Labels: American Extremists
posted by Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy at 12:00 AM
When Obama says "Make me do it," it sounds more like a childhood taunt than an actually constructive suggestion. “Make me do it,” brings to mind the attitude of, Who’s going to make me? followed by, You and what army? Police violence against protesters and prosecutions of whistle blowers carries on while Obama feigns ignorance or impotence; his more deceptively cynical statements of support come across to me as “Try harder, suckers.”
Vote for Obama then make him do it I tried to make him stop using drones. He didn't. And you called me a purist instead of helping me.Make me do it!
You know if the left in general had a better record on this stuff in the past 4 years it would be more plausible. I'm not dissing real movements like OWS, those were good, but met with all the resistence and brutality you can expect any real challenge to the status quo to meet (oh and what about those nato protestors?). And it wasn't started by most of these status quo liberal activist pushers (applogies to Chomsky & Ellsberg who do walk their talk), it was started by adbusters and ANARCHISTS like Graeber (anarchists actually DO understand working outside the electorial system, as it's their WHOLE PHILSOPHY, unlike many of these liberals whose whole philosophy seems to be "steady as she goes"). Really, the professional left couldnt' start a REAL movement if their life depended on it, they dont' even know what to do with it.I don't even mean things like 350.org, they won the battle on Keystone and are losing the war on it, but are a real movement trying to build real momentum and they mean well. WI had some real energy but lost it all trying to work within the system. But for the most part, things like the anti-war movement as a protest movement are nearly non-existent etc.. If I had seen 4 years of protests of wars, drones, NDAA (which I was ready to take to the streets for, with anyone of any party!), any peep of protest of banker bailouts before OWS broke out etc. from these liberals I would believe them. But their record in the last 4 years is as poor as Obama's and they are about as believable when they talk radical. Some of our most trenchent analysis of parts of the corrupt political system comes from ex-libertarians like Silber or the libertarians at anti-war.com, because they actually do grok civil liberties at a core level, whether or not they have given up right libertarian economics (itself perhaps incompatible with civil liberties) and they have learned to stand at one step remove from the duopoly.
The Democratic Party appropriates the monikers "democracy" and "the left" and then antiwar people are vigorously subjected to general critiques of this so-called "left", by supporters of right wing, Republican emulating, "Blue Dog Democrat" Obama.Any critique of the left based on this confused understanding will necessarily be confused. Garbage in, garbage out.
Fair enough, but I'm still puzzling out how much of a left actually exists in the U.S.. It's almost like asking does Isreal have a left? Well yes, actually it does, there are left wing parties in Isreal that oppose the settlements and everything, principled and idealistic. They have almost no impact on policy whatsoever. Probably how the U.S. appears to the rest of the world.
On reason I ponder is because I know people involved in do good movements that would probably be considered somewhat left-wing, not hard core activism really challenging the system or anything, not very challenging to the system at all!, more just do goodism. And many push for Obama now, and they're more active and aware than your average voter. Most people's ONLY involvement in anything larger than themselves (not talking religion here) is voting! So I honestly wonder how many people are in this real left? Really serious lifelong activists probably are.
Glenn said... ' When Obama says "Make me do it," it sounds more like a childhood taunt than an actually constructive suggestion. "Exactly! Do you mind if I use that when the occasion arises?
anonymous @ 11:48 AM said: "You know if the left in general had a better record.."What is the "left" and what is a "record"?Don't confuse Democrats, unions, or self-described progressive organizations and websites with the left.If you are equating organizations like McKibben's to the "left", you are paying attention to what they say and not what they do. IMO, McKibben, and many others like him, are Democrats first and foremost.Sure, the genuine left is small, and it is a wonder it has survived at all what with the co-option efforts of the Democrats and self-described progressive organization coupled with the relentless marginalization and demonization efforts of the media.Whatever record you are judging them by has nothing to do with how hard they are trying or the relative righteousness of what they are fighting for.
Anonymous:"On reason I ponder is because I know people involved in do good movements that would probably be considered somewhat left-wing, not hard core activism really challenging the system or anything, not very challenging to the system at all!, more just do goodism. And many push for Obama now, and they're more active and aware than your average voter. Most people's ONLY involvement in anything larger than themselves (not talking religion here) is voting! So I honestly wonder how many people are in this real left? Really serious lifelong activists probably are."The "your credentials, please" shtick is a bullshit smokescreen. It honestly doesn't have anything to do with the issue of my (or anyone else's) right to use our own damn vote as we see fit. Or to not use it at all. It also has nothing to do with whether or not a candidate is deserving of that vote.Somehow I think that no matter what I trotted out in hopes of getting a Dem-apologist's approval (to exercise a right that is already mine whether or not some partisan hack approves, BTW) I'd always come out wanting in their view. Dem-apologists live in a world where rigged games are the norm, not the exception.So... no. I agree that activity beyond checking off a ballot name every couple of years is necessary if we're serious about bettering our world/neighborhood. However, I will not trot out my credentials as activist, citizen, spouse, artist, or even professional tester of seals on yogurt containers* for your approval, Anonymous. Because it's not relevant regarding a candidate's worthiness (or not) of my vote.Go find yourself another pigeon.*Yes, it's a real job I took this year. Gotta' love temp agencies...:/
ms_xeno, I wish I had said all that :)
But you wouldn't want the yogurt-inspector job, Harley. Soooo boring. Between temp jobs that are stressful because I have to multitask like crazy, and those that are deadly dull because there's only one task to perform repeatedly for 8+ hours? I'd rather have the stressful one. :/And then there was my glorious three-week career at the Mal-Wart™... :/
Wow, lots of hostility, their credentials are MY credentials, that's how I know, and I was somewhat troubled by the Obama apologism and conformity amoung my peers. My credentials might give me a few warm fuzzies, but I don't imagine they make me some kind of hero, even if I believed in heros, and I might, it's not me, I'd nominate Chomsky and Ellsberg long before me even if they do like Obama and I don't! Because NDAA lawsuit, support for Bradley Manning etc. That's something. Ha, I'd nominate Bradley Manning himself as well.My real point was if we are supposed to vote for Obama and trust activism to push him into doing whatever we want him to do, and stop him from being a corporatist, civil liberties destroying, drone bombing nightmare, then I haven't seen the existence of the kind of activism network that can make it possible. They are wishing it into existence, hand-waving if you will. There may be people protesting drones, but I have not seen a mass anti-drone movement, etc.. And when in the last 4 years in my opinion this protest was most needed, I'm passionate about NDAA, the only group that was protesting disappated before I could even join them, long before the end of the scheduled event. I'm not saying it matters, I'm not an expert on dissent and how to make it effective and they probably wouldn't be. I'm just asking: WHERE WERE THEY? Where was the protest movement to stop Obama's policies! But this massively effective protest movement which I don't see is somehow going to materialize in the next 4 years if we elect Obama. What other miracles should I believe in?I think much of the debate was also about semantics: left and liberals and progressives and stuff. The left I was addressing there was those who tell us: vote for Obama and be activists (those the cartoon is about). I honestly don't think I'm involved enough in many causes (left or otherwise), to be an expert on them.I was pondering today on how many debates are becoming too marginalized in our society. Talking about NDAA, and climate change and so on are being marginalized and obviously that's bad for our society, but that's also BAD FOR THOSE DEBATES. People in very narrow circles, in their own reality (even though their reality is the correct one IMO - climate change is fricken real - and acknowledgement of it in the larger political conversation taboo) become less rational. Hope this seeming hostility isn't a case of that. I didn't think I was your enemy though I'm seldom a true believer in anything. Maybe language is just too vague, especially as much debate was semantic?
ms_xeno, once again, I couldn't agree with you more :)We're on a roll,eh?
anonymous said "My real point was if we are supposed to vote for Obama.."Who's voting for Obama? After the last 4 years what on earth makes you think I'd fall for that con?Maybe you should read the other comments before getting miffed.
Anonymous:"...I think much of the debate was also about semantics: left and liberals and progressives and stuff. The left I was addressing there was those who tell us: vote for Obama and be activists (those the cartoon is about). I honestly don't think I'm involved enough in many causes (left or otherwise), to be an expert on them..."Then I'm sorry. I appreciate you clarifying your thoughts some more.The apology squad (especially the asshole I saw on CD yesterday who is going to "destroy" the Greens if Obama loses... gah!) is really chafing my nerves these days. It's probably clouding my judgment.Again, sorry about that.
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