Comments

  1. davidc1 says

    Many ,many people on the right in the Labour party hate Corbyn so much they would rather the tories win the next GE .

  2. wontbehere4long says

    This is fine and all, but I don’t see a “political spectrum.” I see dickrags, and then I don’t.

  3. ajbjasus says

    Is that it? And Jeremy Corbin?

    Forgive me for not being very optimistic.

  4. anxionnat says

    Very nicely done. I have also shared the video. Thank you for posting this. We lefties need all the optimism we can get in these horrible days!

  5. ck, the Irate Lump says

    You can tell who hasn’t watched the video.

    Hint: the video isn’t about Corbyn (or any individual person). He’s just the thumbnail.

  6. tacitus says

    Excellent video, though his reference to ancient history highlight just how long and difficult this struggle has been, and likely will continue to be. It took around 2,000 years to get from chariot-driving women to the dawn of enduring equal rights for women.

    I have always been optimistic about the overall arc of history bending towards the left, and remain so, but as recent events in the US and other parts of the liberal world have shown, that left leaning arc isn’t without some major kinks to the right at times.

    The struggle continues.

  7. Ichthyic says

    …this IS pretty good.

    sadly, nobody who needs to think about this will bother listening to it.

    on the right OR the left.

  8. woozy says

    This is uplifting… until you realize there is nothing that pertains to *this* point in history. If this is true then … the left would have won every time in the past.

    Which in a way they always did. The best moments in history have always been periods of relative liberalism… until it falls apart.

  9. tacitus says

    This is uplifting… until you realize there is nothing that pertains to *this* point in history.

    I disagree. No progress is without setbacks, sure, but given where we were even 100 years ago (i.e. still within living memory of a handful of people), the left has made, and continues to make remarkable progress compared with all the previous 10,000 years of civilization.

    While nothing is ever completely irreversible, the last 100 years of progress (in western nations, for the most part) can be likened to raising a heavy weight by means of a ratchet and crank. Progress has been made in stuttering steps — emancipation of women, civil rights, gay rights, the treatment of the disables, etc. — and each pull on the crank is met with resistance pushing downwards causing the weight to fall again, but only so far, as the ratchet prevents a total downward slide to the bottom.

    There will be more set backs like the ones we’re suffering now, but they’re not going to take us back 100 years, not even close. The right has given up on Jim Crow, on confining women to the home, on keeping LGBTQ in the closet and a host of other things, and barring a total collapse of society, they’re not coming back. Even on the issue they’ve had the most success with — rolling back abortion rights — even a SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe vs Wade will not be a return to a total ban on abortion in the entire nation, and public opinion will eventually swing even that issue our way.

  10. alixmo says

    Good video, thanks for the tip!
    Since so many people (gladly not here) still use “false equivalency” between “the far right” and “the far left” I feel compelled to clear up that misconception. Just one look at the so called “ideology” of the right explains all:

    The right scapegoats, oppresses, excludes, vilifies, demonises and dehumanises people systematically. It revels in stereotypes and fosters bias and prejudices. That is not an exception but the rule.

    Stirring negative emotions in their followers against e.g. minorities is part of their “belief system” and strategy. And when those “bad” feelings are stirred, “bad” things (violence, murder, terrorism) may occur.

    The right nearly always attacks vulnerable people. It “kicks down”, searching for easy victims. The status quo of the ruling billionaire class is not tackled at all.

    For the right, the social-economic problems that plague big parts of the population are caused by “Mexicans” or poor coloured people that are “entitled” because they get food stamps!

    The only “elites” they attack are “Hollywood people”, showing either a lack of understanding of how the world works or again a form of scapegoating that leaves the real “ruling” elites and hierarchies intact and “untouched”.

    The “ideology” of the “extreme” left is solidarity, equality, fairness, freedom, peacefulness, respect for minorities. And welfare, healthcare and education for all. Some lefties may add (some form of/approach to) pacifism (e.g. are against wars or most military interventions); all are for diplomacy.

    The left “ideology” is in itself harmless and humane. It wants to foster the good in society for as many people as possible.

    The right does the opposite.

    Terror and crime from the right are systemic.

    Attacks from the left are aberrations caused by (often confused and troubled) individuals who misunderstand the ideals, the “beliefs/ideology” of the left. They ignore the implicit and explicit principles of the left.

    Attacks from the right are systemic caused by (often confused and troubled) individuals who follow 100% verbatim the ideals, beliefs and ideology of the right. They acknowledge and carry out the implicit and explicit principles of the right.

    Next time, when confronted by “both sides”-arguments, bear that in mind. And spread the “news”, explain what ” extreme left” and “extreme right” actually means. Since the media fails to talk about it soberly (“leftism” was and is a “taboo” topic) a clearing up of misconceptions is much needed.

  11. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    amazing how resonant that appeared, speaking the emotions I’ve been experiencing. codifying the “Community of Vulnerability” in a way that minimized the “weak” usually associated with the “vulnerable” word. True, i did object to his “tone” emphasasizing the “need” aspect of it, and was won over by continuing to listen to his complete explanation of “need”. I think “need” has been distorted by those who use it as substitute for WANT.
    stopping now I got things to do before a ramble away off into left (yeah LEFT) field.

  12. lpetrich says

    Arthur Schlesingers Sr and Jr had an interesting perspective on this issue. They proposed that US history goes in cycles, alternating between liberal and conservative phases:

    Liberal – Public Purpose – Increase democracy – Improve status quo
    Conservative – Private interest – Contain democracy – Maintain status quo

    Here are their identifications, with mine at the end. These dates are approximate.
    1776-1788 Lib Liberal Movement to Create Constitution
    1788-1800 Con Hamiltonian Federalism
    1800-1812 Lib Liberal Period of Jeffersonianism
    1812-1829 Con Conservative Retreat After War of 1812
    1829-1841 Lib Jacksonian Democracy
    1841-1861 Con Domination of National Government by Slaveowners
    1861-1869 Lib Abolition of Slavery and Reconstruction
    1869-1901 Con The Gilded Age
    1901-1919 Lib Progressive Era
    1919-1931 Con Republican Restoration
    1931-1947 Lib The New Deal
    1947-1962 Con The Eisenhower Era
    1962-1978 Lib Sixties Radicalism
    1978- Con Gilded Age II

  13. lpetrich says

    Each kind of phase is self-limiting, and as a result, each kind produces the the other kind of phase.

    Liberal phases require a lot of effort and mobilization to sustain their reforms, and it may be difficult to maintain such efforts and mobilizations for very long. This is especially the case if the reforms seem to have succeeded, and also if they seem to have gone too far.

    Conservative phases tend to accumulate problems that society’s leaders and elites are unwilling to try to solve, and they may even not consider those problems to be problems. That eventually provokes large numbers of people to try to solve those problems.

    Currently, we are living in Gilded Age II, with no sign of it ending anytime soon. Clinton’s and Obama’s presidencies did not come anywhere close, and the Wisconsin revolt and the Occupy movement were flops. Black Lives Matter continues, however.

  14. jack16 says

    This guy misses a lot. Innate sense of shame . . . Phooey! Orwell (Eric Blair) was very clear. “Double speak” was accurate. Political manipulation was his subject.
    Suppression of transparency in the news. This is extant. Karl Marx
    in American academia. Listen to professor Richard D. Wolff.

    jack16

  15. jack16 says

    Oops!
    Corrected copy:
    This guy misses a lot. Innate sense of shame . . . Phooey! Orwell (Eric Blair) was very clear. “Double speak” was accurate. Political manipulation was his subject.
    Paragraph break insert:
    Suppression of transparency in the news. This is extant.
    Paragraph:
    Karl Marx in American academia. Listen to professor Richard D. Wolff.

    jack16

  16. says

    @alixmo

    The right scapegoats, oppresses, excludes, vilifies, demonises and dehumanises people systematically. It revels in stereotypes and fosters bias and prejudices. That is not an exception but the rule.

    Unfortunately, I think this is a fundamental attribute of “any” organization that sets itself as the authority on a subject, while basing that authority and fear, moral outrage, and the “need to solve this horrible problem”, instead of facts, and you can see it, just as much in left leaning organizations that think they are helping people, but will not listen to the words of the people they are claiming the need to help, as you do in the right wing ones, who often don’t even listen to their own allies, never mind the people they think they will “save” via their policies.

    There is this horrible habit, having identified a “victim” in need of rescue, of everyone turning into the “white knight”, no matter what their political position otherwise, and ride up tilting at the windmills you imagine are the true cause of a problem, while failing to notice that the horse are on is trampling the very people they are trying to save, as they ride past, with their ears plugged. Its not pretty, and it invariably leads to the same sort of elitist nonsense as the right suffers from, in which only they know the problems, and what needs to be done, and everyone else is either confused, brainwashed, or part of the vast conspiracy trying to prevent the problem from being solve.

    That this nicely dive tails with similar minded people on the right, who see the problem exactly the same way, as part of their own mission, somehow never makes anyone involved pause and consider if maybe they got something wrong some place, and need to rethink things, unfortunately.

  17. woozy says

    I disagree. No progress is without setbacks, sure, ….

    .. the last 100 years of progress (in western nations, for the most part) can be likened to raising a heavy weight by means of a ratchet and crank. Progress has been made in stuttering steps…

    Oh.

    You are presuming human history is a progression.

    I keep forgetting that many people view it as such.

  18. taraskan says

    Look, this dialectic stuff has to stop. I’m a bloody communist and I don’t believe in it. It’s an article of faith to do so, and inherently anti-materialist. If you are a materialist, you have to accept that within the scope of history, at any point you can have an irreversible slide backward, a dark age. This sort of thing breaks down even quicker once your focus is a single civilization rather than the entire planet – something the dialectic has to alternate ungainly between. Hell they’re talking about a very small subset of the European population for most of the span of history and ignoring the rest of the world, just like they do today. The dialectic is an inherently racist and colonialist tool designed to make the West feel better about itself.

    You should also take little comfort in the idea that the universe will magically sort itself out generations hence. Who with empathy can sit idly by and see multiple generations endure despicable conditions in the long wait for that moment? Waiting is not worth one human life – it’s not worth one human’s quality of life. Waiting is sinful.

    In the course of the gradual solidification of human rights in the West – let’s even say the world – much of these rights came about through force. The American, French, and Soviet revolutions were tools in this matter (the matter itself exists even if it’s divine inevitability is bullshit). And the 1848 revolutions, and the Latin American revolutions, and so on. The dialectic is embraced as an inevitable peaceful process when history doesn’t work that way; history revolves around the periodic use of violence for both ill and for good.

    Violence must always be reserved as a tool. It isn’t ‘against the principles of the left’. It’s often inherent in the very idea of rebellion. It is not enough to sit in an uncomfortable position and state and re-state your ideals until society magically adopts them. For real change to occur there must be a period of disinfranchisement of the right-wing power structure. If you aren’t prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve that, whether it’s peaceful or not, then you might as well count yourself part of that right-leaning self-interested silent majority.

  19. lpetrich says

    http://peterturchin.com/ — Peter Turchin is a biologist and a historian who proposes that large-scale societies go in cycles, alternating between integrative and disintegrative phases.

    He proposes this cycle for preindustrial polities:
    – Integrative – centralized, unified elites, strong state, order, stability — wars of conquest against neighbors
    – – Expansion (Growth) – population increases
    – – Stagflation (Compression) – population levels off, elites increase
    – Disintegrative – decentralized, divided elites, weak state, disorder, instability — civil wars
    – – Crisis (State Breakdown) – population declines, elites continue, lots of strife
    – – Depression – population stays low, civil wars, elites get pruned
    – Intercycle – if it takes time to form a strong state
    PT and his colleagues have found evidence of these cycles in several preindustrial polities, like the Roman Republic and Empire, medieval and early-modern England, France, and Russia, and also Imperial China.

    There is not as much history to work from for industrialized societies, but PT had written an interesting book about US history, “Ages of Discord”, in which he shows that the US fits this pattern for about 1 1/2 cycles. He looked at a lot of indicators, and he found a rather good fit:
    Labor oversupply – Proportion of population born outside the USA —
    Price of labor – Wage in relation to GDP per capita +++
    Biological well-being/Health – Average stature and life expectancy +++
    Social optimism – Age at first marriage (both sexes) —
    Wealth inequality – Largest fortune in relation to the median wage —
    Intra-elite competition/conflict – Political polarization in the Congress —
    Sociopolitical instability – Fatalities per 5 years per 1 million population —

    The first peak was in the Era of Good Feelings, around 1824, and the first trough at the end of the Gilded Age around 1900. The second peak was around 1960, in the Eisenhower and Kennedy presidencies, and we are currently headed toward another trough.

  20. lpetrich says

    During disintegrative phases, violence is not necessarily continuous. PT and his colleagues have found that it often follows a two-generation “fathers and sons” cycles. One generation rebels, but its successor is not very eager to repeat that rebellion. But the second generation is less inhibited, and rebels.

    In the US also, there were bursts of social and political violence around 1870, 1920, and 1970, though not in 1820. This suggests an upcoming one around 2020.

    So from the Schlesingers’ and PT’s work, it is hard to feel very optimistic about the near term, though for the longer term, there is some reason to.

  21. ck, the Irate Lump says

    lpetrich wrote:

    So from the Schlesingers’ and PT’s work, it is hard to feel very optimistic about the near term, though for the longer term, there is some reason to.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but violence and strife has been increasing since 2007-2008 or so. There is white supremacists clashing with antifa in the streets on a somewhat regular basis. Capitalists are looting and abusing the working class with impunity. Political parties are suffering serious internal strife as the old guard are forced out. Lots of violence and chaos to go around. However, Peter Turchin doesn’t get to claim credit for this one since he published his book in late 2016.

    I don’t know that I buy his reasoning, because it seems to me that these things tend to more closely correspond to America’s self-inflicted economic disasters.

Leave a Reply