Tag Archives | Left-Wing

Rebecca Solnit On The Incoherent Left

She doesn’t call them the Incoherent Left because she still thinks they can be part of a coalition for radical political change, but other than that her assessment is spot on:

At a demonstration in support of Bradley Manning this month, I was handed a postcard of a dead child with the caption “Tell this child the Democrats are the lesser of two evils.” It behooves us not to use the dead for our own devices, but that child did die thanks to an Obama Administration policy. Others live because of the way that same administration has provided health insurance for millions of poor children or, for example, reinstated environmental regulations that save thousands of lives.

You could argue that to vote for Obama is to vote for the killing of children, or that to vote for him is to vote for the protection for other children or even killing fewer children.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Are Your Values Right or Left? The Answer Is More Literal Than You Think

Drawing Hands

M.C. Escher, "Drawing Hands", 1948.

ScienceDaily reports:

Up equals good, happy, optimistic; down the opposite. Right is honest and trustworthy. Left, not so much. That’s what language and culture tell us. “We use mental metaphors to structure our thinking about abstract things,” says psychologist Daniel Casasanto, “One of those metaphors is space.”But we don’t all think right is right, Casasanto has found. Rather, “people associate goodness with the side they can act more fluently on.” Right-handed people prefer the product, job applicant, or extraterrestrial positioned to their right. Lefties march to a left-handed drummer. And those linguistic tropes? They probably “enshrine the preferences of the right-handed majority.”

Casasanto, of The New School for Social Research, and Evangelia G. Chrysikou, of the University of Pennsylvania, wanted to find the causes of these correlations. Does motor experience “give rise to these preferences, or are they hardwired in the brain?” If the former, “how flexible are these preferences?

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Corporations Versus Individuals: The End of the Left/Right Paradigm

Nolan chart. Source: Camilo Sanchez (CC)

Nolan chart. Source: Camilo Sanchez (CC)

Looks like the New World Order isn’t going to be a global Big Socialist Government (unless, perhaps, you count corporate socialism). Barry Ritholtz wrote in September of last year:

Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.

I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Conspiracy Phobia On The Left

From Michael Parenti’s 1996 book Dirty Truths:

Often the term “conspiracy” is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Even when they openly profess their designs, there are those who deny that intent is involved. In 1994, the officers of the Federal Reserve announced they would pursue monetary policies designed to maintain a high level of unemployment in order to safeguard against “overheating” the economy. Like any creditor class, they preferred a deflationary course. When an acquaintance of mine mentioned this to friends, he was greeted skeptically, “Do you think the Fed bankers are deliberately trying to keep people unemployed?” In fact, not only did he think it, it was announced on the financial pages of the press. Still, his friends assumed he was imagining a conspiracy because he ascribed self-interested collusion to powerful people.

At a World Affairs Council meeting in San Francisco, I remarked to a participant that U.S. leaders were pushing hard for the reinstatement of capitalism in the former communist countries…

Continue Reading

Notes Toward a New Political Taxonomy

Noah Millman writes for the American Scene:

It has become clear to me over the years that one of the causes of persistent confusion in our political arguments is the interchangeable use of taxonomic terms that, while they may have a natural affinity, are not actually synonyms.

Three terms that tend to get used interchangeably are:

Left / Liberal / Progressive

Their counterparts on the other side of the political spectrum are treated similarly:

Right / Conservative / Reactionary

The shades of difference among the meanings of the words within the triads, however, are not minor. One can very well be extremely right-wing without being a reactionary in any meaningful sense — think of Ayn Rand. One can be extremely left-wing without being a liberal in any meaningful sense — think of Lenin.

I propose, therefore, to accentuate the differences between the words commonly lumped together, to clear up all ambiguities by assigning technical meanings to commonly-used terms, and thereby define a three-dimensional space within which political writers and thinkers could more clearly be pegged.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Vast Left-Wing Media Conspiracy

Fred Barnes says everyone knew most of the press corps was hoping for Obama in 2008. Newly released emails show that hundreds of them were actively working to promote him, in the Wall Street Journal:

When I’m talking to people from outside Washington, one question inevitably comes up: Why is the media so liberal? The question often reflects a suspicion that members of the press get together and decide on a story line that favors liberals and Democrats and denigrates conservatives and Republicans.

My response has usually been to say, yes, there’s liberal bias in the media, but there’s no conspiracy. The liberal tilt is an accident of nature. The media disproportionately attracts people from a liberal arts background who tend, quite innocently, to be politically liberal. If they came from West Point or engineering school, this wouldn’t be the case.

Now, after learning I’d been targeted for a smear attack by a member of an online clique of liberal journalists, I’m inclined to amend my response.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Two Minutes Hate: Working Class Politics, History, Culture

International Socialist Organization Ashley Smith ISO

The ISO Dutifully Joins "The Left" in Reformist Protest Politics

Nick Pell at the Red Star Times:

Just wanted to do a quick roundup before the weekend comes. Things have been hectic around RST central as I gear up to move and begin work on my book. Still, there’s a few things I just have to make time for.

There’s the small matter of the continuing oil spill uncontrolled hemorrhage, for which no one has, nor will they ever be, arrested and tried for crimes against humanity.

The unions continue their attacks on workers while the Chinese working class continues to prove that it is at the vanguard of struggle against the fake left, capitalism and imperialism. And Red Star Times’s favorite fake left sect the International Socialist Organization gears up for their annual love-in with the Democratic Party, its radical hangers-on and vaguely left-of-center celebrities, ironically named “Socialism 2010.”

Read the Full Article at Red Star TimesRead the rest

Continue Reading

Two Minutes Hate

thai-crackdownFrom Nick Pell at Red Star Times

Four things happened recently that I think require attention. They speak to not just the world that we live in as it is, but the direction where we are headed. It’s a cliche to repeat, but that won’t stop me–the Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” applies now more than ever.

We do, indeed live in “interesting” times. Times as interesting as 1914, 1929 or 1939. We will live to see days like 1905, 1936 and 1968. Only time will tell if they blossom into 1789, 1871 or 1917, but the alternative is too terrifying to even contemplate.

Full Article at Red Star TimesRead the rest

Continue Reading

“The Left” vs. The Working Class

Hi, I'm a Douchebag and my name is This Guy

From Nick Pell at Red Star Times

“The Communist Party cannot fulfill its mission except by preserving, completely and unconditionally, its political and organizational independence apart from all other parties and organizations within and without the working class.” – L. Trotsky

I am frequently maligned and attacked for not supporting “the left.” Slings and arrows thrown my way include admonishments to “get behind the real movement” and appeals for a “united front” from people who clearly don’t understand what the term means. However, it’s worth pointing out (once again) that I don’t consider building “the left” to be the task of a socialist. The task of a socialist is to help the working class organize to take power. Rather than building block along the road towards this end, the left is perhaps the largest impediment to working class politics both domestically and internationally. Whether you think of the left as being the Democratic Party or any number of social democratic and Stalinist parties internationally matters not at all.… Read the rest

Continue Reading