Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Look, ma, I'm a post modernist!

I thought I'd copy my comments from another blog. Having a to-do in an Obama section with a shrill leftist. Like I once was. I've not copied my opponents comments but you can surely infer what they were!

There hasn't been a mass movement with any political impact in this country since the civil rights movement of the early 1960s, with the possible exception of the right-wing evangelical churches. The US just doesn't work that way, no matter how much the left wishes it did.


The Vietnam war ended because a) the North Vietnamese military was winning, b) the costs vs benefits for the American government didn't add up and c) the US wanted to be pals with China against the Soviet Union and withdrawal from VIetnam was part of the ticket. Sadly, the antiwar movement--which I completely supported and participated in--was not effectual and imploded into cultural and political disarray and demoralization. Its more serious elements were subverted by the state.

I don't mean to condemn the idea of mass movements. It's just the hyperbole of the left clouds the very real history of defeat after defeat due in large part because the left has no actual message nor actionable methodology besides being against "bad" things and for "good" things. The left routinely stomps its feet, winds up handing what little power it has to democrats, and is left sitting alone in the dust.

The left's role is little more than a steam valve for unhappiness, and a fairly irrelevant steam valve at that. Sad, but the way it is. No amount of sounding super revolutionary will cover up the left's complete failure to intersect with the consciousness of Americans.

LIke it or not, the real choice for Americans right now in this plane of reality is Obama vs. McCain. I now who I'm choosing. How about you?


1) the immigration movement is made up of people who (laudably) just don't want to be deported. either its members will be deported or they will gain citizenship. end of movement.

2) abortion was made legal by an action of the supreme court; an action made possible by evolving consciousness not the (laudable) declarations of the feminist movement. ERA? Yeah that didn't happen did it.

3) the GLBT community is not a movement. as you can plainly see here on JMG it's about as politically diverse as humanly possible. yes Stonewall gave us some gumption. When I first moved to NYC there was a big gay political movement which I was extremely active in. You know what? They're mostly dead, my friends on the left and foes on the right. Our progress as a community came from the recognition of our humanity, and it pains me to say this, not because being gay was a revolutionary act or because of a serious of movement-based victories.

My point, and sorry for drawing this out, is that it's not the shouting that wins


  1. ish:

    could you e-mail me please i am seeing a message that there is a problem with mps/ile ouxmare and i am no longer able to enter the blogs. . .

    hope all is well.


  2. While I'm keeping track of my thoughts on the subject....

    I posted this on another blog:

    Oh yeah! Boycott the elections! What a new and innovative strategy!

    Of course, nobody would notice the left voting for nobody because nobody notices the left doing much of anything. Hurrah for principles! Hurrah!

    Listen, America is one fucked up place. George Bush gets away with calling the Democratic Party the far left. Obama is a militarist, just like most Democrats have always been before him. I know what it must look like to those of you who are European with your rich tradition of successful workers' revolution and vibrant socialist democracies (and what was I reading a while back about you all being devastated by the loss of your "red" mayor? The People's Republic of London is it?) or failing that your iron-clad social safety net and your money that is actually still worth something and your guaranteed month-long vacations in Ibiza and I can't deny that this is one fucked up place.

    There's some insane poster on another blog I read--not a particularly left-wing one--who says over and over again the majority of Americans are ripe for socialist revolution because the majority of people don't vote--not because they are demoralized or don't care or are busy watching TV that day--but because having come to the conclusion that the democrats and republicans are the twin pillars of capitalism which they are righteously rejecting in all its forms and therefore third parties are ACTUALLY majority parties...so therefore, oh I don't know it's a crock of shit(e).

    Now you all don't know me and you can accuse me (as has been done before) of being a neoliberal; and many years have indeed passed since I was selling communist rags on street corners (you don't want to know which ones trust me) and waving around red banners, but I and the decent people I know, we are absolutely terrified by the thought of McCain winning. It's nice to fantasize about Obama being better than he is. But none of us will be surprised when he does all the terrible things he promises like escalate the war in Afghanistan.

    But somebody will win this election, and it does matter who, and it's arrogant to say it doesn't; and the left, the sad sorry remnant of the left which is nowhere near some mythical unconscious socialist majority of society, had better figure out how to stop being so stupid as to find no way to intersect the consciousness of Americans than yelling Boycott! Boycott! Boycott! when one of the candidates is saying things like Oh Sure "we" might have to go to war with Russia. Now when that war happens (in the few moments before nuclear vaporization) we can drag out the Leninist approach to World War One and point out that we are for the defeat of cur own country but it would sure be nice now--to the people I know--that that war not really be started in the first place because there's a White House full of people waiting for God to tell them when to push the button.

    Obama might be a scumbag in thin disguise but he will not overturn abortion; he will not restore sodomy laws; he will not privatize (read: eliminate) the social security fund that keeps my mother from eating catfood; he will not keep encouraging thousands of people worldwide to die of HIV because they've only been taught "abstinence"; he just might save me some money on the $400 I pay each month for only adequate health insurance; and just might find a way to lower the several thousand dollars it takes to heat my home in winter. Now to me those things matter. And if the left wants to stop being so completely irrelevant it has to stop waving the equivalent of Mao's little red book (yes my metaphor is dated) at every problem hoping it will magically attract people and change the world.

    What's that old joke? How many communists does it take to change a lightbulb? 101. One to change the lightbulb and 100 to chant "Down With Darkness!" Well, folks, change the fucking lightbulb.