Slate's Matthew Yglesias Congratulates Himself for Not Being as Socialist as Kshama Sawant


Socialism has been the majority party in most Canadian provinces at one point or another.

It's not that big of a deal, really.

As opposed to those insane Communists and Big Government Tea Party Terrorists ...
Oh. For Fuck sake. Just about EVERYBODY (except Mudede) is criticizing Sawant's ludicrous statements about collectivizing Boeing's Everett "factory."

Including stranger writer Brendan Kiley:

"Meanwhile, councilperson-elect Kshama Sawant is suggesting that Boeing workers "re-tool the machines to produce mass transit like buses" instead of "war machines." Which does not seem like an auspicious start for the newly elected socialist's uphill battle at making socialism seem sensible to the rest of the city—and the country."

And they should.

It's an absurd distraction and she needs to, you know, start doing her job as a city council person. Not re-writing the entire modern economy.
There's so many pundits these days who assume that we owe them deference that I'd forgotten why I specifically hated Yglesias. Thanks for reminding me, Goldy.

Workers can establish relationships with other workers. They can collectively determine what to make and what not to make. They're not too stupid to realize when people don't want what they're producing. People, when left to their own devices, actually tend to figure out things for themselves. The managers and the executives and the elite thinkers would like to pretend differently, because otherwise, what use is an Yglesias? (Or, perhaps, a Sawant?)
"With certification a week away, Sawant hasn't even officially won the election yet, let alone been sworn in."

Ergo she has yet to DO anything. Discussing her performance as a Council Rep at this point in time is a moot discussion.
Goldy is the only blogger more insufferable than Matt Yglesias.
@3, then I hope the buses the machinists decide to retool the Everett plant to build are those double decker ones. Those are cool looking.
The only thing more ridiculous than machinists trying to run their own factory is executives trying to run the machines.
@2: What about the modern economy is worth defending? It kind of sucks.
So Sawant's job is to set forth the unfeasible utopian vision so that actual leftist positions will then sound more reasonable to the populace at large? Unfortunately, she's now on the practical side of politics, not the theoretical. She's going to be walled off as a crazy pants from Day One if she doesn't get some media coaching pronto.
@1 except the NDP hasn't argued for the collectization of private companies as the only solution to a labour dispute.
You guys are doing an awful lot of defending for a candidate that hasn't even taken office yet...

@9, you are quite right of course, but the downfall of ideologues like Sawant is that they don't take coaching from anyone. They already have all the answers, conveniently provided by their ideology.

Sawant doesn't have to worry about being marginalized by her colleagues. She will accomplish that all by herself.
"the room to pull the conversation a little further to the left without being ridiculed as a crazy lefty themselves"

Keep on telling yourself that, Goldy.

So, how many other whacky ideas did Sawant share with you in interviews that you chose not to publish in the months leading up to the election? I'd love to see those interview transcripts.

See Sawant's "New Column" somewhere on SLOG. Someone is coaching her, she is listening and it is a smart move.
@trstr: What about the modern economy is worth defending?

The fact that it doesn't suck as bad as the alternatives.

No one here has any idea what it's like to live under one of the many brutal governments in history that have come to power with promises of utopia.
Yet another concern-troll on Slate? Fuck that guy.

@15 I agree that there a lot of good things that come from our modern economy. But don't conflate economic systems with political systems. There's no comparing, say, rent control with a brutal totalitarian police state.

@17: No one is making that comparison.

What you fail to understand is that the ideology that informs Sawant--Marxism Leninism, has been a failure, a disaster, and the death sentence of millions of people in the last century. That is really the bottom line here.

I bet you would not feel the same way if a "National Socialist" appeared on the scene, able to shake up a council election, and touted the very successful economic plan that got Germany out of the Depression. Oh yeah, all those people were killed, but, that's okay--"mistakes were made" and is not inherent in the ideology, so we should be more than willing to take that risk--because, oh, wait, right. Hitler. Why the free pass for Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, etc?

Fucking study some history Goldy, and stop enabling apologists (S.A.) for the murders at Trotsky's hand because they were able to beat Conlin by 2,000 votes.
Yglesias is a progressive, just like Conlin was a progressive.

Here's his article yesterday: We Need More $88 Million Apartments (Advocating for luxury apartments for billionaires)…

Or like he said after 377 factory workers died in a building collapse:

"Bangladesh may or may not need tougher workplace safety rules, but it’s entirely appropriate for Bangladesh to have different—and, indeed, lower—workplace safety standards than the United States."…

Only in America would someone like him be called a "serious voice of the "left."
It's never too early to frame the narrative, preparing for future spin.
I've never understood why people read Matt Yglesias--he's a dickwad and a half. He's like Richard Cohen: The Next (de)Generation.
Sawant scares the livin' piss outta straight, white, male internet commenters, that's for sure.

There are good things about modern capitalism, and many, many, bad things. The important point is there is very little a lone Seattle City Council person can do to change the face of the world economy.

But there is shit load of things she could do locally as a council person can do to make life better for people in Seattle.

Things that I don't hear you guys talking much about. You keep repeating all this nonsense about collectivizing Boeing and Amazon. And it is exactly that - distracting nonsense. I know it. Yglesias knows it. Brendan Kiley knows it. You know it.

And I hope to Christ Sawant knows it. If she doesn't she is going to flop hard and be a totally marginalized joke.

You should be promoting an actual doable agenda and holding her to that, rather than taking up crucial bandwidth defending her idiotic fantasies about implementing world socialism from a Seattle council seat.
"You should be promoting an actual doable agenda and holding her to that, rather than taking up crucial bandwidth defending her idiotic fantasies about implementing world socialism from a Seattle council seat."

Yup. Well said.

So what is a "doable agenda"?

I'd like to hear about what -- if anything -- the City can do in the area of health care for ALL citizens of Seattle.


One thing I'm curious about is whether the City of Seattle, through its buying power, can help lower the cost of group health insurance. It already has 10,000 or so employees covered by health insurance and so it has staff who know the health care delivery systems and how to purchase it etc etc

What could the City do in using its expertise and buying power in the area of health care?

I will be the first to say that I know nothing about health insurance except that I have it and I like it. So someone could (and no doubt will) tell me that it's not possible and maybe they are right.

But there has to be some way that the City of Seattle, as a robust institution, can do something. No? If it could be it would be a useful element in -- if you want to call it that -- a "socialist agenda."
Sawant doesn't move the argument to the left, she moves it to the right, by discrediting the left. She's a tea party wet dream.
The people wishing for Sawant to only address pothole scale issues are clearly not going to get what they want so they should quit repeating themselves unnecessarily. The minimum wage isn't a small scale local issue, so addressing Boeing and good jobs in Seattle is not going to be poorly received by the people who elected her.
@Goldy: You sold your readers "nationalizing the nation's top 500 companies" by telling them it was merely rent control.

And if you think you're helping the liberal cause, you're as deluded as Sawant.


In other words, what (if anything) can the City of Seattle do about spreading health insurance to all Seattle residents?
Seemed like Yglesias gave a perfectly serviceable mansplanation.
@15 - "The fact that it doesn't suck as bad as the alternatives."

I beg to differ. Accounting for resource limits, population growth, and unsustainable inequality is bound to provide a better alternative than the current race to the bottom.
@18 I think you might actually be dumber than Bailo. Impressive.
@anon1256: I beg to differ.

We're not really differing. I agree the modern economy would benefit from things like a increased minimum wage, salary caps for corporate execs, universal health care, ending racist policing, etc.

Those are things worth fighting for. Marxism is not.
@31: You can't refute it, can you?

What #32 said.

If her campaign had any sense, they would tell her to STFU until they had someone competent enough to handle media. But the M.O. for people like S.A. is to use very opportunity to "raise consciousness", i.e. preach the Trotskyist gospel and say stupid shit that sounds like the text of one of their paper tabloids. She will make McGinn look like a refined statesman before she gets three months into her term. Enjoy the egg on your face, as I certainly will.
The minimum wage isn't a small scale local issue, so addressing Boeing and good jobs in Seattle is not going to be poorly received by the people who elected her

What are you talking about? This comment makes no sense.

I voted for her (Or. Against Conlin). But there are things a city council person has power to do and things they don't have power to do. There is reality.

She CAN stump for minimum wage locally. And exactly why people here voted for her.

She COULD try to rally local support for the union, create incentives to encourage local businesses unionize and other efforts help create a better job climate in Seattle.

She MIGHT be able help find a way for the Boeing union to secure enough capital investments to buy out the local assembly plants IF Boeing leaves. They could then become out-source/contract labor for other airlines like Airbus of to build transportation infrastructure. But that's a tough proposition right there. But at least it's with in the bounds of reality. However she has stated she is not interested in utilizing the conventional methods of the evil capitalist system.

She CANNOT completely reengineer the entire economic framework of the entire world enough to make it possible for Boeing workers to just "take over" Boeing locally and collectivize it. Not into some regionally "nationalized" non-profit. That's what she said. Do you understand the level of complexity that would entail or what it means?

Securing the patents and intellectual property rights from Boeing Corporate would be the least of the problems and even that would cost billions and take years in court. Unless of course the Socialist revolution seizes hold of the minds of every court in the country.
@32 - We are way beyond merely having to improve the system as we are running into environmental and social limits. It's not about Marxism or capitalism, neither of which provide models to achieve sustainable steady-state. In the context of the race to the bottom, what is the solution for keeping middle class Boeing jobs in Seattle? I certainly haven't heard anything credible from anyone.
@34 - Campaigning to save middle class jobs in Seattle is no more irrelevant than campaigning for the minimum wage locally. If your intent is really to save these middle class jobs and you have a solution, I am all ears.
@18, you achieved the trifecta: you Godwin-ed the comments on a story that had absolutely nothing to do with the Nazis; you minimized the number of votes by which Sawant won (actually more than 3,000); and you insinuated that somehow Sawant is defending Trotsky's murder record. I guess you could be more illogical if you tried, but please don't.
@37, Under 3100 votes and less than 1.7% of a lead, at latest count.

I will be amused by the letter Sawant sends to Renton's government and the Chicago headquarters of Boeing about her intent to have Seattle seize the factory and all its trappings.

It's not like Boeing makes rockets, bombs, and has a lot of chits in with the military folks at the federal government in their back pocket or anything.
It's not like Boeing makes rockets, bombers, and has a lot of chits in with the military folks at the federal government in their back pocket or anything.
@37: I think it was you who said she wasn't a Leninist, even though she drinks at the fountain of Trotsky. You never bothered to explain that positioning, as illogical as that is. But please do tell, what is it about people who have selective learning about those two leaders when it comes to the mass murders they themselves perpetrated, and by those who have done so in the name of said ideology?
@36 Man. You're not making sense.

You said people who voted for her weren't interested in these big issues. Of course they are. Minimum wage and local middle class jobs ARE local issues. And there are ways to effect those issues without going after this all-or-nothing big S socialist bullshit.

It's like saying: "We need aluminum to build trains. Hey. There is a lot of aluminum in asteroids! We should mine asteroids."

IOW. There are a lot of ways shy of going to the astroid belt to get aluminum. And there are a lot of ways shy of collectivizing boeing to create high paying jobs.

Being on the vanguard of collectivizing a massive defense contractor like Boeing (or any other private corporation) is not something a city council person can do. Fuck. A PRESIDENT can't even do that. It would take changing an entire system to accomplish.

It's not in Sawants prevue, charter, or power to change the world economy. It's her prevue to help Seattle.

She isn't campaigning to save jobs in Seattle with any sort of workable plan. It's all grand scale platitudes gussied up Socialist rhetoric.

It's not me you should be asking about a plan to save local jobs. It's Sawant. And collectivizing a corporation is a fucking fantasy for which she has no plan to accomplish.

The perfect is the enemy of the good with extremists.
@38 I'm pretty sure Boeing DOESN'T make bombs or missiles in Washington. The defense division is based in Berkeley, Missouri.
@anon1256: what is the solution for keeping middle class Boeing jobs in Seattle?

I don't know. I can imagine legislation that would disincentive these kinds of moves, but realistically, if Boeing wants to leave (and I don't think it does), it will take it's middle class jobs somewhere else.

However, I'll take that problem over an all-powerful single Party that enforces economic "equity" by restricting speech, controlling the media, and punishing dissenting citizens with imprisonment, torture, and death. This is the direction Sawant is pointing. She's a leftist, not a liberal.

As for environmental sustainability, I think we're probably fucked.
You elected a socialist and now want her to be like ever business ass kisser. It's funny how corporate america has screwed the working class over and all of the sudden, the biggest defenders of corporations are liberals. Yeah condemn the radicals, just remember all the gains like the 8 hour day, sick leave and collective bargaining came from radical anarchists who were hung. Boeing is going to leave, regardless of Inslee's gift and everybody's brown nosing, because South Carolina will have a bigger nose and pay less. Who knows what kind of city administrator she will be, but I'll wait til she's sworn in. And not throw a hissy fit because of some statements. Funny how Yglesias is not outraged about Inslee's gift.
@41 "You said people who voted for her weren't interested in these big issues"

Nope, I didn't. You are making stuff up now.

I cannot be any clearer: campaigning to save middle class jobs in Seattle is no more out of Sawant's domain than her campaigning for a living wage. Both issues are local and have global dimensions. You appear to be very confused if you indeed voted for her.
It's her point of view, as far as I know, she hasn't said as soon as I take over I will draft an ordinance to demand IAM take over Boeing. Boeing is not interested in saving middle class jobs either.

As far as I can see she will work for 15 bucks an hour, possibly rent control ( I know there is A State exemption) Any outrage towards our previous Dem majority who didn't do shit about it? Let's see what she does in office. I'm guessing she helps pass a couple of things and fails at others. What she does and say outside the council is her right. Settle down y'all.
Ugh. Sawant's comments are as far left as the tea party is right. They are extreme. I think it's fine to support those policies if you like them, but recognize they are the crazytown antipode to Wasilla's ex-mayor. And, believing in something like rent control (as a fix) is as ridiculous as being a climate change denialist, since in both cases the long arc of accepted research is being ignored. I'd take a little more Swedish style socialism almost any day, but that isn't (at least so far) what Sawant is preaching.
@47 - Nationalizing Boeing is pretty radical these days but let's not be confused about who are the extremists. The extremists are Boeing management and Inslee for wanting to screw 10,000s of Puget Sound families while Boeing is making record profits.
Slate: Salon for bros.
I love how coming up with a more feasible solution than "Take over the factories!!!!" is being spun as kissing up to big business...UGH, Slogs going to be really ugly like it was during Occupy, where anyone who dares to make any point against Sawant, not matter how intelligent it is will be seen as stumping for the man. That's ok though, we all saw how quick slog, the stranger, and goldy turned on Occupy. If Sawant turns out to be a good productive council member, many of us "naysayers" will actually be happy, and if she doesn't, well the stranger will turn on her in time then.

Also Goldy, can we make a truce? All of us naysayers will hold off on bashing silly things that Sawant says and will give her a chance to show how she is as a council member, BUT you have to call her on the silly things she says. That truce shouldn't be that hard to do, you yourself said "it's not like "seizing control of the means of production" makes Sawant's list of legislative priorities" when you made the case from her, so when she states that the ONLY solution to a labour dispute is to seize control of the means of production, it would be nice for you to call her on it rather then trying to spin it. If she is as rational as you framed her in all your post election articles, she should be able to come up with more feasible solution to the real problems that affect workers, or she'll enforce the negative stereotype of socialism. This will only give the right more to use against the left (Look at Canada who as @1 points out has had more socialist parties form the gov't at the provincial level. In Ontario the NDP gov't of Bob Rae was followed by the more right gov't of Mike Harri's NDP [who many key members are now in power in the Federal level under Harper]). It's your job to hold Sawant responsible for her statements, if any Seattle times reporter justified a silly thing that a right wing politician wrote you'd write a huge blog post.
Very reasonable.
@50 - "so when she states that the ONLY solution to a labour dispute is to seize control of the means of production"

Not true! She said it should be the answer "if" Boeing took the jobs away, by which time we aren't talking labor dispute, but full blown crisis for the region. If you expect to have your arguments to be treated with respect, don't distort what people said because it fits your spin better as if you were some right wing hack.

@52 Sawant didn't offer any other comments on the Boeing dispute other then saying if they wanted to move jobs then the workers should take the plant. She had no other advice on solving the current labour dispute. The only advice she offered is that capitalism is a failure and that the workers should take over the factory, read her whole comments for yourself.…
@52, @1, want to see how socialists who get enough support to form gov't act with a labour dispute? Their talking points are that tax cuts should be tied to job creating with strong guarantees. This is a point of view that is getting a lot of support in Ontario. When a company leaves an area, they don't threaten to overthrow it.

"“This decision is about corporate greed” said Teresa Armstrong, MPP (London-Fanshawe). “You cannot expect a family to take a 50% hit on the family income. To make such demands on workers while corporate profits are at record levels, and then to shut down the plant, is an insult to hard working Ontarians. This confirms all of our fears about McGuinty’s soft stance on job creation and corporate taxes. When deep tax cuts and rebates aren’t tied to job guarantees, our workers lose, our economy loses, and all of Ontario loses.”…
Also if anyone is interested in what reasonable socialism looks like, take a look at the NDP policy book...This is why other countries don't fear/hate/mock socialist parties.…
I just hope Alaska Airlines comes up with a special "War Machine" paint job for one of their 737s in honor of Sawant.
@53 - Actually she did briefly mention how the tax break package was horrible and what it meant for Democrats, but I also don't think you should base your opinion of her policies on sound bytes in the media. I don't have the interest to research her entire position on the issue but it seems you should at least do so considering your criticism.

I also don't have a major issue with politicians replying in kind to Boeing's blackmail and threats. I personally don't understand the criticism of Sawant, while Inslee and others who are directly involved are somehow conveniently flying under the radar.
@57 - wow now who's spinning. That wasn't a "sound byte in the media", it was an 11 paragraph thought out statement on the issue. And the "meida" was real news, not main stream media by any means. And you're right, she mentioned how shitty the package was and how democrats and capitalism is a failure. So she bashed capitalism and pointed to taking over boeing as the solution. You're proving my example of any reasonable thought out point criticizing Sawant will be meant with "Shut up, stop supporting the man". Oh and when grown ups want to make a point, usually they do their own research to back it up, not throw the onus on the person they're arguing against. I've linked to my point, fully backing it up. If Sawant has a reasonable well thought solution to the boeing issue, please point me towards it, I'd be happy to read it.

And don't mistake criticism of Sawants silly reasoning with support of Inslee. I bet most of the people here criticizing the solution Sawant came up with is pissed at how Inslee handled the situation, but that's not the topic of Goldy's post.
@57 - shakes head, did you even click on the link of the Real News article/interview? There's no way a reasonable person can claim that is a "sound byte". It's a 6 minute interview on 1 question where Sawant gives a fully thought out idea, and no context is lost and in no way is her position is misrepresent. Before you tell people to do their research at least watch interviews of the candidate you're supporting...
" I don't have the interest to research her entire position on the issue" - Seems to sum up die hard Sawant supportors on slog these days.
@58-60 - I only pointed out your blatant bullshit about Sawant's position as discussed @52, it doesn't make me a die hard supporter. I also didn't tell you to shut up, only to stop lying.
@61, hahahahahahahaha....oh man. So let me sum up your statements:
1) I agree with the thing Sawant said in the interview about taking over the factories
2) I don't have interest in fully looking into Sawant's positions
3) You should learn more about Sawant's positions and not base them on the interview, even though I didn't do so and I'm basing my positions on said interview.
4) Even though Sawant only bashed capitialism and the democrats and only proposed taking over the factories when asked about the boeing issue, and did not offer any realistic/thoughtful feasible solutions even though she was positioned pre-election as a thoughtful reasonable person who's answer to every issue wouldn't be take over the factories, I'm still going to call anyone a lair who points this out.

Here's an idea, if you think my point was "blatant bullshit", then PROVE it, show 1 example of Sawant giving a feasible solution to the boeing issue. Until then all she's done is made comments bashing capitialism/democrats and suggesting the workers take over the factory, that's all she's contributed to the boeing discussion. This isn't a lie, even if you keep calling it that.

Heh - can't help but point it out, @52 is yourself, I assume you mean @60.
@61 you said:

"The people wishing for Sawant to only address pothole scale issues are clearly not going to get what they want so they should quit repeating themselves unnecessarily."

Which I take to mean that you think the people who voted for her only want her to take on only small issues - not big issues- and should just shut up. If that's not how you meant it then you should be more clear.

The issue you keep deflecting is how the fuck a totally non- starter like "collectivizing Boeing" is saving ANY high paying jobs. Something a city council person cannot do anyway.
Particularly when there are in infinitely less extreme and more workable issues she could focus on to help keep some of those jobs.

These are empty platitudes she's regurgitating and they are meaningless.

BTW Im wondering if you read what people write. Becuase you don't address a single point anybody makes to you.
62 is right. This anon guy doesn't make any sense.
@63, I'm starting to think anon1256 is a lost cause who just parrots the same point over and over again, without taking the time to read other peoples points. He/She lost me when he/she told me to get more informed, yet stated he/she did not have the interest to be more informed. The "I can say what I want without backing it up, but you better have a ton of links to back up your point" is a couple steps down from "Yeah, well Hitler..." when it comes to internet discussions.
@62 - Either you are repeatedly failing at understanding what you read or you are deliberately twisting what people say to fit your narrative. Either way, I don't have the time or the desire to answer your needlessly long winded drivels point by point but since you are showing so much interest in bashing Sawant, it behooves you to actually know where she stands on issues beyond what you gleaned in a short media interview. Personally, I didn't have to research anything about her to know that your statement concerning Boeing was false. She never claimed that nationalization was the first resort in labor disputes. You are full of shit. Is that clear enough?
@66, so we don't know what we're talking about, but you're not interested in actually using any facts to prove your statement, instead you'd rather name call...Yep that's clear enough. So the extreme left is just as good at making arguments based on Truthiness as the right wing...

(PS no one is claiming that Sawant said nationalization is the first resort in a labour dispute, we're claiming that it's the only solution she offered to the boeing labour dispute...anyways I'm giving up addressing any of your points that are based on Truthiness from now on. If you want to have a discussion, use facts or else you look like a Tea Party/LaRouche asshole).
@67 - "we're claiming that it's the only solution she offered to the boeing labour dispute"

Liar. You didn't that it was the only solution she offered, you said she claimed that was the only solution: "so when she states that the ONLY solution to a labour dispute is to seize control of the means of production".
Also how is anyone twisting anything to fit a narrative, all me and tkc are saying is Sawant had an opportunity to address the boeing labour crisis and the only thing she did was 1) Bash Democrates, 2) Bash capitalism and 3) suggest the workers take over the factor. What part of this is a lie? Seriously, I have no clue what part of this suggestion you find untruthful or being twisted to fit a narrative.

In fact I don't know what your point is other than calling me and tkc and others who are trying to have a reasonable discussion based on facts liars.
@68 - look at her statement, she says if Boeing leaves then the workers should take over the factory. Not "lets work for a solution that helps the worker to stay in this state with good jobs". How does Boeing discuss other solutions with someone who's threating to take away their factories and hasn't purposed any other solutions. She states pretty clearly that a) capitalism has failed, b) giving Boeing any tax breaks/support is wrong and c) if Boeing doesn't like it then they can leave but the workers will take over their factories. Sorry if you think I'm drawing conclusions but this doesn't seem like twisting her words. But even more so, the thing you're missing is she didn't give any reasonable input, her only input was "Take over the factories, capitialism has failed" and I believe I've stated this in multiple ways in multiple posts.

Look you're missing my main point. My main point is if Goldy wants to position Sawant pre-election as someone not running on taking over the means of production, then when the only solution she offers is taking over the means of production, he should call her on it and not make excuses.
What I see is that northern Europeans have had socialist and communist parties with representatives in government since World War 2 and they all, England perhaps excepting, have universal healthcare, better education, better vacations and better family support than we do. You all have been drinking the Kool-Aid so long you think its sangria. The NSA is effectively Leninist, in the way that Chiang Kaichek was explicitly Leninist in his execution of state security and control. Sawant is just a legislator, with zero totalitarian powers, who will engage with other legislators to try to get her values advanced to the benefit of the citizenry as she sees it.

I imagine if it was more regulated, we might not be in this position, but as far as I can tell the triumph of capitalism's ultimate result will be civilization destroyed by climate change - perhaps in your kids' lifetimes. [ I figure Soviet Style communism would have likely had similar result given its own brand of science denial.] Yet, here we have people I thought would know better foaming at the mouth over Sawant. Talk about a bottleneck of political ossification!
A "doable agenda" for a socialist, -- hey maybe Kshama Sawant! -- as someone else noted, would be to see if the City of Seattle can do something -- maybe using City buying power to help all Seattleites get some sort of health insurance?
What SLOG and its commenters should focus on is "What is a "doable agenda" at the City Council level of government?"
Of course I meant SOCIALIST agenda.

"What is a "doable SOCIALIST agenda" at the City Council level of government?"
at some point plane travel and plane manufacture will have to be socialized, right? planes are made of metals and plastics and run on gas, right? so by rationing and regulation at some point their environmental impacts will have to be gentled, right?

everyone knows this is not possible within the current legislative context. Sawant is not popular enough, probably, to contribute much to extralegal actions. it seems obvious that some extralegal actions will be necessary. we didn't get the political democracy we have by voting for it and we won't extend it sufficiently by voting, either.

I sometimes call myself a Stalinist as a shorthand for "I don't think the state should pay so much more for each labor hour than the private sector pays. I think the state should employ a much larger portion of the workforce than it does. I think socioeconomically regressive taxes on bad consumption are socially useful. I think firm ownership should be time sensitive - like patents - with renewal contingent on demonstration of continuous innovation. The environmental crises are bad enough thing to justify some bad, clumsy remedies of incumbent misbehavior." That doesn't mean I endorse much of anything Stalin did, besides crushing fascism in Europe and NE Asia and developing nukes in time to pacify Europe.

Capitalism somehow escapes blame for atrocities committed in and after European colonization of Africa/ S. Asia/ Americas, Western (especially US) sponsorship and perpetration of protracted atrocities like those committed in the Congo and Indonesia, or even WW2, which began with an oversupply problem resolved by armory demand

I can't really hate on Matt's sweatshop analysis. He's stating the logic of capitalist thrift. Third world states have to facilitate labor arbitrage to get firms' attention. You could hardly make a more radical critique, in that kind of venue.

Matt also seems correct in thinking that density is a tremendously important public good, to the production of which capital is eager to dedicate itself, which is rare nowadays. Don't remove all NIMBY laws but instead trade exemptions for low-income unit stipulations and high builder wages. We can effectively spend rich people's money - lots from outside Seattle - to hire lots of people to build a public good.