Why the Left Keeps Losing — and How We Can Win

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    • #316087
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 5,534

      https://jacobinmag.com/2020/05/the-socialist-challenge-today-corbyn-sanders

      Faced with the impasse of social democracy and communism, political currents emerged in the 1970s that sought to find a new way, one that avoided the weaknesses of both. For these leftists within social-democratic parties, and thinkers such as André Gorz, Tony Benn, Ralph Miliband, and Nicolas Poulantzas, it was necessary and possible to fight against capitalists not only in the streets and workplaces, but also within the state.

      Unfortunately, these democratic-socialist challengers did not sufficiently overcome prevailing leaders and traditions in time to effectively confront the international neoliberal offensive begun in the 1980s. The results are well known: unions were busted, the welfare state was rolled back, work became more precarious, and working-class communities became more atomized and demoralized.

      Over the past four decades of retreat, social movements have periodically erupted against war, racial and gender oppression, globalization, and environmental degradation. Yet without the power of strong unions or the cohering force of socialist parties, most of these protests have come and gone without either winning their demands or significantly changing the balance of forces between us and the billionaires.

      Adapting itself to this movement cycle, much of a marginalized and anarchist-tinged left dropped electoral politics all together. The new mantra was “change the world without taking power.” Ignoring the capitalist state, unfortunately, proved to be an ineffective way to overcome it. With this kind of “movementism” at an impasse, the stage was set for a new approach.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #316121
      h-32
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 89

      Also from the article:

      To be sure, Bernie’s campaigns have had significant limitations. The authors, for example, point to Bernie’s quixotic effort to “take back” the Democratic Party, which has absorbed energy and resources better used for building up a lasting independent political apparatus. Maintaining our independence from the Democratic establishment, and keeping volunteers organized beyond the electoral cycle, requires strong democratic membership organizations — and eventually a party of our own.

    • #316153
      jwirr
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,428

      We have indeed wasted a lot of time trying to reform Bill Clinton’s party which has from the beginning reflected southern white politics. We are IMO still wasting time.

      One of the first things I think we need to do is take a look at all the present 3rd parties and find out if we cannot build a strong and functional party by uniting them – most are left leaning parties spending time and money trying to get recognized.

      It is probably too late in this election season to build that new party but we can make it a priority to vote in as many progressives as we can in 2020. Make the target of the new united party the 2022 election and try  it out. Then be ready for 2024. Since it looks like things are only going to get worse before then we would have a lot of help with getting a new party started.

      jwirr

    • #316160
      bazukhov
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,605

      who refuse to compromise on their various beliefs.

      Instead of looking for common ground for the common good they cling to their diverse dogmas and inevitably fracture.

      Think herding cats.

      Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

      • #316166
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 13,702

        @bazukhov Civil war brought on by capitalist collapse is preferable to bowing down to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Pete Buttigieg.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower

      • #316267
        Maedhros
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 641

        The interpretation:  Leftists who don’t toe the Democratic Party line are disruptive, because they want things the Democrats have no intention of providing.

        So, rather than demand that the Democrats provide what we need we are supposed to give up and just take what they’re handing us.

        But as Henry Rollins quipped, “Just because someone is handing you a pile of shit doesn’t mean you have to take it.”

        His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
        but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
        and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
        more deadly than his right had been.

    • #316168
      bazukhov
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,605

      Bernie lost because he was unwilling to compromise with the moderates and get enough votes in the centrist states.

      He had “the leftist” votes but needed more.   Even then some leftists were nitpicking his candidacy as not left enough.

      In this “democracy”  whoever gets the most votes wins.   Which is why I prefer sortition or demarchy,

      It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but worse to be oppressed by a majority.

      Lord Acton

       

      Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

      • #316258
        3fingerbrown
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 2,554

        Hillary and Gore got the most votes, yet didn’t win.

        All governments lie to their citizen's, but only Americans believe theirs.

      • #316269
        Maedhros
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 641

        this statement:

        In this “democracy”  whoever gets the most votes wins.

        has been admitted by the DNC to be false.

        His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
        but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
        and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
        more deadly than his right had been.

    • #316301
      chknltl
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,020

      With hindsight I now see those campaigns as being akin to Gandalf nonsensicaly thinking that he could replace Mordor because his heart was true and the citizenry were on his side.

      While Senator Sanders was right about his heart and the citizenry, he might have better served had he paid closer attention to Tolkien when it came to his opponents.

       

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