Politics and Social Movements

A Tracking Poll for Radicals

I love polls. I can spend hours looking at the crosstabs. Unfortunately the issues that I care the most about are rarely asked in commercial polls. They miss the fundamental radical questions that get at the root of social problems.

I want to know
-what radicals think of Obama over time (and compare that to the Green Party, Ralph Nader, etc)
-how Trotskyites are doing versus anarchists and socialists
-what radicals think about LGBT marriage
-the ebb and flow of revolutionary sentiment (percent of activists who want to overthrow the US government)

A Radical Stimulus Package

Here is a brainstorm! I haven't seen anyone else write anything that gets at what a radical stimulus could look like.

1. A democratic stimulus empowers people to achieve their goals.

2. In some cases this means increasing economic output, in other places decreasing it. For instance, cutting the military is essential. Also increasing spending on healthcare is not as important as ensuring high quality national healthcare for all.

A Partial List of Reoccuring Activist Conference

I've started tracking annual activist conferences to help populate the calendar. Here is my current list (obviously just a small fraction of all the conferences, but it's a start). Some of these have been going on for over ten years. Apologies for the bad formatting.

I welcome any additions!!!
Email me: aaron@campusactivism.org

Annual Conferences (sort by Date, or at least by season)

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Spring Annual Conferences
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NGLTF
http://www.thetaskforce.org/
January

The End of the National Conference on Organized Resistance

After nine years, organizers have put a stop to organizing the annual DC "National Conference on Organized Resistance" as it grew into a massive project that relied upon non-student leadership.

I attended NCOR twice. During it's nine years it grew to be the largest anarchist-leaning conference in the United States, attracting a large number of people (my second hand guess is that attendance might have peaked at 1000).

There is a blog which explains this move:
http://ncor.wordpress.com/

Withdrawing Contractors from Iraq

Will the US withdrawal from Iraq include contractors? Obama's commitment to withdrawal is already sketchy. He might leave 30,000 troops in Iraq, possibly in a permanent US base, and call it withdrawal, move many of the troops to Afghanistan - or he might just completely change his mind and not withdraw at all.

Activists, Being Dishonest, and the US 2008 Election

One of the main problems of activists advocating for the Democrats in the 2008 US election is that it contradicts our values and will cause the public to stop trusting us.

It's morally fine for activists to advocate for a Democrat vote if you call it a "lesser evil", but when we say that the Democrats are actually "good" then we are being dishonest.

US 2008 Presidential Election: Detecting Fraud

There is no such thing as a "fair" election, there are only elections that are more fair than others.

Intelligent Poll Commentary

If you look right now at the Yahoo News page there are two conflicting stories:
1 "Obama lead on McCain grows to 12 points"
2 "AP presidential poll: Race tightens in final weeks"

Either Obama has a 12 point lead (Reuteurs) or 1 point lead (AP).

Financial Crisis

I think putting a ban on foreclosing mortgages and printing money (increasing liquidity) would "solve" the crisis. Let the banks fail (currently the largest bank that was failing was bought up by another corporation (JP Morgan I think) which seemed happy to get it!). Let the stock market fall 20%.

Also, I think there are more important economic problems in the US including unemployment, poverty, and non-existent or overly costly healthcare.

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