While I like the novelty of the Green Shadow Government idea (for American politics), after listening to the video on wendy davis’ blog, Earth Day Announcement of the New Green Shadow Government I’m both somewhat puzzled about how it will lead to real political power, and also what specific activities the Green Shadow Government will actually do.

I have little knowledge about how more progressive and/or populist movements have achieved power, overseas. IMO, this points to a massive failure within the progressive blogosphere, which also raises big questions in my mind about both progressive leadership, as well as the progressive base. It’s not like I haven’t spent a lot of time reading lefty blogs.

One would have thought that progressives leaders – at least those with IQ’s over 90 – would have been thrilled with the successes of their ideological brethren in South America, and have been eager to educate the public about not just what is possible, theoretically, but what has been achieved in the real world, actually, and against more repressive governments than the US’s. One would have thought that they would have been eager to analyze what the South American leftists did right, and what they did wrong. One would have thought that American leftist would have humbly ASKED foreigners to teach them.

In Oliver Stone’s documentary, South of the Border (which shows leftists leaders in South America who got elected to the highest offices in their respective countries), the President of Paraguay says that “There is a new actor, here, and that is the social movements”. Oliver Stone, being a typical American leftist, doesn’t pursue that line of thought, to see how it could be imported in America. I like Oliver Stone, admire his work , but this is just dumb. Quite typical for an American leftist, but still dumb.

Something similar appears to have happened in the Middle East, where Hamas began life as mostly an Islamist social organization, and acquired political power. So much so, that it has dominated in the Gaza Strip since 2007.

Did Hamas begin life by creating a shadow government? They have a political wing, but AFAIK, they didn’t bother with a “shadow governmet”. From wikipedia:

Hamas is particularly popular among Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, though it also has a following in the West Bank, and to a lesser extent in other Middle Eastern countries. Its popularity stems in part from its welfare wing providing social services to Palestinians in the occupied territories. Such services are not generally provided by the Palestinian Authority. Israeli scholar Reuven Paz estimates that 90% of Hamas activities revolve around “social, welfare, cultural, and educational activities.” Social services include running relief programs and funding schools, orphanages, mosques, healthcare clinics, soup kitchens, and sports leagues.[47]

What would constitute a good reason for the Green Party and other American leftists/progressives to ignore the stunning successes of South American leftists? To ignore the strategy of Hamas to win hearts and minds? Well, one thing springs to mind – they could have asked the public what it would take for voters to warm up to them, so much so that they could begin winning seats in Congress.

I’m not seeing or hearing anything that leads me to believe that the Green Party did anything this systematic.

It’s a pleasant thought to think that if I sent an email to Stein or Honkala asking them what their reasoning is for their approach, that I’d get a satisfactory answer (even if I didn’t agree with their reasoning.) Or any half-serious answer, at all. However, my experience with progressive leaders, while hardly extensive, suggests to me that I’d be wasting my time. The few times I’ve tried to get answers about why what I consider obvious ideas are not being pursued, I was ignored.

Does anybody know about any serious study, by the Green Party, of South American leftist political success? Of importing the peaceful, social welfare aspects of Hamas?

Since they’re exposing themselves to potential ridicule for creating a make-believe “government”, I’m sure {cough} {cough} they carefully examined their alternatives before going down this path.

Right?