Swans Commentary » swans.com May 21, 2007  



The Fragmentation Of The Left
Part II


by Gerard Donnelly Smith





Read Part I


(Swans - May 21, 2007)  

Beneath palm trees, beneath olive groves gone to fruit,
Resting on native soil, above where the bodies were buried,
The survivors will lean against the monuments
For their tortured, for their missing, and for their dead,
And on the stones there will be no names
For there are too many dead and missing to name.

While we squabble about a word's meaning,
About how much revolution is too much, how much too little,
They with the market economy will plunder the commons;
While we call each other petty bourgeoisie, academic whore,
Pseudo-socialist, emotional tourists, collaborator,
They with robber-baron ease will consolidate their power.

Certainly capitalism can't be overthrown; certainly we can't
Redistribute wealth through taxations; we can't
Stop the drug traffickers, the slave traders, the arms dealers.
Provide food, shelter, and health for everyone, we can't.
Stop the excess consumption? We can't limit demand.
Where is the profit in that?

There's the paradox, the economic Gordian knot:
Tied to this monetary chain, we are like Ahabs strapped
By our own deficits to the Beast of Babylon; we who fail
To acknowledge that we have chosen these ends:
Economic success dependent upon the backs of others.
Really we're all either pimps or whores anyway, aren't we?

Or are we not all workers?
Or are we not all union laborers?
Or are we not all farmers, craftsmen, and artists,
Are we not all teachers, parents, and students?
Do we not share the same social responsibilities,
To shape the system so all may benefit equally?
Should we not sharpen the blade to cut these knot?


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Internal Resources



About the Author

Gerard Donnelly Smith on Swans (with bio).



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This Edition's Internal Links

In Praise Of Anger - Charles Marowitz

International Ignominy Hans von Sponeck's A Different Kind of War - Gilles d'Aymery

Contrasts - Carol Warner Christen

On Choosing A Way Of Life - Michael DeLang

Hedge Funds - Milo Clark

War Against Wolves - Martin Murie

Locate A Lecture: Look, Listen, Learn - Philip Greenspan

Music Sheet Of Le Déserteur - Boris Vian and Harold B. Berg

Open Letter To Mr. Paul Faber, City Councilman - Boris Vian

I'll Die from a Cancer of the Spine - Boris Vian

We Were Girls - Poem by Marie Rennard

Pont Suspendu (Suspension Bridge) - Poem by Guido Monte & Francesca Saieva

A Long Look Behind The Mirror - Film Review by Peter Byrne

Letters to the Editor

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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art13/gsmith87.html
Published May 21, 2007