Where has the left gone wrong?

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wage zombie

swallow wrote:

Yes, yes it does. I was fascinated to learn that there apparently is no effective extra-parliamentary organizing outside of Burnaby. 

I think this was a thread topic when i first encountered babble, a thousand years or so ago. 

I'm not clear... are you arguing that the Left is winning?

ETA: If you actually look at what I was responding to, you'll see that there was a small group of issues presented, and that's what my comment pertained to.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

swallow

..i hope i am not misunderstanding you but outside of burnaby organizing against the pipelines has been going on for more than 2 yrs. also that it has been very effective. check this thread out.

http://rabble.ca/babble/activism/no-pipeline-no-tankers-no-problem

wage zombie

Somehow the words are being put into my mouth that I'm saying that actions aren't happening.  I know they are happening.  I participate in them.

I'm simply questioning how effective they are in most cases.  I suppose there are various ways one can define effective.  What effect do they have on the people not participating in the action?  What effect do they have on the overall narrative?

People are saying that the NDP hasn't been effective.  I agree.  I don't think the fact that the NDP wins seats here and there in elections changes that.

I'd also say the extraparliamentary left hasn't been effective.  I don't think the fact that there are actions that people attend changes that.  I'm not trying to offend anyone.

wage zombie

genstrike wrote:
In response to the original question, are you referring to the "institutional" left composed of the NDP, union leaderships, etc., or the activist left? Because they've both got a lot of problems, just not the same ones.

Agree wholeheartedly.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

wage zombie wrote:

Quote:

 ¨Let's work on that alliance between the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary left, such as it is. ¨

iyraste1313 wrote:

Yes this is essential...just that if any extraparliamentary left thinks that the likes of the NDP are going to back them up on any issue, with educational speeches and proposed legislation via private members Bills, they are doing their movements a serious disservice....name the issue...the slaughter of the autonomous republics of the Ukraine?, the rights of the Palestinians to gain their mandated homeland? The endless parade of corporate free trade agreements? The elimination of the total corruption of the financial institutions? The rights to consultation and consent by the Indigenous Nations, therefore the shutdown of the mines and pipelines and hydro dams in violation of their rights to consent?

What part is the "extraparliamentary left" taking to push actions on these issues you're listing?

Other than the action at Burnaby Mountain, which so far seems to be having some positive effect in terms of your last point, where's the opposition to the other issues you're bringing up?\

There were lots of good demonstrations back in the summer against Israel's attack on Gaza, some of these getting up into the 1,000 person range. Groups such as the Council of Canadians and Lead Now (among others) have been working on opposing corporate trade deals, even if there hasn't been any large demonstrations on these issues. The issue of financial institution corruption has died down since the Occupy movement died out, but then the extra-parliamentary left has only so much energy available to devote to various issues.

In terms of broader mobilization by the extra-parliamentary left, there were six thousand registrered participants at the People's social Forum this past August, and more than 6,000 people took part in the large march on Parliament hill.

Then there's all the mobilizations that have  taken place in Quebec, both the Student Strike in 2012; plus the more recent large demonstrations against the Couillard Liberal government's austerity measures, and against the cuts to Radio-Canada. Plus the recent mobilisations against tuition hikes at York University in Ontario.

Is the extra-parliamentary left doing everything it could be doing? No, but it's also false to claim that it's barely doing anything.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

The reality of the situation is that the left got defeated in the 1980s and early 90s, with Thatcher, Reagan, Mulroney, Free Trade, Neoiberalism, and the collapse of the Soviet bloc. And in response, the maionstream social democratic left essentially gave up on the traditional program of the left.

From 1848 through the late 1980s, all of the various factions on the left believed in increased government involvement in the economy through greater direct government ownership of the means of production. This ran the gamut from targeted government ownership in select sectors of the economy (not necessarily involving any nationalisations), through to complete government control of the economy. With the exception of social 'rights' issues, the left accepted that the problems in society cold only be solved through direct government intervention in the economy, even if there was not agreement on what those problems were.

With the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989-1990, the mainstream social democratic left in the advanced capitalist countries came to the conclusion that increased government involvement in the economy doesn't work. They gave up on traditional left-wing solution to the problems facing society, and instead focused on trying to get businesses to solve the problems created by capitalism, either through regulation and punishment, or incentives.

In the wake of this shift, the response from those of us who still believe in increased government ownership of the economy have been anything but united in our response. There is a general acceptance that the current state of affairs on the electoral left is not acceptable, but there's no agreement on what to do about it, or even if anything can be done about it at present.

Within the NDP there was the failed New Politics Initiative in the early 2000s that got almost 40% of delegates to the 2001 NDP convention to vote in favour of dissolving the NDP and creating a new party more closely tied to social movements. The NDP socialist caucus has at times gotten 20% support for motions it's presented at conventions, but the majority of delegates instinctively vote against anything the NDP Socialist Caucus proposes, whether they agree with it or not. And then there's Fightback, the Marxist group that bides it's time until the day when it can take over the NDP, which of course never comes and never will.

There have been numerous regroupments of the left since the 90s, either as direct attempts to regroup the left, or as coalitions around various issues. Rebuilding the Left was the most serious attempt at regrouping the left outside of the NDP. And the most notable coalition was around the opposition to George Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003. What these various regroupings have all confirmed is lack of unity on the left, except when it comes to individual issues.

Part of the issue is a lack of numbers on the left, which means we can't afford to exclude the anarchists, or those who are oriented towards the NDP, or those who want to follow the lead of the unions. So we get stuck with a left that can't come up with a coherent strategy.

Personally, I support creating a new left party in Canada along the lines of Québec Solidaire, but we're not there yet.

KenS

DaveW wrote:

... the left got defeated in the 1980s and early 90s, with Thatcher, Reagan, Mulroney, Free Trade, Neoliberalism, and the collapse of the Soviet bloc. And in response, the mainstream social democratic left essentially gave up on the traditional program of the left....

uh, that simplifies way too much;

The post being refered to also says that social democrats gave up on incresing government involvement in the economy, which is not true.

I think the poster really meant that social democrats gave up on increasing government ownership

But that change precedes the elctoral defeat of the left by a decade or more. It is not the same thing as maintaining an agenda for increasing government intervention in the economy, despite its now decades long generalized unpopularity.

Plenty of us have no interest in going back to advocating government ownership, even if it were "easier". Done.

KenS

That said, the institutional left, has largely retreated from how willing it is to openly advocate a greater role for government intervention.

Brachina

 The left sucks at taking criticism, far too often reallying on intellectual lazy attacks, and not enough on respectful debate of compeating point to the point that it relies too heavily on call out culture and turning advocacy for something into bullying.

 The problem of intellectual laziness extends further, in stead of making detailed critizisms and being open minded, it prepers to make villianous charactures of other side, turning them into cartoon villians. 

 

 Example carbon capture. Supporting this as an idea makes sense towards the left's goals of reducing CO2 in the atmosphere, yet I've seen many on the left attack, why, for the love of the Gods why? Were at the point where realistically reducing our carbon foot print alone won't do it, and what can it hurt. But its solving the problem or helping to do so in a way that isn't how many on the left want it done, so its a bad thing. What more important, the objective or power tripping and having your way?

 Then there is the I can't get my way on everything so I'm going to take my ball and go home and pretend I'm being noble about it crowd. Whioe some of thier criticism is valid, acting like that is not.

 You can see this on pipeline issues too, unwillingness to compromise or search for win win solutions that address enviromental issues, while allowing people to get the resources they need. Instead of out right banning, how about a point by point analysis of possibly concerns, both social, economic, and enviromental, and brainstorming together about how we can all win, is one area too fragile for a pipeline? Instead of say ban it, suggest abetter route, and possible extra percausens that can be taken. Native American rights need to be respected, set up negioations on both fair compensionation and to address and act on thier enviromental concerns. Concerned about carbon fool print? Cap and Trade and or possibly require investment in advanced carbon capture technology, or Solar/Wind Plants to offset coal usage.

 But you go after thier lively hood of course they're going to fight back like a cornered animal. 

 

 Lets be less about being bullies and more about the win win.

KenS

Brachina wrote:

You can see this on pipeline issues too, unwillingness to compromise or search for win win solutions that address enviromental issues, while allowing people to get the resources they need. Instead of out right banning, how about a point by point analysis of possibly concerns, both social, economic, and enviromental, and brainstorming together about how we can all win, is one area too fragile for a pipeline? Instead of say ban it, suggest abetter route, and possible extra percausens that can be taken.

Tell us a win-win on the pipelines- any of them. Because it is not a matter of 'better' 'safer' routes. All the pipelines proposed for carrying tar sands bitumen are so that the tar sands can KEEP EXPANDING. We are already way over our heads in being able to get our GHG emissions in minimal needs lines, and projects under construction already will push the limits further. The proposed pipelines are needed for yet more tar sands expansion.

We cannot afford ANY of those tar sands pipelines. Period.

So where is the win win solution on pipelines?

======

[Granted, maybe you just picked a poor example to include in your general point.]

6079_Smith_W

Brachina wrote:

Supporting this as an idea makes sense towards the left's goals of reducing CO2 in the atmosphere, yet I've seen many on the left attack, why, for the love of the Gods why?

Because like Reagan's Star Wars proposal, to "safe" storage of nuclear waste, it is a foil for keeping it business as usual rather than change. In the case of CCS, an excuse for pouring tons of cash into the non-renewable resource industry rather than focusing on using less, and on renewable sources.

And one fact that is known about CCS is that it will require a lot more fuel to produce the same amount of power, so it is actually more wasteful technology, like tar sands extraction.

And if the public can be bamboozled into just assuming it works - even though it is still unproven - there's no reason to stop buying those huge monster trucks and leaving the lights on all night, is there?

http://www.rtcc.org/2012/10/02/carbon-capture-and-storage-time-to-bury-t...

Unionist

KenS wrote:

So where is the win win solution on pipelines?

======

[Granted, maybe you just picked a poor example to include in your general point.]

No, Ken - Brachina picked an example where the NDP doesn't oppose pipelines, so we're not supposed to "bully" people (his word) who support pipelines, but instead find a "win-win".

If the NDP opposed tar-sands pipelines, this example would not have been used.

This approach used to be called "sectarianism". Support whatever the People's Front of Judaea supports, attack whatever the Judaean People's Front supports, and don't bother too much with what the actual, ummm, "People" are fighting for.

That's what was wrong with the "left" when I was young. And that's what's wrong with the left today. Only today, if you minimize electoral politics, you are bullied just as surely as if you don't support the right party.

We do not need a "new left party". Not until we've learned that parties must be loyal to people and their struggles - and never, ever, the other way round.

 

Brachina

 Honestly if oil prices keep dropping, the Oil Sands are fucked and many projects have already been dropped. I used the pipeline to illustrate an approach not to cheerlead for the pipelines. Any expansion of the Oil Sands is going to be very temporory. Personally I think Transcanada's timing is insanely bad, if they do build the pipeline, they're going to lose thier shirt, it will not pay for itself.

 

 Anyways like I said its about the approach, about dialog and understanding first and only boycotts and protests if a reasonable understanding can't be reached.

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

We do not need a "new left party". Not until we've learned that parties must be loyal to people and their struggles - and never, ever, the other way round.

Nothing to add, just needed to be said again.

KenS

You are WAY too sanguine Branchina about the prospects for more tar sands investment and pipeline building.

Prices of oil cannot stay low. 3 years would be a long time. And what is 3 years to the planet, and the ticking GHG time bomb clock?

Those projects being shelved will be back, unless we MAKE them stop. Declining economic rationale for them adds to their obstacles in prevailing, but 'economics' will come nowhere close to saving us, for quite a few years yet, at a minimum.

And the pipelines still EASILY fly financially on current conditios, if they can get approval.

So its up to us. There is no basis for shrugging it off as something negotiable.

iyraste1313

We do not need a "new left party".

No what is needed is a party dedicated to truthful solutions, based on movement resistance to capitalist megaprojects, with vision of a bioregional socialist alternative...we tried that in the late 80's early 90's with the greens, but it was taken over by the opportunists, with the vast majority just apathetically looking on....thinking that power is key even if the politics are somewhat compromised.....

maybe now it's different, what with higher consciousness?! And with the fact that the system is now crumbling, the final capitalist finance bubble has burst, the world is in recession...and when the governments and central banks all implode from too much debt and worthless junk bonds as collateral...chaos will reign supreme, no doubt...maybe then people will come to realize it's time for a new politics......

a new left party...whew where is that I wonder!

KenS

iyraste1313 wrote:

maybe now it's different, what with higher consciousness?! And with the fact that the system is now crumbling, the final capitalist finance bubble has burst.....

why does that sound so familiar?

KenS

Posted in the East -West pipeline thread:

KenS wrote:

BTW: I have a long time hobby of comapring how many views threads get.

As I could predict: this thread gets considerably less than half the views of "Where has the left gone wrong?", or than the slower and newer "What has the left done right?"

This while the two threads on East West and left gone wrong have staid very close in the number and pace of comments, and therefore positioning on TAT list that influences how many views.

Both of those threads 'whither the Left?' have some interesting substantive discussion, but that is not why they get so many views. The reason they generate so much more interest is because they are obvious flags for folks to move into high dungeon about Principles Being Vilated [or Not]. If they are ONLY that, and mostly silly in the process, they will still get more hits.

While I was writing that and a substantive post in that thread, there was one new post in this thread. Trend continued: in the ensuing time this thread had more than double the number of views.

... and later: more views of this thread even with more comments in the other one.

 

Pondering

KenS wrote:

Those projects being shelved will be back, unless we MAKE them stop. Declining economic rationale for them adds to their obstacles in prevailing, but 'economics' will come nowhere close to saving us, for quite a few years yet, at a minimum.

And the pipelines still EASILY fly financially on current conditios, if they can get approval.

So its up to us. There is no basis for shrugging it off as something negotiable.

The oil companies aren't giving up so it is an on-going fight but it is one that environmentalists are winning. Keystone is years overdue and it looks like Obama is determined to use his presidential veto. In two years the Republicans might win but two years is a long time for opposition to harden against it. Obama describing it as a conduit for Canadian oil to be shipped to foreign markets was

Kinder Morgan can't force it's way through BC no matter what the Federal government says. Action is strong against testing. There is no support for an oil terminal and major opposition to shipping. Any attempt to forcibly begin construction would bring people out in the tens of thousands.

Want to renew separatism? Try to force a pipeline across Quebec. I would vote for separation. I would go so far as to say up to 70% or more of Quebecers would vote for separation if Ottawa tries to force Energy East on Quebec.

Concerning the price of oil, even if it rises again, investors have been spooked. The US has it's own oil to sell. Political power is shifting out of Alberta and back to central Canada with a stronger east and west coast than in the past. Opposition to pipelines is uniting Canadians.

KenS

Which all says we are making them stop. So far.

Investors would stop being spooked in a flash if the opposition was not there.

Oil prices will mean for a short time economics are not favourable for investment in the tar sands. But thats not spooking, thats just standard practice.

And there is no change at all in the economic appeal of pipelines, whatever the price of oil for the next 5 years. There is not much spooking of investors there, yet. And what there is, is all to be attributed to protests and other political obstacles. All.

iyraste1313

why does that sound so familiar?

hmm...it is familiar because the capitalist system has been in a series of crises, coming closer and closer together, until the system imploded in 2007-2008, only to be bailed out by the governments of the global capitalist system...which resulted in the biggest and final financial bubble, global government and central bank finance. It was inevitable, its bursting with the consequent collapse of the global economic system, which is now what is going on.

Of course the energy companies won{t all go bankrupt....but thyey will be forced to reinvest their capital in lower cost energy projects.

This is precisely what was intended by Saudi Arabia at this last and perhaps final OPEC meeting. They ve just bankrupted Venezuela and will do the same with the high cost oil and gas fracking adventures here in North America.

Russia is taking a major dive...look at its currency dropping over 10% just this week.

Behind all these bankruptcies is the slosh of trillions of dollars, racing presently in panic for safe havens...Wall Street...and with the impending bankruptcies of US energy corporations?

 

I don´t mean to suggest not to continue blocking the corporate megaproject sector...but look at reality and the acceleration of change taking place on the planet...and as usual the left, for its lack of understanding of the capitalist system and as usual in most revolutionary transformations will be caught intellectualizing over another era, as the chaos mounts in the streets.... 

NorthReport

This can apply as well in Canada where our two right-wing parties, the Liberals and Conservatives have been controlling the Ottawa political scene almost forever it seems.

Why are these clowns winning? Secrets of the right-wing brain

Bush tanked the country. Now the right's again running the show. Neuroscience explains incompetence of all sides
 

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/29/why_are_these_clowns_winning_secrets_of_...

KenS

38 views / 2 posts in this thread

ame time period in West East pipeline thread:

13 views / 3 posts  [all other things held constatnt, number of viewsin a view rises along with number of posts in it]

KenS

 

iyraste1313 wrote:

maybe now it's different, what with higher consciousness?! And with the fact that the system is now crumbling, the final capitalist finance bubble has burst.....

KenS wrote:

why does that sound so familiar?

 

iyraste1313 wrote:

hmm...it is familiar because the capitalist system has been in a series of crises, coming closer and closer together, until the system imploded in 2007-2008, only to be bailed out by the governments of the global capitalist system...which resulted in ...

It is MUCH more familiar than that. You dont have to be very old to have heard multiple iterations of " .. the fact that the system is now crumbling, the final capitalist finance bubble has burst."

And that has been said for twice as long as the very oldest babblers have been alive.

The dates of course change, and the EXACT precipitating events referred to change, though given a generation or so, even those will essentially be repeated.

Since 1850- 165 years ago... I will list the decades where the building towards iminent collapse in the near future has NOT been foretold by many to most lefties.

Two interregnums only:

1900 to 1917 Imperialism at its height, until the edge of collapse of the whole system.

1939 to 1970  Another big war, this time the long expansion came after.

 

Brachina

 I'm not being partesan here so I give an example that the Ontario NDP opposes, expanding Nulcear, were looking at the possiblity of far more advanced technology in the Nulcear industry, safer and more effient, with more advances, we shouldn't be afraid to concider it along with renewables, but with proper oversight. In fact some Nuclear tech such as Fusion, but also upcoming innovations in fission, some of which will not produce radioactive waste at all.

 But the left was so busy demanding an end to Nulcear that it never stopped to ask could the technology be improved to address the concerns that the left had.

iyraste1313

My point is that we must have an understanding of what is going on and prepare for it!

This bursting of the global governance bubble has been a long time coming, since the crash of the private capitalist syetm in 2008, which forced the elites to take control of governments through their private central banks.....for every mini crisis since, the central banks just printed more and more bailouts to keep the ponzi scheme afloat......totally unsustainable until the debt load is too much, no one can afford to buy anything...the economies sink into recession, as the collateral holding up the whole leveraged bubble becomes worthless

if people had it together we would have been organizing in preparation...but no!
We just waste our time arguing over the trivialities of social democratic politics with its implicit dedication to the collapsing financial and economic system...I hesitate to say economic here, because there are more than one economic system at play here...the capitalist corporate and government wage system as one...the informal community based exchange system generally, the second...this is what must now be focussed on, how to build a community based sustainable economic system from the ashes of the collapsing capitalist one...and if the left doesn´t do so, the right certainly will, with their fascist militaristic authoritarian system ready to take control .....

KenS

Footnote:

Quote:
... because the capitalist system has been in a series of crises, coming closer and closer together, until the system imploded....

Leaving aside how frequently [ultimate] collapse has been viewed as imminent, those cycical conditions which stoke the [final] predictions have been repeated 5 or 6 times in the last 165 years. 

KenS

I'm fine with why we should organize to end all of this... just skip the business about how conditions are making it so that people must see it as a necessity.

And as far as that goes- when conditions are truly dire, the 'organic tendency' is for humans either to overcome, or to abandon civil society and as an aggregate [not a collectivity] cling to whatever wreckage they can until the storm passes.

KenS

The system aint collapsing yet.

And we would be wise to get our shit together before it does. 

It is possible we will not have another opportunity, once it does start collapsing.

Brachina

 Lefty's declaring the end of capitalism are like socons declaring the rapture is almost here now. Its coming now. No, wait its now. Or now. How about now? Now.

 Another thing is hypocracy and an inability to handle critizism without becoming enraged and unhinged that some lefties have. I've seen some lefties make arguements to people like your a sick blank, ect... instead of bothering to come up with actual arguements. Even when I'm on there side, and being a lefty I usual am to some degree, I cringe. If that's all you have to contribute, why bother, do you think anyone else is impressed by bland insults.

 And hypocracy over Isreal. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Isreal, its done shitty stuff, and calling anyone with critisms over Isreal antisematic is bullshit. But to make that a number 1 issue which we have no say in over domestice issue where we do, the likes of what 36 million people, and not to mention people who depend on Canada'is forgien aid money, while then ignoring far worse atrostrities from other countries.

iyraste1313

The system aint collapsing yet....

I m of course referring to the global finance system....so let´s look at some numbers here....the ruble down7.3% to record low...their yields up to 10plus %, Ukraine to 19.5%, Venezuela CDS (derivative insurance scam to prop up the system) at 2,292%?

Not only crude prices are collapsing, the commodities indices and most of the planets currencies and bond rates!

Copper prices are toast.....

and the buyer of all this China? 6.8 trillion in wasted construction inventory...investments that won´t turn a dime in revenues?

Forcing China to cut and cut interest rates to forestall a surge in debt defaults? and with the remnibi falling in value, forcing the Government to unpeg to the dollar? At what point do we have to say that it´s time to get prepared...when the corporate grocery stores can´t deliver, when the banks seizing your housing to force some collateral at bargain basement prices...yes by that time it may be too late!

 

...people who depend on Canada's forgien aid money...

what foreign aid money is doing is stealing peoples lands killing their community leaders contaminating their waters and causing acid rains to fall on their crops all in the name of propping up Canadian extractive industry corporations bringing desperately needed revenue to the Canadian Government...it´s all connected, domestic foreign....

The only thing we have control over aside from protesting their violations, is building a sustainable movement, connecting with our people on the land, setting up food security distribution systems, learning valuable production skills, discovering the ways to survive collectively as we must defend ourselves collectively...this is what we are facing...too bad we have so little time to do this now!

 

wage zombie

KenS wrote:

Both of those threads 'whither the Left?' have some interesting substantive discussion, but that is not why they get so many views. The reason they generate so much more interest is because they are obvious flags for folks to move into high dungeon about Principles Being Vilated [or Not]. If they are ONLY that, and mostly silly in the process, they will still get more hits.

I agree that youre are probably right.  A more generous explanation is that we know we have the big picture wrong, and for some talking about that trumps an individual issue.

wage zombie

iyraste1313 wrote:

We do not need a "new left party".

No what is needed is a party dedicated to truthful solutions, based on movement resistance to capitalist megaprojects, with vision of a bioregional socialist alternative...we tried that in the late 80's early 90's with the greens, but it was taken over by the opportunists, with the vast majority just apathetically looking on....thinking that power is key even if the politics are somewhat compromised.....

So what principles will that new party have to jettison to get more than 10-15% of the vote?  The Greens are a good example.  Start a new party with principles, gain a bit of support, fail to gain a bit more, then water down the principles.  It's cyclical.

I'm not necessarily against new parties, although things do seem a bit crowded in our current electoral system.  But I just don't understand the strategy.  It seems like a new party means building for 20 years in order to gain enough support to haveany influence, at which point the new party isn't significantly better than the ones we have now.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Check out the polling thread.

The left is going nowhere in a hurry. Divided we fall,friends.

Brachina

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/the-progressive-war-on-science...

 

 I actually agree with many, if not all, of Wente's points. I'm scared ;p

lagatta

Pipelines are ecocide. That is another word for death. Of course I want people to have jobs. We can come up with lots of useful and necessary jobs that don't involve fouling our own nest.

Brachina, the term "Native American" is not used within the Canadian state. It is a US term, not used in American countries south of there either. Why are you using it? We speak of First Nations, or Indigenous peoples, including the First Nations, the Inuit peoples, and the Métis (a people, not just anyone who has Indigenous American and European or other ancestry).

Unionist

lagatta wrote:

Brachina, the term "Native American" is not used within the Canadian state. It is a US term, not used in American countries south of there either. Why are you using it?

Could be connected with this:

Brachina wrote:
I actually agree with many, if not all, of Wente's points.

 

Brachina

 I feel very disillusioned rescently, I never realized how much unquestioned support based on emotional connections and base tribalism I had engaged in and unquestioning support I gave various causes, without bothering to take the time to actually take the time to hear they're side of it. I'm not talking about the NDP, I've seen the warts for a long time, dispite the fact that  I sometimes give the impression that I'm less critical of the NDP then I really am. I'm talking about leftwing movements in general.

 I never realized how much I cognitively fused to my emotions in the matter and never bothered to try and hear the other side. Its wrecking havok with my sense of identity.

 

 I've been a lefty my whole life, its a part of who I am, it still is and it still speaks to my personal values, but I've come to realize I don't care for the approach alot of the left, abit not all of it, takes.to dealing with things, and I've become disillusioned with alot of the leadership on an activist level.

 I feel maniuplated.

 And I don't like the antiscience attidude I never realized we had developed, it always seemed like we were on the side of science, I never realized how our own anti science behaviors while targeted differently, were just as bad and destructive.

 

 Don't worry, I'm not ready to trade in my NDP memebership for Tory Blue, but I no longer refuse to be the unquestioning good soldier of the left I used to be.

 

 Certain things like ACT theapy has really opened up my eyes, made me more aware.

 I've believed for a long time that the right needs a good kick in the ass, but I'm starting to see the left does too (and no I'm not a centralist either, I actually have options and have taken a side).

 My chosen name has more meaning then ever, as I feel like a fallen angel, disillusioned by that which created me, that helped define me and my place in the world and my sense of self.

 I feel at least that I have achieved greater clarity.

 I still support ending poverty, equality, a healthier enviroment, the importance of government in making the world a better place, but I see the left the way it is instead of how the left likes to look at itself.

 I'm still a lefty, just a better one, and a wiser one.

6079_Smith_W

If we want to get technical, it is the Canadian and American states that are the white constructs, along with the border and all this presumption of separate terminology.

Not to get picky; I just don't think it is such a big deal unless someone is going out of their way to be rude about it, and I certainly don't think it is any call to take someone down a peg over it.

I tend to use the term "Native" in polite company, because there are plenty of people who are non-status, but there are lots of people around here who call themselves Indian, and I'd be the odd man out using that other term . As a white guy, I still do. Just because (unless I'm using some of the legal terms, in which case it is "Indian"). But "Native American"? Sorry, I don't see the big problem there, any more than it's a problem that the thanksgiving thread got started two months late.

 

 

jjuares

6079_Smith_W wrote:

If we want to get technical, it is the Canadian and American states that are the white constructs, along with the border and all this presumption of separate terminology.

Not to get picky; I just don't think it is such a big deal unless someone is going out of their way to be rude about it, and I certainly don't think it is any call to take someone down a peg over it.

I tend to use the term "Native" in polite company, because there are plenty of people who are non-status, but there are lots of people around here who call themselves Indian, and I'd be the odd man out using that other term . As a white guy, I still do. Just because (unless I'm using some of the legal terms, in which case it is "Indian"). But "Native American"? Sorry, I don't see the big problem there, any more than it's a problem that the thanksgiving thread got started two months late.

 

 


In the organization I work for the phrase "aboriginal" is used quite often. In the last few years I have been asked if I am a "native". The person asking was always FNMI so maybe the term is not so disreputable. And yes FNMI is a term I hear quite often too.

JKR

NorthReport wrote:

This issue was addressed today at the BC Federation of Labour by Jim Sinclair.

Lack of solidarity. 

Ever hear of the song "Solidarity Forever".

The right-wing now has it in spades - just look at the recent congressional elections in the USA, including the re-election of Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin. The Chambers of Commerce, the GOP, the Tea-Party, The Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, etc., know that your chances of winning at the ballot box are greatly enhanced if you are unified, even if you are vastly outnumbered by the potential voting public. 

Look at how often the 2 right-parties in Canada support and vote vote for each other's legislation in Ottawa or in our provinces as well.

There are ways to defeat the right, but the left is too busy attacking each other. 

You could see some people, sitting on their hands yesterday at the BC Fed Convention, while Mulcair was addressing the crowd.

Those people may be well intended, and I believe they think they are, but unless we all can put our differences aside, and become unified, we will continue to be crushed politically by the right. 

Solidarity on the left would require progressives who support the NDP, Liberals, Greens, and BQ, and even the few who support the Conservatives and also progressives who don't support any political party to come together and respectfully cooperate on some kind of common agenda. Judging by the name calling here on Babble, that kind of respect and solidarity is not likely to happen anytime soon. As long as too many people want to win only on their own partisan terms, there will not be enough solidarity to bring about significant social democratic change in Canada. I think we need to leave our egos at the door much more and open a respectful dialogue with everyone who believes in increasing fairness and equity in Canada. As long as we don't respect progressives of all political stripes and progressives who have no political leaning, there will not be sufficient solidarity on the left. I wonder if even a day could go by here on Babble without any name calling and disparagement of others?

6079_Smith_W

@ jjuares

Yeah, it is hard to say. And I am sure it also has to do with what circles one is in and where.

Personally, I find "aboriginal" and "indigenous" to be kind of odd - not to say wrong - because both are four-syllable words that sound like they were cooked up by committee or in some university, and aren't nearly as common usage as "native". And it seems good enough for Alberta Native News, and Native Communications Network (to name just two of many). If I know I am talking about something or someone that falls under treaty, I'll generally say "FN". If I don't, or I am talking about more general Native issues I'll use the other term.

But the American/Canadian split? Not sure if it is a point of pride , other than to us white guys, whether one is getting ignored and screwed around by one government or the other. And it ain't much to be proud of. I know that in terms of some Native and FN people's own allegiances that border is kind of irrelevant - at least from what I hear. Any intertribal pow wow or event I have been to both flags have been there.

but, /drift

lagatta

Yes, I know FN people who (still) refer to themselves as Native or Indian. It is their own business. But most wouldn't write that in a political policy statement or advocacy. Suppose most of this cohort involves people in either political activism such as Idle No More or in cultural work.

I believe the term "Eskimo" is still used for some of the Inuit populations in Alaska, but not anywhere in Canada.

I'm not really interested in arguing with people who drift over into accepting the status quo, to say noting for its worst bootlickers such as Ms Wente, as that is not how consciousness is shaped. People are won over when there are mass movements that actually achieve something. It remains to be seen whether the important mobilizations against the Québec Liberal government's austerity and authoritarian policies will be able to achieve anything, but we try. Didn't have to pay for the métro ride to the big demo yesterday!

Brachina

 Its better to be cunning then angery.

lagatta

I've organized unions. It takes cunning - and anger about how workers are mistreated.

6079_Smith_W

No, that Dene word is only used by a certain sport team, as far as I know.

I don't think it is a point for argument either, which is kind of why I mentioned it. I am quite aware of the more formal terms, but "Native" is far from being an archaic colonial term like "Indian", even in the circles you mention. Perhaps it is different down east. Even the main political association here is the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. I wouldn't use that term myself, but I can see why they might. It does have a certain power as a reminder of the treaties and unfinished business.

Unionist

JKR wrote:

Solidarity on the left would require progressives who support the NDP, Liberals, Greens, and BQ, and even the few who support the Conservatives and also progressives who don't support any political party to come together and respectfully cooperate on some kind of common agenda.

Respectfully - no. Rather than identifying the problem, you've just exemplified it. Real people, in real life, are not defined by, nor divided along the lines of, the political parties they may "support".

In any movement I've been involved in through my life - primarily the student movement, workers' movement, community organizations, solidarity movements, anti-war - people get together on the basis of their common needs, common socio-economic situations, common cause. Never on the basis of some alliance of supporters of different parties.

Never, in my life, have I attended a union meeting where someone needed to get up and say: "Let us set aside our different partisan political allegiances and unite to fight for our rights!" Why? Because the issue doesn't even arise. I could work side by side with someone for years without being able to tell you, for certain, how they vote, where they donate or volunteer, etc.

The frenzied insulting dehumanizing discussions here, based on brainless unquestioning adherence to one party or another, are the work of a tiny handful of persistent individuals - individuals who, undoubtedly, are so disconnected from real-life movements and struggles, that they actually dare to judge strangers by their partisan allegiance.

There are a lot of problems which prevent the "left" (whatever that is) from mounting sustained and united struggles in various spheres. How individuals vote isn't one of the big ones. Seeing and seeking ultimate salvation in the ballot box is definitely one of the big ones. If we could wrestle that illusion to the mat, the movements could definitely be strengthened.

 

KenS

Branchina, you need to give your head a good shake, buying into that supposed 'anti-science' approach of environmentalists.

The perpetrators of that myth pretend there is some omnipotent Science that is speaking.

It is not about science, it is about the intersection of science and public policy- how 'we' decide what will be done collectively in our names. 

In the first place, there is no accepted singular 'Science' around the questions of environmental effects. And when we bring in public policy decision making, the number of variables would make your head spin. That is if you want to pay attention to those number of variables.

But if you want to spout bullshit, you just say "people dont pay attention to the science, they are just against it."
In public, I occasionally get that charged leveled at me personally.... which is really funny, it you don't worry about the seriousness of the issues.

 

KenS

JKR did not really frame his point as if it was only about people coming together from across party lines.

And while there is nothing wrong with your criticism in itself... it ascribes too much of the general problems in coming together to capital P partisanship... people overly wedded to political party allegiances.

I doubt that you would mean to say that kind of partsanship is THE biggest obstacle... but it comes off that way, despite the last paragraph.

KenS

Unionist wrote:

The frenzied insulting dehumanizing discussions here, based on brainless unquestioning adherence to one party or another, are the work of a tiny handful of persistent individuals -

If it is so few people, why not just ignore them?

 

Unionist wrote:

.. individuals who, undoubtedly, are so disconnected from real-life movements and struggles, that they actually dare to judge strangers by their partisan allegiance.

Just a different personal takem for what it is or is not worth:  I doubt a connection to those movements and struggles would make them any different. Same internalized blinkers. And I see the same folks in the 'real-life movements' I am involved with.

 

 

 

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