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Introducing Radio Series: “Building a Powerful Left in the United States”

January 30, 2011

Every afternoon at 4pm (PST) from Monday, January 31st through Friday, February 4th, KPFK Radio will feature a special series focusing on the questions: How can a powerful left-wing political movement take shape in the United States?  What policies and programs would such a “left” promote?  How would it articulate and spread its message, so that it gains a critical mass of support across the U S population?

Informing this series is the sense that three years into the gravest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the vast majority of Americans have no significant political movement that truly represents their interests.

The idea of the “left,” going back to the inception of term during the French Revolution, is that of a movement, or political force, that operates in the interest of the general population, as opposed to the “right,” which supports the cause of society’s elites.  In the contemporary United States, this would mean standing up for middle class, working class and poor households (which represent 95% of all people) vs. interests that represent the wealthy plus powerful private institutions (primarily corporations).  It certainly sounds like a winning formula in a democracy, and yet a meaningful left in the U S – one that truly exerts a positive, impactful political force – is virtually non-existent.

The people of the United States – and the world, due to the central geopolitical and economic role of the USA and the global nature of the economic crisis – desperately need such a movement to advocate on their behalf.

So, how do we build one?

This question will be addressed all next week at 4pm (PST) on KPFK.  Tune in at 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara, 94.7 in San Diego, and online worldwide at KPFK.ORG.  Shows will also be archived on this website.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Martha Ciattei permalink
    February 1, 2011 1:11 am

    This was one of the best shows I’ve heard on KPFK! Thank you so much. After hearing Kathy Kelly on Sunday on Blase Bonpane’s show, I decided I cannot sit silent any longer. I will be following up on seeking out like~minded and like~hearted people. You have given me hope and inspiration and I thank you so much for that. Happy happy joy joy!

  2. Robert permalink
    February 1, 2011 1:40 am

    People ! Are we talking about progressive agendas or advancing progressive agendas ? … make no mistake about it , these are two different entities altogether ! All I hear on KPFK is various and sundry luminaries and advocates of the left talking ad nauseam about policies of which we are all basically in agreement with . Let’s get our political toolkit out , exercise the concept of pragmatism , and move forward . Exposure in the mainstream media is the key to gaining momentum in this culture . To that end , we on the left must cultivate , court and search out commonality with religous and spiritual leaders and institutions . The tenets of the aforementioned are not mutually exclusive in all cases with the beliefs of the left . If and when that is achieved , mainstream media would be much more inclined to cede face time to an alliance of seemingly disparate factions who have access to the bully pulpit . This is only one avenue to go down … where we choose to live is what it is ; enough about the issues , focus on advancing the issues .

    • Checkpoint response permalink
      February 13, 2011 10:35 pm

      Nah, the religious left gets ignored just as much as the secular left. There are and have long been religious-based movements for social justice. They are still going on. When’s the last time you heard about one in the mainstream news?

  3. kckitty permalink
    February 1, 2011 1:42 am

    I think the problem is that the US seems to tilt center/right these days.

  4. Ernest Savage permalink
    February 1, 2011 2:01 am

    Awesome idea and show. I hope the show will also include the young voices that helped organized large protests over the last decade. I know older folks have a lot of wisdom, but at some point leadership must pass to a new generation.

    Also, how do we build a united front in Los Angeles?

    Again great work!

  5. February 1, 2011 2:35 am

    The only way this government will change is with massive nonviolent resistance; a nonviolent revolution. Anything else is useless. There is no way Washington will change anything except the size of their bank accounts and that of their corporate cronies. We are beyond politics and the two wings of the single party. This is nothing less than a fascist state.

    • richard permalink
      February 1, 2011 3:38 am

      Agreed. When there is an Egyptian/Philippine/East German style, even Russian style move into the streets to demand “our country back” it will happen. Not before. The good news is that as people are stripped of everything, it becomes inevitable. Everything has an arc. We are on the down stroke. We will hit bottom before the bounce.

  6. January 31, 2011 11:31 pm

    I am leaving this comment here in the hopes that its digital echo will cause a revolution that I can watch on U.S. television cable news or maybe its own reality program.

  7. Ira Weisberg permalink
    February 1, 2011 8:22 am

    Are we talking about an independant left movement or another dead-end attempt tp push the Democratic Party in a leftward direction? That is a ctitical question.

  8. joseph braverman permalink
    February 1, 2011 10:51 am

    “If elected,I will vote the way the majority of my constituents want me to vote.”
    Anybody can run for office in this country(with enoug signatures, or wotout signatures as a write in.
    Technology exists to inform te public, to record the public vote,and for the voter to initiate new legislation.
    The voter en masse can reject any legislation that conflicts with hisinterests, or initiate legislation tat serves his interest
    Run for office as w write in wit tis message-use the internet and existing media to advertise AND YOU WILL WIN.

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