I realize Jimmy Dore lives in a nice house, too. But at least Jimmy isn’t running interference for the worst people in the country.
Jimmy constantly tells people to stop donating to Democrats or voting for them.1 But despite Yves’s and Lambert’s apparent criticism of the Democrats, you will notice they never ever tell you to stop donating to them, voting for them, or supporting them in any way.
They’re Democrats. That’s the explanation that makes it all make sense. I would love to see a list of who their biggest funders are. I wonder how much money Ro gave Yves last year?
Of the Canadian truckers, Naked Capitalism‘s Lambert Strether writes
If we ask ourselves what sort of trucker is able to drive their rig to Ottawa, stay there for days, and even render their truck dysfunctional, the answer is clear: Owner operators… [I]f this were a labor dispute, it would be ludicrous to think that the Canadian truckers (these Canadian truckers could or should represent all truckers, just as it would be ludicruous [sic] for labor aristocrats to claim they represnted [sic] gig workers.
For Strether, apparently the truckers are not working-class enough — they are apparently just two steps removed from being capitalists like Jeff Bezos or something.
However, Strether’s boss, Naked Capitalism owner Yves Smith, lives in a half-a-million dollar (as of 2/13/22) home in a ritzy neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama — where $500,000 probably goes farther than it does in, say, New York City.
If Strether is looking for someone’s bonafides to check, perhaps he can ask Smith. I’m guessing she’s worth more than any of the truckers currently protesting in Canada.
The clip with Shant Mesrobian that Jimmy Dore plays at the end of this video perfectly describes the left in the United States. The people on the left might say they care about suffering, but what they do says otherwise. As Mesrobian says, the base of the left is upper-middle-class professionals — the coordinator class. And the people who own and operate the left are even more upper-middle-class professionals — the crème de la crème of the coordinator class.
Mesrobian says (lightly edited for clarity):
On the strategic question of “Force the Vote,” I think it was a very smart campaign. However, I think the reason for the campaign wasn’t actually — you know, Medicare for all was the hook of the campaign. But the reason why the campaign started, the genesis of that campaign, was simply because the Squad failed to do what they were hired to do, which is to challenge the Speakership. Right? I mean that’s what they were expected to do.
And they failed to do that over two successive cycles. And then Jimmy Dore, very — I think very smartly — did a bit of organizing — better organizing than I’ve seen any actual
organizer on the left do. [Emphasis added.] And he’s not an organizer, he’s a media figure. But he was very smart and very in touch, I think, with what people actually want and he was smart to kind of recognize, okay, they’re going to do this again — they’re not going to challenge Pelosi at all. They’re going to vote right in line with the party establishment, the leadership.
Well, what if we use Medicare for all as a wedge issue, essentially, to activate the actual base and say, “Hey, you need to challenge Pelosi and tell her that if you don’t bring Medicare for all to a floor vote then I won’t vote for you.” I mean, this is a very smart campaign, and what it sort of exposed is that there’s a real rift — I wouldn’t say within the left, but between the left and people who care about things that the left cares about.
I would say that the problem here isn’t really with just the Squad — it’s really with the left in general. I don’t think the left cares about an issue like Medicare for all in the same way that a lot of people at home do. So what I would say is that the left, the professional left — [and] not just the professional left but the base of the left, too — is a very upper middle class professional class set of people. The actual apparatus of the left is an even more rarefied kind of group of people. They’re media influencers, intellectuals. They are academics, NGO activists, that sort of thing.
For them — the left is really more of a sort of an industry and a lifestyle brand. And it has this issue stack, and Medicare for all is somewhere in there, but it’s not really treated as the priority that many people — clearly Jimmy Dore’s audience — see it as. And so I think what Jimmy Dore did was sort of expose that there are a lot of people who care about the left’s issues but don’t actually care about the sort of politics that the left espouses as kind of exemplified by the Squad.
The left is not a working-class left. It doesn’t represent the working class. It doesn’t raise the bulk of its funding from the working class. Its content is neither produced nor consumed by the working class. If we were going to apply something like Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model to the left, we would say that it would be shocking if the left were anything other than a coordinator-class left. Interestingly, this also applies to the website — ZNet — owned by one of the guys — Michael Albert — who invented participatory economics.
Also interestingly, Albert is the guy who talks about “non-reformist reforms” — which was exactly what the whole “Force the Vote” campaign pursued by Dore was designed to promote. Yet, when the chips were down in December and January, ZNet smeared it and carried water for AOC. Then they ran another article in February from the Democratic-party mouthpiece Intercept smearing it — certainly consistent with Noam Chomsky referring to Medicare for all as “candy.”
So basically, we’re all for non-reformist reforms as long we don’t have to actually do anything to bring them about. That’s the message.
Chris Hedges says:
“We should have walked out on the Democratic Party in 1994 after NAFTA and stood by the working class. And they know it. Much of my family comes out of that lower working class in Maine. And I have seen their communities and lives – where my grandparents house was in Maine, the bank is boarded up, there was a Methodist church that caught on fire and burned, the town doesn’t have enough money to raze it, so it’s charred embers. There are methamphetamine labs all over the place. That is what the Democratic Party and the self-identified liberal class has done. And that is why they hate (liberals).”
“I totally get that hatred. They continue to speak out of both sides of their mouth. They continue to speak that traditional feel your pain language of liberalism while putting the knife in the back of these people. So the hatred for the Democratic Party is far fiercer because there was a time when organized labor mattered. It doesn’t matter anymore.”
“I live in Princeton. They are all mostly liberal Democrats. They have no relationships with people who have been victimized by this system. For them, it’s all an abstraction.”
Instead, Albert and Chomsky carry the Democrats’ water. Jimmy Dore really is the only true left in the United States. The guy who invented parecon — which is absolutely completely correct theory and really is both a necessary and sufficient condition for the liberation of the working class — is such a fraud.
Lambert Strether writes:
“Joe Manchin Mocked Bernie’s $15 Minimum Wage Bill at Lobbyist Event” [Jacobin]. Of course Manchin, but also this: “[Sean] Kennedy, who previously served in the Obama White House as a special assistant to the president for legislative affairs, has become the public face of corporate opposition to a $15 minimum wage.” • Thanks, Obama!
This is why the left is terrible. Blaming Obama for Bernie’s fecklessness? What’s next? Calling Jimmy Dore a troll?
At least people like Manchin and Obama know what they want and aren’t afraid to fight for it. The left is like the alcoholic family that can’t stop making excuses for Dad’s three-martini lunch.