So if You Think CNN is “Communist”, You Might be a Moron…

In recent weeks, I’ve tried to do a better job of reading and watching more content outside my “leftist” bubble. In the past, I used to do so quite often, as 1) it’s important to consider other opinions, 2) yes, you could learn something new, and 3) let’s face it, bias knows no boundaries on the political spectrum (I also should give a tip of the hat here to Adam Curtis’s “Hypernormalisation” documentary, which dives deep into the problem of digital bubbles).

Now, as anyone who has a steady diet of news is aware of, the media, namely the corporate media, has been relentlessly attacked by ole Donnie boy and his crew in recent months. The attacks on the media stepped up when multiple women came forth with their well documented accusations, and have continued as a result of  Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. All this has prompted the ‘fake news’bit, which the Tan has been spewing, ad nauseam.

But, if your media diet is restricted to independent or corporate outlets, not of the really right variety, then you might not be aware of some of the current rhetoric regarding THE media…Some folks over yonder, are arguing that CNN, yes, get ready for it, is communist…

Yes, one of the planet’s biggest corporate media outlets, is in fact, not interested about making profits. Nope, they’re actually trying to destroy Trump and the Republican Party, in an effort to finally make the U.S. go red. As in commie red.

Now, unless I missed it, Wolf Blitzer hasn’t called for the abolition of private property, and Anderson Cooper hasn’t been pontificating about the differences between use value and exchange value. Jake Tapper hasn’t been explaining to viewers the finer points of historical materialism, although, it would be pretty awesome if he did.

The reality is that yes, many of the talking heads on CNN have been critical of Trump, and there’s good reason to believe that a lot of the folks at the outlet, are in fact liberal. But, and it’s a big BUT, they’re liberal in the contemporary sense. You know, people who believe in global warming, who have empathy for refugees, and don’t think the plight of America’s working class is the fault of immigrants. In addition, the company’s probably staffed with a lot of people who have gone all in on political correctness.

But, CNN certainly isn’t falling over itself to run stories on how we can end the neoliberal status-quo, by returning power to the citizenry, and establishing democracy in the workplace. By all measurements, CNN is a centrist, and many intellectuals would say, right of center outlet, particularly when it comes to economics. The CNN brass almost certainly isn’t interested in pushing for a world where, say, their compensation drops to just four times that of the average worker…

But the commie line is a tired, very, very played out shot from the right, which speaks more to the stunning ignorance those folks have about socialist theory and the left. Are there any sizeable groups on the left calling for Soviet or Maoist like, authoritarian regimes? Are there any notable, leftist intellectuals doing so? Nope. Quite the opposite. By applying this same logic, one could argue that all pro-capitalists are down with human rights atrocities, imperialism and fascism, since you know, capitalist nations have been guilty of all those.

The sad reality is that the political spectrum has shifted so right, as a result of the neoliberal age, that traditional leftist ideas rarely even enter the conversation. Bernie was a big exception, of course, and the corporate friendly, Democratic powers that be, did their best to shut that down.

So, when some far right clown tells his audience that CNN and global “elites” have a “socialist agenda”, sadly, far too many of them have no idea if its ‘fake news’ or not…

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Why The Working Class? Vivek Chibber Hits HR

So, it’s February 12th…and this is the first post for the Pinko Rag in quite a while…Yup. Following the U.S. election, some of us, and that includes moi, elected to put their heads in figurative sand, with the help of booze, pointless television shows and a steady stream of sports.

But, thankfully, many, many progressives haven’t gone that route, and have been busy resisting; fighting for a socially just and environmentally sustainable future. In recent weeks, there’s also been a lot of discussion, debate and even hostility within the left, in respect to how we go about doing this.

Since Donnie took the American throne, there’s been no shortage of talk about 1) how that happened and 2) if the left has been focusing on too many issues, or just the wrong issues.

Well, recently Jacobin Magazine posted an essay by Vivek Chibber, which immediately sparked my leftist fire (the essay originally appeared in The ABCs of Socialism). In it, Chibber outlines why the working class is the focal point of socialist theory. The essay outlines in a very concise and compelling manner, why real, substantive change will only come from organizing the working class. Here is an excerpt:

So, in a society in which most people don’t have job security, or have jobs but can’t pay their bills, in which they have to submit to other people’s control, in which they don’t have a voice in how laws and regulations are made — it’s impossible to achieve social justice.

Capitalism is an economic system that depends on depriving the vast majority of people of these essential preconditions for a decent life. Workers show up for work every day knowing that they have little job security; they are paid what employers feel is consistent with their main priority, which is making profits, not the well-being of employees; they work at a pace and duration that is set by their bosses; and they submit to these conditions, not because they want to, but because for most of them, the alternative to accepting these conditions is not having a job at all. This is not some incidental or marginal aspect of capitalism. It is the defining feature of the system.

Economic and political power is in the hands of capitalists, whose only goal is to maximize profits, which means that the condition of workers is, at best, a secondary concern to them. And that means that the system is, at its very core, unjust.

A left that focuses on fundamentally changing the economic and political structures of power, through communal efforts and worker unity, isn’t dismissing gender issues, racial discrimination, environmental degradation etc. Rather, it understands that real, substantive change will only occur by empowering the masses and creating a society where capital accumulation isn’t paramount to everything else.

It’s certainly not a new idea for the left, but it’s one that unfortunately, has consistently been punted from so-called ‘leftist’ parties in the preceding decades. Funny how that happens when ‘progressive’ candidates are taking money from oligarchic interests.

Anyhoo, the essay mentioned above is definitely a must read, particularly at times like this.