“Every society, including ours, contains the seed of fascism, ready to sprout from fear and anger. We were taught after World War 2 that “just following orders” made us “good Germans” but bad Americans. We were taught pride in America’s revolutionary history and our obligation to speak against tyranny. We were taught that obedience to evil makes one evil.
So I do not vote for war criminals. And I say so though many friends disagree. Trump would harm us unpredictably. Hillary would harm us systematically. Neither is inclined to push back. They are both creatures of this machine.”
I haven’t spoken to him in way too long, but I am privileged to know America’s most incorruptible politician, Paul Glover, and am fascinated by his version of “leftism,” [for now, I’m calling it that.] He manages to do what nobody else I know on the “left” pulls off: Love the earth, hate tyranny, and avoid self-serving hagiography. [Paul Glover might object that I have even placed him on the so-called “left” but for now, it’s a useful word to signal certain values, which don’t include allowing the nation’s rape by corporate banks, war, blowing up mountains, locking up dissidents and whistleblowers, espionage, funding terrorists, or colluding with brutal regimes–for starters. It also does not include overlooking the mass murder of up to 100 million people for the sake of “revolution.”
This is one of the reasons Paul and I get along so well. He never “left-splains” or tries in any way to guilt trip me when I raise these little details, outside of the super-weaponized Very Bad Man Who Is Worse Than Anything Ever.
You can read about Paul at his site, linked above, or at gpofpa.org:
He is founder of the Los Angeles Greens (1984) and the Ithaca, NY Green Party (1989). He was an environmentalist candidate for Ithaca’s city council (1973), Ithaca’s campaign manager for Ralph Nader (2000), Green Party candidate for mayor of Ithaca (2003), and was invited by GPUSA to participate in the presidential primaries of 2004.
I met Paul in 2008 at an extraordinary “concordium” [conference] that took place a few years in a row in Concord, Mass. It was based around the idea of “re-seeding,” the American Transcendentalist movement, and it actually took place in structures that were in some case built by the famous transcendentalists’ own hands, primarily the Alcott family. Drafty wooden wonderful old church like rooms where we sat with wool blankets and spoke without hate, accusation, or interruption for three days–about the lost American dream of freedom and how to bring it back. (The tradition at this concordium was based loosely on the medieval practice of discourse: In order earn the right to speak, you had to first sum up what the previous speaker had said, to that speaker’s satisfaction. Then you could speak.)
Paul Glover’s life of activism is such a blizzard of achievements I can’t do it justice, but for one thing, he introduced the first para-economic system local currency, in Ithaca New York (“Time Dollars,”) and it worked. He has been in Philadelphia for many years now, after leaving Ithaca, and if you see what you could have sworn was a parking lot there, now curiously a blooming community garden–it’s because of Paul Glover.
Another thing that deserves its own interview (I’ll get to it some day) is that Paul walked across the entire United States, in the 1970s. He did this not for any publicity purposes, but just so he could see, feel, and know the landscape, for his emerging vision about how cities can be worked out to harmonize with the land. Unlike many environmentalist activists, he loves cities, and he believes deeply in their potential for transformation. See the video below, to hear Paul’s vision for the greening transformation of Philadelphia. (Philadelphia.]
Here is the best piece I have read in ages, for those of us who feel trapped in the Titanic of this political discourse with nowhere to go.
It’s called: Why Liberals Vote For Fascists.