Monday, January 17, 2011

Left? What Left?

I've occasionally noted that there is no "left wing" left in American politics. By "left wing" let's be very clear: I'm talking socialists of various sorts, anti-capitalists, etc. In other words, I use the terms "left wing" and "leftist" in much the same way that these terms would be used in much of the rest of the world. The notion that those speaking for the Democratic Party in the US are "leftist" in any meaningful sense of the term is, to me, ludicrous. Now that's not to say that there aren't isolated leftists out and about in the US, but that there isn't any functional organized left wing. One consequence of the present situation is that our discourse is distorted, such that any writing that does not adhere to some sort of neoliberal or nationalist party line is vilified (if acknowledged at all) or more likely ignored altogether.

I see no reason why the US blogosphere would be any different. I'm sure I've said something to that effect before. However, I do take some cold comfort in reading other bloggers who acknowledge this as well. See, for example, this post called the blindspot. Yves Smith, who is certainly no lefty (by either contemporary European standards or by US standards perhaps about 30 or 40 years ago) offers some well-thought out commentary. The bottom line is we have a discourse out of balance, and it's difficult to imagine that changing for the better any time in the foreseeable future.

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