You Want Far-Left?

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Kevin Holsinger’s diary today reminded me that certain people on the political right like to characterize websites such as Daily Kos, Media Matters, and MoveOn as “far-left”.

Holsinger quotes O’Reilly:

The reason the Democratic candidates boycotted Fox News was that the far-left Internet crazies told them to do it. Websites like the Daily Kos and Media Matters, which spit out anti-conservative hatred everyday, made it clear to the Democrats that anyone dealing with Fox would be punished. The creepy radical-left organization MoveOn.org, which raises serious money for liberal candidates, seconded the motion.

Clearly, certain people on the right are so denuded of imagination that they really don’t understand what “far-left” means.  I think it might be good to give them an education.

So.  Mr. O’Reilly,

Allow me to explain something.

The policies advocated on Daily Kos would, for the most part, get laughed out of town in an average civilized nation as being far, far, too right.  By “average civilized nation” I mean “on planet Earth”, and by “policies advocated on DailyKos” I mean “compromises with a government and a political culture not on planet Earth, but Pluto, in terms of acceptable debate.”

By way of contrast, your own views, Mr. O’Reilly, would not be considered “conservative” or “right-wing” in an average civilized country; they would be considered quite literally insane, deluded, indications of a touched mind.  Your views are views that, if actually carried out, with no resistance from those desperately clinging to moderation — with no resistance, that is, from those you charactize as “far-left crazies” — would result in the destruction of any country that implemented them.  In about a week.

Views like this:

[Bill] O’Reilly: Alright. That’s basically a signal that he [George W. Bush] wants to reform Social Security and by privatization. He wants to set up medical savings accounts ..

[Dick] MORRIS: And a flat tax.

O’Reilly: … and he wants to reform the tax code.

MORRIS: Wants to move to a flat tax.

O’Reilly: All of those things are noble goals, but he again – is going to meet resistance form the hard left that doesn’t want to do any of them. Why doesn’t the hard left wanna do any of this?

No, Bill.  Those are not noble goals.  Those are adolescent goals which, if enacted, would ruin the lives of millions upon millions of people.  They are fantasies cherished in a masturbatory rightist Middle Earth.  The BDSM of conservative politics — policies which you like to play at wanting but which would cause you to run whining home to your blankie in the same calendar month they were enacted.  

There’s a 15% flat tax in Iraq, right now, Bill.  Bremer foisted it on them.  He then left Iraq.

So, Bill, those of us you so ignorantly disparage as “hard left” have to waste our time talking about how we don’t “wanna do any of this” and as much as anything we do it to save your pathetic scrawny ass from ending up either under a bridge or on the end of a pike raised triumphantly by your own biggest fans, after they inquired as to why you told them to vote for their own starvation.

“Hard left” is not the rejection of your positively murderous “noble goals,” Bill.  It’s much more than that.  Some of us on DailyKos, some of us, have actual “hard-left” views.  We don’t talk about them much, these views have little use in the Plutonic Tundra of contemporary American political discourse, where we all, center, left, “hard-left”, and, increasingly, “center-right”, huddle together to keep warm.  

But since you seem to need the education, Bill, here is what an actual “hard-left”-winger, like me, believes.

You better take a breath.

We believe that the treament of labor and land as commodities is the most violent fiction ever imposed upon the human species.

We believe that if labor were really to behave like a commodity, it would almost always be on strike, as workers bargained for the best price of the day’s trading for their labor.  Workers cannot do this because workers need to eat.  This is the double-lie of the “labor market” at work, and it results in “wage-slavery”, which is not called that for nothing.

We believe that seperating human needs from “human rights” gives the violence of the market a white-wash and a pass.  Denying a person a house is the same as kicking her out of one, and it is only the fiction of an impersonal “market” that lets anyone think, or forces them to think, that they are not their sister’s keeper.

We believe that all depersonalized power tends to centralize, and the only question is whether it will centralize into institutions open to democratic discussion — i.e. governments, or else into institutions not open to democratic discussion — i.e. “corporations”.  We believe that an atrocity committed by a company is no better than one committed by a goverment.  Speeding up the private factory line is no different than ruining the public water-works, in terms of the people whose lives it makes worse.

We believe that debates over “social values” are a distraction, an indication of what the corporate-owned media does not consider important.  If everyone is debating abortion it’s because it’s better, from a top-down point of view, than debating workers’ rights, or slave-labor in China.  That we have no choice, because we also believe abortion is a human right, does not make this less frusterating.

In other words, Bill, we think your “Culture Warrior” facade is part of one of the biggest shams in American history.  

We believe every African American should be given $100,000, cash.  Tomorrow morning.

We believe every member of a Native American tribe should be given $100,000, cash.  Tomorrow morning.  

We believe, at the least, that that is the frame in which debates about reparations should be couched.  And we believe above all that African Americans and Native Americans should get the first and last word in that debate.

We believe that the military industrial complex should be disbanded.  We believe the United States should have no standing Army.  None.  Zero.  We think Dick Morris might be on to something when he said, talking to you . . .

No democracy would ever start a war of aggression.

. . . but we take that comment, unlike Dick himself, to be evidence that we don’t live in a democracy.

We will not consider women to have achieved equality until 51 Senators, 218 Congresspeople, and 5 Supreme Court Justices are women.  We will at least consider that, if it becomes the predictable norm, to be a start.

We believe in community theater.  We believe in funding the arts.  We believe art that never offends is not doing its job.

We believe typical foreign policy discussions in the United States are nothing short of insane.

We don’t hate America.  We criticize America because we believe it is the bare minimum of moral honesty to criticize institutions over which we have at least nominal control first.  There is no bravery and not much efficacy in criticizing Putin.  Further, we believe America is the most powerful country in the history of the world; as such, like Excalibur, it is dangerous.

We believe there is something extremely suspect about a political party that does not think the Bill of Rights is worth 3,000 civilian lives.  

We believe George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, Frederick Kagan, Henry Kissinger and Condoleeza Rice should be in the Hague.

Further, we believe Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and quite possibly Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford should be or should have been in the Hague.

We believe Madeleine Albright is one of the worst human beings we have ever seen on television, for her “We think it’s worth it” comment, and policy.  But she has a long, long, long list of competitors.  

We believe life is not a competition.

We believe human happiness is possible.

We believe in the essential goodness of people.  We do not think that finding, say, four people in North Carolina who gamed the welfare system is evidence of anything at all about human nature, though it says something about the people who would claim so.

We believe people can be tricked.  We think the system is the trick.  We think it is immoral to trick people.

___________________________

You want “hard-left”?  There it is, Bill.  That’s part of it.

For right now, though, I will settle for hating you, and laughing at your lack of imagination.

32 comments

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  1. on Daily Kos.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. Weapons of mass division.

    The true illusion is the labels themselves.  If you ask 100 people you will get 100 different answers.

    My worldview has become so cynical I can’t even communicate anymore.  I am more frequently writing about something very clear to me yet what I get back is thinking surrounded around MSM talking points, totally and completely removed from anything I was thinking or intending.  Your last line does say it.

    In my country Faux News would have met the 101st Airborn up close and personal several years ago.

  3. I am a middle of the road senior citizen, veering erratically and unavoidably to the left, because that is the side we drive on in the country I learned to drive in, who has sufferred from schizophrenia ever since i arrived in America in 1730, actually it was my ancestors who got here then, I’ve only been here in body for fifty years. because i keep being told I have to drive on the right or have a headon collision with a republican party that emanncipated slavery led by abrahma Lincoln and has been trying to keep the rest of us enslaved in ignorance ever since. You are actually backing a potential candidate who does not believe in evolution. He only has to look at you to refute the concept of intlligent design, my dear sir.

    I am a member of Move.On.org, as are all my perfectly normal middle class neighbours in my perfectly average American community. I am also a contributor of frequently acerbic and sarcastic comments on DailyKos for which I am frequently threatened with instant automatic banning.  Hasn’t happened yet, i’m still making waves and making noise.

    Speaking of noise, I like it here, cos we make the most noise of them all.  We yell louder.  I am your worst nightmare. I am now the far-left.  You’ve moved so far out of right field I can’t even see you anymore without a telescope.

    • Viet71 on January 11, 2008 at 2:47 am

    In the 1960s, it was a 21-year-old.

    The basic model today is a middle-aged woman.

    I’m 62, white, male.

  4. That was terrific.  Maybe I’m the choir, but amen.

    • Alma on January 11, 2008 at 3:01 am

    I wonder how much worse the far right is than we think?  Or is it just our side that they label wrong?

    • Robyn on January 11, 2008 at 3:03 am

    …who think they are progressive to give up this notion:

    We believe life is not a competition.

    But I shall keep on trying.

    • Edger on January 11, 2008 at 3:14 am

    Market positioning. They have to try to position everyone to the left of them. which is nearly 90 percent of the country, as “far left” radical crazies just so that they can remain on the scale at all.

    The reality is that Billo and his nutbar follwing are such as thin sliver of the population now that they are not only as far right as they can get, they’ve gone right over the edge.

    O’Reilly is a fu*king cartoon. Not worth giving him the time of day to legitimize him, or any attention at all.

    Except to give him one last shove….

    Nice essay, LC. Well said! All of it. Every word.

  5. I thought hard left was where the state confiscates the means of production from the capitalists, where private property is illegal, where every gives according to their ability and gets according to their need.

    Not that I would agree with any of that, but thats what it used to mean to be hard left.  

    Thats who O’Reilly and Fox News would like to convince people that we are, when they say hard left.

    For the record, I don’t think every African American or Native American should be given $100,000 tomorrow.  For that much money, I’m pretty sure I can prove that I’m Native American, not just because I was born here, but because I’ve probably got a little American Indian blood sloshing through my veins.  (For another $100,000, I would probably be willing to sign an affidavit that I’m African American, though I have a lot of trouble proving that one).

    I’m a non-native Tennessean, but I can tell you that despite the Trail of Tears, Cherokee runs heavily through a good deal of the population here.  Mostly they don’t mention it, but for $100,000, there would a huge increase in the number of Cherokees.  

    I understand the sentiment, but really its just a stupid idea.

    • Edger on January 11, 2008 at 3:29 am

    that people like O’Reilly think they can position as the center?

    Hahahahahahahaha….

    I don’t care how many Murdochs, Kristols, and O’Reilly’s there are in corporate media.

    People aren’t stupid enough, for the most part, to fall for it. If they were Bush’s ratings, as an indicator, wouldn’t be where they are.

  6. If every African American and every Native American should get $100,000 tomorrow, then every GLBT American should get at least $50K.

    I’ll take mine in gold (since the dollar is worthless).

  7. as to add to your list about what the “far left” believes.

    We believe the drug war should be ended.

    We believe that addiction to drugs/alcohol is a health problem and should be treated as such.

    We believe that people who have committed crimes should be held accountable to the community/victim to right the wrong they have committed and should be given the treatment and support they need for rehabilitation.

    We believe that every child deserves a safe home in which to grow with adults who are crazy in love with them.  

  8. …Bill-O’s problem – as with most of those who think that, say, Ted Kennedy occupies the far left – is that the political spectrum in the United States has been shunted so far to the right in the past 40 years. Unfortunately, all you have to do is look at the “socialist” parties in Europe to see that they, too, have gone right, many of them adopting a neo-liberal stance. But, at least they have health care, mass transit and the thought that multilateralism is worth pursuing.

  9. We believe George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, Frederick Kagan, Henry Kissinger and Condoleeza Rice should be in the Hague.

    Further, we believe Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and quite possibly Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford should be or should have been in the Hague.

    What do you mean possibly Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford?

    Gerald Ford was the president who stationed a warship off the coast of East Timor to warn the Dutch not to interfere with the Indonesian capture of the country.  The percentage of killings of the population during the occupation was comparable to that of the killing fields of Cambodia.

    Jimmy Carter was dumber than whale blubber and sometimes did well but his friendship with the Marcos’ says all you need to know about his capacity to be an accessory to despotism of the worst kind.

    The single candidate I ever heard talk in some detail about the problem with our involvement with such monsters was Gary Hart.  We know how he was taken down.

    I am not entirely in your camp, Lithium Cola, but love to hear you tell it the way it is.  I would award you a whole damn horse farm were I able for this great essay.

    Best,  Terry

    • jim p on January 11, 2008 at 7:03 am

    that would be “hard left” (a bit too timid, imo) but I think we can work something out. For instance: where’s using Eminent Domain over the Oil Industry? National security, economic stability, and the environment are all at stake. …

    Something you said reminded me of this passage from Kim MacQuarrie’s book

    The Last Days of the Incas which I patiently type because I cannot link:

    In a sense, New World conquest was about men seeking a way around one of life’s basic rules-that human beings have to work for a living, just like the rest of the animal world. In Peru, as elsewhere in the Americas, Spaniards were not looking for fertile land that they could farm, they were looking for the cessation of their own need to perform manual labor.

    To do so, they needed to find large enough groups of people they could force to carry out all the laborious tasks necessary to provide them with the essentials of life: food, shelter, clothing, and ideally, liquid wealth. Conquest, then, had little to do with adventure, but rather had everything to do with groups of men willing to do just about anything in order to avoid working for a living.

    Stripped down to its barest bones, the conquest of Peru was all about finding a comfortable retirement.

    Marx’s biggest mistake was thinking that Feudalism is an economic system, which had evolved into Capitalism. Actually, there’s never been anything but Feudalism, which is a simple psychological proposition: I’m intrinsically better than you, so I should prosper, even if you should suffer.

    • plf515 on January 11, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    but one question is whether he is really this colossally ignorant or if he is just marketing his own show and books by saying that anyone opposed to his views is loony.

    Not that I really care about the answer…. is he ignorant and vile, or just vile?

    Good diary.

  10. far left. actually the net, dkos the Democratic party, have taught me that politics and reality require coalitions compromise and information. The famous window has moved the ‘far left’ dead center. However we as a nation seem sadly without a compass. O’Reilly is turning my grandchildren into far lefties so that’s good. His relevance is what to who? What a disgrace to whatever Ivy league unit he spouted from.    

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