Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/12/04/left-finally-winning-war-ideas
Winning the mindscape is one thing.
Watching as our popular ideas are ignored by those with actual power is another thing.
We can only hope for and help Bernie Sanders run for President in 2020 . Then we will continue to change the mindset of our fellow Americans to prevent the further spiraling into the abyss. Peace
When Bernie is elected and he gets as many ideas as he can through the congressional criminals, people will settle in to the new ways and realize what has been missing in their/our lives. If that does not happen, then their is no hope for the dumbed-down of the u.s.a.
Sorry, I like Lee Camp but is this just wishful thinking? Has any one of the six topics he mentions really seen the light of day in the MSM, including NPR?
There’s a long way to go with this race and I’m sure the establishment will do anything it can (legal or illegal) to make sure the status quo gets elected.
The REAL question is: what is the Left doing differently and concretely this time around so that we don’t have a repeat of the last election, with Hillary and Trump as the final 2 candidates?
and it clearly can happen that the man that could save us will not be elected even by the people as socialism has been so demonized and most people don’t recognize that we have socialism i.e. police, fire, schools which have been defunded by Charter schools, dams, river waterways, airports, military, veterans healthcare, et al.
No one that wants democractic socialism wants the government to produce our cars, applicances, shirts, shoes, hats, retail stores, coffee shops, media but we want conglomerates broken up that have a stranglehold on competition and misinform by not informing. And many more industry but like water, sewer, electricity, banks should be in the public hands as they are public goods which we all need.
If you had asked me, as Richard Nixon was being impeached, if the left was winning the war of ideas, my idealistic, young, junior-in-high-school self probably would have said, “Yes! I think so!” During my childhood and adolescence, there came civil rights and voting rights legislation, mass action that helped end a war, environmental protection legislation, and a wave of liberation and rights movements for women, Indians, gays, and more. I was heading off to college for an honest-to-golly “liberal arts education” at an excellent, affordable state school. Coming from my middle-class, left-liberal, un-churched bubble, it seemed that we were changing the world by exposing what was wrong and demanding it be made right. It was naive, sure, but I was seventeen.
Then came the Reagan cultural backlash and drug war and dirty wars and Cold War escalation and the surge of willfully ignorant evangelical fundamentalism. Then came the Democratic party’s embrace of neoliberalism and lip-service to the old, New Deal ideals, and by the end of the '80s my answer would have changed to, “No, we’re not winning the war of ideas, and we’re in real trouble.” Thirty years later, to hear a young author enthuse about the left winning the war of ideas actually startles me. My immediate reactions include: 1) We were anti-war, and ended a war with at least some honest accounting of how wrong it was, but we now accede to year upon year of permanent war, torture, and extrajudicial killing. 2) We were going to protect the environment; now we’re in the early stages of anthropogenic collapse. 3) We declared equal rights for all; now we have the new Jim Crow, the biggest prison population of all, and mass voter disenfranchisement. 4) We made abortion legal; soon, it may be criminalized in addition to being unobtainable in many states. 5) We have watched, like frogs in a pot of warming water, the income and wealth gap grow while corporations kill communities. I could continue, but it’s too depressing.
The left is winning the war of ideas? I really, really want to take a sprinting start and dive head first down that rabbit hole and feel like I did in 1974. Guess I’ll go smoke a joint. At least that will feel like 1974.
Juju, you left out internet!
that cable or fiber coming into your house should be part of the Commons too (public utility) Then there would be some actual free market competition for services coming across that cable/fiber - like they have in many places in Europe
The actual left should vote Green Party, in order that Democrats will pretend to steal our ideas, in hopes that some portion of those ideas will show up in actual legislation. The political version of “measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, and cut with an axe.”
Did you not read this line:
‘Our electoral politics is a beautiful smokescreen for the ruling elite.’ ?
Sanders is a Trojan Horse, same as any other Democrat. Democrats are just slightly less racist imitations of republicans.
What Camp is talking about is simply the movement of these ideas from the nether-realms of the unspeakable (the state of affairs in 2016) into the arena where these things can be discussed publicly.
Of course MSM will exile these ideas as much as possible.
And of course Trump or a Trojan Horse Dem will win POTUS in 2020.
To believe that electoral politics can save us is like believing that Reynolds Tobacco will invent a healthy cigarette.
No, only a radical change in mass consciousness can save us. The rising popularity of the ideas in this article suggest that mass consciousness might be getting closer to change.
No, under the best of circumstances, we are a long ways off from anything good happening.
But following the path of electoralism guarantees that NOTHING GOOD WILL HAPPEN.
First they ignore you, then they mock you… something something, then you win. If this is the trajectory, mocking is progress.
Roll another one Ed, I’m on my way over.
Yeah, we’re wayyyyy past 1974.
Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines.
Abolish The Electoral College.
I like Lee Camp too, very much. A bit blunt, but he tells it like it is.
This isn’t wishful thinking so much as it is a point about reality. That he is right about these things does not mean that the status quo will change in 2020, but it does mean that in some tiny way the trajectory of national policy decisions might have been nudged.
LC said winning the “war of ideas”, not the (class) war. But you are right. The left has not changed its strategy this rime around, In fact they have entrenched themselves in the same strategey as 2016 - with no better chance of winning than then. Are they going to do the same in 2024? When will they learn that the Democratic Party is a party of the capitalist ruling class. It cannot be reformed.
The Democratic Party has been thwarting the interests of progressives for a long time (some would argue that that is its role.) It is worth looking at what the DP did in 1968: the two most popular candidates, those winning in the primaries were Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy - both very progressive and the latter running on an anti-war platform. They killed off Kennedy and a new candidate that had not been running - Humphries - was selected/installed by the party leadership at the convention. Riots broke out ,the Party called in the police in a very heavy-handed way. Humphries loses to Nixon. The MSM blamed the rioters for their “violence” and the Party’s violence to democracy was shoved down the Memory Hole.
Hey Lee I like your style or writing, funny and thought provoking at the same time. Your ideas are not that much different than Ron Paul, the Congressman Libertarian candidate for president. I am an independent, don’t belong to any party because I see flaws and some virtues in all of them. Anyone interested in Libertarian views can go to https://www.lewrockwell.com/ and no I am not a Libertarian clone.zombie but I like a lot of their takes. There is always a lot of talk whether the MSM is left or right but I think the most direct way to think of it is the ESTABLISHMENT media which means the money media that swings whatever way makes them more money. It is a bit ludicrous how some Democrats have suddenly declared themselves pro-war because Trump failed to bomb on cue, whatever Trump is for, they are against. Yes ideas are where it is at, it is the site of the main battle going on in our lifetimes, between our ears. The MSM has done and continues to do much damage to clear, reasonable thinking, we have all been damaged by it. Common Dreams is a great site but I see a lot MSM thinking/damage here too. Anyway, great writing, keep it up! Gopherit
Thank you Lee Camp Great points you make, For anyone not familiar with Lee, Google Redacted Tonight,
Well done, and Lee Camp’s humor is a welcome dose of sweetness in otherwise rather bitter tea. I think we need a lot more of this approach (I include myself, and my daunting ‘seriousness’ online) to help us “revolutionaries” or “progressives” to both increase effectiveness and also make the world a little funnier. Because, otherwise, it’s not very damned funny right now. Thanks.
I’d happily trade half of Camp’s optimism for some hard figures. But I don’t really know where to send him for any I would trust.
The war of ideas has always been a hard thing to measure. There has been some gain. There have been some losses. Americans now distrust government: that is a gain.
But we have also reduced expectations.
- Of course the war is entered on false pretense.
- Of course the government is lying.
- Of course the government tortures.
- Of course the government kills civilians, including American civilians.
- Of course the government overthrows democratic governments elsewhere.
- Of course the parties have corrupted the nomination process
- Of course the election process is rigged
- Of course Citizens United legalized bribery without limit
- Of course my phone, my car, and my referigerator spy on me
- Of course the government holds people without trial and for profit
- Of course the government trades my information for favors.
But the usual thinking appears to be that there is nothing to do about it; my student loan is taking most of my social security check. It would be of interest to know how much denial has been replaced by how much trained helplessness.
Then, people in the 1990s could access most any information that had been placed on the Web. A counterweb of quiet censorship has crept over communications, little by little. The old news agencies have been corrupted past their prior state, almost past usefulness and surely to the point that they do more harm than good. With that secured, the ruling class has moved to corral Web communications. At present, if you are in the US or indeed much of the rest of the world, all of the following are true,. with very few exceptions:
- Your activity is logged and monitored redundantly
- Your information is recorded and sold and resold
- Your service provider hides much of the Web from you under pressure from large media producing corporations
- Your search engine sends you away from information that its owners, advertisers, and potential regulators do not want you to see.
At present, this is all done quite imperfectly. But it is also done increasingly. We have become quite reliant on our Web sources–including people like Lee Camp, something that is worth a mention here.
I’d say that war of ideas has a lot of live shooting going on. I’d hesitate to guess who is holding how much of anything.
Liberal ideas have always been accepted by the public –
New Deal an example of that welcome for 60-70 years until the regulations which
controlled Capitalism were overturned by the rising right wing under the GOP banner –
This is a liberal nation which is why the right has to control our press and all media/
governments. Any real challenge to right wing propaganda will expose it as lies.
What does work is right wing violence, assassinations and coups here and all over
the world – and that includes fake “insurrections” and “false flag” operations which
confuse the public.
Also see: Operation Gladio to understand the patterns of these operations long carried
out by Elites from the Elite tool box. That included laundering money through the Vatican.
9/11 is the most recent example of Reichstag Fire in NYC –
The people also strongly support Separation of Church & State –
I think Pelosi should have stopped at “not hating anyone today” rather than trying to use
the RCC and Catholicism to proclaim her goodness. That shield is now full of holes given
how frequently it has been used for violence for 2,000 years and to take over native land
and what were other sovereign nations, like Hawaii…
Let’s hope this issue of using religion to suggest that “all the saints are in churches and all
the sinners are outside looking in.” Or little shiny buttons on lapels to suggest that one
loves their country and is a patriot, though they support fascist ideas.
What war doesn’t Pelosi or Biden like?
TORTURE is against the United Nations Human Rights Manifesto –
and much else that our government is doing in denying citizens "shelter, food,
education" not only under the deeply distorted policies of this authoritarian president
Trump and GOP aggression are very much on display right now – and Trump continues to
push the idea of violence with his supporters, and from the very beginning. Threatening
violence such as a new Civil War if he is Impeached or not re-elected.
Bernie Sanders has in this campaign begun to take on the MIC which is quite a challenge.
We should understand that it’s the most serious threat to a candidate as we recall Martin
Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy and many others – Dag Hammarskjold at the UN.
Let’s hope that this time the Fates will be with us.