The Rise of the Neo-Centrics

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Sat Nov 15 13:19:23 MST 2003


 From the Solidarity listserv, with permission of the author:

*****   Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 15:48:47 -0500 (EST)
From: WSheasby at cs.com
Subject: The Rise of the Neo-Centrics

2003 has seen the rise of a new current in U.S. politics, best
described as NeoCentrics, or simply NeoCens, for ease of comparison
with a better known defection of Socialists to the Conservative
Right.  Although allied with longtime social democrats (who were once
distinguished by whether they accepted secret funding in bags from
John A. McCone's office or Armand Hammer's office), the NeoCens are
former radical critics of "lesser-evilism" who have decided a year
before the 2004 election that the whiff of fascism is in the air.

Funding for a few of the Neo-Cens comes from George Soros, who
subsidizes some of the Neo-Cen luminaries and publications.  He told
the Washington Post on Tuesday, Nov. 18, that a day before he gave
five million dollars to MoveOn.org to benefit Howard Dean.  He has
donated more modest sums to other Democratic candidates and had
already given 10 million dollars in August to "America Coming
Together," or ACT.

The Neo-Cen attack on Ralph Nader has been welcomed by
unreconstructed social and liberal democrats who have long been
critics of the Green Party and independent political action.  Michael
Tomasky, executive editor of the American Prospect, wrote a piece for
the L.A. Times Book Review titled *A Lesson for the Left: Go to the
Aid of the Party* on Nov. 9, 2003.  He reviews two books by radical
intellectuals, G. William Domhoff's Changing the Powers That Be: How
the Left Can Stop Losing and Win, and James Weinstein's The Long
Detour: The History and Future of the American Left.  Both books are
monuments to the new revisionism transforming the most trenchant
critics of co-optation in the 1960s into the masters of the back-flip
in the new century.  Through many books Domhoff hammered home the
reality that the corporate rich dominate both the Republican and
Democrat Parties and that grass roots insurgencies were inevitably
co-opted.  I was one of many who took up that thesis in a paper I
wrote that Domhoff approved on the Fund for the Republic.  Weinstein
showed that Progressive politics in both mainstream parties were
aimed at co-opting and deflecting the Socialist Party in its heyday.

The Neo-Cens have been joined by any number of former revolutionaries
like Carl Davidson and Angela Davis.  The Green Party is split
between Neo-Cens who previously touted the line *Neither Right nor
Left, but out in Front,* to those who are supporting the intransigent
Ralph Nader and/or Peter Camejo for President.  The division could
weaken the Green Party and perhaps result in its demise.  On the
other hand, if the counter-revisionists rally to their own Party,
this could be a real turning point in U.S. politics, which the
election of any of the democrats would not be.

If Howard Dean wins the nomination and puts Wesley Clark on the
ticket as he planned before Clark himself entered the race the final
days of September and October 2004 could be a real awakening for the
left.

-Walt   *****

--
Yoshie

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