Quote of the Day: Salon Slams Russell Brand and Proves Why the Far-Left Is a Joke

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“Celebrity male draws attention to radical politics — supporting ‘great man’ narrative. Can’t have it.

Comedian makes lighthearted, charming joke about beautiful woman — can’t have it.

No wonder you people never get anything done.”

— Commenter “xwozzle,” perfectly responding to a headline piece by Natasha Lennard at Salon called “I Don’t Stand with Russell Brand, and Neither Should You”

Today’s Stupid Salon Thing is an article you should read if you’d like a comprehensive course on why the far-left has zero political authority in this country to accomplish its goals — why almost no one takes its demands, its methods, and its overall vision for the world the least bit seriously. Honestly, Natasha Lennard’s piece which embraces Russell Brand’s basic message in a recent BBC interview but then shits all over him as a messenger — calling him essentially a symbol of the establishment, a shill for the capitalist tyranny, and a misogynist to boot — should be put in a museum somewhere. It’s that flawless a cultural artifact.

Here’s an abridged version of Lennard’s first couple of paragraphs, in which she recaps the Brand interview — and makes the position from which she views it crystal clear:

In a highly public forum, Brand ran the frustrating gauntlet of explaining the very basic tenets of radical politics to a defender of the status quo. It’s a maddening position to occupy — as Brand’s intensifying eyes and harried stares at (Jeremy) Paxman evidenced — and it’s a position all too familiar for those of us who have ever identified with anarchism or a radical politics that refuses a predefined program… Like Brand, I don’t vote (I’m British, but even if I were American, I wouldn’t). Like Brand, I will not give my mandate to this festering quagmire of a corporate political system (any more than living in it already demands, that is)… And, like Brand, I refuse to say what I propose instead when badgered by staunch defenders of capitalism. Brand patiently explained to his pompous interviewer that, no, we can’t offer you a pragmatic alternative program — we’re too entrenched in the ideology of the current one… The point is, I’ve learned to leave conversations when the ‘what do you propose instead?’ question is posed to me qua anti-capitalist. If you had a blood-sucking monster on your face, I wouldn’t ask you what I should put there instead. I’d vanquish the blood-sucking monster.

Would you like to know why Occupy was a failure as a movement? Read that again. Over and over if necessary.

See, here’s the thing: The reason intelligent people tend to ask the question of those who want to just tear down our admittedly screwed-up political paradigm, “Well, once that’s done, what do you want to work for to put in its place,” is that a political system in and of itself isn’t a blood-sucking monster. You can live without a blood-sucking monster on your face — society can’t exist without some form of representative government. I get that anarchists don’t agree with this, but guess what? They’re fucking wrong. Not only are they wrong, they’re children. I stopped drawing little As-in-circles all over everything about the time I turned 16 and realized that while I still loved punk records, if you want to truly make a positive difference, you have to work your way into the system then change it from within. Simply tearing it all down and leaving a vacuum — or deciding that you’ll worry about the consequences later — is the kind of thing a fucking 5-year-old does when he gets angry because the sandcastle he’s building doesn’t look the way he wants it to.

What’s more, being intractable in your view that everything needs to come down according to your blueprint will get you absolutely nowhere for another very important reason: a majority of people disagree with you. With that in mind, you have a choice: you can either organize, compromise, and get some of what you want, or you can, again, childishly fold your arms over your chest, pout, and get none of what you want. There is, I guess, a third option: go find yourself a nice island somewhere.

From that set-up, Lennard moves on to her issue with Russell Brand as the messenger for the necessity of a new way of looking at politics:

If we want to challenge an inherently hierarchical political framework, we probably don’t want to start by jumping on the (likely purple velvet) coattails of a mega-celeb with fountains of charisma and something all too messianic in his swagger. “No gods, No masters,” after all. Brand is navigating the well-worn conflict facing those with a public platform in the current epoch (myself among them): We have to be willing to obliterate our own elevated platforms, our own spaces of celebrity; this grotesque politico-socio-economic situation that vagariously elevates a few voices and silences many millions is what Brand is posturing against. Would he be willing to destroy himself — as celebrity, as leader, as “Russell Brand”? … But beyond this — the general furor and excitement around famous-person Russell Brand saying not-dumb political things on TV should give us pause for thought. If we’re so damn excited to hear these ideas in (in their slightly haphazard form) from a boisterous celebrity, then clearly we have some idolatry and “Great Man” hangups to address.

Again, this is why Occupy failed. You don’t need gods or masters, but you do need leaders. You need someone who will speak for you. No one is suggesting that you idolize this person or these people, only that you let them be the voice of your movement so that your message isn’t lost in absolute chaos and cacophony. Lennard is willing to forgo actual progress toward getting what she and those like her — what she calls her “comrades,” stressing the word as if this is somehow supposed to be societally threatening — want in favor of concerns that there’s a greater evil in potentially elevating the words of one man.

And the fact that Brand is a man, make no mistake, is hugely important.

She continues:

His framing of women is nothing short of the most archetypal misogyny. Writer Musa Okwonga… was swift to elevate feminist concerns, too often ignored in the excitement around a celebrity appearing to have good politics. Okwonga noted: “What the writer Sarah Ditum has identified as [Brand’s] ‘lazy sexism,’ evident both in his celebrated MSNBC appearance and in the opening line of his New Statesman guest editorial. Right there, beneath a sub-heading which states that ‘before the world, we need to change the way we think,’ Brand writes that ‘When I was asked to edit an issue of the New Statesman I said yes because it was a beautiful woman asking me.’ See, here’s the thing. I and others will run the risk of sounding like killjoys for pointing this out, but if you’re advocating a revolution of the way that things are being done, then it’s best not to risk alienating your feminist allies with a piece of flippant objectification in your opening sentence. It’s just not a good look.”

First of all, a feminist writer quoting a feminist writer who’s quoting another feminist writer. For God’s sake, please read Oliver Willis’s most recent piece on the most important thing liberals need to know about how to change the world.

Now, I’m not sure I need to point out the obvious but just in case: Lennard, and the other writers she quotes, have such a problem with cheeky comedian Russell Brand’s admission that he’s a sexual being and can be swayed by someone with good looks that they’re willing to pen lengthy, self-important screeds lamenting that fact and arguing that it costs him his ability to be taken seriously. To paraphrase the great philosopher Dean Vernon Wormer, smug, joyless, and intransigent is no way to go through life. It’s certainly not a way to impact the people who live outside of your little bubble of true believers — the people, by the way, that you need on your side to make a political movement successful.

Maybe to Lennard’s credit, she sticks to her guns and insists that the reason she refused to rally around Julian Assange and Rand Paul was precisely because she feels that while they may be right, in her view, on one or two topics she happens to believe in, they’ve still exhibited sexist behavior or have taken stands that are stridently anti-women. We wrote a lot here about how many people seemed to be willing to give that kind of thing a pass, especially when it came to Rand Paul and his ridiculous drones stand, merely because they valued one particular pet issue instead of looking at the big picture. But actually, that may prove the point even further that each of the various groups that make up the far-left seems to be unable to take anything beyond its individual grievances into consideration. Natasha Lennard won’t back Rand Paul, even though she agrees with his bullshit posturing on drones, because he’s wrong on her pet issue. Guys like David Sirota, meanwhile, will support Rand Paul despite his anti-women positions because drones are his pet issue. Chaos reigns and not a damn thing actually gets accomplished for left-wing politics because nobody can imagine compromising — and if you’re not 100% on board with each group’s political charter or conform completely to its point-of-view, you get long-winded articles written about you, attacking you from your own side, in Salon.

All of this — this is why those on the far-left fail again and again and will continue to.

This is why all they can do is rant online and in the streets; comforted, I suppose, by the knowledge that their idealism remains unsullied and uncompromised; oblivious to the fact that it’s also utterly useless.

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  • kfreed

    The far left proves why the far left is a joke:)

    Ahem: “Watch Live as Deluded Liberals Join Hands With Far Right Loons:

    Today, liberals whipped into a fear frenzy by Glenn Greenwald will march
    with groups dedicated to the utter destruction of liberal causes, at
    the #StopWatchingUs rally. Featuring some of the farthest right groups in America…”
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/42688_Watch_Live_as_Deluded_Liberals_Join_Hands_With_Far_Right_Loons

    Benn Sayin’>>> “Found: Libertarians’ ‘Lying To Liberals’ Guide Book”:

    Mark Ames: “This Saturday’s ‘StopWatching.Us’ protest in Washington DC promises to be the Mother Of All StrangeBedfellowsPaloozas, the apotheosis of sentimental Boomer politics in which right-wingers hold hands with left-wingers in a righteous People’s Crusade against the government Death Star.

    I wouldn’t be the first to point out how embarrassingly easy it has been for rancid Koch libertarian front groups to convince those on the Left that they are all on the same team.”
    https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/lying-to-liberals/1aff9e5454d33b0c8a044b2f4fe8d73293fd62b3/

    • kfreed

      Here’s the interesting part of Ames’ reportage:

      “What hasn’t been revealed until now, however, is how the libertarians got so good at fooling their lefty marks. For that you have to look back 35 years, to an amazing series of articles in the Koch brothers’ REASON magazine in which prominent libertarians lay out to a new generation of followers a playbook of “tricks” to fool earnest leftists, liberals and hippies into supporting their cause.”

      https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/lying-to-liberals/1aff9e5454d33b0c8a044b2f4fe8d73293fd62b3/
      Too soon to say, Told Ya?

      • kfreed

        Specifically on to con the far left (again Libertarian Glenn Greenwald’s entire reason for being):

        “More relevant to our time are (Koch) REASON magazine’s suggested ‘tricks’ to con idealistic leftist marks, and to con hippie hedonists:

        Libertarianism for justice and freedom fighters. You will find this individual in the left radical movement, fighting for what he was told is freedom and against what he was told is slavery. So assure him that you are just against one thing: enslavement. Assure him that you are just for one thing: social justice. Having this agreement, start to communicate to him the true meaning of slavery—and why taxation, controls, draft, are slavery. (Start with draft, because he is already against that.)

        Libertarianism for hippies. The hippie has the right to take marijuana, walk naked on the beach, and have his own sex without anybody interfering, hasn‘t he? Isn’t that just what libertarianism is all about? Libertarianism was created to free him from the oppression of a conformist, square society, imposed on him at the point of a gun.”

        • kfreed

          Especially love this part, re: the #NSA #StopWatchingUs rally (i.e., you’ve been had by a bunch of right-wing extremists):

          “All of that is stunning enough—and something to keep in mind if you find yourself getting all dewy-eyed as you take your place on the bottom of the “strange bedfellows” at the StopWatching.us rally, topped by such rancid libertarian outfits as FreedomWorks, the Kochs’ climate denial front Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Kochs’ new anti-Obamacare Astroturf front Generation Opportunity, Students For Liberty (funded by CIA/NSA contractor Peter Thiel), Ron Paul’s Young Americans For Liberty, the Libertarian Party….

          Anyway, just in case ‘Marketing Libertarianism hadn’t got the rulebook out widely enough, REASON ran a second article later in 1977 headlined “How To Get Converts Left & Right: Political Cross-Dressing Is The Answer.”

          https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/lying-to-liberals/1aff9e5454d33b0c8a044b2f4fe8d73293fd62b3/

          • kfreed

            An example of the Koch machine works:

            “No one on the Left was about to make an ass of themselves defending the TSA—why would they? The Left’s aversion to authority is stronger than its political sensibility—they never saw the angles on that campaign because they were never interested in knowing if there were any.

            We now know what the angles were: The GOP and the libertarian lobby world planned to privatize the TSA entirely, abolish the agency and privatize the workforce before it succeeded in gaining union rights as a public sector union… with the ultimate goal of replacing the TSA with private contractors deploying “Israeli-style” racial profiling in our airports.

            Unbeknownst to the liberal dupes who joined the anti-TSA hysteria, in November 2010, the TSA’s 50,000 security officers were finally allowed to unionize after a 10-year struggle to win collective bargaining rights. President Bush denied them that right during his entire presidency; and in the first two years of Obama’s presidency, Sen. Jim DeMint led a one-man filibuster crusade to block the appointment of a TSA chief, thereby blocking any possibility of the 50,000 employees gaining collective bargaining rights. It was only in early 2011 that the Obama Administration, having overcome DeMint’s filibuster and appointed a TSA chief, finally granted the TSA workforce the right to unionize. When they certified their collective bargaining agreement, it turned out to be the GOP’s worst nightmare: The single largest unionization drive in decades.

            The GOP never gave up on their plans to privatize and destroy the TSA, of course. One of the planks in the 2012 Republican Party platform promised to privatize the TSA if Romney won, dole out security to private contractors, mass-introduce Israeli-style racial profiling into airports, and abolish the union.”
            https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/lying-to-liberals/1aff9e5454d33b0c8a044b2f4fe8d73293fd62b3/

  • Christopher Foxx

    I’ve learned to leave conversations when the ‘what do you propose instead?’ question is posed to me

    Indeed, Natasha. I mean, why actually propose a solution yourself when it’s so much easier to just bitch about what someone else has done?

    I don’t vote … I will not give my mandate to this festering quagmire of a corporate political system

    Exactly, Natasha. Why actually make an effort to change things when you can absolve your self from responsibility by not participating? Ignoring, of course, that your lack of participation is a large part of what allows things to be as they are.

    If you had a blood-sucking monster on your face, I wouldn’t ask you what I should put there instead. I’d vanquish the blood-sucking monster.

    Wait, what?! I thought you weren’t big on actually proposing solutions or taking actions (like voting) that would actually affect the situation. Better be careful there, sweetie. People might realize you’re a self-contradicting idiot with no actual convictions.

  • Aaron Litz

    OK, here’s something I really, really do not understand; do Left-Wing Anarchists not realize how much the government does for the poor? Do they live in such a fantasy-land that they think some faerie godmother is going to step up and start helping the poor if the government goes away? Or is just another symptom of not thinking about anything beyond tearing everything down?

    That’s what infuriates me so much about these people; they CLAIM to care about the weak and poor, yet they want to tear down the one thing that does more than anything else to help them. It’s blindly clinging to ideology regardless of how much it runs contrary to reality, playing chicken with reality and expecting reality to blink and turn away first.

    (As an aside, that’s also why I can’t stand bands like Anti-Flag and Crass; as much as I enjoy some of their songs, their ideology is just idiotic. Bad Religion is so much better. That said, Die For Your Government is still a pretty rad song.)

    I mean, I can at least comprehend the reasoning of Randian Objectivists and other Right-Wing Anarchists (in other words, Libertarians. Objectivism: the shallow philosophy of selfish disaffected 16-year olds.) Their goals at least makes logical sense, as reprehensible as they are; they’re simply selfish assholes who don’t give a shit if the poor starve to death, as long as the rich can do as they please. But the Left-Wingers say they care about the poor even as they say they want to get rid of the only thing that helps them. They make absolutely no fucking sense.

    • Chris Hendricks

      Left-wing anarchism (that is, anarchism) opposes the state, for sure, but it tends to focus on the roots of state authority: the false notion of private property and the accompanying need to defend it.

  • mfh

    A lot of haters posting on here.

  • konnie

    What you’re missing is the “narrative’ The wingnuts brought some ideas to the conscience of the country. racism in the negative as an example. the majority of us thought the bad old lynching days were over only to find out, nope it was alive and well and we sane reality based voters need to crush it once again. OWS shoved blatant inequality to the center of the national conversation. the movement made a huge impact on the national dialogue. and here Brand is giving voice to what you are labeling as “far left” and “anarchist”. but iis a lot less “flaming” than you would have your readers believe. There is a pissed off silent left of middle* cadre of voters who are appalled at the anyrnd/libertarian/bircher takeover at the state level. abortion, gay rights, voter suppression, gerrymandering, the denigration of our education system, banking crimes that go unpunished, housing issues, corporations who don’t pay taxes or a living wage, the money in politics – the list is endless. we exist but are totally ignored. we vote but in rigged elections. * and now about that “middle”. what a joke. the wingnuts in the media without the fairness doctrine, or any compunction to report facts, math and the truth have dragged the “middle” to where ike would consider right right of center. Therefore anything even remotely from the “real left” is considered radical. when in actuality is only left of the old right. So instead of branding Brand as off the left edge of reason – allow him to use his unique celebrity status to rattle the status quo – lord only knows no one else has – least of all the media We are legion and have been jumping up and down, waving our arms to get some attention and if it takes some doofus like Brand to bring us a spotlight then Yea!

  • Badgerite

    I would beg to differ with the lady. I think Russell Brand is the perfect spokesperson for their position. That he took the position because it was offered to him by an attractive woman, ( that that would be his motivation), pretty much sums up the vapid, shallow, insipidness of their ‘radical chic’ movement to begin with. The University in Madison, at one time, had its share of the ‘radical chic’ movement in attendance back in the 60’s and 70’s. I have heard tell by people who were there that sometimes there would be riots on State Street just because it was the first snow of winter and young kids wanted to go out and run around a bit.

    How, exactly, is their position any different than the GOP telling you that government is the problem or that government cannot provide any solutions? How is ‘apathy’ as a proscribed political response any different in result than voter suppression?
    Black people in this country had simple justice deferred for hundreds of years. And was Martin Luther King’s speech dedicated to the idea that ‘apathy is a rational reaction’ to a government that did not respond to the needs of ‘the people’. I think not. He subscribed to the idea that we do everything in our power to make the government finally, after a hundred years or more, make good on its contract. on its promise to protect the rights of all of the country’s people.
    That is why he will always be honored so long as this country stands. Because he gave the country something well beyond ‘twinkling mischievousness’. Or whatever. He led a movement that made the country live up to it contract. And the vote, which this lady seems to think is so inconsequential a right, was a big part of that. And still is. If that were not the case, it would not be under assault today with ‘voter ID’ laws and anything the GOP controlled State Houses can think up to suppress minority voting.

  • Golden

    the Far-Left Is a Joke.. just look at this…

    The Sun paper claims:

    Extremists stopped using electronic communications after he [Snowden]
    divulged details of UK surveillance. The alarming development means our
    spies can no longer keep track of militants’ plans and opens Britain up
    to a possible 9/11-style outrage.

    Obama is a moderate left wing guy .. he is my hero

    • condew

      Osama tried the same thing, but we got him anyway. One tell: the biggest house in the neighborhood had no internet or phone.

      • Golden

        And now the slimy Dianne Feinstein is jumping ship…
        “‘I am totally opposed’ to NSA surveillance of US allies”

        Without the NSA the terrorists will destroy America !!!
        :

  • kfreed

    I believe this will adequately make your point:

    “Watch Live as Deluded Liberals Join Hands With Far Right Loons”
    http://littlegreenfootballs.co

    [ Oath Keepers in attendance… you remember them… the RW militia freaks Libertarian Glenn Greenwald of Koch-sponsored Cato Institute high-fived in that Snowjob tweet:) ]

    • CL Nicholson

      They’re united because both the Libertarian wackos and the Uber Lefty anarchist live in a magical land where governments never spy for any reason and we ‘self-govern’. The reason why the CATO institute and others of their corporate friendly ilk back this nonsense is because only rich jerks like the Koch Brothers ever benefit from a weak government.

  • Freibiergesicht

    As stupid as the Salon piece is (“Like Brand, I don’t vote (I’m British, but even if I were American, I wouldn’t .”?? Fuck you) I also find equally obnoxious the idea put forth by my leftist brothers that women are a “pet issue” like drones and not, oh, I don’t know, 51% of the world’s population.

    • kfreed

      That happens to be exactly the problem… single issue voters. It’s exactly why the left can’t get it together. As a woman, I’m obviously going to fight for women’s rights, but I’m also going to be fighting for a wide spectrum of issues. Single issues are where divisions between us are created – which happens to be Libertarian Glenn Greenwald’s entire reason for being (and why his so-called “concern” for “civil liberties” doesn’t extend to women, minorities, immigrants or anything even remotey connected to them). In case you hadn’t noticed, Greenwald and the “don’t vote” crowd are more than willing to throw us to the wolves who are busily descimating womens’ rights as we speak (not to mention what else they’re doing besides) :

      “At a talk given the day after the 2010 election — one that was a
      disaster for Democrats — “progressive” writer and civil liberties lawyer
      Glenn Greenwald gave a talk at the University of Wisconsin, and
      expressed the hope that Democrats might suffer the same fate in 2012.

      Greenwald’s speech mainly focused on civil liberties and terrorism policy “in the age of Obama.” But it was his approach to politics that got members of the Young Americans for Liberty — a Paulite Libertarian group that co-sponsored the event — excited:..”
      http://thedailybanter.com/2013/10/quote-of-the-day-salon-slams-russell-brand-and-proves-why-the-far-left-is-a-joke/#comment-1112295490

  • condew

    The far right and the far left both need to figure out that there is no “winning stroke”, we do not live in a superhero-filled comic book world.

    You make the world better one small act at a time; voting for the better candidate, not pouting on the sidelines so some random candidate or worse might win.

    You also push those little prerogatives in the right correct direction in your working life and in your personal life. Whole-hearted support for your employer when the organization acts with integrity and foresight. A little volunteer work to foster math and science, and critical thinking skills, in the next generation. A little help here and there to help someone who is almost making it get over the hump.

    In the end you never get to point to some epic battle where you won the day. But in the end you can take pride that everywhere you could, you put your thumb on the scales so that good people won just a little more often.

  • Jason

    Wow…you Obamabots sure do prize your purity..I certainly don’t see the harm in pointing out flaws, particularly in the way Natasha Lennard has. Brand had some great stuff to say, but he it is useful to point out that he is indeed a serially lazy sexist.
    As for a feminist writer quoting another feminist writer….are you not a feminist Chez? Is there a difference between a feminist who happens to be a writer and a feminist writer? You don’t appear to be making that distinction within your own musing.

    • kfreed

      Bottom line is that a privileded white guy went on corporate television, spouted off about inequality and corruption, and ended his diatribe with “Don’t Vote!” Wouldn’t the British equivalent of the Reich-wing just love that.

      We all know where the “don’t vote” meme got us in 2010, making a bad situation exponentially worse for those very non-male, non-white, people not running around with silver spoons up their rear ends.

      I imagine the Brits are going to be looking across the pond at what our right-wingers have been up to (becasue we didn’t bother to vote) and think twice before taking Brand up on his insidious advice:)

  • kfreed

    “Simply tearing it all down and leaving a vacuum — or deciding that you’ll worry about the consequences later — is the kind of thing a fucking 5-year-old does”

    Also what the far-left helped accomplish under the Weimar Republic:)

    • Freibiergesicht

      That’s a rather simplistic view of German history there, bub. And the Weimar Republic wasn’t indicative of Germany’s far left – I’m pretty sure Rosa Luxembourg wouldn’t have been a big fan of the Weimar Republic.

      • kfreed

        It isn’t simplistic in the slightest, Bubba. During the Great Depression, the far left was equally instrumental in assisting in the destruction of the Weimar Republic… and as history tells us, they were the frst to be carted off when the far right stepped in to take over.

        Don’t tell me my history, Bubba. This time, there’s a precedent.

        Ahem:

        “Watch Live as Deluded Liberals Join Hands With Far Right Loons”
        http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/42688_Watch_Live_as_Deluded_Liberals_Join_Hands_With_Far_Right_Loons

        • Freibiergesicht

          OK, I know making random assertions followed up by nonsensical link or 5 is your style here and all, But the actual history of the formation of the Weimar republic doesn’t fit your narrative. It was a moderate leftist government that emerged in response to extreme violence between fascists and communists. It also wasn’t completely ineffectual, and wasn’t single-handedly responsible to hyperinflation or the rise of National Socialism. But none of that has anything to do with the point you’re trying to make, which is basically attempting to Godwin the far-left. The far-left in Weimar-era Germany did not align remotely with the far-right. Quite the opposite, they were literally killing each other in the streets.

          • kfreed

            It has everything to do with the point I’m making. I didn’t say they aligned with one another.

            And I’m not talking about the formation of the Weimar Republic, I’m talking about its desolution. It was a democratic government torn apart during the Depression due to attacks from the far left and the far right simultaneously from opposing sides.

            Screw Godwin. Maybe the man never met a fascist in the flesh. The Tea Party is straight up fascist.

          • kfreed

            I’m not talking about the formation of the Weimar Republic, I’m talking about its dissolution… brought about during the Depression by simultaneous attacks from the the far left and the far right from opposing sides.

            If you don’t like those links or 5, I have 1,400+ more: https://delicious.com/InsaniTEA

            If you knew anything about anything, those links would make sense:)

          • kfreed

            And BTW, in Australia it’s the Wikileaks Party (Assange):

            “The Wikileaks Party Lurches To The Right: Preferences Fascists, Mens-righters and Gun-lovers above the Greens”

            http://ausopinion.com/2013/08/18/the-wikileaks-party-lurches-to-the-right-preferences-fascists-mens-righters-and-gun-lovers-above-the-greens/

            *You don’t like that link, Google ‘Wikileaks Votes Fascist Party’

          • Freibiergesicht

            The dissolution of the Weimar Republic had little to do with the far left because the far left was essentially powerless by the time Hitler took power. There are plenty of instances of terrible behavior of far left movements throughout history, but to essential blame the German far left for the Nazi regime is just not born out by facts.

            You sure list a bunch of modern fascist far-right movements, what’s interesting is those movements are all in opposition to the far left in their receptive countries. The Golden Dawn recently murdered an ethnic Greek hip-hop artist, Killa-P, specifically because he was a vocal member of the far left/anti-fa movement there.

            The fact that some idiot far lefters are associating themselves with far righters in the U.S. around issues of foreign policy and spying is not up for debate, you just attempted to make a connection between that situation on the dissolution of the Weimar republic and then other modern fascist parties that simply doesn’t exist.

  • kfreed

    I also read the following on Salon:

    “Don’t ally with libertarians: Ideologues co-opt an anti-NSA rally”

    “The Libertarian Party itself — inaccurately described by Stop Watching Us as a “public advocacy organization” — is a right-wing political party that opposes all gun control laws and public healthcare, supported the government shutdown, dismisses public education, opposes organized labor, favors the end of Social Security as we know it, and argues in its formal political manifesto that “we should eliminate the entire social welfare system” while supporting “unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types.”
    Yeah, been sayin’…

    • feloniousgrammar

      Hamscher joining with Norquist was the chrystallization of the emotarian strategy. Their world is a playground of mutual loathing and loaded ennui. They’re shaking themselves out of their stylish stupors with bold transgressions that are supposed to demonstrate how committed they are to reforming government complaining of the pea under their mattress while millions sleep on the street. They are Junior League High-whiners bitching about their maids.

  • kfreed

    Thank you Captain Jack Sparrow.

    Just off the government shutdown/debt ceiling fiasco, the far left/far-right Libertarian contingent doesn’t miss a beat. Brand’s appearance on BBC was nothing short of embarrassing. Don’t vote, mate!

    The far-right agrees with you wholeheartedly, except they’ll be running to the polls at the earliest opportunity (needz moar Ted Cruz) :

    Founder of Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): “We don’t want everybody to vote”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GBAsFwPglw

    Ted Cruz and Rand Paul: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7q3fyBC4HFo

  • missliberties

    Perfect.

    The liberals have in essence been THE most destructive force to achieving their own goals for decades now.

    I read a lovely purity screed on dKos, about how right and principled it is to agree with Russel and note vote, becase you know doing something is so much harder than ranting on a blog, while attacking others for the lack of vision.

  • Roy Charles

    So he flirted with Paxman and commented on his beard, what does that make him? Should we discount the message because we do not agree with everything that comes out of his mouth? How do you decide when he is being satirical, polemical or flippant when the person is a comic as well as an activist. Russell Brand is a contradiction. He is wealthy, but knows his roots and who the enemy is. He is the first to acknowledge his privilege is not justified.

    • kfreed

      We can discount his “message” because it landed on “Don’t Vote!”
      Ask the working stiffs, women, minorities, and immigrants how that’s working out for them in the states now known collectively as Teabagistan.

  • Ty Jackson

    Now I see how Obama was re-elected and why the House thinks shutting down gov’t is a good answer to Obamacare.
    But keep on patting each other on the back. It serves you so well. **facepalm**

  • ChrisAndersen

    The secret of politics that no one talks about is that everyone loses, eventually. The question is do you lose today or will you lose tomorrow. The smart person works to put off their eventual loss until it doesn’t matter any more. The arrogant/spoiled insist that if they can’t always win then they won’t ever play. The end result is that they lose even sooner.

    • Ty Jackson

      So what’s the answer? Dynamic equilibrium? No zero-sum economy? Sounds progressive to me.

      • ChrisAndersen

        The answer is to get involved and work to make the world a better place within ones limited ability to do so. That could be through private work. That could be through public works.

        The answer is *not* to sit back and complain about how the institutions involved in those activities are inherently corrupting and thus not worth getting involved in. Because if all you can do is cite the flaws in the hammer and screwdriver then you will never be able to build anything.

        • Ty Jackson

          I understand that argument and mostly agree, though there is a place for nonviolent revolutionary actions, too.

      • Ty Jackson

        I ask a sincere question and assert an observation about it *sounding* a certain way to me and I get three down ticks? SMH
        It appears that not everyone is so into independent thinking through the Socratic Method. Or three people don’t think that sounds progressive.

  • CL Nicholson

    Between this trite nonsense and many an Emo-Prog losing their bowel control over a pop star writing a trashy club song aimed at, well, people who go to clubs and probably don’t read Salon in the first place, I’ve concluded that Salon is just outrage porn for the perpetually grieved on the Far Left. Much like the many Charisma Magazine “War against Christians” emails I still get in my junk mail, the site subsists on making the True Believers lose their

    That said, this has always been my issue with the Far Left. Between Russell Brand pus

  • villemar

    Here is a much more thoughtful counterpoint to Brandian nonengagement from a UK perspective (but with many points obviously applicable here):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWv-2H5auCE

  • Vipsanius

    Natasha Lennard will get nowhere ( ‘When you listen to her, you know why she is here) because she cannot be taken seriously. At the end of the day, she does not really want to be taken seriously.
    She, like many on the left, is faced with a contradiction in terms: she is intensely political; but, she hates politics.

    • Ty Jackson

      This kind of lack of understanding is only going to hurt the right. I’m telling you as a human being that makes a living bringing understanding to those who do not understand, not as a partisan, though I admit I am progressive through and through.

    • Nick L.

      Patton Oswalt has a great bit about how much he hates hippies, of which I currently reminded. He talks about doing these ridiculous symbolic things rather than actually doing anything real.

      Perhaps, Mr. Brand and Ms. Lennard are out in their communities doing things for people, but I haven’t gotten the sense that is true. I am annoyed that they use poor people as props in their windmill-tilting theater and advocate nothing substantial that might actually help those people.

      It is easy and intellectually dishonest to frame politics as wholly corrupting. If anything, I can say that true liberty must be protected by law and those laws can only be written by human beings engaging in a thousands year old process of conscience and debate.

      • Ty Jackson

        And Oswalt is still a liberal.

        • Nick L.

          I suppose, yes

          • Ty Jackson

            What I mean is that many of the comments I am reading here sound genuinely liberal to me. I started out grouchy and sipping my morning coffee ready to snark and my mouth just keeps opening wider. I can’t believe what I am reading. It makes me think that we all aren’t really different, as long as we couch the language the right way and find someone we both hate. The enemy of my enemy is my friend? LOL

          • Nick L.

            I am genuinely liberal. I am just in favor of channeling that liberalism into something that can help make peoples’ lives better. I don’t think disengagement is the answer and I absolutely don’t think that tearing down “the system” will do anything but create power vacuums and cause a great deal of suffering.

          • Ty Jackson

            My apologies if I sounded argumentative. With a few exceptions, I have been assuming everyone is rightwing here, but I’m astounded at how leftwing they sound! It’s crazy!

          • Nick L.

            Not a problem. I think very few people are rightwing here, they just don’t agree with other leftwing people about how to accomplish the goals that many of us share.

            I too am dismayed by how poorly our government serves those of us who are most powerless. I just don’t agree with Ms. Lennard or Mr. Brand on the best way to address that problem.

          • Joe Cogan

            I think most of the people here are on the left, actually, and most of us agree that pragmatism trumps ideological purity every time in the real world. Too many on the left, though, seem like both the author of the Salon article and the Tea Party from the opposite end of the spectrum: if we don’t get *everything* we want, we’ll settle for getting nothing, and whine about how our allies are either tools of the capitalist patriarchy or RINOS.

          • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

            Buddy, you’re projecting Tea bagger madness/intransigence onto liberals. ReichWing extremists are in NO WAY similar to whatever liberals you might find in America.

            Brand correctly identified the problems, and we need to be reminded of them cos we tend to forget.
            And he’s smart enough to see that he lacks the skill set to think up a whole new society on some idle afternoon.

          • ChrisAndersen

            Perhaps your first mistake is in trying to fit everyone into a neat right-wing/left-wing frame.

          • Ty Jackson

            Perhaps your mistake is judging me as subscribing to a black/white thought pattern. Two wrongs do not make a right.

            My sin is I’m so used to seeing rightwing jingoists identify every liberal as “far-left” that I made the same mistake here and was overly-defensive.

          • Aaron Litz

            You thought that everyone here is Right Wing? Seriously? Have you never read the Banter before?

            I’m not being snarky; I’m genuinely baffled how anyone could think that.

          • Ty Jackson

            I’ve never read Banter before and I interpreted the article about the left as right-wing blather, AKA when they call even Obama “far-left,” when such an identification is clearly jingoist BS.

            My faux pas.

          • kfreed

            No, the eneny is still the enemy and no amount of lipstick is going to make me want to kiss that pig:)

            “Watch Live as Deluded Liberals Join Hands With Far Right Loons”
            http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/42688_Watch_Live_as_Deluded_Liberals_Join_Hands_With_Far_Right_Loons

      • ChrisAndersen

        The corporatists would love nothing more than for people to think that government is inherently corrupting and destructive and only a fool would think he could change the world in any meaningful way via the tools of government.

        They “dirty fucking hippies” are right that the corporatists are destroying our culture and society. But they devote even more time attacking those who try to do something about it than they do to the corporatists themselves.

        • condew

          It scares me to think that in every election, more people failed to vote than the margin of victory.

          It makes elections almost like flipping a coin, and it would not have to be that way.

      • kfreed

        Idiots on parade…

        “Watch Live as Deluded Liberals Join Hands With Far Right Loons”
        http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/42688_Watch_Live_as_Deluded_Liberals_Join_Hands_With_Far_Right_Loons

  • petesh

    How come everyone here is focusing on Brand and no one is focusing on Paxman? Probably because most of you have never lived in the UK, where Paxman has been the establishment-appointed “scourge of the establishment” for decades. The key aspect of the whole interview is that Brand was so clear that — just by answering Paxman’s questions — he was stepping onto establishment turf, and he didn’t like the smell. Brand was there to raise merry hell; that’s his job. Politely, he was trying to carve out a space for real dialog, and Paxman was trying to contain all discussion within the conventional boundaries. Yea, Russell! But of course don’t vote for him, he’d tell you that himself.

    • Vipsanius

      That makes sense to me.

    • kfreed

      When your dialog ends with “Don’t Vote” as the right-wingers over there are dismantling their health care system and social safety net, I fail to be impressed.

  • Joe Cogan

    “Honestly, Natasha Lennard’s piece which embraces Russell Brand’s basic message in a recent BBC interview but then shits all over him as a messenger — calling him essentially a symbol of the establishment, a shill for the capitalist tyranny, and a misogynist to boot — should be put in a museum somewhere. It’s that flawless a cultural artifact.”

    That’s why it’s so amusing to watch the current GOP civil war: we on the left invented and perfected the circular firing squad before they copped it from us.

    • Ty Jackson

      That’s true.

  • trgahan

    Honestly, anyone with celebrity cred and a bulging bank account spouting Anarchism should just be told to shut the fuck up! The cognitive dissidence in their stance is staggering.

    I really think Brand/Lennard/Occupy’s point of view is intentional political-social defeatism. It is a setting of the bar SO high, that no society will ever move in that direction but you appear so damn intellectual and noble when you spout it. Most importantly, when the society you claim to hate puts you into a level of security and affluence that only 10% (ie. the majority of citizens in first world nations) of the entire world population enjoys, you can claim to be against the system while taking EVERY benefit it hands you and still get applause from you narrow group of “comrades.”

    At least Edward Abbey lived the “philosophical poverty” he felt was so important to save the world. I would like to see the same from our current crop of far-left media.

    • CL Nicholson

      You’ll be waiting a long time before these self important Chardonnay Socialists to give up the vestiges of Western comfort completely to live ‘amongst the people’. Even those who do “go native” usually have enough sense to keep some contacts to the Western resources.

      For all their talk about ‘living among the common man’ the Limousine Liberals of Hollywood aren’t going to clear out their bulging bank accounts and move into some dingy flat in East LA. They’re not giving up their organic farmers markets or their Prius in Williamsburg to scramble by on Bodegas and bus rides in the Bronx.

      This isn’t a knock on people having money, but its a real challenge to give of one’s self and doing good things because you care, not because it may enhance your brand or out of some sense of purity.

  • ChrisAndersen

    I am reminded of Chris Hedge’s book “The Death of the Liberal Class”. I never came closer to throwing a book against the wall in anger then when I read Hedges going on and on about (1) how politics corrupts everything it touches and (2) how people who don’t get involved in politics are lazy.

    In other words, it was all damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don’t in the minds of the liberal cognoscenti.

    And it was especially unfortunate because Hedges is a great writer who wrote won of the best books on war I’ve ever read (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning).

    • Ty Jackson

      I read that book by my friend Chris Hedge’s, a fellow Harvard Divinity School graduate, and thought it was genius. Reading the article, then these comments, I’m struck by how little is understood by the “right” here, although I know many on the right who would not associate themselves with what I read triumphed here.
      I am reading contradiction after contradiction, not only of ideology and who’s confused, but complete misunderstanding. You should try reading the book again from another point of view. Perhaps that is what is necessary for acknowledgement. It is a different point of view, undoubtedly.

  • Gunnut2600

    “I stopped drawing little As-in-circles all over everything about the time I turned 16 and realized that while I still loved punk records, if you want to truly make a positive difference, you have to work your way into the system then change it from within.”

    So the question begs…what have you done with your life that has made a long term positive difference? I think everyone should ask that.

    • Ty Jackson

      I think you can change it from subversive action, too. Black people did not change the system from within, LOL. President Obama might be considered the first black president, but his mama is white.

    • kfreed

      Or we could ask what you have you done to make our collective ives more miserable? Like say, ushering in Bush 2.0.

      • Gunnut2600

        Don’t blame me…I didn’t have voting rights in the US at the time.

        • kfreed

          I highly doubt that.

          • Gunnut2600

            What do you mean? I was not a US citizen yet.

          • kfreed

            I meant what I said. I seriously doubt it.

          • Gunnut2600

            Doubt what? That I did not vote for Bush? Or that I don’t have my US citizenship?

            I realize my English is not the best but you statement is not clear to me at all. Please explain.

  • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

    Actually, the blood-sucker analogy convinced me.

    And the radical left is TOO, winning:
    We got Medicare, ObamaCare, Social Security, anti-child labor, 40 hour
    work week, unions, EPA anti-pollution laws, rural electrification, equal pay for
    women laws, etc etc.
    Conservatives aka “libertarians” all fought us on this, and LOST!

    Feminism is like ObamaCare: Everybody hates it, until they hear what’s in it. Then they love it.
    No
    women is a feminist, but they are all for equal pay, womens right to
    vote, womens right to own property, for sexual harrassment laws etc.
    etc.

    Feminism, the label, died of it’s own success, it’s
    accomplishments are so widespread that it’s not recognized as feminism
    anymore.

    But … I gotta admit:
    At a time when the extreme rightwing aka teabaggers lost THE most important political fight of the decade, getting all worked up over a leftwing woman nitpicking on Russell Brand admitting he thinks with his little head AS WELL as with the big one, is probably the best deflection ever. It’s also
    breathtakingly shallow.

    Congrats on trying to divert attention away from crazy fascists like Ted Cruz.

    • feloniousgrammar

      Wow. Too bad feminism “died of it’s own success” before the Steubenville and Maryville rapes, and while Republicans in states are passing laws to make abortions difficult to impossible for women to get in their states. Maybe feminism needs to be resurrected. I don’t see how dying of it’s own success squares with Personhood bills and “slut-shaming”.

      • CL Nicholson

        To be fair, I don’t think Melancholic is ignoring the realities of rape and rape culture (at least I hope not).

        I think he means that few people in the West outside of the Wing nut circles would seriously argue that women deserved to be paid less or be treated as lesser than men, just as few westerns would openly admit to hating Blacks or immigrants. Doesn’t stop rapists or bigots beating immigrants in the streets – but we’re better than we were in the 50’s and 60’s.

        • feloniousgrammar

          Things are better for women than they were in the fifties and sixties, and the same is true for African Americans. Neither one means that there is no longer need of feminisms and efforts to counter the effects of racism.

          • CL Nicholson

            On this we agree – just attempting to clarify.

      • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

        You’re making a fallacious error.
        No one said that getting voting rights, rights to own property would stop all bad things happening to women.

        Women made gains, that’s a fact. The rash limpb@lls types successfully managed to scare most young and not so young women into denying they were feminists.

    • Freibiergesicht

      You would have to actually be paying attention to women’s issues to realize that feminism, as a label, is far from dead. In fact, the Internet has reinvigorated the label quite well, even if some of us old ladies might roll our eyes sometimes at the brand of feminist being resurrected, I haven’t seen more young women willing to call themselves a feminist since maybe the early 1990s.

      • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

        Maybe that’s a development of the last 2 or 3 years, but usually young women vehemently deny being feminists, just to mention in very same breath that they would never do without all the gains feminists have made … without ever crediting feminists, of course!

  • Victor_the_Crab

    I can picture this idiot woman to look like Shelly Wexler from The Newsroom.

  • nerdnam

    They really don’t know what they want. And that’s probably a good thing, overall.
    The real problem is that Democrats and Democratic supporters don’t know what they want either. But at least they bother to vote.

    • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

      At this point, not wanting Ted Cruz or even Christie is enough. Democrats are smart enough to know that the alternatives are better, the best they can hope to get.

    • kfreed

      I’m fairly sure that the democratic base (those who show up to causcus and develop the Democratic Party platform) know what they want:) and why they voted for President Obama.

      • nerdnam

        Yes, they don’t like Republicans.
        The problem is that Democrats have put up no liberal counter philosophy to the conservative philosophy that government is bad, taxes should be low, the rich are the originators of all jobs. I don’t hear any sort of philosophy of government from Democrats, or a brief for taxation or an economic theory that isn’t about catering to the rich. I just don’t hear any kind of arguments from Democrats at all, on any level. I just hear a lot of concessions, such as Obama’s apparent belief that ‘entitlements’ must be scaled back, or that taxes should go up on the rich but not on the ‘middle class’ (no matter how affluent that middle class really is).
        Obamacare itself is a conservative program. It’s market reform, not a government program. But that’s the best thing Democrats can seem to put up now, a borrowed idea from the right.
        I really do think there’s a bankruptcy of thought on the left in this country. We have a far left that’s really more circus event than serious engagement. Occupy Wall Street had no idea what it wanted to fight for, if anything. They appeared to merely want to have Wall Street somehow roll over and fix everything for them. And Democrats seem to think the same way, only in a more corporate or establishment type fashion.

        • kfreed

          “The problem is that Democrats have put up no liberal counter philosophy to the conservative philosophy”

          Oh yes they have… you’ve got to be a total ignoramus not to know that… or to pretend you don’t know that. Personally, i read legislation put forth and that is where I make my distinctions: http://www.opencongress.org

          Currently, the political agendas of the two majors are diametrically opposed, so the “both sides” meme doesn’t wash with me.

          All I hear is yet another Libertarian parrot, lead astray by the likes of Greenwald and Assange, who happen not to be what they claim: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/08/29/wiki-a29.html

          • nerdnam

            Thanks for the kind slander. I’m not a libertarian, nor am I asserting that ‘both sides are the same.’
            I’m asserting that Democrats (meaning those who run for office and win office) don’t have a political philosophy that they are willing to defend in public, out loud, or in print. Whether they have one privately, I wouldn’t know.
            We now have a Democratic president who is more conservative than Richard Nixon was. He’s cut the deficit in half in 4.5 years, as he promised he would. He’s implemented a famously Republican program for health care, a program that John McCain or Ted Cruz could have passed, had they been elected president. He’s talked about the ‘need’ to ‘restrain entitlements’ and has time and time again expressed a desire for a ‘grand bargain’ with Republicans to accomplish this. None of this is ‘diametrically opposed’ to Republican governing philosophy.
            Like Carter and Clinton, Obama has been one of the better Republican presidents, more conservative than the general run of the Democratic party. All of this reflects a reluctance on the part of the Democratic party to fully and openly endorse a liberal opposition to the current establishment dogma, which is conservative and has been so for the last 30 or so years.
            Everything I have stated here is a fact, at least to my knowledge. If there is some governing idea that Democrats have, please state what it is, openly, out loud, and in some intelligible fashion. I certainly cannot tell what it might be from their public statements or campaign speeches.

          • kfreed

            There isn’t room enough to go over the entire Democratic Party platform with you, but since you obviously have no idea what it is, it’s safe to say you’re on the “both sides” bandwagon. You don’t have to say it.

            Everything you state is your opinion, not fact.

            Democratic Party Platform: http://www.democrats.org/democratic-national-platform

            Republic Party Platform: http://www.scribd.com/doc/104221532/2012-Gop-Platform

            You could also compare and contrast legislation which clearly outlines the distinction between right and left, but that would take something like work: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/all

            Or maybe learn to operate Google. That’s always helpful.

          • nerdnam

            Sorry, no. A party platform is not an ideology, nor is it an argument. A set of beliefs is not something that abides in a sheaf of documents you keep somewhere in a file drawer or on your computer.
            Just get out of your dumb notion that I don’t know what I’m talking about. The problem is that you don’t know what I am talking about.
            Look at it this way: millions of Americans, of right, left and middle, believe that the best solution for our economic woes is always another tax cut for the wealthy. Is that not true? That is the sad result of years and years of propaganda from the likes of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, a million right wing websites, email forwards, and presidential addresses from Ronald Reagan and the two Bushs. How can you deny that this is not the prevailing, current wisdom of this country?
            To this near constant onslaught of propaganda, Democrats and liberals have offered very little in the way of a thoughtful, persuasive or even coherent counter response. The best I can think of is Obama’s bungled ‘You didn’t build that’ argument, which was widely and infamously misinterpreted to mean that no one owes their success to their own efforts in any way. Which of course is nonsense and not what Democrats believe.
            I think (1) it shouldn’t be that hard to argue against this point, and (2) the reason it is hard is because Democrats and liberals haven’t done a lot of thinking or talking on these points for the last few decades. Democrats and liberals have not examined their own thinking in a long time and it’s time they started doing so. Is that so hard to understand?

          • kfreed

            Yeah, a party platform is exactly what that is… the practical apllication of an ideology. You were the one claiming you didn’t know what Democrats are about. Democrats repeatedly offer a “coherent counter response” – you obviously hang out in the wrong circles and simply can’t manage to operate Google.

          • nerdnam

            Fascinating that you can’t seem to present the Democratic counter argument in your own words. Nor can you address any of the points I’ve made. It seems that you are a good example of a Democrat who doesn’t know what he thinks.

          • kfreed

            Fascinating that you haven’t made a point. You claim not to know what a Democrat is, what legislation Democrats have or have not passed/attempted to pass. You don’t appear to want to know either. If you wanted to know it’s easy enough to figure out… assuming you’re not completely brain dead.

  • FlipYrWhig

    I don’t get the purpose or value of a political worldview that is much more concerned with scoring points on an imaginary scale than WITH ACTUALLY DOING ONE FUCKING THING. I mean, yes, patriarchy, the corporatists, you name it, all bad. The system, not capable of slaying those dragons. So… What do you want for pointing that out? A pat on the back? If you don’t say what you intend to do about it, all your fanciest talk is either masturbation, whinging, or both. Having to explain how the talking part turns into the doing part is not oppressive.

  • Jeff S. (Marxist-Leninist)

    You say the far-left has no alternative? Yes we do; anarchists might not, but Marxists & other socialists do. There are entire books on the subject.

    • That River Gal

      What do you want? Use your words.

    • Pink No More

      And in reality, nobody cares because your shithole of a human-nature-denying system is a failure. No different from Objectivism, the creature it spawned out of the spite of one miserable person.

      • Ty Jackson

        Again, you sound like a liberal. Objectivism is the philosophy that Alan Greenspan and the right has been living by for decades. All disciples of Rand.

        • Pink No More

          “you sound like a liberal”

          BECAUSE I AM, YOU SHITBUCKET!

    • villemar

      All of Modern Conservatism has completely and utterly adopted the reductionist premise which doomed Marxism to failure right out of the gate: That Humanity can be completely reduced to Homo Economicus.

      • Ty Jackson

        What modern conservativism has nor has not adopted has not doomed Marxism. Nobody has actually ever seen real Marxism. You think N. Korea, China and Russia and their satellites have been Marxist and not run by tyrannical capitalists using Marxism and “the Revolution” for their own statist propaganda?

        • Pink No More

          And nor have we tasted your Jesus, right?

          The Movement Cannot Fail, It Can Only Be Failed!

          • Ty Jackson

            What does that even mean?

            If you’ve ever taken Communion, then you have tasted Jesus, who tastes kind of like bland bread and red wine, or grape juice if you’re Southern Baptist.

        • villemar

          Be it Karl Marx or Ayn Rand, you can’t recuce the entire spectrum of humanity to a math problem.

    • Lady Willpower

      Elaborate.

      • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

        Read a book. Start with Krugman, and work your way up to Keynes, and look up Adam Smiths OTHER books (where he advocated FOR regulation)

        • Lady Willpower

          “Read a book?”

          How about you go fuck yourself.

          • feloniousgrammar

            Well said, Lady Willpower. I salute you.

          • Lady Willpower

            Sorry about that. I don’t usually lose my temper and cuss a fool out.
            But seriously, “read a book” is such a bullshit thing to say to somebody who asked a simple question.

          • Jeff S. (Marxist-Leninist)

            How about read a chapter of a single book? Pretty much any explanation of how a proletarian state will work is going to be based on that chapter.

          • Lady Willpower

            The smug implication contained herein is that I have NOT read the same crappy Marxist hokum that you’ve read.

          • Jeff S. (Marxist-Leninist)

            If you need me to elaborate on what our plan is, then you clearly haven’t read State and Revolution (1917) by V I Lenin, or anything by Enver Hoxha.

          • Lady Willpower

            Your “plan” such as it is, is nonsense. Just because you read about it in a book doesn’t make it viable in the real world. Oh, you read The State and Revolution? I went to college, too.

            Marxist ideology works on paper. It doesn’t work in real life without a massive loss of opportunity and the complete elimination of civil liberties. Using a book as proof that Marxism will work in reality is like using Harry Potter as proof that you have a Cloak of Invisibility.

            And I almost can’t believe you’d sing the praises of Enver Hoxha. The man presided over a soul-crushing police state for 40 years. The Daily Banter here is a progressive site. We tend to frown on things like the death penalty, dictatorships, and the imprisoning of political prisoners. Hoxha’s Albania makes China look like Sweden.

          • CL Nicholson

            Using a book as proof that Marxism will work in reality is like using Harry Potter as proof that you have a Cloak of Invisibility.

            LW FTW!! Don’t feel too bad LW. I knew guys who thought Marshall Tito was the shizznits. Oh, we’ll just ignore the iron rule of the former Yugoslavia, comrade?

          • feloniousgrammar

            It’s my turn to say, “fuck you”. Fuck you.

          • kfreed

            Yes, we’ve already read that history chapter, thanks.

          • feloniousgrammar

            I agree. One “fuck you” often deserves another. I’m all for it. The idea that liberals are to be forever most courteous and do their best to deal in good faith with people who deal primarily in microaggessions is bullshit propaganda that some liberals adopted as principle, along with a complete misunderstanding of Ghandi and passive resistance.

          • Ty Jackson

            Well, I “liked” his comment just because I think it is a good idea to read those books. I didn’t realize he was attacking you. On that note, I better go get ready to preach the morning sermon.

          • Lady Willpower

            I HAVE READ BOOKS, FFS. I have read many books.
            I do not enjoy being condescended to. You thought that was a helpful comment? I sincerely doubt that it was.
            “Read a book” is not the kind of thing you say to someone when you’re trying to be helpful. It’s a not-so subtle implication: “Read the books that I’ve read, silly woman. I know, since you dared to question me, that you have not read much. Allow me to educate you, little lady. I’ve got the big and important ideas.”

          • Ty Jackson

            I don’t disagree, and I never doubted that you read books. My apologies for the miscommunication. As one who strongly advocates for gender equality in business, gov’t, and public institutions like churches, I should’ve been more empathetic.

          • Lady Willpower

            Thank you.

          • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

            Aren’t you enthusiastic about self-empowerment? That always starts with reading, YOU YOURSELF.
            Why do you want to be dependent on Jeff S., (a man), and wait around for him to elaborate, while you can educate yourself?

          • Lady Willpower

            I AM EDUCATED.
            Asshole.

        • Freibiergesicht

          You can’t call someone uneducated about Economics then suggest they read a Krugman book, dude.

          • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

            Didn’t call her uneducated, I called her unwilling to do the work of educating herself.
            And Krugman is like Popular Mechanics, but then for Economics. I’ve assigned my students “End this depression Now!” to read for a book report and they are 15 years old.

          • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

            Hmmmm, no. I Didn’t call her uneducated, I called her unwilling to do the work of educating herself.
            And Krugman is like Popular Mechanics, but then for Economics. I’ve assigned my students “End this depression Now!” to read for a book report and they are 15 years old.

        • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

          Didn’t call her uneducated, I called her unwilling to do the work of educating herself.
          And Krugman is like Popular Mechanics, but then for Economics. I’ve assigned my students “End this depression Now!” to read for a book report and they are 15 years old.

      • Jeff S. (Marxist-Leninist)
    • CL Nicholson

      Marxism? You mean a misrepresented political philosophy born out the economic writings of a historian, that gave us some of the world most repressive regimes and all but crashed and burned under the weight of its own inflexibility by the mid 1970’s. I’m not saying that capitalism is perfect and US is far from the ‘Shining City on a Hill’ – but please do better than digging up a political philosophy that died out and no serious economist is arguing to return to. Next you’ll be telling us about the glories of feudalism and Sanskrit.

      • feloniousgrammar

        Marx was cutting edge and way before his time in his analysis of capitalism. I wouldn’t blame the Soviet Union, China, satellites or proxies on Marx. Recently, with the financial crisis and the aftermaths, you could almost see one of his predictions coming true— businesses were not paying labor enough money for them to buy the products the capitalists were profiting from.

        His vision, however, was dim. I’ll put my money on mixed economies— they are the most adaptable to change, therefore the most likely economies to survive.

        • CL Nicholson

          That’s fair, mixed economies work the best. The issue is with all the OWS devotees who just read “Das Kapital”.

          • feloniousgrammar

            Yeah, that’s anachronistic. In the U.S., issues of globalism and the information age far outweigh the industrial revolution.

        • ChrisAndersen

          Marx was a better historian than he was an economist or a politician.

        • condew

          It depends on how you mix those economies. Right now we have workers in a democracy forced to compete directly with workers in communist states. The result is that the workers in the democracy lose the right to negotiate a good price for their labor as in management saying “Take what is offered or I will move your job to China.”

          Americans are set up to lose. Nobody can work for the same wage as a Chinese or third world worker and pay the American prices for housing, medical care, education, or even food.

          The system that seems to work best is regulated capitalism; and it is the dismantling of regulations (including tariffs) that have worked since the great depression that is destroying the American dream.

        • kfreed

          I wouldn’t necessarily blame Communism on Marx either… he simply didn’t take human nature into account. Power struggles and heirarchy are inevitable. There’s no such thing as a worker’s paradise, never has been. We came as close as we’ve ever come in Western European countries with democratic socialism, yet capitalism still figured into those economies before they started trying to emmulate the U.S. with privatization schemes. A mixed economy is the necessary balance for a stable system.

    • Ty Jackson

      Finally, someone else says the obvious. I’m not a Marxist-Leninist, but am I wrong in thinking, “Since when is the far left anarchist?” I think there is a huge misunderstanding, misinterpretation, going on here.

      But, I like it. These comments all sound like Democrats.

      • Pink No More

        Are you blind drunk, or just stupid? WE ARE DEMOCRATS YOU FUCKING RIGHT-WING KNUCKLEDRAGGER!

        • Ty Jackson

          I’m a liberal. Not a Democrat, but a liberal. Green Party in the 90’s, voted for Obama twice. Reading comprehension isn’t just for school students.

    • kfreed

      Yeah, great… we already how that turns out.

  • Richard_thunderbay

    Like Brand, I don’t vote (I’m British, but even if I were American, I
    wouldn’t). Like Brand, I will not give my mandate to this festering
    quagmire of a corporate political system

    Wow. With that attitude, short of revolution, there’s absolutely nothing that these idiots can do to effect change.

    Brand patiently explained to his pompous interviewer that, no, we can’t offer you a pragmatic alternative program

    I always felt that Occupy Wall Street was a bust exactly because of this- we knew what they against but not about what they were for. You can’t have movement without a direction.

    • That River Gal

      Indeed. I thought—and I hate to invoke a fictional TV show–that the Newsroom dealt with my problems with OWS. If there is no small group of reps to meet with, how could a legislator sympathetic to their goals ever draft legislation?

      • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

        because … when he’s sympathetic to their goals, he can draft legislation himself?
        Why would he NEED to meet with their reps? And btw, that wasn’t the problem with OWS on the Newsroom.

        • CL Nicholson

          Almost every politician meets with political activists at the street level so they be clear on what they advocate. Or, did you miss history class on LBJ meeting with MLK back in the 60’s.

          When you have no leaders or clearly defined goals – you have nothing to offer legislator.

          • Ty Jackson

            They meet with them in private, too, and I think MLK did a fine job influencing LBJ, who I’m pretty sure was racist, but knew the right thing to do there (Vietnam is another story). I no longer have to pay a poll tax to vote or give up my front seat on the bus to a white man.

          • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

            Sure, politicians need to meet someone, but the legislation they can draft themselves.

      • ChrisAndersen

        The very act of meeting with a legislator would be inherently corrupting of the post-politics vision. So to the Occupy purist, the suggestion that they should meet would be considered offensive.

        • Ty Jackson

          “Occupy purist?” You think that every influential Occupy activist and sympathizer is a purist?

          • ChrisAndersen

            Well, first of all, I’ve yet to meet an influential Occupy activist.

            Secondly, the point of the “purist” qualifier is to distinguish them from those who sympathized or supported them but does not fall into the getting-involved-in-politics-is-icky crowd (which, btw, included myself).

          • Ty Jackson

            You won’t ever meet an influential Occupy activist because they emphasize the movement as a whole, and they claim that they represent 99% of Americans. The movement emphasizing a leader or one single star, if that is what you mean, would undermine the very point of the entire movement, which does not represent a few, or the elite, but “the 99%.”

            Whether they actually achieve anything in their activism is another argument entirely. I do not think that they are, collectively, against being involved in politics. Why do you make that assumption? What am I missing?

      • Ty Jackson

        How does any large protest movement influence legislation? Hm … What would Leona Lansing say?

      • condew

        Kind of like the Tea Party undemining Boehner; no deal he might make would satisfy them. And thus the crisis in leadership for the Republican party.

    • villemar

      Wait, Purity Purges aren’t a direction?

    • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

      Nah. The direction is pretty clear, but if you still don’t understand it, or rather, pretend to not understand it, it won’t do any good to explain it.

      • Guest

        so the logic here is question the intelligence of anyone who questions the fact that you don’t actually have any alternative to propose

        • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

          Sigh. Like I said, sure OWS has alternatives, but if you class “Not wanting to have major pollution and oppressive squeezing of the middle class and workers” as not an alternative, instead of a system free of those elements, then there’s really nothing to talk about.

          Again: if your kid has a giant bloodsucker on her face, do you ask her what she wants on her face instead of the bloodsucker.

    • Christopher Foxx

      I always felt that Occupy Wall Street was a bust exactly because of this- we knew what they against but not about what they were for.

      Also an apt description of the modern Republican party.

  • moelarryandjesus

    If a lame comic like Brand offends them they should stay away from my current top comedian, Doug Stanhope. He’d just make them cry.

    • Ty Jackson

      Offends? No. Have you never heard Richard Pryor’s “That Nigger’s Crazy?” Nobody today can hold a candle to Pryor, Carlin, Kaufman, Foxx, etc.

      • Joe Cogan

        Very impressive: the first three would be my top three as well! :)

  • feloniousgrammar

    Hierarchy? Let’s talk about heirarchy— patriarchy. The fact that there are women anarchists doesn’t change or challenge patriarchy. All over the world the people who are most responsible for and required to be responsible (whether they want to or not) for the new humans , are WOMEN. Women are primarily shaping the youth into people who can speak, wipe their own butts, and dress themselves. Every anarchist is a person who was born and likely raised, cared for, and educated by women. Most of those women aren’t rewarded well for the work if they are rewarded at all.

    So, after having become big enough to stick their fist in the face of adults they decide that the best world is the one in which no one can make any demands on them or restrain them. La-ti-fuckin’-da. Women, children, and males who don’t want to live in a feral society NEED GOVERNMENT to protect us from men who think that their unbridled freedom to do whatever they want should be the whole point of living in a society, while they take full advantage of everything others have done for their benefit. Anarchists are elements of the hierarchy/patriarchy that are too lazy and antisocial to compromise with anyone, and yet they are, in their conformity, a parody of themselves.

    • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

      Let’s ban breast milk too, since every alcoholist started out with that. And water, let’s ban that one.

      • feloniousgrammar

        What are you talking about?

        • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

          “Every anarchist is a person who was born and likely raised, cared for, and educated by women.”
          You’re blatantly jumping to conclusions and blame women for raising anarchist? Just cos SOME people who were raised by women become anarchists, doesn’t mean ALL people who were raised by women do the same.

      • Guest

        Are you for real?

    • Ty Jackson

      Bless your heart, I can’t believe a progressive gets 8 “up” votes here!

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    Nicely done! I would just add that the behavior and often the ideals of the far left and the far right are the same. The difference is their effectiveness. The left wants to tear down the sandcastle but they don’t get enough backing from the rest of the left to be able to do that. On the right, they have just enough support (or at least turning of a blind eye) from the rest of the right and money from a very small group of rich white men that they actually can and have torn down the sandcastle. And because of this very important difference, ignoring the far left is safe (at least for now) but ignoring the far right imperils us all.

    • That River Gal

      That’s a great observation.

    • JWheels

      The far left becomes dangerous however when their views align too closely with the far right. Some on the far left are incredibly naïve and would not recognize or would willfully ignore certain parts of far right rhetoric if they were aligned enough on certain points. If the far right ever gains enough of the appearance of support from anywhere other than the right side of the ideological spectrum as the mainstream sees it, then we could be screwed.

      • kfreed

        As you were saying:

        “Watch Live as Deluded Liberals Join Hands With Far Right Loons”
        http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/42688_Watch_Live_as_Deluded_Liberals_Join_Hands_With_Far_Right_Loons

      • Mike M

        National Socialism party

      • TheMelancholicAlcoholic

        Seriously, when you have the far right STILL being so gullible as to believe in the fairy tale of:
        – the shut down won’t be harmful at all
        – the shutdown will show the financial markets just how thrifty Americans are.
        – all right wing business owners completely build their own business from the ground up, didn’t have any benefits from roads, bridges, an educated workforce or a legal system
        – trickle down
        – job creators
        – solidarity with the poor and the middle class will lead to Stalinist Soviet Russia
        – Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia ARE in fact the same as Soviet Russia, because they have single payer health care systems, not to mention Britain, which has GASP! FREE health care!
        – the very poor live in the lap of luxury, that’s why they feel “entitled”
        …. then it’s not really the far left (if they even exist) but the far right Teabaggers who are NAïVE, buddy.

    • kfreed

      Why the far left is irrelevant:

      “Watch Live as Deluded Liberals Join Hands With Far Right Loons”
      http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/42688_Watch_Live_as_Deluded_Liberals_Join_Hands_With_Far_Right_Loons

  • That River Gal

    Wow! This was pretty powerful stuff, Chez. Fantastic job. You could have simply ripped the ridiculous article to shreds and it would have been fabulou—but to brilliantly weave in all the failing/flailing aspects of the far left in general was simply awesome.

    • Ty Jackson

      Far left? What? I thought the far-left wanted Socialism and Communism, quite the opposite of anarchy.

      • Darrell Kocha

        Anarchists are basically Marxists who hedged so far to the left that they fell off the ledge and crawled back up the other side. The reason Occupy failed was because it was run by Anarchists, who always fail at everything because their core philosphy is unworkable.

  • Lazarus Durden

    Fuckin’ Truth man.