Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Liberal Propaganda at ProgBlog - not progressive

Yes, we're back at the very same issue - Liberal bias at ProgBlog. But don't worry I'll take a new angle too.

The PB moderators.
I've recently learned that there's a lot more liberalism at PB than the eye meets. Scott would like to make you believe that, out of seven moderators, only two are Liberals. Well, not so. Saskboy is SK Liberal (check Liblogs - he's still there) and Catnip, she's a very special Liberal, spelled liberal. Then there's Scott himself. Doesn't that make three already?

But there's something else.

During the Polly Jones crisis, one comment lost in all the bickering, intrigued me. Polly asked for a serious discussion on a current topic:

Would it be possible for people to state their positions on the WB? Are people aware of neo-liberalism? Or, do none of you look beyond your own postal code?
No answers, and I have to admit my own silence too. But it did lead me to visit some of my most vocal opponents' websites, trying to figure out what it is they are blogging about. These opponents included Scott Tribe, Steve V. and Jason Cherniak.

Liberal Propaganda
Do the test and decide for yourself (now do it!). Aren't these Libloggers merely Liberal propaganda sites with a "progressive bloggers" logo? By far the majority of their posts is nothing more than partisan BS; not very progressive if you ask me. One wonders, when Liberal party politics is all they seem to care about (along with their obvious party biases), what good it does for the Progressive Bloggers community; couldn't we simply subscribe to Liblogs if we were interested in Liberal junk?

I'm more progressive than you...
I realize all too well that it's hard to describe what progressive means. But it's less difficult to define what it is not;
Blogs continuously spouting petty party propaganda is not progressive.

So can it be done, can we actually blog without overly obvious biases? Yes, we can. And many have. Here's a list of progressive blogs, dealing beyond petty party politics. Yes, some of them are affiliated with political parties, and some aren't. But all have a far wider spectrum than, say, Far and Wide does.
- Buckdog: http://buckdogpolitics.blogspot.com/
- Bill Longstaff: http://blongstaff.blogspot.com/
- James Laxer: http://www.jameslaxer.com
- Political Psychols: http://cycles2k.blogspot.com/
- Marginal notes: http://marginalnotes.typepad.com/

Libs are as progressive as the Cons are green

Some say that the latest spat (or crisis) hasn't much to do with Scott's actions as moderator, but more with his politics. Either way, I take offence in having clearly partisan hacks as our moderators. I hear from many that Scott has done wonderful work for PB, I've no issue with that. He should be praised for his achievements. But when Liberals' only reason for joining PB is infecting us with their obvious biases (also given the scope of their blogs), one has to wonder if the progressive label is nothing more than dress-up. Conservatives have taken on the Green Label, and Scott, your right, their actions are not conform their message. But neither is the "Progressive Bloggers" label very suitable for Liberal partisan hacks. Progressive-Lites would be more appropriate.

Progressive-Lite Logo
I'm sure Joanne can supply you with a new Progressive-Lite button, Scott. Just ask her in a friendly manner, she's quite approachable. I've chosen the other logo below, to let you know where I stand:

Progressive Dissident

Cheers!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've noticed that the same old shit-disturbers at ProgBlogs (you, Polly, Abbink) also have the dreariest blogs.

Find some interesting to talk about.

Erik Abbink said...

shit-disturbers? Where did I hear this before?

Steve V! (See:"by Steve V on May 14, 23:15 EDT")

Thanks, Steve V. I thought you were done with me? Posting anonymously now?

Anyways, I guess you're right, I am disturbing. Always good to hear from you.

catnip said...

I am a small "l", non-partisan liberal. Which part of that don't you get? If you're going to spout off about me or my blog, please try to be accurate.

Erik Abbink said...

Thanks for clarifying, catnip. Or is it Catnip?

Polly Jones said...

"I am a small 'l' liberal". Can you explain the ideology/ideologies that inform your politics? Can you describe what your view of liberalism is? Can you confirm that you were a member of Liblogs and have never bleonged to The Dippers?

Is it true that Kyle, JJ, Saskboy, and Scott are all on Liblogs?

Would it be fair to say that only one of the remaining seven members are from the socialist spectrum? Can you also confirm that asking me to edit my comments, etc. has all occurred while the only other socialist mod has been away?

Sheeple said...

You've asserted that liberal bloggers are not progressive, but you haven't bothered to explain why.

I believe that the liberal party is highly progressive. Why? Take the policies of Stephane Dion on child poverty, Afghanistan, climate change, Greening health care, water management, university funding, etc. In all of these areas liberals are articulating clear, forward-thinking policies.

So, why do you think you have a monopoly on the term progressive?

Erik Abbink said...

I'll pick one to make my point: Environment. While pretty much all of Europe (and many other states) has been on Kyoto for almost a decade, Canada still has to start.

And we've been going backwards on Kyoto, not forwards. Unexplainable, and un-defendable for any progressive.

The bulk of my post is more detailed though; it's about bias "an sich".

With the three examples I've tried to show that these three Libs have a very narrow-minded ideas of what a progressive blog should entail. Anyone who is mostly defending his party (or any other institution for that matter), holds back real progress.
Consider also reading Paul's blog and why he considers Progressive Bloggers a misnomer.

And you're right, I don't have a monopoly on progressiveness, neither do the "good" blogs I've linked too :)

Stephen said...

I'm tired of this crap. I am a non-partisan progressive. I'm probably somewhere between a small "l" liberal and a social democrat. I came to prog blogs because I was looking for a place online where progressive Canadian bloggers can exchaqnge views and ideas. This is the best one I've come across. Not all Liberals are progressive, and I'll admit I'm not a big Cherniak fan, but for the most part the ones on this site are progressive.

I can understand that there will be differences in points of view among different members of Prog Blogs, and there should be. The progressive community is not a uniform entity. It it is composed of well-meaning people of many different ideologies, from anarchists, to Marxists, to social democrats, to liberals. However, can we please get past the habit that some to have of simply dismissing those they disagree with as "no progressive." I'm sick of it, and there's too much at stake.

Erik Abbink said...

"However, can we please get past the habit that some to have of simply dismissing those they disagree with as "no[t] progressive."

I agree with you on this, Stephen, it's hard arguing something IS or IS NOT progressive when it seems so hard to come up with a clear definition of what progressive means. I'll be more careful using the word progressive in the future.

But I don't think that therefore my whole posting is "crap".

What I'm mainly arguing is that
- I question the value of having overly biased blogs as being part of PB.
- I question the value of people who write these types of blogs as moderators.

It looks like this is falling on deaf ears, mainly because many do not seem to be aware of their own bias, and how this is undermining healthy debate.

Stephen said...

Sorry about using "crap." I was a little p---d off, but could have made my point with just as much force without it.

Erik Abbink said...

No worries, Stephen, I do understand your frustration with the overall issue as well, and appreciate your honesty.

lept said...

Erik,
The question for me is not so much who is 'progressive' and who is not - for example while I find Scott Tribe's musings pompous, 'liberal Catnip' not worth the time, Cherniak unspeakable, etc.; I have been a regular reader of 'Far and Away' because he has in the past tended to show more openness than one would expect from a liberal hack: recently that has been much less the case as we have seen him becoming more and more part of the Liberal in-group on ProgBlogs.
This is the crux for me: they show all the hallmarks of said in-group mentality: orthodoxy and predictability and most importantly here - and with Polly and definitely in the responses to my posting - a stunning inability to hear the minutest suggestion of validity in any of our challenges to their comfortable heterodoxy.
Coupled with a certain condescension of course!

Erik Abbink said...

Well put, Leonard, and I realize now that it's hard to argue "progressiveness".

But again, all good observations, and well put.

Erik Abbink said...

You won't hear back from catnip (or Catnip), Polly.

She's good at accusing, but bad at explaining, and stinks at arguing anything - and that, IMHO, sums up the most vocal Liberals (or liberals, whatever) at PB quite well. Lots of bullying, little content.

Paul said...

It's possible to be extremely opinionated without being partisan. For instance, I hate all the mainstream bourgeois parties, including the NDP, but I don't think anybody has ever accused me of not being opinionated.

What we need, I think, is more good comrades like Polly Jones or Doug from theproles.blogspot.com who can see past partisan ideologies and articulate a coherently progressive value set. So far as I can tell, there's little room for that so long as we have Scott Tribe, Steve V. and Jason Cherniak who've never met an ad hominem attack they didn't like.

Erik Abbink said...

Paul said:
"It's possible to be extremely opinionated without being partisan. For instance, I hate all the mainstream bourgeois parties, including the NDP, but I don't think anybody has ever accused me of not being opinionated."

Erik said:
Good point, Paul.

I've never understood why "being opinionated" has such strong derogatory connotations (same for "compromised" or "political"); of course there's nothing wrong with having a strong opinion about something (I expect nothing less from progressives), as long as it is backed up with sound reasoning.

But when a blog's mere existence rests solely on promoting (or defending) once own party, one has to wonder how progressive such a blog is.

Paul said:
What we need, I think, is more good comrades like Polly Jones or Doug from theproles.blogspot.com who can see past partisan ideologies and articulate a coherently progressive value set

Erik said:
Well put. Progressives want democracy and social justice- levels that are sometimes shared by several parties (not a single party), and often go beyond what current political parties are able/willing to deliver.

Paul said:
So far as I can tell, there's little room for that so long as we have Scott Tribe, Steve V. and Jason Cherniak who've never met an ad hominem attack they didn't like.

Erik said:
I'm not sure what you mean by that, Paul. Can you elaborate?

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