The Joseph Conrad novel of 2020: Heart of Niceliberalwithbigegoness

We turn, indeed, to the deepest darkest Common Dreams website, where the liberal egos are given their daily injections of growth hormone, for a drama that will be profoundly underwhelming. And, once there, we discover that thirteen days ago we were told:

Why the Left Must Choose Biden


It's not about fundamental change—it’s about saving lives and the planet.

Note here that the Left, the agency entrusted with civilizing the world, is not being goaded to enact fundamental change next week. We of the Left, after all, did not succeed in nominating Bernie Sanders as a Democrat. And of course Joe Biden is not about fundamental change -- he, after all, thinks that Amy Coney Barrett is a "very fine person." Oh well. We didn't need those abortion rights anyway. But we can save lives and the planet, which is pretty groovy. Ignore those voices in your heads, we are told, telling us that fundamental change is a prerequisite to saving lives and the planet. See, electing Biden is really important, like the really important reasons Kurtz and Marlow and the imperialists of Conrad's short novel Heart of Darkness were in Africa in the first place. Oh, that's right, they were there to make a profit, just as Biden is about someone's bottom line.

This is not your typical “lesser of evils” election. We’re dealing with a president who empowers white supremacists; enriches the wealthy; eviscerates healthcare; destroys protections for workers and the environment; and enables a deadly pandemic to kill nearly 210,000 Americans (even imperiling himself and many of his staff).

The whole thing seems pretty standard to me, especially when one looks at Biden's record, and especially since the events of George W.'s term, though perhaps this year's Republicanism is staggering in its honesty, the primary characteristic marking Trump off as "savage." Moreover, the decrepitude of both candidates appears as a weird revisiting at this late date, like we were seeing two versions of late-second-term Ronald Reagan here, one belligerent, the other folksy. Christopher D. Cook's point, like that of most nice liberals with big egos, is that we must venture to that dark place on the map where Republicans are praised and appointed, in order to... where were we?

Skipping down, we see:

This election is not about corporate power or neoliberalism, or fundamental change. We are in a profoundly different moment, and the simple act of emergency-room triage, of stanching the hemorrhaging saving the patient’s life, and giving us a chance to survive, could not be more critical.

One of the prerequisites of being a nice liberal with a big ego is to imagine that a Left vote for Joe Biden is the equivalent of saving a life. It is, in short, an act of heroism, the sort of heroism that (within the bounds of this mythology) only the Left can perform. Never mind that the election will be arbitrated in the swing states. Cook is arguing: this election is not about corporate power or neoliberalism, which nobody is doing anything to challenge, but rather about lesser-evilism as a heroic principle which must be claimed for the Left. The honesty is appreciated.

This election is about something more concrete and specific: how government functions, and for whom, on a daily basis. It’s about whether those agencies do their job and save and improve lives or undermine their very existence.

So if Donald Trump abolishes the EPA before leaving office, what makes the nice liberals with big egos think Joe Biden is going to put it back? (Maybe austerity will deal with it.) And why do they think it will disappear forever? Nixon created the EPA from nothing; some future President can do it too. We continue:

The tragic reality is that corporate power, vast inequality, poverty and hunger, and our plethora of crises (climate, healthcare, racism, etc.) will persist no matter who prevails in this crazy-scary election. But that doesn’t mean that nothing will change. That’s far too simplistic. A vote for Biden is about mitigating harm, reducing human and planetary suffering. That should matter to everyone.

The nice liberals with big egos, then, think they are mitigating suffering. But whose suffering are they mitigating? Those who suffer under Dick Cheney's war on the world, which will no doubt continue under Biden? It's really hard to tell absent any actual liberation from suffering. Are the (D) imperialists who are exterminating the brutes more politely actually exterminating fewer brutes than the (R) imperialists? Maybe. What does the body count reveal?

Finally we will get to Christopher D. Cook's in-way-of-passing explanation of why the Left is his audience:

As one who has voted Green for president many times (albeit in electorally safe California), and who was a passionately dedicated Bernie Sanders delegate, I get it: we must build an alternative political party with real power—a party that rejects all corporate money, that fights for Medicare for All and a Green New Deal and so much more. On November 4, like many other progressives, I will return wholeheartedly to building those essential. Like millions on the left, I’ll be out protesting Biden, pushing his administration hard to pursue the utterly vital and widely popular policies urgently needed by people and the planet.

Cook, then, wants to persuade the Left because, well, because he so deeply identifies with it. "Pushing his administration hard" will predictably collapse before the rejoinder, "what are you going to do, vote for Republicans?" What the nice liberals with big egos want is for everyone to take just one last big drink at the Fountain of Lesser-Evil Voting (after having claimed lesser-evilism as a principle for the Left), because.. well actually because Trump is trolling them. And we just might take that last drink, because Trump is so fun to hate. But the nice liberals with big egos promise us all that, as soon as possible, they'll get back to the real task at hand, after having failed to complete said task for the last forty years or so, and just as soon as everyone's voted and so it doesn't count for anything for another two or four years.

(apologies to the ghost of Joseph Conrad)

25 users have voted.


RantingRooster's picture

Off topic a bit, but I just watch a video from The Hill, Obama giving a speech, "JUST IN: Obama cites Amy Coney Barrett slamming GOP on healthcare".

Here's the comment I posted.

"I'm only 6 seconds in and I'm like, WTF? We've lost 40+ million jobs since Feb, 10 million new jobs is only a quarter of the way back to "normal", which is a labor participate rate of, oh, about 75%, ie 25% real unemployment. "Joe has a plan to create, 10 million, good clean energy jobs, right here in America."

Gee, why didn't Obama create 10 million clean energy job in American, when Joe was VP, and the US increased fossil fuel production by almost 50% and becoming a net exporter or fossil fuels rather than an importer.

Just fucking boggles my mind the shear amount of "cognitive dissonance" in that statement.

What the fuck is Joe Biden, ah, excuse me, Kamala Harris going to do for the "American people" if and when he/she is elected?

What does rolling back the tax cut for rich do, when that money won't be spent on "the people" for, I don't know, MedicareForAll?

Is he going to find the $340 billion of CARES Act money that has gone missing? (From WallStreetOnParade)

The CARES Act called for the Treasury Department to hand over $454 billion of taxpayers’ money to backstop any losses experienced by the Fed on its myriad lending facilities. The game plan was that the Fed would leverage up the $454 billion to approximately $4.54 trillion and buy up the sludge on Wall Street. For reasons as yet unexplained, the Treasury has not turned over the bulk of those funds to the Fed. Exactly what happened to the rest of the money is unknown. (See $340 Billion of the $454 Billion that Mnuchin Was to Turn Over to the Fed is Unaccounted For.)

According to the H.4.1 data released by the Fed for the week ending Wednesday, October 21, the Fed has received the following amounts from the Treasury: $10 billion for the Commercial Paper Funding Facility; $37.5 billion for the Corporate Credit Facilities; $37.5 billion for the Main Street Lending Facilities; $17.5 billion for the Municipal Liquidity Facility; $10 billion for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility; and $1.5 billion for the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility – for a total of $114 billion.

The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27 of this year. It’s now exactly seven months later and nobody can explain what’s happened to $340 billion that was allocated by Congress.

(bold emphasis mine)

I'm sure it will be back to "normal" i.e. "looking forward not backwards" and Trump will never be prosecuted.

If Trump isn't elected, it's going to take a decade, if not a generation, to undue the damage he has single handily inflicted on this country and the world, all with the majority of Liberals with Big Ego's giving him everything he's wanted, including those tax cuts, bloated military budgets, evisceration of regulations, bulk confirmation of judges so they could go to recess and further abdicate their constitutional responsibilities, as usual.

Heck, the list of complicity by Liberals with Big Egos, is endless...

I registered again to vote last year, but, no surprise, it's magically disappeared. American Democracy is Exceptional is it not?


15 users have voted.

C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

Cassiodorus's picture

@RantingRooster Mostly their complicity is second-level -- they are complicit with those who are complicit.

They are not, however, the heroes they portray themselves as. My intention in displaying their identities has been entirely comic. I do feel that casting them as villains would be to give them an importance they do not deserve. As far as I can tell from this vantage point in space and time, their path to redemption goes straight through the Movement for a People's Party. Any more revolutionary scheme would, however, suffice.

6 users have voted.

"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

like this is breathtaking in its depth and breadth.

Oh, I know they don't really "support" Biden so much as believe their own doublethink that they're stopping a madman or whatever. That doesn't line up with why they supposedly will protest Biden after the fact--which are primarily for the exact same things that Trump is doing.

The difference between Trump and Biden is one of decorum, not substance with respect to values. The fact that these so-called leftists can't see through their own self-delusion is just pathetic.

15 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

@BayAreaLefty -- who is not a nice liberal with a big ego (other than of course the Movement for a People's Party people), you might consider Briahna Joy Gray.

9 users have voted.

"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

Because whoever the (R) is, they will be the greater evil, right?

So predictable.

12 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

ggersh's picture

is between dementia Joe or dumb Donny, why even bother
especially when I live in a "safe state"(more state propaganda)

Either or we are fucked.

13 users have voted.

I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned
Prof. Feynman

Should Ivermectin work, you wouldn't need a vaccine passport or lockdowns, would you?

snoopydawg's picture

Sure they will...

Off to a great start guys.

11 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Cassiodorus's picture


4 users have voted.

"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

"Resist" takes on a new meaning when done by Democrats, amirite?

4 users have voted.

the deepest darkest Common Dreams website, where the liberal egos are given their daily injections of growth hormone

That's a real keeper.

Let me get this straight : So Nice liberals with big egos want to own Trump by goig back to the conditions that created him in the first place? Got it

7 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

@Funkygal Essentially, they want to believe that they are saving the world by having the Left vote to create the conditions in which Trump happened.

So it's even worse.

5 users have voted.

"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg