I often see mentions of the disunity in the left and it being a real show stopper for achieving anything meaningful. Whats your take on that and also do you have any reasons(experiences, arguments etc) for that?

  • @dillekant
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    2 months ago

    Someone shared this article a while back, and while I don’t agree with it, I do think it’s instructive. You cannot exactly have an “authoritarian left” get along with a “anarchist left”. This video about Hegemony also covers how we can possibly work together.

    One, because an authoritarian left looks a lot like an authoritarian right (to an anarchist left). When both the Fascist and the Marxist want to take away your rights, you really need to know which one you’re looking at.

    Two, even within Anarchist circles, there’s some disunity about how to bring about “the revolution”. Some advocate for destabilising forces, which would “naturally” cause people to seek freedom. Others think we need to strengthen bonds of society. This, for reasons explained in the article, does not work.

    However, even the authoritarian left won’t “work” because the end goal for a Marxist is to remove the actual infrastructure of oppression, and like Lenin said, it’s not gonna happen; you can’t get there from here.

    So the real issue is that most of us can agree on where we want to end up, but we can’t really agree on how to get there. The Authoritarian left has wet dreams that we’ll all somehow learn “the theory” (and frankly given the comments even the commenters in this very subreddit do not know “the theory” and I barely know it), and then something something revolution.

    The Anarchist problem is that we explain “the theory” in “common” terms, so it doesn’t really sound rational to someone who knows “the theory”. Even then, most people are dumb, like ChatGPT dumb. They’ll use the right words in the right places but they mostly know that because they’re text prediction engines, so they’re nominally “anarchist” until the capitalist gives them more bread and circuses for a bit.

    In the end, I think a lot of ostensibly “left” causes aren’t really “left” at all, so we really need to look at these organisations one at a time. Like the Hegemony video states, this is less about “left” and “right” and more about shared interests.

    The one thing that I know for a fact (as an Anarchist), is that the way anarchist and left Organisation works is through social interactions. Sports clubs, Mastodon / Lemmy, families, school friends, uni friends, etc etc. All of these links, if they are strengthened, if we can use them more often than we use the capitalist machinery, are the social consciousness we need. If you eat your neighbours’ bread and give them your tomatoes, you’re closer to a left utopia, closer to “left unity”, and closer to working together against tyranny.

    So, we need to fight for third places, we need to fight for places to live, we need to fight for social connections which are peer to peer, not mediated by tech companies. If we can work with that, we can work on a unified left.

    • @stabby_cicada
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      82 months ago

      The one thing that I know for a fact (as an Anarchist), is that the way anarchist and left Organisation works is through social interactions. Sports clubs, Mastodon / Lemmy, families, school friends, uni friends, etc etc. All of these links, if they are strengthened, if we can use them more often than we use the capitalist machinery, are the social consciousness we need. If you eat your neighbours’ bread and give them your tomatoes, you’re closer to a left utopia, closer to “left unity”, and closer to working together against tyranny.

      So, we need to fight for third places, we need to fight for places to live, we need to fight for social connections which are peer to peer, not mediated by tech companies. If we can work with that, we can work on a unified left.

      Love it!

  • @M500@lemmy.ml
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    122 months ago

    I just had a white person tell me (a white person) that ask white Americans are colonizers. But she works elaborate on why other races of Americans are not. She also didn’t want to elaborate on what I should do. Just told me that if I cared I’d already know it look it up.

    So this is part of the reason. People claim to be leftists without putting any effort or critical thought into it.

    • Exocrinous
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      32 months ago

      I’d like to explain it to you. Not as an attack, but because she failed to explain it to you and you deserve to know.

      Whiteness is a fake race. All races are social constructs, but at least some of them point to a long history or a common culture or whatever. Not whiteness. Whiteness was invented by slave traders to separate Europeans from the slaves and the indigenous in the new world. Before then, Europeans did not think of themselves as one race. Look at the Balkans and you can still see that isn’t the case anywhere. But in America, the identity of whiteness was invented as a justification for slavery.

      If you are white, then you have ancestors and a culture and mythologies and a history, and they are not whiteness. Whiteness is the last 500 years of oppression, not the things that came before. You should learn those things if you can, and value them more highly than the racist “white” identity. If you don’t have access to your history, or don’t value your history, then it’s time to invent a new culture to replace whiteness. Because having the cultural identity of “coloniser” just sucks.

      • @M500@lemmy.ml
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        22 months ago

        Can you give me an example of what you’re talking about in the last paragraph? I don’t really get it.

        My ancestors are from like 7 different countries around Europe and one country from the Middle East(light/white skinned).

        • Exocrinous
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          32 months ago

          Yeah, so you’d be (as an example), french-german-italian-hungarian-swedish-portuhese-irish-syrian. Or whatever. Why do we call the first 7 of those, or the first 7 of your ancestries white? Because a bunch of slave traders said those 7 things are the same thing. If you were haudenosaunee-vietnamese-scottish-maori-jewish-kenyan, we wouldn’t be reducing all that complexity to one label. Yes, certain commonalities exist to a greater degree in your ancestry than in my pancontinental example. Yes, it may be fair to call you european. But white? That word is a racist term. It’s as fake as the word aryan. Your skin isn’t white, it’s probably somewhere around a beige-tan-olive. That’s not white. If white were a colour, Asians would be white. It’s not, it’s just racism.

          • @M500@lemmy.ml
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            12 months ago

            What I don’t understand is what some people would want me to do about it.

            I understand what you’re saying now, but I’m not sure what the call to action is.

            • Exocrinous
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              32 months ago

              Change the lens with which you frame your position in the world from “I am a white person” to “I am a person who racists claim to be white”.

              It’s a very subtle and subjective change and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve already done it.

              • @M500@lemmy.ml
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                -12 months ago

                Great, so a second person complaining about someone calling themselves white without suggestion as to what souls be changed.

                I think you’re just racist against white people.

                • punkisundead [they/them]OPM
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                  22 months ago

                  without suggestion as to what souls be changed

                  because that is really dependend on your context and location. whiteness is differently constructed and maintained in different places and what you should / can do also is different.

                  One starting point for inspiration might be !landback@slrpnk.net, another one might be just talking with someone irl about this

                  I think you’re just racist against white people.

                  I dont think this is helpful for anyone and I dont get why you would say that to someone, especially someone who from my perspective tried to engage with you in good faith

  • @perestroika
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    2 months ago

    Unity for the sake of unity has little purpose…

    …but unity for a common goal, or solidarity with a person / group who’s been wronged - that has a lot of purpose. :)

    If someone is being repressed, defending them should not depend on sharing my views. If someone is fighting back against repression, assisting them should should not depend on agreement about everything.

  • MambabasaM
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    82 months ago

    Even Lenin was of agreement that left unity was overrated. He talked on a preference of a “unity of Marxists” over a "unity between Marxists and falsifiers of Marxism.”

    Speaking more personally, I’m willing to unite with others on a shared common basis and a common program. But there are limits. I do not seek unity with Maoists and Stalinists and their armed struggle because history has shown that even before they have taken power, they already murdered hundreds of their own dedicated communists thirty years ago. The Communist Party of the Philippines has consistently refused to account for this atrocity. Then twenty years ago, they murdered Marxist-Leninists and social democrats. What kind of unity can be had with a group that murders their own cadre and the cadres of other groups? The answer is that there can be no such unity.

  • ProdigalFrogA
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    82 months ago

    I have a fairly similar opinion to @mambabasa@slrpnk.net, I have no real issue working with anyone on the left, even the more liberal types as long as our goals happen to be aligned.

    The only ‘left’ group I would not be able to work alongside in good conscious, are tankies. Every time in recorded history that Anarchists have teamed up with authoritarian leftists, it inevitably went south in some of the worst ways possible.

    I’ve never met a tankie in real life, only ever encountering them online, but if I ever did meet one, that would be my line in the sand (at least, if anything meaningful was on the line). There’s no need to repeat that part of history again.

    • MambabasaM
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      42 months ago

      Ironically, I’m cooperating with Marxists, Marxist-Leninists, democratic socialists and other pro-State socialists because we’re pretty much in agreement in opposition to both the so-called dictatorship of the bourgeoisie AND the decrepit Communist Party of the Philippines. On an interesting sidenote, Marxism-Leninism in the Philippines had a bit of a de-Stalinization moment in the 90s (part of the schism and purge with the CPP), so it’s a very different creature from tankies in other countries.

      • ProdigalFrogA
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        32 months ago

        As long as they don’t yearn for a jackboot of olden days, and acknowledge that Stalin, Mao, and other authoritarian ‘communist’ regimes are not something to strive for or apologize for, I wouldn’t mind working with them for the common good and shared goals. 🙂

        Since they were de-stalinized, would you say they fall somewhere along those lines?

        • MambabasaM
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          52 months ago

          Yeah, they recognize that Stalin and Mao have important contributions to Marxism-Leninism, but de-Stalinization refers to a rejection of certain features like purges, show trials, stuff like that. Some people like Trotskyists don’t take their word for it and still see them as Stalinists. Really, I’m more concerned about my personal safety than ideological pronouncements. The Rejectionist Left, or the Marxist-Leninists who reject the CPP, developed these critiques of Stalinism precisely because they were targeted for purging and assassination by the CPP. So they’re more conscious than some white ass ML on the dangers of what Stalinism entails. This makes them safer to work with than those ideologically reaffirming the CPP, called the Reaffirmist Left.

          • ProdigalFrogA
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            2 months ago

            As someone who hasn’t ever looked into Filipino politics, you’ve given me some interesting rabbit holes to go down.

            Bit of a long shot, but, have your own views ever come up with them? I’m curious if any of them ever explained what they find appealing about Leninism over Anarchism.

            • MambabasaM
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              62 months ago

              Yeah of course. They’ve even read Bookchin and the anarchist authors. It’s not as if anarchism is the one true faith and all it will take is some enlightenment for all to come to it. Different people have different experiences and come with different conclusions. Under a different set of experiences, I could have thought Marxism-Leninism would be the logical conclusion. What makes Marxism-Leninism in the Philippines unique is that unlike Marxism-Leninism in the West, which is often anti-revisionist (and thus Stalinist), de-Stalinization forced a rethinking of principles and experimentation with new ideas. This, of course, happened in the United States as well. Angela Davis, once a staunch supporter of Soviet authoritarianism in Eastern Europe, eventually changed her mind on Marxism-Leninism after the collapse of the USSR and led a non-Leninist bloc within the CPUSA. What makes the US different is that the post-1989 wave of de-Stalinization in Western Europe saw former MLs rebrand as democratic socialists while the true faith MLs kept the ML brand. In the Philippines, the wave of de-Stalinization after the end of the dictatorship saw instead a reclaiming of the Marxist-Leninist brand while repudiating Maoism (but not Mao Zedong Thought).

              • ProdigalFrogA
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                32 months ago

                Apologies for the late response!

                Different people have different experiences and come with different conclusions. Under a different set of experiences, I could have thought Marxism-Leninism would be the logical conclusion.

                This is something I’m interested in understanding. I think your new Communism community might be a good place for me to explore that topic further, when I have time to write a more compelling question.

                • MambabasaM
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                  22 months ago

                  See you there then!

  • @sbv@sh.itjust.works
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    72 months ago

    Speaking on the personal level:

    For whatever reason, the right is a big tent. Most people just need to agree on a few points to be accepted into whatever group they wanna join.

    For some reason, that doesn’t seem to be true on the left. We expect our peers (and ourselves) to be flawless exemplars of whatever agenda we’re trying to push. There seem to be weird purity tests that everyone needs to pass in order to be Left Enough.

    That’s toxic af and it harms our goals.

    I’m not sure if that’s what you’re referring to, OP, but it gets my goat.

    • @dillekant
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      32 months ago

      The right is not a big tent. The top 1% of people own half the wealth, so like… each person is a “big tent” all on their own. Importantly, the right doesn’t actually believe in anything other than whatever they can get away with “right now”. You can see this in the fact that the primaries in the US still have Trump as the head, and a party which is increasingly losing its grip.

      Which is also not exactly a good thing btw, the democrats without a balancing force are just as dangerous.

    • Exocrinous
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      12 months ago

      Purity tests are great. I’m on a political discord server and they ask all new members if they’re going to call trans people slurs. Everyone who believes in calling trans people slurs gets kicked, and that means it’s a safe space for trans people. That leads to more left unity.

  • @GregorGizeh@lemmy.zip
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    2 months ago

    You just have to favor one particular flavor of leftism and ask the other leftists to fall in line for the cause.

    There will be immediate, heated debates and arguing why that flavor is not the right flavor and what other flavor would be better instead and why. And then you have people arguing against either, and so forth.

    We can agree mostly only on what is bad, and why. (Perhaps because the very essence of leftist ideology is egalitarianism and distributed power?) The right needs to only agree on one or two things like hating brown people and the leftists, and they fall in line, because they are naturally authoritarian.

  • @keepthepace
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    42 months ago

    Big coalitions are less stable. I doubt the left is less stable that the right though.

  • ch0ccyra1n :she_her:
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    42 months ago

    @punkisundead absolutely opposed to it. From my experiences in the local activist scene which tends to emphasize left unity, it’s especially shitty as an anarchist to be talked down because of my issues with tons of hierarchy and abuse in those orgs because “we’ve gotta have left unity”. The only solution I can think of is to split off and commit to anarchist principles, knowing that it will alienate many.

  • @wildcherry
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    32 months ago

    No liberals, no tankie, the rest are fine.

  • @satanmat@lemmy.world
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    32 months ago

    The left … progressive… that is the problem, which direction forward? The right just want to go back or at least just stop. But progressives want all the things, equality; racial , sexual and social. But also economic too

    And often we snap at each other as they are getting more attention than we are.

    You can’t put the same effort into everything at once. Workers get upset that we’re providing for immigrants; but then the races get snippy that one group gets favored over another. Then you have the fact that some issues are just damn complicated

    Israel should have the right to defend itself. BUT Palestinians should too. And everyone gets bent out of shape … over all of it.

    The left tries but we’re by nature self destructive. The right just has to say GOD and everyone says amen.

    The left tears at left Christians as they get tainted by the crazy from the right

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Where’s my outrage? None of us can just be nice and try to accept that we don’t all have to get everything all at once; or even at the same time

    • @dillekant
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      32 months ago

      I initially read this as a pretty benign comment but I’ve sat on it overnight and the more I think about it the more it makes me angry. Sorry satanmat.

      which direction forward?

      I don’t think this is true. There are huge swathes of progressivism which most if not all progressives agree upon. The problem is that the right has a deadlock. They can make incremental “improvements” to their goals because they’ve already “won” more or less. We’re at the “end of history” and picking up the pieces as losers, and a fractured movement. This necessarily means more work to bridge that gap, but this doesn’t mean no one agrees on the outcomes.

      Workers get upset that we’re providing for immigrants

      The right has effectively used globalisation + racism to kneecap unions. The “left” really has no answer. There are global unions but inequality is at such a scale that you couldn’t get some sort of global agreement to labor, or labor rights which operate across nations (this also goes back to the previous point: For the left to fix one problem, it needs to fix a lot of problems at the same time).

      Couple that with broadly progressive people having conservative ideas, and we can see that it’s conservative thinking (racism, sexism, etc) limits how we can co-operate. All of us are free or none of us are free.

      Israel should have the right to defend itself. BUT Palestinians should too.

      I’m just going to link the Shaun video here. It’s not Israel vs Palestine, it’s (right wing, in some ways fascist) Zionism vs not. This is an issue of Media which largely frames the debate in terms the right prefers, thinking of it as a wedge issue.

      The left tries but we’re by nature self destructive

      As I hope I’ve made clear, the right has a lot of connective tissue, mostly because they have most of the bargaining power, and the left have been slowly losing ground over centuries. It’s not destructive, it just has a much harder job.

  • CounselingTechie
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    32 months ago

    The best way I have learned to perceive it is that those of the “left” are best akin to a set of islands, loosely connected in that they are close enough to each other in range. Just like how different islands have different cultures, ecosystems, terrains, you find that the different groups of people of the “left” are that way, with their sole united fact being that they aren’t the “other side”; however, when you ask where the line of the other side is, they all mark the line at a different point, some even going to far as to say those on the other lines are part of that “other side.”

    In my own experiences, I have seen this in discussions of equity, especially racial equity as a person who is mixed race, equity and rights for those who are LGBTQIA+ as a person who is part of the acronym, and the care for the environment.

    I sadly have no true solution for this issue. People almost strive on the idea of disunity, being the sole group that has their perception of the proper answer, the single truth, and developing inane criteria to compare others to that aren’t part of their same group, solely to justify hating them.

    • haui
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      42 months ago

      I think we significantly underestimate the brainpower and experience/knowledge needed to come to this conclusion.

      My journey from poor immigrants child growing up in a dysfunctional, violent, alcoholic family sent me from fascist ideology (ikr?!) to center, to left, to anarchism. On my way I lost so many people I cant count them for the life of me.

      The first ones stayed with the fascists. They were my friends but they didnt get why immigrants werent our problem. Then the centrists who didnt want to let go of papa musk and worshipping the rich, then those who think autocracy painted as communism would be great.

      But to come to that conclusion we need to allow ourselves to be insecure and wrong which is more than 99% of the people I ever met can bear. They need easy answers, need to be able to boast their view at the regular table with their friends after 3 liters of beer (obvious exaggeration).

      This is of course just my opinion and every one of these people would give you a lot of reasons why they disagree with me, which I can live with. I‘m curious to hear your opinion (I just ask you stay respectful).

      • CounselingTechie
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        12 months ago

        Your statement I honestly agree with. I deal with this at my work a lot with coworkers. There is a major push against self-accountability, and the push for self-growth. Some accept the perspective that they are the only ones with a correct answer, and that those who don’t provide an echo chamber are wrong because of some inherent trait, examples being age or culture most commonly in my experiences.

        I often wonder when fully it started. I see those in their 40s to 50s with it strongly affecting them, but just as strongly I see those in theirs 60s to 70s, and those in their early 20s and like me are in their early 30s. There seems to be no easy discernable pattern for finding a solution.

  • Exocrinous
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    22 months ago

    Left Unity means solidarity with every oppressed worker. It means being an ally to every member of the movement. Trans people who are disrespected by “leftists” and ask it to end aren’t being disunifying. The guilt lies with the bigots who decided to attack their fellow workers.

  • @fidodo@lemmy.world
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    22 months ago

    I think we need more patience with each other and trust that there’s good faith even in disagreement. When dealing with the right it’s all bad faith, but we shouldn’t let that sour our internal discussions.

  • @stabby_cicada
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    02 months ago

    In the United States in 2024, the most passionate and dedicated supporters of left unity are the Democratic Party and its supporters.

    Most of the American left is in fact unified - behind the Democratic Party.

    If your reflexive response is “the Democratic Party isn’t actually leftist” and “no compromise with fascists” and blah blah… well, that explains your perception of disunity. Because the leftists who are willing to compromise their principles in order to accomplish some of their goals are already compromising - under the Democratic Party banner. And the ones who reject that banner are the ones who are the most stubborn about holding their principles and refusing to compromise for the sake of unity. Which explains why they can’t compromise with each other, either.

    • Rozaŭtuno
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      Most of the American left is in fact unified - behind the Democratic Party.

      No, quite the opposite. The Democratic Party’s strategy is to appeal to leftist unity only when it’s time for elections, only for them to give no concession whatsoever and keep on their neoliberal agenda.

      And they’re not on the left to begin with, they’re right-wing. Them being leftists is only an illusion caused by the Overton Window.

      Tought Slime - Abolish The Left

      • @stabby_cicada
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        62 months ago

        No, quite the opposite. The Democratic Party’s strategy is to appeal to leftist unity only when it’s time for elections, only for them to give no concession whatsoever and keep on their neoliberal agenda.

        There are two different questions going on here:

        Is the Democratic Party leftist? Stipulated, no, they aren’t.

        Does the Democratic Party appeal to leftist unity? Yes. Very aggressively. Mostly by saying “Trump is worse”, and, more practically, “if you work with us within the two party political system you are more likely to enact some of your policy goals than if you work outside it”.

        Which gets to my point: leftists who are willing to compromise their principles and policy goals for the sake of unity typically make that compromise with the large, powerful organization that’s already asking for their support.

        Which means, if you call for “left unity” outside the Democratic Party, you’re speaking to a group of leftists who have already refused to compromise their principles and beliefs in the name of unity. So it’s a hard sell from the beginning.

    • thepaperpilot
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      52 months ago

      I don’t think what the democratic party does counts as just compromising. They often expand the awful systems they inherit, or at best just fail to revert the bad policies of their predecessors. There’s a reason for the ratchet theory to exist, or the saying that democratic policy is just Republican policy on a 1 election cycle delay. Just look at our foreign policy - Obama massively increased drone strikes under his term, to say nothing of the atrocities Biden has been funding and providing arms for in Gaza. Why did Obama promise to codify roe v wade on the campaign trail, only to make no efforts when in office? Why did Biden do the same? Why are they now calling for voters to vote blue in November so roe v wade can be reinstated when we already did vote blue, and the guy we’d presumably be voting for is already in office? If Biden as president is all it takes to reinstate roe v wade, why the fuck hasn’t he done so yet?

      Honestly for all the infighting, I think plenty of leftists would agree over common ground and change tons of things so long as they’re going in the correct overall direction, despite the specific details being so contested. But they attack the DNC because the DNC is not progressive in any way shape or form, it’s neo liberal.

    • MambabasaM
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      22 months ago

      That seems to be more of an argument of why left unity is bad.

    • @wildcherry
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      2 months ago

      Liberals are not only “leftists” in america where the right are litteral fascists. You can gaslight people all you want, anybody with a bit of political knowledge knows that. I grew up in a country where the left were socialists and the right were liberals. Some leftists politicians got killed by your american liberals and their nazi friends.

      So I know it’s election year but go astroturf reddit, please.

      • punkisundead [they/them]OPM
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        82 months ago

        You can gaslight people all you want,

        So I know it’s election year but go astroturf reddit, please.

        I dont think this is a good way to engage with the position of others, especially when I asked for peoples takes. Also from my understanding of stabbys comment its just an attempt to analyse the current political landscape in the so-called US through the idea of left unity. And tbh i find it pretty interesting.

        • @wildcherry
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          32 months ago

          Fair point. I get a little sensitive because the US point of view is put down our throat as soon as we open the internet. Cultural imperialism at its finest.