The Left’s Broken Clock


Someone once likened the political positions of the extreme left with a broken clock that never shows the right time. But as everyone knows, a broken clock shows the correct time with astronomical precision twice every 24 hours, something a functioning clock can never do because it is always at least a little bit fast or slow.

In a similar manner, the radical left’s ideological clock was right on the spot during the recent period of political turmoil. They cried out for a change of leadership and for the masses to arise and boycott the elections. And when tens of thousands of people turned out for demonstrations, which caused the politicians to shake with fear, our national leaders suddenly became supporters of moderation and compromise.

That ideological shift reflects changes in society. Not long ago, the opposition could make any statement, no matter how extreme, and rest assured that it would have absolutely no effect on the country’s political life. Now, they realize that the time for children’s games has ended and that matters should be handled with greater maturity.

But it is not enough to simply switch toys to become a true adult. A serious attitude toward politics means taking responsibility for your words and actions and having the ability to analyze problems, develop a program of action and work systematically with your electorate. It must be understood that there are no miraculous one-time solutions, and that it is useless and even dangerous to grasp at the first opportunity presented. Sound principles and consistency are of value not only among radical youth, but also in politics.

The newly matured radical youth are approaching the idea of political pragmatism with the same infantile and irresponsible attitude that they previously applied to the idea of revolution. The December State Duma elections and the upcoming presidential election provide radicals of all stripes with numerous opportunities to prove their pragmatism and maturity.

As officials experience a disastrous loss of reputation, they suddenly become interested in dialogue with informal political groups, the existence of which they barely acknowledged until recently. The result is that both sides are rushing into each other’s arms. The only problem is that there is no consensus among the radicals who have come to their senses concerning which of the corrupt members of the political elite to adopt as a patron.

While well-known anarchist writer Dmitry Zhvania fills the Internet with calls to collaborate with Just Russia head Sergei Mironov, Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov has signed an agreement with Communist Party head Gennady Zyuganov. Every new statement in this process is accompanied by a fresh scandal.

Meanwhile, other less influential radicals run back and forth between the two opposition candidates deciding which is offering the best terms, and those who lose out stare dully at the hour hand on the broken clock and curse the conciliatory mood and the general decline of morals in society.

Unfortunately, it seems these people will be lifelong juveniles — some charming and cute, others aggressive as teenagers so often are. In either case, however, they will never grow up.

Boris Kagarlitsky is the director of the Institute of Globalization Studies.

October 07, 2015
Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Witness to a Troubled Saint-Making: Junipero Serra and the Theology of Failure
Luciana Bohne
The Double-Speak of American Civilian Humanitarianism
Joyce Nelson
TPP: Big Pharma’s Big Deal
Jonathan Cook
Israel Lights the Touchpaper at Al-Aqsa Again
Joseph Natoli
The Wreckage in Sight We Fail To See
Piero Gleijeses
Jorge Risquet: the Brother I Never Had
Andrew Stewart
Do #BlackLivesMatter to Dunkin’ Donuts?
Rajesh Makwana
#GlobalGoals? The Truth About Poverty and How to Address It
Joan Berezin
Elections 2016: A New Opening or Business as Usual?
Dave Randle
The Man Who Sold Motown to the World
Adam Bartley
“Shameless”: Hillary Clinton, Human Rights and China
Binoy Kampmark
The Killings in Oregon: Business as Usual
Harvey Wasserman
Why Bernie and Hillary Must Address America’s Dying Nuke Reactors
Tom H. Hastings
Unarmed Cops and a Can-do Culture of Nonviolence
October 06, 2015
Vijay Prashad
Afghanistan, the Terrible War: Money for Nothing
Mike Whitney
How Putin will Win in Syria
Paul Street
Yes, There is an Imperialist Ruling Class
Paul Craig Roberts
American Vice
Kathy Kelly
Bombing Hospitals: 22 People Killed by US Airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
Ron Jacobs
Patti Smith and the Beauty of Memory
David Macaray
Coal Executive Finally Brought Up on Criminal Charges
Norman Pollack
Cold War Rhetoric: The Kept Intelligentsia
Cecil Brown
The Firing This Time: School Shootings and James Baldwin’s Final Message
Roger Annis
The Canadian Election and the Global Climate Crisis
W. T. Whitney
Why is the US Government Persecuting IFCO/Pastors for Peace Humanitarian Organization?
Jesse Jackson
Alabama’s New Jim Crow Far From Subtle
Joe Ramsey
After Umpqua: Does America Have a Gun Problem….or a Dying Capitalist Empire Problem?
Murray Dobbin
Rise Up, Precariat! Cheap Labour is Over
October 05, 2015
Michael Hudson
Parasites in the Body Economic: the Disasters of Neoliberalism
Patrick Cockburn
Why We Should Welcome Russia’s Entry Into Syrian War
Kristine Mattis
GMO Propaganda and the Sociology of Science
Heidi Morrison
Well-Intentioned Islamophobia
Ralph Nader
Monsanto and Its Promoters vs. Freedom of Information
Arturo Desimone
Retro-Colonialism: the Exportation of Austerity as War By Other Means
Robert M. Nelson
Noted Argentine Chemist Warns of Climate Disaster
Matt Peppe
Misrepresentation of the Colombian Conflict
Barbara Dorris
Pope Sympathizes More with Bishops, Less with Victims
Clancy Sigal
I’m Not a Scientologist, But I Wish TV Shrinks Would Just Shut Up
Chris Zinda
Get Outta’ Dodge: the State of the Constitution Down in Dixie
Eileen Applebaum
Family and Medical Leave Insurance, Not Tax Credits, Will Help Families
Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure
“Boxing on Paper” for the Nation of Islam, Black Nationalism, and the Black Athlete: a Review of “The Complete Muhammad Ali” by Ishmael Reed
Lawrence Ware
Michael Vick and the Hypocrisy of NFL Fans
Gary Corseri - Charles Orloski
Poets’ Talk: Pope Francis, Masilo, Marc Beaudin, et. al.
Weekend Edition
October 2-4, 2015
Henry Giroux
Murder, USA: Why Politicians Have Blood on Their Hands
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Lightning War in Syria