Annual Fundraising Appeal

Here’s an important message to CounterPunch readers from
BARBARA EHRENREICH…

BarbaraE

Here at CounterPunch we love Barbara Ehrenreich for many reasons: her courage, her intelligence and her untarnished optimism. Ehrenreich knows what’s important in life; she knows how hard most Americans have to work just to get by, and she knows what it’s going to take to forge radical change in this country. We’re proud to fight along side her in this long struggle.  We hope you agree with Barbara that CounterPunch plays a unique role on the Left. Our future is in your hands. Please donate.

Day9

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
button-store2_19

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Political Juvenilia

The Left’s Broken Clock

by BORIS KAGARLITSKY

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.