New Project: #rebelleft on Twitter, Tumblr

guest post by Sylvia/M

Use hashtag #rebelleft on Twitter to spread news, updates, and commentary.

Use hashtag #rebelleft on Twitter to spread news, updates, and commentary.

About #rebelleft on Twitter:

  1. The service only works if you have a public Twitter account (free to start and use).  If you don’t, and there’s news you’d like to spread, simply ask for a retweet.
  2. All issues, news stories, commentaries, and updates from the left are welcome.  When tweeting a link or an opinion, simply append #rebelleft to the end of your message and you’re set!
  3. You can follow #rebelleft tweets via the Twitter Search Page.   There is also a Rebel Left Tumblr page that aggregates all #rebelleft tweets and news links.
  4. Spread the word! Feel free to post the picture above on your blog, linking to the Twitter Search Page, or use this smaller badge: rebelleft-small-finalLink to this post or copy-paste it onto your blog to alert fellow bloggers, activists, and Twitterers about #rebelleft.

x-posted @ Problem Chylde

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Quote of the Day: The Power of Illusions

by matttbastard

 

There is one thing about Henry Kissinger, the ultimate cynical Realpolitiker, that strikes the eye of all observers: How utterly wrong most of his predictions were. To take only one example, when news reached the West about the 1991 anti-Gorbachev military coup, he immediately accepted the new regime (which ignominiously collapsed three days later) as a fact. In short, when socialist regimes were already a living dead, Kissinger was counting on a long-term pact with them.

The position of the cynic is that he alone holds some piece of terrible, unvarnished wisdom. The paradigmatic cynic tells you privately, in a confidential low-key voice: “But don’t you get it that it is all really about (money/power/sex), that all high principles and values are just empty phrases which count for nothing?” What the cynics don’t see is their own naivety, the naivety of their cynical wisdom that ignores the power of illusions.

The reason Obama’s victory generated such enthusiasm is not only the fact that, against all odds, it really happened, but that the possibility of such a thing to happen was demonstrated. The same goes for all great historical ruptures. Recall the fall of the Berlin Wall: Although we all knew about the rotten inefficiency of the Communist regimes, we somehow did not “really believe” that they will disintegrate. Like Kissinger, we were all too much victims of cynical pragmatism.

[…]

The true battle begins now, after the victory: The battle for what this victory will effectively mean, especially within the context of two other much more ominous signs of history: 9/11 and the financial meltdown. Nothing was decided by Obama’s victory, but his victory widens our freedom and thereby the scope of our decisions. But regardless of whether we succeed or fail, Obama’s victory will remain a sign of hope in our otherwise dark times, a sign that the last word does not belong to “realist” cynics, be they from the Left or the Right.

– Slavoj Žižek, Why Cynics Are Wrong: The sublime shock of Obama’s victory

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How to Make Friends and Manipulate Irrational Voters

by matttbastard

Are Americans irrational when it comes to politics — voting against their own interests? Or is this phenomenon a function of the interaction between mind, politics and society?

George Lakoff is a New York Times bestselling author and his new book, The Political Mind: Why You Can’t Understand 21st Century American Politics with an 18th Century Mind, [was] released May 2008.

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Quote of the Day: Paradise Lost

by matttbastard

There’s an old saying. You can never go home again. In a sense, I have always beleived it to mean that “home” will never be the same as you remember it. Home is the time in which you live. This is our time.

We have pretty much fucked up the environment, along with the generations that came before. There are some who want to regress the social advances we have made.

They want to return to a time where wimmens “knew their place” (dictated by men, of course) and have no control over thier own bodies. Where we shut down immigration to only those they “approve” of. The rich would get richer, while the middle class dissapears and the poor become poorer and more beholden to those who have complete power over them. Where they own all of us.

Its pretty obvious just by reading history that no matter how much control the Church has exerted over people, people pretty much still do what people will do.

Who wants to go back there with them?

– pale, You can never go home again

RTWDT (Read The Whole Damn Thing) rules apply.

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Liberal Heresy

by matttbastard

Via Greg Sargent:

dnA speak, you listen:

Lord I really don’t like Ronald Reagan. And despite how much I hate the Clintons right now, Bill was a better president than Reagan, by a long fucking shot.

With that said, I dunno if I’d go so far as to single out Obama as a “Lieberdem”, as Natasha Chart does. Now, as Noam Scheiber notes, despite utilizing narcotic, substance-free transformational rhetoric about hope and change that can intoxicate even a perpetual cynic like yours truly, “rather than tacking left, the Obama campaign went straight up the middle, where a much larger universe of potential voters awaited.” And it is a matter of record that Joe Lieberman mentored Obama in the Senate.

ZOMG, d’ya know what this means?! Obama, a proud member of the not-even-remotely-Progressive modern Democratic Party, is just another pro-establishment pol! Please, no earth-shattering revelations about wet water or Popes wearing funny hats; I don’t think my delicate constitution could take any more.

Still, the DLC-Dem charge seems ironic coming from a self-professed “spiteful” Clinton supporter. Um, so, let me see if I’m following: Chart, who claims to have always “disliked Democrats who tore down the Democratic brand, trashed progressives, and praised Republicans”, is standing up to the establishment by supporting a Triangulating perennial DLC favourite/defender (who counts Newt Gingrich as a fan club member) whose husband endorsed Joe Lieberman in ’06 and, during his tenure as both Governor of Arkansas and POTUS, essentially wrote the book on kissing GOP ass (when politically expedient) and eating your own (again, when politically expedient) in order to stake a claim on the mushy middle. All “out of spite”.

*blinks*

Shit, show me a viable Donkey candidate in this election cycle who isn’t a “Lieberdem.” And don’t say “John Edwards”, whose voting record belies his recent populist re-branding as Huey-Long-in-wingtips. Hopefully somebody somewhere is drafting a wide-ranging eulogy for common sense and intellectual consistency during this primary season–to say nothing of bullshit detectors.

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