Is the West Experiencing a Left-Wing Drift? (the international left politics activism, news, and strategy thread)

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hottt off the DSA's local wins a couple of days ago, here's a place to discuss current left movements and orgs, ponder strategy and all that fun stuff. not gonna police/define what "left" means too rigidly except to say there's already a democratic party thread

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 14:44 (six months ago) Permalink

I guess the only hard-and-fast rule is no comedy podcasts allowed

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 14:49 (six months ago) Permalink

anyway some fun things to talk about might be

- the DSA's electoral strategy plank and where it stands (or should stand) in relation to other strategies, also the challenges presented by growing 4-fold in the space of a year
- Corbyn's Labour and its prospects for forming government and/or its ability to potentially productively disrupt the Brexiting "process" (such as it is)
- wtf is happening with the Canadian left
- wtf is happening in other places

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 14:57 (six months ago) Permalink

oh and
- talk about what orgs yr involved with, if any!

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 14:58 (six months ago) Permalink

Olympia WA just elected a fierce and principled homeless advocate, running for office for the first time, to the city council. She beat the incumbent, a real estate developer. This is fantastic news for a small city with an escalating housing crisis.

sciatica, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:03 (six months ago) Permalink

That is v cool! I was just reading about that.

On the more theoretical end, here's a centrist tackling the Corey Robin book on the history of conservative pols/thinkers

http://theweek.com/articles/735841/lefts-myopic-obsession-fairness

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:05 (six months ago) Permalink

in the panel kingfish posted in the chapo thread Chibber argues that fascism only succeeds when there isn't a viable leftist alternative and that the right-wing drift in the West was a temporary phenomenon that is now receding as options like corbyn/sanders become more viable. i'm not so sure how that comports w/ his theory of ww2 (where he argues precisely the opposite - that the strength of the left is what led capital to throw its lot in with fascism) - these two ideas seem to be in tension. maybe he's just pushing for a middle ground - a left powerful enough to be a viable alternative to fascism for the downtrodden, and he's not too worried about labor challenging capital anytime soon since we're a long way off from another dictatorship of the proletariat.

Mordy, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:07 (six months ago) Permalink

On the front of "capital throwing its weight around" in the face of a strengthened left, I was heartened to see talk of Labour preparing to counteract capital flight should they ever take power

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:09 (six months ago) Permalink

- wtf is happening with the Canadian left

Would appreciate any kind of discussion on this, even pointers to good news/commentary sources.

jmm, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:15 (six months ago) Permalink

idk how accurate this is but I don't think this is so much a left-wing "drift" as much as it is 18-35 year olds in this country realizing what happens when they don't vote

frogbs, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:19 (six months ago) Permalink

slash realizing they have no viable economic future under the current order

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:19 (six months ago) Permalink

this moral foundations stuff that is deployed like a trump card in that damon linker article (& elsewhere) could do with some more discussion

ogmor, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:38 (six months ago) Permalink

CR definitely took notice of the review and will probably provide a rebuttal of some kind, I feel a bit out of my depth as I haven't read The Reactionary Mind

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:41 (six months ago) Permalink

hate reading a whole book so i can pull it apart is where i draw the line

ogmor, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:46 (six months ago) Permalink

wrt haidt i mean

ogmor, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:46 (six months ago) Permalink

there's a pun in there somewhere

imago, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:48 (six months ago) Permalink

re: the Cdn left, my current summary would be "we're all watching to see what Jagmeet inevitably waffles on" and that our general terminal smugness is our biggest impediment. I haven't even noticed the Trudeau Paradise Papers stuff get much traction.

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:49 (six months ago) Permalink

fwiw that article above is essentially my complaint about CR's book. it smooths out an awful lot of [to my mind] legitimate concerns of conservatism in order to make a moral argument. and esp a moral argument that is easily made in practically any situation - there is no ideology where you cannot find losers of the ideology being oppressed. iow there's no exclusively liberatory ideology cf the great Leftist States of the 20th century.

Mordy, Thursday, 9 November 2017 15:57 (six months ago) Permalink

i just realized tho why are we talking about conservatism itt?

Mordy, Thursday, 9 November 2017 16:01 (six months ago) Permalink

but the degree of inequality does vary. the fact that something can't be completely eliminated is no argument against reducing it

ogmor, Thursday, 9 November 2017 16:49 (six months ago) Permalink

what i meant is that one could v easily make the argument that the left is about oppression and inequality and you can see bc every time there's a communist state they end up killing millions of ppl through the rigid enforcement of dogma. the question is always who is oppressing whom. now rightly you could argue that soviet + chinese communism should not be how we measure the motivations underlining leftism but then you can do the same for conservatism. my point is just that if you're looking to defame your political opponents on oppression grounds you'll have plenty of fodder no matter your ideology.

Mordy, Thursday, 9 November 2017 16:52 (six months ago) Permalink

ha, i think real world examples are salient, but for what they tell you about power rather than what they tell you about ideology

ogmor, Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:05 (six months ago) Permalink

I haven't even noticed the Trudeau Paradise Papers stuff get much traction.

Do you mean the stuff about Bronfman's offshore accounts? Was JT or the LPC directly implicated?

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:20 (six months ago) Permalink

I imagine Canada will probably remain a country of milquetoast centrist liberalism for a while. We never drifted as far right as some of our allies and will probably not experience as intense of a left-wing backlash?

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:24 (six months ago) Permalink

That said, there have been some legitimately good ideas coming from the NDP, especially Ashton (and the Greens). I'm eager to see more advocacy for things like a green energy transition Crown corporation, socialized finance options, socialized pharma care coverage, someone actually standing against more pipelines. In a minority govt situation, this Liberal govt might be more push-able than the last one.

An NDP provincial government may well be likely in SK, I think?

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:30 (six months ago) Permalink

challops: soviet + chinese communism is actually right-wing

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:32 (six months ago) Permalink

That said, there have been some legitimately good ideas coming from the NDP, especially Ashton (and the Greens).

I (along with all the Marxist goons I roll w/) voted for Ashton even though she was disappointing on QC, hoping she remains a prominent voice for the party going forward. I really got the feeling she pushed the overall tenor of the leadership race significantly left.

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:54 (six months ago) Permalink

Everything is an angry centrist overreaction to the last shit

Gary Synaesthesia (darraghmac), Thursday, 9 November 2017 17:58 (six months ago) Permalink

Maybe this belongs more on the CDN politics thread, but curious to hear what other leftists/Canadians on this thread think.

I voted for Ashton and am definitely far to the left of Jagmeet, but from a tactical POV, do you think he may be - in an instrumental way - better for the medium to longer term prospects of the party insofar as he will likely be able to win over some of the more left(ish) or progressive people who voted for Trudeau in 2015 (and either moved more to the left since or have been disillusioned by the betrayal of campaign promises, etc.).

I know this way of thinking can lead to a slippery slope, but I wonder if his leadership of the party might help - to some degree - galvanize (or at least sustain some forward momentum for) the NDP in a way that an Ashton, Angus or Caron victory may have?

Federico Boswarlos, Thursday, 9 November 2017 20:53 (six months ago) Permalink

I voted for Ashton but I don't think her platform would have been electorally successful, if I'm honest. But I am of the pessimistic view that liberal centrism is the best we can expect from a federal government in Canada and so the federal NDP can best function as a sort of parliamentary pressure group.

-_- (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:07 (six months ago) Permalink

Two huge problems for left politics in Canada: the national dependence on oil leads to a situation in which a large proportion of the public view the oil patch as a sacred cow which precludes widespread popularity for environmentalism which must be a pillar for any left-wing movement; another important part of any left movement in canada must be indigenous rights, decolonization, reconciliation. these ideas are given plenty of lip service in mainstream canadian discourse but anything that actually threatens entrenched interests or even, you know, calls a spade a spade - wrt the opprobrium that comes from many corners the second someone uses the words "settler colonialism" or "genocide" etc. - is anathema to a large proportion of the canadian population.

-_- (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:13 (six months ago) Permalink

I voted for Ashton and am definitely far to the left of Jagmeet, but from a tactical POV, do you think he may be - in an instrumental way - better for the medium to longer term prospects of the party insofar as he will likely be able to win over some of the more left(ish) or progressive people who voted for Trudeau in 2015 (and either moved more to the left since or have been disillusioned by the betrayal of campaign promises, etc.).

my concern is that his platform may not wind up distinct enough from the Libs for a significant number of voters to even consider jumping ship

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:14 (six months ago) Permalink

and JiV otm, Canada is much more backwards than the US on these issues in some respects

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:14 (six months ago) Permalink

On oil, possibly. I don't agree that the US is more progressive on aboriginal issues. Afaict, these barely even register as an issue on the national level in the US.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:19 (six months ago) Permalink

Simon, that's totally a fair point, though I also wonder if Singh will be able to bring some amount of first-time voters to the NDP (I doubt it will be massive, but stil...) or people who had formerly been unaffiliated with any party. He may also be appealing to culturally conservative immigrant groups who vote PC (to generalize) and win over more votes.

Jim, yes, both are also two massive problems that any progressive force will have to reckon with and, in the near future, am not sure how they will be able to reconcile.

Federico Boswarlos, Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:31 (six months ago) Permalink

Young/new voters are definitely where I'd be focusing on trying to mobilize if I were an NDP strategist, yeah.

Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 21:34 (six months ago) Permalink

I know Habermas has been progressively lurching to the centre over the course of his life, but even I'm quite surprised he wrote this glowing article on Macron.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/juergen-habermas-on-the-european-vision-of-emmanuel-macron-a-1174721.html

Federico Boswarlos, Friday, 10 November 2017 19:19 (six months ago) Permalink

Fun with (American) history:

https://soundcloud.com/deadpundits/ep-34-the-democratic-party-the-left-w-adam-hilton

Dead Pundits Society - Ep. 34: The Democratic Party & the Left w/ Adam Hilton

Adam Hilton, visiting lecturer in Politics at Mount Holyoke College, is on the show to talk about the history of the Democratic Party and its interaction with the left. Can the Democratic Party be used as an instrument of socialist advance? And what is the nature of the Democratic Party, anyway? Tune in to find out.

Find some of Adam's writings here:
-"Bernie and the Search for New Politics," https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/06/bernie-president-unions-mcgovern
-"Searching for New Politics," https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/bernie-sanders-new-politics-democratic-party-realignment-primary

Google Murray Blockchain (kingfish), Friday, 10 November 2017 19:20 (six months ago) Permalink

I know Habermas has been progressively lurching to the centre over the course of his life, but even I'm quite surprised he wrote this glowing article on Macron.

He seems to be using Macron as a stick to beat the German political establishment with. They need beating, but get a better stick.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 10 November 2017 19:28 (six months ago) Permalink

thanks for that kingfish, SPD is a reliably good cast even if I find the main guy mysteriously grating

Simon H., Friday, 10 November 2017 20:11 (six months ago) Permalink

Proctor likes to stir shit for better or for worse but I enjoy his guests most of the time

Google Murray Blockchain (kingfish), Friday, 10 November 2017 22:42 (six months ago) Permalink

One of the socialist candidates I can vote for in municipal elections later this month is named Charisma Fries. I might vote for her just for that reason. I will probably just vote for the party, though.

Frederik B, Friday, 10 November 2017 22:59 (six months ago) Permalink

Sounds like the name of one of the bands on scott's Leftover College Radio Station Indie Rock Records thread

Terry Micawber (Tom D.), Friday, 10 November 2017 23:16 (six months ago) Permalink

Latin America seen as part of the West? I think that's where the latest drift began. Different forms of a populist left to varying degrees in Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil and so on. Its under tension - and in Brazil its collapsed to quite a dangerous situation for the environment..

xyzzzz__, Friday, 10 November 2017 23:32 (six months ago) Permalink

On the front of "capital throwing its weight around" in the face of a strengthened left, I was heartened to see talk of Labour preparing to counteract capital flight should they ever take power

― Simon H., Thursday, 9 November 2017 Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Due to Brexit capital flight could happen anyway. Business is practically telling Labour they could put up with a erm diminished influence and profits as long as Brexit is the softer option (access to the single market). That's an opening, of sorts, to bring more things to the forefront and keep those ppl on their toes.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 10 November 2017 23:36 (six months ago) Permalink

skip to about 13:30 in the latest Trillbilly Workers' Party for a very good RL Stephens segment on DSA/American left stuff, particularly the old race/class question

https://soundcloud.com/user-972848621-463073718/episode-35-who-are-we-w-special-guest-rl-stephens

Simon H., Saturday, 11 November 2017 03:24 (six months ago) Permalink

or 18:30ish if you're feeling impatient

Simon H., Saturday, 11 November 2017 03:29 (six months ago) Permalink

this is all pretty dope imho

Good thread of what DSA has been up to this week. https://t.co/0mv1eo63k0

— Sturgeon's Law (@Sturgeons_Law) November 13, 2017

Simon H., Monday, 13 November 2017 04:53 (six months ago) Permalink

this makes me wonder how much of activism is dispositional, bc I so often run into this distinct zealous political anger but v rarely amongst my friends. I'm with silby, not only do I not feel the anger, I find it offputting and draining to be around. it frequently has no correlation with injustices suffered personally and is more of a general righteous piety and I just don't trust it

ogmor, Thursday, 8 February 2018 14:28 (three months ago) Permalink

There's a variety of experience in that regard, ofc. I'd argue that anger over injustice is tied to compassion, both rooted in a sense of inflammation about a fellow being harmed. The extent to which we can and do extend our circle of fellows to let ourselves be affected by the plights of others, and the extent to which that righteous inflammation becomes a self-serving identity tentpole in itself, will vary. It helps to be surrounded by others who stay rooted in meaningful action rather than expressions of indignation.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 8 February 2018 15:27 (three months ago) Permalink

from an article about Ernie Cortes, who in my book is over and above Saul Alinsky as the guy who's figured out how to explain how to do this stuff:

When one woman asks him to explain how he “motivates” people to support a cause with actions as well as words, the storm rolls in. Cortés can scarcely conceal his impatience. “Perhaps I prejudge you unfairly,” he begins, “but when I hear your question, what I think you’re really saying is, ‘How can I convince people to do what’s good? How do I get them to do what’s right? How do I get them to follow my agenda?’ ” He pauses, frowning. “That’s not organizing. What I mean by organizing is getting you to recognize what’s in your best interest. Getting you to recognize that you have a child, that you have a career and a life to lead, and that there are some things that are obstacles to the quality of your life. I need to get you to see how you can affect those things through relationships with other people. And it’s only going to happen if you engage in some kind of struggle.”

He pauses to let it all sink in. “We organize people not just around issues, but around their values,” he says. “The issues fade, and people lose interest in them. But what they really care about remains: family, dignity, justice, and hope. We need power to protect what we value.”

https://www.fastcompany.com/39208/social-justice-ernesto-cortes-jr

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 8 February 2018 15:31 (three months ago) Permalink

h00s, my impression of you is that you're a happy warrior. in my tradition we venerate joy and marginalize anger. a 'cold anger' would seem to have merit over a 'hot anger' in that it can be better directed but ultimately 'coldness' is a problem and 'anger' of any sort seems to me to not create in the world the sentiments that we are seeking - even if it is somehow related to compassion/hope/joy it is not synonymous. i fear sometimes that the "pro anger" contingency is more concerned w/ justifying their own emotional turbulence as valuable than in actually seeking what is good. in general the celebration of negative/hurtful affect troubles me about the left in 2018.

Mordy, Thursday, 8 February 2018 15:32 (three months ago) Permalink

not to take us too off topic but since i read this passage in w+p last night and it seems germane maybe i can share it here to some worthwhile end?

Talking of my family affairs he said to me, ‘the chief duty of a true mason, as I have told you, lies in perfecting himself. We often think that by removing all the difficulties of our life we shall more quickly reach our aim, but on the contrary, my dear sir, it is only in the midst of worldly cares that we can attain our three chief aims: (1) Self-knowledge—for man can only know himself by comparison, (2) Self-perfecting, which can only be attained by conflict, and (3) The attainment of the chief virtue—love of death. Only the vicissitudes of life can show us its vanity, and develop our innate love of death or of rebirth to a new life.’ These words are all the more remarkable because, in spite of his great physical sufferings, Iosif Alexeevich is never weary of life though he loves death, for which—in spite of the purity and loftiness of his inner man—he does not yet feel himself sufficiently prepared.

the context is too long to quote but Pierre has just advocated for his lodge to engage more with the politics of the people around him and they respond v poorly. his mentor is unsympathetic seeing his pupil's desire to change the world as an abdication of his obligation to change himself. which isn't to say that i see zero value in engaging the world to change it (or really i shouldn't be posting on this thread at all), but that certainly if our mission *is* to change the world around us and not just ourselves (and i believe it is), it must come from the right place entirely, selflessness and compassion that brokers no anger.

Mordy, Thursday, 8 February 2018 15:35 (three months ago) Permalink

i fear sometimes that the "pro anger" contingency is more concerned w/ justifying their own emotional turbulence as valuable than in actually seeking what is good. in general the celebration of negative/hurtful affect troubles me about the left in 2018.

― Mordy, Thursday, February 8, 2018 3:32 PM (six minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i share this

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 8 February 2018 15:40 (three months ago) Permalink

I had a long exchange on FB a few weeks ago with a young woman who accused me of exercising privilege by leaving Twitter (!) -- she, with her new-car-smell-fresh Twitter account, argued that by choosing to withdraw from the "stories of pain" people told on Twitter, I was just taking advantage of my white-presenting-maleness & cloistering myself from a world going to shit. I think I succeeded at explaining where I diverged from her view, but she seemed set on the idea that there's a righteousness in subjecting ourselves to the torrent of others pain and sort of bathing in the rage it induces, and I just think that's deeply unhealthy.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 8 February 2018 15:45 (three months ago) Permalink

I think celebrating anger is the wrong move--but I'm not sure that makes disclaiming it the wisest move either. It's about the intentions and motivations that the anger's raw energy can be channeled into.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 8 February 2018 15:47 (three months ago) Permalink

that is a bizarre argument re: leaving twitter. imo there is nothing bad about leaving twitter

Simon H., Thursday, 8 February 2018 15:56 (three months ago) Permalink

This is a person who seems to revel in publicly sticking her finger in the eyes of people she thinks have affronted someone somewhere. She's harmed & hopeless--a difficult sort with which to make a real exchange.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 8 February 2018 16:00 (three months ago) Permalink

She's going to fucking love Twitter then.

Matt DC, Thursday, 8 February 2018 16:05 (three months ago) Permalink

brratbrrat

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 8 February 2018 16:11 (three months ago) Permalink

*swish*

gbx, Thursday, 8 February 2018 16:13 (three months ago) Permalink

Nice lengthy history here getting into what happened to union organizing in the 70s and how that differs from the popular conception:

https://www.thenation.com/article/organized-labors-lost-generations/

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Thursday, 8 February 2018 23:20 (three months ago) Permalink

she seemed set on the idea that there's a righteousness in subjecting ourselves to the torrent of others pain and sort of bathing in the rage it induces, and I just think that's deeply unhealthy.

― BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, February 8, 2018 10:45 AM (ten hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

reminded me of this thread:

problem with taking twitter break for mental health reasons is that the granularity of information you see here can't be found anywhere else

— Patricia Lockwood (@TriciaLockwood) August 13, 2017

flopson, Friday, 9 February 2018 02:07 (three months ago) Permalink

haha i faved that tweet at the time

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 9 February 2018 15:22 (three months ago) Permalink

nicely drawn history lesson at the nib today on 20th century black socialists & their relevance today:

https://thenib.com/black-and-red

and again, can't recommend Robin Kelley's Hammer & Hoe enough, which was one of last year's life-changing reads for me and is available online

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Wednesday, 14 February 2018 22:01 (three months ago) Permalink

Thanks for the link, that was good

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Wednesday, 14 February 2018 23:19 (three months ago) Permalink

http://progressivearmy.com/

Anyone know anything about this group? Legit? Astroturf? I feel like a couple of the staff names look familiar, maybe Ben Dixon?

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:35 (three months ago) Permalink

Dixon used to be on the Ring of Fire Network & i guess this is his new thing, everybody out here starting their own podcast networks now what a world

the democratization of graphic design & brand conscious copywriting makes it impossible to tell the difference between actually resourced projects & shoestring distributed operations anymore which lets anyone at least appear credible which makes me feel insane

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 15 February 2018 21:07 (three months ago) Permalink

maybe not that new, started in 2015 says

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 15 February 2018 21:07 (three months ago) Permalink

As I remarked long ago, you could format Time Cube like a Medium post and it would seem pretty credible

direct to consumer online mattress brand (silby), Thursday, 15 February 2018 21:12 (three months ago) Permalink

hm

https://i.imgur.com/fhijc13.png

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 15 February 2018 22:01 (three months ago) Permalink

:o

imago, Thursday, 15 February 2018 22:03 (three months ago) Permalink

Oh shit I love cheap Aussie sci-fi I'm in

rum dmc (darraghmac), Thursday, 15 February 2018 23:10 (three months ago) Permalink

new Electoral Strategy guide from Metro DC DSA

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Pa9qqalJ6dqy4w6s_ts9ijVh5Yo27za2gvFExJ_Sm6s/edit

Simon H., Friday, 16 February 2018 21:25 (three months ago) Permalink

and hey while we're at it here's DC's Stomp Out Slumlords anti-evictions manual:

https://mdcdsa.org/content/Anti-Eviction-Manual.pdf

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 16 February 2018 21:50 (three months ago) Permalink

that is REALLY good stuff

Simon H., Friday, 16 February 2018 21:54 (three months ago) Permalink

a little disappointed that the "how to beat a landlord" section doesn't contain actual fightin' tips though :)

Simon H., Friday, 16 February 2018 21:56 (three months ago) Permalink

anger is an energy, claimed that punter John Lydon

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 16 February 2018 22:00 (three months ago) Permalink

I get sensitive when I see folks online complaining repeatedly about DSA and ”electoralism.”

It’s like, motherfucker, what else you GOT? It’s not the only hook that the chapters are staking their hopes on, and there’s shit-tons of other work done by the groups nationwide. All the electoral criticisms I see launched seem like refuse from either the early 70s when a thousand sects splintered or the early 80s when Harrington first formed the group.

They never seem to take into account that shit is materially way fucking different from 35 years ago where you had a Dem-controlled Congress and a vast majority of state houses held by Dems. That’s all gone. Need to carve out some room just to stave off the constant attacks.

I agree that there’s not a little bourgeois spectacle to American electoral politics, but at the same time, it’s seems like there exists a tendency just to use that line an excuse not to do anything. Hell, at least *try* in some of these races, esp in non-Dem strongholds, while you work on building power and coalitions elsewhere. DSA-supported candidates lost in Brooklyn and Seattle, but they sure as shit won in VA and AL.

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Friday, 16 February 2018 22:26 (three months ago) Permalink

Some of my comrades might disagree but I think their electoral strategy is sound and, as you say, just one plank of a broader movement-building strategy. Like one of the slates' docs said, falling prey to electoralism vs. having an electoral strategy is the key distinction to be drawn.

Simon H., Friday, 16 February 2018 22:37 (three months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I think that distinction gets flattened, and you get some held-over 90s political thinking where any and every attempt to go for any sort of power is to be violently scorned.

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Friday, 16 February 2018 22:41 (three months ago) Permalink

The time for that thinking is over, if it was ever valid.

Simon H., Friday, 16 February 2018 22:51 (three months ago) Permalink

loving the expansion of this campaign, and also this ad

Having an out tail light is one of the most common reasons people are pulled over. Unfortunately, in @miamidadecounty this is enough to get you deported. #Miami @demsocialists are here to fix your lights for free. @MiamiHerald @newtropicmiami @MiamiNewTimes @tomaskenn @GeoffMiami pic.twitter.com/A8WsVoByEB

— Miami DSA 🌹 (@MiamiDSA) February 19, 2018

Simon H., Tuesday, 20 February 2018 03:13 (three months ago) Permalink

Seeing a lot of these today (plus one on here too :))

Thank you Wayne LaPierre, you have said the right things to make me finally become a due paying member of @DemSocialists . Any group that is keeping you up at night must be doing the right thing. I look forward to receiving my card in the mail. @pghDSA keep me posted on meetups!

— Michael 🌹 (@nekorook) February 22, 2018

Simon H., Thursday, 22 February 2018 19:01 (three months ago) Permalink

that article's pretty light on research or quotes

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 3 March 2018 00:28 (two months ago) Permalink

Trillbilly Workers' Party did a special episode interviewing some of the teachers:

https://soundcloud.com/user-972848621-463073718/bonus-episode-voices-from-the-west-virginia-teachers-strike

and, predictably, Jacobin has a bunch of stuff on the strike.

The primary source of striking teachers’ dissatisfaction is the state’s meager offering of a “task force” to fix the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA), West Virginia’s health insurance program for public employees. Tax cuts have resulted in changes to the insurance plan, sending co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses through the roof as teacher pay remains among the lowest in the country. One projection shows premiums under PEIA rising as much as 11 percent per year starting in 2020.

“This has been a huge issue, causing problems for years,” said one striking teacher. “They’ve been cutting our health insurance over and over, making it really expensive to survive.” Throughout the strike teachers held signs that read “Will teach for insurance” and “I’d take a bullet for your child but PEIA won’t cover it.”

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/03/west-virginia-teachers-strike-medicare-for-all

Teachers looking with trepidation at Janus have much to learn from our colleagues in West Virginia. They didn’t passively wait for “the union” to act on their behalf; the strike was not called from above, it was built from below, in part through social media, where workers were able to organize escalating actions independent of the union leadership. As one striker told me, “Leadership was largely based on communities and not always directly tied to the unions themselves. Communities looked to local leadership as to what to do, how to organize, when to hold votes, and when to hold impromptu walkouts.” Workers need strong unions, but they also need to organize independently in the workplace and learn to rely on their own power. Building durable rank-and-file networks and union caucuses is a crucial next step in revitalizing American labor.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/03/west-virginia-janus-right-to-work-unions

Simon H., Saturday, 3 March 2018 01:40 (two months ago) Permalink

and it only took a week

WV Teacher’s strike finally being covered on @chrislhayes show right now.

— MitchellCares (@MitchellCares) March 3, 2018

Simon H., Saturday, 3 March 2018 02:22 (two months ago) Permalink

Oh no, is Slavoj exhibiting palsy symptoms like Jim Ross did 15+ years ago?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrSUGgfM4Q4

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Sunday, 11 March 2018 09:01 (two months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

😘👌 h/t @kath_krueger pic.twitter.com/q8IO7z98XM

— alex (@shitshowdotinfo) April 6, 2018

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Friday, 6 April 2018 17:32 (one month ago) Permalink

This should be required listening imo:

https://player.fm/series/jacobin-radio-1354006/the-dig-dsa-at-the-ballot-box

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Wednesday, 18 April 2018 20:51 (one month ago) Permalink

The latest installment in our ongoing series on the left and electoral politics and we're talking about Democratic Socialists of America's new electoral strategy. DSA has almost overnight become a serious force on an American socialist left that has for decades lacked much in the way of serious forces. One of the major reasons the organization's membership rolls blew up, of course, was because of Bernie Sanders' historic 2016 run for president, which not only electrified huge swaths of the country but reminded the radical left that the point is to win power and to govern—and that, after years on the margins, we could do so. This was in part because many Americans were no longer afraid of the s-word: socialism. Yet there is still, for many good reasons, a lot of skepticism about electoral politics in general and the Democratic Party very much in particular, inside DSA and across the socialist left. That's the needle that the new DSA electoral strategy document tries to thread.

Dan’s guests are Renée Paradis, a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer (@ReneeParadis). She has frequently worked for electoral campaigns, including most recently as the National Voter Protection Director for Bernie 2016. Michael Kinnucan is a writer, researcher and activist in New York City. You should also follow him on Facebook, where he has a lively and incisive presence. Both are members of DSA’s National Electoral Committee and the organizing committee for NYC-DSA’s Brooklyn Electoral Working Group.

Michael and Renee are just scary smart, I feel like they are actually going to have a big impact on NY politics.

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Wednesday, 18 April 2018 20:52 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah, this is good. anyone who's interested in the possibilities and pitfalls of getting involved in US electoral politics should give er a shot.

Simon H., Wednesday, 18 April 2018 23:21 (one month ago) Permalink

Nice interview with Chokwe Antar Lumumba, mayor of Jackson, MS.

Gets into the limits of electoralism, Detroit, how to work around structural limits placed by the state of Mississippi & more.

https://www.blubrry.com/thedig/33478978/radicalizing-jackson-with-chokwe-antar-lumumba/

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Wednesday, 25 April 2018 16:37 (four weeks ago) Permalink

speaking of electoral strategy

DSA is proud to announce national endorsements for nine candidates who are running for local, state, and federal office. Congrats @KanielaIng @KareemForPA @Innamo @SummerForPA @zellieimani @GayleforCA @brandy4moco @chrisRwilhelm @DanielleMeitiv! pic.twitter.com/U9lGCeUiHO

— DSA 🌹 (@DemSocialists) April 26, 2018

Simon H., Thursday, 26 April 2018 15:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Over in Iraq:

First female Communist elected in Iraq's holiest city calls for 'social justice'

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/female-communist-mp-heart-iraqs-holiest-city-1374412216

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Wednesday, 16 May 2018 21:41 (one week ago) Permalink

A nice post from Corey Robin:

pic.twitter.com/GBLfXYjYjR

— corey robin (@CoreyRobin) May 16, 2018

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Thursday, 17 May 2018 01:10 (six days ago) Permalink

I hope we can start to retire the hope we can start talk! Go team.

El Tomboto, Thursday, 17 May 2018 03:01 (six days ago) Permalink


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