The Left Will Never ‘Win’…..Completely

And we are “ok” with that. Sorta. We ARE only human, after all. We want to “win” as much as the next guy. But at this point…just like in Afghanistan, lol, do we even know what winning is?

After all in the classic definitions, The Left winning would be full on Communism, lol. And I don’t think anyone really wants that!

For now, and for a good long time to come apparently, we on The Left know that the best we can do is influence the center, move the conversation and the Overton Window relatively slowly to the Left and make what Progress we are allowed to make by The Machine.

This is apparently yet another thing that the Centrist don’t get about the Left, we KNOW that there won’t be a Department of Peace, in the US of A. Not anytime soon. We know that the Rich will be allowed to prey upon the Lower and Middle Class, we know that there will be starving children in the richest Empire in history.

Our fight after all, is much bigger than politics. OUR fight is in truth a fight against the worst excesses of Human Nature, when it comes right down to it, when we get to the core of what we are fighting for. Can we EVER truly win that fight?

We know that we are walking into a strong wind. We know that for every inch of progress we make, we have to fight a thousand miles of fight before we can move forward. We know that we will be resisted, reviled and reproached for every tiny transgression while the crooks and liars have free rein. Acorn. The MoveOn Petreaus ad. We will be scorned and marginalized and attacked and smeared. Our leaders will be swiftboated by both the Right AND the Center. We know that we will ALWAYS get less respect and be taken less seriously than any other constituency. we know the dems will take us for granted and The repubs will use us to attack the dems.

And we all KNOW how well the Dems respond to attack. Their is not a cave deep enough to accommodate them when the Daddy Party raises its voice.

We know all of this….and yet we fight on. Eternally.

Because we know that the things we fight for…Peace Equality and Justice are worth fighting for. That they MUST be fought for. That somebody has to fight for them or they will be abused and discarded and dismissed as ….quaint. If it is in the interest of the system to do so.

And, of course, it is.

So someone has to stand up tall and fight. Someone has to AT LEAST resist, if unable to actually push back. Because we know that all the Rights that the Center take for granted, and the little Justice we have, and any semblance of Equality, and eve the THOUGHT of Peace rests squarely on our shoulders. no one else cares, no one else sees how perilous the balance these things that the Center take so much as givens actually are.

Because THEY did not have to fight for them….for Labor Laws and Equal Rights and Equal Access and Protection from law enforcement and for all the myriad other fights that the Left has been engaged in the fight for for…..forever. To the Center, these are just more unearned privileges that they enjoy without fully understanding them or what they mean, how hard they were fought for, how much blood has been spilled for them. They just assume that these are God Given Rights to an Exceptional People, Not something that the system will brush aside at the drop of a hat if there is another quarter of a penny to be made by doing so.

So we WILL keep fighting, fighting for every inch and every crumb. Because not only is it the right thing to do….but it is also our nature. Our nature not to stand by while the weak are eaten by the strong and while the mighty decide what is right at the expense of the meek.

We are at a crossroads in this fight in our little corner of the Left, a place very unfamiliar to us after the last eight years…or 40…or 1000.

How DO we fight in this Brave New World of Happy Face, He’s Got This, Everything is fine….as the planet melts…Centrism?

We better figure it out soon! Because since Climate Crisis now seems to be perceived as a Plot Of The Left instead of a scientific fact….we are running out of time. Especially time to be POLITE and reasonable about it all.

We may not WIN, at least within the current political paradigm. But we damn sure need some Progress soon!

But one thing is for sure. There is no way in hell we are going to give up!

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  1. Photobucket

  2. OUR fight is in truth a fight against the worst excesses of Human Nature, when it comes right down to it

    “Human nature” is in fact a malleable thing, with its main aspect being one of versatility — people, unlike most animals our size, are able to adapt to a wide variety of different circumstances.  If anything, MY fight (I don’t know about yours) is to uphold human nature, and to allow its versatility to come into full flower in light of the changes to come.

  3. People here are all over the place.  That’s good.  That’s a strength.  On the other hand, there is the power that derives from concentrated focus.  Here’s a clue as to how I approach it:

    The central fact of American political life is the gap between where the American people are at and what the American political system is giving them.  The current Health Care debacle is a perfect example.  A little late to get traction on that one.

    My approach is to work that gap.  There are all sorts of good things that I am for, all sorts of evil things I’m against.  But I try to focus on a few broad issues where the Democratic base is completely out of synch with its base.  The Full Court Press is one way of targeting that gap, but it is only one way.  There must be others.

    The next debacle will probably concern jobs.  Wall Street will demand all sorts of tax breaks and elimination of regulations, both financial and at the workplace, in exchange for them hiring someone somewhere sometime.  There’s going to be a fight there.

    But to have that fight, DocuDharma folks are going to have to engage its own gap, between its righteous outrage and many excellent, excellent goals — and concrete tactics that can pound on the pressure points resulting from the gap between the American people and its political/economic system.

    AND …

    tactics that will result in some form of organization that can extend beyond whatever is the current fight and on to the next one.

    Am I asking for a lot?  Yeah.

    • Edger on December 12, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    if everyone in the world started to use their brains as best they can for critical thinking, and gave up with purposeful lies and deceit. At least then we could have intelligent factual evidence based disagreements, and still respect the other guy.

    I don’t ask for much…

    If I sound a little too Edgey, you can call me Galileo for short, if you want

    • RiaD on December 12, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    AP IMPACT: Science not faked, but not pretty

  4. the game has always existed in the human part of history. The dark needs the light, left is not a direction without right.  When we look at world from the view of us verses them we all lose, yet paradoxically the cries of unity or one America presumes that we all move to a center that does not exit without any edges or values. It obscures the good and the worst in humans and places the power in those who decide what the center is or what is good or harmful and worth fighting for. It’s the message that bamboozled us all, it is I believe the change he was advocating. Where you stand is never static there is no center without balance. What you unite with is as important as what you fight. Winning does not count as much as keeping the light as a balance.  

    ‘We have always been a divided country with vastly different worldviews. And today those worldviews are fighting themselves out on a Post Modern battlefield in which Enlightenment values are struggling to survive. It’s the civil war as a “reality” show. And we’re all contestants.’ David Bromwich

     

    • jamess on December 12, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    had some thoughts on the subject last nite

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/jour

    Citizen Protests

    Citizen Voices, fighting back, from history

    this kind of foreshadows that growing wave,

    of such citizen discontent:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

    • seabos84 on December 13, 2009 at 12:05 am

    another mishmash of who – knows – what, like Christianity! Communism ONLY has 150 years of people killing each other over who read the master right and what I say the master said is what the master said not what you say the master said. Communism is unlike Christianity cuz ‘Christians’ been slaughtering each other and others over the master’s sayings for 1500?? years!

    BOTH systems have had the same failings:

    1. an idiotic reliance / dependance that people will NOT be selfish, pig headed, selfish, ignornant … and then the world will be perfect, well, except……………..

    2. until people ain’t pig headed we got this secret cabal of smarties who are gonna run everything!

    IF it ain’t OPEN

    THEN it will end up CORRUPT. PERIOD.

    See Stalin, Hitler, AIG, Mao, the GM management, the Catholic Church in Latin America (p.s. I am ONLY comparing corruption, not genocide records! Corrupt is Corrupt. )

    WHY don’t we change how the rules work so that we reward pigheadedness and selfishness, FOR THE COMMON GOOD, with teh most rewards!

    Suppose someone figures out how to make the support systems of school districts more efficient, freeing up billions of dollars across the land, billions that can help our kids IN THE CLASSROOM – what do they get now for it? A plague? … plaque? … whatever, who cares?

    What if they got 1000 times the median family income – that would be appx. 44 million bucks! Now they can support themselves, modestly, till they’re dead, and a bunch fo family members! OR, they can buy 1/4 of an F-16 and, and, and … o.k. they could buy a 10 million dollar mansion and 10 million dollar yacht and in 10 years be BROKE!!

    OR, spend your time being the next Mother Theresa, or start that political movement or write that book…

    Ooops, by the way – what about all thsoe people surplused from the new efficiency ——-

    Guess what – WE NEED SURPLUS AND WE NEED EFFICIENCY.

    How the fuck else are 7 billion people all gonna get education for their young, shoes, doors and door handles, windows, food, roof shingles, shoe laces, retirement security, retraining, granny and gramps care, health care, transportation of raw materials and processed materials and finished materials and materials to recycle, vacation at the grand canyon (ooops! nevermind that… ONLY relatively affluent western fake drop out kids get to travel europe for the summer!) … biodegradable organic tofu flying carpets to relieve highway congestion?

    WE NEED SURPLUS AND WE NEED EFFICIENCY.

    Let’s retrain those surplused people cuz MOST of us, with technological innovation, are gonna get surplused in life -get the fuck over it. One time we needed lots of barrel makers, now we don’t. YAWN.

    Wanna know THE FAILING on ‘the left’ for decades … we’re just looking for a messiah to lead our TOP DOWN corrupt systems honestly. Instead of the corrupt fortune 1000 organization model, or the corrupt fascist-republican party model, or the corrupt Catholic – Jimmy Faye Baker Fallwell model, we’re gonna have an honest top down system… yeah, whatever.

    what we need are open, honest, efficient systems  – with the right rewards – and people will figure out how to make shit work right.

    rmm.

  5. as they will always need a working class to take out their trash…

  6. struggle.  The leftist knows he won’t ever completely win, but he takes strength from all who have gone before and all who have sacrificed before…

    Mr. Walt Whitman gets it:

    “Courage yet, my brother or my sister!

    Keep on–Liberty is to be subserv’d whatever occurs;

    That is nothing that is quell’d by one or two failures, or any

    number of failures,

    Or by the indifference or ingratitude of the people, or by any

    unfaithfulness,

    Or the show of the tushes of power, soldiers, cannon, penal statutes.

    What we believe in waits latent forever through all the continents,

    Invites no one, promises nothing, sits in calmness and light, is

    positive and composed, knows no discouragement,

    Waiting patiently, waiting its time.

    (Not songs of loyalty alone are these,

    But songs of insurrection also,

    For I am the sworn poet of every dauntless rebel the world over,

    And he going with me leaves peace and routine behind him,

    And stakes his life to be lost at any moment.)

    The battle rages with many a loud alarm and frequent advance and retreat,

    The infidel triumphs, or supposes he triumphs,

    The prison, scaffold, garrote, handcuffs, iron necklace and

    leadballs do their work,

    The named and unnamed heroes pass to other spheres,

    The great speakers and writers are exiled, they lie sick in distant lands,

    The cause is asleep, the strongest throats are choked with their own

    blood,

    The young men droop their eyelashes toward the ground when they meet;

    But for all this Liberty has not gone out of the place, nor the

    infidel enter’d into full possession.

    When liberty goes out of a place it is not the first to go, nor the

    second or third to go,

    It waits for all the rest to go, it is the last.

    When there are no more memories of heroes and martyrs,

    And when all life and all the souls of men and women are discharged

    from any part of the earth,

    Then only shall liberty or the idea of liberty be discharged from

    that part of the earth,

    And the infidel come into full possession.

    Then courage European revolter, revoltress!

    For till all ceases neither must you cease.

    I do not know what you are for, (I do not know what I am for myself,

    nor what any thing is for,)

    But I will search carefully for it even in being foil’d,

    In defeat, poverty, misconception, imprisonment–for they too are great.

    Did we think victory great?

    So it is–but now it seems to me, when it cannot be help’d, that

    defeat is great,

    And that death and dismay are great.”

  7. for any of you following the meta … and concerned about the loyalists vs. critics war at GOS, I suggest you scan comments in rossi’s essay on Taibbi over there. Well done.

    Theres an interesting exchange,in particular, and I was struck by how consistent MB’s remarks there were with this essay here. I mean, it fits right in here. It was in response to someone saying this: “Let’s face it the left will never be satisfied. The Left is always complaining.”

    Our job as progressives is to …  

    …never be satisfied. Being satisfied means accepting “good enough” not just for the immediate situation, when good enough may be all that can be obtained practically, but agreeing with those who are satisfied that now it’s time to shut up.

    For progressives, shutting up is selling out.

    For instance, the abolitionists weren’t satisfied merely because slavery was ended. They wanted African Americans to get the right to vote, too, and to be educated. Radicals among them wanted reparations. We didn’t get most of that, and there was even some reenslavement under the color of law, plus, obviously Jim Crow. So the military had to be integrated, and the the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act had to be pushed for. And affirmative action.

    We weren’t satisfied with just the Wagner Act because it got hamstrung by Taft-Hartley and poor NLRB enforcement. So now we want the Employee Free Choice Act. (For the record, the left in FDR’s day wasn’t satisfied either. And Reagan’s “positive” message was hollow posturing on behalf of the rich. His “tear down this wall” speech to free the Eastern Europe was combined with a murderous policy in Central America that put up a wall to progressive change there.)

    Medicare and Medicaid aren’t enough. So we now fight for affordable, universal coverage.

    Et cetera.

    So, frankly, I don’t take “you’ll never be satisfied” as a slam, I wear it as a badge of honor, thankful that progressives in the past didn’t shut up and calm down as they were told to do.

    • Xanthe on December 13, 2009 at 5:12 am

    did not have to fight for them.”  is right on target. Those who believe these rights and amenities will continue without their struggle to keep them will learn soon enough that is not the case.  I can understand how young people think they have the answers, and it is now their time – which will continue into perpetuity.  Because I remember myself so well  – that’s what young people do, especially progressive young people (though they may not think of themselves that way).  Older people should know better – I judge them (yes, I do) as they are obligated to know better. What the hell is life for if you don’t leave with some understanding of it.  Oh and remember your mom’s sorrowful look while she evenly said:  “Share with your sister.”  

    I do get tired of my own preachy lefty voice every now and then and have to exit stage left.  The play will go on after all.    

    • Inky99 on December 13, 2009 at 7:33 am

    If the media would just tell the damn truth.

    If we had actual journalists in positions of high status.

    If the American people were actually informed.

    I would be fine with whatever the results were beyond that.

    Because those results would then actually be this thing called “Democracy”.

    And I would be okay with that.

    Sadly we are 180 degrees AWAY from that.

    • Joy B. on December 13, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    in this world. It’s not in the nature of life and death on planet earth. We start under a handicap – that being that life is a 100% fatal condition. That handicaps everything automatically, including the culture of greed. Amassing the largest hoard of wealth on the planet during one’s lifetime has to come at the end with a bittersweet pill when one finds out that the truism is in fact true – you can’t take it with you.

    • Diane G on December 13, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Would be the Rapture coming at last and taking all the religious extremists with them….

    and leaving the sane to plan real nirvana.

  8. because this is the only way forward into something that is not dystopia.  if dystopia wins out, we all die, the planet pretty much dies as a place for life of the sort we would want to see.

    so not winning is not an option.

    this is the problem with what has happened in the past thirty years: we have become convinced that utopias are not even worth dreaming about.

    au contrarie: they are the only thing worth putting effort into.

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