Last year was the year that any and all hope was finally lost.
A "progressive" regeneration in the Democratic Party?? Fuggeddaboudit! A viable third-party movement based in opposition to the war on Iraqis, crunching corporatism, congressional corruption, the militarization of society, de facto racism, the abandonment of the already disadvantaged, and the arrogant, transparent use of power?? Kyuh, right! A melding of the far left forces in the US into one voice, offering real visionary solutions - political, economic, cultural, social, and even spiritual solutions to the miasma that is called "America"?? You gotta be shitting me!
At the beginning of 2005, I created this blog. Here's what I envisioned . . .
P! will "officially" debut in mid- to late-January, 2005. In some ways, P! will be very much like other "lefty" blogs: analysis, commentary, essays, and so forth.Some folks became Contributing Editors. The first thing we did was to decide through consensus what our operating rules and procedures should be. Within days, almost everyone was ignoring those rules, even though we had agreed to abide by them, understanding the reasons we had made them. I summarily fired one editor for attacking me personally. I tried my best to get people who were not white to join us. Zero. It became clear that at least one editor had joined us for the sole purpose of gaining exposure of his/her "home" blog. The rule-breaking became rampant.
The critical difference, I hope, is that we can create a network which communicates, advocates, and celebrates actions and ideas for peaceful, positive, and sustainable solutions for a nation and world in dire straits. The goal is to generate populist action based on progressive, reformist ideas and ideals. Perhaps the people of this country can do what the goverment will not: allow us to be good citizens on this planet by building alliances, not picking fights.
This process took about three months. Discouraged, baffled, I was virtually sickened. How were we to serve as an example of radical community building for others when we couldn't conform to some self-determined standards we committed ourselves to? I'm not the most emotionally and mentally stable person in the world. Cognitive dissonance is not something I easily tolerate. I became clinically depressed and left. Maybe, I thought, I was the problem.
Over the next few months, both posting and hits dropped off considerably. Moribund. After a few months more, I engineered a furtive coup, reinstating myself as dictator. Without trial, I dumped everyone overboard. No-one-fuck-ing-cared.
I have resolved my resentments. I have the utmost respect for those who were here for that time. Every one of them is still on my "Resources and Recommendations" roll. We share many common values and goals. But we couldn't do this.
If you haven't ever read it or haven't read it in awhile, please read "About P!" It is a statement about who we wanted to be together and what we wanted to do. It was a very difficult consensus to reach, especially the gender parts. I am personally proud of it as a manifesto - and I hope those who went through the process are equally as proud.
So why the fuck am I writing this? I realize that one reason I got sick again in November is that I was keeping this experience inside. Now . . . it's . . . done.
Here's what I believe now. I've said it before in these pages and will scream it again here. The fundamental problem with the American Left is that it is American. Period. We are totally incapable of forming a vibrant, successful, nonviolent revolution of positive change in our society because we don't want to make the radical sacrifices. Even the most radical among us have to some extent been bought off, bamboozled, mesmerized, and spiritually emasculated.
2005 was the year that many key words and concepts lost their meaning:
- Free Press
- Social Contract
- Public Trust
- Public Service/Servant
They're gone for good. A lot of folks are still hoping to bring us back to some mythical American state of being when "things were better." My point is that, in fact, there is no such place. The current America is a logical and inevitable result of our system, our culture, our history, our "success".
I still have strong opinions about what we need to do. Don't worry, I'll be glad to tell you about them. But I gotta ask y'all a question . . .
What the fuck do we do now?