Left and Right Against the Empire

When President Obama made his first post-election visit to San Francisco, two groups of protesters met him in Union Square. About 500 activists (the “Left”) carried signs, sang songs and chanted for an end to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, for environmental action and Medicare for all.

Sharing space with us were about 250 “tea-baggers” (the “Right”) carrying anti-Obama signs. Their main issues were lower taxes and opposition to “government intervention” in health care.

Despite sharp disagreement on health care and the “stimulus”, we agreed on much. Everyone I spoke to was against the wars (although they “supported the troops”) and against the corporate bailouts, and for civil liberties. Why must we see each other as opponents rather than potential allies? In a society run by corporate elites who trample the values of both progressives and traditional conservatives, couldn’t we align Left and Right against the national security state and bankster capitalism?

Scott Horton thinks we can and should. Horton is host of Antiwar Radio, a show heard on KAOS Radio in Austin, Texas and streaming on Antiwar.com . “The left-right political spectrum is the name of our dilemma,” he says. “To end the wars and restore our Bill of Rights we have to find common grounds, not get distracted and tear each other’s eyes out over less important cultural and economic differences.”

It seems clear the left-right divide is serving the rulers. In response to the question, “Where is all the protest,” a Common Dreams reader posted: “There are plenty of folks objecting. They are simply being dismissed by the left as “mobs” and “Nazi’s”, with the right dismissing the others as communists, socialists and liberals.”

Started by libertarians, Antiwar.com features news from around the world on foreign policy, with antiwar views from all political positions. “We’re making people realize that what’s most important is what we have in common,” says Horton. “Our troops should be brought home yesterday. Stop the torture; stop the empire.”

Horton is far from alone in this crusade. Progressive talk radio host Thom Hartmann approvingly quotes Ross Perot and Ron Paul. Paul and liberal Democrat Alan Grayson co-sponsored an amendment to audit the Federal Reserve. Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders and Republican Jim DeMint are spearheading a similar measure in the Senate. Firedog Lake’s Jane Hamsher and various rightists have co-authored several letters protesting insurance and bankster giveaways.

Libertarians and leftists are also joining forces in the street. Libertarians in Monterey, California joined the local Peace Coalition and organized a demonstration against the occupation of Afghanistan. We haven’t seen any tea-baggers at these protests yet, but why not reach out to them? The empire is the antithesis of the small government they claim to believe in.

In the electoral arena, a group of libertarians and progressives has formed a PAC called Strange Bedfellows to support candidates running against Blue Dog Democrats and other war supporters.

Diverse American forces have allied against empire before. In 1898, leaders from Andrew Carnegie to Jane Addams and Samuel Gompers joined Mark Twain in forming the American Anti-Imperialist League to oppose the annexation of the Philippines.

According to the Alliance of the Libertarian Left, we should perhaps stop looking at the battle against gangster capitalism as being solely a “Left” project. One can oppose modern corporate capitalism from a socialist perspective, but also from a free market perspective, because corporations wielding government power destroy free markets.

Citing Ralph Nader, Horton says, “Our problem in the U.S. is a combination of elite private power and the public power of the state. It’s not business in and of itself; it’s business’ control of government, as in the bailout. Libertarians and leftists agreed that banks shouldn’t be allowed to socialize their costs onto the working people and middle-class people. A lot of conservatives see this clearly also.” In fact, street demonstrations against the Fed have included Ron Paul libertarians, Greens, and New Way Forward progressives.

Seeing Things Differently, Fighting Together

Historically, the Left’s prime values are justice, equality, and cooperation. The honest (non-corporate) Right’s prime values are freedom and independence. Our differences in values explain the conflict about universal health care. The Left sees it as promoting equality and supporting those who need help. The Right sees it as an infringement on people’s independence. I don’t share their values, but it’s important to recognize that they truly held.

The corporate oligarchs destroy the values of both Left and Right. The oligarchs are against justice, equality, and social security, and also against freedom, independence, and peace. So a left/right coalition at least starts with a common enemy.

How can Leftists ally with libertarians and honest conservatives? Horton says, “Approach the Right from the right. How can a conservative be for unlimited nationalism and abandoning the rule of law and unlimited budgets? Show them they are being inconsistent with their own beliefs.”

A reader on antiwar.com commented, “Approach [grass-roots conservatives] in the language of freedom.” The empire is taking away American freedoms and the freedoms of those it attacks. The war on drugs is an assault on freedom; the war on terror is an assault on freedom. Handing the keys to the Treasury to Goldman Sachs is an assault on economic freedom.

Yes, there are differences between Left and Right. But they don’t include some of the most important issues – stopping the empire, restoring civil liberties, and breaking the mega-banks’ hold on the economy. We all agree on those.

Can we get off the left/right continuum? As Horton asks, “Instead of liberals vs. conservatives, wouldn’t it be better to have it be torturers, imperialists and liars vs. the peace and freedom party?”

If we’re willing to reach out to conservatives and ally with libertarians, they are not hard to find. If we focus on the issues that unite us, maybe we can build a movement against the empire.

David Spero RN writes books, columns, and blogs about the social dimensions of health. He edited the paper Green Consensus for the California Greens. He can be reached at: david@www.art-of-getting-well.com. Read other articles by David, or visit David's website.

65 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Josie Michel-Bruening said on January 11th, 2010 at 9:53am #

    Dear David Spero,
    brilliant idea!
    There are additional reasons for joining each other: for instance the climate collapse theatening the survival of the children and grandchildren of all of us.

  2. bozh said on January 11th, 2010 at 11:21am #

    I also began urging americans to stop labeling one another as communist, socialist, fascist, liberals or even mention the very word “socialism”.
    Left can go anywhere without the Right and Middle being onside for right to be informed, obtain healthcare and free higher education.

    Free higher education wld not ever be free as higher educated people wld more than pay for their ‘free’ education. The more doctors, singers, actors the cheaper they get.

    Of course, by education i mean an educaion that is selected by, in priciple, all people and not just chosen ones by the ruling class.
    If people wld be just informed, nobody wld, i hope, doubt enormous good coming from that alone.
    Add to it proper education and penalties for lying aimfully and the sky is the limit to further enlightenment!
    In US and almost everywhere priests, aghas, amirs, lords, boyars, counts, dukes, princes, plutos, pols, ceos feared and fear now education and the right to be informed;more than even global warming or any other phenomenon.
    Natch, a fierce battle wld arise btwn such people and the illuminati!

    In countries like jordn, israel, colombia, pak’n, india one can expect military resistance to the illumination!!!? In US, canada?! tnx

  3. PAG said on January 11th, 2010 at 2:42pm #

    Being conservative usually entails the concept of self reliance. Stand on our own two feet taking help only when it is absolutely necessary, and helping neighbors in genuine need. To have Solar panels on our homes make fiscal sense. Why pay continually the cost of energy production on a system that can be shut down on a whim, while leaving one venerable to heat or cold along with financial problems if the bill isn’t paid? Growing our own food with the same fiscal idea, with the added benefit of knowing where our food comes from and controlling its growth. Turning ones back on artificial sweeteners, coloring and flavors, rejecting industry claims that High Fructose Corn Syrup, margarine and other fake foods is harmless, Working hard, making a living, raising families, all this things we share greatly with those on the left. I no more want water to be polluted than you. I have no want, wish, or desire to breath in toxic fumes from a petroleum factory, or fish out seafood that can kill me. I believe in self determination and the right to live my life as I see fit without government intervention. Whose business is it to be told what if anything I can eat, drink, smoke or who I can have sex with? I am a very STRONG believer in life, including that of the unborn, animals, and plants to be born, live, reproduce and die as God intended. I hold no quarrel with anyone who is gay or transgendered, Islamic, Jew, Hindu, or any other religion. Why should I limit my understanding of my world to that of what makes myself comfortable? I love rich food and find various “ethnic” foods far more palatable than the bland tasteless garbage I was raised on. I find artificial sweeteners and food coloring as unhealthy, MSG (which I am allergic to) as a poor substitute to real salt. BvGh as an assault on our health, the cows it is given too and destructive overall. I believe in abolishing monoculture and reducing to the eventual elimination of pesticides and herbicides. Organic foods far better tasting than conventional food. I share this belief with many people on the right including inexhaustibly large numbers of Christian pastors who teach: take care of and benefit from God’s creation of healthy food, and our mandate by him to take care of and husband our world. A concept that I believe the environmentalist left is actually new to. If my grandparents who were born in the 1880’s were taught to eat clean food, care for and treat humanly animals and livestock, take care of and not waste resources then that would mean my great-grandparents held such beliefs. That’s not a new concept. In reality the conservative base is for more in line with what you believe than you may see, or acknowledge.
    However: For far too long my belief has been maligned, and insulted for no reason.
    Do those on the left serious believe that I want dirty water and air? Believe that I want everyone to work, and live as I do with no diversification of ideas? Believe that I hold a grudge against those who think or believe differently than I? Think I want to kill anyone not a Christian, White, Anglo, Saxon and Protestant?
    That kind of non-sense is along the lines of which is better? Ford or Chevy?
    I care not if someone rides a Honda faster than my Harley. Prefers coffee shops over bars, or is a vegan over my hunting. These things mean little, but the enforcement of those ideas upon me unwillingly is where those of us on the right part company.
    This article holds great promise to those who want true genuine change, but a single disclaimer in this article shows how there is still so much a divide between us, and why those of us on the right have a hard time finding that common ground:
    “How can Leftists ally with libertarians and honest conservatives?” Honest conservatives? Do you think the majority of us are dishonest? Do you think that the right sees many on the left as dishonest? This simple accusation shows that even at a time of reaching out, we are still looked upon as scum and must be treated accordingly.
    “We haven’t seen any tea-baggers at these protests yet,” To use the term tea-bagger is derogatory and insultive and is deliberate. To use terms that disparage the right and destroys any hope that anyone on this side will reach out as long as insults of such are thrown. This just after stating the following:
    It seems clear the left-right divide is serving the rulers. In response to the question, “Where is all the protest,” a Common Dreams reader posted: “There are plenty of folks objecting. They are simply being dismissed by the left as “mobs” and “Nazi’s”, with the right dismissing the others as communists, socialists and liberals.”
    So why use the term tea-bagger? Those words cancel out anything that was previously said.
    True: many share similar ideals. Those who want to raise children in a safe and healthy environment, live cleanly, breath clean fresh air, and eat of healthy food, who see work as a good thing and honesty the Golden Rule. For those who want to see our country return to a state of dealing with real problems rather than that made up by a few, leaving the rest to squabble over peaty arguments, I say I have no problem joining hands in trying to stop this garbage. I would welcome honest and truly open debate.
    But so long as those on the left and even those on the right continue to insult, show down and dismiss the other, this will only get worse.

  4. Danny Ray said on January 11th, 2010 at 3:43pm #

    PAG, Thank you, you took the words right out of my mouth. in the left right debate you are free to have any opinion you want as long as the left agrees with it, and no amount of explaining will suffice to make the left accept how you feel, I wrote explaining, that was wrong. Most of the time the left will not allow you to explain anything or listen to anything you say you are automatically dismissed as a troglodyte the second you voice your beliefs.

  5. Robertov said on January 11th, 2010 at 4:01pm #

    I think that your ideas are an advance major. Capitalism is a mix between government and international commerce. In XIX siecle capitalism depends of slaves in USA and in Brasil. Slaveness is lying in state opression. Profits are for international commerce. Big developments in XX century were relationated with opression over womens, inmigrants and overseas gold, oil, metals. all suppoprted for state opression on underddeveloped countries and excluded all that en colusion mixed with big corporate commerce.

    It is posible and necesary a union with entrepeneurs, workers and excluded(women, inmigrants) for to put the state at human service. The principal object is control the international commerce out of world oligarquies. Supress colonial explotation.

  6. David Spero said on January 11th, 2010 at 4:04pm #

    Hi PAG and Danny Ray,
    I used the term “honest conservatives” to differentiate you from Fox News and the Corporate Right. They, IMO, are definitely not honest. I probably should have used the term “grassroots conservatives,” as I did elsewhere in the piece, I think.

    I didn’t realize the term “tea-baggers” was offensive. I apologize for the insensitivity. I do hang out with people on the right sometimes and hadn’t heard that before. Won’t do it again.

    Danny, when you say “no amount of explaining will “make the Left accept how you feel,” I think that problem works both ways. I think we all need to work harder at seeing the values behind other people’s positions. When the Left focuses on equality, the Right sees it as a threat to self-reliance, and vice versa. We have to find ways to reconcile these values, because the oligarchs are using our differences in cultural values to force us all into serfdom.

    I hope we can continue this discussion.

  7. Danny Ray said on January 11th, 2010 at 4:40pm #

    I would be proud to discuss this or anything else with you.

  8. Danny Ray said on January 11th, 2010 at 5:43pm #

    See Above, David I rest my case

  9. tcp said on January 11th, 2010 at 9:01pm #

    We agree and have begun doing something about it…
    The Citizens’ Party
    http://thecitizensparty.blogspot.com/

  10. sketch66 said on January 11th, 2010 at 10:22pm #

    I think we’re already seeing such a convergence within the post-carbon/survivalist milieu.

    If you visit the forum section of most preparedness sites, you’ll see Mother Earth News hippies discussing alternative shelter options with sagebrush libertarians.

    It’s a shame that the only people willing to put their petty political differences aside and work together are already convinced that the Republic is lost.

  11. lichen said on January 11th, 2010 at 10:38pm #

    Antiwar.com has always published immature, anti-left, heavily partisan articles. And no, conservatives do not ‘share’ our ideals to any extent, and while there is a rise in this sort of ridiculous preaching at this site, the far-right has no interest in ‘joining’ with us; their worship of the military and quest for increasing the homeless population gives them no such time.

  12. WarriorBeast said on January 12th, 2010 at 12:02am #

    You have to get past all the tribal hubris, not a small task. People have been conditioned to not only drink the left-right swill but believe it tastes good. This has been going on their entire life and they will heavily resist any attempt to not only shift but shatter those perceptions. In response to such a perceived assault the True Believer will either say and act irrationally or it won’t want to discuss it. Fight or flight.

  13. WarriorBeast said on January 12th, 2010 at 12:07am #

    See post prior to my last for example of what I’m talking about it.

    There’ll be lots more where that came from. Like taming the Wild West. You’ve got your work cut out for you Cowboy. Drink from the river but don’t ride upstream.

  14. ronalda mcraygun said on January 12th, 2010 at 5:04am #

    Look, I don’t like Republicans either and I completely agree that ALL of the people need to be united against corpo-government (fascist?) tyranny but if you want to reach out across the aisle and unite, you need to stop calling them “Teabaggers.” I know it’s funny, but it’s also pretty damned derogatory.

  15. Danny Ray said on January 12th, 2010 at 5:55am #

    Mr. Peterson, I see that you have pulled the comment by Bozh, I hope you have not banned him, He does shovel a lot of crap but there are some gems of wisdom in all that manure. Thanks Danny

  16. Cynthia said on January 12th, 2010 at 6:25am #

    Tea partiers are being AstroTurfed by and thus bankrolled by the moneyed elites of our country. So, as long as tea partiers are incapable of standing on their own two feet as a grassroots movement, progressives from the left shouldn’t have anything to do with them.

  17. Danny Ray said on January 12th, 2010 at 6:57am #

    Cynthia, I am on the board of our local Tea party, If you could see us passing the hat at meetings you would not think we are supported by anyone.

    our group has 1200 members with 3 to 5 hundred active at anyone time. we cannot afford to do any advertising or we would be much bigger.

  18. Old Rebel said on January 12th, 2010 at 7:23am #

    This is one of the most hopeful signs I’ve seen in some time. I have long advocated progressives and conservatives allying against the real threat to our liberty, the arrogant and out-of-control central government in the District of Corruption. I proudly joined with progressives and signed the Chattanooga Declaration denouncing DC’s militarism and authoritarianism. I still believe that liberty and security can only be reclaimed by downsizing DC.

  19. bozh said on January 12th, 2010 at 9:20am #

    Danny, maybe this post will stay. Here’s question for u: why TU QUO QUE [thou as he] mode of thinking-doing: criticing others of doing what u self r doing.
    I don’t think u agree with us on any salient issue, such as the right to live, ROR, wars of aggression, healthcare, education, respecting others, more equal society, etc.
    U are against all of this because fascists in washington and tel aviv are against much or all of this. In add’n, they r killing people u hate! tnx

  20. Latins for Peace said on January 12th, 2010 at 10:26am #

    The Republican/Democrat duopoly has, for far too long, ignored the most important issues facing our nation. However, alternate candidates Chuck Baldwin, Cynthia McKinney, and Ralph Nader agree with Dr. Ron Paul on four key principles central to the health of our nation. These principles should be key in the considerations of every American

    We Agree

    Foreign Policy: The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations.

    Privacy: We must protect the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We must repeal or radically change the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the FISA legislation. We must reject the notion and practice of torture, eliminations of habeas corpus, secret tribunals, and secret prisons. We must deny immunity for corporations that spy willingly on the people for the benefit of the government. We must reject the unitary presidency, the illegal use of signing statements and excessive use of executive orders.

    The National Debt: We believe that there should be no increase in the national debt. The burden of debt placed on the next generation is unjust and already threatening our economy and the value of our dollar. We must pay our bills as we go along and not unfairly place this burden on a future generation.

    The Federal Reserve: We seek a thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationships with the banking, corporate, and other financial institutions. The arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests must be ended. There should be no taxpayer bailouts of corporations and no corporate subsidies. Corporations should be aggressively prosecuted for their crimes and frauds.

  21. David Spero said on January 12th, 2010 at 10:41am #

    This thread is certainly educating me about what a right/left alliance would be up against. There is a lot of closed-minded unwillingness on the Left to see the other’s point of view. However, I must say I’ve experienced the same thing from the Right, just as viciously, on Free Republic. It’s likely a small minority in any group that is willing to look outside their particular box. But it seems that minority is growing in the U.S. right now.

    How can we best help it grow? One thing I’ve learned from these comments is that it’s easy to unintentionally anger people whose culture you don’t understand. (I already apologized for “tea-baggers.” I didn’t know about the other meanings.) The cultural divide is pretty wide. But I notice that Jane Hamsher on Fire Dog Lake has been working with Grover Norquist, the ultimate tax-cutter, so it must be possible.

    And it’s so important. Look at this “health care reform” disaster. The Left wants universal coverage: single-payer, National Health Insurance, Medicare for All, whatever. The Right wants people to pay their own way in most cases. So what are we getting? A massive tax increase/bailout of the insurance companies that won’t improve care or control costs, but will enrich the oligarchs that much more. How can we fight against this kind of thing?

  22. bozh said on January 12th, 2010 at 11:29am #

    Sorry to say, there r only two structures of societies: socialist and asocialist. First socialist structure arose in ’17 in USSR. The first asocialist structure arose some 10 k yrs ago; probably in sumer or egypt.

    It is honed to near-perfection in US. And who is going to abandon the perfection and in which a prez is a godhead when it comes to killing-maiming of innocent peoples because asocialists want their land and its riches.

    Honing a socialism or a gregarious-more equal society to perfection may take a millennium. And that is the last thing more-valued-important class of people wld allow if it cld help it.
    In short, once sumerians or a people before them began to divide people into more-valued and less valued classes, we had to suffer enormous iniquities resulting from such division.

    Curioso appears that in ?all lands ?all or most people took it for granted that there is better and worse humans. Why-how-when that happened? The “why” is not difficult to espy. The “how” likewise; for we can see the how with our own eyes.
    And, so, when is no longer for our concern!

    In US, there may be at least 30 mns so rabid americans who wld readily kill even own people in defence of just that: a perm rule by more ‘important people’ and own servitude.
    The phenomenon is also known as Deutschland Ueber Alles-Sieg Heil, God Bless America-Greatness of America.
    This simplicity cannot be rendered simpler. Every child wld grasp this veracity and sanity of what i have posted here.
    Eg, when a teacher imparted to her class: to each according to her needs and from each according his ability; children taught that came from constitution. So, until a point of time children r indeed sane but it doesn’t take long before
    they r made unsane and in some cases even insane! Once u make them unsane the rest is easy as pie and as american as pie.
    And indeed, the rule by more-valued people is awesome; near perfect. And if one balks, it can be made perfect.tnx

  23. WarriorBeast said on January 12th, 2010 at 11:40am #

    The tribal hubris displayed by both sides is not a minority. Emotional, irrational tribal displays are what Americans call debate.

  24. WarriorBeast said on January 12th, 2010 at 11:45am #

    Demagoguery is the order of the day, and as history has repeatedly shown, it works. That’s what makes the Tea Party Movement both promising and dangerous, depending on who ultimately rises to “lead” it. Sarah Palin is trying, she is an example of extreme danger with her uninformed, hypocritical, interventionist, Neoconservative Israel-obsessed foreign policy views.

  25. TeamPurple said on January 12th, 2010 at 12:51pm #

    I whole-heartedly agree that the so-called “right” and “left” have a lot more in common than differences. I have been on both sides myself (I converted from a Dem to a R-libertarian), and know that there are good people on both sides, and that people on both sides are both well-informed and ignorant in different ways, on different issues. Common-ground solutions could be found that may be acceptable for both “right” and “left”, and empower “We The People”, which both sides want. Its not always what you do, but HOW you do it that really matters. For example, doing socialized medicine at the county or state level — not federal — or through non-profits or co-ops or some other non-governmental entity, might be acceptable to conservatives since they can just move away if they don’t like it.

    Here’s a radical idea: Put together an anti-empire ant-corporate think-tank, inclusive of red, blue, independent, libertarian, and all other third parties. Promote a unifying “purple” agenda, and support “purple” political candidates at the local level.

  26. David Spero said on January 12th, 2010 at 12:56pm #

    To: Latins for Peace
    Where did that Cynthia Mckinney/Ron Paul/Baldwin/Nader joint statement come from? Is there a URL you can give us?
    Thanks,
    David

  27. bozh said on January 12th, 2010 at 1:58pm #

    U do not change constitution,u achieve nothing. There is only one constitution allowed; one that both dems and repubs wholy accept and dutifully obey.

    Or to be more precise and quite accurate, a set of judges appointed by dems-repubs interpret any passage in the constitution as dems-repubs want or even demand.
    Thus each of US numerous aggressions and cia terror is a constitutional command. It commands US wage wars when administration deems the wars represent defence of US interests.

    Thus elevating each president as godhead; he can do no wrong! tnx

  28. Don Hawkins said on January 12th, 2010 at 3:03pm #

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-kieschnick/will-the-senate-castrate_b_419288.html

    You don’t need to be a physics to see how this is going. Climate change is over unfortunately not but what is not over is Universal deceit and stupidity on a grand scale. This summer could be the warmest for may moons again and it appears doesn’t matter. These people high on the hill and what they have planed or not planed I don’t think will be good for life forms on Earth. Of course there are a few people we don’t see who kind of run the show and bank’s, policy, business media our thoughts did I forget anything? Could it be that there is no plan because of just stupidity maybe planed stupidity in an out of control system. After all just human’s who seem to live in another reality and is that true? No but that illusion of knowledge seems to be a powerful force. Ignorance is strength is working well for them at least for a few more years then what? Well another year or two should show us more. Stay diversified commodities could be a safe bet. I still think two million to start Capital one voice a tea party no kind of a new way of thinking.

  29. Deadbeat said on January 12th, 2010 at 3:13pm #

    David Spero writes…
    . There is a lot of closed-minded unwillingness on the Left to see the other’s point of view

    What Mr. Spero doesn’t understand is that the “Left” and the “Right” has many overlapping ideologies and interest that needs to be sorted out to fully comprehend the contradictions of a “Left/Right” alliance. What this discussion really reveals is the through weakness of Leftist politics. This wouldn’t even be a discussion if the “Left” fully embraced the true meaning of what it means to be on the “Left” – justice, fairness, equality and a decidedly anti-capitalist model of society.

    The major problem with the “Right” or let’s honest – Libertarians, is their firm adherence to the Capitalist ideology that is the cause for much of the world’s ills and crises that has even negatively affected the folks on the “Right” and across the poltical spectrum because even people that adhere to the “Right” are WAGE SLAVES.

    Authoritarianism is inherent to Capitalism and to fight alongside folk would in the end would in effect bring about “moderate” changes will lead to the same result as Liberalism.

    The Paleo-Conservatives unfortunately bring along their baggage of red-baiting and xenophobia that would not appeal to people of color, GLBTs, and other minority groups.

    I give the Right credit for exposing and confronting Zionism. They have been on the frontlines here and unfortunately the Left has crippled and corrupted itself in order to conceal and protect this racist ideology. Another area I give the Right credit is bringing attention to the debt-based Capitalist economy. Because the Left has abandoned Marxism, it is ironic that we should be getting this critique from the Right.

    So before there can be a real alliance there has to be an acknowledgement of the kind of society this alliance envision otherwise it will be just merely a reactionary effort that the ruling class can easily break apart because they (the ruling class) understand the instable of such a configuration of having conflicting ideologies and interest.

    Take a look at history. Racism tore apart the Progressive Movement and racism was used to buy off the working class post WWII. This left African Americans to have a separate movement (the Civil Right Movement) in order to be included into the “American Dream”. After that occurred, the backlash was Reaganism (under the guise of ‘self-reliance’), Clintonism (ending welfare as we know it and deregulating the banks) and all the reactionary deregulation of capital. Now look where we are as a nation.
    My point is that these alliances ended in betrayal and therefore unless you can fight FOR something this is INCLUSIVE; that take people’s real MATERIAL NEEDS into account then we we’ll see history repeat itself with the same lame results.

    Thus what Mr. Spero offers is a reactionary remark based on his LACK OF ANALYSIS and really need to do more to challenge his own ideological belief system.

  30. ralphlopez said on January 12th, 2010 at 3:26pm #

    FROM:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/16/815000/-Lefties-Call-for-Alliance-with-Paulies-Against-War

    Lefties Call for Alliance with Paulies Against War

    Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 05:48:07 AM PST

    Citing Dr. Ron Paul’s clear and unambiguous “non-interventionist” platform which condemns US troop presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, anti-war speakers at a rally headlined “No You Can’t” called for an alliance between anti-war left and anti-war right on war and peace issues. Organized by the newly-formed anti-war coalition End US Wars, the rally was held in Lafayette Park in front of the White House last Saturday. The coalition announced a new alliance of national and grass-roots antiwar organizations and more than 100 leading peace activists. It featured a joint appearance of four former presidential candidates, former Democratic Senator Mike Gravel, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, and Ralph Nader.

    Newsblaze reported:

    “Rally organizers are calling for the left to end its support for Obama now that he has committed to a troop surge, and to condemn and oppose Obama’s war policy. In addition, the process will begin to replace Obama with an anti-war candidate, and to remove any pro-war legislators. Protests will intensify…”

    One of the most passionate denouncements of the proposed troop escalation came from Rev. Graylan Hagler, a prominent African-American DC-area minister and former supporter of President Obama. Hagler said, “We want people to be respected and treated right. I did not vote for Barack Obama to take his people into a war. I voted for change”

    Speaker after speaker spoke of having worked for, campaign for, raised money for and enthusiastically supported Obama’s presidential campaign, but feeling a sense of betrayal at the announcement of the escalation into Afghanistan. A speaker for the Black is Back coalition spoke of the Democratic party taking black voters for granted, and called on fellow African-Americans to remember the oppressions of the past, and to not participate through silence in state violence against the Afghan people.

    While acknowledging probable disagreements on other issues, such as health care reform and abortion, two speakers noted that Republican followers of Dr. Ron Paul cited a clear and unambiguous “non-interventionist” policy which could form the basis of an alliance between right and left elements on war issues. A show of hands of “any Ron Paulies in the audience” was requested at one point. At the show of a few hands, a warm welcome was extended.

    “We may agree to disagree on many things, but on the issue of war and peace we are all just Americans, and can work together on this” the speaker said. A welcome was also extended to the Capitol Police detail, who nodded cordially.

    Speakers included World Can’t Wait coordinator Debra Sweet, Military Families Speak Out Chairwoman Elaine Brower, writer Chris Hedges, numerous members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace, and statements from Rabbi Michael Lerner, Col. Ann Wright, Kevin Zeese, Dr. Stephen Zunes, Granny D (turning 100), Jared Ball, John Judge, and Stephen Lendman.

    Dr. Ron Paul has charged that the proposed escalation is a recipe for “perpetual war,” and holds that it will be militarily impossible to begin withdrawal in 2011. Paul writes in “Who Wants War? Follow The Money”

    “Perpetual war is not solving anything. Indeed continually seeking out monsters to destroy abroad only threatens our security here at home as international resentment against us builds. The people understand this and are becoming increasingly frustrated at not being heard by the decision-makers. The leaders say some things the people want to hear, but change never comes.

    One has to ask, if the people who elected these leaders so obviously do not want these wars, who does? Eisenhower warned of the increasing power and influence of the military industrial complex and it seems his worst fears have come true. He believed in a strong national defense, as do I, but warned that the building up of permanent military and weapons industries could prove dangerous if their influence got out of hand. After all, if you make your money on war, peace does you no good. With trillions of dollars at stake, there is tremendous incentive to keep the decision makers fearful of every threat in the world, real or imagined, present or future, no matter how ridiculous and far-fetched.”

    During his presidential campaign President Obama called for sending of “two or three more brigades” of troops to Afghanistan, about 10,000 troops, at a time when troops numbered about 30,000 in Afghanistan. The total is now up to 62,000, after granting a Pentagon request last May. The proposed increase would bring the total to almost 100,000. Scholars and journalists have called the renewed insurgency in Afghanistan a result of dashed hopes of a reconstruction and descent into economic despair. Unemployment in Afghanistan remains at 40%, with the UN estimating that at least 35% of Afghans are malnourished, 40% of children underweight, and starvation being common across the country. Although relatively stable until 2005, in that year car bombs and suicide attacks began to rise exponentially. With high unemployment, the Taliban has been called the employer of last resort, able to pay young fighters $10 per day for participating in attacks, sometimes issuing rifles just before an attack.

    Western contractors have come under fire for turning excessive profits on reconstruction projects, which often employ relatively few Afghans.

  31. Don Hawkins said on January 12th, 2010 at 3:34pm #

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/20100108_Is_Antarctica_Melting.html

    Her work shows that the ice sheet is not only losing mass, but it is losing mass at an accelerating rate.

  32. Maryb said on January 12th, 2010 at 3:59pm #

    Mr Spero – I am impressed by your words.

    You also ask where the Four Principles came from. There is this link on Chuck Baldwin’s Wikipedia page.

    http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=457

  33. WarriorBeast said on January 12th, 2010 at 4:00pm #

    @David Spero re: We Agree Link

    http://www.ronpaul.com/2008-09-10/paul-baldwin-mccinney-nader-we-agree/

    Notice how there is no pledge of agreement from “Libertarian” faker Bob Barr.

  34. WarriorBeast said on January 12th, 2010 at 4:02pm #

    A kos blog from July 09 that might interest the blog author:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/7/23/756873/-What-if-the-right-becomes-the-anti-war-party

  35. lichen said on January 12th, 2010 at 7:39pm #

    Deadbeat has some good points above, mainly that the author hasn’t really thought through the actual politics of individual groups beyond insisting we abandon all definitions. This is exemplified through his warmth when talking with danny ray, who is a neocon that is for the war on terror and has his racist posts about muslims removed from this website. The “teabaggers” include lots of mainstream reactionary republicans who only care about the shallow aspects of the obama administration (ignoring thus that he is 99% Bush, who they loved), as well as skinheads, anti-immigrant nazi’s, and so forth. Since you refuse to call them ‘the right’ I guess you can’t distinguish very well between them and will probably not have concrete political aims.

    Ultimately, I think that everyone should unite behind concrete, intense democratic reforms so that we can break up the political status quo and make sure we all have our own, but separate, political say and place. Otherwise, if you just jump in bed with that amorphous group unenthusiastically, it is because you are in a privileged enough place in society to not be a direct target of theirs (i.e, not GLBT, black, immigrant, poor, in need of an abortion, a young person…)

    David Spero’s supposed “point” above, was also ridiculous; it was not ‘the left’ who wanted single-payer healthcare, but a majority of Americans, a majority of phyisicans and nurses; somehow ‘working together’ with the people who want you to die because you can’t pay for healthcare would have brought a better result than the right wing democrats proposal?

  36. tmauel said on January 12th, 2010 at 10:01pm #

    There is no way under the current editorial control of AntiWar by Justin Raimondo that there can be any be any solidarity between left and right. Raimondo is absolutely hostile to the Cuban revolution, and makes frequent red baiting statements and derogatory comments concerning the democratic socialist revolution in Venezuela. His simplistic free market economic model is similar to a Newt Gingrich rant. Some how he and others at Anti War can go into a three page rant about the evils of US intervention in the Middle East and than in the next paragraph savage the few nations in our own hemisphere who have successfully thrown off the yoke of US imperialism.
    Sorry, stand on the opposite corner of the street if by some miracle the right wing mounts an anti war protest large enough to be seen.

  37. Don Hawkins said on January 13th, 2010 at 3:57am #

    First read this rocket science this is not.

    Deforestation in Haiti is a severe environmental problem. In 1923, over 60% of Haiti’s land was forested; by 2006, less than 2% was.[1]
    Deforestation accelerated after Hurricane Hazel downed trees throughout the island in 1954.[2] Beginning in about 1954, concessionaires stepped up their logging operations, in response to Port-au-Prince’s intensified demand for charcoal, thus accelerating deforestation, which had already become a problem because of environmentally unsound agricultural practices, rapid population growth, and increased competition over scarce land.[2]
    The most direct effect of deforestation is soil erosion.[2] An estimated 15,000 acres (61 km2) of topsoil are washed away each year, with erosion also damaging other productive infrastructure such as dams, irrigation systems, roads, and coastal marine ecosystems.[3] Soil erosion also lowers the productivity of the land, worsens droughts, and eventually leads to desertification, all of which increase the pressure on the remaining land and trees.[2]
    Most of Haiti’s governments paid only lip service to the imperative of reforestation.[2] As was the case in other areas of Haitian life, the main impetus to act came from abroad.[2] USAID’s Agroforestry Outreach Program, Projè Pyebwa, was the country’s major reforestation program in the 1980s.[2] Peasants planted more than 25 million trees under Projè Pyebwa, but as many as seven trees were cut for each new tree planted.[2] Later efforts to save Haiti’s trees focused on intensifying reforestation programs, reducing waste in charcoal production, introducing more wood-efficient stoves, and importing wood under USAID’s Food for Peace program.[2] Because most Haitians still depend on wood and charcoal as their primary fuel source, energy alternatives are needed to save the forests.[1] The 15-year Environment Action Plan, authorized in 1999, proposed to stop deforestation by developing alternative fuel sources.[1] Political instability and lack of funding have limited the impact of this reform effort.[1] However, various grassroots projects have begun planting thousands of trees in a united effort to combat deforestation and to reforest the country.

    Several agencies and companies that produce solar cookers as an alternative to using wood and charcoal have been working in Haiti to establish solutions to the poverty and fuel issues.[4][5] wiki

  38. Don Hawkins said on January 13th, 2010 at 5:07am #

    Sent this to CNBC this morning.

    Soy beans,

    Most of Haiti’s governments paid only lip service to the imperative of reforestation. Hummm.

    Let’s see where to begin? I know not poor people but at the top of the ladder so to speak. In the greatest nation on Earth just what the hell happened the last 100 years or for that matter the last ten years. Bank’s Wall Street how did Dylan put it harvesting money not trees sort of money and why the game that seems to be highly addictive. Here in the States we built roads, bridges and on and on then what did we do well we stopped and invented the black box. Of course this happens Worldwide and how is it working out not well. In Haiti it’s demand for charcoal and in other countries same here in the States it’s demand for coal and oil, pizza, more money, prescription drug’s, late night TV, are we on the same page yet? So this is progress and Capitalism is quite literary crazy with what we now know. We don’t know why because of the very system itself tell’s us so and that is quite literary crazy. It’s already to late for the Arctic and in at the other end of the planet a bit slower but just West Antarctica 20 feet for my kid’s and a few other minor problems.
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/20100108_Is_Antarctica_Melting.html

    Climate change is not happening and deep do do on the way please don’t make yourself look stupid. Ignorance is strength well in the Capitalist system it sure appears so. Have I got a deal for you. Just on the off chance we are in deep do do what is the answer? Let’s see 500 million people that will include banker’s, scientists, doctors, and a small army so we can fly off into the Cosmos, please. A real try at understanding will take what? Can it be done is it possible well so far just herein the States and stupidity on a grand scale I think not. Last night on Fox was Palin and those jokes on late night wow the Senate in a few months more wisdom and would you call what we see the easy way out? It’s just better this way oh no it isn’t. Think bug’s little bug’s. Do you find that shocking well with illusion of knowledge I can see why. Why did Hawking say that because it’s kind of easy to see if you look. Still a lot of copper around but water and food will become a bit of a problem when? So what’s the big plan more stupidity on a grand scale in control of an out of control system. It’s just better that way no it isn’t it’s stupid, four. Anyway let’s see if we see any more guests sitting in front of a fireplaces with great wisdom and knowledge in this out of control system. It’s nor out of control oh yes it is and the Universal deceit part is to keep that kind of a secret. This whole late night thing is so important and I wonder who will win. Come on who will win? The end of the beginning the best of times sort of and the worst of times…………………….

    Don/citizen of the Universe

    Got a problem with citizen of the Universe ok how about if I became a tea party person better. The very system itself tell’s us so. What would George Washington do? “A new way of thinking”

    I wonder if policy makers in China read DV or here in the States or media people like Fox New’s I wonder.

  39. David Spero said on January 13th, 2010 at 11:11am #

    Just wanted to reply to the left criticism from Lichen and Deadbeat. I agree with most of what they said. It’s not enough to have a common enemy; you have to agree on some positive vision for how you want things to be.

    But that’s why I advocate talking to grassroots conservatives. At this point, the Left is extraordinarily weak in the U.S.A. The immigrant community can put a million people in the street every Mayday. The LGBT community can put a million people in the street for Gay Pride. The rest of the year, there’s very little that the rulers must take note of.

    Meanwhile, the government grows more fascist and more corrupt. I could see some of the tea partiers winding up as enforcers for a Palin or Petraeus dictatorship, or they could wind up as a leading edge of resistance. Many of them are armed, after all, which the Left is not. IMO, it’s worth the effort to talk with libertarians and conservatives. They have real values and ideas worth exploring, even if they normally are seen only in caricature on Fox.

  40. Deadbeat said on January 13th, 2010 at 3:50pm #

    David Spero writes …

    But that’s why I advocate talking to grassroots conservatives. At this point, the Left is extraordinarily weak in the U.S.A. The immigrant community can put a million people in the street every Mayday. The LGBT community can put a million people in the street for Gay Pride. The rest of the year, there’s very little that the rulers must take note of.

    I don’t disagree with the idea of dialogue. I myself have read right-wing periodicals as well has been engaged in bitter debates with Libertarians over the years. In my previous post I enumerated some of the issues I feel that the Right is in fact in front of the Left on.

    However a Left/Right coalition is reactionary because the Left and the Right are not on the same page of a societal vision and the only way such a coalition can hold is if both groups are in a defensive mode. Because of the weaknesses and betrayals on the Left such a configuration may in fact be necessary but in the end if history is our guide it will crack due to its ideological contradictions.

    It is possible however that some on the Right may move more to Left-wing points of view if members can overcome their prejudices about the Left. Conversely the “White” Left could begin to address issues that concerns ordinary people rather than dismiss their complaints.

    I can see how fighting for the Constitution of the United States may become that middle ground. There are clearly aspects of the Constitution worth protecting on upholding but the divergence will be on the economic questions. There is still a bitter divide here IMO. The Right’s adherence to Capitalism and is dead set against wealth redistribution (and reparations).

    Taking cues from communities of color they will be utterly skeptical because they have been the historic victims of the Right but on the other hand they have been victimized by the so-called ‘Left’ who have used racism to scare them from issues that their Right-wing counterparts has IMO been out in front — especially regarding Zionism and its influence on U.S. policy and the Fascist family court system. The tragedy is that the Right’s complaints about the system is due to the systemic embrace of Capitalism.

    The reason why the immigrant and LGBT communities can mobilize people is due to the fact that CLASS is ignored since these communities are discriminated against due to their identity. That conceals class contradictions within these groups and it enables them to mobilize because they understand what they are collectively struggling FOR. The same dynamic was also true of Blacks during the Civil Right movement.

    I don’t think the Right understands that the struggle today is against Capitalism. And neither does the Left for that matter. Fascism is the final stage of Capitalism. It is not “Corporatism” or that we need to restore “Liberalism” (read: regulated Capitalism) — been there done that or the “Free Markets” which NEVER existed.

    We need to struggle FOR something. David is correct about the Right having guns. In this struggle against what Martin Luther King acknowleged as “the greatest purveyor of violence is my own government” I can see the need for armaments. But in the end the US gov’t has a shit load more fire power. Thus the only way you’ll succeeded is by having a vision and and ideology worth dying FOR that can attract the MASSES.

    I perfer a Socialist ideology and believe that is the vision of soceity worth stuggling for.

  41. Danny Ray said on January 13th, 2010 at 5:34pm #

    Deadbeat, you are right, the left and the right are in an adversarial relationship. Possibly the only thing that could bring us together would be if the constitution were in danger.
    I also would like that both left and right share the same dream of a perfect world. The problem is that we see two different paths to arrive at that goal. Both seem to think that the other sides path is a dead end and of no value.

    As for the Government having more firepower, you are right, that’s why the Viet Cong suffered such a horrible defeat. I have spent years studying counterinsurgency, I will put myself up beside the best at a guerrilla war.

  42. mrlibertarian said on January 13th, 2010 at 7:40pm #

    I think its more than right vs. left…

    Its really statist vs. anti-statist.

    The right wants to control the state so that the state can divert resources and control to their desired recipients, and ditto for the left.

    Anti-statists want to decrease state control and spending to minimal levels, ideally abolishing the state.

    I don’t think you can adequately criticize the welfare state without discussing the warfare state since they go hand in hand. With “defense” spending over $1 trillion per year, its hard to ignore.

    In my experience, I have found that many on the right are open to learning about the entire system and some are even willing to question the warfare state.

    Most tea parties I’ve seen have been dominated by neoconservative shills for the GOP. They only criticize Obama’s domestic spending, ignoring Bush’s budget busters and ignoring the empire.

    The left has been somewhat willing to start criticizing the Obama surge but I’m not convinced that they will really come out in force like they did when Bush was in power. I could be proven wrong.

    I am an anti-statist, so I just try to educate both sides without getting angry or being condescending.

  43. Advocate4Liberty said on January 14th, 2010 at 1:35pm #

    Deadbeat writes “The major problem with the “Right” or let’s honest – Libertarians, is their firm adherence to the Capitalist ideology that is the cause for much of the world’s ills…”

    A HUGE misconception here that need to be put to rest;
    “Capitalism” is the opposite of or somehow different from “socialism”. In any post-Stone Age tool using society composed of humans, there will be capital. Capital simply means “the means of production”.

    Whether it is a large factory, a stone ax, a Sherman tank or a flint knife, capital is the means that humans use to create what they need for survival. Food, shelter, defense.

    So whether in a “capitalist” hell like the early United States, a communist “utopia” like the Soviet Union, or a socialist bastard hybrid like the current American scene – there’s going to be capital.

    SO, the only question remains: Who controls the means of production?

    You only have two choices: 1) You transform raw material, untouched by man, into something useful.

    Wait a minute”, you exclaim! That’s only ONE choice. Correct.

    Someone, at some point in time, must take unowned, raw nature and transform it into something useful. Once they’ve done that – whether it’s fencing off a parcel of land and tilling the soil, or digging iron ore out of the ground and turning it to steel – they have a property right in that thing.

    The only other way to acquire that THING is to a) get the owner to give it to you voluntarily (whether by skillful persuasion or offering something in exchange that the other person agrees is worth the trade) OR by using force to take it.

    What Deadbeat mislabels capitalism, which we label the “free market”, is when the first option is the norm.

    Socialism, by contrast, advances the proposition that “the people” – an amorphous concept – has a priori claim on the labor, and therefore the body, of the individual. Slavery writ large. In practice, it is a very few who claim to speak for “the people” who wield the clubs and bleed “the people”.

    Deadbeat advocates murder and theft as a way of life, and claims that it is a vision of society worth struggling for. The vision is a mirage.

    I suspect that he or she also envisions himself as being on top of the food chain, beneficently deciding for us “common folk” what is best for us.

    The libertarian ideology, on the other hand, is one of hope and freedom where each individual decides what is best for him alone, and crime consists of initiating force against another. This does NOT preclude force in proper defense of ones self, property or others who VOLUNTARILY agree to be defended.

  44. Danny Ray said on January 14th, 2010 at 1:52pm #

    Bravo , Advocate4Liberty

  45. lichen said on January 14th, 2010 at 3:11pm #

    Yes, the “libertarian” people come on here to flesh out their vision of genocide via their class war against poor people; their policies would mean that multinational corporations will rule the world, stoking a tiny rich elite while billions starve to death in poverty; theirs is a battle against human rights (such as the right to food, housing, education, medical care), against society, against democracy, against a caring, united community. The free market we have seen in military dictatorships in Latin America, setup by the CIA and Milton Freidman in the 60’s; we need no more; the ideology is responsible for the crimes committed in it’s name, and is about the path, not some mythological end.

  46. bozh said on January 14th, 2010 at 3:11pm #

    Advocate,
    i think u have explained capitalism well. The word “capitalism” to some people means also exploitation, abuse of people and causing difference in wealth amongst them.

    I seldom if ever use it. Broadly, i wld define-explain capitalism as all that we build, make, produce, but wld exclude it as a cause for poverty or abuse and exploitation of people.
    Btw, we cld, for the benefit of all us, allow each of us to use any label as one likes.
    Or else labels wld use and abuse u. All one needs to do to avoid arguments, misunderstandings is simply to enumerate at least a few traits of any ism or label.

    To me, the root cause of all evil is not money. It is after all a valuable tool just like a spade. All tools can be used as weapon. That includes labels and even language.
    To me, the basic cause of all ills that befall us on interpersonal, interracial, and interethnic levels is the division of people into, broadly, more and less valued.
    In US, we come across many classes: labor, repair, sales, teacher, adviser, journalist, and so on; to end with multimillionaire and b’naire class.
    US is further divided racially into: indigenes, hispanics, german, english, black, et al.
    When one obtains a division such as in US, probably just 12 b’naires cld effortlessly rule even 300 mn people.
    And since money [invented ca 3.5kyrs ago] had always and everywhere [save some socialist lands] been used as a weapon, we’ve had wars, famines, genocides, disrespect for basic human rights from that time on.
    However, that had been happening from the time of urnanshe of sumer, sargon of akkad, or rameses of egypt [when there was no money] to obama of US.

    The division into classes or establishment of a class that had been by far more valuable than tillers, hunters, and shepherds probably had been started by shamans; later further developed by priests and now honed to perfection in US.
    Who wld give that up?

    Hey, US is not an exception nor exceptional. For don’t we have humans in US? Don’t people abuse others where ever and whenever and anyhow they are able to?
    And for at least 15 kyrs! Welcome back to sumer or even a few millennia before rise of sumer or egypt. Basics r still there. It is also known as God Bless America!tnx

  47. lichen said on January 14th, 2010 at 3:27pm #

    And privitization is theft; taking away services, property, or resources that were once the public domain, for use by all, is theft. Your ideology proscribes both theft and murder.

  48. Deadbeat said on January 14th, 2010 at 3:54pm #

    Yes a HUGE misconception here that needs to be put to rest. First in order for Advocate4Liberty to make his argument he had to distort terms. These distortions are exactly how Libertarians justify their ideology. Unfortunately now this post has to spend its time unwinding these terms in order to illustrate the fallacies of the Libertarian perspectives.

    Advocate4Liberty : “Capitalism” is the opposite of or somehow different from “socialism”. In any post-Stone Age tool using society composed of humans, there will be capital. Capital simply means “the means of production”.

    What is Capital?
    Capital is in the first place an accumulation of money and cannot make its appearance in history until the circulation of commodities has given rise to the money relation. Secondly, the distinction between money which is capital, and money which is money only, arises from the difference in their form of circulation. Money which is acquired in order to buy something is just money, facilitating the exchange of commodities. On the other hand, capital is money which is used to buy something only in order to sell it again. [Marx represented this as M – C – M.] This means that capital exists only within the process of buying and selling, as money advanced only in order to get it back again.

    So what is “means of production”?
    The tools (instruments) and the raw material (subject) you use to create something are the means of production.

    Therefore the premise of Advocate4Liberty’s argument start off with a fallacy equating capital with the means of production.
    In other words the means of production exist because as humans we need the means of production in order to survive — to make the things we need. Liberty is correct about the central question of who controls the means of production but he is INCORRECT to equate that Capitalism and Socialism both requires capital. In Capitalism, capital is USED to CONTROL the means of production to derive PROFITS and to extract surplus value from labour. In Socialism the people CONTROL the means of production and use the means of production to meet there needs. IN Socialism NO CAPITAL whatsoever is required or necessary.

    Because Advocate4Liberty distorts terms he continues his distortion of terms and preys upon the ignorance of his audience in order to justify the maintenance of Capitalism system — which is the Libertarian ideology (and Liberals as well). The difference between Liberals and Libertarians is that Liberals admit to the flaws of Capitalism and believe they can REGULATE those flaws. Libertarian see no flaws whatsoever and will distort terms in order to present Capitalism in a benign manner.

    I would go on and rebut the remainder of Advocate4Liberty’s comments but clearly since he starts out with a fallacy there is no need to continue since he is arguing from a faulty premise.

    But it goes to my overall critique why a Left/Right coalition is an oxymoron and will not hold. In fact the Libertarians who have co-opted the term “Liberty” supports an extremely AUTHORITARIAN economy ideology is extremely IRONIC. Go figure.

  49. Deadbeat said on January 14th, 2010 at 4:15pm #

    Bozh writes …

    Advocate, i think u have explained capitalism well. The word “capitalism” to some people means also exploitation, abuse of people and causing difference in wealth amongst them.

    And herein lies the problem and WHY ideology is important and why definition are important. The fact that Capitalism is in quotes is how the ruling class has succeeded in defining and redefining terms. It is how they create perception and how they control thought. It is also how you made the error several weeks ago about anarchism (equating it with chaos). This is not uncommon as ruling class indoctrination control how the world is perceived by those they control.

    Unfortuately bozh, Liberty chose to DISTORT the definition of terms in order to present Capitalism in a more benign manner. In other words to get people to enbrace their own chains.

  50. bozh said on January 14th, 2010 at 7:07pm #

    DB,
    U do have the right to define capitalism as u actualy have in ur above post. And i have the right to enumerate some or all of its traits. We’ve both done that.

    I have called “anarchy” what US ruling class does. And as i had explained then, in folk usage, the word appears as a synonim for lawlessness.
    Just recently, in a post i’ve come across the word anarchy to limn what US ruling class does.
    Out of curiosity, i just looked up the word in my dictionary. And the word anarchy is explained as lawlessness as well as disobedience to authority and gov’ts.
    Nevertheless, i am not going to use that word again. I have used the word lawlessness for what US does many times before. And since people hurt selves by the word anarchy, i’ll stop using it.
    I need to clarify the word lawlessness {usually i put some words under double quotes to indicate that i am imbuing it with its standard meaning or the intended meaning; as, eg, “war on terror” or “war in iraq”] or lawlessness in US: i mean to say that there had not been a law, pact, agreement that US hadn’t broken and which may or may have not impeded US endgoals or goals.
    And furthermore, every other agreement US makes will be brokenif it thwarts US in its labors.
    In add’n no writ can be deemed “law” if it solely composed [as is always the case in US] by the ruling class or its hired guns. I almost called that anarchy; precisely, because these people hate and avoid a fair governance, rule of law, a just and understandable constitution, etc. tnx

  51. Advocate4Liberty said on January 16th, 2010 at 6:54am #

    lichen, your ideology states that lie is truth, black is white. There is no such thing as the “public domain”. A resource either has an owner or it is in a natural, untransformed state. Until someone “mixes his labor” with the resource, it cannot be property. Once you have added value (e.g. worked to transform), it is rightfully yours. You sound like a government hack.

  52. Advocate4Liberty said on January 16th, 2010 at 7:28am #

    Deadbeat, you say that “Capital is in the first place an accumulation of money…”. Put simply, you are wrong. Blame it on the public schools, I suppose, but ignorance of facts doesn’t change them. There are three (or four) factors of production: capital, land, labor, and organization. Money is simply a device to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. I apologize for using the word “means” instead of “factor” of production, if that is what confused you.

  53. Advocate4Liberty said on January 16th, 2010 at 10:08am #

    Deadbeat, you claim that my aim is to convince people to accept their chains. I will TELL you what my aim is: to show you those chains and convince enough people to REFUSE to accept those chains and cast away our masters. Freedom – that is what I value. Freedom, however, doesn’t mean that I am free to take what you have produced. As long as you have acquired your property through voluntary exchange – not force or threat of force – I have no more claim on your property than I have on your person. I’m certain that you will not tell us that you support slavery, will you?

  54. bozh said on January 16th, 2010 at 11:09am #

    Let’s not confuse [if anyone had on DV?] use of money with the tool “money” and its meaning in folk usage or even as academics may use it from what it means to a constitutional interpreters/congress.
    Money is very useful tool. No debate from me that it had but been abused by the warlords and feudal lords for at leat 3.5 k yrs ago.
    Healthcare, lawmaking, governance, nat’l defence, soldiers, education and not only money had been abused by the uppermost class of people.
    In the old days, it had been emperors, kings, princes, boyars, plemstvo, lords, earls,counts, dukes and in moder times multim’naires and b’naires.
    In fact, a prez behaves now exactly as shahs, pharoahs, kings have. A prez is as much a godhead as sargon of akkad had been.
    A prez like miloshevic or hussein; the lesser godheads and criminals cld not escape the wrath of greater godheads.
    So, where’s the change? See a tad of it? In basic structure even today?
    Thus, to be mercifully short, we do not change basics, we remain cannon fodder and serfs! tnx

  55. dan e said on January 16th, 2010 at 5:19pm #

    Advocate4Liberty would be easier to take if he didn’t present his fairytale world so pompously. I read Antiwar.com everyday for the news reporting, but also frequently check out an op-ed or two. I know many socialistish minded scholars/journalists do too. So it’s clear that no matter how confused or plain wrong Raimundo’s thinking on many aspects, just by maintaining such a good news source he is making an important contribution.
    So in my view there is reason to carefully consider the possibility of some kind of “alliance”, “coalition”. “popular front” enabling cooperation between those of us farther left with people like Raimundo, the Paulie types, most of the comment posters on this thread.
    As soon as one posits the above proposition, big problems arise. Now it’s all very well to be polite as per DV etiquitie, but the fact remains that these T-bagos, Paulies, Libertarians, anti Foreign Wars Republicans et al are still engaged in spreading confusion, peddling noxious notions, perpetuating myths and outright lies about how things are and how they got that way.
    So I myself having limited time/energy & resources am not going to expend much of same on trying to be buddies with people like the a4mentioned. Because I am one of The Poor and look at the world from the perspective of PovertyStruck, which I submit is the POV of the vast majority of our Sapiens spicies here on this here Planet.
    But I’m not going to totally condemn such individuals either. Probably for such as me, the best approach, the best way to relate to them is to keep it impersonal.
    And hope “they” do similar? Well, I’ll try, but when an oppty for a little Humor arises I find it hard to resist temptation;)
    Maybe I should have started by noting what I have learned about folks who talk in terms of anachronistic ahistoric abstract concepts like “Freedom”, “Liberty”, “Free Markets” etc. When they aren’t just paid stooges for the SuperRich Zio-Militarist central bankers, they are people whose material existence includes a lot of privileges, who are members of the socio-economic Intermediate Strata. Some are Salaried Professionals, others retired businesspeople, petits-bourgeoisie or what Poulantzas calls “the New P-Bs”.
    But if they are ready to oppose Geo W Obama & the Zionist/Militarist power configuration of which he is the visible figurehead & no.1 ideological asset, who cares?
    Well, Sarah Palin opposes Obama too: you aren’t suggesting that provides any basis for cooperating with HER disgusting ass, are you Mr Spero?
    Joking aside, experience plus some accquaintance with the historical record enables me to realize that these Intermediate Strata folks can’t be relied on by us Lower Strata folks to be permanent and consistent political allies. (yes from time to time Lower Strata individuals will be found parroting these Intermediate S. myth-based propositions; some people will do anything to get ahead; some people are just confused, snowed under by the snowjobs.)
    History and experience make it abundantly plain: this Class of people whose situation is somewhere between the SuperRich at the top and the Wretched down here in the basement can be expected to WAVER between allying with the class above and with the class or classes below. To “vacillate”.
    So relating to them gets kind of tricky. We have to be ready to ally with them when they’re ready to ally with US, but keep our powder dry/eyes wide open & not let them get away with any BS, and be ready to say Sayonara the minute they start wavering, drifting over to the Other Side.
    The other thing, as illuminated by the S Palin example, is we have to insist on certain Criteria from the jump.
    The “Four Principles” (which I went and read on the Paul site, & am still not convinced all four really signed onto, esp McKinney) are maybe one attempt to formulate a draft, which maybe could serve very brfly as a starting pt to amend/revise/redraw into something that would define the basis for a tactical alliance in the Electoral arena and possibly some other fronts of the struggle.
    But let’s not kid each other: anybody who is truly representing the interests of people like me is not going to be truly representative of the interests of these affluent Citizens and their ahistoric “values”.
    One thing is pretty clear: if it is worthwhile to engage in electoral politics at all, which I grant is debatable, “Don’t Vote, It Only Encourages Them”? but since there aren’t a lot of other avenues open, I think the 2012 Presidential is key to challenging the Obama Consensus– it seems to me obvious that the first prerequisite is to avoid any repeat of the debacles of the last two cycles. There must be ONE candidate, one unified ticket, one antiWar/proSinglePayer/antiracist ticket.
    The first criterion must be totally nonaffiliation/disafilliation from the Demopublican Duopoly. This means that okay, Kucinich, Ronpaul, the rest of you ‘antiwar” congresscritters, officeholders, “progressive activizers”: you with us or with THEM? Put up or shut up, fish or cut bait, Now Is The Time already!
    Re “the Left”: I submit that there is a genuine Left in the USA, which may be very tiny but does exist. To me what DB calls “the Left” is the Phoney Left, stooges of the boss, components of the Combine. But to say Left or Right is to talk about people who are politically active in some way. The term “left” was originally used to describe members of parliamentary bodies who were representative of the Lower Orders, “Third Estate”, later of the Proletariat. So to me, if you genuinely represent the interests of the most oppressed, you are part of the Left. But if you are a Misleader, like a union piecard pimp for the DumbOkrat pty, I will not refer to you as Left. Except maybe Left Behind.
    However I realize that MSM usage is different; I however try to avoid MSM usage much as possible:)
    Great posts, DB, you too Lichen:)

  56. Lauren said on January 19th, 2010 at 2:52pm #

    If you honestly want to reach out and unite both the right and the left, which I completely support, then you might want to start with dropping the snarky, demeaning insults, which serve no purpose.

    For example:

    “We haven’t seen any tea-baggers at these protests yet, but why not reach out to them?”

    Just a suggestion.

  57. dan e said on January 19th, 2010 at 5:54pm #

    thankyou Lauren for showing there is still interest in this topic:)

    uh, don’t think the usage “teabaggers” you object to above was meant as an insult; just as a handy descriptive term. One in wide use among us snarky leftists to refer to a somewhat novel phenomenon in our experience. But your logic is impeccable: if we want to unite with people sharing your views we’ll have to be more diplomatic, more careful about our nomenclature.
    Would “Tea Party-goers” or maybe “T-ptyists” be more acceptable? The latter in the interest of brevity?
    However I myself am not at all sure I WANT to expend much energy trying to “unite” with people whose main objective is to deny me access to healthcare, i.e., to shorten my life. If you identify so closely with the “Tea Party” movement mobilized by Big Insurance/Big Pharma to protect their profits that you get upset by the term “teabagger”, to me it looks like you must either be a conscious agent of said capitalist interests, or you have been conned.
    All the rhetoric I’ve seen coming out of Ron Paul & fans is based on fallacious premises like the nonsense somebody posted above about how transforming nature establishes an “ownership interest”. Geezuz you’d think even a reethuglican would know that in our society, Land Titles rest on Right of Conquest. Are we supposed to agree that when Sir St George Gore went on his safari across the plains killing all the bison in sight, along with any unfortunate deer/antelope/elk/wild horses/wild indans within elephant gun range, thus transforming same from alive to dead, that he thereby established an “ownership interest”?
    No, sorry Laurent, that kind of thinking is not only highly offensive, it is based on demonstrably false notions about property rights. cf. Proudhon, not otherwise my favorite thinker but he nailed this much: “Property is Theft”.
    But if you are sincerely interested in reaching out to your left, I’d like to suggest that you take a few minutes to read the first three chapters of Das Kapital, which will clarify the distinctions between pre-Capitalist modes of production, Merchant Capitalism, and modern Industrial Capitalism, and enable you to understand why Capital as such only comes into existence when a society has established an economy based on the use of Money to facilitate exchange and store value until ready to exchange it.

    BTW, what does “snarky” mean?

  58. Lauren said on January 20th, 2010 at 11:36am #

    Dan E:

    Wow, you are one angry dude. Did I say that I am a supporter of the Tea Party? Nope. Did I say I’m even a Republican? ‘Cause I’m not that either. Not even a libertarian. I was simply pointing out that in order to reach out and unite the left and right, which I fully support, we need to stop dehumanizing our “enemies” and drop the demeaning insults. If you are unaware of the meaning behind “tea-baggers”, I suggest you look it up.

  59. Deadbeat said on January 20th, 2010 at 11:45am #

    And Lauren what you need to understand is that now is the time for honest, deeper, and thorough analysis not touchy-feel rhetoric that will waste people’s time and lead to a disaster and betrayal. If the Left cannot find unity among its own ranks then how can there be unity among groups with clearly conflicting ideologies? Can you explain that? That’s the type of analysis that is needed.

  60. Lauren said on January 20th, 2010 at 12:13pm #

    “Don’t insult people, it won’t get you anywhere” is not touchy-feely rhetoric, it is just common sense. Sorry, comrades, if I have spoken out of order!

  61. David Spero said on January 20th, 2010 at 1:13pm #

    This discussion and a smaller, less intelligent, but otherwise similar one at antiwar.com have convinced me that the possibilities for alliance with “tea-partiers” (the approved term) or Ron Paul libertarians are limited, but still worth pursuing. The points of unity are fairly evident – bring the trooops home, restore civil liberties, break up the big banks and the Fed. Other than drug legalization, there may not be much else to unite on. But those are very important things! We don’t have to agree on health care; we have to agree to disagree on that without jeopardizing the unity on the Empire.

    The rulers are heavily armed and in near-total control of the media and of the electoral process. They are squeezing us harder each and every day. I just don’t want to cede the white working class’ support to them.

    Please check out a group of libertarian military, veterans, and police called the Oath Keepers for something to think about. Would you want them on your side or on the Empire’s?
    http://www.oathkeepers.org/

  62. dan e said on January 20th, 2010 at 8:16pm #

    Well well! Laurent, you were right and I was wrong about the term “teabagger”. I did as you suggested and googled it: wow, had no idea. I was totally unaware of the double entendre baggage, as I must assume Mr Spero was also? Giving him the benefit of the doubt? Might be a good move on his part to apologize for injecting such a loaded piece of nomenclature into the discussion he wants to catalyze?
    In my own defense I can only offer that I don’t move in circles where such terms are in common use, nor do I pay much attn to MSM punditutes/presstitutes like the witty Anderson Cooper or even to the Daily Show guy, who at one time seemed amusing but has long since blown his cover.
    Next question: what is it that I said that moved you to inform me that I’m “one angry dude”? Let me assure you that there was no adrenalin behind anything I said. I was trying to be reasonable but candid.
    Does the notion “Healthcare is a Human Right” seem over the top to you?
    Or, if you aren’t a rethuglican, what pray tell are you?
    I myself confess to being a totally freaked by the Police State far left fringe radical antiZionist/antiMilitarist/antiColonialist. So I’m very unsure that trying to “dialog” with teapartyers will prove productive. But if you think it could, I’m willing to listen to, that is read, your thesis. ??

  63. Danny Ray said on January 20th, 2010 at 8:30pm #

    Dan E, I do not know where you are, but may I suggest this, find out where your local tea party is being held, leave all you have heard about tea parties behind and go to one. Look around find somebody approximately your own age that looks like a normal person and after it’s over, go up, introduce yourself, you say the words, hi I’m Dan and I’m not sure I agree with you but would you tell me what you stand for. That is how you begin a dialogue, with no preconceived notions and honesty in your heart and love for your fellow man. I think you would be amazed common ground you will find. You may hate what the tea parties stand for. Can honestly they may not like you but you will be able to say what they stand for without people like John Stewart or any one else interpreting for you.

  64. Danny Ray said on January 20th, 2010 at 8:32pm #

    BTW I believe that health care is a human right also, I just don’t think that the path to universal healthcare is thru the whitehouse.

  65. dan e said on January 20th, 2010 at 9:51pm #

    By “not through the whitehouse”, I guess you mean through the Knesset?

    hyuk hyuk