Sunday, July 31, 2005

Blogs killed the Activism Star 

With the passage of the Energy Bill, and the repeal of New Deal legislation in the form of PUCHA (Public Utility Holding Company Act) safely tucked within the folds of that bill, progressive politics, blogs and all of its stars better take a long, hard look at itself. I would almost call it a crisis. No, I take that back.

It is a crisis. This is how the crisis is defined.

Faster than we can keep up, bad, very bad legislation is being pushed through Congress, under our collective noses. Openly, the new class of robber barons and their Congressional enablers have sunk their teeth firmly into the flesh of democracy. And...they are tearing it apart. And we are letting them.

Let me just say, I define democracy as the way in which a collective relates for the good of the whole. The corporate/political machinery that is eating up our quality of life is not working for the good of the whole.

Yes. Admit it. The bankruptcy bill, and now the repeal of PUCHA demonstrates just how ill-equipped, how ill-prepared we are to deal with the machinery of the new right. Perhaps it is a lack of understanding of the machinery itself.

It is the machinery of fanaticism that is fueling the New Right. Fanaticism stops at nothing, allows no obstacles to impede its progress. Fanaticism attracts the zeal of followers that never give it a rest. Fanaticism overlooks long-term effects and implications, except where these implications are personally concerned.

Fanaticm is now present, along with the zeal of its followers, in the corporate world. The corporate world is selling the soul of America for its goals, and usually, its goals have nothing to do with the quality of life of the average American.

Fanaticism is the oil that greases the machinery of the New Right. This is what we are up against. While I don't by any means suggest that we become fanatics to fight the machinery of the New Right, I do suggest that we must match their zeal, dedication and efficiency if we are to have any chance against their agenda, if we are going to have any chance to rebuild the quality of life for Americans, if we are going to have any chance to save the ecology of the Earth from destruction.

Fanatics adhere to the belief that the ends justifies the means. This belief is the origin of so many of the initiatives and actions of the New Right.

Let me be clear here: the so-called New Right has been around, probably since the formation of this country, in various forms and names. At this point in our history, "they" have become so brazen as to openly flaunt their agenda.

I'm telling you, we must be just as brazen to openly confront them, and propose an agenda that will address and offer solutions as to preserving and rebuilding the quality of life for all Americans, indeed, for the planet.

This is our heritage, our right as humans, to claim stewardship of the planet in the name of peace, economic justice, and respect for the ecology of the earth.

We must create a progressive machinery that can move and function with as much driving force and efficiency as the machinery of the New Right.

First: definitions. I define the new right as a group defined by its extreme agenda and their allies. This gets complicated, because we have Congressional members who stradle both sides of the fence. We'll deal with them a bit later. For now, let it be known that the most important goals of the new right is the dismantling of New Deal legislation.

A partial dismantling occurred with the repeal of PUCHA. We were successful in blocking the New Right's efforts to dismantle social security. We accomplished this by informing and mobilizing individuals and groups on a local and national level. Here in New Orleans, we defeated an attempt, for now, to dismantle public housing that was constructed by the Roosevelt administration. We accomplished this by informing and mobilizing residents and local activists to action.

What happend with PUCHA? What happened with the bankruptcy bill? Obviously, one of the key issues is education. Simply not enough people were educated, and educated each other, fast enough or efficiently enough, to mobilize a successful counter-campaign to defeat this legislation.

Not only that, but it appears we, as a progressive collective, have not offered our own agenda for affordable and clean energy. We have not taken even the first baby steps to co-opt the energy agenda of the country, in the way that the New Right has presently co-opted the energy policy of this country.

Why not? Part of the answer lies with the tools that we choose to use in our efforts, and the way that we use them. I'll focus with online efforts, blogs specifically, and highlight what I feel are the shortcomings in the way they are being used.

Toque Deville in commentary on bootribune said the coverage of the Rove scandal was Jacksonesque in the progressive, online community. This obsession, if you will call it, succeeded, much like Jackson, in relegating the less "glamorous issues" largely out of sight for weeks now.

I do not, however, place total blame with the Rove story and how it has been covered. Blog enthusiasts have some decisions to make in the coming months and years, as to wether to be a passive news administrator, with occasional calls for activism, or, to re-define itself as the tool of activists. The question is, how do we preempt the machinery of the New Right? Though not the only tool, blogs are one that millions can easily tune into, participate in, actively, communicating with each other and the masses, a progressive agenda and counter-agenda to the New Right machinery.

I define blogs so far though, as largely passive administrators of news of the machinery of the far right. We are largely responsive to the push of the New Right machinery. And they are bulldozing us.

Here is one of the problems I have with the Rove obsession. It would be beneficial, of course, to be rid of this evil motherfucker. But you can bet your drawers that some evil motherfucker will take his place, more than willing to do the dirty work of these bastards.

You see, the Rove thing should have been the side panel. PUCHA, Bankruptcy Bill for example, were and are the true front page items that deserve our unfettered attention. Side panel items deserve our time and attention and efforts.

But our movement must begin to competently address those items and issues that require our immediate attention, and continuing attention: legislation that could have a lasting effect on the quality of life in this country must be addressed competently by the progressive, activist community, with designs of actions constantly proposed as methods to counteract this New Right legislation.

We have got to find our own mechanism, to be on top of this New Right mechanism that is slashing and burning the quality of life for American, and this mechanism must include our designs for a progressive America.

We must not only preempt, but we must design and create as well. We must be aggressive and take the offensive in proposing our vision, while tackling the machinery of the New Right. What are we waiting for?

Next Chapter: The definition of the progressive mechanism.