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Progressive Watch Thread

Progressives Socialism Marxism Communism (anti)Fa Centralisation Discrimination Sexism Racism Identity Politics

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This is amazing.

Read this for extremely valuable insight into how DC and "centrism" functions and what drives it:

That's the funniest thing I've seen all week!

Greenwald is presenting Jason Pontin as some kind of high-level insider of DC "centrism".

He knows exactly who Pontin is, as do I, and have been following his writings for years. Pontin
was editor-in-chief of Technology Review, then was a freelance writer for Wired -- e.g. he wrote that Wired article about Mary Lou Jepsen I posted a couple months ago. And he also does some work for the organization described in that thread.

He's not the kind of authority on DC centrism Greenwald portrays, and Greenwald knows it. It's like a tweet straight out of that Economic Hitman book (if tweets existed back when it was written!).

Pontin is American-raised, to English parents, and speaks with a English accent -- sounds a little like the actor Paul Bettany. He has a fondness for big words, and likes to engage with a broad range of people on Twitter, sometimes trolls. He's not above a dose of comedy, and this thread might be one of his jokes.

Incidentally, he was a fan of Gary Marcus's criticisms of deep learning -- even though I doubt he knew the issues very well.

Ha ha ha! That tweet by Greenwald made my day.



    Democratic Socialist Materialist

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I'm hoping discussing "successful" progressive revolutions constitutes part of this topic. How many do people (especially Caltrek and zEVerzan and Erowind) think there have been?


The American revolution was progressive, but it was effectively a bunch of wealthy landowners throwing off control of a bunch of other wealthy landowners in London. And they carried right on with slavery etc. S o not really an example of the ordinary man seizing control of his future. Still this was a revolution that was progressive in many ways, eliminating the idea of blood rights to rule etc and it gave the USA a constitution that kept the nation working as functioning republic for a long time (arguably its still going to this day, but it seems very naïve to call the US political situation democratic)


The French revolution 1789:

Got a lot of people beheaded (Which is more traditional than shooting!) but it did kick out the oligarchs (king and nobles etc.).

Aaaand replaced them with a huge mess, and then with a dictator who spent the next, few decades bleeding France white trying to defeat the whole of the rest of (counterrevolutionary) Europe. 

He was very progressive for his time though in all sorts of ways, and basically established a highly meritocratic state.

Then he got kicked out by counterrevolutionary Europe.

Then they had more monarchy for a few decades then his cousin or something became emperor again (after a brief republican fling?).

Finally in 1870 nearly 80 years after "the revolution"​ they managed a republic and made it stick (till WW2 ruined everything). 


Would you call the Russian revolution a progressive or even a successful one? They mostly replaced one oligarchy (the nobles and royals of Tsarist Russia) with a different oligarchy (the Communist party) and (as always) had a lot of people shot in the process. 


Finding a clear cut "the common people rose up and instituted liberty equality and democracy and then everything was ok and stable for a long time" is not so easy. 



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^I'm glad you asked. I think about it from the point of historical materialism. It's a matter of deciding what "progressive" means for its time.


The French and American revolutions can be thought of as revolutions of the feudal merchant class, throwing off the yoke of hereditary leadership and transitioning toward a society ruled by holders of capital - which was progress, yes, but those merchants were already well on their way to being bourgeoisie.


The Russian revolution was only successful in the sense that it deposed the decayed feudal system, but they severely jumped the gun in terms of what they expected from their largely pre-industrial infrastructure. They did industrialize, sure, but at a severe human cost and their revolution failed in what it set out to do since absolute power once again found itself in the hands of very few rulers.


I'd qualify a successful progressive revolution in the modern time as one by the labor/working class which takes place in a decaying capitalist system, one which already has the infrastructure, technology, and economy, to jump-start a society that's more focused on sustainability and the common good rather than the growth and accumulation of wealth.

I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
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A Chapo Traphouse host making Brad Parscale happy this evening, ruling out Biden but leaving open the possibility of voting for Trump.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Progressives, Socialism, Marxism, Communism, (anti)Fa, Centralisation, Discrimination, Sexism, Racism, Identity Politics

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