Thursday, September 10, 2015

Response to “Why Does the Radical Left Feel Threatened by the Bernie Sanders Campaign?”

I stayed up late one night writing an angry rant response to an article that frankly wasn't worth the time, but I felt the need to tear down paragraphy by paragraph because some of my Facebook friends were extolling the article as insightful and offering up a constructive contribution to the discussion of tactics on the Left, whereas I just saw strawman arguments and ad hominem attacks.

“In this presidential summer of our discontent, the radical left has been fighting hard—not chiefly against capitalism and its galloping calamities, it seems, but against . . . Bernie Sanders.”

Two problems with this assertion:
1. This assumes that Sanders isn’t PART of US capitalism, and white supremacy and other systems of oppression. This is the same claim that people lobbed at BLM activists. Their response was that Sanders is part of the system, part of the problem, and as such should be disrupted.
2. That we can’t fight both. I haven’t seen anyone abandon organizing to go full time anti-Sanders. Thats like saying that UAW workers fighting GM aren’t fighting capitalism. Fighting the ruling class, whether it is the literal owners of capital or their ruling political class, is part of a many fronted struggle against capitalism. This reminds me of the manarchist and brocialist anti-identity politic line of “fighting patriarchy is distracting from the REAL struggle”(or racism or insert other dimension of oppression here), as is fighting these two systems is too much, as if one oppression is more or less important, AS IF THEY ARE NOT INTRINSICALLY/MATERIALLY CONNECTED.

“Scarcely a day passes without an ominous recitation of Sanders’s manifold political shortcomings—Sanders exposés seem to have become a thriving cottage industry for the far-left commentariat.”

The strategic and obfuscating use of the term “shortcomings” was well placed there. It is the typical liberal apologist approach. Instead of setting up a strawman argument, and saying shortcomings, lets be honest about what people are saying. People are saying that he is WORKING FOR THE OTHER TEAM. That’s different than “shortcomings”. The difference is between a union leadership that doesn’t make the perfect framing or strategic action choice vs a labor relations rep who claims to have your best interest at heart, but at the end of the day they are funded by and are ultimately loyal to the boss.

“It should come as a startling revelation to no one that Sanders is not and has never aspired to be the next Lenin or Trotsky or even Bob Avakian. We readily concede that his record will not pass every litmus test of anti-imperialist and revolutionary probity—no need to belabor this point any further.”

Again, strawman set up here. No one is setting up a litmus test. It's not like if Sanders just changed his position on 1 or 2 issues than the radical left would flock to him suddenly. The burning question is, which team is he working for. The party of the corporate bosses, or our own independent party. If he is working alongside and with the bosses  than at the end of the day all our work will not be to empower ourselves, but to further build up their oppressive ideological-political apparatus. This is why we fight for independent trade unions, instead of company unions. Why we fight for student and workers run universities, not a student rep on the board of regents. At the end of it all, are we putting our time into building a structure that we control and that empowers us, or are we being absorbed into their institutions.

“But then what are we to make of Syriza, Podemos,Jerry Corbyn, or even Jill Stein—and other assorted leftish flavors du jour—all of them seemingly quite palatable to these same ideological arbiters of the radical left?”

Um duh. He later references specific orgs, and he knows their positions on these people. But setting up a straw man about a litmus test, makes it easier to obfuscate the differences between Sanders and Stein and others. Stein is not working in the DP, Sanders is. Thats is why some are supporting her and not Sanders, and would even if his specific policy position were all to the left of Stein. That is why it is not a litmus, its not about who is the most left on the most issues, its about building up our own organizations. (Since he answers this question later with the answer about the DP, its obvious that the point here was to use this rhetorical device to frame the discussion and the reading thinking of it.)

“These other examples and Sanders are cut from essentially the same political cloth: left social democrats or democratic socialists inclined to challenge entrenched corporate interests through established political institutions rather than overthrowing them from without.”

First, again obfuscation of within and without. Second, is Sanders a Social Democrat or Democratic Socialist? He may call himself that, but is he that?  To quote Fight Club, “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.” Would this author say the same thing about so called socialists, from Stalin to Chavez, to the Chinese Communist Party? They call themselves socialists, so they MUST BE! Right?

“Then why the radical cheers (however mixed and muted in some cases) for these other leftish types and the jeers for Sanders, even though they all represent essentially the same political impulse?”

Again, by refusing to acknowledge the arguments made by the critics, he is setting the reader up to think “Gosh, those dumb leftists, they dont know that these people are all basically the same!” He’s making a claim, that they are representing the same political impulse, but others disagree. he sees the people’s champion, and others see a co-opter willing to use the mass disillusionment and mobilization to chance a career move to become president, and has already said he is willing to throw all his energy behind whatever democrat wins. Even if it is warmonger and former Walmart board member Clinton. But hey, resisting to join the sanders campaign because you see it as just building a base for another Democrat who will likely win the nomination, another democrat who is not a self identified socialist, and who is probably a very very enthusiastic and vocal supporter of capitalism, is according to the author “fighting hard—not chiefly against capitalism and its galloping calamities, it seems, but against . . . Bernie Sanders.

“The answer lies in a hallowed, inviolable principle of the U.S. far left, in fact its most revered first commandment: thou shalt not support, endorse, or even smile at a Democrat. This prohibition is not merely a mindless ideological reflex—it arises from the hard truth that the national Democratic Party is as much a subsidiary of the corporate class as the GOP”

Hallowed. Inviolable principle. Revered. Commandment. Prohibition. Mindless Ideological Reflex.

And that is how you deny that your critics have any rationale of their own, and instead of meeting them at where their argument lies, you just paint them as zombie drones marching to the bible of “What is to be done.” Because OBVIOUSLY anyone that disagrees with the author isn’t thinking for themselves, and must be a total fucking brain dead idiot. BOOM.AD HOMINEM. MIC DROP. DOUBLE TAP the zombie just in case.

Oh and then at the very end, acknowledge that the DP is owned by corporations, because you need to do so in order to set up the exception argument you are about to make. So critics are dumb for realizing the the DP is owned by corporations, but you also acknowledge that, but the difference is that you are soooo fuckign smart that you see that this time is different. Sanders is an exception.

“Obama’s crass subservience to the interests of the one percent has erased any doubts about this institutional fealty except among hardened neoliberals, tribal Democrats, and the entire on-air lineup of MSNBC. And there is no doubt that past left-talking presidential primary challengers such as Jackson and Kucinich have functioned more as safety valves than catalysts for popular unrest, dissipating it and re-channeling it into the manageable confines of the two-party arena of mock combats.”

YES. But if this was 2008, he’d be saying all the things hes about to say, but about Obama. Or 2004, about Kucinich. Or… You get the idea. Get ready for the once in a lifetime exception that comes every four years and continues to produce the same result.

“The question, then, is this: Is there something different about the Sanders campaign that warrants support from radicals who have rightly spurned previous forays into the Democratic Party?”

No shit. This is why there has been so much debate, and discussion on the topic! But since the author disagrees, again, it is just “fighting hard—not chiefly against capitalism and its galloping calamities, it seems, but against . . . Bernie Sanders.””

So, to be clear, the DP is a corporate owned party, and has a long history of pulling out “exceptions” to sheepdog the left from building its own independent organization. But anyone who doesn’t see that this time is different is a mindless cultist of long dead communists, and those who do see it, well they are the only ones with the ability to think and reason and their reason for being against the democrats this whole time was rational and strategic, but those others were just being sectarian and orthodox and complete puppets.

“This key question immediately begs another, even more fundamental one: How to awaken tens of millions of people from the entrapments of mass hypnosis, prostration, and indifference and into the first halting steps toward recognition and self-emancipation?”

No shit. This is the debate that we have been having. We have been talking about “theories of change” and “theories of organization”. From Leninists to anarchists the radical left has been using the sanders campaign to do JUST THIS. Conversely it has been the sanders supporters who have been telling people to blindly follow and shut up. Just look at the reaction to the BLM disruption. not only was the whitesplaining higher than I've ever seen, but the overt racism from so called allies and liberals was off the charts. And where was the left wing of the sanders campaign? I didn't see a single DSA member call this shit out (the the recollection of my grad school abused brain).

The framing here is clear. If you don't shut up and fall in line then you can’t be labeled a free thinker and savvy revolutionary. If you come to your own conclusions and disagree with the campaign, than you are a mindless drone. Kind of Orwellian huh?

“The leftist groups—with their obscure tomes of theory, their blogs, their conferences and meetings, their tinker-toy bureaucracies, their streams of manifestoes and critiques, their insular feuds and splits and fiery excoriations of left, right, and center—are self-declared leaders without followers, generals with an invincible plan for battle who lack only one small detail: an army.”

Again, the rhetorical device of blind religious following when he says TOMES OF THEORY.

So just previously the author says that the left needs a debate on theories of change and organization and then immediately condescends to the leftists who are doing just that. We are reading history and theory and having discussions and debates and actually organizing and building the left. But NO. This isn’t discussion that the author agrees with the conclusions of, so therefor it must be marked as infantile, even stigmatized through the use of strong negative imagery.

“self-declared leaders without followers” huh? So no one to the left of the author is ever doing anything, never building a base of their own? Never launching or winning any campaigns? What about sawant from Socialist Alternative? What about the CTU strike for example, since the union’s leadership has members in Solidarity and the ISO?

“Ten parts bellowing grandiosity to zero parts real influence, the far left fails a litmus test more important than any it applies to Bernie Sanders: Marx’s call not merely to interpret the world but to change it.”

Oh that answers my question. The radical left and these things I have mentioned above, aren’t changing anything. This begs the question that Brandon asked me, does the author consider BLM to be part of the radical left? It certainly is making changes, and it is not part of the Sanders campaign…. I guess racial justice doesn’t matter since the author solely focuses his piece on specific explicitly socialist groups. Certainly anyone he’s not personally attacking doesn’t need to fit into this discussion. In fact once they are brought it they reveal the weakness of his argument.

“So we must ask: at this moment of gathering darkness for our species and planet, in this pivotal presidential campaign season, who is making greater strides toward triggering the mass enlightenment that is the key to empowering the oppressed: Sanders or his left critics? If politics is the art of communication, then Sanders must be judged the winner, hands down.”

PRAISE WHITE JESUS! And by white jesus I mean Bernie Sanders of course. The author must be a Spinal Tap fan because he has his hyperbole turned up to 11 on this one.

Since the author acknowledged that we need to be debating theories of change and organization and talking strategy, lets pause and reflect on this bit “triggering the mass enlightenment that is the key to empowering the oppressed” Mass enlightenent? so this is all about changing ideas first, and then getting people to fight. The author must be a Beatles fan too because this part echos the anti-revolution song Revolution “You tell me it's the institution/Well, you know/You better free you mind instead”

“In fact, the Sanders campaign represents a breakthrough for progressive “messaging” of remarkable scope and impact.”

Ah, so it is MESSAGING that is key here. “You better change your mind instead.”

“Sanders, with his calls for political revolution against the billionaire class, is not just another standard-issue, forked-tongue, feel-your-pain Democrat; at each MSM-covered appearance he blasts out piercing alarms about the radical inequities and irrationalities of the status quo, along with sorely needed solutions—primal truths that would otherwise lie dormant and buried in the scattered isolated islets of far-leftdom.”

Here we go the “meat” or TOFU if you're vegan like me, of the argument. Sanders is the greatest thing to ever happen and is an exception to the rule because HE IS MESSAGING better than anyone else that BILLIONAIRES ARE BAD AND THE ENEMY.

But how is this different than occupy? how is his message different than the 99%/1%, get corporate money out of politics message that went viral WHILE AT THE SAME TIME GETTING PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE AND SEE THeMSELVES THE AGENTS OF CHANGE because of occupy. Oh, the messaging isn’t, but it lacks that important latter part…. hmmm…

Now, let's be honest. The author is calling for the left to work with the democrats this one time because Sanders is messaging a vague class inequality narrative. ok, but how is that different than John Edwards talking about “Two Americas”? It really isn’t very different. And Sanders notion of class, Billionaires, and by Billionaires he of course means the ones that give money to the republicans, not their lackies in the Democrats, are one class, and the other class, is the rest of us, underpaid school teachers, migrant farm laborers, Sanders himself, students, the unemployed, incarcerated people of color working for less than minimum wage, and even Hillary Clinton (since she's an ally and not to be opposed. I mean obviously if she were part of the corporate class that we must have revolution against then why would he vow to not oppose her? Or can a member of the corporate ruling class lead a revolution against themselves??

Lastly I’m wonderign about “ radical inequities and irrationalities of the status quo, along with sorely needed solutions—primal truths that would otherwise lie dormant and buried in the scattered isolated islets of far-leftdom.””

Again, what about occupy? Didn’t occupy make this message mainstream? Isn’t the Sanders presidency only even possible BECAUSE occupy made this massage mainstream? We’ll have to ignore that of course, because then we’d have to acknowledge that the Democrats tail and co-opt, and don’t lead. We’d have to acknowledge that it was precisely the extra-institutional political work being done that even made Sanders possible. Sanders is but a reflection of the success (and failures) of occupy. what ever happened to occupy?? Oh yeah it was literally crushed by the democrats. not the republicans. the democrats. But now that the democrats have coopted the message because their pollsters told them that talking about income and wealth inequality will bring in voters, now its suddenly ok to talk about it. Seems kinda shady to me….

“To dismiss these crucial inroads into mass consciousness as mere diversion, to deride his proposals as milquetoast Keynesian stopgap, betrays the old far-left allergy to the complexity and cacophony of the large stage of life, a debilitating preference for the safety and certitude of the tiny left echo chamber. Sanders’s campaign, whatever its flaws, is thrusting front and center to a mass audience a whole series ofprincipled, critical demands and issues (many of which overlap with those raised in splendid isolation by Jill Stein and the Green Party),”

Are these crucial inroads being made by Sanders? Is Sanders engaging in MASS EDUCATION? Or is the Sanders campaign resonating with a mass audience because they were primed FOUR YEARS AGO by occupy to receive this very message? Is the message resonating with a mass audience because believe it or not, but people think for themselves and they are seeing the cracks in the system, that the hegemony of us class and race relations have torn and cracked, and are ready to be smashed open?

What is more likely, that Sanders 10 second sound bites have suddenly “enlightened” the masses, or there is a deepseeded class anger, stemming from inequality, unemployment and underemployment and people working entry level jobs despite having degrees or special training, inaccessible education that leave us crippling with debt… etc

Do you know what the framework the author is using remind me of? it reminds me of the rabid white racists who said of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton going to Ferguson or Baltimore that they were “fanning the flames of racial hate.” These people ACTUALLY believe that if it weren't for the rabble rousing Jackson and Sharpton that the Black residents of these cities would go about their day like happy passive Sambos. But then these outside agitators came by and said a couple words and suddenly we had to all pray for the CVS windows.

Instead we know that it was the material conditions of living in theseplaces that set things off, and that the role that Jackson and Sharpton played was no to fan the flames, NOR was it to even opportunisticially lead the buring down of all that is white christian america…. but in actuality they were there to pacify and demobilize and to bring people back into normal every day politics.

Sanders message is resonating because of the lived experiences and the social movements that tore open the cracks in hegemony. But now we are told to come back to politics as normal, dont independently organize, dont disrupt, come join the Democrats!

“the realization of which would markedly advance the material well-being and future prospects of ordinary Americans: $15 an hour minimum wage; union card check to expand organizing rights; improved Medicare for all; expansion (not retrenchment) of Social Security; revamped progressive taxation to reduce income inequality; a Wall Street transaction tax; a rapid transition to renewables to combat climate change; opposition to the ecocidal, neo-fascist TPP, NAFTA, and WTO; an end to the militarization of local police forces; cracking down on hate groups; free tuition at all public universities and colleges to alleviate student debt peonage; paid family leave; and so on. If realized in the aggregate, these demands would challenge the neoliberal logic of the prevailing order.”

Translation: Bernie is our white savior. Socialism comes from above, not below. we dont need to participate in a revolution, we just need to brand and message it right and then our messiah will bring it all to us.

Why are none of the demands of BLM in the paragraph above? Why is it very economically focused, on color blind class only issues. Even when the police are mentioned its not “end the racism PIC” it is end militarization. Which is white liberal speak for, I want to protest and not see armed guards, but I’m ok with locking up millions of POC for bullshit petty charges, as long as it looks like stop and frisk and not like MRAVS.

Again, where does BLM fall in this authors framework? Is it part of the radical left? What about the black members of the groups he attacks, socialist alternative, ISO, SEP, and Sparts? How do they fit into this? They are most likely members of BLM where they organize and are members of these groups. and they see their members in both as not separate things, but as part of the same political logic.

“As a tactical matter, then, the Sanders upsurge is an invaluable tool for the mass dissemination of left themes and solutions right now—a priceless benefit that far outweighs the realpolitik lapses that preoccupy the left-echo-chamber Sanders refuseniks. Now notice that I just used the word tactical. Allow me to explain. Whatever the rough spots in Sanders’s progressive resume, especially on foreign policy, it remains a stubborn tactical reality (and perhaps I will also be forgiven for using the word reality) that it is only through the vehicle of the his presidential campaign as a Democrat that these kinds of progressive issues and solutions can flood the airwaves and touch the tens of millions of desperate but ill-informed Americans who most need to think and hear about them—in most cases, for the first time. This is the unique and irreplaceable value of the Sanders candidacy: it is strewing seeds of mass consciousness around issues of class and inequality and the environment in a way that no other person or party could accomplish right now”

Again, is BLM not getting its message out there? Did occupy not achieve the same thing? The dems killed occupy but allow Sanders to work within their party. Why????? Thats an important question. I think the answer reveals much of what the far left is getting at.

“Radicals need to ask themselves: How is that a bad thing?”

Are they NOT asking this? Are they not debating this? Are they not discussing this on their blogs and in their meetings na conferences which the author derided earlier?

Have they not answered? Of course they have. theres a diversity of answers to this question, but again the author is using a rhetorical device to make it sound like critics aren’t thinking and he is.

“Yes, we urgently need an independent activist left party, one that can have a real impact. We also need socialism now, drastic carbon reductions and crash investment in renewable energy ten years ago, and so on. But the realization of those all imperatives presupposes the power of an aroused citizenry armed with at least a rudimentary understanding of the major issues. That is, most assuredly, not the American electorate as of 2015—not by a long shot. “

So to be clear, the author wants an independent left party, just like all the far left robot zombie cultists. Its just that if we try to build that party NOW, and in a specific way, then we are unthinking puppets.

Secondly, again, is the Sanders campaign the cart of the horse here. Has bernie Sanders engaged in a mass education campaign to convince people of the major problems? Does the campaign #Bern so bright it is enlightening America? Or is it an echo of a political movement its very funders and party allies crushed? Is it just resonating with the lived experiences of everyday americans?

Will the funders of the $15 movement defund on the gorund organizing in favor of electing a sanders (or any democrat for that matter?), even if sanders has said he wants $15 by 2023 (I believe I read that recently)? Cant the author not see how pulling our limited resources from building the on the ground struggle that makes campaigns like sanders even possible can actually harm the movement? Might we not win something sooner and have our own organizations to thank for it, if we invest in empowering people and not telling them to wait for a savior?

“The near-zero collective political IQ of the country urgently needs raising by any means possible and necessary, and sooner rather than later, given the catastrophes that are bearing down on us. We can’t afford to disdain any advances right now, no matter how messy or divergent from our ideal scenarios...
“The result is a woefully detached and undereducated populace, in most of its leisure hours transfixed before glowing rectangles. Walk down the street of any average American town or city (not Berkeley or Seattle or Brooklyn) and ask people if they know who Bernie Sanders is, much less Jill Stein, or even who the vice president is or what the three branches of government are. Then ask them if they’ve ever heard about anthropogenic global warming. You’ll get a surprising number of blank stares, because an alarmingly large percentage of Americans spend most of their waking hours either (a) at work; (b) watching the NFL, professional wrestling, NASCAR, “reality” TV shows, or cotton-candy dramas and comedies; (c) surfing the Internet (and mostly not for news); or (d) chasing down sales at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club to try to make ends meet. As for civic engagement, the closest most Americans come is when they wait in line at the DMV, pay their taxes, get stopped by the police, or watch Judge Judy. And the small percentage who do take in a bit of news are getting hosed with a steady stream of lies from the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, or the happy talk crew on the late local news.”

So the author rips both the far leftists who spend time reading “tomes” and debating theory as brain dead, and also says the working class and oppressed people have a ZERO political IQ.

Hmm. Was it some brilliant charismatic leader that explained structural racism to the people of Ferguson? Or as Gramsci says, are we all intellectuals, and are we all making sense of the world everyday. Do our lived realities and struggles crack the hegemony that the author thinks that only a brilliant mind like himself and Sanders and others who agree with him 100% can crack?

Like most IQ tests, it values certain cultural knowledge over others. Clearly knowing who is secretary of state is much more important than knowing that when Jesse Jackson comes to your neighborhood it is to co-opt and demobilize you in this authors framework. People who dont read the news still can be FAR MORE REVOLUTIONARY than the best read “leftist”. This is political elitism at its finest. Yes we want to engage in more political education, but the quote above shows a total lack of connection to working people and what they know, and a total lack of appreciation for the political savvy of these same people who engaged in radical political acts in Ferguson, Baltimore, and beyond.

“So this is the audience the left must address: not the doughty, battle-ready proletariat of far-left daydreams, but the massively depoliticized and demoralized casualties of the culture industry and neoliberal piracy. In the face of the major inroads Sanders is making against this mass reign of indifference and ignorance, urging the virtues of an independent left party and movement as an alternative is like urging the virtues of fusion energy over solar panels—a great-sounding idea, but one that has no purchase on reality for the foreseeable future. The mass of Americans is not going to advance miraculously from widespread political nescience to applying for membership in the ISO in a single great leap.”

We must be in Oz, because I keep seeing a strawman.

No one is saying that we are on the verge of mass membership in revolutionary organizations. What they are saying tis that every 4 years apologists for the Democrats say “The end is neigh! This particular savior is the exception!” and we are told to build an independent organization LATER. Always LATER. But instead we are saying, no. We are going to build the scaffolding of that now, and try to build a real fighting alternative now. We dont think we will win the presidency now or soon, maybe thats not even the goal. Maybe we see change coming from the bottom up instead and that is why we want to build independently.

The fusion and solar panels analogy is a bad analogy. Its more like, the author wants us to invest in “clean coal” and we are saying that we want solar panels. The author says, we arent near actually having solar panels so we need clean coal you mindless zombies! and resources keep being put into dirty fossil fuels instead of clean energy. Infact the author even admits that these companies killed the electric car…. but tells us that clean coal is the exception and that we are being dogmatic. The research takes much more time, but eventually through independent research we are able to make solar panels a possibility and when suddenly people realize that there is this shift in what is seen as possible, and investment in solar panels soars and we finally egt it. But it took much longer because of the fossil fuel apologists like him.

THATS an apt analogy.

“The far-left push for an independent “solution” is a practical nullity right now and will remain so for some time to come—and hence amounts to self-indulgent posturing in the face of the calamities looming on a near horizon. Blind to these tactical exigencies, Sanders’s far-left detractors merely reinforce the political isolation that they seem to brandish as a badge of virtue; in reality it is a symptom of political debility, a fatal estrangement from the tactical challenges and possibilities of the moment.”

Again the strawman. No one is saying solution. They are saying, we need to start building NOW, because we are always told to wait.

the political isolation that they seem to brandish as a badge of virtue” -- This again reminds me of the way people talk about BLM. That they wont accomplish things “blocking highways and smashing windows, they need to get out of the streets and into the ballot box”.

Is the left isolated? Is the democratic party the only people that matter? Or is the left actually engaging in struggles and building a base and winning victories, outside the institutional party politics of the DP?

This reminds me of the Zinn quote, about how it doesnt matter who is sitting in the white house, but who is sitting in.

But lets not talk about social movements, when we have a democratic party to build.. I mean …

The Major wins Americans have achieved, from union and worker rights, to civil rights, and beyond, all came from social movements, outside institutional politics. Do ignore this history is to thumb your nose at all those who fought and died to wins things that the Democrats now claim to be their wins.

Lest some radical critics feel sullied by the intrusion of the word tactical, I must insist that there is no shame in leftists’ thinking tactically at times—in fact, it is a necessity if we are to stay attuned to masses of people in a way that gives heft impact to any conceivable movement against the status quo. “

Again, he ignores that the left has been suing the sanders campaign as a launching point for discussions about strategy and tactics! But again, its not tactical if its something he disagrees with… So clearly no one thought! Wake up dummies!

“Here’s an example of such a critical tactical consideration: At the height of the anti-Vietnam War movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I was part of a coalition that was mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people in the streets around the concrete (and principled!) slogan, “Out Now!”, peaking in the April 1971 march on Washington DC that brought 1 million people to the nation’s capital to demand an immediate end to the war. At that time a chorus of very “principled” far leftists scorned these powerful outpourings—which materially aided the besieged Vietnamese workers and peasants—because the key demand did not, in their view, go far enough or did not address an array of other issues: they argued that we should declaim “Victory to the NLF” or “Smash Imperialism” or “Defend the Rights of Palestinians” and so on. Now the tacticalconsideration was that pinning the actions to these far-flung ultimatist, simon-pure demands would have winnowed the million marchers to maybe five thousand, thus depriving the action of all material impact on the war while deepening the delusional self-regard of a few enraged middle-class radicals—and damn the Vietnamese workers and peasants in the process.”

LMFAOOOOO This is great. Here is an example of the utter ridiculousness of this argument. This example is of a movement that existed outside the democratic party -- the party with was killing millions of vietnamese, and a party which some tried to take over and when a supposedly anti war candidate was elected, the party elite hijacked the convention and installed their own warmonger as nominee.

But instead of discussion that, or how the antiwar movement picked up after the left rioted outside the convention in 68 seeing the DP just as much as the enemy, just like BLM shutting down sanders now.

The example he gave is one that is different, itis between the united front (as opposed to his popular front position) vs an ultra left position of only working with those who agree with us 100%.

This example was a pure fail. sorry not sorry.

“So much for the general considerations that make at least some degree of critical support for the Sanders campaign a no-brainer for radicals hoping to make even minimal headway against the headwinds of mass ignorance and indifference. Now let’s tick off a checklist of some of the most common far-left complaints about the Sanders campaign, along with brief rebuttals:”

So when someone is critical of the authors positions it is a complain, not a critique. got it?

Also, this is when he gets to what SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE FUCKING SUBSTANCE OF THIS ARTICLE…. Oh but the responses will be brief.

Instead of taking his responses as the last word I suggest people go and read what the left has to say about the Sanders campaign.

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