[lbo-talk] why is the left dead?

Max Sawicky sawicky at verizon.net
Tue Apr 20 07:30:34 PDT 2010

My two-cent thesis for the day is that the heights of the left were the Panther convention in Philadelphia in 1970 and MayDay 1971 in Washington D.C., the latter the wonderfullest experience of my youth, notwithstanding my beating at the hands of police and not getting laid that weekend. Mass anti-war civil disobedience. The left was coherent in its incoherence, by which I mean there was a mosaic of groups and tendencies, but there was an overlay of mutual tolerance for diversity and democratic (to a fault) norms of behavior. There was no hierarchy, no generals. The convention was similar; of course the BPP was a hierarchical cadre organization, but they did not try and impose a line on the construction of a 'peoples constitution.' My sense -- I wasn't there -- is of a similar MayDay-type convergence in Seattle/1999. The ascension of Obama has effectively paralyzed that sort of mobilization, at least for the moment.

On Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 11:19 PM, shag carpet bomb <shag at cleandraws.com> wrote:
> carrol, of course, says there is no such thing as "the" left.
> WRT the platypus discussion is was a commonplace that the left is dead.
> Why is the left dead? is this a reference to the end of Grand Narratives?
> what are people talking about when they say "the left" is dead?
> sometimes, people have suggested some sort of coherence to leftist movement
> in the 60s. but then when i've read histories, i don't get the sense of
> coherence. what little bit i discerned in What is to be Done made me think
> that there wasn't much coherence then, either.
> why do we think there was some sort of coherence in "the left" in the past?
> was there? maybe i read too much history focused on contentions among
> leftists, but i'm hard pressed, thinking about those histories, to see any
> coherence, at least coming out of the 60s.
> shag
> --
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