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Fighting the Liberal Reaction


#1

Fighting the Liberal Reaction

Peter Bloom

If the first half of 2016 represented a new hope for progressive politics, in the second half the establishment is striking back. Within the same week, Bernie Sanders publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton for President while his “revolutionary” counterpart in the UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced a Centrist coup from within his own Party.


#2

I had to stop reading when the author called the far right wing Democrats the "center". Disgusting.


#3

My issue with this piece (besides the fact that it's a bit too wordy, and that's coming from someone who likes me some wordiness) is that it doesn't really get at the class divide here in a coherent and direct way. Affluent liberals don't NEED change. They just want their current privileges protected and stabilized. Trump offends them not because he's a phony who really represents the ownership class - that's a working class radical critique. Trump offends them, particularly those who make their livings with words, because he threatens their social milieu and their gigs. Affluent liberals have never cared about the problems that give Trump's campaign oxygen - the erosion of bargaining power for labor and the relentless worsening of working conditions and wages. They have what they need. That's why they can't understand Sanders and his supporters. That's why they are so terrible at dealing with Trump. Trump is a liar and a fraud - but his characterization of out of touch elites, as insincere and self-serving as it may be, is quite accurate. Obviously he doesn't intend to help wage workers and the poor any more than Clinton does. But it is the decades-long failure of the Democratic Party to have a function, a distinction, a true and ethical purpose, which has created the political space for Trump's campaign.


#4

Too many abstractions piled upon abstractions. Too little coherence from one notion to the next. Even the central point is vague. So the conclusions come off as cold toast with fake butter.


#5

And the only thing that has kept the D Party alive has been the predictable and continually deteriorating GOP reactionary manias: anti-science, anti-climate change, anti-equality, racism, sexism, classism. Now, with the political revolution getting legs enough to tell Sanders an almost polite thanks and goodbye, the D Party has, as you write so clearly, no reason to exist! It merely challenges the GOP's repugnance when it has no choice but to do that!

The US has two collapsing parties, and it is very unclear where we voters will turn, unless one of the now 'third' parties steps into the breach with a coherent case it can lead the revolution. I suspect the closest we will see is the Jill Stein campaign. But there is no good reason to vote for either of the obviously Wall Street functionary parties with lots of substance-free social/rhetorical lipstick all over the place on each one.

If that article is indicative of what the professors have to offer, the professors have nothing to offer.


#6

Reference is frequently made in these threads to the role of the medium of corporate media. It along with its branch of the film industry has, for the most part, fostered an unhinged, disenfranchised imagination not unlike a primordial soup. Someone once noted that the mind is like water, it takes the shape of its 'container'. This, sold as 'identity' and 'loyalty' has resulted, I would submit, NOT in the simile of a 'herd of sheeple', but more simply an unhinging relative to the primary 'container' of marketing.

People KNOW that community is where their minds, hearts and efforts form a working armature for wellbeing. Likewise, the marketing container construct on which the powers are dependent does not present anything like it, and to top it off, does not know how to do anything other than what it conditions its existence on.

When I look at this I am reminded of Kúbler-Ross offering the heuristic device of considering stages of the cycle of loss and grief in death.

We are witnessing the demise of a faulty power structure in denial of its self-generated death. Though the system kills, maims and distorts, our greatest gift is the ability to re-center our premises and regenerate ways that DO function.

I would submit that many of us are grieving and awareness that we can identity our sense of where we are in the fluctuating cycle of the process can clarify and energize the bridging of the divides so long manipulated by what is now a virtually full-blown systemic narcissism intensified by its denials.

It is quintessentially human and natural to recognize limitations and appreciate the interdependent strengths of community. The system scorns humility. THAT is something well worth fully contemplating. Humility is not a weakness - unless the function is predatory. Humility is the capacity to make space, in time itself, for the interactive and interdependent building of community. The give and take, the collaborative gusto that is robust and creative in community views problems as opportunities; pain as calling for compassion and strength in response to a systemic death of false identity with the most natural cycle of life - whether individual or in identity of community.


#7

Good stuff. Empathy and Humility are central concepts to building a society. When a Political leader such as a Ms Thatcher claimed there is no such thing as a society , she is speaking of a vision where there no humility or empathy for the other at all. She herself had neither of these.It apparently what many of them desire so that everything can be about the self and making money.

I


#9

The DNC voting to keep the superdelegate system in place ensures the future disenfranchisement of people who support the redistribution of wealth. Elites will seek to ensure that a future "Bernie" cannot arise. Four years of HRC - maybe eight? - if she gets to wrap herself in the flag of war come the next election. Years of corrupt capitalism - another mindless economic boom maybe? And all the while tinkering around the edges of climate change, healthcare etc.

A future to believe in is one where human civilization is sustainable. Democracy and capitalism are incompatible. Clinton will proudly lead us to catastrophe. Historically, Dark Ages happen.


#10

As the Joe Abercrombie character, Logan Ninefingers, is fond of saying, "You have to be practical about these things."

I'm more than a little tired of those on the left who demand some variety of purity about what it means to be liberal or socialist or progressive or whatever is the flavor-of-the-era term. Forget the fact that none of these folks is in charge of any of those philosophies and doesn't get to dictate what it means to be those things. The purists also have an odd penchant for non-negotiation. I can't even imagine what they think of diplomacy. Do they imagine an agreement somewhere in the middle of two sides is a show of weakness? I'd love to know. Do they think all issues are zero-sum? Yes or no? Freedom or slavery? They are not.

I think the future is progressive. I don't know how long it will take, but I do believe that it will happen. Railing against the "establishment" just because one side didn't get what it thinks its entitled to is not the way serious people get things done.


#13

" Affluent liberals don't NEED change" - Exactly. I haven't called myself a "Liberal" for decades, only a Progressive (actually Socialist). Both parties are conservative except around the edges, both use "social issues" to stir up what support they get, and both do little to nothing to change ANYTHING (except to consolidate their plutocratic power). Claire McCaskill ran ads to influence the Rs to elect a nut-case Tea Party type in Missouri so it would be easier for her (as a TRULY corporatist sellout) to win. Rachel Maddow thought that was just great - how smart! Now, these same people think its great that they're running against Trump. One day, they will smugly out-think themselves and we will truly wind up with a Fascist government. It's all smoke and mirrors with the elites - they have utter contempt for the populace. It's not that they don't SEE the class divide - they welcome it.


#14

Nor should it , but the species we speak if is a subset of the species called Homo Sapiens and act as a parasite on that host. They are the 1 percent.


#15

And if you don't think these ARE reactionaries - just look at Huff Post. They're shilling the Putin-is-smearing-Clinton meme and using articles from Defense One (run by the avowed Neo-Con David Bradley) and today in a literally-titled "Worse Than Watergate" article from Slate. So, now the faux "Progressive" websites are showing their true colors that they will hop into bed with other right-wingers to shill for THEIR establishment candidate. They, Demo Underground, and Kos are just as bad as FOX News or Limbaugh now.


#16

I stopped after encountering a large excess of grammatical errors. Writing this sloppy shouldn't be presented as serious and well thought through.


#18

The article boils down very simply to "Thatcherism strikes back".

Since 1979 there has been a protracted assault on the social democracy that rebuilt Europe and was present albeit feebly in the USA. It is epitomised by the canting economic theory of such as Milton Friedman and the English Victorian Tory ideology of such as Maggot Thatcher and the "New Labour" of Tony Blair. Corbyn and the once-upon-a-time stance of Sanders reflect the popular desire to have a decent equitable society. Thatcherites think only of a society profitable to their friends and want to maintain what they have spent the last 337 years creating.


#19

The Thatcher mantra, "I profit; therefore I am". What else do expect from the daughter of an English shopkeeper?


#20

I would happily trade a hundred dozen Thatchers, Clinton's, and Trumps for just one Mohandas Gandhi, someone who could unit the people In the interest of justice over profit. Would that there was such an individual today.

Alas, Bernie talked the talk but showed that he had no balls when it came to standing up for the people he professed to support.

We are like passive cattle, believing the lies told to us in a feeding lot, as we wait for the slaughterhouse to open.

I ask myself, what will it take to wake people up?


#21

But cheating one's way to the nomination is fine and dandy and so eminently mature.


#22

Poor you.


#23

"The establishment is crumbling under it's own hubris and structural flaws" as Bloom stated the response is either reactionary or revolutionary. A reactionary response will most likely be fascist.


#25

It seems amazing that what Chayefsky so clearly understood, over forty years ago, is still beyond the comprehension of so many.