Old Left, New Left, No Left left…

by on November 10, 2007 · 8 comments

in Election

Let me start by telling you I’m not a writer, or some academician so if my grammar is off, or I don’t get the syntax’s correct everywhere I’m not going to lose sleep over it, and neither should you. This isn’t a studious academic paper that hopes to inform or change anyone’s mind. This is just a plain old rant. That said, before you read any farther stop, yes stop, and take a minute to visualize these words.


Now try this one,


Do these words affect you? They affect me. Should they affect any rational human being? You say yes of course they should. But they don’t do they? Some want to argue the semantics of the implications and meaning of these words for political reasons. That confuses me. I just can’t understand it no matter how hard I try.

I grew up in family of old left union people. My father was a life long Democrat and many times as a child I remember union meetings and political meetings going on at our home. I was familiar with phrases like position papers, and strategies. I didn’t understand any of it really, but I liked the people that came, and I remember their passion to want to make life better for the working classes. I remember the red baiting, and arguments over American exceptionalism.

In the sixties I entered the world of the New Left, where position papers, and strategies were causes for confrontation, both verbal and physical. The New Left was so much more interested in semantics, and the dogmatic belief in having the correct position that we spent all of our time fighting each other, rather than the true evil. It regressed even more after Reagan and the greed generation. The state did a superb job in infiltrating and dismantling us for all practical purposes. We were marginalized, and we deserved to be. We were / are stupid and naive. The right organized, created alliances with diverse organizations, set up think tanks, raised money, spent energy infiltrating political parties, we marched, and sang Cum-ba-ya.

It’s 2007, and now we have candidates running for president that don’t believe in evolution, hell some are probably members of the Flat Earth Society, wouldn’t surprise me. We have Democrats now who are more like Republicans. There is really only one party this country and that’s the MONEY PARTY, debate it if you want, but prove me wrong and I’ll buy you a beer. The rest is superficial bullshit to continue to let the population think they have a choice when they vote. The right now has total control over the media, and how any information is disseminated and any debates on issues are framed. They control us using the fear mongers trick of keeping us scared Americans trembling about when the next “terrorist attack” will happen.

I remember a time when Americans would have stood up and said “Fuck you, we’re Americans you assholes don’t scare us, we can kick your ass and anyone else ass that messes with us”. That American attitude has been washed away by the “war on terror”, created so masterfully by the right. So if Orwell was a visionary, what has stopped us from becoming his vision? Nothing, nada, it’s here, only more insidious than we could have imagined. Corporate fascism has become entrenched. And we can only blame ourselves. That’s right, no one else is to blame. We as the citizens of America are the problem. We got what we deserved by believing voting could change things. We now accept democracy-lite as normal. Our politicians are bought and paid for by corporations. This is not news to anyone. This has been said for 50 years, but saying it and changing it never seem to cross paths do they?

We are constantly sucked into the belief that if the Democrats really gain control things will change. This is the stupid shit that led us to where we are now. Some of them talk a good talk, but only two or three walk the walk. A well known “liberal” from California Dianne Feinstein voted for Michael Mukasey, after of course explaining in the LA Times why she was selling out, and voting for legal immunity for telecommunications companies that spied on you illegally for the government. The democrats are spineless with more excuses than Musharraf, because they just want to get re-elected. They are a class now, not elected representatives of the people. They could give a shit what the public wants. The only thing that matters to them is what they want, and how to get it from interests that pay the most to get their ear. The majority is against the war in Iraq, but the “elected class” isn’t, so they find every fucking excuse to avoid ending it. They’re making money so fuck you is what they’re really saying to us.

I don’t claim to have the answers, but deep inside you know what it would take to get real change and democracy don’t you? But you also know that you, or me, or any of us, just don’t have the balls to really do what it would require, so we all will just continue to be outraged, and blame someone else.

To believe that this corruption will simply evaporate when the Bush presidency is done is to underestimate the permanent erosion inflicted over the past six years. What was once shocking and unacceptable in America has now been internalized as the new normal. So now, actually think about why our country would even have to discuss what torture is.

Anonymous in OB

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Shawn Conrad November 26, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Until we Americans find where they hid our courage things will continue to decline.


Richard Nadeau November 27, 2007 at 9:45 am

“We were marginalized, and we deserved to be. We were / are stupid and naive. ” Anonymous

I diasgree with the self-hate evident in this piece, although I can understand the frustration behind it. Many on the left were not merely “stupid and naive,” although some were.

Nor can I agree with the notion that those who opposed and organized against the war, that those who stood up for civil liberties and participated. in the movement for women’s rights deserved to be marginalized. They were marginalized by a propaganda system, a system of power that didn’t want demobilzed and apathetic Americans to be mobilized against the war. Furthermore, the peace movement had more of an effect than you give it credit for, which is why the govenrment spent so much energy trying to repress it. This type of dissilussionment and despair only feeds inactivity and quietism. Onward and forward! Stop the war!
Rick Nadeau


Genie Phillips November 27, 2007 at 12:05 pm

Thanks Rick, for a minute I thought it was just me. Could I be so stupid, naive? Every and any thing I/we have done is just useless? You mean I burned my bra for NOTHING?, and walked around with hairy legs for looks?

I don’t know of anyone saying getting Bush out is the answer and that things will turn around the next day. But to give up?
And as for the statement about being Americans who can kick anyone’s ass that messes with us…….well, for me that’s just the mentality I wish we would get away from. It sounds to much like the old “America, love it or leave it”, and might is right, or the assholes that always are, and were, around to flip us off at every protest.. As well as any of the asses in the administration and out that refuse to talk with, or negotiate with Iran, and are setting up their own war agenda. Anyone recall “Weapons of mass destruction,” or the axis of EVIL?

You can point to scum like Feinstein, and what about Libermann? It shows how far we have to go. But, that’s no surprise. But their are people out their in the trenches that believe in the constitution, and I for one will support them and fight the real “evil doers” at any small chance I can



Anonymous November 27, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Self hate? Disgust perhaps. You read more into this rant than was intended, but intellectuals have this tendency. Try reading with inference and you might see the implications that being marginalized was achieved because of state propaganda, not by the movement itself, however the out come was the same wasn’t it? I give credit to the movement that ended the war in Viet Nam, however that movement seems to be absent from ending this war. Perhaps it might be because the groups under the peace movement umbrella still can’t seem to put individual agendas, and egos aside, which in my opinion was one major reason we were so easily marginalized by the state, and became disillusioned. Recognizing who is the enemy, should take precedent over who has the leadership role, and whose agenda makes them more important than the real goal. So if you want to vote to end the war and corporate domination of this society good luck.


Shawn Conrad November 27, 2007 at 1:04 pm

I think making sure that the Commander in Chief has at least served in the military (so he or she knows what it is like to have bullets flying at or around their head) is a start.

The cycle of rich people being put in office by even richer people is breeding incompetence.

In nature you need to be strong to survive. In society you just need to be able to afford protection (see the presidency).


Richard Nadeau November 27, 2007 at 4:30 pm

It easy to sit in your arm chair and pass mighty judgments from your God’s eye view on everyone else. And how do you know I am an intellectual?? Perhaps I’m a Buddhist monk. What do you know?

My guess is that the author is talking based upon a lack of experience in the peace movement, and has probably had very little to do with the so called self-aggrandizing egos of “left” that have been “left out.” It seems to me that Mr.”Anonymous” is just finding excuses to do nothing, and will continue sit and pontificate from the comfy armchair in front of his television set indefinetly.

I understand frustration, I certainly do. But to take your anger out on people who are trying to change things is only a way of isolating yourself in an ivory tower of pure thought and no action. Has Mister Anonymous been a dynamo of activity against the Iraq War. I doubt it.

Also, thanks for telling me from your high armchair that I got to focus on “the real enemy.” Gee whiz, like so many others on the left, I’m so “stupid and naive’ that I need you to tell me just who that is. Who is the real enemy, Mr. Anonymous? Please do tell.


OB Joe November 27, 2007 at 5:08 pm

RN & GP – I think you are being a little hard on Anonymous in OB, who is clearly someone with a left point of view. His primary point, which neither of you addressed, is that this country has fallen so far that we are considering talking about what torture is. Anon OB also includes him/herself in calling Americans naive and stupid for not having the foresight of developing a real life over the last few decades. Anon OB also is saying, I think, that before, the old left, would have stood up and said: fuck you we’re not taking it any more! The left is not good at organization.
Anon OB’s broad brushstrokes are a bit difficult to take as well. Many of us are not blind to the shanigans of the Democrats — and neither are lots of our fellow Americans – that’s why the Dems are getting such negative reviews in Congress in polls these days.


Genie Phillips November 28, 2007 at 7:59 am

And what is so WRONG with CUMBAYA? Is it because the so called right pundits like to use it as a means of insulting, belittling, or MARGINALIZING the ‘peacniks’ Cuz that’s where I hear that crap from, (O’Reilly, Hannity, foxnews types, etc etc etc)
This country has fallen so short…… we are invading a country, maiming, destroying, brutalizing, for STARTERS, …..so why would I be ‘surprised’ when the fat cats are ‘discussing’ torture. (by the way, Stephen King suggested Jenna be waterboared , and then she could discuss if she thought it was torture!)

And ‘vote to end the war and corporate domination’? What? If it were so easy! Is this all about electoral politics? NOT! It’s infiltrating at every turn, at every chance, when least expected, and a vote is only maybe a baby step. What is that saying about the journey begins with the first step?


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