing colonial institutions was critical to the increasing numbers seeing the colonial institutions as illegitimate.

                And it is a good thing if a solution if available with less sweeping change. The more radical the change, the greater the likelihood and scope for unintended consequences, and as it is easier to destroy than to build, those unintended consequences are biased toward being unexpected destructive consequences.

                But these unintended consequences have to be looked at in light of where we are likely to end up without radical change. In order to achieve the minimum changes required under a dispassionate view of the risks we face as a result of human-driven climate change, we need to accomplish more than is possible under the current political system.

                So radical change at the present point in time is mandatory if we are to avoid likely cataclysmic consequences.

                A dumbed down version of the American Pragmatist school of the late 1800's and early 1900's would say that it always came down on the side of incremental change, but the more accurate description of its precautionary principle was to prefer the more incremental approach that accomplished the objective at hand.

                "The more incremental approach" that is substantial enough to achieve the objective of restructuring our political landscape to make credible policies to substantially mitigate climate change possible would stll be quite radical, and several degrees removed from what people would normally recognize as "incrementalist" approaches to the problem.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:48:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I'd rather have Napoleon than Robespierre. :) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Empty Vessel

            But yeah, the French Revolution gave rise to a dictator in Napoleon.  I don't know if he was worse than King Louis.  I thing Robespierre was worse than both, though.

            •  I gotta disagree (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cassiodorus

              and I'm pretty certain that most French would disagree as well.
                Robespierre defended the republic, eliminated the aristocracy, removed the power of the church and outlawed slavery.

               Napoleon eliminated the republic, enabled the church and aristocracy, and restored slavery.

                Some might point to The Terror, but the one day during the The Terror where the most people died was the day after Robespierre was killed - i.e. during the White Terror.
                And if you look at the number of people who died, nothing compared to Napoleon. He was in another league.

              None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

              by gjohnsit on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:28:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Considering that the UK abolished slavery (0+ / 0-)

          before we did, some of those changes may have been regressive or decremental, rather than incrementally progressive.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:50:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  At the time of the Revolution, sugar was ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego

            ... more important than cotton in the Imperial slave trade, but in the early years of the 1800's, sugar prices became substantially more volatile, making it more difficult for sugar growers to maintain their political influence in the home country, while in the US there was that damn Eli Whitney and his cotton gin.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:33:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's actually why the revolution succeeded, imho (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          congenitalefty, Tony Situ, gjohnsit

          It was not a fundamental change in how the colonies worked.  The individual colonies already had their own legislatures that operated competently, given that Parliament could not effectively micromanage on account of the distance; they were simply granted almost full powers inherent to sovereignty by the Articles of Confederation.  Of course, the little force that Parliament could exert was still too much.

          Really, it was not so much as revolution as a civil war within the British Empire, but I suspect that civil wars that end in secession don't look like civil wars in the rearview mirror.

          This is why revolutions to remove entire government structures (see e.g. Libya, Russia after the fall of communism, perhaps Egypt) often fail - it's difficult to fill the vacuum left by the revolution with something healthy.

          But it does sometimes work - see e.g. the transition of Spain to democracy or the integration of Soviet Europe into the free world, not to mention the Korean and Taiwanese and even Filipino transitions to democracy, not to mention the transition of South Africa to majority rule.  It's instructive that all of those events were also incremental.

          I don't really believe in revolution in the absence of extreme oppression (see e.g. Libya, which is still struggling terribly, and Syria, which will be this decade's Rwanda, I suspect) because of that.  Sounds cute to some people but the vacuum created is extraordinarily dangerous - in all likelihood, the people most willing to exert power by force of arms will fill that vacuum.

          "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

          by auron renouille on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:52:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  No, but we certainly inched our way up to it (0+ / 0-)

        for quite some time.  That part was incremental.

        And then...pow!

      •  The revolutoin wasn't incremental but seccession (0+ / 0-)

        was. The colonies had been year after year separating from England more and more, bit by bit over the course of many decades.

    •  New Deal Was Not Incremental. (4+ / 0-)

      While it's true that there was widespread civil disobedience of different types providing the motivation, the discontinuity of the crash & depression plus that popular pressure resulted in national government taking a sudden hard left turn economically, creating our only large middle class in about 1 generation.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:14:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  American history never had to deal (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus, blueoasis

      with impending global climate catastrophe before.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:01:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, but how do you rebel against that? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        congenitalefty

        Climate change will lead to resource wars, and I see nothing good coming out of that

         The only dramatic rejection of what causes climate change is a rejection of modern capitalism. For that to work it would have to be global in scale, and that would be unprecedented in history.

        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

        by gjohnsit on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:03:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Our economic system has never been more dysfunc- (0+ / 0-)

      tional than to day?  Really?
      In the past we had:
      Slavery
      Indentured Servitude
      Children working in dangerous factories for 18 hours a day.
      Women working in fire hazards as textile factories, with locked doors preventing escape from the blaze (the example I refer to is the NYC textile fire disaster).
      We had the guilded age for pete's sake.
      We had people doing hard labor for pennies as there was no minimum wage.
      No OSHA.
      No unions or collective bargaining.

      How can someone honestly claim that the economic system today has never been more dysfunciotnal in the past?

  •  The beatings will continue until moral improves.nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, poligirl, blueoasis
  •  I've long thought we have the capability (10+ / 0-)

    to "do it" but we also have the capability to fuck it up beyond repair, i.e., FUBAR.  The problem is channeling that human versatility in the right directions when it is primarily held hostage by the "controllers" who are taking us in the wrong direction.  The insane future development of weapons and control measures against human beings is an example, they have robots man.  Terminators.  I.e, our U.S. government killed a million Iraqis in an illegal war that cost us four trillion and counting frigging dollars.  Like maybe we could have used that money in a better manner.  So what do they do, they cut food stamps and Social Security.  Like Chris Hedges said in a recent interview, if we don't stop them, they might kill us all.   If that human versatility can figure out how to wrestle the power away from the current plutocracy, then we might get somewhere.  They control everything.

    "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:46:54 PM PDT

  •  It is so nice to see someone use endnotes. nt (7+ / 0-)

    The GOP: Fearing things that have never existed while ignoring things that have always existed, i.e. gun registration/starvation.

    by StevenJoseph on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:48:39 PM PDT

  •  One optimistic thought: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, SouthernLiberalinMD

    the pool of retirees who have the time and inclination to engage in politics is set to expand considerably with boomers, who are generally more tolerant (on many social issues at least) than their elders and less inclined to blame everything on Franklin W. Rosenfeldt.

    The country is changing. Just a thought.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10 UID: 8519

    by Bob Love on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:49:54 PM PDT

  •  pushing 3rd parties (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VelvetElvis, auron renouille

    is self destructive, dumb and a waste of time.

    The Greens spent all of 2000 trashing Gore as 'just like Bush' and  then really made the difference in electing Bush instead of Gore.

    What happened? Well the entirity of the Bush years happened and the Greens faded back to irrelevancy.

    And did we then get our progressive (or whatever term you want to us) hero? Not according to most here instead according to many here we got someone 'as bad as Nixon'. And make no mistake to me Obama's just a human being sometimes he's right sometimes he's wrong.

    Promoting 3rd parties isn't a solution and maybe there's not even one. Frankly I am rather cynical that progressives (or whatever you want to call them) as a whole are ready to actually be a major electoral force. Certainly the last 40 years of last minute snatching of defeat from victory doesn't   speak well nor does the refusal to acknowledge that incrementalism is the preferred method for change by the vast majority of the public.

    Even signature systems like Medicare or SS didn't just spring into being as they currently are. They started off flawed but good ideas and were constantly improved.

    On the whole I wish we could transform America overnight but history doesn't indicate that has even a snowball's chance in hell and further recent history suggests that advocating 3rd parties as you so badly seem to want to is inherently self destructive and counter to progress.

    In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
    Shop Kos Katalogue
    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:58:01 PM PDT

    •  Proof on the back of one historical example ... (7+ / 0-)

      ... is for the gullible and easily fooled.

      The fact that Nader pursued the course that was least constructive of the Green Party's interest of focusing his efforts in the swing states rather than in the states that were safe states in either column, where the Greens stood to gain protest votes against the safe state status ...

      ... is not a comprehensive exploration of all of the possible uses of third party strategies.

      Indeed, one could have quite a debate on the topic of whether a third party pursuing the kind of radical restructure of our politics without which we the capacity to maintain a national economy is well advised to be focusing on Presidential politics in the first place.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:17:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  there's plenty of examples (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee

        I picked the most recent one.

        Though trying to dismiss the history of failure of the vast majority of 3rd party efforts is fairly common.

        And this isn't even about Nader it's about the pervasive lie that 'there is no difference between the parties'. It's about the fact that hte only time a 3rd party historically even has a chance is when one party utterly self destructs. It's about how utterly improbably a complete revolution is.

        So long as we have the system we have 3rd parties are never going to have a chance and voting for them is useless and a waste of time. Now if you or the diarist want to call for a national convention to change our system to something like Germany's where more then 2 parties become viable I'd be all for that. Frankly I think our system of goverment is dated and would vastly prefer such a change but that doesn't mean it's going to happen.

        In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
        Shop Kos Katalogue
        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:36:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If that was what you intended to say ... (7+ / 0-)
          And this isn't even about Nader it's about the pervasive lie that 'there is no difference between the parties'.
          ... then why did you instead elect to argue something else?

          Indeed, most efforts to change the course of one of the two establishment parties also fail, so given a starting premise that we are quite clearly screwed if we remain on the course that we are on ...

          ... your argument requires showing that success is more likely working entirely within one or the other rival parties of government without any recourse to any support infrastructure that is independent of that party and largely out of reach of the defenders of the status quo within that party.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:44:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  no (0+ / 0-)

            my argument is predicated on the fact that 'working outside' fails 9 times out of 10 if not more.

            Thus the odds are that you have a better chance of actually getting somewhere within the system, no matter how 'unprincipled' that might seem

            In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
            Shop Kos Katalogue
            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:14:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And working inside for radical change ... (4+ / 0-)

              ... fails 9 times out of 10 if not more.

              Thus the odds are that you have a better chance of actually getting somewhere within the system, ...
              Only if you can establish that working within the system for the radical change required ... as discussed by Al Gore, describing the minimum that we need to do as more than the maximum that is politically possible .... has a better chance.

              Any reader can tell that "the chance of A is low, so the chances of B must be better" as you have just argued, is not a valid argument.

              Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

              by BruceMcF on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:54:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  right that's why (0+ / 0-)

                medicare, SS etc etc all come from the outside.....oh wait no they didn't

                In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
                Shop Kos Katalogue
                Der Weg ist das Ziel

                by duhban on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:23:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Of course they did ... (2+ / 0-)

                  ... you will recall that in the early part of the 20th century, the Republican and Democratic parties were both vying for the Progressive vote, and in the 1920's there was a substantial rise of Populist and Granger parties ...

                  ... all of which was brought into the Democratic Party fold as part of Roosevelt's New Deal coalition.

                  Clearly, third party support has played a massive role in both of the most substantial political realignments in our country's fairly brief political history: the formation of the Republican Party, and the founding of the New Deal Coalition by a merger of the existing Democratic Party coalition with Progressive & Populist forces previously on the outside looking in.

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:25:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  if you are going to claim (0+ / 0-)

                    SS and Medicare come from the outside I fully expect and demand you to back that up to the hilt with supporting evidence.

                    Because I am familiar with the Progressive movement and I can't really recall SS being one of the ideas proposed. Yes they were after some sort of retirement system but then that was hardly an idea unique to that party.

                    Honestly if you are better off with the Democrats and Republicans/Whigs as an example then SS

                    In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
                    Shop Kos Katalogue
                    Der Weg ist das Ziel

                    by duhban on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:00:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  How bout you back up some of the ridiculous claims (2+ / 0-)

                      you keep making?

                      You seem to think your fantasy recollections are some kind evidence.  

                      Teh stupid. It burns.

                      The worship of guns requires human sacrifices evidently. ~richardak

                      by denig on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 03:20:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Wow. You can't even keep your own... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DeadHead

                      arguments straight.

                      First you say this:

                      if you are going to claim (0+ / 0-)

                      SS and Medicare come from the outside I fully expect and demand you to back that up to the hilt with supporting evidence.

                      Implying that you believe that SS and Medicare came from inside the Dem party.

                      Then you go right on to say:

                      Because I am familiar with the Progressive movement and I can't really recall SS being one of the ideas proposed. Yes they were after some sort of retirement system but then that was hardly an idea unique to that party.
                      Implying that you believe that SS and Medicare came from outside the Dem Party. So which is it?

                      Am I talking to one person or two or three?

                      And by the fucking way, who the fuck are you to be demanding anybody back anything "up to the hilt with supporting evidence."?

                      'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

                      by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 05:15:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Where do you believe the idea for the program ... (1+ / 0-)

                      ... came from?

                      "I can't recall" is a remarkably non-committal rebuttal.

                      The fact is that I do not believe that you have the faintest idea about what the intellectual history of the idea for a national pension system in the United States, nor what the previous models overseas were, nor which school of Economic Thought was arguing for it at the time nor whether they were or were not consulted by Progressives.

                      I believe that you are just bluffing.

                      Since you are the one originally making the claim that the antecedents of the Social Security system is to be found in entirely in the late 1800's Democratic coalition of Bourbon Democrats and Big City Political Machines, and is entirely absent from any approaches to economic policy that the Progressives were familiar with ...

                      ... make your case.

                      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                      by BruceMcF on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:15:09 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  the fact is you made the claim (0+ / 0-)

                        so it's your case to make not mine

                        And while it's cute to watch you duck that responsibility I'm not in the mood to play. Make your argument or drop it

                        In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
                        Shop Kos Katalogue
                        Der Weg ist das Ziel

                        by duhban on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 12:31:39 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  In other words... (3+ / 0-)




                          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                          by DeadHead on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 12:39:43 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Actually, you originally made the claim (0+ / 0-)
                          right that's why

                           
                          medicare, SS etc etc all come from the outside.....oh wait no they didn't

                          ... which betrayed that you don't have the faintest clue that Social Security was not an existing finished piece of legislation that FDR decided to back and push it through to law ... where once could say, "well, who proposed it, and who did they get the idea from"? ...

                          ... but that it was created in a frenetic summer of activity in which they did indeed take information and ideas from all over the place.

                          Nobody can credibly say, "oh, the progressives had ideas about a national pension, but they were not 'the' source of Social Security", given that Social Security was designed under a team of people who were building on everything that they could lay their hands on.

                          As Frances Perkins reminded us on the 25th anniversary:  

                          But this was all that we had to work with. Then we got in this group of, we had of course, the great help of the Advisory Council who were really remarkable in what they were able to do and the support they were able to muster for the ideas and in their support behind the working staff. And then we borrowed the working staff from all over the country. I remember it was just a telegram saying "We have no money. We can pay your railroad fare and your expenses if you really need expenses while you are in Washington, but there is no salary. Will you come?" and we only had one refusal. And the people who knew the most about the existing security systems in other countries came and worked willingly and worked at high pressure all through a summer so different from this one as you can hardly believe it possible. This was a team of high-powered people, professors from all over the country whom Ed Witte had to drive and from whom he had to extract a program and to whom he had to break the news that this particular idealistic pattern which some professor had thought up wouldn't do because, you know, the Senate, the Congress, the Supreme Court, politics in general. It was not an easy thing to do.
                          So in fact, as soon as you conceded that Progressives had ideas on a national pension, you conceded that Progressive ideas on the national pension were fed into the formation of the Social Security system.

                          And citing Social Security, Medicare, etc. was itself a way to distract from the fact that the active Progressive and Labor movements of the late 1800's through to the 1920's, and the Populist and Granger movements that arise in the farm economy price depression of the 1920's, did not disappear, but were rather a large part of what turned the Democratic party from the natural opposition party of the 1870's to 1920's to the natural government party of the 1930's to 1970's: the New Deal coalition brought them into the Democratic Party fold.

                          If they had not developed their strength as movements outside of the Democratic Party fold, there would have been nothing to bring in.

                          This tacit theory of yours that "either a 3rd party rises to power or else it has no effect on the political landscape" just does not stand up to scrutiny.

                          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                          by BruceMcF on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 11:32:29 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                            1. Your link is I believe wrong, it takes you here but I believe from the quote you meant it to go here

                            2. That in context is not a positive claim it is me mocking the claim you made above

                            3. The claim in point 2 has yet to be actually substantiated. Though you finally are making strides to that in this latest comment.

                            4. I never argue that 'the Progressive Movement' had ideas about a National Pension system but I would contend that what FDR passed would not have really qualified. And if you are as knowledgeable as you claim to be I don't think I should need to expand further on that point for you to see my argument. However you are welcome to ask me to.

                            5. I have never argued that

                            either a 3rd party rises to power or else it has no effect on the political landscape"
                            In fact you can see that in this comment I not only admit that 3rd parties can I even throw you a line.

                            But that doesn't change the historical fact that such events like the Whigs/Republicans are the exception not the rule

                            In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
                            Shop Kos Katalogue
                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 03:02:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Ouch! That must have stung! nt (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  denig, DeadHead

                  'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

                  by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 01:27:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  3rd party's ideas get coopted by major parties (7+ / 0-)

          When a 3rd party successfully gets its ideas co-opted, it has won. Getting elected is not the only measure of success.

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

          by FishOutofWater on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:00:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  yeah but you can't have it here (0+ / 0-)

        because the attempt will be nipped in the bud by those who don't want that discussion to happen.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:03:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The fact that you can't tolerate advocacy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheMomCat

      appears here as a fear of open-mindedness.

      Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:50:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ross Perot helped elect Bill Clinton (4+ / 0-)

      It's amazing how "pragmatists" remember Ralph Nader but forget Ross Perot. FWIW Nader didn't cause Gore to lose Florida. Voter disenfranchisement and failure to count all the votes landed the election in the courts.

      The 2000 election was stolen.

      Don't blame Nader.

      p.s. I never much liked Nader because he screwed his own workers.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:51:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no Nader was instrumental in FL (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auron renouille

        he wasn't the only factor but he was a factor

        And what about Perot? Are you saying that cause 3rd parties occasionally help us we should use them? That really doesn't make sense and despite the ideological difference really you are making my point for me.

        In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
        Shop Kos Katalogue
        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:13:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this addition to the conversation. n/t (3+ / 0-)

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:13:10 PM PDT

  •  I won't pretend to understand all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shopkeeper, SouthernLiberalinMD

    you have written--I'm a simple person: but one with hope and optimism. I like to think I take the long view of where we are headed and that, at the end of the day, right will prevail.

    I was, however, struck by this summation:

    My opinion boils down to this: I think that human beings, with their vast reserves of brainpower and versatility, are capable of figuring out how to manage their affairs without entirely screwing up life on the planet.
    From what I have learned, through personal experience and the experience of others, I can't disagree.

    And if it's okay to note, the endnotes are way cool.

  •  OK, so the plan is... (5+ / 0-)

    1) Post diaries on Kos about the need for revolution, which regardless of their merits are written at an intellectual level that only a smart and interested college graduate will understand. (This is a compliment in a sense, but I'm an academic. I've seen what happens when your lecture is delivered at a level that's over the heads of your intended audience. It ain't pretty.)

    2) ????

    3) "REVOLUTIONARY UNLEASHING OF HUMAN SOCIAL VERSATILITY UPON THE WORLD"!!!

    What concrete actions do you propose to take to get to step 3?

  •  3rd Way In My Experience Strongly Dislikes the (5+ / 0-)

    left and liberalism. I've never seen them co-opting the terms, they reject them outright.

    Anyone calling for policies that advance the top end at the expense of the masses is a conservative, even if they work for NPR or belong to the Democratic Party.

    I see a whole lot here about what a vibrant movement should think and do but very little about how to create it. Whether it's progressivism or post-capitalism we have to find a way to make persuasive contact with the people.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:21:27 PM PDT

    •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

      well said.  I'd support that movement, and have spent much of my daydreaming time trying to crack that nut (still haven't).

      I don't want to shit on this perfectly decent diary, but I get a little nervous when I see people talking about the need for optimism or that people just need to "learn" the true nature of things.

      I get it, both things are true and matter.  But they also have a pie in the sky element of avoiding the hard work of convincing, teaching and getting the fucking votes.

      Optimism is only useful when its warranted, otherwise its no more useful than the "unskewed polls" of Mitt Romney.

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

      by Empty Vessel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:29:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hyperpartisanship (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    duhban, blueoasis

    I don't think the problem is entirely with "more and better Democrats."

    Hyperpartisanship seems to arise from a focus on "more" and a naive interpretation of "Democrats."

    But the phrase invites consideration of what "Democrats" means and what "better" means.

    Has there ever been any clarification on "Democrats" and "better"?  

    "Yes We Can!" -- Barack Obama

    by Sucker Politics on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:34:09 PM PDT

    •  Would you regard Lance Selfa's take (0+ / 0-)

      on the Democrats as "naive"?  If so, why, and if not, why not?

      Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:52:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Naive interpretation of "Democrats" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassiodorus

        I had in mind "has a D after the name." ;)

        Your previous diary is definitely something I'm going to have to read more carefully, along with Selfa's argument. Actually, it seems I'm going to have to read a lot of your previous diaries.

        You have the breadth and depth of political knowledge to articulate the frustrations I wish I could articulate. You've got yourself DKos follower #271.

        "Yes We Can!" -- Barack Obama

        by Sucker Politics on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:37:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Holy shit, *that* diary got FP'ed? (0+ / 0-)

    Glad I was mostly AFK that day.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:41:54 PM PDT

  •  Thumbs up (3+ / 0-)

    Hey don't get me wrong, I like the taste of outrage in the morning.

    Personally, I am tired to the defeatism/fatalism that's so in vogue nowadays.

    Tipped and rec'd, thank you Cassiodorus

    "Who's the more foolish, the fool, or the fool that follows him?"--Obi-Wan Kenobi

    by punkRockLiberal on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:43:25 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for trying to really answer the question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus

    and, as always, for thinking outside the box.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:52:52 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this really intelligent diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus

    I'm increasingly fascinated by cognitive studies and the brain's capacity to, well, produce and invent.

    Something I'd like to add re #2, upbringing.  There have been lots of studies that demonstrate that middle-class children are exposed to a lot more words growing up than are lower-class children.  So they not only grow up feeling more entitled, they also are given the linguistic tools to negotiate social systems to get what they feel entitled to.

    Although conversely, one could also say, and this is obviously a generalization, that with all the shuttling around to soccer games and clubs and who knows whatever other activities they're subjected to, that said kids have little time for reflection, or creativity, or growth.

    •  Precisely. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Martha
      Although conversely, one could also say, and this is obviously a generalization, that with all the shuttling around to soccer games and clubs and who knows whatever other activities they're subjected to, that said kids have little time for reflection, or creativity, or growth.
      This is because they are being prepared for "personal growth" within a capitalist system.  

      Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:07:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the diaries this is responding to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus

    were on the reclist, but not the front page.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:15:13 PM PDT

  •  A key factor in all this is recognizing wins... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kerflooey

    ...there's a danger in complacency of celebration, of course, but there's also a danger in the complacency of whining. Focus on policy: wins, setbacks, and process, and the hope creates itself. There isn't much more one needs to do in terms of engendering that emotion than focus on policy goals instead of groups or individuals in the political realm. Labels and posturing aren't useful, they just mask the underlying issues.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:22:49 PM PDT

  •  I'm hopeful (0+ / 0-)

    I get impatient with the "All must be perfect, and the President, above all, must be perfect group."  I've spent a lot of time reading about history, and about Presidents.  This man is going to knock our socks off once history starts looking at him.

    All the hand-wringers should wring their hands.  It is what they do.  I'm not pessimistic.  I feel that if he can do anything, with our help, he will do a fine job.  But we must remember that we are an important ingredient.  We must get ourselves busy helping him every time he asks.  His mission is for social justice.  Who, with a heart, would be against that?

  •  People who express hope here get beaten down. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auron renouille, kerflooey

    The threads always go like this:

    A: Hey, look at that, (random good thing happening in American politics, probably something coming out of the White House).

    B: Yeah, well, (drones/NSA/cause du jour), you sellout!

    It's like there's a cadre of people around here who feel like it's their job to push back against any positivity.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:29:26 PM PDT

    •  I think that's one thing that has me unhappy here. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell

      It's never enough that something good is happening; there is always something bad happening somewhere else that seems more important to the naysayers here.  Public Option, Assange, Manning, Snowden, DRONEZ!, some people I think simply want to be permanently in opposition to everything.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:57:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's because (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassiodorus, congenitalefty

        The good shit is already good and probably doesn't need as much fixing as the bad shit.

        And chances are we're on a bit of a time schedule when it comes to fixing the bad shit, whereas the good shit is either already done, or in the process of getting done.

        Should we just sit around patting ourselves on the back, instead of addressing the countless other things that need fixing before they become harder, if not impossible, to fix?




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:46:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Alinsky writes about celebrating minor victories. (0+ / 0-)

          If you want people to work on issues, you can't just feed them a constant stream of negativity. You need to encourage them to feel good about what has been accomplished.

          Beaten-down people don't march.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:21:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Spoken like (0+ / 0-)

            A true cheerleader.

            March in celebration of the good things, not for changing the bad things. We'll get to those bad things once the euphoria subsides.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

            by DeadHead on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 01:34:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, of course (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus, congenitalefty

      That's the sole purpose of the those naysayers. They just want to rain on your parade. Nothing else.

      And it's a concerted effort, too. By a few specific people hell-bent on giving you a bad trip.

      You poor thing.




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:49:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And personalization. (0+ / 0-)

        That's the other problem - assholes like this who feel the need not just to beat down overly-positive people, but who feel the need to attack them personally.

        Gee, I sure do want to work with you on climate change now, asshole. Drop me a line!

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:22:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hypocrite, heal thyself (0+ / 0-)
          Hypocrite, heal thyself.

          My opinion about people who leak classified information to push a political agenda hasn't changed since the Valerie Plame case.

          Yours?

          Oh, wait, I know: that was different, because you like Snowden's agenda, but didn't like Scooter Libby's.

          Please, continue to hold forth on how people who haven't flip-flopped the way you have are the hypocrites.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:46:33 PM PDT

          And it was an unsubstantiated accusation, no less.

          Now go fuck yourself, you poor thing.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 01:27:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  did you drop the mic after you hit publish? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus

    cause you killed it.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:19:46 PM PDT

  •  About that second paragraph... (0+ / 0-)

    There is one obvious question begged by such diaries.  What, precisely, should we place our hope in?  Should we hope that Obama brings about paradise on Earth, when the electorate properly learns to hate Republicans and vote them out of office (presumably next year)?  Is Obama finally going to experience some pushback from the "Democratic Left" to the extent where he would actually improve his policy mix?  What, precisely, is going to happen to give us hope?  Should we hope that aliens descend from outer space as they did in Arthur C. Clarke's classic (1953) novel Childhood's End, and bring peace and utopia to humankind?

    Diaries like this are are based around a false premise:  that those who are down right now are down because they have unrealistic expectations.  Expecting more from Obama is akin to expecting a utopian paradise.  The possibility of those expectations being reasonable is immediately discarded.  People can decide for themselves what their expectations should be.  Right or wrong, no one Democrat has the right to make that decision for them.

    •  I think you should reread what I said. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      congenitalefty
      Diaries like this are are based around a false premise:  that those who are down right now are down because they have unrealistic expectations.
      That's not what I'm saying at all.

      Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Cassiodorus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:06:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  why? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel, congenitalefty

    I'm on food stamps and Medicaid. If the former especially is cut as even the Senate Democrats want, I may be screwed. When they settle with the Rep House who have forgotten or don't care that millions were malnourished and dying (yes, it is true in pre-1960s South especially) in the US before food stamps, we will be screwed more. And if we loose the Senate next year, I don't know how bad it'd be.

    If we loose the House, which seems likely given the gerrymandering, and the Senate, which Nate Silver says is quite possible given more Dems than Reps are up for reelection, the only thing standing in the way of suffering and possible death of millions-certainly death of many thousands of Americans...will be the President's veto.

    We may HAVE TO win in 2016 or many people will die.

    I can't survive homeless. I'm disabled and can't walk more than a block. Need those food stamps in order to make my rent. If the landlord doesn't raise it again. Can't afford to move.

    And I think in horror of the Romney's promise to slash Medicaid by 1/3rd and make it into block grants. Medicaid is keeping millions alive right now. Literally. If  the Reps get a hand on it, so many will  suffer, and probably die. Even now we've seen Kossacks who have very serious medical issues but problems with Medicaid have left them without ability to be treated.

    We don't respond with sufficient Sustained urgency or outrage or concern it seems to the overall issue of the slashing of the safety net. It is relegated to just another upsetting issue/topic along with the war in Syria, Snoden/NSA spying, the war on women, etc.

    But it seems to be the possibly imminent deaths of numerous Americans (fyi I say Americans not because their lives are of more value but that you have to save yourselves before you can save others, we are responsible for our countrymen and women) should be the highest priority. It is like triage.

    That's what it comes down to for some of us when we see "be more positive" etc.

    We need to really truly face that Republican (cruelty or ideological fantasy) WILL kill some Americans, and probably some Kossacks.

    I am sure some of you will think this dramatic. When I worked full time I admit that cutting services made me angry and I voted and volunteered but it was somewhat removed from me. I didn't feel huge urgency... I was safe. (though on the other hand the safety net wasn't threatened much even five years ago). But NOT being safe opens one's eyes. This is why I've thought many conversations (Snowden etc) and the uproar is hard to take. Why not the uproar about people in this country who quite possibly -literally and in a relatively SHORT time- be suffering, and dying?

    It is NOT a long shot that this will happen. The risk is higher. You would not take a drug or drink a food  if the risk of prolonged misery or death was as high as it is for some lower income people now.

    Sorry to be a buzz kill. Reminding people for whom policy and long term goals are being discussed that there is an urgency. I would like to think that when I wasn't in this position (five years ago and back) I'd have felt the urgency when I'd heard Foodstamps were likely being slashed, but can't be sure.

    •  How is your local (0+ / 0-)

      Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Cassiodorus on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 05:21:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are great but not accessible to the disabled (0+ / 0-)

        who can't walk far. They only serve three times a week (I used to volunteer with them before I was injured) in places that are not accessible and don't have accessible handicapped parking. Their mission is to feed the homeless who usually are ambulatory. So they set up at Park Street in downtown Boston and in Central Square in Cambridge and one other place. Can't get to them.

        For me though the main idea is the relegation of this food stamps and medicaid slashing imminent Republican threat to millions to the same position in Progressing and country wide discussions as something less tangible or longer term in terms of risk than it is.

  •  Optimism from the Anti-Nowhere League (0+ / 0-)

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" ~Dr. Samuel Johnson

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:31:41 PM PDT

  •  One of THE most thoughtful... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, DeadHead

    ...goddamned diaries I have ever read on this site.

    I'm going to enjoy looking over the pieces in your 'Cited Works.'

    Thank you for this.

    Well done.

    all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

    by 4kedtongue on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 04:38:44 PM PDT

  •  Sorry I missed this. Belated T&R! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus

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