FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

RX for the Left

by ALLAN H. KEITH

The belief that the political Left in the U.S. is in an extraordinarily anemic condition is a view shared by many.

This opinion is exemplified by Jeffrey St. Clair’s recent essay on CounterPunch titled “The Silent Death of the American Left.

Assuming that this viewpoint is correct, the question becomes — What can be done to resurrect the Left?

It is clear that the old, traditional approaches are insufficient to persuade large numbers of people to join the progressive movement.

Some of the traditional arguments used by the Left have been:

Big business is vastly too powerful, treats workers and the public atrociously and makes outlandishly high profits.

This ubiquitous exploitation is all too real and must continue to be spotlighted by the Left.

However, the public must be told this cold, hard reality —

That a moderate form of democratic socialism will be necessary, not just to improve the life of people who have to work for a living, but will become essential to the economic survival of the 99 percent.

Very real and extremely powerful Beasts threaten the economic survival of the 99 percent.

These include:

Globalization, Deindustrialization, Deunionization, Mechanization, Automation (Robotization), combined with Overpopulation, all of which endanger any ability of capitalist societies to create enough living-wage jobs for their populations.

And this list doesn’t include the other modern demons, such as climate change and serious environmental issues and civil liberties issues, as well as the ongoing, concerted effort to destroy the vital safety net.

The democratic socialist alternative must include robust government action and involvement.

However, it must also emphasize non-governmental, collective ownership mechanisms, such as voluntary cooparatives (both large and small), worker ownership of some businesses, as well as other forms of participatory economics.

Also, in the past the Left has made the mistake of placing near-total emphasis on economics and material well-being, with little or no mention of moral, ethical or spiritual issues, such as the little -mentioned issue of inheritance.

We have enormous estates, sometimes worth hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, that are inherited by people who in many cases have earned not even one dime of the estate.

Significant numbers of young people are handed trust funds which allow them to spend not even a single day of their lives having to deal with real work.

And adding insult to injury, many conservatives want to reduce taxes on the wealthy as well as totally eliminate the tax on large inheritances.

Only a reinvigorated left can successfully resolve issues like these and offer real hope for a viable future.

However, that can happen only if the Left is reborn and that can happen only if the Left radically modifies its approach and its message.

The citizenry must be told that the consequences of inaction might be much worse than simply being exploited by a powerful wealthy class.

Allan H. Keith is the author of “Socialism for Survival,” which was written in 1992 and which can be read free of charge on Google Books.

More articles by:
November 21, 2017
Gregory Elich
What is Behind the Military Coup in Zimbabwe?
Louisa Willcox
Rising Grizzly Bear Deaths Raise Red Flag About Delisting
David Macaray
My Encounter With Charles Manson
Patrick Cockburn
The Greatest Threats to the Middle East are Jared Kushner and Mohamed bin Salman
James Rothenberg
We All Know the Rich Don’t Need Tax Cuts
Elizabeth Keyes
Let There be a Benign Reason For Someone to be Crawling Through My Window at 3AM!
L. Ali Khan
The Merchant of Weapons
Thomas Knapp
How to Stop a Rogue President From Ordering a Nuclear First Strike
Lee Ballinger
Trump v. Marshawn Lynch
Michael Eisenscher
Donald Trump, Congress, and War with North Korea
Tom H. Hastings
Reckless
Franklin Lamb
Will Lebanon’s Economy Be Crippled?
Linn Washington Jr.
Forced Anthem Adherence Antithetical to Justice
Nicolas J S Davies
Why Do Civilians Become Combatants In Wars Against America?
November 20, 2017
T.J. Coles
Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident
Peter Linebaugh
On the 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
Patrick Bond
Zimbabwe Witnessing an Elite Transition as Economic Meltdown Looms
Sheldon Richman
Assertions, Facts and CNN
Ben Debney
Plebiscites: Why Stop at One?
LV Filson
Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine
Thomas Knapp
Impeachment Theater, 2017 Edition
Binoy Kampmark
Trump in Asia
Curtis FJ Doebbler
COP23: Truth Without Consequences?
Louisa Willcox
Obesity in Bears: Vital and Beautiful
Deborah James
E-Commerce and the WTO
Ann Garrison
Burundi Defies the Imperial Criminal Court: an Interview with John Philpot
Robert Koehler
Trapped in ‘a Man’s World’
Stephen Cooper
Wiping the Stain of Capital Punishment Clean
Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail