On Political Fans and the Fringers

Crossposted from that wild-left-fringe blog’o mine The Wild Wild Left

I am Fringer. I want an American Socialist Revolution in my time. Ideally, a World Revolution. I am fringe enough that even with the absolute certainty that my desires will likely never come to fruition does not make the fires of my desire burn even slightly less intensely. I am WAY out there.

In fact, I would seriously postulate that I am an extraterrestrial being, but I have evidence to the contrary: You never see bags under those huge alien eyes – and my human weaknesses are too telling in that way.

Life and gravity have not been kind to my all too human packaging.

I feel that a true desire for justice, for all that is good and right has an event horizon; a gravity that once you commit to it, will not allow one to back away from the position. Once you see that light, that is really all that exists. You are part of the singularity.

Budhydharma wrote a brilliant sermon (fiery as a sermon, anyway) in which he asks, “Do YOU Want The Republicans To Win?” The frightening title would infer trying to make people cling back to their partisan politics, to renew their support for Democrats. That was not his whole story, though. He accomplished that in some, while maintaining that the Dems themselves are doing nothing to stop it. His idea is to “push” the Dems to do better. The comment thread was the best part, inspirational to me.

I honed my analogy from last night, from the pages of WWL, where we have been discussing the same issues, just from a Fringe-Left position. The last 4 or 5 essays all have been in part, or in full, about the process of actual change in this country. Let me expand my thoughts. (and use the Red Sox, rather than the Tigers – I hear it will make a more compelling argument 🙂

You cannot get a Red Sox fan EVER to like the Yankees…. but you can get a Baseball fan to get REALLY pissed at the Owners for locking out the League.

We need to change the very basis of the conversation.


The Owners of the League set the rules, the prices, the schedule, the ads, everything. They make bazillions off the trade. These, the richest of the Game, get subsidized by we the fan’s tax dollars – to build larger shrines to them, larger so they can charge more, and fill more seats while so doing. Welfare for the rich, tax-fueled stadiums, and tax breaks for building them in our cities.

The Players? Oh, yes, they are the pampered and well paid whores that enable the process. It doesn’t matter one bit if they wear a Yankee uniform, or a Red Sox one. They can change teams as easily as underwear.

You, the fan? Are nothing but an easily played means for more revenue. Back your Team! Show your Pride! Pay for the newest arena! Hate the other Team! Pay through the ass to watch what is still theater, meaningless team-less theater… brought to you by your Owners.

Do I need to point out the obvious analogy to our Political process?  

My comment on Buhdy’s essay in part, said:

Its all kabuki – There are no parties and the “wins” are only distractions… so that they can keep moving the conversation further right, with teams of extremists, and capitulators.

The better question may be “Do you really want the Neoliberal Corporate Elitists to continue to win?”

Because they are shock-doctrining us right to the place of serfs and masters, right into slavery.

But Banger nailed the real problem, in an excellent comment:

Real power is achieved through the ability to help your friends and punish your enemies. To the extent you can do either one that is the power you have.

The left has chosen, for a variety of reasons, to not play the power game in earnest in this country. Therefore it will not be listened to or considered seriously but will be flim-flamed every election into voting for a handshake and a smile. You and I know this is lunacy but to do something else requires the will to fight and leftists in this country just don’t have it and show no signs except on the fringes of wanting to have influence.

I believe the Left has long been co-opted. The Power to “punish” became clear on November 22, 1963. That coup alone stifled any real earnestness in pushing back against those in Real Power.

But banger is right… the will exists only on the Fringe, and I am soundly in the camp of Fringe.

PhotobucketYou see, I am interested ONLY in the Real Power now, and taking the Real Power back.

I have moved, in my thinking, far beyond electoral politics… they are meaningless fan-games.

I shall report on elections, I am sure; but only as a means – a teaching tool.

You see, the real revolutionaries are the ones who plant the seeds long before the revolutionaries of historical renown raise their voices.

We are the “fringers,” the “crazies,” the “moonbats,” the “tin-foil hatters,” the unrecognized prophets of our times. We ideate change from the ether. We are alchemists of movements. We create the new World by imagining it. We plant the seeds of possibilities in the minds of future generations.

We fringers may only number in the thousands now, against millions in this country – but it is the whispers in the wheat that bring winds to the field, and the winds that bring the hurricanes to the land.

I’ll quote myself again:

(what National change takes) It says it demands dismantling the Oligarchy… and that, my friend takes Revolution writ large.

Revolution writ large demands changing the People’s minds enough to risk EVERYTHING.

That kind of groundswell takes opening eyes, takes slow and constant whispers of complaints, and the focus of who is to blame for those complaints.

It takes propaganda of the truthy kind.

Which is what I do, anyway.

Everything else? Is just baseball.


Skip to comment form

    • Diane G on September 2, 2010 at 15:34
    • banger on September 2, 2010 at 22:04

    Without a vanguard movement on the left there is no hope for change in this country. Fringe people don’t need to apologize anymore or become more “moderate.” We need to assert our proper place in the universe which is to initiate change.

    My view is that left, right and center are important. I don’t want to “convert” anyone. I think a balance in important too much change causes a loss of integrity, too little change, causes a loss of flexibility and too much moderation makes us so dull that we become dead and lifeless. All sides must assert themselves! The problem we have in this country is that the left abandoned ship and decided to be intimidated by the fierceness of the right. Well we need to get fucking fierce as a response, not it the lunatic way of the right (they got a lock on that one) but in the more imaginative and creative way that is typical of the historical left.

    One thing those of us on the fringes need to make very clear and repeat is that we have to have some notion of class-consciousness. The U.S. is a country without the vaunted social mobility that it claims–there is not there there. What mobility exists is dominated by immigrants who were upper-middle class in their countries of origin (educated professionals) who started in poverty and ended up, in a generation, pretty much in the upper-middle class.

    The fact is that the ruling elites are clearly becoming more not less entrenched and their interests run precisely contrary to the vast majority of the American people. Doesn’t mean they are all “bad” its just their interests are in keeping their class in power because these people are their family and their friends and, of course they will favor them.

    So, again, the vanguard left has to be responsible to present class as a reality in a country where we like to pretend we have no social class which is another way of expressing American Exceptionalism the ideology which we have to fight and for which most people, left, right and center seem deeply attached to.

    Keep it up Diane.

  1. What the Vermonter secesh present is something altogether more serious, a new paradigm in American politics: the rise of a left-wing populist peacenik secessionist movement, a leftism that rejects big government, that seeks not a take-over of the federal center but an end to centralized power altogether.  Call it a kind of Green Tea Party, shorn of the gun fetishism, the blind rage, the know-nothingism.  Or call it the thinking man’s secession, arising as a reasonable answer to the cold facts of our national impasse.  What’s gone wrong with the US government, argue the Vermonters, is that it has been totally captured by the corporatocracy, corrupted to the core, a lost cause, unreformable.  Its laws are written by and for the rich and the powerful, whose predatory business models – Walmart, Monsanto, Goldman Sachs et al – operate against the interests of average Vermonters.  It blows Vermont’s precious tax dollars in bailing out insolvent banks and piratical financiers, bombing children in Pakistan, kidnapping and torturing foreigners, slapping military bases on every continent (over a thousand of them across 153 countries), etc. etc. ad nauseum.  The Vermonter secesh see no good future for the US.  Instead, the country will likely flush itself down the toilet of its own corruption and hubris – ruined by unsustainable debt, unwinnable wars, military overstretch, pathologic dependence on cheap oil.  





  2. I’m right back where I started from. The bush coup was so bizarre and horrendous that it shook my flaming radical leftist self to a point where I decided that entering the political fray was essential to take my country back. A counter culture dilettante socialist was doing no good and a coalition of the left was needed to stop the fascism I saw rising. Ten years later I’m back on the fringe looking in and thinking that didn’t work. In a way it did.

    The chips are down and now we see the true colors of the Democratic political machine in all it’s nasty glory. Where to go, can’t go back it’s to extreme to hide as the powers that own the place are global and hell bent on wrecking the planet. As in Brazil the movie, I will be the like the  freelancer and move where ever I can though the duct’s and nastiness doing the best I can.

    btw. when I joined the local country party it was a Green a Naderite (lol), who recruited me. She said I am working to stop this coup but once these thugs are gone I will go back to fighting Democrat’s if needed.        

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