It is probably going to be difficult to stop the party of complaining about Congress, the media and the political culture generally and move towards a party of organizing a strong disciplined movement towards change. I believe our country needs a strong left, right and center. I believe the center and right show signs of strength and vigor but the left seems to be still weak. This is shown by the way Congress in particular has treated the concerns of the left-progressives even loyal Democrats. Many net-based activists have worked very hard to bring a Democratic majority to Congress and keep the election of 04 close despite and poor campaign strategy (as usual) from the party hacks. The realization that the Democratic Party has little interest in the sorts of concerns voiced in the left-blogosphere seems to have shocked many people. Well, clearly something isn’t working. So what next?
I’ve given my own views here in a couple of diaries and in comments which has met, largely, with more anger than good discussion so I want to refer to a past diary by someone else which is a really a good place to start. This interesting diary by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse is well worth looking at and provides with some good ideas and talking points from which to start a discussion.
Power is based on communities not ideas. It is also based on the ability to project force not simply talk and discuss. Politics is not based on reasoned arguments but emotional appeals. Swagger counts for a lot in politics, intellectual brilliance rarely counts for much. Organization counts more than a search for “truth” or ideology. Fellowship makes for boding and loyalty–an organization that does not have my back will not be very strong. Read history if you don’t believe me–this country was founded in a unique situation where ideas and communities came together–but if you read the story closely you will see how strong the communities were in those days and how far away we are. If you read the history of the union movement you will see how far away we are. If you read the history of the civil rights movement when it actually had success you will see how critical the disciplined communities of places like Montgomery were.
At this stage in history it seems we ought to go back to basics–we have lived way too long in a largely self-indulgent culture and need to see in our own lives how that has played out. To get out of that will mean what I can only call re-training–great techniques and practices are out there to sharpen the body, mind and emotions but I’m not going to write about that here. Any organization that demand a lot out of us is not going to feel good to most people here but I fail to see how we can get anywhere without something of the sort I’m discussing.
I’m sure I’ve missed something essential and, as usual, some of my sentences will be incoherent (sometimes my brain cells fire backward) but please give me some suggestion about how we can organize–what it would entail or tell me why we don’t need any kind of disciplined organization. Don’t tell me that I’m a creep because I’m not interested in rants about how fucked the system is or how bad Congress is or how Bush is evil. Well he may be evil but he sure as hell understands politics and frankly, we don’t.