Publishing Liberal Books

(Cross-posted on my blog, Planting Liberally)

Liberals should spend more time defending their ideology and attacking the conservative ideology; the initial avenue for such a discussion should be in popular books.  We can follow the model used by Don't Think of an Elephant! to hit the top of the bestseller list.  We can expand on it, and bolster the liberal blogosphere, by using the massive intellectual resources of the liberal blogosphere.

Follow me over the flip for a game plan for creating a liberal book publishing bonanza.

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Online Boycott Petitions and the case of Verizon and Cingular

(Cross posted at my blog,

What would happen if 1 million Verizon Wireless customers pledged to switch to Cingular Wireless, unless Verizon agreed to allow its workers to organize a union?

More on the flip as I consider the possibilities of a new model of union-building.

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"Leave My Child Alone" is an ideological conversion machine

I believe that the Leave My Child Alone campaign has great potential to be an ideological conversion machine for liberals.

If you've been a member of DFA for the past month or so, you've probably heard about Leave My Child Alone (LMCA).  LMCA is an effort to encourage parents to ask school boards not to give their high schooler's contact information to military recruiters.

If you've been reading MyDD for the past year or so, you've probably read a few front-page posts about ideological conversion machines, or social institutions which tend to alter a person's ideology.

I believe that LMCA can do for liberals what the anti-evolution movement did for Christian conservatives: sway people who are otherwise not concerned with politics to become passionate ideologues for our side.

More on the flip.

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Our Powell Memo: A Program to defend science

A few days ago i finally read the powell memo in full.  This memo has been largely credited with providing the blue print for the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, including the network of think tanks, media figures, and other institutions.

It's true that when you read this memo, there are echoes of the organs of the VRWC that we recognize today - the memo does indeed describe a program of funding professorships, speaker's bureaus, and so on.  But the memo was not really meant as the blueprint for a conservative movement, and I don't think it was really nearly as formative as many people think.

In point of fact the memo described a long-term program to be undertaken by the Chamber of Commerice in defending, philosophically, the free enterprise system.  And indeed, the free enterprise system was under a steady state of philosophical attack at the time.  A program dedicated to publicly defending it was probably a novel idea that appealed to the business world.

The memo not only described an intellectual system under attack, it identified an area of public life which was a major component of the attack: university life.  The memo analyzed the various ways in which university life was amenable to attacking the free enterprise system and laid out a systematic program for balancing socialist views on college campuses with capitalist views.

If the Powell memo were written today, I believe it would lay out a systematic method for balancing anti-scientific and anti-rational views in churches with an pro-scientific, rational worldview consistent with major religious teachings.  More on the flip.

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Democrats are the Party of Carpoolers

Here's a thought that occurred to me yesterday.  I was a pollwatcher for Pat Jehlen in the MA 2nd Middlesex state senate race (we won, by the way), and as I waited for voters to come in, I couldn't help but notice that almost the entire conversation among the poll watchers was about the gas prices.

I think that this gas price crisis can be a major opportunity for the Democrats - both from a political and a policy point of view.  We can become the party of carpoolers.  More on the flip.

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Freep this Poll! CNN Poll on Dean

"Do you think Howard Dean is the right person to lead the Democratic Party?"

Freep this poll!  53% yes, 47% no right now.

Don't forget other Dean is Chair Day activities like supporting the DNC, supporting DFA, and writing letters to your local papers.  Welcome Dean to the DNC and fight the Republican Noise Machine's hit job on the new Chairman!

the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, College Edition


i posted a similar diary at dailykos yesterday, and got some great ideas.  i'd like to throw it out here and see what other ideas folks have.

i'd like to know: what are the top challenges facing progressives in attempting to organize college students?  here are a few i've brainstormed:

  • college progressive groups do not have enough funding

  • the machinery for helping progressive college activists transition into members of the progressive professional class (as progressive journalists, think tahnkers, campaign staff, etc.) is not very well-oiled

  • progressive internships and entry-level jobs pay poorly if at all

  • progressive college groups are frequently disorganized, within and across campuses

  • progressive college groups frequently don't have their technology act together (ie, don't have a website/discussion group/mailing list)

  • progressive college groups frequently have little if any institutional memory

any others?  if possible, i'd really appreciate a few links to articles on this topic.



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