Emptywheel at FDL continues the discussion triggered by Freddie DeBoer’s “the blindspot,” which is about the lameness and complicity of the liberal blogosphere, and the lack of a genuine left here in the States.
There’s a thriving left in Britain that has an accompanying blogosphere. A quick glance at Socialist Unity or Lenin’s Tomb will confirm this. One big difference is such blogs don’t much care what the powers-that-be think of them nor do they want to be invited to the pressers or be on the right mailing lists and have inside access to political events. If you want to be an insider, then you must play by the insider’s rules. That means don’t rock the boat or criticize beyond certain parameters else your inside access gets lifted. This has an inherently self-muzzling effect. Of course much of the liberal blogosphere here has no structural criticism of the US or of capitalism itself. Thus they’re mostly docile as far as the elites are concerned.
What hardly ever gets discussed in the US left blogosphere, and what the Brit blogs assume as a basic premise, is that there are classes in society and the interests of the elite class are opposed and contradictory to those of the rest of us. Emptywheel touches on this, but all of us on the left in the US needs to focus on this much more. Yes, there is class war in the US, and the elites started it.
Liberals are allergic to mentioning class war because it’s a socialist idea. Eek, can’t be saying that, besides it would almost certainly get you tossed off White House presser lists. Instead, let’s focus of how evil, wicked, mean, and nasty establishment Republicans are, and ignore the simple fact that their counterpart Democrats support and bolster the power of the elites just as much.
Which brings us full circle, I think. DeBoer suggests we need greater ideological diversity in the blogosphere, and he’s right. But what we need just as badly is some way to articulate and mobilize the needs of the working class before our failure to govern (which the narrowness of our discourse fosters) ends up in food riots.
With the end of the Cold War, the US has had the luxury, for now, of completely ignoring the ideological left because the threats to the country–as the governing class sees them–have everything to do with the market and nothing to do with workers. But ultimately, the combination of failed governance and the market will lead right back to the workers.