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Can We Unify?


#1

Can We Unify?

Thea Paneth

Yesterday morning I watched the Democracy Now! clip of Tom Hayden addressing the 2015 Teach in on the power of Vietnam War protest and I was particularly struck by his emphasis on movements finding the way to unity.

As we face the 2016 election those of us in the self-selected, dissatisfied minority who are deeply concerned about the need for change might contemplate Hayden's suggestion of finding a path to unity.


#2

I think for the most part, progressives are on the same page and have been historically with recognizing problems and working together no matter the issue and the challenges. I think it's those folks who have their own self interests as the most important and often only item on the agenda that need to get on board for life on this planet.

Often, those are the 1% and those on their payroll. Those gated communities and private parties are going to get awful oppressive as the rest of us become more informed and restive and the edible delicacies become less and less available. Those are the people that need to refocus and and unify with the rest of humanity for the continuation of our species and the quality of life on earth.


#3

What is stopping unification of the people is the politics of division, which reared its ugly head in this nation during colonization and our founding. For unity to occur, facing our racist past, and the institutionalized racism it engendered, means a serious effort by white folks (yes even us lefties) to undertake anti-oppression education so solidarity can be built between different communities. Skin color determines the American experience, and there's still a world of difference between being white and any other color. Those in power are none too likely to change this dynamic, even if they wanted too, because it is ingrained in our culture. Only an intentional examination of race bias within one's self and identifying one's own privileges and oppressions will result in the ability to build power across divided communities. It's an act of self love.


#4

Unification will not happen as long as we continue the wasteful & counterproductive piddling away of resources into the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party's function is to confuse liberals and trick them into false hopes.


#5

One way to help foster community among progressive groups in your own locale could be this model for a Progressive Center


#6

Most progressives are quite aware that the MSM is no friend of social change. In fact the MSM is dedicated to a corporate agenda at the expense of the 99%. Therefore I think it is essential for unity if we bypass traditional MSM by using social media like Twitter and Facebook to reach out to every American with the hashtag... AnybodyButClinton&Trump. Motivate people to get to the nearest polling station and vote for anyone... as long as it isn't one of the corporate sycophants that the MSM insists we must vote for. Provided that this exercise goes viral (and I am quite aware that this may not occur), we could reach voters who are unhappy with both candidates before election time. As long as people are motivated to vote only to prevent either of the two most unpopular candidates in our electoral history of being elected, we may actually get people to vote rather than staying at home and protesting by not voting at all!
Starting Thursday I will be driving around my neighborhood with a van blaring from the speakers the message that we should "go out and vote for anyone except HRC and Trump!" with a great big sign on my van showing an oversized "X" over each candidates picture with a plea to vote for an alternative candidate or suffer the consequences of preserving the status quo.
Historically there are precedents when a massive amount of people shift their allegiance from one candidate to another on the eve of an election. This wasn't possible a few decades ago with the stranglehold that the MSM had on informing the public of their choices (have you heard any advice from a single MSM outlet that we can all still vote for someone else than Trump or Clinton? Of course not!), but with the rise of social media, we can transform the voting patterns overnight if we reach enough voters.
It's a new concept that will be particularly new to older voters, but it has worked elsewhere. We cant wait another four years for sanity to be restored to D.C.


#7

Unless we go into the DP and take it over from the city, county and state level. It may be easier to take over a political party than to try to jump start a new one or revive a moribund one. After all it is an opposition party we need, not necessarily a third party, at least now in the context of our current political situation. Take control of the DP even while pushing for electoral, campaign and voting reforms.


#8

The go-it-alone efforts of parties - from the radical to the liberal left - are a waste of time, effort and money. Individually these parties are impotent.

The unification of all parties, and most people, to the left of center in the US is necessary if we are going to overcome continued despotism by the 1%.

A unified left under a single banner could redraw the US political landscape.

Failing that, it will be MIC dominated business as usual forever, or until the MIC is abolished by other means.


#9

In Murka where everything is for sale, any party that is successful will be purchased by corporate interests in order to advance the corporate agenda.

Political parties need to be outlawed and all elections publicly financed with no private contributions to candidates allowed.


#10

My comments on FB, where I shared this artcle:

Pretty much my POV, with one minor (or not minor?) point.IMHO, i'm with Gandhi on this:

"“The way of peace is the way of truth. Truthfulness is even more important than peacefulness [or love? ]. Indeed, lying is the mother of violence.” - M Gandhi

In MY experience truth ALWAYS leads quickly to LOVE. But I have experienced cases where Love did not lead to truth, and thus condoned violence. Reinhold Niehbuhr is a case in point. Ditto for much of Christianities "Just War" concept, humanitarian R2P. There are other places, books where John Swomley is more explicit on this point, but I do have the first three pages of his American Empire photo copied and available to share here. John Dear (I think?) makes the same point.

John Swomley, "American Empire: The Political Ethics of Twentieth-Century Conquest - Google Photos pages 1-3 http://bit.ly/2erJnMC


#11

I think I'm going to puke.

Let's just all hold hands and hug each other in unity and everything will work out. Without a doubt, this love-fest will:

  • End war and all the other ravages of imperialism,

  • Cause the climate change deniers to become ecological advocates,

  • Cause the elite ruling class to disregard their capitalistic need to continually accumulate wealth by exploiting the working class and the Earth. The elites will graciously do what ever it takes to meet the fundamental needs of everyone ... not only on a national basis but globally as well,

  • Cause the elite ruling class to support and do whatever it takes to make sure that every worker is paid a living wage,

  • Stop wage inequality of multi-national CEOs earning hundreds of times more than the worker(s) whose labor (physical and mental) generates the profit so the CEOs can be provided with such obscene compensation packages,

  • End the tax-dodging practices of large corporations,

  • End homelessness,

  • End global poverty, and

  • End global human trafficking and slavery.

Who knew that a unified love-fest could be so powerful!

Look, the issues are well-known and they have been talked about so much that the people are friggin' exhausted from hearing and talking about them!

Unity is the last thing I want. I want action that absolutely crushes the source of injustice and inequality.

I would rather hear the blather of neo-cons than this pie-in-the-sky liberalism presented in this article. This shit makes me violent in a flash.


#12

That's exactly how it works. Well intentioned people try to 'change the party from within' but it never works that way. Instead, the party changes the well-intentioned people. Look at how Obama taught Democrats to love war, mass surveillance, torture, & upward wealth transference. Trying to reform the Dems or Republicans is like trying to reform a boyfriend or girlfriend.


#14

I'm not sure that the dissatisfied population counts as a minority. No participation continues to beat either democratic or republican candidate in elections.


#15

I believe in core progressive principles of peace, economic democracy, and racial & social justice. I believe the United States needs to have a much more active progressive movement that is united around such core principles and in collaboration with similar movements internationally. I believe we need to create a core infrastructure for that movement to facilitate education- and action-oriented projects that move the progressive agenda forward.

I also believe that electoral politics hurts the unity that might be achieved around the above. I see that every day here on the CD discussion boards. Can we create a more unified progressive politics? Yes. Can we unite around an electoral strategy? No - but is that really the most important thing?


#17

No. It's a lovely thought, really, but it's not going to happen. Even those who are not on the right wing have been more deeply divided, pitted against each other by class and race, over the past decade.

What matters to people "at the end of the day" is whether they can keep their families together, housed and fed. Many can't. In real life, not everyone can work (health, etc.), and there aren't jobs for all. The US shut down/shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s. Even liberals pretend there are no consequences. They are wrong.


#18

It was up to 6%, the last I saw, and I've no idea how much the right wing (libertarians, etc.) have.

The Reagan Dems of the 1980s leaned to the right to merge with the Clinton wing in the 1990s, and they essentially finished off the Democratic Party. The years of this administration served to confirm this. This puts us into a very unstable political situation where almost anything could happen, whether the people approve or not.


#19

It's important to keep in mind that even liberals redefined such things as "equality" and "economic justice" to simply exclude masses of the poor. They still preach the lie that our deregulated capitalism is so successful that everyone is able to work, there are jobs for all, therefore no need for poverty relief. This makes their economic discussion illegitimate.


#20

"None of our struggles can achieve a lonely objective for change without all the other struggles joining in across lines of class, race and gender." - Thea Paneth

Thank you for the insights.
But I have changed my mind as this edit shows.
Caveats upon deeper thought beyond self.
Race.
We are all part of one race.
The HUMAN race.
Who just happen to invoke class, gender, and creed as being racial or cultural, when those things are but control mechanisms at best...
Changed my thinking and will continue to do such in support of unification.


#21

Where i take issue with the author is this statement

None of our struggles can achieve a lonely objective for change without all the other struggles joining in across lines of class, race and gender.

No...it is our class that should be used to unite us because it is the bond we all share in common - being wage-slaves, no matter how short or long our chains are..

The deepest motivation I know is love

Perhaps i would express such sentiment as my motivation is social solidarity. I need not love my neighbours but i do require to cooperate and live in peace with them for both our benefit.


#22

Violent solutions initiate violent outcomes.
They're not talking Kumbaya crap.
They're initiating a process of searching out and incentivizing commonly held objectives among disparate groups.
It's an old fashioned idea called COMMUNITY. Nobody expects campfire kumbaya singalongs among these groups...and certainly not group hugs. That's silly and highly simplistic.
Humanity is a diagreeable entity. Everybody gets that.
We're at the point at which it's either learn to get along SOMEHOW, HOWEVER DISPARATELY or give up and schedule a global funeral for all of us and the planet, too.
We can do better. Societies evolve or die.