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Can New Populist Agenda Harness Passions, Create Movement From Below?


Can New Populist Agenda Harness Passions, Create Movement From Below?

Jon Queally, staff writer

Hoping they can drive a revamped public conversation and fuel a populist counter-movement from the left against an otherwise rightward lurch in the country, a coalition of progressive organizations this week is championing a new agenda designed to galvanize those demanding an economic, political, and ecological transformation in the United States.


One problem with this platform:

There is no such thing as sustainable growth.

The world economy already operates at the 1.5 Earth pollution recycling service level. (US is at four and Europe at three).

Cuba is probably a good model and the people there live as long with healthier old-age than the US.


Another misleading headline.

This article spends too much time articulating a Progressive agenda and not enough time on strategies that could implement it.

How is this movement - or any movement, for that matter - going to penetrate the corporatist media and reach the vast majority of Americans? Even if it succeeds in doing so, what is it going to say?

Currently, that media overwhelms American viewers with pro-military, anti-Muslim, pro-zionist, and “pseudo-feminist” messaging in both “news” and entertainment programming (which have become the same). Serious issues such as the militarization of police are addressed from the point of view of the .01%. Progressive ideas and themes are relentlessly suppressed.

The article talks about a growing movement without giving any numbers to support such a claim. OK, so seemingly Progressive organizations are coalescing. What is the impact of that union?

Numbers by themselves are almost irrelevant. The mainstream media easily diminishes the force of mass demonstrations and marches and sit-ins either by ignoring them or portraying them as wacko fringe elements.

We need new ideas.



A lovely fantasy… Never going to amount to anything. We are bought and paid for by extremely powerful and ultimately unassailable corporate/private military/governmental/financial et al leaders. The only way things will change( and it surely will not be pretty) will be a violent revolt by people who have finally been driven into the ground have nothing left to lose. That will not be any time soon. They are bleeding and boiling us ever so slowly and carefully so the majority cannot see it coming it time to act . Meanwhile they lull the ‘slaves’ to complacency with iPads and iPods and video games and reality TV and junk food. Then they control the media output so we only see a few carefully controlled and orchestrated ‘sides’ and think we are getting all the information we need to understand what is occurring around the world and at home. This sweet innocent optimism seems to be orchestrated from the same rotting leadership, again- carefully packaged so it looks to be the opposite.


Well said.

  1. We need to localize and produce what we “need” on a local and regional level. Consumption cannot continue as it is now.

  2. We need local and regional banks working for we the people. It needs to be our money and we the people earn the interest and invest locally and regionally.


One of the primary purposes of the manufactured financial crisis in 2008 was to crush as many local and regional banks as possible.



It interesting the lengths to which groups will go to invent “new” political ideologies that are not in fact all that new.

What they are in fact wanting is SOCIALISM. They just can not come out and say the word.

Now there are certainly variants of Socialism but most what exists in the World as Socialism is a bastardized version of the same trying to maintain Capitalism at the same time.

The term "Progressive Populism: in and of itself can be an oxymoron. Populism can be a very dangerous ideology and one that is not progressive at all. Tagging “Progressive” to the front of it wherein a great segment of “populists” might be seen as excluded (such as “populist” platforms that wish to curtail immigration into European States so as to preserve "white heritage) means it no longer populist.


There’s another glaring problem with this platform. It says not a word about the bloodthirsty US military Moloch threatening life across the globe and draining crucial financial and human resources. In fact it sounds just like an Elizabeth Warren platform.


Perfectly good laundry list. I’ve seen the laundry list before. What I haven’t seen is implementation.

In the short term, we need people to get a carpool together, travel to regions where a real candidate (if such a thing exists) is running against a vulnerable gerbil and ring doorbells. We will throw just a few close elections because it’s better than throwing zero elections.

The real solution is to form our own alternative progressive coalition/government, elected by our rules. Single transferable vote elections are recommended because they work, and what the federal government does never works well.

One of the rules for such a coalition is to always see that other groups are represented, even if they’re underrepresented at the meetings. Maybe if they like our fairness they’ll show up more.


Please look at point 11.



Point 11 is way too tame and vague. We need to dismantle the overwhelming majority of US military bases across the globe and drastically reduce the military budget. Point 11 would leave most of it untouched.


It also leaves the gate open for the R2P fascists with its vague reference to “humanitarian” missions. :



Here’s hoping. Sounds like they are just going to beg the current duopoly. They need to study 1930’s Rise of Labor. Nothing short of a General Strike will get Washington = Wall Street to play ball, imho.


The answer to the above question is unequivocally… NO!


The problem, though, is all present US wars are humanitarian interventions for peace, or something.


Hmmmm, you might be right.

My simplistic laptop dictionary says:

populist |ˈpɒpjʊlɪst| noun
a member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people.
• a person who supports or seeks to appeal to the concerns of ordinary people. she is something of a populist—her views on immigration resemble those of the right-wing tabloid press.

Take a look at this interesting Nolan Chart a right winger made. What do you guys think?

It shows “Kingfish” (I think) Hughie Long the Louisiana powerbroker closest to a populist position, next to what looks like Gandhi? Does that make sense? Wouldn’t a “Progressive-Populist” cancel each other out and equal a centrist?

I am unsure.

Maybe a “Progressive-Populist” would equal a Socialist, just as you asserted.


I don’t get a “general strike” strategy. Employers would simply fire their employees that didn’t show up and people desperate for work would rush in. Then those newly unemployed would quickly be overwhelmed with their life situation and not have any energy to direct toward any movement.

General strikes work in countries that still have substantial social contracts that allow a mass of workers to take such an action i.e., safety net for housing, national universal health care, etc.

Not trying to stomp on your point for the sake of it, but I don’t see how a general strike is a possibility in this country.


From your earlier post -

It says not a word about the bloodthirsty US military Moloch threatening life across the globe and draining crucial financial and human resources.

So the article DOES say a word - several words, in fact - about the military and the resources that it wastes. It just does not say what you want it to say.

Are you insisting on the complete disbanding of the military?



Certainly that is true. Wall Street will take hostages by massive firing. You can’t be afraid of that if you truly value freedom. But in some occupations, months of training must happen first causing mayhem and loss of bottom line. Many job-action employees will decide to show up and screw things up royally also. Those “activities” are protected job actions under Federal Labor Law for organized employees of, for instance, the Railway Labor Act. But it can only be done after a bunch of hoops including a 60 day cooling-off period, and forced Federal Mediation with an assigned Mediator who can force a contract on everyone. Strikes are rare because the way the law is written.

But a General Strike would include everyone who is unhappy with the status quo. Everyone could conceivably default on all their bills at the same time, and stall their unreliable cars on all the freeway onramps, etc, until a list of demands for redress by the government is forced upon Washington.

The outcome is far from certain, but when things are this far out of whack, and we are facing global extinction and mass poverty, a New Deal has to be demanded. We really don’t have any choice. One has to bite the hand that feeds them to get the master’s attention. And a General Strike will get their attention.