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The So-Called Progressive Movement is a Fraud

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New Left Now: It's great to talk with you today, John. I came across your Counterpunch article, The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats recently, and New Left Now is keen to talk to you about it and related fronts. So, if I understand your take on this, the progressive movement is largely ineffectual, and for some fairly obvious reasons. What role does the Congressional Progressive Caucus have to play in the mix here? Why have we not seen more efficacy in what they purport to do or represent?

John Stauber: I'm not sure the reasons for the ineffectiveness of the progressive movement are so obvious to people immersed in the Progressive echo-chamber. Individuals who are actively working for economic justice, peace and environmental change as volunteers, who are engaged on these issues in our communities and who see the dire need for real democracy and fundamental political, social and economic change, are often befuddled about our lack of power.

Most grassroots progressives haven't realized that the professional paid staff and paid pundits of the Progressive media, think tanks and the non-profit movement organizations work for corporations.  These corporations are completely responsible to their major funders, foundations and any business corporations that fund them.  Some like CREDO actually are for-profit business corporations.

The Progressive Movement we see, and in whose media and messaging we are immersed,  doesn't exist as an infrastructure to bring about change, it exists as parasitic marketing campaign, directed at those who want real change.  It looks like it is a Movement, but it doesn't function like one.  It functions like any corporation. It exists primarily via marketing, PR and fundraising all in the name of public education and mobilization, but funneling all that energy and noise every two years into helping elect Democrats by bashing Republicans and promoting, if with pious and righteous reservations, Democratic candidates.

This was the crux of my piece in CounterPunch.  Wake up people!  If you want change, then organize, create movements and strategies and tactics that serve your interests and goals.  These big players - the paid activists at CREDO, Greenpeace, 350.org, MoveOn, the paid pundits at Nation and Mother Jones - they work for corporations who have their own agenda, a business agenda, and are primarily funded by wealthy Democrats and their foundations, or by "socially responsible companies" that these wealthy individuals and foundations invest in.

The real agenda of the Big Green groups, the Progressive Media and Progressive Think Tanks,  is raising money for themselves.  What they do is decided and directed by their small group of decision-makers who are funders or who play to the funders. The professional  Progressive Movement I criticize and critique does not ultimately represent or serve any real progressive movement at the grassroots.  It markets to them for followers and funding, and every two years votes for Democrats as the lesser of the evils.  


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