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.
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.