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.

November 30, 2015
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Embrace of Totalitarianism is America’s Dirty Little Secret
Omur Sahin Keyif
An Assassination in Turkey: the Killing of Tahir Elci
Uri Avnery
There is No Such Thing as International Terrorism
Robert Fisk
70,000 Kalashnikovs: Cameron’s “Moderate” Rebels
Jamie Davidson
Distortion, Revisionism & the Liberal Media
Patrick Cockburn
Nasty Surprises: the Problem With Bombing ISIS
Robert Hunziker
The Looming Transnational Battlefield
Ahmed Gaya
Breaking the Climate Mold: Fighting for the Planet and Justice
Matt Peppe
Alan Gross’s Improbable Tales on 60 Minutes
Norman Pollack
Israel and ISIS: Needed, a Thorough Accounting
Colin Todhunter
India – Procession of the Dead: Shopping Malls and Shit
Roger Annis
Canada’s New Climate-Denying National Government
Binoy Kampmark
Straining the Republic: France’s State of Emergency
Bill Blunden
Glenn Greenwald Stands by the Official Narrative
Jack Rasmus
Japan’s 5th Recession in 7 Years
Karen Lee Wald
Inside the Colombia Peace Deal
Geoff Dutton
War in Our Time
Charles R. Larson
Twofers for Carly Fiorina
John Dear
An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind
Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Mark Hand
Escape From New York: the Emancipation of Activist Cecily McMillan
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
Mats Svensson
Madness in Hebron: Hashem Had No Enemies, Yet Hashem Was Hated
Walter Brasch
Terrorism on American Soil
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Bears, Dreaming and the Frontier of Wonder
Michael Welton
Yahweh is Not Exactly Politically Correct
Joseph Natoli
A Politics of Stupid and How to Leave It Behind
John Cox
You Should Fear Racism and Xenophobia, Not Syrian Refugees or Muslims
Barrie Gilbert
Sacrificing the Grizzlies of Katmai Park: the Plan to Turn Brooks Camp Into a Theme
Rev. William Alberts
The Church of “Something Else” in “an Ecclesiastical Desert”
Andrew Gavin Marshall
Bank Crimes Pay
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Thomas S. Harrington
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and the Death of Ezra Schwartz
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability