Signal Wave

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Good morning, everybody!

I've been wanting to write a few words about working with the right. This is the first of three essays.

Part I: The Walls Are Closing In

There has been some debate, if you can call it that, around the question of whether the independent left should work with the populist right. I'm not sure you can call it a debate, because one side of the debate is so dogmatic that you might as well be arguing theology with Oliver Cromwell.

Resistance Democrats believe nobody on the left should work with anybody on the right. In fact, they believe that nobody on the left should interview anybody on the right:

https://www.newsweek.com/jimmy-dore-boogaloo-bois-podcast-1564089

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/01/29/dore-j29.html

Resistance Democrats also believe nobody on the left should be interviewed by anybody on the right:

https://www.rt.com/usa/512757-jimmy-dore-tucker-carlson-assange/

Their idea seems to be loosely based on the old notion of denying airspace to your enemies, like denying oxygen to a fire. If you don't like fascists, you won't talk to them, especially if you're a public figure with eyes on you, because if you do, you'll be calling attention to them, and attention is what they want most. If you're fighting a culture war, you want to deny time and space and attention to your enemies. That might be a reasonable assertion if the people making it were not, themselves, calling attention to Boogaloo Boys, Donald Trump, and Fox News on a pretty regular basis. Talking *about* other people, especially in pejorative ways, apparently doesn't call attention to them or give them O2. Except unfortunately, it does:

Mr. Trump earned $400 million worth of free media last month, about what John McCain spent on his entire 2008 presidential campaign. Paul Senatori, mediaQuant’s chief analytics officer, says that Mr. Trump “has no weakness in any of the media segments” — in other words, he is strong in every type of earned media, from television to Twitter.

Over the course of the campaign, he has earned close to $2 billion worth of media attention, about twice the all-in price of the most expensive presidential campaigns in history. It is also twice the estimated $746 million that Hillary Clinton, the next best at earning media, took in. Senator Bernie Sanders has earned more media than any of the Republicans except Mr. Trump.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/16/upshot/measuring-donald-trumps-mammot...

The articles about this tend to hurry to excuse the very media that they are criticizing:

To be sure, not all buzz is good buzz, and that was certainly the case with Trump. According to mediaQuant's estimates, as much as 23% of free earned media attention given to Trump during the election was negative, compared to about 12% for Clinton.

https://www.thestreet.com/politics/donald-trump-rode-5-billion-in-free-m...

"But we were saying bad things about him! That shouldn't count!"

Um....

Look, I admit that this is a thorny problem; how do you critique somebody *without* giving them oxygen? I'd argue that the answer lies in a stylistic, perhaps even methodological difference in how an organization delivers the news.

This

does not have the same effect as this

It's not just the constant repetition of the same words; it's not even the difference between making evidence-based and spurious claims. There's something in the style of the Resistance media that is sensationalist, avid: that celebrates the train-wreck nature of politics. Then there's the fearmongering:

"What would happen if Russia killed the power in Fargo today?" asks Rachel Maddow.

I don't know. What would happen if an American company killed the power?

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/06/24/texas-ercot-power-plants-offline/
https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/energy-executive-texas-power-plants-...

It seems pretty clear that the Democratic so-called "left" is not shy about, nor unduly worried about, calling attention to the right or giving them airtime. That's particularly true about the corporate legacy press, but it's also true of new media. And, like I said, it doesn't always indicate hypocrisy; there are probably some people who are actually wrestling with the thorny problem of how you fight your enemy in a culture war *without* giving them more visibility. But I doubt very much whether Maddow or anybody in the corporate press is worried about that. They didn't appear to be, for the five years (and counting!) that they continued to feed Trump oxygen. That's probably because they, in turn, were feeding off him, like a remora on a shark:

shark_remora_close3.jpg

That is, of course, also true of the entire Democratic party. Where would they be without Trump? Or the Boogaloo Boys? Or Tucker Carlson?

So, for the most part, the outrage at having dealings with the right can't be about the very real danger that can result from giving airtime to an extremist. If that were the case, the outrage would have to be directed first at the six media companies who control most of our news. (And it ain't.)

I'd argue that what we've got going here is, at best, a twenty-first-century form of Puritanism. It's an impulse to erase all forms of evil and corruption, to purge the taint.

I'm assuming everybody here understands what's wrong with "purge-the-taint" kinds of politics. Purging the taint turns up in all sorts of authoritarian and extremist places, from Cotton Mather and Oliver Cromwell, to Joe McCarthy and Adolf Hitler. One of its problems is how easy it is to find taint in things and people. "Who gets to say what should be purged?" is always a valid question. But I'd say there's something deeper wrong with it as well, an impulse to monoculture, a reliance on fear. And that's assuming that this Puritanism is being embraced and promoted in good faith; that it's not just a device to set people at each other's throats--or the remora making sure the shark gets a good meal.

Hope y'all are doing well this week! Tune in next week for part II!

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

How are you all?

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal ...why is it "The Macedonian Signal"?

Thinking of conquering Afghanistan ourselves by channeling the only person who ever did, are we?

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4 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

No, it's because, in the middle of the Russiagate idiocy, there was a particularly idiotic claim that Macedonian hackers had been deeply involved in "election interference" that caused America to vote for Trump rather than Hillary.

I passed this gem on to my Polish massage therapist, and she said, "Macedonians? How many of them are there, 12?"

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5 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal If ever you need a good stiff "hangover cure" for the Woke Ministry of Re-Education (I keep saying, it's CHRISTIANITY ALL OVER AGAIN, AND THAT DID NOTHING GOOD!!!):

https://www.reddit.com/r/2balkan4you/

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2 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

Lookout's picture

The right left narrative is designed to divide. As you also accurately portray the "so - called" left. If Obomber, Paylowsee, and Schumer (the NYT, WaPo...)are the left...I ain't! I think these labels have become as meaningless as the Dim vs rethug narrative - the two parties are one corporate pro-war party.

From my view we have to deal issue by issue, and quit trying to categorize people into false camps. If you see yourself on the left...criticize Obummer in a crowd of other so called lefties and see how lefty they are. Both camps have been propagandized to hate one another and blind to their own short comings.

I think our energies would be better spent being anti-war, pro-Assange and free press, anti-prison system, pro-guaranteed jobs, and so on. The problem with labels is preconceived notions of what they mean, when in reality they have lost their meaning.

That's my take anyway. YMMV.

Thanks for the OT!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

It has some validity, IMO. But, for reasons I'm going to go into next week, it ain't that simple for me. I can dispense with labels--possibly, depending on the circumstances--but I can't dispense with history. And there are certain historical facts about the rise of the right in this country that are disappearing down the memory hole.

This week, I just wanted to clear away some brush. That's why I'm discussing the largely contrived hullabaloo over the question of whether the indie left and populist right should work together. One of the main strategies the powerful have been using since the advent of Obama is replacing real controversies with fake ones--and framing real questions in fake assumptions. That way they can clutter up all the thinking and talking around any given issue with a bunch of cognitive garbage and unfounded nonsense. Before I can talk about "left" and "right," I have to deconstruct the putative "left," and distinguish it from people who hold actual leftist beliefs.

I also get the feeling that we're like people who have had their house burned down by arsonists and all their goods taken by burglars, advocating for the joys of a life lived out of a car. It's understandable for people to do that as a coping mechanism, but that doesn't make it right. We shouldn't pretend that we've freely chosen to abandon the labels of "left" and "right" when we've actually been driven out of political discourse because no one in power represents our views, and the people with power to define politics have redefined our labels to mean something that isn't us.

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7 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal got me.

"I also get the feeling that we're like people who have had their house burned down by arsonists and all their goods taken by burglars, advocating for the joys of a life lived out of a car. It's understandable for people to do that as a coping mechanism, but that doesn't make it right. We shouldn't pretend that we've freely chosen to abandon the labels of "left" and "right" when we've actually been driven out of political discourse because no one in power represents our views, and the people with power to define politics have redefined our labels to mean something that isn't us."

So does Lookout's premise: both parties are the War Party. Both parties are the No Free Press Party. Hoe your own row.

Nowhere to run to nowhere to hide. is my fear.

Nevertheless, I voted today. For the 5 referendums put forward by our Progressive NY State Senators.

And for the (R) candidate for Mayor, who has his shortcomings but still resembles a human being. Which is way ahead of the empty puppet shell funded by Bloomberg that the Democratic Party will shove into victory. No matter what the vote is.

The Polling place was empty. making a mockery of the signs outside directing us to join one of three lines inside. This lack of turnout was not anticipated and will be lied about on TV screens tonight.

For decades, I have voted at the same time in every General Election, 11:00, and that is what I did today. I have never seen so few voters at any general Election. Shocking. My district, by the way, has long been noted as one of the TOP Voter Participation districts in all of NYC. If we are empty, then, how bad is it really?

We will never know.

Early Voting numbers also were shockingly low.

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NYCVG

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@NYCVG

as they think we are. Or as *we* often think we are.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal our fellow Americans are.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@NYCVG

want to abandon labels is that so many prominent people who used to be on the left are now supporting right-wing ideas. Also organizations that used to be left are now supporting right-wing ideas (including the Democratic party). Of course, socialists will say that the Dems were never left, but I think it's pretty clear that there's a difference between the social democrats of the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s--and even the transitional figures of the late 70s and 80s--and the post-Clinton Democrats, who are essentially neoconservatives in rainbow dresses. The post-Obama Democrats are even worse, because they've figured out how to not only genuflect in the general direction of diversity, but also strike a pose of humanistic populist revolution while advocating all the time for the most horrendous neo-conservative ideas.

But it's *because* not only people like Pelosi and Obama, but also people like Bernie and AOC, and even people like John Cusack, Tim Robbins, Keith Olbermann, Stephen Colbert, Frank Conniff, Mark Ruffalo, Noam Chomsky, and a great many people from what used to be the visible left have all gone over to the right--while pretending that they are still on the left because they dislike Trump, support the Democrats, and steamroll around Twitter pretending to be the ethics police--that people are saying things like "I don't know what left means anymore" and "left and right are useless terms that just divide us." We are, essentially, conceding defeat; we have allowed them to redefine us right out of our definitions. Like their banking buddies who stole people's houses and left them scrambling for shelter and economic stability, the psy-op manufacturers stole the names we used to describe ourselves, our principles, and our political power; like their banking buddies, they did it through fraud.

The actual left has been devastated by the Obama era and the strategy that I'm guessing the security state used on us as soon as they had a prominent black politician in a prominent enough position that he could be marketed as the Inheritor of the Dream. Once you've got the Inheritor of the Dream advocating for George W. Bush policies, you either denounce him or you're sunk. And denouncing the Inheritor of the Dream is a heavy lift, unless you're a right-winger--leaving all sorts of things like anti-authoritarianism, populism, anti-elitism, revolution and a lot of other concepts firmly in the possession of the right. Anti-racism and other kinds of anti-bigotry movements have, as concepts, been split apart from the ideas of anti-authoritarianism, populism, anti-elitism, and revolution, and have been wedded instead to corporatism, elitism, and the current iteration of the state. And Trump was really the coup-de-grace; apparently one tyrannical shithead was all it took to transform half the left into people who would not stand out in a crowd of George W. Bush supporters.

Please understand that I'm not saying that the people who want to abandon the terms "left" and "right" are the same as the people who would no longer stand out in a crowd of George W. Bush supporters. I'm saying that the people who want to abandon the terms "left" and "right" are *reacting* to the former leftists who now look interchangeable with the people that used to call me a terrorist sympathizer.

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8 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal means coalescing the class warfare into Us vs The Elites.
This is a dangerous moment where the CIA hopes and plans to unite us under fascism.
This is the dangerous moment where the left historically gets swallowed by the right. Not through natural forces but by design by the Elites.

This is the most dangerous moment for the Elites as well.

We don't want to find common ground with boogaloo bois who feign distancing from their racist fascist roots to win over sympathy for the plight of the working class.

We want to win over the working class away from the right.

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@Battle of Blair Mountain I think that has always been the battle.

The difference now is that the masks covering the two parties have melted into one congealed useless blob.

There was a woman at the G-20 who said something along the lines that, "In no time in history have the elites worked to better conditions for the lower classes."

same as it ever was.

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5 users have voted.

NYCVG

@NYCVG
Mail in numbers will be enormous and swamp the in-person numbers as 90% of the suddenly found "mail-in votes" are for the establishment.

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6 users have voted.

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

@The Voice In the Wilderness in the Primary.

Any New York voter who read all the available info, knows that Kathryn Garcia won the NYC Mayoral Primary. The amped up and obviously fake "Absentee Ballots" gave the ex Republican Police Captain the job. hahahaha

Kathryn Garcia has landed on her feet, however. She has a top job in the new Governor's administration. Governor Hochul is lucky to have Kathryn by her side.

NYC who will get the dud who will win tonight, not so lucky.

This jerk blocked all Progressive Press from his Election Night headquarters party in June. My mind boggles at what will be coming next.

I have previous voting totals from NYC Elections gathered and ready to share. For whatever
scrap of reality they may or may not show us about todays vote.

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NYCVG

Granma's picture

And thinking about some of the people on the far right, it occurred to me that we ask the wrong questions. Perhaps the right question is "What do you want/need that you don't have and see no way of getting currently?" I have a feeling that is what is behind much of the hate of immigrants and "other" from ordinary people on the right including extremists.

They are struggling. Their kids are struggling. Things look pretty hopeless to them. They either have no job or a lousy one, very few options. They need things to change and in big ways.

We have to think about how to talk with people.

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@Granma

of talking to the other side when he held a town hall meeting in West Virginia in the heart of Trump country. It was very impressive and the local community reacted positively to it.

But then he folded his tent and slipped back into Democrat-land to support his "good friend" Joe Biden, and the light faded away.

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Fishtroller 02

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Granma

and making them feel that they have no representation or power politically, is a good way of getting them to support fascism.

That's historically pretty well founded.

And as Fishtroller says, Bernie was the best at peeling votes away from Trump. Not Hillary, not Martin O'Malley, not anybody else. Bernie. Because they believed he was telling the truth about their lives, and they believed he genuinely wanted to help them.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal that's where we hit them. That's where the People's Party has to connect to the voters.

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