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« Kampfkatze | Main | Can't Give It No Credit »

August 17, 2010


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I've stopped reading political news and blogs.

you're missing so much! like that mosque on ground zero, and the floods in pakistan, and that mosque on ground zero, and the 9/11 mosque, and what various politicians are saying about the ground zero mosque, and the ground zero mosque.

Man, I'm with you. Remember back in 2003-2004 when there was so much of a voice here in Philly? Those days are gone...I got disappointed....I wanted change. Now I look for it on a small scale.

Three cheers for "meh"! Google Reader tells me my "politics" folder has "1000+" unread posts.

This reaction of disgust was the reaction of millions when the War in Vietnam really got ratcheted up, in '67-'68. Turn on, tune in, drop out. Work on some local stuff where the possibility of seeing some success is, um, possible. It's a reasonable p.o.v. given the Right Wing din of the moment. I would only respond, as one who already lived this arc, from the Civil Rights victories of the early-mid '60s to the triumph of Reagan in 1980--do we have to make all these mistakes yet again?

FB - good comparison. I would say that the analogy is a good one to the extent that, then as now, the left has no coherent overarching narrative to compete with the right's. The limit of the comparison is that the impetus behind such DIY localism in the 60s was the belief that it would be a more effective tactic in the long than trying to participate in the larger pre-existing structures. I find the bell hook's quote (in a related context) that "the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house" to summarize this belief neatly; it is fruitless, this argument goes, to try to work within the present system because that system was irrevocably conservative, even reactionary. I disagree with that view. The right's success in moving the dominant cultural narrative to the far right in the past 40 years is evidence that one can effect change through larger institutions - for better or for worse. What I am arguing instead is that the left is congenitally incapable of operating in the larger political system. I am locating the source of the problem inside the progressive movement (if there even is one) not outside of it. It's not that we should drop out because the game is rigged, it's that we should focus on games we can win because our "team" is grossly incompetent and can't compete on the larger field.

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