Alt Left: Patti Smith, “People Have the Power”

Patti Smith, 1979. From her debut album,”Horses.” With Fred “Sonic” Smith, late of the great MC5.

All right, that does it. Enough of this slacking off and lollygagging around.

Time to get back to some serious leftwing politics, back when that meant something sane and worthwhile. But beyond whatever Left distortion, contortion, freakshow, or Clown World du jour is playing in the Current Year, what is the Left really all about, since its very inception in the French Parliament, on the left side of the room, natch?

Left politics is about the spirit. The spirit of the Left. The dream. The dream of a better world. The dream of liberation. The dream of freedom. The dream of something resembling justice. And and even smaller something resembling equality. No matter how badly it was implemented, it was always the spirit that mattered.

Everyone likes to dump on East Germany. For all I know, maybe it did suck. But what was important about East Germany? It was the spirit, the dream, the rebellion, the fist on the air, the power of the people. Sure, it all came crashing down. But that’s not the point. The point was the death of the East Bloc was the death of a dream. These people dared to dream of a better world. Something we in the capitalist world don’t even bother to do because better worlds aren’t possible under capitalism. All you can is paint the turd, polish it up, put some fancy decorations on it. It’s always still capitalism and it always still blows in exactly the same way, like clockwork. Or physics, almost.

The only time it’s halfway ok is when it’s shot through with a huge dose of socialism to smooth out the shittiness and polish up the considerable good things.

Capitalists: A better world is not possible. This is capitalism we’re talking about, guys! Come on! This is as good as it gets. And it works. It sucks, it’s shitty, it’s evil, but it works.

The Left: A better world is possible. And if it’s not, we will dream anyway. Because the purpose of the Left is not the achievement itself but the spirit. And the dream. We at least dared to dream enough to try to create a better world. At least we tried. No matter what, you always had a roof, clothes, a job, and food. We let people survive. For this, the crime of letting, nay demanding, that people have the basics to survive, we are condemned as Pure Evil itself. It was good and it didn’t blow, nor was it shitty in the capitalist sense, but it doesn’t really work.

Pick your poison, boys.

Something evil that works.

Something good that doesn’t work.

And you only get to pick one, although I think right now the capitalist model is not only evil but it doesn’t even work. So as usual, we get the worst of both worlds.

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