Wed May 24th, 2006 at 06:04:10 PM EST
from the diaries. -- Jérôme
During the various conversations I had at the Paris meeting on Saturday somebody said to me "y'know I'm not really sure why we're all here. It's not like Kos where there is a single government to organise against. We're all from different countries with completely different agendas. We have no real purpose". At the time I gave an answer that I felt scratched the surface of my enthusiasm, but as I sat on the Eurostar watching the French countryside recede at speeds reminiscent of a Star Trek view screen I couldn't let the question go.
Although we are a clone of the Booman Tribune community, it seems that our common view comes from DailyKos. In my opinion the Kos community has evolved considerably in the last two years. Back then they were stalwart supporters of the Democrat party, working diligently to get their guy into the White House. But the loss in November '04 devastated them and they went away and licked their wounds for 6 months. Or rather they didn't, instead they sat back and wondered why they lost and came to some startling conclusions. They realised that, as constituted, the democratic party couldn't win an argument in an empty room, let alone with the republican party. And what has begun to emerge is a new concensus that is is obviously about a new organisation, but there seems to be a different emphaisis. They are unashamedly liberal, willing to question the most basic tenets. Unafraid of standing up for what they believe.
The talk on Kos is rarely about policy. But when it is, the common strand of brave, militant, unapologetic liberalism underpins everything. It's what David Sirota describes as the tell-tale signs of a true progressive populist movement emerging - one that is not just a wing of the Democratic Party Establishment in Washington, but an actual movement bubbling up from outside the Beltway, based on real conviction, and serious about seizing power. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sirota/2006-the-year-the-progre_b_21398.html
It is that which is energising us. We recognise this philosophy, it is theirs and it is ours too. What amazed me when we sat in the cafe was how so many people of different nationalities, backgrounds and viewpoint were able to come together. Whatever our policy differences, and they are legion, we hold that common passion for a popular progressive politics.
So when asked what we are for my feeling is that we are more than a mere coming together of like-minded people. Perhaps it is pretentious to say that we are somehow part of a larger phenomenon that is building a new politics that understands old ideas surrounding cheap energy & globalised corporate capitalism simply cannot continue as they have. That we need new new perspectives, that the observance of rights and dignities are important in building the just societies we hope to preserve in the decades to come. Or perhaps it is simply a recognition that the way we do things now doesn't work for the majority of people any more. Perhaps our conversations earlier about our shared philosophy, both started by colman, mark a start on that process of crystallising a larger purpose.
Fairness and Freedom