Note by way of introduction: I am a monthly contributor to the Empire Files Patreon account, currently one of 697 patrons. Not only am I glad to see EF back in production as Edie is (albeit without the budget that working with TeleSur afforded it), but also happy to have helped with its re-emergence.—dbc
Note the DATE on this video, Nov 12, 2018--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdhIYWb3XVU
I’m hoping that that means that Abby Martin is back—that is to say, that this isn’t an old Empire Files video that was just now posted.
The aforementioned video is excellent, well worth the time it takes to listen to it.
I place Abby Martin in the same category as Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky and Robert Wolff, in that they are all true radicals—they uncompromisingly deconstruct capitalism, nationalism and imperialism--something that, as much as I love him, Jimmy Dore doesn’t do.
Jimmy still holds on to the illusion that Bernie Sanders will make a fundamental difference. He won’t. Sanders is a useful tool of the Democratic Party, creating as he does the illusion that there is a left-wing to the Democratic Party. There isn't. Sanders only slows down the fundamental changes that MUST take place...fundamental changes standing between where we are now and a global disaster. (dbc NOTE: As Edie well knows, Dore has recently taken Sanders to task for reversing his long-held position on the possibility of reforming the Democratic Party from within.)
Jimmy, and to a greater extent Kyle Kulinski, both want a dog in the fight, a horse in the race, and that’s Bernie Sanders. Staying within the box of US electoral politics—where Bernie Sanders is and always has been--there are many, many "stories" Jimmy and Kyle can cover; there are many, many "things" Bernie Sanders can do. However, were they to step out of that box and ask fundamental, first-order questions--like, Chomsky, Hedges, Martin and Wolff always do--were Jimmy and Kyle and Bernie to do that, they would have serious problems--the Democratic-Republican duopoly would attack Sanders, and Jimmy & Kyle would have serious problems as to the “popularity” of their channels, as well as the blocking and demonetizing wrath of YouTube descending on them.
Do they have the courage to step out of tha box and onto that limb? So far the answer is no. They busy themselves with "stories" and "things" that, yes, are important and deserve attention but that don't go to the root of what's ailing us.
I don't doubt the political courage they need to muster is consciously or unconsciously on their mind all the time.
Jimmy made a very good point on one of his videos the other day as regards Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the corporatist politicians--the solutions they offer have to be commensurate with the magnitude of the problems we face--and Pelosi & Co. aren’t offering those properly-commensurate solutions. But neither is Sanders; neither are Jimmy and Kyle. They see all the problems a radical sees, and they articulate those problems very well--but they don't articulate the radical solutions that need articulating.
Yes, the US should have Medicare for All; yes, there should be free college for all; but Sanders et al have to go WAY beyond that in what they stand for. As Willie Loman put it: “The woods are burning.” In our case, in the human species’ case, the woods are, quite literally, burning; the earth is getting “warmer”--FUBARed--The Doomsday Clock keeps going in the wrong direction...and, meanwhile, soft-lefties like Bernie Sanders are tinkering with a thoroughly corrupt political-economic system; hoping against hope for "a kinder, gentler capitalism”...seeking to “work with Trump”...promising to “reach across the aisle.”
Nick Brana put it very well in a recent interview he did with Jimmy D.…“Something happens” when an individual goes to Congress or otherwise takes a place in the ruling class’ apparatchik. Their horizons shut down, if their horizons were ever far-reaching in the first place. (Brana put it much better than I’m putting it. I think this may be the video in which he said it, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-s8nvKlm54&t=2s—the video features Sanders 30 years ago arguing FOR a 3rd party vs. "The All-New Bernie Sanders" arguing AGAINST a 3rd party movement.)
Those who ascend to power become quickly socialized as to what they feel they can do and what they feel they can’t do. As such, they become self-censoring. There are lots of mainstream stories for Jimmy and Kyle to cover, lots of grist for their video mills--as there are lots of “things” Bernie and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez need to work on--but, the problem is, none of those “things,” none of those "stories" address in a first-order, fundamental way the fact that the woods are burning, the fact that the solutions offered--by either Pelosi or Sanders--are not commensurate with the problems we face.
Jimmy articulates this "lack of commensurate solutions" EVERY DAY! He calls out Pelosi & Co. on it but not Bernie and Alexandria, offering as they do tepid, bourgeois “fixes” to what are, in cold, undeniably fact long-standing, systemic problems.
The horse race of electoral politics is not where it's at. As Emma Goldman put it: "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."
And this from Chris Hedges:
“Democracy, in this late stage of capitalism, has been replaced with a system of legalized bribery. All branches of government, including the courts, along with the systems of entertainment and news, are wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state. Electoral politics are elaborate puppet shows.”
Anyway, I hope Abby is back. I don’t just put her in the same class as Chomsky and Hedges and Wolff, I put her at the head of that class!
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.