#1
so i was reading this from yasha levine:

https://yasha.substack.com/p/a-perfect-end-to-2020-for-the-left posted:

It might have been easy for people to believe that there was surging left-wing movement in American politics while Bernie Sanders’ star was rising in 2016 and 2020. I had always been skeptical about how deeply that left movement actually went, but even I — cynical as I am — started believing in it a bit last winter. Shit. Bernie has a chance, I thought. Maybe there is something real happening here. But then he got crushed, endorsed drooling Joe Biden, licked the “we can move him left” boot, ducked out of the fight, and exposed a totally barren political left landscape. Turns out that Bernie’s “revolution” was really nothing other than an electoral campaign, after all — and that campaign and all the organizational energy it harnessed dissolved immediately with his candidacy. What did it leave behind? Not much, other than huge platforms for a few top influencers and political operatives who leveraged the Bern into lucrative Patreon and Substack careers.

and it reminded me of a bit in another article i had been reading, a light history of amerikkka in afganistan:

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2020/12/26/americas-longest-war-an-afghans-perspective/ posted:

The son-in-law of the couple Nuristani, Dr. Faramarz Tamanna, notably ran as a candidate for President, but dropped out and encouraged his supporters to vote for Ghani—an old trick adopted by the Democratic Party during its 2020 primary.

so yeah, i think what levine, and i guess ames and a lot of other people in that "sphere" miss when they are either a) sad that bernie was thrown under a bus by the dems ("bernie would have won"), or b) call him a sellout for endorsing hillary/biden after dropping out, or i guess c) sad in general, is that bernie sanders was a psyop from the very beginning and those involved in the "DSA bernie left" or whatever are somewhere along a spectrum from gullible rubes to grifters to cia (inclusive). "Bernie Sanders" was an election campaign, but primarily for clinton/biden, not for sanders himself. This is not the same as what levine is saying which is that the "bernie revolution" was simply a dressed up election campaign and had no substance dissolving with the endorsement of clinton/biden (duh), its that the "bernie revolution" was just a marketing exercise for hillary clinton and the democrat party in general which was effective enough in 2016 that it was repackaged for 2020. People dismissing bernie wholesale "from the left" tend to fall (in my limited experience) into either: he is a vile amerikkkan who would be no different from anyone else if he was elected president (that is obviously true but not what i am getting at). Or: dems/cia would never let sanders win the nomination (also true but not really the main issue here); its that he was just a marketing campaign.

i dont pay attention to the ins and outs of US dem politics or whatever i just thought that the "bernie gambit" was a pretty funny ploy that suckered in a bunch of rubes. it has not escaped my attention that other people have been saying this for a long time

interested in hearing from someone who gives a shit

#2
a political cartoon with cowboy joe biden lassoing a bull. the lasso is labeled bernie sanders, the bull is labeled the woke left, and joe biden is labelled the dnc
#3
seems legit. however, i don't give a shit, and you have precluded us type of people from the responsibility of posting. i thank you.
#4
One talking point from Bernie world was that Bernie voters voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 at a higher rate than is usual for primary losers (including Clinton voters voting for Obama in 2008!). It doesn't seem like anyone realized that that's not something to be proud of
#5
I don't think the premise quite holds up, considering how much centrist and rightist Dem politicians and pundits blamed "the left", "socialism", "defund the police", etc. on their electoral losses. They view Bernie and his "movement" as a threat, not as tools to dupe more people into voting for them, particularly in red/swing regions. They're in agreement with the GOP, whose primary ad strategy up to the election seemed to be equating Biden with Bernie's policies.

filler posted:

One talking point from Bernie world was that Bernie voters voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 at a higher rate than is usual for primary losers (including Clinton voters voting for Obama in 2008!). It doesn't seem like anyone realized that that's not something to be proud of

I think it was used as a defense against the accusations that bros hurt the party. still, super weak.

#6

burritostan posted:

I don't think the premise quite holds up, considering how much centrist and rightist Dem politicians and pundits blamed "the left", "socialism", "defund the police", etc. on their electoral losses. They view Bernie and his "movement" as a threat,

e: meaning that i am very skeptical that anyone besides suburban parents was ever threatened by bernie $ander$ and his mov€m€nt

Edited by liceo ()

#7

tears posted:

"Bernie Sanders" was an election campaign

#8

liceo posted:

i'm talking about the house reps who don't want to get primaried, or lose to a GOP challenger because fox news calls them a communist

#9
see edit ^
#10
the noam chomsky of being a vermont senator
#11
afaik Yasha Levine has mostly been writing about how the Sanders campaign worked as a means to create “left” Democrat media careers, to create a “left” space for personality-driven CNN-style pseudo-debates that would previously have been reflected as wishy-washy edge-case “solidarity” but can now sustain themselves as their own low-rent media shadow plays.

He’s right about that imo. It’s probably also something he knows he could join himself instead of denouncing the venues for it and the seriousness of it like he’s doing now. That’s what the OP catches at the tail end of that quote.

As for the rest I don’t think he’d really disagree with the OP much if at all, I don’t think he’s so much

a) sad that bernie was thrown under a bus by the dems ("bernie would have won"), or b) call him a sellout for endorsing hillary/biden after dropping out, or i guess c) sad in general,

...instead he sees the Sanders campaign in hindsight as a means to use the market to manage and capitalize on potential discontent, i.e, as recuperation.

I think it’s sad Levine got suckered into it, I thought it was lame while it was happening, but I’m glad he realized it so quickly and isn’t above calling himself out for it. In general I’m glad when stuff like that happens even when someone isn’t Marxist. Ames & Levine are left-liberals. But they have a weird thing in their brains that make them paranoid and suspicious even in situations (like the recent Putin freak out) where they could go along to get along by capitalizing on what they’ve said before, and Hell,

#12
yah, like it wasn't my intent to bash levine particularly, its just what i happened to read that got me thinking about bernie sanders and the grifters around him who i try not to think about at all (unsuccessful as it turns out). and after a few hours after i posted the above i remembered the term i was looking for which was obviously "controlled opposition"
#13
Yeah I think that’s right. And I won’t lie, even though I should know better, when I saw Ames and Levine going all “we should know better ourselves but ooh la la” about Sanders and running interference for him, I was like “Really...?” I was disappointed. Because Matt Taibbi is, at his absolute best, like the Coke Zero version of those two nowadays, and years ago he wrote in one of his meandering books how Sanders had gone full beige when he became a U.S. senator, how he wouldn’t talk with Taibbi anymore after he took that office because as mainstream as Taibbi had become, he was still too edgy for Senator Bernard.
#14
To elaborate on what I meant by the last part of my first post itt, and I can only speak for my own little world here, the Sanders campaigns in 2012 and 2016 put me in a weird place. And I have tried to put that in perspective of my own relative unimportance compared to the entire world but also in relation to other things in the world. I suppose I feel obligated or compelled, one or the other.

On one hand, some left-liberals I knew who previously thought my politics were off the wall, including my optimism about future socialist politics in the West, they started saying, Oh, I’m socialist now, come knock on doors for the Sanders campaign with me. And I had to be like, I don’t think that guy is socialist and here’s why, the stuff he’s advocating is tepid Democrat stuff, his backers are going around bragging he’s got Eisenhower’s platform, they’re more or less right, and that’s not socialism, and here’s how that relates to what you’ve heard from me before. Which made a few of those people baffled and a couple of them genuinely angry, even though most of them had come to know me as just the sort of crank who’d say something like that. To some degree that’s true, but I couldn’t go around saying, Yeah see I was right, how do you like me now, with something crawling in the pit of my stomach the whole time.

On the other hand, socialists I knew also knew me as the guy saying we shouldn’t count out the West, its material factors and discontent within it, and they said, See, this is what that gets you, Bernie Sanders Democrats. And at the same time I had to be like, Okay, but none of us having this discussion now were out there saying before 2012 that the next thing we’d have to deal with would be the popularity of socialism as a term in the English-speaking West and socialism being coopted as a concept in the U.S., including me. It’s all well and good to act like that’s meaningless and everyone saw it coming as the next big battle, but almost none of would have said that before it happened, almost none of us saw it happening within our lifetime. Many, many more calories were burned talking about why that didn’t happen and wouldn’t and couldn’t happen where it did, not for the foreseeable future, and I’m talking socialists worldwide, not just in that part of the world. Even among optimists in that sense, all this ink and energy got spilled on how “socialism” needed to rebrand itself because nominal support for it wasn’t coming back. If a time traveler had announced the current present to us all of ten years ago, it would have been seen as shocking and also by many of us as an enormous opportunity, as a source for optimism, not by all of us, but by a lot of us. It wouldn’t have been glibly dismissed as an oh-of-course thing or as a top-down conspiracy, it would be tied to all sorts of historical developments and material factors in the West and elsewhere, and we are all trying to do that too right now, so I have to take it as it comes.

Tbh I think a lot of socialists have come to grips with that second part, but a lot haven’t. They want to talk about how the term’s been coopted in the West, or maybe take advantage of its resurgent popularity, but they also want to glide over the part where they found themselves battling for its meaning with mass-media-favored “socialists” about two seconds after they said they’d never end up having that debate in their lifetimes in that part of the world, either because socialism carried an inherent power that the West had been immunized against, or because the “branding” needed to change, because no one who caught the eye of Western media for more than a few seconds, outside of media-constructed foreigner-villains, would ever call themselves socialist for the next century or more.

It seems to me that if socialists want socialism to be scientific, to work to maintain the predictive power of the science rather than just its explanatory power after the fact, I mean for pete’s sake we had better keep working on that question too. It doesn’t have to be public self-flagellation but if so many of us couldn’t predict the part where a bunch of people in a big economically influential country started started calling themselves socialists when they were advocating social fascism, in that one way at least, we are in a bad way compared to say, socialists in the 1920s. That’s not where we should want to be imo and it’s worthy of addressing the shortcomings that put us there. It won’t kill us and it’s at least possible we’d be seizing the optimism we’re due, in a very real way.
#15
^^ yeah, i mean if im understanding what you're saying right, the very fact that the democrat party of the usa has been (successfully) running internal controlled opposition branded as "socialism" is telling in and of itself. And its not like there are not tons of historical examples - i mean lenins whole thing for much of his life was writing endlessly about fake socialism and real socialism...
#16
I don't think the word socialism is significant, the word communist is what matters. That's because no matter how reformist and revisionist communist parties in the West have been and still are, they are obligated to support anti-imperialism and actually existing communism as the result of their historical origin. This is why communist parties broke up after the collapse of the USSR, the word communist still meant something unlike socialism which means anything you want it to mean. Eurocommunists desperately wished to turn communism into representative of the labor aristocracy but they failed, it is too implicated in the original post-October split. The rise of the term socialism is an interesting attempt by Americans to join the history of European social democracy, the explicit purpose of Sanders, but I've never seen evidence that it leads to a growing interest in communism or that we can use it while remaining principled. Though it would be difficult to measure this, people and parties believe what they want to believe about the growing membership in PSL or DSA. As long as Europe provides a better model of neocolonialism than the internal Empire of the US it will have a powerful allure, "socialism in the 21st century" in South America is closer to what you're talking about but not only did it have no resonance in the US, Sanders socialism exists by disavowing any third world socialisms.
#17
I don't think "Sanders socialism" is a real thing that can be deployed to explain why the word "socialism" suddenly doesn't matter.

and I've already explained I think of quick sloppy revising of the past where suddenly we would have all been unsurprised and unimpressed at a ton of people suddenly calling themselves socialists in a place where everyone thought that wasn't going to happen...

like at the same time and for the same reason, everyone was talking about how the term socialism was on the wane among non-communist socialist parties and they'd probably abandon it soon too.

idk I think it might be time to brace up and deal with it??
#18
it's 100% going to make us feel better to pretend we all saw it coming and also it doesn't matter anyway and we also all knew that, and I get the appeal. It's just not a good idea because it's obviously bullshit, that's what I'm saying
#19
like, okay: let's say for the sake of Posting that we're now in a stage of history where socialism doesn't matter. All the discussion over socialism as a term and the definition of socialism that goes back to Marx and Lenin, and happened all throughout the history of Communism, and continues among Communists all over the world and within countries with Communist parties in leadership today, that's all in the past, we're beyond it here and now.

......it might have been a good thing to see that coming too instead of taking it between the eyes.

Meaning: it necessarily IS an issue that it didn't happen, if all that stuff about us being over and done with talking about socialism were true. And it's the SAME issue.

Edited by cars ()

#20
You are operating under the assumption that socialism means everything at the same time. But socialism has a very specific meaning since the Bolshevik revolution: anti-communist left-liberalism. It has nothing to do with how Marx and Engels and even Lenin used it, there has been a hundred years of the socialist international, the SPD and other social democratic parties in power after the betrayal of the second international, social fascism in the labor party and the Democrats, socialist parties in former communist countries, and socialism in the anti-communist unions. That is what Sanders and his supporters want, they are not empty vessels moving left to communism. They know what they want, only you are naive enough to think they have broken with their fundamental class interest.

It is confusing because China talks about socialism and various third world countries talk about it. But Sanders socialists are not confused at all, when they say they want Sweden they really mean it. I also don't buy this idea that the rise of the left is related to Sanders, his attempt at making European social democracy part of the American conversation is mostly separate from the economic and political crisis that has created rising communist consciousness. That is what the OP is saying at least. As the post-Trump data showed, political demographics really didn't change at all, this whole thing was just an attempt to sell the latest Clinton, and it wasn't particularly effective. You keep saying we need to accept we were wrong and learn what actually happened but other than vague implications that Sanders could mean something if only the left punished itself enough, I haven't seen what there is to learn.
#21

babyhueypnewton posted:

I don't think the word socialism is significant, the word communist is what matters. That's because no matter how reformist and revisionist communist parties in the West have been and still are, they are obligated to support anti-imperialism and actually existing communism as the result of their historical origin. This is why communist parties broke up after the collapse of the USSR, the word communist still meant something unlike socialism which means anything you want it to mean. Eurocommunists desperately wished to turn communism into representative of the labor aristocracy but they failed, it is too implicated in the original post-October split. The rise of the term socialism is an interesting attempt by Americans to join the history of European social democracy, the explicit purpose of Sanders, but I've never seen evidence that it leads to a growing interest in communism or that we can use it while remaining principled. Though it would be difficult to measure this, people and parties believe what they want to believe about the growing membership in PSL or DSA. As long as Europe provides a better model of neocolonialism than the internal Empire of the US it will have a powerful allure, "socialism in the 21st century" in South America is closer to what you're talking about but not only did it have no resonance in the US, Sanders socialism exists by disavowing any third world socialisms.

maybe this misses the point which i simply took to be that ten years ago or whatever we were having discussions about how tainted these words are in the USA and maybe they need to be ditched/rebranded entirely and fast forward a few years and actually it turns out that the democrat party of amerikkka are running controlled opposition with a "socialism" psyop and we all go "how obvious duh" to demonstrate our big brains. the emphasis is not on the meaning of thr word socialism, but in its specific deployment in this instance by the democrat party. I don't think that "bernie sanders socialism" was an attempt by a group of americans to turn the usa into a social democracy, i think he was a successful advertising campaign to funnel a group of people back to the democrat party followed by the 'ol bait and switch (bait: the word socialism, switch: sure, socialism whatever, but have you tried this *points to old pedophile*)

#22

babyhueypnewton posted:

But socialism has a very specific meaning since the Bolshevik revolution: anti-communist left-liberalism

i agree that all the stuff said by Stalin, Mao and the rest of our friends, is secretly from before the revolution

#23
hell of an advertising campaign we're seeing right now!
#24

liceo posted:

hell of an advertising campaign we're seeing right now!

yeah, get ready for the media circulation of some specially curated pictures

#25
whats the hashtag for this one gonna be?
#26

tears posted:

maybe this misses the point which i simply took to be that ten years ago or whatever we were having discussions about how tainted these words are in the USA and maybe they need to be ditched/rebranded entirely and fast forward a few years and actually it turns out that the democrat party of amerikkka are running controlled opposition with a "socialism" psyop and we all go "how obvious duh" to demonstrate our big brains.

yup

#27

babyhueypnewton posted:

You are operating under the assumption that socialism means everything at the same time.

u wat

#28
indulging in a bit of ludicrous crystal ball gazing re: recent events, trump, and the bernie gambit - as the party of order element of the republicans attempt to consolidate power in the fallout from the recent clown circus, the logical thing to do at the next US election would be to run an inverse bernie gambit where a pseudo-trump is in the republican primaries who will then drop out and endorse an order-republican, funneling settlers back into the neo-republican party. except obviously take a leaf out of the dem book and make sure that your controlled opposition is actually controlled and doesn't like, accidentally become president or some shit. ho hum i know nothing about us politics
#29
.

Edited by solidar ()

#30

solidar posted:

i guess it is possible that the cia has another agent as capable as obama of acting out that role, just sitting around somewhere out of sight,

#31
Really sad that Bernie did not win as I was looking forward to a bigger share of imperialism's super profits.
#32
flappo'd again
#33
*leans into the mic* bernie panders
#34
*johnny carson voice* mmmmMMMmm, uh, bernie paaanders
#35

cars posted:

On the other hand, socialists I knew also knew me as the guy saying we shouldn’t count out the West, its material factors and discontent within it, and they said, See, this is what that gets you, Bernie Sanders Democrats.

I would dearly love to share your optimism

#36
I think the take that the Sanders campaign was a Democratic Party operation is correct, mainly because from top-to-bottom that's what it honestly was without any overwhelming DNC influence. Sanders campaign strategist Jeff Weaver was very adamant in his belief about a "military-style" campaign filled with a lot of paid Democratic Party professionals and people who would eventually launch themselves into the Justice Democrats in 2017 (a Young Turks operation), a legitimate political machine which AOC, Ayanna Pressley, etc owes victory to because that's where all their staffing and financing came from. "Our Revolution" branches at the state and local level were ironically but not surprisingly led by middle manager types who religiously read books like "Human Resources 101" in preparation for their continued volunteer work and shit like that. The structure of the lib-left was never really conducive to sustained long-term work outside of electing a Democrat in an expensive bid in the first place. Despite an earnest desire for a mass movement where people would show up and participate, all that really happened at my local branch was some very self-righteous managers became bitter no one showed up to hand out pamphlets despite the obvious fact that Clinton was going to win. Their anger was more directed toward how much time they had spent on this stuff as Democratic politics interns Doing Real Politics rather than questioning why no one was engaged by the objectives they laid out. Writing this out, this type of thinking was reflected even in the political mythology of the campaign. An absolute elitist bringing about historical popular change, represented in FDR.

These organizations withered away and the only inter-election victory Sanders can claim is probably getting the DNC by-laws changed, which was done with more progressive bureaucrat types and inside baseball deals.

The alternate side to this very conservative-by-expedience structure was all the random people who just joined to canvas. In my group there was a few people who voted Clinton begrudgingly and hated doing it in their little heart of hearts, but I also remember a 60 year old Belarusian man who'd openly talk about his red sympathies in relation to a lot of the fear-mongering about the campaign going on, you of course had the Sanders sine wave Maoist types, some guys who would watch a lot of Russia Today, "left-wing libertarians" who wanted weed legalized and welfare spending, etc. The weird ones made up the majority.

Ideologically and culturally the whole thing was fractured aside from that professional core, an ad hoc mobilization of the actually-existing noncommunist American left that wasn't formed into a cohesive whole. I think it could have if it had an actual leader. Trump's primary crime is using his base to carry out concrete political objectives by themselves via various methods of election interference, which is basically the forgotten concept of civil society that historians refer to when talking about the Weimar Republic. However Bernie Sanders never wants to upset his chances at having a seat at the table with Joe Biden to discuss his committee appointments and neither does the 1000s of bureaucrats he cultivated and inspired. Right now we're seeing the fallout of this coming up in the liberal-left media sphere with #ForceTheVote and Jimmy Dore (Former Young Turk) inviting random settler psycho anti-government militiamen on his program. There's also a lot of left-liberal types who are openly supportive of what happened on May 28th. Interesting times are here and I don't think the elected left will be the "voice of a generation" like they think they'll be what with the acceptance of political violence and what I just laid out.

Edited by serafiym ()

#37
lol interesting development related to my last post:

"We're not at the discussion table!" - Cenk just thinks the progressive bureaucrats are a little dumb and naive, so not like he's calling them backstabbing traitors which would be more appropriate, but still a sign of the times.

Edited by serafiym ()

#38
simplify guys, the democrat party is an advertising campaign
#39

cars posted:

babyhueypnewton posted:

You are operating under the assumption that socialism means everything at the same time.

u wat

still reading this bhpn post and trying to make sense out of it... just not gonna happen

#40
You are operating under the assumption that fnaaaaggggghhhhhhhh