Talk Left opines that the once feisty progressive blogosphere has increasingly been co-opted by the Democratic Party and too often now functions as mere cheerleaders.
How did this come about? I think it is pretty easy to answer – the progressive blogosphere has adopted the Democratic Party Establishment as its home team. The issues have been pushed to the background. The Party is everything.
I think the answer is now clear. The progressive blogosphere no longer exists. There is a purely Democratic blogosphere now. I think that is a shame.
Well, there are plenty of blogs further to the Left which haven’t been drawn into that. This one, American Leftist, Lefti on the News, Joe Bageant, Doug Henwood, and The Unrepentant Marxist just to mention a few, plus Another Green World, Lenin’s Tomb, Socialist Unity and many more in Britain and Europe. There’s a whole radical / anarchist / socialist Left out there which views the Democratic Party as part of the problem rather than a solution.
In 2004 Peter Camejo wrote “The Avocado Declaration” which he details how the primary function of the Democratic Party is to channel genuine dissent into itself where it is rendered harmless or at least more manageable. And I think that’s what’s happening now. The former rebels are getting de-fanged.
Oh, some may yap about various issues, but increasingly the discussion is within the bounds of the traditional Democratic Party. Republicans are the source of most evil. The flaws of capitalism are not up for discussion, nor is any possible solution to problems that involve major criticism of the system as a whole or that implies that the Democratic party too often is a partner with the Republican Party when it comes to most issues – like the wars or giving the banksters whatever they want.
The process being co-opted is subtle and pervasive indeed. The Democratic Party has decades of practice doing it. Let me dispel any illusions. Former rebels and reformists sucked into the Democratic Party thinking they will change it from within are deluding themselves. Can’t happen. Won’t happen. The party won’t allow it.
Camejo was a major organizer in the 60’s antiwar mobilizations, ran for president in ’76 on Socialist Workers Party (and got purged later), then got involved with Greens. Decades of experience as a radical are summarized in the Avocado Declaration. (The name is his little joke. He’d been accused of being a watermelon, green on outside, red on inside. No, he said, I’m an avocado, green inside and outside.)
Please add other blogs in comments, including your own. My list is not meant to be inclusive!