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Because even if you cannot enact policy you can steer the debate in the right direction. The right wing understands this, but the left doesn't seem to. And it's the hegemonic, centrist party that needs to understand it. As JakeS never tires of pointing out, the right wing finds fringe extremists extremely useful to steer the debate, while the centre left finds radical leftists threatening, maybe becuase of a fear that the "unseriousness" will rub off on them.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2011 at 09:37:23 AM EST
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