Conundrums on the Left

John Quiggin has an interesting post at Crooked Timber about problems in formulating a leftist politics that makes sense. It’s mostly about Australia (where Quiggin lives and teaches), but it opens with a statement about things here in the USofA. He observes that “the fact that the base has nowhere to go, and can’t even justify abstention means that Obama and the rest of the Democratic leadership can and do kick them (or, thinking more globally, us) with impunity.” He further observes:

The frustration felt on the left at present is (at least at my case) associated with a feeling that we should be doing a lot better. The case for market liberalism is in ruins after the Global Financial Crisis and it’s obvious that the reconstruction of the system has changed nothing, leaving the bankers unscathed and putting all the burden onto ordinary people. Left positions on lots of specific issues have much more public support than is evident from their political representation. The right screwed up massively over Iraq, is delusional on climate change and so on. And Obama won office easily running hard against Bush’s abuses on civil liberties and for a decent health care plan.

Maybe it’s time we make the move to Truth and Tradition. Instead of progressing into a nuclear disaster financed by fat cat bankers we need to conserve the land and our local communities.

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  1. #1 by kubla on April 6, 2011 - 9:33 pm

    Reading down in the discussion, Hidari observes: “If American elites genuinely thought that a third party, ‘socialist’ was about to win power (or might win power) they would quickly put pressure on whichever puppet they controlled at the time to throw some meat to the crowd. It wouldn’t be much, but it would be something. The problem with the previous elections was not that too many people voted for Nader but that too few voted for him. The Democratic elite will always hate him because he ‘stole’ votes of theirs that were apparently given to them by God, but if it had looked as if he was going to become a genuine ‘third force’ in politics they would have to ‘tack to the left’ to neutralise the threat (or else have him shot ha ha ha).”

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