Enough Absurdity: “Neoliberal globalization and Third Way politics are plainly not up to the task, and the historical Left has, for the most part, gone missing.”


“After almost three years of Trumpian rule, it has come to this. The worst American president ever, along with a bunch of embarrassingly servile flunkies, are calling the shots; while the opposition party’s establishment is working overtime to stifle changes that would undo the conditions that made Trumpism all but inevitable.”
— Andrew Levine

And yet still I’m told by “left” centrists (is that contortion possible?) that if I don’t publicly support one of their Democratic presidential candidates — any candidate, whether his or her platform jibes with my own world view or not — then I’m guilty of abject failure to properly resist Trump.

Pfui. Why is it that I’m always the one who must alter my dictates of conscience/consciousness to suit the Lighter Shade of Republicans? Why must my principles be the ones forever mutable?

I’m no longer sure it matters. This circling of the drain began long ago, and the cycle probably will be compelled to play out. Circa the year 1987, writer Gore Vidal spoke briefly and eloquently about the reality of the day.

The last best hope of earth, two trillion dollars in debt, is spinning out of control, and all we can do is stare at a flickering cathode-ray tube as Ollie “answers” questions on TV while the press, resolutely irrelevant as ever, asks politicians if they have committed adultery. From V-J Day 1945 to this has been, my fellow countrymen, a perfect nightmare.

Pretty much, dog. Pretty much right now.

Enough Absurdity: Time To Get Smart, by Andrew Levine (CounterPunch)

… We got into this fix because our political and economic elites never quite figured out how to execute a soft landing in a world in which “the American century” was becoming undone by demographic changes, geopolitical exigencies, and the increasingly evident dysfunctionality of our overripe capitalist system.

Neoliberal globalization and Third Way politics are plainly not up to the task, and the historical Left has, for the most part, gone missing. Thus, a large segment of the general population is left without constructive means for addressing a host of justifiable grievances.

A reconstructed Left is the solution, but its first intimations are still in their infancy. This could change quickly, for better or worse, but for the time being, there is just not enough there there.

And so, all over the world, “populists,” rightwing nationalists essentially, have rushed in to fill the void, just as their counterparts did nearly a century ago, after the revolutionary upsurge that followed the Bolshevik revolution sputtered out, only to be swamped before long by forces of darkness even more odious than the ones now on the rise.

This process has been in the works at least since the dark days of the Reagan administration; it has taken its toll in both the Republican and Democratic parties, causing them to drift, or, in the Republican case, to gallop to the right.

The idea that, in America, there is only a middleclass has been another casualty of these on-going transformations. Thus, it has become harder than it used to be to deny the existence of a ruling class, or to deny that, at least in some quarters, working-class politics has revived.

As they say, “what goes around comes around.” There are two reasons, though, why the stakes are a little different this time around, and a lot more urgent …