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Great diary!

For my part, I'm not convinced that you need any business order to necessarily yield economic efficiency or innovation, and the simple fact of the matter is that much of the important innovations of our lifetime (the internet being a recent example of this, computers before it) had their origins in the state, and also much if not most of their subsequent development. And I'd argue also that you cannot move towards an ecologically sustainable economy without the state, it's just not going to happen.

His analysis of where power lies in the US at present is quite accurate; but what to do about it? Guess I have to go buy the book and read chapter 4.

Actually getting your average Democrat to read Gramschi without being required to do so by his or her professor would be quite a feat. Though I see Mitt Romney is calling Hillary Clinton a Marxist, so maybe there's hope after all.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 at 10:38:30 AM EST
The big difference with Derber is that he actually wants to get the US Left to fight to get something for itself, rather than co-opting it into this "lesser of two evils" pattern that is so fully on display every election year here in the States.

"Efficiency" and "innovation" are standard capitalist talking points.  The idea that "efficiency" will get capitalism out of environmental crisis was effectively debunked in John Bellamy Foster's discussion of Jevons' Paradox.  And "innovation" can be produced by any educational program designed to foster creativity.  The question at hand, however, is one of what particular economic systems do with innovation.

"Imagine all the people/ Sharing all the world" -- John Lennon

by Cassiodorus on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 at 11:12:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm curious what is Derber's take on the US Left, such as it exists. I mean, he clearly "gets it" when it comes to where the power is, but imho part of how that power got so entrenched in the US is that the only viable political vehicle for the left, the Democratic Party, has been bought and paid for, and continues to be bought and paid for, by corporate money.

The power structure is given bi-partisan support, you see this, for instance, even today when the US Left is supposedly in full hue and cry against the depradations of the fascists in the White House, when Senator Schumer goes to bat for the Hedge Fund and Private Equity industries to ensure the tax bill of his wealthy donors...er...constituents doesn't go up.

Schumer is a Democrat, right? Actually a very powerful one - he basically controls who gets to be Democratic candidate to US Senate. And the Democrats are the sole practical representative of the US Left. And yet, and yet, the Democrats, where it counts, are funded by the same corporate power structure as the Republicans.

Not sure how you shift the goalposts when the netminder on your putative side is busy pushing back against your shift, wonder what Derber's take is on this - you hint at it with the '64 Goldwater reference of course, but the '64 Goldwater crew had one thing going for them that the left almost never does: money, lots of it.

Guess I'm going to have to buy the book.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 at 11:38:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm curious what is Derber's take on the US Left, such as it exists. I mean, he clearly "gets it" when it comes to where the power is, but imho part of how that power got so entrenched in the US is that the only viable political vehicle for the left, the Democratic Party, has been bought and paid for, and continues to be bought and paid for, by corporate money.

Derber has chosen to ally himself with the Democratic Party loyalists who have chosen to "reform the Democratic Party from within" rather than form a new party.

It's true that this strategy looks more and more like a failure each year, and that its "efforts" form a trajectory that goes from the McGovern nomination in '72 to Kucinich's 4% showing in 2004.  But with Derber's theory this is mere evidence of the persistence of the current regime.

Derber thinks there are "cracks" in the existing political and economic structures that will make for regime change.  The next regime, however, could be worse than the current one...

"Imagine all the people/ Sharing all the world" -- John Lennon

by Cassiodorus on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 at 02:06:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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