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Ian Welsh on Revolution (or is there an alternative?)

I share Ian’s frustration about the state of the country and discourse and what it will take to wake up the general public. But I’m not quite as pessimistic. We know what works. We have seen Republicans and then Democrats in 2008 (or were they really Democrats or just disaffected Country Club Republicans in disguise?) shape the narrative and drive voters towards it. The techniques for influencing people are the same whether they are liberals or conservatives. They are humans, herd animals and can be treated as such for maximum impact. It’s not really that difficult, provided you have a big microphone where you can amplify your message.

The trouble is we tend to think of people with big microphones as those with the most money. This has proved to be the case in the past but it doesn’t have to be in the future.

No one I know trusts the news, not even the ones who I feel are most influenced by it. What I have noticed is that the people most influenced by consensus reality are the least exposed to alternative voices. That sounds pretty obvious but the problem is that it getting the great sea of voters to hear differing opinions is going to take ingenuity, not money.

As for revolution, I’m against violent revolutions but if there is going to be violence, it’s most likely to come from the people with the guns. That would pretty much exclude our side. Anyway, I’d rather try reason first before resorting to chopping off people’s heads. For example, when I post on policy advice to Hillary, I’d like to read about real ideas for policy. Don’t propose revolution until you’ve tried to solve a particular problem by proposing a real, thoughtful solution.

In the meantime, might I suggest that the activists on the left concentrate on ensuring the integrity of the primary process in 2016. They should let voters make up their minds without interference or vote manipulation.

If the left wants to change the world, it should start with shoring up its own moral authority.

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