2020: visions backwards and forwards

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2020: visions backwards and forwards

AndrayDomise: The Left Must Stand Against Capitalism. Now.

https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/the-left-must-stand-against-capitalism-now/

"...There's no way around a simple reality for people who consider themselves to be on the left side of the political spectrum, the people who strive for widespread and radical if not revolutionary change - we're getting our tails kicked. There's no putting an end to that if people who hold left-leaning ideals cannot quit kidding themselves by believing that capitalism exists as a benevolent or even neutral social arrangement. If the left intends to win these fights it must also stand in principled opposition to capitalism. 2020 is the year to do it..."

 

JKR

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

kropotkin1951

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

I love irony, thank you for the best laugh I've had all day.

 

Unionist

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

Good question. But remind me when the voters chose capitalism in the first place. Which election was that?

Douglas Fir Premier

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

How many elections do you think are left between now and irreversible climate change? If we're going to limit ourselves to a strategy centred on what we imagine "voters" might support, we're already toast.

Pondering

All too often the left makes perfect the enemy of good. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

All too often the left makes perfect the enemy of good. 

I agree although I think this could be a major controversy here.

That said sometimes we have to think about opportunity cost: certainly it can be better to have a moderate left or centre party than a right policy in place or party in power. Often this can be a minor improvement that comes at the cost of any further progress. There are times when the less bad actually screws the potential for anything better than that. In those cases the less bad is not actually the good but worse than the really bad becuase of the lost opportunity.

It would be hard to get consensus on these judgment calls which is why we have vigorous discussions here. Still, in theory I understand where you are coming from.

Sean in Ottawa

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

How many elections do you think are left between now and irreversible climate change? If we're going to limit ourselves to a strategy centred on what we imagine "voters" might support, we're already toast.

Probably none. The problem is opinions like I heard yesterday -- this person argued that there was no point doing anything becuase it was already irreversible.

Many people have gone from "no point doing anything because climate change is not caused by humans" to "climate change is cause by humans but we are already screwed so party till we drop... dead."

JKR

kropotkin1951 wrote:

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

I love irony, thank you for the best laugh I've had all day.

It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

JKR

Unionist wrote:

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

Good question. But remind me when the voters chose capitalism in the first place. Which election was that?

The voters never chose capitalism but they have repeatedly rejected socialism.

JKR

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

How many elections do you think are left between now and irreversible climate change? If we're going to limit ourselves to a strategy centred on what we imagine "voters" might support, we're already toast.

How do you propose bringing about change that isn't supported by a majority of voters? 

JKR

Double post.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

JKR wrote:

Unionist wrote:

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

Good question. But remind me when the voters chose capitalism in the first place. Which election was that?

The voters never chose capitalism but they have repeatedly rejected socialism.

Many countries rejected the abolition of slavery several times before actually abolishing it.

If we give up on creating a world based on cooperation rather than competition, we give up on any hope at all for a world run on anything close to humane, empathetic values or on any notion of fairness.  Every time we have tried to combine humane values and competition-based economics, humane values have been ground into the dust on any but the most private and therefore the most trivial and irrelevant levels.

iyraste1313

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

...just read the prologue to Aldous Huxley´s Brave New World...1946!

Nothing´s changed!

His suggestion, we have either a globalist new world order dehumanizing tyranny, or a competitive fascist empires system...unless we build decentralist politics......no doubt bioregional and territorial autonomy socialism and anarchist egakitarian federalism where small scale family and cooperative markets are permitted and regulated is his solution!

What is needed is a political movement/party organization that contests the elections solely to promote the alternative, while discrediting the corporatist system, recognizing that a democracy based on money and corporate control is not democracy...which is what we must build from the grass roots.......open to discuss this in greater detail.....

NDPP

Can Now Really Be The Best Time To Be Alive?

https://popularresistance.org/can-now-really-be-the-best-time-to-be-alive/

"The following exchange is between 33-year old organizer Yotam Marom and 82-year old George Lakey, whose activism, organizing and training spans over 50 years..."

Douglas Fir Premier

JKR wrote:

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

How many elections do you think are left between now and irreversible climate change? If we're going to limit ourselves to a strategy centred on what we imagine "voters" might support, we're already toast.

How do you propose bringing about change that isn't supported by a majority of voters? 

We organize and fight for it in the streets, and the workplaces, and the campuses, and online, and anywhere else where people assemble and interact with others from our communities.

Aristotleded24

JKR wrote:

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

How many elections do you think are left between now and irreversible climate change? If we're going to limit ourselves to a strategy centred on what we imagine "voters" might support, we're already toast.

How do you propose bringing about change that isn't supported by a majority of voters?

What an absolutely defeatest, cowardly approach to political change. Have you noticed that the right-wing never does this? Their policies, when you ask average people about them, are rarely ever popular. But the right wing just goes ahead and does what it wants, because they believe in themselves. Would be nice for us on the left to show just half that courage. Have you noticed that the most popular politician in the US today is someone who calls himself a socialist?

JKR

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

JKR wrote:

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

How many elections do you think are left between now and irreversible climate change? If we're going to limit ourselves to a strategy centred on what we imagine "voters" might support, we're already toast.

How do you propose bringing about change that isn't supported by a majority of voters? 

We organize and fight for it in the streets, and the workplaces, and the campuses, and online, and anywhere else where people assemble and interact with others from our communities.

... and also listen the opinions of the populace even when they don't agree with our outlook?

JKR

Aristotleded24 wrote:

JKR wrote:

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

JKR wrote:

What alternative to capitalism are the voters open to support in the near future?

How many elections do you think are left between now and irreversible climate change? If we're going to limit ourselves to a strategy centred on what we imagine "voters" might support, we're already toast.

How do you propose bringing about change that isn't supported by a majority of voters?

What an absolutely defeatest, cowardly approach to political change. Have you noticed that the right-wing never does this? Their policies, when you ask average people about them, are rarely ever popular. But the right wing just goes ahead and does what it wants, because they believe in themselves. Would be nice for us on the left to show just half that courage. Have you noticed that the most popular politician in the US today is someone who calls himself a socialist?

The right does what it wants because it forms governments. The left has a problem with getting elected. Sanders will have no executive power until he gets elected president. Getting elected requires listening to the opinions held by voters.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

JKR, aren't you basically just telling us to give up?  There's nothing positive or humane that can be done, there's nothing that can even be WORTH doing, if we do what you seem to be asking and accept the notion that capitalism and the climate status quo must be the limits within we work.  Accepting those things means accepting that nothing postive can ever happen again.

In 1850, the overwhelming majority of the white population of the U.S. supported the continuation and expansion of slavery.  Twelve years later, slavery was illegal in the U.S. .

In the times of the darkest losses, change can still happen.  

There are uprisings against the status quo happening all over the world.

There are ideas for making the world we need being found constantly.

Who is to say what is and is not possible?

JKR

I think the status quo is unacceptable. I don't believe that we in Canada are stuck with our status quo. I think establishing a much more socialist society here is attainable as it has already been done in countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Austria, etc..,. I think in order to establish a much more socialist society the left in Canada has to start to do a much better job of listening to the masses much more and come up with socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

JKR wrote:

I think the status quo is unacceptable. I don't believe that we in Canada are stuck with our status quo. I think establishing a much more socialist society here is attainable as it has already been done in countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Austria, etc..,. I think in order to establish a much more socialist society the left in Canada has to start to do a much better job of listening to the masses much more and come up with socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians.

To make the debate more concrete, could you mention 2 or 3 "socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians" which the rest of us are all missing by failing to listen to the masses?

Aristotleded24

Michael Moriarity wrote:

JKR wrote:

I think the status quo is unacceptable. I don't believe that we in Canada are stuck with our status quo. I think establishing a much more socialist society here is attainable as it has already been done in countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Austria, etc..,. I think in order to establish a much more socialist society the left in Canada has to start to do a much better job of listening to the masses much more and come up with socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians.

To make the debate more concrete, could you mention 2 or 3 "socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians" which the rest of us are all missing by failing to listen to the masses?

For one, I would add that when C-51 was first proposed, "the masses" were in favour. Mulcair, to his credit, opposed the legislation, gave clear principled reasons why, and eventually the public was won over.

JKR

Michael Moriarity wrote:

JKR wrote:

I think the status quo is unacceptable. I don't believe that we in Canada are stuck with our status quo. I think establishing a much more socialist society here is attainable as it has already been done in countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Austria, etc..,. I think in order to establish a much more socialist society the left in Canada has to start to do a much better job of listening to the masses much more and come up with socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians.

To make the debate more concrete, could you mention 2 or 3 "socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians" which the rest of us are all missing by failing to listen to the masses?

I think many people want to see the left work and cooperate with each other to a much greater degree than it has. That would include the parliamentary parties, the NDP, Greens, BQ, and Liberals working with each other much more than they have.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

JKR wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

JKR wrote:

I think the status quo is unacceptable. I don't believe that we in Canada are stuck with our status quo. I think establishing a much more socialist society here is attainable as it has already been done in countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Austria, etc..,. I think in order to establish a much more socialist society the left in Canada has to start to do a much better job of listening to the masses much more and come up with socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians.

To make the debate more concrete, could you mention 2 or 3 "socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians" which the rest of us are all missing by failing to listen to the masses?

I think many people want to see the left work and cooperate with each other to a much greater degree than it has. That would include the parliamentary parties, the NDP, Greens, BQ, and Liberals working with each other much more than they have.

That's not a socialist policy, it's a matter of process. You seem to be saying that we should settle for whatever policies all non-conservatives can agree on, regardless of whether the result is far from socialist, or even progressive. Is that what you mean?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

JKR wrote:

I think the status quo is unacceptable. I don't believe that we in Canada are stuck with our status quo. I think establishing a much more socialist society here is attainable as it has already been done in countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Austria, etc..,. I think in order to establish a much more socialist society the left in Canada has to start to do a much better job of listening to the masses much more and come up with socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians.

To make the debate more concrete, could you mention 2 or 3 "socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians" which the rest of us are all missing by failing to listen to the masses?

For one, I would add that when C-51 was first proposed, "the masses" were in favour. Mulcair, to his credit, opposed the legislation, gave clear principled reasons why, and eventually the public was won over.

Mulcair's opposition to C-51 put the NDP in the lead in the polls for the first time since he'd won the leadership.  In many respects, it was the only stand on a point of genuine personal conviction Mulcair ever took as leader-most of the rest of the time, he barred his MPs-especially the ones from Quebec, virtually all of whom were radicals-from expressing any strong views on anything, and wasted most of his time on a pointless crusade against some trivial personal corruption on the part of an irrelevant Conservative senator-if he'd stayed with that kind of courage and started allowing his MPs to act and sound like New Democrats, the lead would have held.  Instead, he pissed it away by leading with a useless pledge to balance the budget and by forcing NDP candidates out of the race for committing truth on Palestine or simply for not being bland, passionless drones.  He had the chance to realize Tommy Douglas' dreams, and he blew it by presenting himself as an orange Tory with anger management issues.

For that matter, when Tommy became a hero for his time by being the only party leader to oppose Trudeau's imposition of the War Measures Act, he was denounced by the right of his party.  A lot of people tore up their membership cards(which was a good thing for the party, since there's no way you can support authoritarian responses and still hold social democratic values) and if Trudeau had called a snap election on his handling of the October Crisis, he'd have been returned with a substantially increased majority and the NDP might have lost official party status.

The NDP right went on to force Tommy out of the leadership, and replaced him with David Lewis, whose main role in the CCF-NDP tradition had been as chief redbaiter and party disciplinarian who held a deep personal grudge against Quebec and insisted on destroying any chance for a breakthrough there by refusing to recognize its right to self-determination.  The party made small gains and won the balance of power, but it remained seatless in Quebec.  Had Tommy been allowed to fight the '72 election as leader, or had David Laxer, who supported Quebec self-determination, been elected, the NDP might have made an epic breakthrough in Quebec and established itself as a possible party of government.

 

 

kropotkin1951

While I understand JKR's democratic ideals I have to disagree with them as a change mechanism. Tommy did look to find out what socialist policies the voters wanted when he got into politics, he spent every waking moment on the road giving lectures until the voters agreed with him. That is why I spend my personal political capital on electing MP's who will speak truth to power not ones who are looking to parrot the Canadian electorate. Our electorate is one of the most propagandized set of voters in the Western world. Our progressives listen to the CBC and mostly don't recognize it as imperial propaganda.

JKR

Michael Moriarity wrote:

JKR wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

JKR wrote:

I think the status quo is unacceptable. I don't believe that we in Canada are stuck with our status quo. I think establishing a much more socialist society here is attainable as it has already been done in countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Austria, etc..,. I think in order to establish a much more socialist society the left in Canada has to start to do a much better job of listening to the masses much more and come up with socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians.

To make the debate more concrete, could you mention 2 or 3 "socialist solutions that respond to the viewpoints held by most Canadians" which the rest of us are all missing by failing to listen to the masses?

I think many people want to see the left work and cooperate with each other to a much greater degree than it has. That would include the parliamentary parties, the NDP, Greens, BQ, and Liberals working with each other much more than they have.

That's not a socialist policy, it's a matter of process. You seem to be saying that we should settle for whatever policies all non-conservatives can agree on, regardless of whether the result is far from socialist, or even progressive. Is that what you mean?

I think a large cross section of the voting population is open to socialist policies if socialist policies are presented to them in a way that's pertinent to them. I think the idea of "ending capitalism" is pertinent to only a small portion of the population and a large section of the population is not attracted to the idea of replacing capitalism with an untried economic system. I think social democratic countries like Denmark, Sweden , Finland, Austria, and Iceland have been able to strike this balance of understanding where the voters are at and showing them how socialist policies can meet their needs.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The key is the ability to demonstrate to the electorate that socialism is A)achievable and B)will be to the perceivable benefit of the majority of the voters.

I'm convinced that most people get it that the current way of doing thigs does nothing but harm, but they have been subjected to a 24-7 propaganda barrage that, as Margaret Thatcher put it "There Is No Alternative".  The challenge is to disprove the propaganda using practical examples.

The growing number of worker co-operatives, and their overwhelmingly successful record, is a demonstration that viable alternatives to capitalism exist already in our midst.  The Left should be publicizing worker co-ops and collectives as examples that other possibilities are there.

lagatta4

I have spent decades working (for pay and as a volunteer) for grassroots groups such as a tenant association, women's centres etc and indeed some people with little formal education have very cogent views based on their life experience. Unfortunately, these often exist side by side with various forms of prejudice. One of the most common examples among people consulting tenants' groups was "Of course my landlord is screwing me; he's a (select random ethnicity, race, religion etc).

I think many people don't recognise the CBC as imperialist propaganda simply because the stuff from south of the border is so much more blatant. Also, people don't have much access to credible alternative news sources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iyraste1313

The Left should be publicizing worker co-ops and collectives as examples that other possibilities are there.....

Thank you for this! But not just socialistic people´s oriented economic activities must be focussed.....I see the major conflict in future between centralist and bureaucratic corporatist mega project activities, versus more decentralist and autonomous initiatives coming from local government and people´s movements ....

kropotkin1951

lagatta4 wrote:

I have spent decades working (for pay and as a volunteer) for grassroots groups such as a tenant association, women's centres etc and indeed some people with little formal education have very cogent views based on their life experience. Unfortunately, these often exist side by side with various forms of prejudice. One of the most common examples among people consulting tenants' groups was "Of course my landlord is screwing me; he's a (select random ethnicity, race, religion etc).

I think many people don't recognise the CBC as imperialist propaganda simply because the stuff from south of the border is so much more blatant. Also, people don't have much access to credible alternative news sources.

Happy New Year Lagatta4

I agree with your post and will only add that from what little I see in BC of Radio Canada reporting it is far superior and with a slight left bent. Local CBC reporting in BC is primarily center right liberals usually from Central Canada, who bid into the jobs because of the weather. They don't even understand the history of our Salish Sea communities and bitch about the rain on the air. It seems that you have a higher caliber of CBC reporters.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

iyraste1313 wrote:

The Left should be publicizing worker co-ops and collectives as examples that other possibilities are there.....

Thank you for this! But not just socialistic people´s oriented economic activities must be focussed.....I see the major conflict in future between centralist and bureaucratic corporatist mega project activities, versus more decentralist and autonomous initiatives coming from local government and people´s movements ....

Agreed.  So we also need to be pushing for the establishment of local assemblys on the Chiapas model.

 

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

iyraste1313 wrote:

The Left should be publicizing worker co-ops and collectives as examples that other possibilities are there.....

Thank you for this! But not just socialistic people´s oriented economic activities must be focussed.....I see the major conflict in future between centralist and bureaucratic corporatist mega project activities, versus more decentralist and autonomous initiatives coming from local government and people´s movements ....

Agreed.  So we also need to be pushing for the establishment of local assemblys on the Chiapas model.

 

Another thing that I'd like to see the left doing more of is defending progressive-minded small businesses against greedy landlords when they want to do things like double the rent or demovict so that they can redevelop their property. We're seeing quite a bit of this predatory behaviour from landlords here in Vancouver.

Obviously some small businesses engage in activities that the left ought not to support -- either in terms of the products and services they provide, or their business model is very expansion-focused with the goal of becoming a chain with multiple locations -- But small businesses that are progressive-minded absolutely should be supported against big landlords. This would go a ways towards winning support for the left from constituencies that might not naturally be inclined to support us.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Left Turn wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

iyraste1313 wrote:

The Left should be publicizing worker co-ops and collectives as examples that other possibilities are there.....

Thank you for this! But not just socialistic people´s oriented economic activities must be focussed.....I see the major conflict in future between centralist and bureaucratic corporatist mega project activities, versus more decentralist and autonomous initiatives coming from local government and people´s movements ....

Agreed.  So we also need to be pushing for the establishment of local assemblys on the Chiapas model.

 

Another thing that I'd like to see the left doing more of is defending progressive-minded small businesses against greedy landlords when they want to do things like double the rent or demovict so that they can redevelop their property. We're seeing quite a bit of this predatory behaviour from landlords here in Vancouver.

Obviously some small businesses engage in activities that the left ought not to support -- either in terms of the products and services they provide, or their business model is very expansion-focused with the goal of becoming a chain with multiple locations -- But small businesses that are progressive-minded absolutely should be supported against big landlords. This would go a ways towards winning support for the left from constituencies that might not naturally be inclined to support us.

With you on that.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

lagatta3 wrote:
I think many people don't recognise the CBC as imperialist propaganda simply because the stuff from south of the border is so much more blatant. Also, people don't have much access to credible alternative news sources.

The thing with the CBC is that while they are progressive on many social issues (abortions, gay rights, trans rights, physician assisted susicide, drug policy, missing and murdered indigenous women, indigenous suicides, indigenous poverty, gun violence, the #metoo movement, islamophobia, representation of women in government, the need to act on climate chage, ect.), they lean to the right on economic policy (they argue that we need to give favourable treatment to corporations on the grounds that they are the only possible significant source of employment growth, they support of the trans-mountain pipeline, they argue that the government needs to protect the economic interests of "the west" ie. Alberta), they generally support whatever anti-terrorism measures the government implements, and they are staunch supporters of liberal internationalism and corporate glabalisation (anyone who opposes any aspect of corporate globalisation is treated as an extremist, and governments who oppose corporate globalisation are derided as undemocratic).

The CBC's progressivity on social issue fools many people into believing that they are a left-leaning news organization, when in fact they represent the progressive wing of neoliberalism.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Left Turn wrote:

lagatta3 wrote:
I think many people don't recognise the CBC as imperialist propaganda simply because the stuff from south of the border is so much more blatant. Also, people don't have much access to credible alternative news sources.

The thing with the CBC is that while they are progressive on many social issues (abortions, gay rights, trans rights, physician assisted susicide, drug policy, missing and murdered indigenous women, indigenous suicides, indigenous poverty, gun violence, the #metoo movement, islamophobia, representation of women in government, the need to act on climate chage, ect.), they lean to the right on economic policy (they argue that we need to give favourable treatment to corporations on the grounds that they are the only possible significant source of employment growth, they support of the trans-mountain pipeline, they argue that the government needs to protect the economic interests of "the west" ie. Alberta), they generally support whatever anti-terrorism measures the government implements, and they are staunch supporters of liberal internationalism and corporate glabalisation (anyone who opposes any aspect of corporate globalisation is treated as an extremist, and governments who oppose corporate globalisation are derided as undemocratic).

The CBC's progressivity on social issue fools many people into believing that they are a left-leaning news organization, when in fact they represent the progressive wing of neoliberalism.

They embody the original conception of "neoliberalism" a substitute for social democracy or(in the U.S.) New Deal-Great Society liberalism that reduces progressive politics to those issues on which progressive change requires no sacrifice, and really, no significant involvement at all, from the wealthy, as well as no respite from perpetual war against the impoverished, powerless majority fo the human race.

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
Left Turn wrote:

lagatta3 wrote:
I think many people don't recognise the CBC as imperialist propaganda simply because the stuff from south of the border is so much more blatant. Also, people don't have much access to credible alternative news sources.

The thing with the CBC is that while they are progressive on many social issues (abortions, gay rights, trans rights, physician assisted susicide, drug policy, missing and murdered indigenous women, indigenous suicides, indigenous poverty, gun violence, the #metoo movement, islamophobia, representation of women in government, the need to act on climate chage, ect.), they lean to the right on economic policy (they argue that we need to give favourable treatment to corporations on the grounds that they are the only possible significant source of employment growth, they support of the trans-mountain pipeline, they argue that the government needs to protect the economic interests of "the west" ie. Alberta), they generally support whatever anti-terrorism measures the government implements, and they are staunch supporters of liberal internationalism and corporate glabalisation (anyone who opposes any aspect of corporate globalisation is treated as an extremist, and governments who oppose corporate globalisation are derided as undemocratic).

The CBC's progressivity on social issue fools many people into believing that they are a left-leaning news organization, when in fact they represent the progressive wing of neoliberalism.

They embody the original conception of "neoliberalism" a substitute for social democracy or(in the U.S.) New Deal-Great Society liberalism that reduces progressive politics to those issues on which progressive change requires no sacrifice, and really, no significant involvement at all, from the wealthy, as well as no respite from perpetual war against the impoverished, powerless majority fo the human race.

While I do support the principles behind being socially progressive, the truth is it makes more money for businesses. Take the civil rights movement for instance. Sure you had old school racists who would have dug in their heels on refusal to serve African-American customers to their dying day. Businesses overall, however, realized that they could make more mony by tapping into this demographic. Same with same sex marriage. You had some bakers who would refuse to bake a cake for gay couples, however I think that issue was blown out of proportion a bit. With same sex marriage being legal, that expands the market for wedding cakes, and I think most bakers would be happy to tap into that. Likewise, it's easy for corporations to move towards "diversity" because it's a way to tap into changing demographics to expand their market share.

iyraste1313

The CBC's progressivity on social issue fools many people into believing that they are a left-leaning news organization, when in fact they represent the progressive wing of neoliberalism....

...No the CBC is pure unadulterated  Orwellian disinformation....I am documenting some cases, when I am in canada and can stand the nauseating stench of their lies...and for waht purpose I wonder? To promote global nuclear war with Russia? To promote regime change wars so that the predatory resource gobbling mega corporations can continue devouring the planet? To promote the stock market and its bankster criminals. No they are just a pure tool of the ruling elites and their system of planetary destruction. And democracy? They should be imprisoned for their consistent violations of our electoral rights....

Nor do I agree CBC is progressive on social issues...all these movements mentioned have their liberatory side, and their fascist side......but social issues are harmless enough as long as we don´t deal with the reality of imperialism, corporate fascism, whether managed by progressive women or gays or trans people.

No CBC has to be neutralized!

Pondering

The CBC reflects the attitude of most Canadians.

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote:

The CBC reflects the attitude of most Canadians.

Pretty much. And, rightly or wrongly, the idea that the CBC is right-wing has very little traction outside of babble and a few other similarly niched ideological quarters. Mainstream opinion about CBC basically breaks down to left-wingers who like it because they think it's left-wing, and right-wingers who hate it because they think it's left-wing.

Granted, a lot of us would think the left-wingers referenced above are mostly self-perceived, but the fact remains, trying to rally the public against a supposedly right-wing CBC is going to be a non-starter for the foreseeable future.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Limits of Capitalism

To mark its 40th anniversary, Studies in Political Economy, A Socialist Review sponsored a conference October 26 at Carleton University, Ottawa. The theme: “The Limits of Capitalism and the Challenge of Alternatives.” Among the speakers was Professor Laurie Adkin of the University of Alberta, who addressed the conference via Skype. Prof. Adkin has kindly agreed to the publication here of the notes she prepared for her panel presentation, in my opinion an oustanding contribution. – Richard Fidler

At this point in human history, the limits of capitalism and the limits of our species’ life on Earth have converged. We have never been here before, and we cannot go back.

The political activism of my youth was largely in solidarity with anti-colonial movements in Africa and Palestine, anti-US imperialist movements and dictatorships in Latin America, and solidarity-building between the labour and other social movements around a broad program of democratic, anti-capitalist reforms. In those struggles, there was always an assumption that social transformation could draw upon the resources of a reasonably intact natural world. No more. Capitalism, patriarchy, and racism now threaten to destroy this world, along with its tenuous civilizational achievements. We are all of us, now, face to face with the kind of “deworlding” that traumatized Indigenous peoples following the arrival of colonizers.

We, on the left, keep trying to find analogous moments in human history (the rise of fascism, world war two) when “normal” life is upended and nothing can go on as before -- including academic work, which must give way to activism on every front. Apart from the threat of nuclear war, humans have never faced a “limit” like this, and even that threat was unlike climate destabilization because at least it could be controlled by disarming the technology. What we have set in motion now, in the capitalocene, is likely beyond technological solutions, notwithstanding Promethean male fantasies of Mars colonies and planetary geological engineering. What we have set in motion is now, at least in part, beyond human control. That is, no re-engineering of social relationships and modes of production will reverse the biological and physical processes that have been unleashed.

In the span of a single lifetime, since WWII, industrialized societies have loaded enough greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — mostly from the combustion of fossil fuels — to cause the breakdown of a climatic system that was relatively stable and friendly to biodiverse life for 800,000 years. More than half of all the GHGs emitted since 1750 have been emitted since 1989 — that is, when we knew what we were doing.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..organize! organize! and organize! more from above.

quote:

Elections seem to be windows of opportunity and it is understandable that we turn our energies toward the debates and campaigns — and to preventing the worst outcomes. But given the existing institutional barriers to electing a green-left government, I think we should prioritize the work of coalition-building and democratic planning — bringing forward concrete alternatives that people can fight for. The slogan “What do we want? Climate action!” is a starting point, but it puts the ball in the court of governments (and economists) that are only going to offer market-based measures — at best — or delay meaningful action.

A few further points with regard to planning for green transition:

Instead of thinking in terms of full employment, we need to be thinking about how to ensure income security that is delinked from wage-labour and — for farmers — from commodity prices.

Instead of thinking about raising revenue only in terms of taxation, we need to be figuring out how to finance a rapid energy transition and other measures through public banks and public ownership of the new sectors.

In the Canadian context, green transition must also take as a starting point the restoration of land to Indigenous peoples and recognition of their full sovereignty over those lands.

A lot of thinking has been done about the general directions for green transition, and coalitions are starting to come together at provincial and municipal levels.

This organizing work is also a way of coping, psychologically, with the overwhelming grief that many of us feel about the world we are losing — a world our children will never know — and about the world they will be inhabiting in the decades ahead. At the very least, we must be able to say we tried.

Greta Thunberg uses the phrase: “We will not be bystanders.” I don’t know if this is her intention, but this phrase could be a reference to the choices available to people in the 1930s, as they observed the rise of fascism and the deportation of Jews, Communists, homosexuals, the disabled, the gypsies, and others to “concentration” camps. Thunberg’s call is a moral one, recognizing that the world’s poorest populations will be the most devastated by climate destabilization. Shall those of us who are privileged to live in the northern hemisphere and in the global middle class “stand by” while millions die, or flee, from the disasters wrought by global warming?

Pondering

If all of human history is any indication we will continue to stand by because most people 'know' they can't save the world so focus on their corner of it.  We elect governments to deal with the big shit. 

If you want change appeal to self-interest. 

kropotkin1951

Pondering wrote:

If you want change appeal to self-interest. 

All the great leaders did that. Margaret Thatcher was a prime example not like those losers Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.

Sean in Ottawa

I have noticed over the years how fewer and fewer people understand left and right becuase they have no idea where the centre is. I am not criticizing a person for the moment on where they stand on the spectrum but when you are far enough from the centre and still think of yourself as centre- in a Canadian context, you will come up with stuff like the CBC is left or right or whatever. I had a person who likes Bernier insist on telling me how Scheer was left of centre. We have had many here proclaim this New Democrat is not only to far to the right for them but that they are right of centre. then what the hell is centre in Candian terms?

I do not think the CBC is right of the Canadian centre -- I think they are the establishment centre. As the government broadcaster, that in itself is not that surpirsing or horrible when it comes to ideology. We should be trying to change that centre rather than ranting that it is somewhere else. 

What is obnoxious, offensive and unacceptable about the CBC is the level of partisanship it displays for one party.  I do not expect them to be pro NDP or pro my positions since I knwo they are a minority in Canada. I do want to be able to expect them to step back from a running endorsement and promotion of a single political party. Whether or not they are to the right of me as I am to the left of centre in Canada is not the problem -- the many puff pieces for Trudeau, the many fawning promotions and soft interviews is a problem. And this is where the CBC has been losing credibility and support from people who know theya re not at the Canadian centre and do not expect the CBC to match their ideology but they do expect the national broadcaster not to campaign for one party in the way they do.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Pondering wrote:

If you want change appeal to self-interest. 

All the great leaders did that. Margaret Thatcher was a prime example not like those losers Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.

I think she may be correct. The question is what self interests? Self economic interest is not the only basis for appeals to self interest. There is a degree of group pride that negatively leads to nationalism (in my view) but when raised on the part of the oppressed it can give strength and power to movements. Gandhi and King definitely did that. Both of them appealed to a sense of humanity that is important to well-being and made that a very direct appeal to the self interest of those he engaged with both as his compatriots and those he asked to show compassion to them.

The left when it does well does appeal to areas of self interest: at times they appeal to the conditions the oppressed find themselves in seeking social justice in economic terms; at times they appeal to us to be better that we are, more generous, more aware -- to go further than tolerance but towards a sense of common sisterhood/brotherhood if you will.

I think what Pondering might be getting at here (you can ask her) is a self interest that goes beyond economic benefits for those who do not need them. Living in a compassionate society where we are ready to help each other is a benefit to everyone that we can appeal to. Living where there is some collective goods we share is optimistic. Appealling to the better sides of people while saying that they will have more dignity when they stop taking that from others and can look in the mirror without guilt is a self interest - if not a crass economic one.

As you ask people not to be narrowly selfish, you can still attract political support by speaking to people about the benefits they have of living in a better society than this.

There are many books written about morals and self interest. One idea I find interesting is the one that says that everything does come down to some level of self interest and desire. What sorts people is not if they are self interested or not but what those interests are. Seeking what you want (your self interest) is not in itself selfish. Having interests that revolve around your material interest is. Seeking a world that is compassionate, sustainable and has hope and social justice becuase you want to live in that is very different from seeking money you do not need becuase you want that.

Saying appeal to self interest can mean to speak to people in terms that they understand how these things affect them. And again, I do not mean simply materially. 

I think before criticizing Pondering here it is fair to ask her which self interests she is meaning as at times I have heard her speak about narrow self interests as many others have and at other times Pondering has spoken of wider well-being issues that may include having more social security if something happens in the future but also common goods like having a happier, healthier, fairer society. If that is the self interest she is speaking of then she is right appealing in personal terms is a good strategy... I will let her explain what exactly she meant by self interest.

I think we must encourage people to have a more expansive idea of their self interest - to take an interest in the fact that the world is burning and people are suffering. Then we can appeal to that. I would argue that when people's self interests are narrow then political parties appealing to more than that will not succeed. Part of the cultural and political change we need is to have people expand the sense of what their interests are beyond the material to the kind of society they wish to live in. I think changing this is part of what our conversations here should be about.

kropotkin1951

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Pondering wrote:

If you want change appeal to self-interest. 

All the great leaders did that. Margaret Thatcher was a prime example not like those losers Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.

I think she may be correct.

Nope she is not.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Pondering wrote:

If you want change appeal to self-interest. 

All the great leaders did that. Margaret Thatcher was a prime example not like those losers Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.

I think she may be correct.

Nope she is not.

I am sure somebody somewhere is comforted by your supreme confidence in your opinions.

(Yeah, sure I will be a little rude given that you snip the explanation that you refuse to respond to in order to add your bit of snark.)

Sometimes you manage for weeks at a time to keep your incredible arrogance under control. Those are the good times.

Once in a while try to make it a conversation where you answer the substance of what people say. Maybe you can try that in one of your more controlled periods.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..there is no path to real change through voting. it is stacked for status quo. at the very least not until there is uprising via organisation. that's not just me saying this..it's history. there will never be a top down path to a better world. until the issue of corporate power is addressed..there will never be real change. it's bottom up control or we let ecology dictate the future.   

Pondering

I genuinely believe that the 99% would be better off, including materially, under far more "leftist" governments than we have now. Don't you? I believe that Canada is wealthy enough that we could lead the world in designing a new sustainable way of life.

The right has defined the left as wanting to take away from people and all too often the left plays into it. People know there are trade-offs to everything but the right focuses on what will be lost rather than what will be gained. 

Don't you believe that the average person will be better off under a sustainable green new deal than they are now or would be under right leaning governments?

The right has managed to focus us on individual rights to the exclusion of collective rights. Collective rights are portrayed as infringing on individual rights rather than adding to them. 

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