Does America need a Left? Yes, very much. We need a Left that rejects a vision of politics based on the expansion of an unjust economic system, which is to say that we need a Left that rejects James Livingston’s advice that we “compromise with the world as it actually exists.” This is not a call to reject pragmatism, but rather to acknowledge that the “world as it actually exists” has for too long been defined through reactionary terms. We argue instead for an activist, avowedly anti-capitalist Left, one that seeks to tear away the constraints that have impeded necessary, fundamental change.
I heard Davey D, a local media activist and political hip hop host, use the term, and I was really taken aback by it. The phrase really says it all, someone who is getting rich by riding the moving story of the nation's poor, or as one urban dictionary defines it, “Any social worker, do-gooder, social service agency, or faith-based organization who comes into a hood not their own and plays at being the savior to folks that don't need savin’.”
In 1999, my friend moved to Seattle, where he was hit with rubber bullets, tear-gassed in the face, and nearly arrested by police. He had joined the famous protests of the WTO Ministerial Conference, widely known as the Seattle Protests. The Occupy Wall Street of their time, they focused on globalization rather than the excesses of finance. And, quite like the Occupy Wall Street of their time, they were often mocked by critics as silly, aimless, and overly hand-wringy about the future.
December 3, 2013–Today government officials and corporate lobbyists will meet for the 9th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial. It is exactly 14 years after the global 1%’s “plan A” to use the WTO further concentrate their power in wealth collapsed on Dec 3, 1999 amidst a “state of emergency” suspending basic rights, teargas in and National Gaurd troops in the streets and jails full of hundreds of people (and surrounded by hundreds more supporters) from North Americas emerging global justice movement.
“Did you ever ask yourself how it happens that government and capitalism continue to exist in spite of all the evil and trouble they are causing in the world?” the anarchist Alexander Berkman wrote in his essay “The Idea Is the Thing.” “If you did, then your answer must have been that it is because the people support those institutions, and that they support them because they believe in them.”
PROTEST groups have vowed to go to jail and enter restricted security zones at Brisbane's G20 Summit in a bid to gain international attention. Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy spokesman Wayne Wharton said "conservative" estimates of 4000 indigenous rights protesters would attend while a national working group had also consulted European, Asian and North American groups.
A much mentioned fact about the old IWW is the culture within the organization. Members re-appropriated popular songs and hymns for their own use, stuck up stickers like modern day street artists and...had their own specific jargon and slang for their experiences.
Radical Islam is the last refuge of the Muslim poor. The mandated five prayers a day give the only real structure to the lives of impoverished believers. The careful rituals of washing before prayers in the mosque, the strict moral code, along with the understanding that life has an ultimate purpose and meaning, keep hundreds of millions of destitute Muslims from despair. The fundamentalist ideology that rises from oppression is rigid and unforgiving. It radically splits the world into black and white, good and evil, apostates and believers. It is bigoted and cruel to women, Jews, Christians and secularists, along with gays and lesbians.
What can we make of the beating heart of Gezi Park, the blood soaked Taksim concrete, the barricades of Beşiktaş, the flurry of insurrections popping up everywhere … in Chile, Mexico, Bulgaria and Brazil?
Divide activists into four groups: Radicals, Idealists, Realists and Opportunists. The Opportunists are in it for themselves and can be pulled away for their own self-interest. The Realists can be convinced that transformative change is not possible and we must settle for what is possible. Idealists can be convinced they have the facts wrong and pulled to the Realist camp. Radicals, who see the system as corrupt and needing transformation, need to be isolated and discredited, using false charges to assassinate their character is a common tactic.