I'm a fan of yours but I'm disturbed your recent zealotry. I agree that the stakes are high right now and I also think you are right to identify in Wisconsin a key moment for the future of working people. But I am afraid you are flirting with being unreasonably caught up in this particular fight, and I think you should be a bit more subdued in how you talk about it. I also would like a statement about what would satisfy you from conservatives and libertarians. Thanks.First of all, I should point out that when I said that I am sorry for personal conflict that may perhaps arise from these conflicts, it's true; I am sorry about that. But if it's inevitable, it's also necessary. I don't think people understand just how much the tendency to ask for comity, "reason," and seriousness redounds to the benefit of establishment power. What is defined as neighborly or respectful discourse on the Internet is never just about form, but about content, and the assumption is always that what is to the benefit of the ruling class is somehow the position of the more reasonable man. And the constant social pressure to be a member in good standing of the Village Social Club or the Cool Kid Crew or however you want to define it is one of the central, immutable realities of the blogosphere.
I believe that we are facing transformational times in this country; I believe that the present order is incredibly unjust; and in that context I can neither be polite nor circumspect. Many disagree with me about the stakes. To assume my position away through some strangled definition of the rational position is to give the game away. For those who are new here, please understand that I am indeed an extremist and that if it bothers you, you might consider reading elsewhere, though I'm always happy to host disagreement in the comments section.
As far as what I want, it's simple: I want a economic and political policy regime that promotes the consistent improvement in the material conditions of the lives of the working class, as a class and in mass, and further that provides for the self-determination and power of the lower classes. Pity charity liberalism might provide the former but it will never provide for the latter. Conservatives and libertarians have systematically dismantled the mechanisms in our country that provided for mass improvements for the lower classes relative to those at the top. In their place, we are left only with the economics of the lottery ticket; if you are lucky enough, you might become absurdly wealthy. But you will always be doing so in the context of leaving vast swaths of humanity behind. The neoliberal policy platform has resulted in the capture of more and more resources for those at the top, and I believe that the time when decent people can let that go unchallenged is past.
To paraphrase Eugene Debs, I don't want to rise up from the ranks. I want to rise up with the ranks. Nothing else will satisfy me.