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The Risk of Progressive Reversal

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/20/risk-progressive-reversal

Though many denizens here rightfully loathe evangelicals, borrowing from their GOP takeover playbook in terms of committing to a long term (decades & multi generational long), grinding attritional political warfare must be adopted by progressives lest we continue to falter and frustrate ourselves. That means being in it for the long haul, clearly recognizing how the American electoral system dysfunctions (first-past-the-post, winner-takes-all that naturally mitigates towards a duopoly – third parties are chimeric, masturbatory fantasies), and devoting available energy and rhetoric to incremental achievable goals (i.e., local office before state, state before federal, etc.) and being disciplined in furtherance of the cause. Also, one does their bit according to their abilities – not their daydreams (however, if both align – great!).

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This article suggests that the way forward is to think strategically looking for opening to push the progressive agenda. Unfortunately, it does not give any useful examples of how this will work. Instead, the bulk of the articles just cautions against trying for too much.

I would argue that the solutions that both address the multiple challenges we need to deal with AND that best allow people to feel the most secure are the ones to got for.

These solutions are not difficult to find for the vast majority of people. For many people retreating to a life that already sucked is not inviting or secure. On the other hand, I agree with the author that they will be at odds for people in the upper strata of society because they have to change the most and due to their selfish interests have the most to “lose,”

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The crucial underlying question is how bad will it get for how many?
As Mike Tyson remarked, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”


“Unfortunately, still missing at the moment is a powerful movement that can articulate a clear and convincing message capable of rallying sufficiently large numbers around the globe to the cause. “

Fortunately, this global movement has been here under our noses. It is the Green Party”.
Unfortunately the oligarchy has preempted this greatest threat to their wealth and power, as it usually does with the command of the totalIty of all resources. It has demonized, divided and ignored the largest and most progressive of all progressive parties.

It never ceases to amaze me how the oligarchy can so easily lead the proles by their virtual nose rings.

It likely isn’t one huge movement, but many large movements. And there a many out there - Extinction Rebellion is the latest among them. There are Transition Towns, the Solidarity Economy, The Next System, Diem25 (in the EU), Sunrise Movement, Zero Hour, Climate Reality in the US, just to name a few.

The diversity of movements allows many more people to get involved and take action.

I venture to guess that most of these movements would vote for the global Greens.

First, note that there is a difference between a movement and getting people to vote for a political party that seeks to govern.

But maybe you can clarify and provide more detail about what the global Greens are? Is there a unified, cross-national Green platform or set of principles that all Green parties around the world adhere to?

Seems like the Green Party or more like Green Parties have been most successful in EU countries. In the US the Green Party runs a candidate for President but not much else, unless you can enllighten me on places where Greens have been successful in runs for office for Congress, at state level, and at local levels. There may be some Green Parties in Commonwealth nations, but I’ve not heard of the Green Party in countries other than non-Western.


Progressives will probably “shelter in place” until America decides that medical care is a human right, not a privilege of the wealthy.

Thanks for the link. Good to see that the Green Party has a presence in more countries around the world than I thought. Also, nice to see there are a few people who have been elected to state and local offices running as Greens. It is at these levels that the Green Party can have the greatest influence at present. There may be a few locations where Greens can compete for national office in the House.

Like all third parties, the Greens will have trouble gaining much traction at the national level in the US, given the way elections are run and won. It’s not a coincidence that Greens have done best in parliamentary systems. If elections are changed to include reforms like rank-choice voting, then more inroads can be made. Love to see the Green Party actively campaign for these reforms instead of simply running candidates.

Electoral processes are one component of the transformation. Then there are many other components exemplified by groups like Extinction Rebellion and Sunrise Movement, more involved with direct action, and Transition Towns, Solidarity Economy, La Via Compesina, that practice the changes we need - they don’t wait around for elections that may or may not succeed in having someone in office who will represent the people.

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Also, what’s your view of the Progressive International and a Global Green New Deal? Seems like something Greens can and will get behind.

I am not so much swayed by party as by what they stand for and support as well as how they conduct their business.

Herding liberals is like herding cats. But if all progressive movements had to be under one umbrella, that would be the Greens. That also gives the oligarchy one target, making it easier to demonize like socialism and it’s leaders. Avoiding that would mean no leaders and bureaucracy such as in a direct democracy.