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Show #5 – February 4, 2011

February 4, 2011

Download Show in mp3 Format

Guests: Norman Solomon, Ralph Nader, Cornel West, and Noam Chomsky

We end the week with our biggest show yet.  It begins with Norman Solomon, a leading progressive voice who just may be Congressman Solomon in the near future – here why he’s working within a Democratic Party that seems so adrift.

Ralph Nader brings to bear the wisdom of six decades of fighting the good fight as he summarizes strategies and policies he feels can revitalize American society.

Cornel West reflects on how the spark of social justice can set a society aflame so long as we keep making the case – calling out injustice and building momentum.

Noam Chomsky reminds us that it can be done; though the powerful few aren’t going to make it easy – but with perseverance and organizing there’s a world to win.


13 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2011 10:06 pm

    Thank you for this series! Finally I hear idealists articulating real-world ideas for strategies & tactics that can harness the energy of the left.

    The right had astonishing success with the Powell Memo — an articulation of the problem, the goal and the strategy for corporate take-over of American politics.

    I hope that WikiLeft will produce a collaboration leading to the same single-minded recreation of politics in service of justice instead of profit.

  2. February 5, 2011 4:48 pm

    Endorsement of Norman Solomon campaign for congress.
    Join Us:

    Ralph Nader – we need you to run for Congress!
    We need your Wise words written into LEGISLATION and thrown in the Hopper!

  3. February 5, 2011 8:55 pm

    very interested in the possibilty of facism becoming the new political trend,seems to be the natural progression in societys where democracys have collapsed.

  4. February 6, 2011 9:29 am

    We need to encourage anyone to run who is more progressive than their opponents. Most states have such weak third Parties that they do not have the boots on the ground necessary to even get a soapbox for their candidates.

    If the state DCC is open to supporting progressive candidates like Norman Solomon than by all means run as a Democrat and use the advantages of being a candidate for a major Party. Having run a frustrating run as the US senate candidate of two different third Parties I speak from experience when I say that challenging the media blockade and the self-fulfilling prophecy that voting for a third Party candidate is wasting your vote, I have concluded that most third Parties do not seriously want to elect people, just to protest the corruption of the two major Parties.

    I would encourage Ralph Nader to run for the Senate as well. As a senator I think that he would get more attention to his ideas than in his quadrennial Presidential runs that people keep seeing as “spoiler” campaigns, even though he is unfairly maligned by those who don’t know he did not affect the outcome of the 2000 race. However, that is his decision to make.

    I am sick of partisan politics whether from Republicans, Democrats or third parties. What we need is a political movement that is as inclusive as possible and focused on stripping corporations of the power to buy Congress by running campaigns of those who have pledged to amend the Constitution to abolish corporate personhood. That is as important to self-described conservatives as to self-described liberals. It is an issue for all Americans.

  5. Arlin Carlson permalink
    February 6, 2011 7:12 pm

    You have to define the future in order to build it. so far Obama hasn’t defined much except thatit costs money,and most people don’t want the costs. We need to redirect priorites with existing money; the test results to make surethe programs actually work on large enough scales to have significant impacts. A 2% increase in reading skills isn’t going to impress anyone. You can already get that in Singapore which is no democracy. We need real goals for a change.

  6. February 6, 2011 9:04 pm

    Not sure that relying on “the usual suspects” to indicate how to go about building a mass-based U.S. anti-imperialist left (that finally ends the U.S. military intervention in Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan and wins the relase of U.S. political prisoners like Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, etc., for example) will provide many new strategic ideas. My impression is that more new and more younger anti-imperialist U.S. working-class left voices (who aren’t employed by either U.S. elite universities as professors or by U.S. power elite foundation-subsidized NGOs and left alternative media groups) might be more likely to have some new and more effective strategic ideas on how to build a powerful left in the United States before the 2012 election.

  7. dcampbell1 permalink
    February 6, 2011 9:32 pm

    Thank you for the series. It was excellent. And, thank you for noting that Cornel West is an Honorary Chair of Democratic Socialists of America. ( As is Dolores Huerta and Frances Fox Piven).
    For those interested in following up; the next big event for DSA is the Youth Section Winter Conference this week in New York City – with Cornel West. The Youth Section YDS, organizes people in the college age. There are seats and room at the conference. Contact YDS at
    For us older folks, contact DSA at
    Duane Campbell
    Sacramento DSA. Check out our local website. Yes, we are not currently politically powerful.

  8. February 6, 2011 9:46 pm

    I would like to strongly recommend the article in Feb 3 edition of The Nation titled “How to Build a Progressive Tea Party” by Johann Hari. It describes genuine grass-roots activism getting attention and having a real impact. Not astroturf activism like our Koch-sponsored Tea Party here.

    All the cuts in housing subsidies, driving all those people [200,000] out of their homes, are part of a package of cuts to the poor, adding up to £7 billion. Yet the magazine Private Eye reported that one company alone—Vodafone, one of Britain’s leading cellphone firms—owed an outstanding bill of £6 billion to the British taxpayers.

    That Saturday Vodafone’s stores were shut down across the country by peaceful sit-ins. The crowds sang songs and announced they had come as volunteer tax collectors. Prime Minister David Cameron wants axed government services to be replaced by a “Big Society,” in which volunteers do the jobs instead. So UK Uncut announced it was the Big Society Tax Collection Agency.

    They did it in the UK, armed with nothing but outrage and Twitter accounts . Why can we not do it here?

  9. February 7, 2011 1:28 pm

    Thanks for the reference, Lightpond. Shared and saved for future reference. A very inspiring example and great case to cite to those who say Americans can’t come together for a common cause. We did it in 1775 when fascism threatened and we can do it again. We don’t need unanimity, just a coalition of the majority of Americans who are tired of being trampled by the government but don’t know yet how to reach out to stop it.

  10. February 22, 2011 9:35 pm

    US Uncut – see this article in Nation –

    See the action map for February 26 in the U.S. here –


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