A Populist Left

In the face of the corruption and Corporatism we now see OUR government drowning in….and the fact that that corruption and Corporatism is in the process of drowning the planet, it has become obvious that The People need to take our government back from those who have hijacked it to further enrich themselves.

To do that we will need a Populist Uprising…of some sort.

We all saw this summer what a Populist Right has to offer….fighting the fascist communists Hitlers and demanding birth pedigrees that are in the public record already. Oh and hot beverages IF you dip their hats in boiling water. They were at their most ridiculous when someone would ask them what they were trying to accomplish, what their goals were….when asked, they would mumble about taxes and fascism and have…like the Republicans who fostered them…no real answer. No solutions, no positive agenda. They were angry, but being the boobs that they were, they had no real substantive answer for what they were angry about. Their movement fizzled…imo, because unfocused anger is unsustainable as an effective political tool.

Anger must be accompanied by education and MUST be focused on achieving some goal.

What can a Populist Left offer? Can ‘we’ do better? Is all Populism destined to be hijacked by trivia, ridiculous sloganeering and demagogues?

Or is there a way to build a serious and effective Populist Left?  

Why would people be attracted to a Populist Left? What would it have to offer? What real demands would it have? What would the main thrust and focus be? How would that focus be maintained in the face of demagogue trying to hijack it?

And what would be the GOAL of a Populist Left?

There are two ways to mobilize people: Anger….or ideas.

Considering the anger that is out there, it would be relatively easy to whip people into a short term frenzy of anger at the current state of the country and the world. But is anger alone a basis for real lasting change?

Make no mistake, there would have to be an element of that, a Populist uprising to jar the status quo as it hasn’t been jarred since the Depression and the protests of the 60’s…there would need to be an element, heh heh, of Shock and Awe to throw the Fear of The People into the status quo….

But then where do we go from there?

And how do we avoid alienating people (especially the segment of the population that can be called sheeple for their interest only in their own comfort) WHILE also being effective?

And…how do we recruit the REAL constituency of the Populist Left…those who have given up on the system and no longer participate? 50% of Americans don’t vote….at least half of those are Left leaning. Far and away enough to sway any election, as we saw with the people that Obama was able to involve or re-involve in ‘the process.’ And he barely tapped in to that pool.

Can that be done with just anger?

Or do we need….ideas.

The ideas of an alternate world, the vision of a new way….to create a sustainable, powerful, effective Populist Left?

What is the goal, what are we fighting for?

We all know that our current system must be destroyed, and so destroying it is a worthy goal…but…

What is it we want to create?

What world do we want to substitute for our current one?

And how can we describe in terms that The People will understand and be attracted to that world so that it has the kind of Populist appeal that we need to attract enough of the people to build it?

What was it that attracted people to the Populist movements of the Depression and the 60’s? What were the positives that motivated them….and how can we tap into them to build a new Populist Movement?

That isn’t just a bunch of angry teabaggers?

Without clearly articulated goals with real ideas behind them to steer it, any Populist Left will be hijacked by the worst (and stupidest) elements that embody the mob mentality…just as is happening at Daily Kos right now, lol.


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  1. Photobucket

    So how do we define and articulate those ideas?

  2. what number of people are required for a populist movement to succeed……..

  3. One that can frame the issues and mobilize people.

    Obama shows how the formula can work, but he gave in to the money.

    As I said in one of those Daily Kos diaries:

    The biggest fault, to me, was for what he did to campaign finance reform.  Taking big money and making it seem like it was little money.  Claiming the small guy would have the same access as the big guy, and that it was a new way of public finance.  A total deception.  This issue is basically dead, but to me was the most important matter to clean up the corruption that exists in government.  It will only get worse as the money continues to pour into the system.

    When someone can articulate along the lines that Edwards tried, but actually gain traction with the people, then he/she can help bring the change necessary before we self-destruct.  People are ready.  health care shows that.  Obama could have made a wave that could still be rising, but shows he’s just the status quo, infinitely better than Bush, but nothing close to the vision he created to get elected.

    So it goes.

  4. me, I was one of the multitude of couch-sitters…. for years. I would NEVER not vote (my Massachusetts Irish Mom taught me that is close to a mortal sin, lol) but I definitely disengaged for a very long time. After having been engaged in “the 60’s” which continued well into the 70’s in actuality.

    so. what got ME off the couch? In some ways, it was Team Obama’s successful marketing tricks & slogans: Respect. Empower. Include.

    I think Empower being the key one. Basically, my general reaction is to get so discouraged and defeated that I say, “Why bother? It wont make any difference anyway. Pass me the remote.”

    Tired Cat Pictures, Images and Photos

    And Im tellin ya, I am eyeballin that hammock again right now!! lol

  5. As you can see on my Facebook page, I’m givin’ the ol’ finger there to the two-party system and endorsing a third-party candidate in the New York 23rd.  Ya know why?  Both parties are too socialist!  And neither one drinks tea!

    I support the use of anger (and maybe a smidge of violence) but the idea thing is a waste of time.  Look what the Death Panel idea did for the left!  

    • TMC on October 28, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Two STFU diaries on the wreck list.  

    • robodd on October 28, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Our number one industry is corruption.

    Why do you hate America?

  6. people are busy. They literally dont have time and then the time they do have, they have to devote to a) taking care of business (pay bills, buy groceries, etc) and b) recreation. so you have to really speak to, ultimately, their own self-interest. What’s In It For Me?

    Youth = green issues, planet, future.

    Everybody else = me me me me me, and security.

    so. Isnt democracy supposed to be One Man = One Vote. Why is it that One Corporation = More Than My One Vote’s Worth of Power…? Thats just not fair!!

    Not there yet, still thinking out loud, but… it seems to me the commonality, the populist thing, that is transpartisan (great word, great concept) is that… I/people want my power back and I want it to be fair, I want it to count. I want to get the most “bang for my buck(vote)” so to speak.

    (aside… Im still really mentally tired. Ive been trying to crunch some numbers this morning and not really getting anywhere with it.)

    Anyway, its all there in our founding documents, innit? do we really have to re-invent the wheel?

  7. this country was supposedly founded on, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.  Build on the strengths while recognizing the uninformed must be convinced with a language and approach they can understand.  

  8. there needs to be a new historic bloc.  This is really only possible if we can “bank” the power of the so-called “disempowered,” i.e. the power of those whose power does not count in those rarefied circles where the “big decisions” are made according to the ideologies of convenience (the “Washington Consensus,” money, property, national sovereignty, the chain of command, and so on).

    What you see at Orange is usually an attempt to graft some perceived “important goal” (the “public option,” for instance) onto the old ideologies of convenience.  This is a losing strategy because it pays little or no attention to how power circulates under the old ideologies of convenience, which is also to say to the hegemonic structure or to the historic bloc.  So what they will get is a “public option” which will mean next to nothing while the insurance companies raid everyone’s bank accounts some more.

    Trying to bring about something radically new means creating new relationships between people (this is ultimately what “socialism” and “democracy” are about if they are to be granted substance, although both these concepts can be taken the other way and eviscerated).  It’s about creating something to replace domination; its ultimate product is the stable ecosystem, though the transition to new relationships is the thing to be worked out.  

    Budhy, you’ve been into meta for long enough.  “What is the goal, what are we fighting for?” you’ve asked.  “What is it we want to create?” you’ve asked.  There are plenty of possible answers.  Anarchism, socialism, economic democracy, ecological discipline, Zapatismo.  Now go out and do them.  Give us your voice on what you think works, and what is in need of further development.  Go for inquiry; don’t just stop with questions.

    • sharon on October 29, 2009 at 12:19 am

    there’s another one.


    • jamess on October 29, 2009 at 1:07 am

    that might rally support is:

    Employee-owned Businesses, like Moore covered in his movie.

    another might be Campaign Finance Reform,

    in the form of The People’s Lobby.

    another Populist idea, maybe worth building is:

    The Progressive’s Constitution.

    (or at least a Platform of Progressives,

    from which we shall not budge.)

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