September 26, 2010

My answer to ‘why is there no political outlet for anger on the left’

By admin

Naked Capitalism poses a great question:  why is there no political outlet for anger on the left these days?

The author is looking at the US, but Canadian ‘lefties’ are in the same situation.

I have a few answers:

  1. Unprecedented levels of media concentration in the hands of the few;
  2. The left is paying the right, either in the form of iPad payments, cable bills, cell phones or 3-year contracts;
  3. Efforts by the media and media critics to paint the media as ‘liberal’ and ‘lamestream’, leading to an interesting ‘dumbing down’ process that affects all discussion, argument and efforts to move forward;
  4. The intentional campaign to smear all opposition as ‘radical’, ‘leftist’ or even ‘terrorist’ (landing many in jail and thousands of others on watch lists);
  5. Massive ongoing efforts to discredit those that commit their lives to the public service, from corruption scandals, to spending issues and mis-management of taxpayer dollars, to ridiculing basic salaries;
  6. Fragmentation on the left, rooted in a level of respect instead of demands to acquiesce (like the Cons did when they forced the Alliance and Reform MPs to ‘merge’);
  7. The inability of the left to create any kind of common voice, either via their own media outlets (which they would have to essentially start from scratch) or other means of communication.

The core of the issue lies with the very basic notion of propaganda and/or communications.

We don’t own the conversation.

Ironically, it’s been the right and – most importantly – the religious right that has been very effective at showing solidarity and unity, the very notions that should be at the core of the left.  They repeatedly use many voices to express a common theme and beat the crap out of progressives who are fragmented and appear confused when they have a crack at sharing an opinion on ‘public’ airwaves.

While reading some of the comments, I came to another epiphany, something the author is trying to evoke:  reading about rebellion is useless.  We no longer act.

How do we get people to act?  We are at the point of needing to panic, as the waves of Cons are just getting more maniacal and controlling.

Many people are stopping dead in their tracks out of fear.  How do we break those bonds that the Cons have placed on us?

Do we start canceling all of our cell phone contracts, cable bills and land lines and start pouring our savings into our own network?

Within a year, we’d have a hell of a lot of cash to invest if we actually made this crucial first step.

Who’s up for it?