Building a Powerful Left in the U.S: Show #4

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Today’s show branches off from the mainstream of the progressive left.

First, in an aesthetic manner, with comic Jimmy Dore.  Whatever one makes of the recent massive Rally to Restore Sanity brought  to you by Jon Stewart and Comrade Steven Colbert – which was criticized by rival comic Bill Maher as the “Million Meh March” since it seemed, ultimately, so non-commital – it certainly showed that political comedy has moved front and center in American political discourse.

I don’t think anyone will mistake Mr. Dore’s contribution to this series as non-commital; and he is representative of a powerful community of left, progressive comedians across the country.

Then Mark Ames of and the author of “Going Postal” pulls no punches.  Mark Ames, in many respects, has picked up the mantel of Hunter S Thompson.  The left is often seen in the United States as having no backbone – this is not true of Mr. Ames.  We’ll hear his ideas on how he believes the left should speak, along with what he thinks they should be saying.

Then we hear from two revolutionaries.  In the weeks leading up to this series, talking to people about it, I was surprised how often people simply said, “we need a revolution.”  Considered off-the-charts in mainstream American political discourse, the idea is not forgotten by people in the general society.  We’ll hear from Sunsara Taylor and then Brian Becker, two people committed to bringing socialist revolution to the United States.  And, as you’ll see, their vision of a post-revolutionary society matches up with the wishes of many who would see themselves as more conventional, non-revolutionary progressives.

Up next is Vijay Prishad, a radical critic of U S foreign policy.  We’ll hear how he thinks a powerful left could be built and what it would mean to peoples around the world.

Then it’s Jay Walljasper and the notion of the commons.  Mr. Walljasper explains why he  feels a commitment to the commons should be one of the central organizing principles of a revitalized left.

Finally , Joseph Huff-Hannon of the Yes Men echoes Emma Goldman’s famous line “If I can’t dance I don’t want to be in your revolution.”  The left has to reclaim exuberance, the joy of rebellion.