Current American Political Overview

This is an attempt to identify each substantive group and classification in American politics. Some of these groups overlap.

The Left:

Populists – This is the majority of the American people. Working class, poor. They support socialism.

Progressives – Advocates for reformist change. Sometimes are elitist and in conflict with the populists.

Revolutionaries – Advocates for revolutionary change. Therefore in conflict with the progressives.

democrats (small d) – Advocates for democracy. Supported by the entire left except a segment of the Progressives.

The Center:

republicans (small r) – Advocates for republics (especially America as a republic).

Liberals – Advocates for liberty. Can overlap with the left or the right depending on the specifics of the liberty (liberty for whom and in what way).

Conservatives – Advocates for privacy, individualism, small government.

The Right:

Fascists – Advocates of Fascism.

Corporatists – Advocates for Corporate control (replacing governmental power with corporate power).

Capitalists – Advocates for private ownership of all physical matter. They are often in conflict with fascists and corporatists.

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2 Responses to “Current American Political Overview”

  1. mad dog Says:

    I have some questions. And I hope that they do not come across as rude. I have heard these labels bandied about in other places. My big one is in regards to Populists, as the biggest block of the population. Are you basing this off of polls of some sort? Where did you get this information from? One thing that I would like to note is that among almost every political faction that I have seen, there is this belief that they are somehow the mainstream faction, and that the rival factions are small, but making themselves look big via the use of the media. I was just hoping that you would provide clear evidence that the majority of American citizens are populist.

    Finally, I was wondering if you could tell me the specifics of what the populists want.

    Re- The Progressives –

    I am trying to figure out these people. I know that they are on the left side of things. However, I think I have seen various ideas among them; I am wondering if there are different subgroups among them. I have been to moveon.org, and it seems like they favor civil liberties on certain matters, except in regards to ‘hate crimes’, or ‘discrimination’. They also seem to want extensive government control of the economy. In short, they come across as statist socialists with the occasional favoring of civil liberties here and there. But if I am wrong, feel free to correct me.

    Revolutionaries-

    You had said that they want change, in a very drastic manner, but what are their views on how a society should be run? A ‘revolutionary’ could have any number of views that is radically different from the status quo.

    democrats (small d)- Are these the usual partisans like Hillary and Pelosi and Kennedy, etc.?

    republicans (small r) – could you be more specifc?

    ‘Liberals – Advocates for liberty.’ – Are you talking about the people nowadays called ‘liberals’, or are you talking about more of the Jeffersonian ‘Classic Liberals’? There is a big difference between the two.

    ‘Conservatives’ – Which ‘conservatives’ are you talking about? Are you talking about Bush and his NeoCon cronies, or are you talking about Old Right conservatives like Pat Buchanan, Barry Goldwater and Ron Paul?

    Fascists – Or are THESE the NeoCons?

    Corporatists – When you say ‘Corporatist’ I assume you mean those who go to the government for special favors and special laws to exclude competition, etc.?

    Capitalists – Are you referring to those who advocate for Lazziez-Faire capitalism, or perhaps something else?

  2. briankoontz Says:

    Yes, I’m basing it off polls, or at least what Chomsky says are polls. I suspect since his opponents don’t jump out and say he’s lying that he’s not, but maybe his opponents are just lazy. I’m also basing it off of my personal experience talking to Americans and from logical projections.

    It’s hardly controversial that the left has the majority of the American people, the center is comprised largely of the middle-class, and the right is comprised of the upper class and the disaffected or ignorant who they have successfully manipulated (like the Religious Right). This has been true for the entirety of the Industrial Age at least. This is why it’s so ridiculous that Jon Stewart is some kind of hero in America – the guy is a centrist. He does not fall into any leftist category. Jon Stewart does not fight for the left – he fights to make sure America doesn’t drift too far to the right. He’s a false idol. The t-shirts showing Jon Stewart replacing Che Guevara are so ignorant as to nearly bring tears to my eyes.

    None of these groups are monolithic. So there’s no one thing that the “populists want”. The populists want what’s best for themselves, however each one of them happens to define it. If there was zero propaganda in America the one defining feature of populists would be socialism. But Americans are so ignorant about socialism that populists often don’t understand it well enough to know they support it.

    If you take people at their word when they define themselves the term “Progressive” makes no sense. Some people call themselves that because they don’t like mainstream politics in America and they feel they are somewhere to the left. Others want some specific social reform like women’s rights and feel they are “progressive” as a result. It’s a mess. My definition is a good as any I’ve seen.

    Revolutionaries – again, they are not monolithic. In today’s climate many are anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, pro-democratic, and since my focus is on *powerful* political elements that’s my primary concern. Less powerful versions of just about every stripe of revolutionary exist.

    democrats – no, Hillary, Pelosi, Kennedy are the large D. The small d (which is not my designation) denotes the pro-democracy movement.

    republicans – advocates for the American republic in the vein of James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. Class-based society, capitalist, elected leaders, government serving business interests.

    Liberals – Liberals are not monolithic. My conception of the modern Liberal is as part of the Establishment (the status quo) but who softens the more exploitive or excessive wants of the right. Kind of like the sane version of evil (or the lesser of two evils). Certainly these are not heroes of liberty, but they use liberty as a guide for when to step in to oppose the right, such as warrantless wiretapping. Keith Olbermann is a classic example of a Liberal. Another classic case is that Liberals determine when wars become too costly to the country and then begin to denounce the war (per Keith Olbermann).

    Conservatives – the Neocons are a special case outside of the entire scope of normal categorization. They are not a variant of conservative as they are often presented. Yes, prior to the Neoconservative revolution of American politics the mainstream was the Liberals vs. the Conservatives, where the Conservatives represented something like what you call the “Old Right”. What the Neocons did was to bring the extremes (both left and right) to the political table, pushing out the existing players (Liberals and Conservatives). This is what Jon Stewart meant when he expressed outrage about the extreme elements of modern American politics.

    Fascists – as you well know if you read my prior posts about the Neocons I consider the Neocons to use Fascism to scare the American populace into socialist revolution. It’s a dangerous game they are playing, however, because what happens if the American populace doesn’t act quickly enough, doesn’t make enough progress? Then they need to get more and more aggressive with their scare tactics until America quite possibly DOES progress into true Fascism. So what do you call a people who use the threat of Fascism to create Socialism? It doesn’t make sense to call them Fascists. If they are Socialists they are a pretty bizarre variant. Well, we call them Neoconservatives. That’s not a terrible name for them (though Dark Socialists is more accurate). Another analogy is a person who puts a lit lighter up to his hand to see how long he can go before his hand burns. Maybe he achieves whatever he’s trying to achieve by it, or maybe his hand burns.

    What I mean by “Fascists” are true fascists – a subset of the religious right wants fascism in America. Certain disaffecteds want Fascism. A substantial subset of the business community wants fascism. These people actually want fascism – thus the threat of fascism is very real in America, made more real by people who misidentify who the fascists are.

    Corporatists – yes, more or less. Corporatists believe that what is best for Corporations is what is best for themselves. By “best” they mean the imperial sense of limitless expansion.

    Capitalists – I don’t believe anyone takes actual laissez-faire capitalism seriously – the idea that government could stay out of the economy has no historical precedent or even any logical sense – the major point of governments is to affect the economy. I’m using Capitalism in the normal sense – private market transactions, private ownership of capital, class relations.

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