Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Progressive v. Loopy

As a radical decentralist and non-universalist, I don’t have any theoretical objection to Seattle becoming a communist-led city-state that legalizes petty crime. If people in Seattle want to do things that way, fine with me. Or, if not, that’s okay, too. Seattle has a statue of Lenin which is ironically located on private property.

By William P.  Meyers, iiiPublishing

One human truism, often demonstrated: when there are lessons to be learned, some humans will not learn them. Progressive Democrats, and other progressives not particularly affiliated with the Democratic Party, recently had their favored candidates beat in three important races in Seattle. As usual, there were multiple issues involved, including the fact that the winners were in fact very progressive themselves. These progressives managed to win their races even though the loopy progressives tried to label them as being pro-business, conservative, or even Republican candidates.

Loopiness, of course, is not confined to progressives or leftists (I’ll use the term leftist here for those to the left of the Democratic Party). There is clearly a loopy Republican right at present, as defined by QAnon and the general belief that President Trump won the 2020 election. And the loopy right and loopy left sometimes circle into each other, as in the anti-vaccination and anti-fluorinated water movements. Here I will focus on a specific example, how the Berniecrats socialist or wing of the local Democratic Party, by adopting a loopy stance on one issue, and endorsing a loopy candidate, managed to lose these local elections and damage their reputations.

Seattle tends to vote 80% to 85% Democrat. Of the remaining 20% or so of the electorate, I believe there are more people who are left of Democrat than Republican. There are three major socialist parties in Seattle: Kshama Sawant’s Trotskyist (communist) Socialist Alternative Party; Nikkita Oliver’s Seattle Peoples Party; and the Democratic Socialists of America. Of course there are many people and groups on the left who are not affiliated with any party, including Seattle’s anarchists.

The particular form of loopiness that made the difference in the 2021 Seattle local elections has a name: Abolitionism. That term is borrowed from the 19th century anti-slavery movement, but it means something entirely new. At least as espoused by Nicole Thomas Kennedy in her race for City Attorney, it means no longer prosecuting misdemeanors. The theory is that misdemeanors are only nuisance crimes (actually, they can be pretty severe) and that prosecuting those who commit them (don’t call them criminals!) causes society more harm than good. No jail for punching someone in the street (as long as the injury is not severe), grabbing someone’s purse, shitting on a sidewalk, shooting up drugs in public, breaking a window, etc. Mrs. Kennedy claims the trauma to the person who committed the formerly illegal action, from being arrested and put in jail if found guilty, needs to be avoided. People only commit misdemeanors out of poverty or mental illness, so what they need is to be given more money or counseling. Kennedy used the term diversion, indicating that misdemeanors could lead to diversion programs, which require you to check in with a social worker from time to time. If you feel like it.


1 reply »

  1. I don’t support the police doing anything. I don’t want them protecting property, finding murderers, anything. Once they stop doing anything and enforcing laws, then efficient community and for profit firms can replace them. As long as cops are still enforcing laws, justice is being destroyed.

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