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The Silent Death of the American Left - by Jeffrey St Clair
"Is there a Left in America today?"
I agree that in terms of electoral politics there's no organized left opposition, but what was Occupy Wall Street? It may have been short-lived, but the issues it drew attention to are still in the public consciousness. I think there's more awareness here of economic inequality than in any time in recent memory. Because most people are feeling its effects in their every day lives.
It 's not being translated into politics for a number of reasons. The union movement is under assault as never before. Organized capital is dominating the political and legislative process as never before. Thre Republican party is so far right, crazy and scary, that many who would seek to move the Democratic party to the left embrace its moderate neo-liberalism just to stop something far worse.
The need for a left political movement, in or outside the Democratic party, is greater than ever before. But I don't see one any time soon.
The problum with the Left in the USA is they tend to turn off the people they are trying to get to join them to support an issue with thier stance on other issue(s) so in the end they get nowhere.
josh wrote: I agree that in terms of electoral politics there's no organized left opposition, but what was Occupy Wall Street?
I'm not sure what Occupy was - I'd love to see an analysis by those closer to that scene - although my instinct told me it was precisely a spontaneous reaction to the non-existence of any organized left opposition. Being itself unorganized, not based in real constituencies and their daily struggles, and without clear short-term economic, social, or political goals, it appears to have gone into remission, as was probably inevitable.
Quote: It 's not being translated into politics for a number of reasons.
Ok, but what's up with the workers' movement? Students? Women? Indigenous? Peace? Anti-racism? I'm not talking about electoral politics - just masses of people organizing to defend and secure their interests locally, regionally, nationally, internationally. The union movement flourished in the U.S. long before it achieved any political manifestation (arguably under FDR). Likewise for the anti-war and youth movements in the 60s, the civil rights movement, women's liberation, etc.
Where are they?
[I guess I could ask a similar question about Canada, but I think we have at least some encouraging counterexamples in Idle No More, the Québec students, and others.]
From the Counterpunch article:
Jeffrey St. Clair wrote: One looks in vain across this vast landscape of despair for even the dimmest flickers of real rebellion and popular mutiny, as if surveying a nation of somnambulists.
(Excuse the thread-drift) but I WOULD ask the similar question about Canada despite the 'encouraging counterexamples'...