rn- re: web weaving


Richard Moore

Dear rn,

Several people sent in comments on this topic.  Many of them went on to
debate interesting issues, such as "Is it the executive or the legislature
that should be blamed for the erosion of democracy?", or "How can we reform
the educational system?".   For this posting, I'm brutally snipping
responses (sorry) down to the parts that seem most relevant to web-weaving
- to bridging the communication divide between 'left' and 'right'.

Another 'divide' of equal significance, by the way, is the gap between
white and non-white communities.


Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 06:39:22 -0400
From: Eric Fawcett <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: rn- web weaving

Richard, I'm still reading - to my great surprise, since without your
analysis I would have dismissed this as right-wing junk.

The fact is that we are all punch-drunk with the body-blows that society
is suffering, from the collapse of the global environment, which is the
ultimate horror, to the perversion of the political process at all levels,
which makes it impossible to address this fundamental issue.

I find myself toying with ideas that seem crazy, but appear in my mind as
it searches desperately for solutions, like:

 -- why devote time and energy to the struggle for nuclear abolition (the
main preoccupation of the peace NGOs) when any agreement that the NATO
powers sign is done in bad faith, and will be overturned whenever it suits
them, just as they abandoned the UN Charter when they bombed Serbia;

 -- or worse, what else can non-nuclear nations do to defend themselves
against similar treatment under the guise of "humanitarian intervention"
but adopt the "nuclear deterrent"; the latter is fundamentally irrational,
but it's the foundation on which the leading NATO powers build their own
nuclear posture;

 -- or even worse, and of course not an original idea - that only a massive
nuclear war can stop the mad race to oblivion under the globalisation
economy conducted by the multinationals, with its military arm provided by
NATO and US/UK/other former colonial powers, who now have established a
global neo-colonial regime even more effective and brutal than the old
imperialism; billions would die and the survivors would suffer agonies,
but there would still be a viable biosphere in which to start over;

 -- as for the UN, which you say we left-wingers all believe in, with Iraq
being genocided under UN supervision, while the UN Sec-Gen is cosying up
to the corporations, who operate WTO through governments that they've
bought, one asks whether we would be better off without an international
organisation that has been co-opted?

Crazy ideas, which I don't believe, but on considering them I have more
sympathy with the right-wingers, who are just as desperate in their search
for solutions.  So keep up your good work of looking for common causes.

Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 07:56:14 +0200
From: Antonio Rossin <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: rn- web weaving

rkm wrote:
 > I would like to suggest a different attitude.  The fact is that we
 > _aren't going to get people on the right to think like us; it just
 > isn't going to happen.  I've talked to plenty of them, and they (at
 > the risk of over-generalizing) just see the world from a different
 > perspective.  It is very easy to get into arguments - all you need
 > to do is bring up one of the many divisive issues, from Bible in
 > schools, to police & crime, to the UN.

Dear RKM,

most of "you" but myself, at the very least.  I guess, why don't we
realize that your above sentence could be uttered by the "right wing"
mouth being substantially unchanged, as follows:

 | I would like to suggest a different attitude.  The fact is that we
 | aren't going to get people on the left to think like us; it just
 | isn't going to happen.  I've talked to plenty of them, and they (at
 | the risk of over-generalizing) just see the world from a different
 | perspective.  It is very easy to get into arguments - all you need
 | to do is bring up one of the many divisive issues, from Bible in
 | schools, to police & crime, to the UN.


 > Today I think the failure
 > of the left and right to communicate is the single greatest obstacle
 > preventing the development of a substantial movement for systemic
 > change.  We are both suffering from the degradation of our physical
 > and social environments, and it would serve our mutual interest to
 > collaborate together in doing something about it.

No.  In front of the argument that "We are both suffering from the
degradation of our physical and social environments" I foresee that
the left will say that it is a fault of the right, and the right
that it is a fault of the left...  Nothing would change.


Are you saying, the quoted post could have been written by both
the right and the left?  Is this the "Web weaving"?


 > My intuition tells me that if there began to be grass-roots connections
 > between groups from left and right backgrounds, and if they began to
 > identify areas of consensus, that the result could be politically electric.

OK., agreed: the question now is about what is the "consensus area"
which has to be identified, or rather recognized, by both.
IMHO, it cannot be aimed to get the other wing (right or left it does
not matter) into thinking like ours (left or right it does not matter)

Better, it would be a common aim.  Nor I think this common aim could
be your above
 > "We are both suffering from the degradation of our physical
 > and social environments, and it would serve our mutual interest to
 > collaborate together in doing something about it.

because this argument would be immediately web-weaved (?) by each wing
into pointing it out to be a fault of the opposite wing.

I already tried to get your esteemed attention into focusing on children.
This could be your wanted momentum.  What about, spending some effort
into discussing of how to give them, say, an healthier world?



Dear Antonio,

I'm glad we have someone on the list who is willing to articulate a 'right'
viewpoint.  I certainly agree with your observation that the left-right
divide is a symmetrical affair, and the 'we' and 'them' can be interchanged
as you illustrated.  Your observation of symmetry, in fact, I see as an
example of 'constructive dialog' between left and right, right here on this

You said:
 >In front of the argument that "We are both suffering from the
 >degradation of our physical and social environments" I foresee that
 >the left will say that it is a fault of the right, and the right
 >that it is a fault of the left

Certainly the habit of both sides, in their seperate isolated discussions,
is to blame the other side for society's problems - that's how
divide-and-rule works.  My hope is that through dialog _between the sides,
we might be able to move forward from that mutual suspicion.  Assuming the
dialog _began with mutual blaming, _either side might then say "You blame
us for these problems, and we blame you, so let's discuss together what the
_root causes of the problems are, and see if there's anything we can agree
on."  Something like that.

You suggest "focusing on children" would be inherently unifying, but I
don't see how that's any different than the issues I raised (or many
others).   The left and right could easily blame each other for the
failures of the educational system, and in fact they already do.  The left
tends to see the schools are too 'right wing' - authoritarian and
structured - while the right thinks schools are too soft-liberal and that
leftist professors brainwash the young.

I think the real issue is to establish dialog, and prevent the most
emotionally divisive issues from preventing progress.  Beyond that, I don't
think there are any 'magic issues' to which discussion should be limited.


Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 02:25:07 -0400
To: •••@••.•••
From: CREDO <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rn- web weaving


Here is a one line post that came in the the other day to the local
citizens list serve:

   GIB wrote:
   >The Death Penalty is great!!!. to which Victor responded,

   "Then I hope you will experience it."

This was in connection with protest notices cncerning the death sentence of
Mumia Abu-Jamal.

The author of the post was one, Craig Chandler, a "youth" member of the
reform party with connections in Alberta and Ontario. He is noted for his
rabid remarks as per the above, and a perfect innocence of anything to do
with spelling, grammar or syntax. The PGIB stands for the Progressive Group
for Independent Business. The tone of his fulminations is very similar to
the style of hate group extremists. He is actually an "adviser"  to the
Harris Government and appears prominently at the right wing rallies of the
Reform Party who want to unite with the Conservative Party.

Victor, whose one line reply to Chandler seems quite a propos, has tried in
vain to go over the facts of some issue with him very slowly and patiently,
but  fially just gave up. This type of mentality, which can certainly be
classified as crypto-fascist, or maybe just plain imbecilic, has  a very
fixed, or fixated authoritarian orientation combined with profound
ignorance, and cannot be reached with argument any more than you can get
through to a psychopath. The wiring has been permanently damaged, or maybe
just never developed.



Dear Credo,

Just as we need to distinguish between the 'capitalist class' and 'the
right', we also need to distinguish between 'the right' and the demagogic
'leadership' of the right.  Same for the left - we need to distinguish
between genuine liberal sentiment, and the demagogic statements of a

It is not ideologues of the left and right who are likely to find common
cause - they may fight on to the end.  It is everyday people at 'the
bottom', who aren't involved politically, but who tend to 'buy into' left
or right thinking - that is where I think dialog is possible and necessary.
Just like the housewives in Northern Ireland who web-weaved between
Catholic and Protestant communities.  Incidentally, I believe that the
divide between those communities has been _more emotionally charged and
'unbridgable' by far than is the gap between left and right in the US or


From: "Marc Bombois" <•••@••.•••>
To: "rkm" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: re: web weaving
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 23:35:01 -0700

Hi Richard, thank you for that posting.

It fits in well with another
discussion I had today with some colleagues about strategy for recruiting
and fundraising. We had a bit of a laugh when we thought of approaching the
banks (we are monetary reformists), but one of us pointed out that a bank
chairman had recently expressed concern about the pace of takeovers of
Canadian corporations, so the issue of national sovereignty appears to be
alive in at least one member of the elite.

In our discussions, our group
agrees that the two issues of national sovereignty and money creation cuts
across the left-right spectrum. No doubt, the great majority of people can
relate to the loss of fundamental freedoms and rights, and to the financial
burden they bear due to a fundamentally corrupt banking system. Our
challenge is to overcome the "tidal waves of misinformation" emanating from
the controlled mass media, to properly inform the deluded on both left and
right. For this, I particularly like your definition of globalization:
government of by and for the corporate elite.

To a better world.   Marc


Dear Marc,

Thanks.  I agree and I would even generalize a bit...  I'd say that small
(which might mean local, or perhaps even national in some cases) businesses
and bankers (establishment types in general) could be allies in resistance
to where the capitalist system is taking us.  It's really only a tiny elite
and the big TNC's that benefits from the increasing centralization and
internationalization.   The other 'class divisions' (including racial) are
becoming less and less based on real self-interest, and increasingly only
the result of divide-and-rule propaganda.


Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 04:35:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: james clarke <•••@••.•••>
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: RE: rn- web weaving

Bravo Richard, I too embrace a holistic solution to our problems.

I have some input.  First,  I have come to the conclusion that activists are
not "where it's at".  Voters are, regular citizens.  Sorry to say but most
activists don't want solutions, they thrive on 'shouting at the sidelines'.
If you are serious about affecting change, I would bypass activists, at
least the ones who aren't interested in political change.

The idea of uniting left and right is good and does happen already a little,
especially when events like the bombing of Serbia occur.  www.antiwar.com
is right wing, but they did give voice to lefties during the war.
Ultimately lefties have to recognize that righties are people too.

Your observation that Adam Smiths anti-monopoly requirements were always
ignored shows that even righties are squashed by monopoly capital.  Left and
Right can unite to bring about Democratic Renaissance where in a mixed
economy people can choose which way to live, free from feudalism.

I get the impression you may not have viewed the video called
"The Money Masters".  If you haven't, check out www.themoneymasters.com  and
please see the video.

In Canada we are seeing a centralizing of the power of our Parliament under
our PM/Dictator, he recently gave Nanoose Bay to the US NAVY, contravening
our Constitution of 1867. This is a precedent.  However there has been a
steady decentralization of power/responsibility/governance from the federal
government TO the provinces since at least 1988.  This is because we are
being prepared for absorption into the US.  Our PM made his nephew
Ambassador to the US, who at one point called for Canada to adopt the US
currency.  The above video would help to explain what an act of treason this


From: Dave Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: web-weaving
Sender: Dave Moore <•••@••.•••>
To: "rich@iol" <•••@••.•••>

        web-weaving = good.  this is your strongest asset: a broad vision for
allies, and a clear/narrow vision of the goal: people should come first and
govt and other institutions should serve the common good.

Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 15:10:52 -0500
From: Chris Granner <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: rn- web weaving


Thanks for the web-weaving piece.  There's no question that in order for
large-scale grass roots reform to occur, the "left" & "right" have to talk.  In
the last several years, I think the most interesting articles & stories I've
read have been ones that found a place to stand on devisive issues where both
sides can find agreement, however theoretical.  Some examples:

-A piece in a 1995 Atlantic Monthly (I forget the exact issue) called
like) "Lincoln on Abortion," proposed that both pro-choice & pro-life could
agree that the world would be a better place if there were fewer abortions;

-Many people have called for a gun-control law that runs something like: "Any
non-felon, not charged with domestic violence, can own a gun; but gun ownership
must be registered, and when a crime is committed with a gun, the owner is

-An radio interview with a long-time drug-law reform advocate featured the idea
that one primary mission of any drug policy should be to make it difficult for
kids to lay their hands on drugs (going on to point out how criminalization
forces illegal drugs through gangs to the youth "sales force" and onto our
schools' playgrounds);


Anyway -- good idea, Richard.

Thanx again,

(Chris Granner
Evanston, Illinois)

"Let the bosses -- take the losses -- " -Sal Martirano

From: <name withheld>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rn- web weaving
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 15:28:03 -0700


Someone by the name of Sandy Finnegan sent me the communiqué below.
He said he's Sandy because he is part of the grass roots which are
today like sand slipping through the toes of a disintegrating empire.
And Finnegan because he heard that J. Joyce meant that the Finns,
through their early descendants the Celts, were again waking which
seems to be an early version of this re-tribalization  that Sandy
talks about.

But, please don't let my name appear in relation to this because some
of the stuff I'm doing in the UN would not fit here...



Aren't people starting to understand that the System does its best to
confuse us so we don't find out who the real enemy is, unite and take
their power and control from them and return it to the grass roots of
the World?

The Sports on TV is analogous to the silly Republican and Democratic
charade, the Right against the Left, so we don't notice that the real
contradiction is between the wealthy classes and the poor peoples.

There is no Right and Left, Clinton smuggled cocaine for George Bush -
The Dark Alliance, White Out, Compromised, The Mafia, the CIA, and
George Bush, Smoke & Mirrors.  The 27 or so Multinational Corporations
that rule the G-8 nation-states let the US gov deal guns and drugs as
long as our so-called defense policies keep the colonies repressed so
that WTO can suck the World dry.  Wake up White Middle Class.  Its
your obligation to stand up to the corrupt, because you can begin the
change, starting in Seattle.

Don't people yet understand that there is a grass roots right and a
corporate right, and there is a grass roots left and Liberal hypocrite
Left?  The grass roots right has been kept ignorant longer than the
left because it has been poorer, financially.  Education is a wealthy
class privilege in Western Culture.

We all know what we gotta do.  However, before we can take their
power, the grass roots right and the grass roots left have to get
their respective shit together, start talking and uniting.  Then we
can take back our world.  There is common ground - poverty,
repression, exploitation.........  And only by combining our
respective diversities will we engender the strength of unity we need
to manage our own lives and are own world.

Both grass roots left and grass roots right, just because you use
different words doesn't mean you are not saying the same things.  Put
yourself in the place of your perceiver and love will come - and
hopefully unity and revolution too.

In sum, its time for the different tribes to start learning each
other's languages so we can unify.  The Lakota Sundance is a good
example of how an old Native American sacred ceremony is helping to
revitalize tribal nationalism - the reciprocal world view - and how it
is replacing the competitive world view of Western Civilization's
nation-state nationalism which outlawed the Sundance in the past when
racist ignorance dominated the ruling classes propaganda machines.

The cultural stage following empires - militaristic centralization -
has always been a change to village cultures, a re-tribalization.
Vertical, state structured societies become horizontal bioregional
cultures again.This is what we are s'posed to do according to the
Great Spirits, natural cultural evolution - however you want to put
it.  This is what we're s'posed to be doing and, in fact, what we are
doing.  We are just not enough aware that we really need to prioritize
the integration and unification of different tribal nations, like the
grass roots left, the grass roots right, the Lakotas, Nakotas and
Dakotas - bikers, hippies, Zapitistas, ..., the poor of the world.

The two primary tools of this, the Greatest Social Transformation the
World has ever known, are (2) the unification of the grass roots of
the world, and (1) understanding the contradictions and thence
rousting corruption so as to open the doors to Unity.

Common ground work is waiting on all natural resource management
issues:  How do we restore community balance and well being, and
environmental balance simultaneously?  Here is the problem and the
solution.  We just gotta do it.

See you in Seattle

Sandy Finnegan

Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 20:00:00 -0500
To: •••@••.•••
From: Mark Douglas Whitaker <•••@••.•••>
Subject: right/left: enlighten me?


        Could someone tell me what is the 'right' position on expansive
TNC's? Or environmental degradation?  Or is economic structure and the
environment simply something that fails to 'scan,' while they are quite
aware of the political structure? For the environment, at least in the
United States, I find this hard to believe, what with 80% of polls showing
serious concern with environmental issues, even to the point of many people,
who feel it is 'worth paying more for.'

        On another note, Is this concentration on the formal structure only
perhaps a typical characteristic/critique of 'right' thinking? Certainly
there is the concern about a 'left regime' however. Is this still a typical
assessment? Look at only the formal structures of power and ignore the
informal? (Yes, I am baiting an answer, though I am curious for a response.)


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