What is the new common sense

I consider this essay, written by the editorial team at Convergence Magazine, a refreshing and necessary break – analytically and practically – from the conventional approach and wisdom of many on the left.

“Our task is to stitch together the left-progressive bloc, and fight to maximize its influence within the broader alliance needed to beat back the authoritarian Right. The Democratic Party is shifting, and while there are still forces in it that see the Left as the big enemy, those forces are weakening; the Democrats are closer to being allies than they have been in 40 years at least. Non-neoliberal policy is widely popular, including among Republicans, and could be a way to get some on the Right to shift to the Left (think of union members who voted for Sanders but not Clinton).There is an opportunity in this opening and in the uncertainty of the waning of neoliberalism to reassert a different, new common sense, something like a Third Reconstruction, a multi-racial social democracy.”

He earned it

I’ve never been a big fan of the term “corporate Democrat.” In too many instances, it becomes a term of reproach for anyone in the Democratic Party who doesn’t embrace consistently and unapologetically left and progressive politics. Deployed in this manner, it fails to capture the complexity, fluidity, and direction of positions and sentiments among Democratc Party officeholders.

Predictability, it turns allies into enemies, scales down coalition opportunities, weakens struggles electorally and legislatively, and fractures the Demcratic Party and the democratic front at a moment when maximum unity is imperative. If that posture strikes you as wrong headed, counterproductive, and sectarian, then we are on the same page.

That said, I had no problem when Bernie recently labeled Joe Manchin – the Build Back Better killer – as a corporate Democrat. If anyone has earned that title of opprobrium, it is Manchin.

As you would expect, Manchin took issue with Bernie’s type casting of him. In his reply, Manchin said he is a “moderate.” Sorry Joe, you can’t hide behind that claim. Your voting record, public utterances, differences with Biden and Democrats on issues, like BBB, close affinity to everything corporate and, above all, the immense damage you have done over the past two years to the chances of tens of millions of people gaining some relief in these difficult times betrays your claim.

Bernie is right. You are wrong. And no dance or denial on your part can change that fact. Nothing can clean up your betrayal. You’re a corporate man and, objectively, a water carrier for Trump, Fox, and the white nationalist authoritarian right.

Buying respectability?

The Saudi regime is attempting to buy respectability in the international community via the golf course. And it comes as no suprise that a number of big name golfers, attracted by the big paydays, are jumping aboard the new golf tour, sponsored and financed by the despotic Saudi regime. The PGA tour here is no model of egalitarianism, but still a Saudi sponsored tour is a bridge too far.

Mercedes Sosa

A song for this moment. And a voice for the ages!

I only ask of God. That i am not indifferent to the pain. That the dry death won’t find me. Empty and alone, without having done the sufficient.

I only ask of God. That i won’t be indifferent to the injustice. That they won’t slap my other cheek. After a claw (or talon) has scratched this destiny (luck) of mine.

I only ask of God. That i am not indifferent to the battle. It’s a big monster and it walks hardly on. All the poor innocence of people.

I only ask of God. That i am not indifferent to deceit. If a traitor can do more than a bunch of people. Then let not those people forget him easily.

I only ask of God. That i am not indifferent to the future. Hopeless is he who has to go away. To live a different culture.

I only ask of God. That i am not indifferent to the battle. It’s a big monster and it walks hardly on. All the poor innocence of people.

To see a world in a grain of sand

I read this poem more than a half century ago in a college literature class. Up to then reading poetry was something I didn’t do. I played sports, drank beer on country roads and cemetaries, and, with a little fire water in my belly, acted stupid at record hops. According to my high school yearbook, my favorite saying was, “I find every book to long.” The only reading material I devoured at the time was Sports Illustrated, but not much else, book wise, found it way onto my night table.

Thankfully, and I’m not sure why, but my attitude shifted upon entering college. Perhaps my step mother who told me in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t succeed in college, I wasn’t coming home, but going straight into the army had something to do with it. In any case, I buckled down upon arrival and became a fixture in the library. In my second semester, I was assigned and read “Augeries of Innocence,” in a literature class. I don’t know how much I understood at the time, but it was hard not to appreciate on some level the beauty, images, and rythmn of Blake’s poem.

Fifty years later, I can’t claim to be any better interpreter of Blake’s poem than I was then. But I still like to read it aloud from time to time.

Like during Blake’s time – early industrializing England – we live in a time of transformation, contradiction, and shakeups in economic, political and cultural life. Life affirming and life denying signs show up in the public square. Morbidity, meaness, and ecological destruction runs up against new visions of freedom and new waves of freedom fighters. What goes unanswered, for now anyway, is which side, which way of life will win out. What fate awaits the Wren?

Anyway, here’s an excerpt:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr’ all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing
A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul
The wild deer, wandring here & there
Keeps the Human Soul from Care
The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar

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