In a Hole? Dig Deeper!

There is a section of the broad Left today that is so demoralized by the miserable state of the world, the repugnant electoral options for 2008, and the dismal place the antiwar movement is in that they are flailing — both politically and organizationally. In response to my article, “Ron Paul, libertarianism, and the freedom to starve to death,” written for the Jan.–Feb. International Socialist Review and posted on several Web sites, literally hundreds of people have written nasty screeds to comment boards or e-mailed me their invective. I want to respond to the small segment of them who are self-described leftists who continue to challenge my argument that the Left should not be embracing either Ron Paul’s candidacy or his libertarian constituency.

There is a deep cynicism informing the idea that since the Left is weak, we must turn rightward for strength. The Left’s primary weakness in this country is its refusal to jettison an electoral strategy that has led us to the political cul-de-sac of antiwar activists placing an effective moratorium on mass protest in deference to not embarrassing pro-war Democrats they feel they must support, as the movement did in 2004. The current crop of Democrats heading into the 2008 primaries murmurs their tactical differences with the losing strategy of Bush and Co. in Iraq, while it votes for more war funding, and exposes its liberal imperial aspirations by threatening war against Iran and Pakistan.

As Adolph Reed recently wrote: “The Democratic candidates who are anointed ‘serious’ are like a car with a faulty front-end alignment: Their default setting pulls to the right.” In other words, the rightward drifting strategy of the movement has failed so the antidote, some insist, is move even further to the right by supporting a Republican. The prescription: In a hole? Dig deeper.

There are other weakness to be sure, including the collapse of a broad Left that once understood the need to oppose US foreign adventures under ALL circumstances, including those called “humanitarian.” This devastated a Left that lost its political rudder when it began supporting ventures in Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, and finally Afghanistan. A trail of death and poverty lies in the wake of those great acts of the white man’s burden.

Some of Paul’s defenders complain that since he supposedly didn’t actually write some of the racist crap in his own eight-page 1992 newsletter, then he’s cleared of any racist aspersions. Get real. This is a man who argues that cross burning shouldn’t be a crime, unless it’s violating someone’s property rights. Threaten someone’s life with the tactics of the Klan, no worries; singe their lawn, watch out! Paul has a 100 percent approval rating from the unabashedly racist John Birch Society and his political career, according to Texas muckraker Molly Ivins, whose columns exposed his batty ideas, was helped by crazed holy-roller homophobe Pat Robertson. If those allies aren’t bad enough, wrap your brain around the fact that he received an endorsement on KKK leader David Duke’s site. The Web site’s motto: “White Civil Rights: The Website for Europeans and Americans Wherever They May Live,” can’t be parsed by Paul’s defenders — they hold proto-fascistic ideas and give enthusiastic support to Ron Paul.

Then there’s that little problem he has with separation of church and state, a fundamental aspect of any modern secular society. Paul argues, “The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers.” Come on folks, how far to the right does a guy need to be before his antiwar position ceases to corral leftists into his camp?

If all a guy needs to be is antiwar to embrace his supporters or even offer up endorsement, then why stop at Ron Paul, a man who isn’t even pretending to stand outside the two-party stranglehold of big business? If it’s his antiwar stance that gets progressives excited, then why not embrace Pat Buchanan too? In 2004 he blasted the war and the Bush administration at great length in Where the Right Went Wrong. After all, Buchanan’s a far better known opponent of foreign adventures, is more pugnacious toward the do-nothing Democrats, and shares a lot of Paul’s other individualist politics. Most leftists would say that Buchanan is a nasty bigot; does this mean Paul’s folksy style and apparent nice-guy persona cancels out his pro-business and racist natterings? Nasty racists, no; affable ones, okey dokey?

Since many progressives who wrote me don’t seem to be repelled by Ron Paul’s actual anti-labor, anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, defiantly sexist, homophobic, and outright racist voting record and statements, perhaps a gander at what his supporters have to say would be instructive. Those who endorse uniting with the Paulites to build a stronger antiwar movement, such as left-wing writer/activist Joshua Frank, ought to know who they’re getting into bed with. Here is a tiny sampling of the responses I’ve received so far from his committed followers.

Most numerous were the puerile personal attacks devoid of any political content — I’ll spare you those. Though it’s worth mentioning that quite a few (men) addressed me as “sweetie,” “hey lady,” and “girly” — diminutive and sexist means of attempting to belittle a woman whose arguments, in the minds of chauvinists, don’t deserve a political retort. Gee, they would make fine movement allies.

Then there are the old school McCarthyites and a handful of anti-Semites, a couple of whom attack the organization I’m in, the International Socialist Organization, as “an organization of Jewish run hypocrites.” More common were these: “Your interpretation is simply Marxist and Un-American as well as manipulative” and the more colorful “Keep your views to yourself as I think they stink like your farts! If you don’t want to learn to follow and obey the US Constitution get the hell out of this country we don’t want you.” Or the delusional red-baiting type: “You socialists cause inflation through your support of The Federal Reserve’s unceasing creation of money out of thin air…. Let us alone to be free people. Everyone in our country will benefit except for the oligarchs such as you.”

I won’t bother reprinting the tirades against Stalin and Mao used to “refute” my arguments, since as a member of a political tendency that has never defended Stalinism or Maoism, I found these folks simply avoided dealing with the actual political issues involved. As do screeds, like the one on Antiwar.com, “Ron Paul: Slings and arrows, Left and Right,” which argue that I’m shilling for Hillary Clinton, who if she ever had a progressive stance it’s been triangulated into its poll-tested opposite. For the record, I have not now, nor have I ever in my adult life voted for or advocated a vote for a Democrat.

The racists claim: “Multiculturalism is being discredited more each day, we don’t all need to live together in harmony.” And the immigrant bashers: “I would like to make an objection to your use of the term ‘undocumented immigrant.’ There is a reason that these individuals are not documented… that is because they are in the country illegally. These illegal aliens come to this country because they get free healthcare, social services and their children are born citizens.” The first note speaks for itself; as for the second, not only are 92 percent of undocumented males gainfully employed (higher than any other sector of the population), but the National Academy of Sciences found that immigrants benefit the U.S. economy overall, have little negative effect on the income and job opportunities of most native-born Americans, and may add as much as $10 billion to the economy each year. I can’t see too many Arab, Black, Latino, and other immigrants feeling welcomed into a movement with the likes of these correspondents.

The more thoughtful notes actually betray the pro-employer class bias at the very heart of Ron Paul’s libertarianism. There were lots of overt defenses of the free market and privatization and this e-mail that really sums up the ramifications of Paul’s politics:

“You talk of Bosses exploiting employees. You probably think employers should pay employees what they are worth — because it sounds good to you…. The simple fact is if you were paid what you were worth, then there would be no profit left to the employer. If you cannot live cheaply enough for your income level, go live somewhere else. No one points a gun to your head in either case. If you are not satisfied working for someone else, go to your secretary of state’s office, and pay the tax if you wish to incorporate, or just be a sole proprietor- you be the Boss you so despise.”

Though he does make Marx’s point about where profits come from, his solution that everyone should just get up and start their own company has the charm of both denying reality and deeming exploitation inevitable and desirable.

A surprising number of self-proclaimed leftists wrote in to argue in defense of Paul’s “colorblind” vision of society as being similar to Martin Luther King’s, while dismissing Paul’s racist writings on Blacks. Let’s be clear: MLK had a dream that we needed to fight for a world in which people would be judged by “the content of their character, not the color of their skin,” BUT he didn’t pretend as though we actually live in that society today! Anyone who can look around at the terrifying incarceration, unemployment, and mortality rates of Blacks and say that we have achieved that dream and should therefore support a man who opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is either suffering racial myopia, is a racist, or is someone who thinks reality is a mere diversion. So long as we have institutionalized racism, we will need affirmative action, including quotas, and other legal and social protections to challenge the racists in power and defend groups under siege.

Finally, I want to address a couple of things lurking beneath the surface of many progressives’ arguments, elaborated by Josh Frank — someone I respect and with whom I often agree. He argues in a recent radio interview that we should “Put the false differences aside and come together in common cause,” with the “beer drinking red-necks from Tennessee” he wrote about in his initial online article, “Why Ron Paul Deserves Our Attention.” He states plainly that abortion and gay rights are “wedge issues” that “distract us from the big issues.” While nobody is advocating a litmus test for antiwar folks to join the movement, certainly not I, we need to be clear that there is a difference between a movement in opposition to a racist and imperial war having some reactionary elements float through occasionally and actively courting racists and know-nothings.

If a left-wing movement seeks alliance with these folks, we will find ourselves dropping demands and protests of things such as the attacks on Arabs and Muslims — the domestic front of this war — among other accommodations. Ignoring Paul’s more outlandish ideas is an expression of the same opportunism that some progressives have embraced as they hold their noses and vote for Democrats with repulsive politics except for abortion, or whatever.

If a Left is to strengthen, it must take on backward ideas in its midst, not cater to them. There are literally millions of progressive-minded people in this country, most of them working class of every race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation who are facing a looming recession. Paul’s politics provide no answer to the catastrophes afoot and will only repel the very people who need to be brought into the Left. Let’s not pander to petty bosses’ ideology and racist electoral campaigns and pretend we can walk away unsullied.

Sherry Wolf is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review. She can be reached at: sherry@internationalsocialist.org. Read other articles by Sherry, or visit Sherry's website.

61 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. truthseeker said on December 18th, 2007 at 5:22am #

    I wonder what your views are on how we are going to balance our nation’s budget before our once great country goes broke?

    Which candidate has a real plan for balancing the budget that will work?
    Or is the answer to keep electing the same kind of big spenders we have had for the last two decades?

    And lets give everyone “free” health care while we are going broke .
    Try not to confuse each issue with rather it is right or left.

    If we do not elect someone who is really fiscally conservative and has the ability to make some tough decisions our dollar will be so devalued no existing government programs will be available – and the time is coming sooner than we think.

  2. Chance said on December 18th, 2007 at 5:45am #

    Sorry, but it isn’t just Paul’s stance on the war I agree with. I like a lot of his fiscal ideas, cutting government, and giving the states more rights. Will I vote for him? Unlikely now, as there are many issues I disagree with him on, but depending on who the dems nominate it is a definate possibility.

  3. Speaker73 said on December 18th, 2007 at 5:58am #

    Good Lord, that was an awful article. In virtually every paragraph, there was either a factual error or the use of a disingenous rhetorical device. I honestly don’t have time to walk through and refute every poor instance of argument, but one struck me a particular ironic, so I thought I’d mention it.

    You criticize Paul for being endorsed by the John Birch Society and David Duke. He has disavowed their ideas many times, but apparently you believe in guilt-by-association. Yet later you cry foul when some letter writers use the exact same guilt-by-association device when bringing up Mao and Stalin in reference to you. I believe “hypocrite” is the operative word here.

    There are a least a dozen other rhetorical faults in the article. In fact, this would be a fine case study for a college course on rhetoric.

  4. b.w said on December 18th, 2007 at 6:01am #

    And how will you advance your agenda if you lose all civil rights? What happens when the Internet is censored? (And trust that the MSM did blackout RP’s Dec 16 money bomb. Donations were rolling in at over $3900 per minute, and nothing was reported Sunday.)

    So what are your unifying principles? RP’s support is wierd… He represents virtue and honesty to his supporters. Virtue and the Constitution. They don’t have to agree with him; they can look at his record and see that he follows through on his principles. He doesn’t pander, and he doesn’t hide from his more controversial positions. Unless you believe the racist flap, and many of many races who support him have rejected those claims. On PBS last Friday, he said he did not want support of white supremacists and rejected their views.

    As a novice with no background in Constitutional law, I see two schools of thought:
    Strict, restrictive and conservative interpretation of the Constitution.
    Interpretation of the Constitution as a living document that is expanded by legal precedent and tradition.

    In either case, our nation must be a nation of laws rather than of people. We have lost that and must regain it at any cost.

    One battle at a time. Once the Senate passes SR1959, all bets are off. Are you doing anything to stop it? Call in campaigns, raise money and advertise its dangers? Anything but whine and watch?

    Good luck advancing your agenda if any other candidate gets elected.

    B.w – an observer, not a supporter

  5. ochobit said on December 18th, 2007 at 6:52am #

    I’m a blue dog, new deal, great society loving leftie.

    But I registered for the GOP, Ron Paul may not be perfect, but who is?! So guess what, I put my country before my party, and I’d rather vote for a man who has diamond hard convictions and loves this country than some corrupt pandering goofball like Obama.

    Read more into the guy, watch his videos. Me and my brother were hardcore Obama/Kucinich guys and we converted to Ron Paul, because he is truly hope for America. I lived outside the US for 8 years (in a very big government country), so I understand America’s foreign policy is a disaster, I understand that big givernment while the social benefits are great, isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

    In other words, people like you, give me that same feeling I felt towards Bush supporters in 2004: You’re gut instinct may be for it but if you’d actually think about it, there is no other choice.

    COME ONE, COME ALL!!! JOIN THE RON PAUL REVOLUTION!!!

  6. Mike said on December 18th, 2007 at 6:55am #

    The fact remains that the financial system in this country is crumbling and the only one who is talking honestly about this is Ron Paul. Whether Democrat, Republican, Communist, Libertairan: we are ALL in this together.
    “I believe that when we overdo our military aggressiveness, it actually weakens our national defense. I mean, we stood up to the Soviets. They had 40,000 nuclear weapons. Now we’re fretting day in and day and night about third-world countries that have no army, navy or air force.”
    -Ron Paul

  7. Jeanette Doney said on December 18th, 2007 at 7:23am #

    Who is Sherry supporting in 08?

  8. The Fanonite said on December 18th, 2007 at 7:58am #

    …wrap your brain around the fact that he received an endorsement on KKK leader David Duke’s site.

    Pulling a page out of Alan Dershowitz’s smeark-book, I see. Is that not the argument he had used in his attempts to discredit Mearsheimer and Walt?

  9. Hatuxka said on December 18th, 2007 at 8:10am #

    It’s a comment on how screwed up the country and the mainstream left is that only here in the enclave of sanity is Ron Paul rightly referred to as “batty”. Ron Paul is poison. The case has been made.

  10. L. A. Dietz said on December 18th, 2007 at 8:12am #

    While dummies might still fall for obsolete left-right nonsense, humans seem to know better : http://www.whowouldtheworldelect.com

  11. Warren said on December 18th, 2007 at 8:31am #

    My ass! Those who maintain Dr Paul as racist are as credible as those who cry racist at any mis justice that comes their way. The real racists are the status quo government system of entitlements designed to keep the poor poor. The first thing these programs do is categorize one by race. After that they determine your “rights” under their perspective program. The guarantee of rights to groups is in fact fuel to the fire of continued racism. This is common sense. Groups are not and should not ever be guaranteed rights. Today in our country left needs the right as much as the right needs the left. Both sides must come together in compromise for the good of this nation. Only Ron Paul’s message of freedom, peace, and prosperity can deliver on that compromise. Individual freedom is absolutely color blind. How a people who suffered hundreds of years of slavery could even question Paul’s platform of freedom given his impeccable record of truth. Ignorance is as colorblind as freedom, and MLK like the Founding Fathers must be rolling in his grave.

  12. Warren said on December 18th, 2007 at 8:37am #

    btw… Who are you supporting Sherry Wolf? The status quo?

  13. James said on December 18th, 2007 at 9:15am #

    Kudos to Sherry Wolf for writing what needs to be written. Ron Paul is a piece of racist trash. (This means that people who actively support Ron Paul are pieces of racist trash–or too stupid to recognize what Paul’s politics actually are.) It’s amusing to watch his rat-like supporters on the right shriek bloody murder when confronted with Wolf’s arguments. It’s also sad to see “leftists” seduced by Paul’s reactionary politics. Great article!

  14. Marcelle Cendrars said on December 18th, 2007 at 9:33am #

    It’s always a beautiful thing when someone puts something awful to bed defnitively. Thanks, Sherry. The people who are on the jag about who Sherry might be supporting for ’08 have bought into the whole Electoral Scam…which would have us believe that the whole shebang on the presidential level is more important than it is. And most readers here are missing the thrust of Sherry’s article…which has so much to do with the importance of not attaching oneself to something filthy. If all that’s put on one’s plate — if that’s the case — is toxic food…one doesn’t fixate on the question of “Well, which vegetables ARE you going to eat?”. No…one might opt to go without eating, if necessary, for a meal or two. Perhaps sneak out of the locked house…and find sustenance elsewhere. Blessings in solidarity, Marcelle

  15. heike said on December 18th, 2007 at 9:54am #

    “A trail of death and poverty lies in the wake of those great acts of the white man’s burden.”

    You are engaging in fantasies if you call our participation in the IFOR/SFOR PKO in Bosnia as some kind of “venture.” Go read your history books before you write this kind of irresponsible trash. The Serbs tried very successfully to ethnically cleanse the Muslims from parts of Bosnia that they wanted to annex to Serbia, and didn’t let anything get in their way. The PKO put an end to a war which saw the worst atrocities since 1945 in Europe. The intervention took place after the Srebrenica massacre, which some fantasy-mongers actually say never happened. We didn’t kill anyone but we helped end a horrendous war .

  16. doug said on December 18th, 2007 at 10:10am #

    To all the pro and con replies above.If we citizens don’t offer something better and simply throw up our hands and refuse to participate, we’ll get the governance we deserve. Regarding the association of immigration and racism; Have any of tried to enter Mexico or any other country without a passport? Good luck? Having a systematic way to allow immigration makes sense. While I do have questions regarding some of Paul’s stances, until we have a clearly superior choice, he may be the best we can do.Not participating in elections is not a solution.Why not look for solutions to our situation instead of castigating each other?

  17. doug said on December 18th, 2007 at 10:15am #

    One other point, the president does not wield absolute power. We do have system of checks and balances in spite of the current nitwit in chief.The others we elect have a say in what is done , too. Ron Paul would not be able to implement all of his platform.

  18. Michael Donnelly said on December 18th, 2007 at 10:58am #

    Since Sherry cherry-picked response and included none of the many thoughtfulones she had ot have received, here’s mine that I sent her:

    “..on the Ron Paul issue.

    Without individual freedom, we’ll all be discussing the fine points from our perches in Guantanamo.

    That said, the Libertarian lack of any sense of the Commons is a huge put-off to me, but one we can work on after we end the Imperial Wars.

    If the Left can skip down dead ends with warmonger/Free traders like Kerry with all the things the left supposedly has deep disagreement with him on, then why not try something different? Yes, as you note, there’s a lot of educating to do. I say, let’s get on with it. I’d rather try and educate a Libertarian than knock my head against the Democrat (or Green Party) brick wall anymore.

    I’m always amazed that those who spout the most about “diversity” actually have a very narrow-minded view of others. Witness the Earth First!ers who drove out the rednecks for wilderness because transgender folks were uncomfortable with them! How many transgender folks have chained themselves to logging equipment and climbed trees, etc., compared to how many earth-loving rednecks? Sheesh! (The co-producer of Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, Jeff Gibbs, a friend and fellow Flint native, tried to go to the Earth First! Rendezvous this year because he wanted to do a documentary on EF! and their involvement in WTO/Seattle and other things. He wasn’t allowed to come as the pre-Rendezvous time slot he could make was exclusive to Gay, Lesbian and transgender people! Now, that’s some great coalition building!)

    I’ve learned that one has to make alliances with a wide range of folks to get anything progressive done. We had big time computer chip manufacturers, food processors, church groups and many city and state bureaucrats on our side when we worked to protect our watershed in Salem, Oregon. And, in actuality, Opal Creek is the SOLE ancient forest that gained inviolate protection since the beginning of the movement. The Democrat-operative Big Greens falsely claimed that Bubba saved the Ancient Forests when he actually restarted the logging we had stopped under Bush the elder. Opal Creek never would have been saved had we relied on the Big Greens, etc.

    In Michigan, I’m part of a coalition that includes millionaire GM execs, pro athletes, doctors, lawyers and parts of the rural oligarchy which has so far been instrumental in protecting threatened wetlands. Local foundation astroturf front groups have been useless or worse on this one.

    I registered Republican just so I can vote for Paul in the Primary and so have a number of my friends. And, I’m thinking of writing a CounterPunch piece about the severe lack of diversity amongst the diversity-mongers.

    Best,

    Michael Donnelly

  19. Deadbeat said on December 18th, 2007 at 12:01pm #

    Paul is running as a Republican and stated during the debates that if he doesn’t win the primaries he will not as a third party candidates. A Paul victory runs the risk of coattails that could tilt the Congress towards the Republicans. This is an aspect that I don’t think Joshua Frank considers in his support for Paul. I agree with Ms. Wolf analysis of Paul’s economic position. If Paul is elected and once he gets the troops out of Iraq what then? His domestic economic policies are quite regressive. I’ve seen people here make disparaging remarks about “entitlements”. However for these same people who complain about entitlements have no idea that “entitlements” do not constitute the major portion of the U.S. budget. Military spending does. Also unfettered capitalism and the “free” market concentrate power and wealth thus redistributive measures are needed to ensure fairness, justice and democracy.
    Having said that, the question that needs to be answered is why is the left so weak? Ms. Wolf answer to that question is the left’s reliance on electoral politics. But that begs a follow-up question – why has the left relied on electoral politics?
    The answer to that question is the irony of Ms. Wolf’s article. Ms. Wolf makes the argument that readers should not support Paul because of his past position on race and his endorsement by David Duke. But at the same time she makes these arguments, the ISO has been quite consistent in their obfuscation of Zionism’s influence upon U.S. society and its role leading the United Stated into the Iraq War which benefits Israel’s strategic interest.
    There is even more irony here. Prior to the ISO getting involved in electoral politics (the two Nader campaign), the organization presented a more radical critique of Zionism. Apparently since 2000, the ISO has moderated (move to the right) their aggressive stance against Zionism. Now they have adopted the same tactic promoted by “progressive Zionist” of obscuring Zionism influence as “solely US imperialism”.
    Clearly this is the major reason why the left is so weak and there is no traction in the anti-war movement. Racism and Zionism on the left has gone unnoticed by Ms. Wolf and such duplicity has retarded solidarity on the left. It is obvious that Ms. Wolf chooses not to address this problem.
    The failure of the left to address Zionism on U.S. society has left a vacuum that is now being filled by the likes of Pat Buchanan, David Duke, and Ron Paul. Ironically, the Paleo-conservatives and Libertarians have been demanding cuts to military spending and base closings since the end of cold war. Also the paleo-conservatives have long history of openly opposing Zionism. But due to the paleo-conservatives xenophobia and racist history their arguments and observations against Zionism are largely discredited by the “left-wing” apologists.
    Unfortunately the current political climate has created a great deal of confusion because of the left’s failure to address Zionism as a serious scourge not only in the Middle East but within the United States. Leftists who raise similar concern about Zionism’s influence are disparaged as “neo-nazis” and anti-Semites. Those attacks have retarded retards solidarity and foment distrust.
    The “left wing” apologists of Zionism are desperate to end this war not for moralistic reasons but to advert a backlash that could ensues from “mainstream” America should they wake up to the fact that the war in Iraq was not for oil. Keeping people confused by maintaining the “War for Oil” canard is why we’ve seen such articles from left wing apologists like Ron Jacobs and the recent book from Naomi Klein “Disaster Capitalism”. It’s once again ironic that she has an “epiphany” about neoliberalism after visiting Iraq but not when she lived in Argentina.
    Avoiding any radical analysis of Zionism influence on U.S. political economy may be the real raison d’être for the drive by the “left” to support Ron Paul in 2008 just like they embraced warmonger “John Kerry” and “safe state – Any Body But Bush” strategy in 2004.

  20. HR said on December 18th, 2007 at 12:09pm #

    Excellent article. If those who gush over the republo/libertarian get their wish, then they’ll get just exactly what they deserve, one giant step farther on the road to feudalism. Sad thing is, they’ll drag the whole country with them. Ignorance has become a virtue here in the land of the brainwashed.

  21. gerald spezio said on December 18th, 2007 at 12:58pm #

    Deadbeat, did Naomi Klein take me on the Zionism issue?
    Please straighten me out on Klein and Zionism, because I only read some reviews of Klein.

  22. Joshua Frank said on December 18th, 2007 at 1:18pm #

    I think we should be clear: Paul ought to run in the General Election (I don’t think he’ll get past the corporados in the rigged primaries). In order for his movement to survive, this is imperative. But to me it’s not about Paul’s so-called “revolution”, it is about making the war issue the central issue in the campaign. Without a stickler in there, the two-headed monster won’t be pressured to address the issue in the debates or along the campaign trail. We need to end this war first and foremost, and at this point Paul’s movement is in the best place to do so. He’s got money and momentum. He needs to break free of the GOP.

    To be fair to the ISO and the Israel question, I don’t think they’ve changed their position on this one-iota.

  23. Michael Hampton said on December 18th, 2007 at 1:31pm #

    This article is, unfortunately, full of disingenuous rhetorical devices. It’s designed to obfuscate and to mislead those who are truly concerned about justice and oppression.

    For instance, this article says: “So long as we have institutionalized racism, we will need affirmative action, including quotas, and other legal and social protections to challenge the racists in power and defend groups under siege.”

    This would be true, and good, except that affirmative action is a component of the institutionalized racism this author decries. The whole point of affirmative action is to reinforce to the “poor oppressed African Americans” that they aren’t good enough to make it on their own and need our help.

    If you truly believe affirmative action is needed for this reason, then you are the racist.

    As for Ron Paul, any claim that he might be racist is utterly absurd. Indeed, such claim is backed up in this article only by innuendo, “guilt by association,” and deliberate misstatements of Ron Paul’s policy positions. So some racists support Ron Paul. Some Communists support Hillary. Does that make her a Communist?

    And how about those other “legal and social protections” which “help” the poor oppressed African Americans — into prison cells and ghettos. The “War on Drugs” is one of those “protections.” It’s locked up millions of African Americans and devastated their families and communities. And drugs are still everywhere.

    The so-called “War on Poverty” is another one of those “protections.” It’s turned an independent, hard working class of people into a permanent underclass by making them dependent on the system rather than themselves. With husbands in prison, or shot and killed by corrupt police, this “safety net” becomes more like a spider web, entangling anyone who comes in contact with it, and making it almost impossible for them to better their lives. This is helping?!?

  24. Don't Worry said on December 18th, 2007 at 1:42pm #

    Wow, ad hominems galore! I didn’t know socialist like to side with corporatist! Let’s see these slavery advocates pay for the poor undocumented workers they use and abuse instead of the American taxpayer or borrowing it from China. Start a charity and go for it. If undocumented workers had to be treated with humanity and respect they wouldn’t be hired would they? Another social program would be free re-education for poor Americans who have been displaced by the influx of slave labor unless you want a nationwide Battle of Blair Mountain Part II? Then figure out where our water is going to come from because the Department of Interior projects in about 20 years due to population growth there will not be enough water to meet demand.

    Don’t worry the Scoop Jackson Democrats and Dixiecrats will comeback home to the Democrat party once Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination! Why? Because he isn’t going to continue Bush’s genocidal campaign against Muslims. The Democrat front runners will gladly continue the war against Islam. We don’t need two corporately owned parties anyway. One is enough!

    The Federal government does not deserve the power it has. Social Security trust fund is filled up with IOUs. We spend trillions on a military that couldn’t even prevent a plane from crashing into the Pentagon. The money we work hard for and save is decreasing in value. The policy of spend and borrow can not go on forever.

    Shame on the Democrats for not supporting Mike Gravel!

  25. Deadbeat said on December 18th, 2007 at 2:28pm #

    Deadbeat, did Naomi Klein take me on the Zionism issue?
    Please straighten me out on Klein and Zionism, because I only read some reviews of Klein.

    Gerald,

    The issue that I have been voicing in this forum is why is the “U.S. Left” so weak and incoherent. The main reasons for the current condition of the U.S. Left that I think we are in agreement has been the U.S. Left unwillingness to directly confront Zionism’s influcence upon U.S policy that led to this awful war in Iraq. Klein’s book follows in the same pattern of “leftist” who have used their literary and communication skills to obscure the influence of Zionism in the United States.

    The premise of Ms. Klein new book, “Disaster Capitalism” links Milton Freedman’s “shock therepy” strategy to promote neoliberal economic policies on “unsuspecting” citizens. After the “shock” wanes and citizens reorientate themselves they can then overthrow these policies.

    Her premise and argument are very seductive and can easily pass muster to anyone less critical. However there are a few conditions that don’t past muster:

    [1] While I’m unfamilar with Milton Freedman’s position on Isreal I have quite familar with his ecomonic views. Freedman’s shock therepy was primary implemented in Latin America. Klein is clear on this.

    [2] Klein spent time in Argentina where she wrote a book and filmed a documentary highlighting the workers take over of an abandon factory.

    [3] In her recent interview, with David Frost, Klein relates how she had an epiphany about this “shock therepy” while visting Iraq and linking it to Paul Bremmer’s privatization initiatives.

    So let’s get this straight:

    Naomi Klein, had to go to Iraq in order to devrive a theory and explaination of Milton Freedman’s neoliberalism. She couldn’t derive that theory while she was in ARGENTINA?

    Also in order to install Freedman’s policies in Latin America the preferred method was coups rather than invastion and occupations. Thus Iraq exhibits inconsistencies with her theory of “Disaster Capitalism”.

    A researcher and a Ph.D. ought to know that if you can find a condition to a theory then the theory doesn’t hold. You have to then find a theory that would be consistent. This is why you are seeing the “left-wing” Zionist apologist use “U.S. imperialism” because then you can claim consistency while obscuring Zionism outright.

    However U.S. Imperialism doesn’t hold because the U.S. hasn’t been able to extract oil due to sabotage and the destruction of the infrastructure means skill workers have fled as refugees. U.S. Imperialism has been much more efficently carried out by the CIA via coups.

    What is consistent is that Zionist wanted Iraq destroyed and so-called “left-wing” intellectuals are doing their damnist to divert peoples attention elsewhere.

  26. dan elliott said on December 18th, 2007 at 2:42pm #

    Ms Wolf has much to say re Ron Paul & his supporters that is valid, but unfortunately blows it at some points in the article.Fortunately, the “Deadbeat” has appended excellent clarification on most of Ms W’s stumbles.

    So thanks again, Mr “D”, you’re rapidly becoming the best writer in the DV stable, outshining many of the regular contributors of full length articles.

    However, (cuibble cuibble) I would find your reasoning much easier to follow if it wasn’t all jammed together in long dense blocks of text sans paragraph breaks. Could it be that you are posting “as HTML”? Which refuses to recognize any formatting in the original, such as para breaks…?

    Back to Ms. Wolf: disclaimer: Cuibono “is not now nor has he ever been” a member/supporter of the ISO or any other Trotskyist org, but does anticipate working in close coalition with many same in the context of what usta be called “United Front Work”. So he regrets to see anyone on the left accept rightwing premises and start echoing their namecalling, start labelling other leftists as former “Stalinists”, “Maoists”, “Trotskyites”, etc. Especially when such ancient ideological disputes are irrelevant to the topic under discussion. There has to be a better way to defend oneself from libels, whether offered by confused but well-meaning suburbanites or by fascistoid ideologues posing as “antiwar”(sic).]

    Nor did I find useful the attempt to blame Paul for the fact that David Duke likes him. A person is responsible for those they choose to support, but not for everything said by everyone who supports said person.

    That said, I personally regard Mr Paul and others like him as not worth the time it would take me to comment. Another tool of the ruling class, more bait for the suckers. Hohum.

  27. Deadbeat said on December 18th, 2007 at 2:44pm #

    I think we should be clear: Paul ought to run in the General Election. In order for his “revolution” to survive, this is imperative. But to me it’s not about Paul’s so-called “revolution”, it is about making the war issue the central issue in the campaign. Without a stickler in there, the two-headed moster won’t be pressured to address the issue in the debates or along the campaign trail. We need to end this war first and foremost, and at this point Paul’s movement is in the best place to do so. He’s got money and momentum. He needs to break free of the GOP.

    Joshua,

    I think you may want to reconsider your support for Ron Paul. Should Paul win the GOP primary he will head the ticket. This could lead to a lot of GOP “coattails” that could throw out so-called “good” Democrats.

    That said, I cannot criticize anyone who want to votes for Paul to end this war. Lives are at stake. My issue is that the left have themselves to blame for being in this position for not confronting their own divisiveness and unwillingness to confront Zionism.

    To be fair to the ISO and the Israel question, I don’t think they’ve changed their position on this one-iota.

    Joshua,

    While I was never a member of the ISO, I did attend several of their meeting from the late 1980’s through the mid 1990’s. So I am taking from experience. In fact my early understanding of Zionism came from attending ISO meetings. They took a very aggressive stance against Zionism and held sessions where they explained its history and the ISO have been very much against U.S funding of Israel.

    Since being involved in electoral politics — solidarity with the Green Party, the ISO have tone down their rhetoric. IMO the ISO must have felt that they would turn away people if they maintain their previous aggressive stance against Zionism.

    However when it comes to this war in Iraq they have been silent on the influence Zionism has on effecting U.S. policy and embrace the same “U.S. Imperialist” rhetoric that has the effect of excusing its role. And most importantly the role Zionism has on dividing the left. That clearly was missing from Ms. Wolf’s analysis.

  28. Deadbeat said on December 18th, 2007 at 2:52pm #

    To Dan Elliot,

    My apologies for not proofing my submission. I was in a hurry and I’ll be more careful in the future. Also thanks for your comments in the original Wolf submission. It help me understand a bit more about Paul and formulate the analysis that I submitted here.

    Deadbeat.

  29. deang said on December 18th, 2007 at 4:15pm #

    Excellent post. Agree with every word of it and have thought the same things myself for quite some time. Libertarians are essentially Republicans who don’t think the social services of government are being demolished fast enough. In my experience, they are overwhelmingly whitist and tend to approve of the disastrous Reaganization of the US that has occurred since 1980. If their actions cause people to suffer or the land to be destroyed, they explicitly do not care. They are evil fucks, in the words of Bill Hicks, just as bad as Republicans, and only Democrats who’ve bought into the ‘Reagan was great’ mantra would ever consider working with them. Evil people.

  30. tracy said on December 18th, 2007 at 5:12pm #

    Thank you Sherry for opening up this argument with people who mistakenly ally themselves with Paul. The Left needs to be firm on the principles of anti-imperialism and anti-racism. Paul is not a friend of the working class.
    And woe to anyone who calls Sherry Wolf “sweetie” to her face!

  31. hp said on December 18th, 2007 at 6:10pm #

    The so-called left are and always have been a bunch of good time Charlie plastic bananas controlled by ZOG like little puppets. This is epitomized by the moron who wrote that Kosovo was a just war. NATO, which never fired one single bullet in 50 years was turned loose on a sovereign nation and commenced to lay waste to all things civilian and strew DU throughout the country. “Hundreds of thousands murdered,” a lie. “Rape camps,” a lie. “Racak massacre,” a lie. “Acid mines,” a lie.
    A prelude to Iraq, as the “left” cheered on the murderous assault, by NATO, of a nation which had never attacked a NATO member.

    “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

  32. Brad said on December 18th, 2007 at 7:00pm #

    Country Before Party !!!

    America is being undermined on many fronts. The one most eminent is our Bankruptcy. Fueled by War, Empire Maintenance, and Fallacious Spending of congress; The economic Overtaking of America will not be far off. The effects are just now becoming evident. We will be sold to our enemies rather than forced into submission.

    Ron Paul is the only candidate running for president that has the vision of the founding fathers of this country ingrained in his heart. Core Character Counts. He is the only one in the field that I would trust my money and my family’s safety with.

    The honesty and integrity displayed by Ron Paul coupled with the message he espouses is the glue that binds the support together. The word could not do it alone and this is precisely why the media and the others are baffled. The Ron Paul Supporters Value Substance Over Symbolism. We fully believe that Ron Paul will follow his words as his record shows. He is not as the others with Pandering Platitudes.

    The commonality with all Americans is the Constitution. This is why his support group can not be pigeon holed in to a specific category. We Are Diverse And Many. There is no singular stereotype that even comes close to the specification of the group.

    To help with your education here are some sites I recommend:

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/about/

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/

    http://www.ronpaullibrary.org

    http://www.house.gov/paul/

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Paul

    Think For Yourself; Do Not Be Easily Led.

    Views Untested Are Worthless.

  33. VincentF. said on December 18th, 2007 at 7:56pm #

    I think I owe it to every unarmed Palestinian kid who was shot in the head by an IDF soldier to support a candidate who is for ending all aid to the racist apartheid state of Israel.

    I think I owe it to one million murdered by the illegal U.S. war on Iraq to support a truly anti-war candidate.

    I respect the ISO deeply and have attended their NYC conventions. I am a gay man. I would love to see a truly progressive president, but there are none running of any significance. I really do think that business as usual (another DemocRat or RePUGlican) means more innocents murdered abroad, more genocide. Perhaps the time has come for an isolationist libertarian style commander in chief, warts and all.

    Here’s Ron Paul denouncing Christan fascism…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrkltetQ0x4

  34. LP said on December 18th, 2007 at 8:08pm #

    Sherry Wolf is a Communist, enough said. Liberty is a greater value than Equality. I would take Liberty over Equality any day of the week, and so should we all.

  35. John Weathers said on December 18th, 2007 at 8:20pm #

    It’s sad to see people make such sweeping nasty generalizations as “they [Libertarians] are evil fucks, in the words of Bill Hicks, just as bad as Republicans, and only Democrats who’ve bought into the ‘Reagan was great’ mantra would ever consider working with them.” As a matter of fact, a lot of them are decent people who happen to love individual freedom at a very principled and reasoned level, but who have unfortunately bought into the ideas of capitalism. I happen to know quite a few people including myself for whom embracing Libertarian ideas was a step on their path to ultimately becoming libertarian socialists. I have to agree with other posters that this article shows some hypocritical smearing by association attacks in it. While I strongly disagree with Dr. Paul’s positions on many important issues, I also agree with him strongly on others and believe that he is an honest and principled man who is a defender of freedom and civil liberties which is a lot better than political animals like the other GOP candidates or Clinton and Obama. Dr. Paul and I part ways on capitalism and the so-called free market, but that’s going to be the case with almost any candidate for President. If by supporting Dr. Paul, I can help avoid the further loss of life through imperialist wars and can help put a check on the loss of civil liberties, then it’s worth it – especially since Dr. Paul’s more radical laissez-faire policies aren’t likely to get through Congress while a Clinton or Obama presidency could be a huge disaster both with more imperial wars and with more luke-warm social measures that only serve to falsely discredit socialist ideas in the public’s mind. The current movement for Universal Health Care could suffer a HUGE set back if Clinton or Obama implement one of their half-assed approaches that appease insurance companies and make the problem worse. That being said, I intend to vote only in the event where I can vote for Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul, or perhaps John Edwards. Otherwise, participating in the system and thereby validating its legitimacy simply isn’t worth the cost.

  36. Andrew said on December 18th, 2007 at 11:22pm #

    Vincent,
    I respect your contribution much more than the uninformed right-wing missives that many Ron Paul supporters have written in response to Sherry’s articles. But you’re deceiving yourself if you think that voting for Ron Paul will do anything for the Iraqi or Palestinian people. For one thing, Paul has explicitly said he will not run as an independent candidate. Therefore, like Dean and Kunicich in ’04, the ostensibly “antiwar” establishment candidate Ron Paul will inevitably hand his support and supporters over to Huckabee, Romney or Giuliani at the ’08 RNC. If anyone wants to bet money with me that this will happen, please email me at the above address and we’ll set it up. The effect of voting for the lesser evil means reinforcing the power of the two party system (in this case, the ‘greater evil’ party of George W Bush), and delays the necessary task of building a left-wing alternative. I don’t think change is mainly coming from elections but I’m voting Green in ’08, for Cynthia McKinney, who actually supports gay rights and civil rights in addition to being a firm anti-imperialist.

    The much bigger problem with Ron Paul is the political forces and ideas he gives oxygen to– immigrant bashers, racists, and flat-earth free-marketeers. Just look at the mini-army of rightwing bloggers set loose by his campaign.Are these our political allies? I mean, do we really want to “link hands” with those who want to revoke the 1964 civil rights act, ie go back to segregation? No, I don’t think this was Dr King’s dream! And please, let’s not take Paul’s “anti-statism” seriously. Paul is a complete phony when it comes to the issue of statism– the fact that he wants to “seal the border” is proof positive that he wants a larger, more repressive state! The new Nazi slogan is “bring the troops home–and put them on the Mexican border”– and yes, that’s Paul’s slogan too! Paul and the rest of the anti-immigrant hysterics’ agenda boils down to trying to get working people in the US who’ve been screwed by treaties like NAFTA to scapegoat Mexicans instead of the– er, excuse the unfashionable phrase, the capitalist class. Lou Dobbs and Ron Paul are part of the same anti-immigrant swamp that the Left needs to push back and challenge, not dive into and drown.

  37. Don't Worry said on December 19th, 2007 at 4:34am #

    Andrew, Ron Paul supporters aren’t going to support some puppet after registering to vote for the first time. They just won’t vote because they know it would be a waste. Ron Paul has made it clear he won’t support anyone who wants to continue our war of aggression. If he doesn’t get the nomination I hope a Democrat wins. Perhaps 4 years of a Democrat continuing Bush’s policy of aggression people will wake up and see the political establishment as their enemy.

    Ron Paul wants to get rid of NAFTA and WTO. Your right Hispanics are being unfairly attacked. People like Lou Dobbs should be asking what did our country do to these poor people to force them to work for immoral Americans for below minimum wage and hazardous working conditions? Then make those responsible pay and help those they have impoverished. Our foreign policy of meddling has led to suffering of people across the world. It is why we need Ron Paul, Dennis or Gravel in the White House. They want to stop this destructive policy.

    Your right about his dislike concerning the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because of the over expansion of Federal power. He complains that it didn’t solve the racial problems in the US and lead to racial strife. Is America worth defending if Americans are incapable of treating each other morally and need the Federal Government to decide culturally charged issues? If I judged people based on fringe elements who liked them I’d have to move to another planet because this whole species is rotten to the core.

  38. gerald spezio said on December 19th, 2007 at 6:55am #

    A basic hypothesis with a limited specific focus;

    Suppose that some professed leftist political gurus, Joshua Frank or Ron Jacobs for example, are surreptitiously working to advance Zionism’s cause or some other cause, but successfully masquerading as international socialists, anti-war activists, scholars of Trotskyism, knowledgable historians, and dedicated to the “struggle for peace and justice?”

    Read their “work” and see if such a rudimentary hypothesis can account for both what the writer says – and what he doesn’t say.

    If a proffered “explanation” is preposterous on its face (Zionism isn’t a preponderant variable in US murdering in Iraq.), it is mandatory to expend your energies elsewhere?

    Johnny Cochran and Joshua Frank are supposed to keep you mystified.

  39. Steven Sherman said on December 19th, 2007 at 11:18am #

    Sherry, your articles on this topic have been fine, but let’s relax for a moment and have a laugh about the Paul campaign. The supporters of a REPUBLICAN candidate apparently think it is an urgent matter to flood the comments board of websites such as this one and mrzine because…

  40. gerald spezio said on December 19th, 2007 at 12:01pm #

    Steven Sherman, I just re-read you detailed review of Naomi Klein’s, “The Shock Doctrine.”
    http://lefteyeonbooks.org/

    Do you have the time to comment about Klein’s very obvious neglect of Zionism as a critical variable in her otherwise excellent Shock Doctrine Thesis?

    Some of the commentary here addressed her neglect of Zionism in her thesis.

  41. Gary Lapon said on December 19th, 2007 at 1:59pm #

    Deadbeat,

    Josh is right about the ISO; they are still very open about their opposition to Zionism. Here is a list of articles from their newspaper, Socialist Worker : http://www.socialistworker.org/Featured/Israel.shtml

    On the topic here, Sherry Wolf is on point. For the anti-war movement to embrace Ron Paul with one arm is to use the other to give a stiff arm to women, people of color, gays, immigrants, and the poor. This is the last thing the movement needs if it expects to grow.

    The larger point, and I assume Sherry agrees with me (judging from what I’ve read in the ISR), is that the anti-war movement, and the left in general, needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. While it would be nice if there was a shortcut, we are never going to get what we want from the top, not even from a pseudo-outsider like a Ron Paul or a Dennis Kucinich or anyone else. We need to build a movement independent of the two-party system…if we keep putting our hopes and efforts into it we only postpone the inevitable base-building that is required.

    (P.S. I noticed that I only mentioned Zionism once here, so I figured that I might as well mention it again, so that gerald spezio won’t spend a sleepless night wondering if I’m an AIPAC plant…sheesh.)

  42. Deadbeat said on December 19th, 2007 at 4:11pm #

    Gary,

    I was extremely clear in my response to Joshua Frank and your response does NOT address the issue I raised and have been raising here on DV.

    As I stated, I learned a great deal about Zionism from the ISO. The ISO, in my judgment, had a more radical analysis against Zionism 15 years ago or so than they do today. I think they moderated their position due to their involvement in electoral .

    The ISO does an excellent job analyzing Zionism within the framework of Israel’s occupation of Palestine and its affects within the Middle East region. However Zionism is an UNBOUNDED ideology. Where the ISO falters is their lack of analysis of Zionism’s effect on U.S. political economy and culture especially as it relates to the war in Iraq.

    The ISO, like Mr. Frank, obscures Zionism influence on U.S. Policy by promoting the “War For Oil” myth. Here’s an article from the ISO own website that confirms my analysis: Blood For Oil

    It is dubious to say the least that for many years the ISO could provided clear-cut radical analysis about Zionism are now myopic about its influence in the destruction of Iraq, that the United States have not achieve any oil from this war, that the oil companies were against this war, and most importantly that the Zionist goals of the destroying Iraq has been achieved.

    My premise still stands. The left has UTTERLY failed to CONFRONT Zionism in the United States. Clearly the ISO have moderated their radicalism on this issue. For Ms. Wolf to recognize white racism but to exhibit myopia regarding Zionism in her analysis is sheer duplicity. IT IS this duplicity that has divided and weaken the left and help to created the political vacuum being filled by Ron Paul.

  43. corylus said on December 20th, 2007 at 2:30am #

    I’ve read many of the articles posted on this site about Ron Paul, the Left, the political campaigns of other candidates, Iraq, Zionism’s influence on U. S. foreign policy, the impending uncertainties of the national and global economies, and so on. I continue to be bemused, bewitched, and often bewildered by what I read. Like everyone else with a personal anatomy, I have my opinions, but I don’t offer what follows as solutions: I really don’t have any. I also could care less that most of the posters listed above and many others will no doubt attack my ideas, and me personally, though few of you have any clues yourselves, otherwise you wouldn’t be so facile in passing off your words as authoritative. I’m a damned fool and a terminally cynical curmudgeon, and let that serve as my disclaimer.

    To start with, arguing about the validity of the campaigns of Ron Paul or any other candidates for governmental positions in this country or elsewhere means you aren’t a leftist. Given the egregious failings of the militaristic, corporate, capitalistic civilization in which we live, including its arguments for retention of the status quo — such as politics-as-practiced and campaigns for public office and policy-making — places the advocate squarely inside the collapsing box of this “civilization.” The political campaign and electoral system in this country is completely under corporate control, so choosing to continue to play along with a proposition that will only prolong the condemnation of over 98% of the world’s population to poverty and injustice lacks any imagination or vision whatsoever. We don’t need any more stinking elections, we need to gas the fascists, destroy capitalism, and dissolve this government. Progress, as in progressive, means moving ahead, not resorting to the same old tried and true failures.

    Only community-based political actions hold any promise for individual pursuits of happiness, except that corporations and their governmental and media proxies continually usurp our perceived array of choice through advertising, mass consumerism, popular culture, financial racketeering, and political repression. Supporting the current electoral system and its infinitely small slice of political choices that would be available in a true democracy fulfills the definition of insanity.

    As a biologist, one either learns (or ignores, as many have) the basic fact about carrying capacity for any population of organisms. Humans aren’t exempt from the physical laws of the universe. When was the last time you heard anyone publicly advocate reducing the human population? How can anyone believe that the continual growth foundation for modern capitalism can be sustained with finite “resources” and limited energy (only plants have the capabilities for moderately efficient solar energy capture, and no other energy source other than solar and its non-carbon derivatives is available to humans indefinitely)?

    Arguing for retention of the political status quo, based as it is on a capitalistic culture and consumeristic economy, is ostrich-thinking. NONE of the political candidates has the guts or creativity to advocate a shift in the economic paradigm that is ruining this planet, because, of course, if any of them did, they would have to be killed. Yet anyone who maintains that retention of the status quo capitalistic system – free trade, globalism, neoliberal jive and hucksterism – increasingly suckled on the monstrous cock of militaristic imperialism, is any part of a solution to global injustice and inequity, is stark naked in a cesspool of delusion.

    I really cannot believe, with all the educational opportunities available, that anyone can fail to see that any system that exploits the environment, its organisms, its physical wealth, and its physical health (paying for drinking water — just how insane and inhumane is that????), for the accumulation of capital, is doomed, and it will take our species and many others with it. (Hey, Congress just approved more tax funding for an industry that has continually demonstrated its wastefulness and lack of compatibility with environmental sustainability – go nuclear! go blow your brains out! I guess I’m not the only fool who’ll be paying to piss into the wind.) Yet the goodness of greed and god and manifest destiny and the glory of the dollar and all that crap I was raised to believe in continue to be gospel for most Americans, so I guess my thinking for myself must be wrong (or should Ron Paul be thinking for myself?).

    Only 7 days left until my next chip implant.

  44. Deadbeat said on December 20th, 2007 at 10:22am #

    Cynthia McKinney has announce her switch from the Democrats to the Green Party. Now the “left” has no more “excuses”. Here’s a person that represents progressive values.

  45. Josh Eban said on December 20th, 2007 at 3:35pm #

    I’ve never seen such threadbare hoaxes as the ones perpetrated in the current fraud by Sherry Wolf.

    State-worshiping propagandists of “the left” and “the right” are really getting desperate now.

    More power to the Ron Paul campaign.

  46. Mike McNiven said on December 20th, 2007 at 5:21pm #

    Capitalism creates imperialism to survive; imperialism creates racism, zionism, fascism to survive!

    Ron Paul, might be anti-war but, is not anti-imperialist! He wants more Capitalism!…

  47. j4ck said on December 20th, 2007 at 5:49pm #

    Holy cow, that article is even worse than the first one..
    Another great thing about the good doctor..his candidacy shows where people actually stand. Maybe the writer should just accept that some people on the left do actually care about the things they’re talking about. That naturally drives them to Ron Paul…which differs them from people like yourself..who seem to be driven by their self-righteousness to useless, marxist / utopian dreams.
    namaste,
    j4ck

  48. Steven Sherman said on December 20th, 2007 at 8:29pm #

    Gerald–Zionism has very little to do with the rise of neoliberalism, the topic of The Shock Doctrine. Klein does have a stimulating chapter on Israel and disaster capitalism, i.e. profiting off of ‘security’. She suggests that Israel now has an economic interest in not finding peace.

  49. jaime said on December 20th, 2007 at 9:15pm #

    Hooray for Ron Paul!!!

    Video Link

    Ron Paul: I’ll take campaign money from anyone

    —————-

    http://www.vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=63682

    Both Congressman Paul and his aides regularly meet with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review, and others at the Tara Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, usually on Wednesdays. This is part of a dinner that was originally organized by Pat Buchanan, Sam Francis and Joe Sobran, and has since been mostly taken over by the Council of Conservative Citizens.

    I have attended these dinners, seen Paul and his aides there, and been invited to his offices in Washington to discuss policy.

    For his spokesman to call white racialism a “small ideology” and claim white activists are “wasting their money” trying to influence Paul is ridiculous. Paul is a white nationalist of the Stormfront type who has always kept his racial views and his views about world Judaism quiet because of his political position.

    I don’t know that it is necessarily good for Paul to “expose” this. However, he really is someone with extensive ties to white nationalism and for him to deny that in the belief he will be more respectable by denying it is outrageous — and I hate seeing people in the press who denounce racialism merely because they think it is not fashionable.

    Bill White, Commander
    American National Socialist Workers Party

    ———–

    Click Here

    By BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Press WriterWed Dec 19, 4:27 PM ET

    Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has received a $500 campaign donation from a white supremacist, and the Texas congressman doesn’t plan to return it, an aide said Wednesday.

    Don Black, of West Palm Beach, recently made the donation, according to campaign filings. He runs a Web site called Stormfront with the motto, “White Pride World Wide.” The site welcomes postings to the “Stormfront White Nationalist Community.”

    “Dr. Paul stands for freedom, peace, prosperity and inalienable rights. If someone with small ideologies happens to contribute money to Ron, thinking he can influence Ron in any way, he’s wasted his money,” Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said. “Ron is going to take the money and try to spread the message of freedom.”

    “And that’s $500 less that this guy has to do whatever it is that he does,” Benton added.

    Black said he supports Paul’s stance on ending the war in Iraq, securing U.S. borders and his opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants.

    “We know that he’s not a white nationalist. He says he isn’t and we believe him, but on the issues, there’s only one choice,” Black said Wednesday.

    “We like his stand on tight borders and opposition to a police state,” Black told The Palm Beach Post earlier.

    On his Web site, Black says he has been involved in “the White patriot movement for 30 years.”

  50. j4ck said on December 21st, 2007 at 5:06am #

    @Jaime
    Yeh that Commander Bill guy is a reliable source, look what he’s got to say about the shoa.
    -.-
    I wonder how much he got paid for this bull.

  51. jaime said on December 21st, 2007 at 9:32am #

    Check this out, Cowboy!

    http://img43.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=54208_20071220RonPaulDonBlack_122_702lo.jpg

    http://img184.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=54214_20071220RonPaulStormfront02_122_121lo.jpg

    Values Voters Presidential Debate in Fort Lauderdale on September 17, 2007. Immediately to Ron Paul’s left: Don Black, the owner of neo-Nazi hate site Stormfront. Fellow with the hat is his son Derek Black.

    via http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/

  52. Patrick Henry said on December 21st, 2007 at 9:49am #

    “So long as we have institutionalized racism, we will need affirmative action, including quotas, and other legal and social protections to challenge the racists in power and defend groups under siege.”

    Funny, you want to fight “institutionalized racism” by instituting racism?

    BRILLIANT!

    “Let’s not pander to petty bosses’ ideology”

    You are a communist. You are a slave in your own mind. I wouldn’t have a problem with that if you didn’t think it was right and moral and legal for you to try to enslave myself and everyone else in the world.

    Socialism is Evil, it is a Crime, it is Wrong, it is Illegal.

    I won’t pick the lesser of two evils, I’m picking good and hoping it catches on quick – Ron Paul 2008

  53. hp said on December 21st, 2007 at 12:17pm #

    Jaime,
    we ain’t played Zionists and cowboys… yet.

  54. j4ck said on December 21st, 2007 at 3:20pm #

    @jaime
    Uhm you know that 5000 other people took photos with Dr. Paul that day?
    Plz stop those desperate smear attempts, just be honest in what you don’t like about the good doctor.

  55. jaime said on December 21st, 2007 at 3:40pm #

    Too many coincidences, Kimosabe.

  56. Myles Hoenig said on December 21st, 2007 at 5:13pm #

    Great article Sherry. Too bad there’s still a lot of Paul supporters who still think themselves as progressive. Those who want him to run in the General Election so he can highlight the anti-war position might only succeed in overshadowing a Green candidate who would not only be anti-war, but pro-union, anti-racist, will not have an distorted loyalty to Israel, support pro-environmental legislation and accountability, etc. A Green candidate, whether it be McKinney, Dr. Ball, or whomever the party chooses, will be a progressive through and through.

    Let’s not have any of this Libertarian smokescreen behind an anti-war position.

    Aligning with Libs on issues is one thing. Promoting them electorally is a threat to a progressive agenda.

    To someone who was afraid Paul’s coattails would bring down good Democrats… Good Democrats? If they’re in Congress and they haven’t bolted from the Democratic Party yet, what’s good about them?

    Myles

  57. Naturboy said on December 21st, 2007 at 7:36pm #

    You say you want revolution…

    Yet the last time Amerigoons revolved around anything, it was pat robertson and the Christian coalition dismantling the counter-culture, and so far they still seem perfectly happy inbreeding brain-dead ‘believers’ right across the red-state bible belt.

    Therein lies the reason for Bushco and his botched war: They just ‘believed’.

    It seems some have found a new preacher in st. paul, who they similarly seem to ‘believe’ without apparently questioning his platform.

    There’s a lot of ‘isms & schisms’ in the comments above, but all party politics and presidential posturing aside, this preposterous Paulian proposal that the market ‘polices itself’, is obviously utterly disproved.

    Anyone espousing such opprobrium in light of the disastrous destruction and heart-rending record of personal and corporate wanton waste that this young land has already suffered via the ‘greed imperative’, has subscribed to some religious devotion to a cut-throat culture of vicious, self-righteous pioneer pillagers.

    That corrupting cultural addictive dogma which was rail-roaded out to the rednecks on Carnegie’s cattle-cars (fueled by Standard Oil no doubt) looked for a while almost old-fashioned. But that’s until it got reamed up the right-brains of red-states from a televangelist’s lectern by Paul’s ultra-free-market predecessors, Ron Reagan and Maggie Thatcher.

    Read Paul’s platform:
    It’s got nothing to do with ‘liberalism’ nor ‘revolution’. No grass-roots citizens uniting to reject the megalomaniacal overlords of industry and this failed ‘trickle-down’ free-trade.

    Rather the entire Paulian position perches on a precarious pedestal directly atop a farce of free-market fundamentalism, an ethic more likely to fuel a feeding frenzy by right-wing religious greed-fanatics then free us from tyranny of taxation.

    His concept of commerce and capitalism is not only extreme, it borders on the lunatic fringe. But conveniently for the Paul campaign, society already seems not at all shy of the corruptions fueled by free markets, conflating ‘free enterprise’ with ‘freedom’. (sounds sorta similar, I suppose english is funny that way sometimes).

    I suspect the real reason people support Paul is for the same reasons they walked the ultra-capitalist plank when last lured by Reagan’s tricky “Trickle-down” triumph. If they don’t realize that, then they’ve piled into a bandwagon of anti-fed friends for the fraternity.

    The Paulian program cancels all oversight and regulation from any thing higher than the village parking-ticket appeals court. ALL environmental policy is then dogmatically entrusted to the local level, gambling that people will come to their personal senses and hold industry in check all by themselves.

    If this public’s past performance is any forecast of future returns, Paul-people could only have constructed this stage-set with the full knowledge that under his program industry would win, the people and wildlife would lose, and absolutely nothing would be done to stop it. It’s almost such an obvious economic farce that the words ‘seriously sinister’ come to mind.

    Nobody claims the fed laws are not flawed, nor that States do not, on occasion, sue business for their folly. But fact is whatever combination we have now is all we have, and if it fails, the people’s quasi-elected leaders are bent on dismantling protections long before Paul ever got his band of web-based ‘rebels’ to believe his ‘liberublican’ preacher’s pitch.

    If you actually read what paul says and writes, he’s categorically OPPOSED to ANY federal oversight of this pathology of amerigun frontier-style amerigoon abuse of nature.

    Again, Paul’s position ONLY provides for individuals to sue if damaged by neighbors. That’s the entire extent of his position on “environment” per his campaign.

    As alluded above, the typical red-state paradigm promotes a cavalier, carnivorous culture of hunting, logging, herding and believing, like some sort of swaggering, church-goin’ cowboy cult.

    If left to locals and their local or state government, PCB’s would have extinguished shore birds and raptors, murrelets would have been wiped out in the lower 48, and dozens of other species would have gone the way of the red wolf, passenger pigeon, and Carolina Parakeet.

    That’s not to say the feds don’t do horrific things, like subsidize the corrupt logging of national forests at a net loss to the tax payer (which Paul indeed opposes, not because vast publicly owned irreplaceable virgin forests are needlessly decimated for tinder and toilet paper. but because it defies his free-market model).

    Who better to trust, he says, than the person who owns and makes his living off the land? Well I might point the good Dr. Paul to his friendly chemical-spraying farmers out there in the heartland who might be the subject of that psalm.

    Indeed those who should be caring more than anyone instead got swept off in the agri-tech scam sold them by the very business Paul want’s to further deregulate, so instead of ‘care’ you get cancer.

    Pesticides, factory farms, bovine hormones are present hazards brought on by lax regulation, just as big tobacco, DDT and PCB’s were before. Those were all also horrific crimes of unchecked business, though often implemented by individuals. If you don’t regulate it, they don’t stop doing it if there’s an extra nickle to be made, despite the decades of compelling science of the dangers.

    No local neighbor suffering lung cancer can successfully litigate such a powerful force of Ferenghi greed addicts.

    So let me then understand: These corporate and private citizens are the people you want to now entrust to organize their state legislature to take on the big business interests in protection of our common forests, air and water, when they’ve shown no capacity to even take on Bochco for lying us into Vietnam once again (as if the first one didn’t just end a generation ago)?

    Apparently red state rednecks just want to shoot things and be left alone to drain their wetlands, pump dioxin and PCB’s into streams, cut down anything they can call a saw-log, and sell the rest for firewood (See Montana, for example)

    This whole charade of trusting the local municipalities and states to enact laws effectively protecting the ‘common’ good (as if states were a bunch of islands sharing not the same landmass, water, woods and species), is absurd.

    This country is if anything far smaller than Paul’s old man notion of individual nation-states floating in a sea of endlessly expendable wilderness. It’s like something from back in Daniel Boone days, patriots pickin’ off redcoats and complaining about the price of tea. In that scenario you can forget saving habitat or endangered ‘varmints’ who will all (as in each and every to the very last one) just end up barbequed on some trailer-dwelling polycarbonate fiesta-ware platter

    And what about the old problem of slave-states vs. normal humanity? Isn’t Paul here proposing we allow the reversing a few of the more fortuitous federal functions, like the Emancipation Proclamation? Sounds far-fetched, but one wonders if Paul feels the feds were ‘treading’ on ‘state’s rights’ or the constitution by freeing the slaves.

    Absurd you say, “Paul would never allow it” (and hopefully not). But from my reading there’s absolutely nothing in his platform preventing Alabama from voting to re-enact segregation (remember, he’s against the Civil Rights Act).

    It would be up to the victims to sue in local courts— (Hullo?… anyone still remember the Jena Six, yet only 6 months on?? So much for local red-neck kangaroo courts upholding human rights).

    Based on the paulian program as it’s presented to his public, supporters had better be ready for more ‘strange fruit’ hangin’ from poplar trees if you give those hooded heretics reason to ‘vote’ for local southern ‘policy’.

    And we’re not even mentioning labor laws, minimum wage, women’s suffrage– the list of hard-won worker and human rights against the single-minded. male dominated profit-motive of business is long, and still oozing life. These federal protections were hard won with the blood of those who fought just such a corporatocratic regime as Paul apparently proposes.

    But my concern is less for those who can file lawsuits (and the burgeoning pro-bono army of sleazy lawyers filing fpr this windfall of likely lucrative litigation), when courts can’t handle the legions of opportunistic ambulance-chasers we already have haunting the halls of ‘justice’).

    My concern is for those who have no voice, who can’t file complaints nor take up firearms to defend themselves against the ‘revolutionary’ patriots of Ruby Ridge or Wacko, TX.

    In the fine words of Gerald Durell: “Remember that the animals and plants have no Member of Parliament they can write to; they can’t perform sit-down strikes…they have nobody to speak for them except us, the human beings who share the world with them, but do not own it.”

    Leaving life on earth up to locals to litigate is preposterous. You would need a full time fleet of Erin Brokoviches in every town to take on industry’s criminal antics pro-bono on behalf of the local inbred, illiterate electorate, who could care less if Big Coal levels the whole state of WV and makes it into a toxic parking lot (as we now see), as long as they’re gettin’ their minimum wage for their efforts and black-lung in the pits. And even then the plaintiffs would need evidence of illness or damage, so that sort of de-regulated hazard is barely retroactive at best.

    I agree ‘revolution’ sounds all well and good, considering the frustration we all feel with the status quo, but the ‘Paul Revolution’ is, once again the sort of thing one wants to avoid, not espouse. If one is so passionate about a presidential platform as the paulies seem to be, then one should be very careful about actually reading the positions, especially when they already clearly carry some very controversial clauses.

    I would also perk up my ears at any presidential preacher whose main sponsors are among the military. Paul is very proud of his pandemic, lock-kneed support among the enlisted militarists of our nationalistic mass-murdering government goon-squad (all federal employees, mind you).

    The military is a dubious constituency, and certainly not any group to be taking political advice from. Despite the compelling case that what enlisted service-personnel are doing to Iraq is illegal and in violation of Geneva accords prohibiting individual soldiers from acting on illegal or immoral orders. This would render each enlisted man choosing to be deployed and kill in Iraq complicit in war crimes, and no amount of evidence of fraud or treason prompts them to question their commanders.

    That failure violates all moral, ethical and religious doctrine and bars any ‘just war’ excuse, rendering these cold blooded killers a liability to any platform they flock to, not, in this day and age, a cause for patriotic political pride.

    Why all these uniforms fall for Paul is a mystery to me, but if the service personnel of the armed forces seek to support principles of trust, liberty and law, they should look first to their own behavior and the illegal atrocities they comit in the name of their patriotic pose.

    (Now don’t go sayin’ yer fightin’ fer my right to say that, soldier, nobody’s invading the USA).

  58. Brandy Baker said on December 25th, 2007 at 7:58am #

    I notice that most of those who are pulling for Paul are almost exclusively male, who are mostly white and mostly older. Women and people of color are not his base and never will be. It seems that many, even sadly, on the Left, want to go with what appeals to older white males, who are, by far, the most conservative demographic group in this country.

    This is a difficult time and to embrace libertarianism no way out. On issues, YES. Supporting candidates, no.

    I wish people on this list would get as enthusiastic over Cynthia McKinney and Jared Ball. It’s time to make the Democrats pay dearly for their giving Bush all that he wants. That means confronting them, protesting them, and telling them with our signs and voices that it is time to pay. Make them lose their seats. Put their asses right back into the minority. Vote Green.

  59. Naturboy said on December 26th, 2007 at 9:40am #

    AH, the amazing and courageous Cynthia McKinney– what has become of her bill to Impeach Bush? And when 911 finally ‘truths’, are they all gonna get pardons from the pope?

    Personally, I think CINDY SHEEHAN will be an historic Speaker Of The House, and I’m ready to roll out to CA to be able to vote for her! (But I ain’t moovin’ down ta deliverance (all due respect Ms. McKinney, we’re not all so brave~).

  60. DylanWaco said on December 27th, 2007 at 11:48am #

    As usual I am impressed by the level of hypocracy and inconsistency coming from the ISO and International Socialist Review writer Sherry Wolf. Much of what has been written above is interesting and deserving of comment, but entering the fray rather late I will reserve my comments to a few bullet point statements:

    – The contention that a movement must be built from the ground up, outside of the institutions that currently exist, is if anything an argument in favor of Ron Pauls candidacy. Paul has shown the willingness to run third party before, draws support from traditional third party or non-voters (Ron Paul is the only candidate I know of to get any sort of support from self-identified anarchists), and has clearly stated that he will not support his parties nominee if they run an imperalist, pro-war plank (they will). Paul is a Republican only for reasons of perceived political neccesity..something Trotskyites should be entirely farmilar with.

    -The implication that decentralized communities will do less to curb enviornmental destruction and terrorism, than will massive statist policies and agencies has been refuted by the history of Eastern European Communism, and the advanced stages of enviornmental decay that line up rather nicely with the advent of EPA in this country. I agree that industrialization is decadent and must be combatted (oddly enough an idea, that is never seriously addressed by socialist, and has traction only with enviornmentalist anarchists and old right traditionalists conservatives like Russ Kirk and Richard Weaver), but decentralism is far more likely to usher in the destruction of corporate capitalism and the industrial monolith, than blind faith in state regulatory agencies that usually work as the “invisible hand” of tyrrany.

    -McKinney is a worthwhile candidate, we shall see how her campaign develops..for now Paul is clearly the best option for anti-war, anti-imperial, anti-big activists and advocates.

    -In Sherry Wolfs initial article she seems to suggest that a distrust and contempt for the UN is evidence of a wishy-washy views on imperalism. This is obviously false and naive marxist fundamentalism at its worst. The UN is a fraud, that all leftists should oppose for many reasons, not the least of which is its creation of the state of Israel and its open ended resolutions regarding Iraq. If anything leftists should be adovacting immediate withdrawl..that it takes a libertarian to do so is disconcerting.

    -A central theme in this thread has been Pauls allegedly restrictionist stance on immigration being grounds to consider him a racist and unworthy of a vote. The reality is that Pauls position on immigration is literally to the left of the position expoused by Ralph Nader during the 2004 election cycle. Nader called for a huge reduction in legal immigration, via suspesion of major visa programs for example. Paul has never done this..yet Nader was endorsed by the Sherry Wolfs of the world in spite of this.

    I could go on and on, but will stop there. There is ample reason for serious leftist, espcially non-dogmatic, decentralist to campaign, support and vote for Ron Paul.

  61. Adam Sanchez said on December 29th, 2007 at 10:04pm #

    A reply to Joshua Frank and other leftists who are urging leftists to support Ron Paul:

    In his comment on Sherry Wolf’s response above, Joshua Frank replies:
    “to me it’s not about Paul’s so-called “revolution”, it is about making the war issue the central issue in the campaign. Without a stickler in there, the two-headed monster won’t be pressured to address the issue in the debates or along the campaign trail.”

    What is wrong about this assesment is that it is not the absence of Ron Paul, but the absence of an antiwar movement, that will fail to pressure the “two-headed monster” to debate the war. A movement that bird dogs candidates along the campaign trail, that organizes marches and rallies across the country, that helps support the growing numbers of active duty GIs, vets and military families speaking out against the war is what will pressure politicians to raise the issue of the war, not Ron Paul.

    As far as I know our antiwar coalition in Portland, Oregon is one of the few cities outside of D.C. planning a large mobilization against the war for the 5th anniversary. Unfortunately, I think this says more about the dismal state of the antiwar movement than anything tremendous about Portland.

    Yet we have spent the last year slowly and carefully putting together a coalition of progressive-left groups that have a solid understanding of how to stop a war. And I can tell you very few of our 60 members/member groups would seriously consider supporting Ron Paul. The reason is simple: our coalition has successfully put together antiwar groups with other organizations that have traditionally fought mainly against all the things that Ron Paul is crappy on. These groups do incredible work against racism, for immigrants rights, for women and GLBTQ rights, and for other leftists in the coalition to all of a sudden support Ron Paul would be a huge slap in their face. The idea that our coalition should abandon planning protests and expanding our efforts to make Portland a Sanctuary City for GI Resisters to go campaign for Ron Paul is just absurd in this context. Like Portland has and is continuing to do, leftists across the nation need to expand the movement by showing the connections between being against the war and being for immigrant’s rights, against racism, against the occupation of palestine, for women’s rights, etc., and bring activists who care about those issues into the antiwar movement.

    Anyone who thinks the war is going to end either by getting Ron Paul elected or by having Ron Paul bring up the issue along the campaign trail, is far removed from reality. We’re going to end this war just like we ended the Vietnam War, by creating a massive INDEPENDENT antiwar movement that pressures all politicians to bring the troops home immediately, and supports military families, vets, active duty GIs who choose to resist (who by the way tend to be a multiracial, predominantly working class group) AS WELL AS Arabs who are being scapegoated in the US, and the millions of Iraqi refugees and citizens. The might of this group is much more powerful than any shout in the dark from Ron Paul. Supporting Ron Paul would be a huge step backward for an antiwar movement and a Left that has taken way too many already.