Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

July 21, 2011

Cenk Uygur leaves MSNBC after refusing to “tone it down”

Filed under: media — louisproyect @ 1:43 pm

I was partial to Cenk not just because he is a Turk but because he was one of the sharpest critics of the DP on MSNBC despite being–in the final analysis–just another DP spokesperson.

For the last week or so, Al Sharpton has been hosting his 6pm show. At first I thought Cenk was on vacation but it turns out that he was too critical of Obama and the other rightwing assholes in the DP. All he wanted was the DP to be more liberal. Fat chance of that.

For those not familiar with American politics, Sharpton is an African-American one-time FBI informant and “radical” street demonstration organizer in NYC. He has “matured” into a total DP hack who can be called upon to spin Obama’s latest rightwing offensive against workers and the Black community.


  1. What the MSNBC crowd sees as the “progressive” argument these past few weeks is hounding the Republicans to “do the right thing” and pass the debt ceiling. How nice of them to be so concerned with the wealthy bond holders and their imperiled interest payments. I am at a loss as to whether they haven’t a clue as to the real-time shattering of the two-party con game, don’t care, or haven’t a choice. In any event, it’s good for the working people and bad for them.

    Comment by dave r — July 21, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  2. Jon Stewart is going to have a field day with this.

    Comment by Binh — July 21, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

  3. While I do feel sorry for Cenk in the long run I think this can only be good for the american working class. Once it becomes clear the democratic party won’t suffer even the most modest criticism to live up to even their own (limited reformist) ideals the easier it will be for socialists to make their case to dissafected liberals and progressives. The problem isn’t one of personalities (Elect better candidates!) but systemic (anyone capable of carrying out policies that would significantly benefit the working class would be systematically excluded from national politics to begin with.) writing as a former obama supporter (I make no excuses, I was an idiot) his complete and deliberate betrayal of every campaign promise was enough to get me looking into a more systemic crittique of american politics. I suspect they’ll be many more workers and liberals who’ll begin to do the same especially after the coming debt ceilling sell out.

    Comment by Michael — July 22, 2011 @ 1:27 am

  4. IMHO Michael is the kind of honest activist person that will be absolutely required to change this rotten world which is currently absolutely devoid of justice. That’s right. I defy somebody to cite me just one recent example that can withstand scrutiny where justice has prevailed in this enormous, diverse & wonderful world that should just be chock full of examples. I’m waiting…..

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — July 22, 2011 @ 2:44 am

  5. Karl wrote:

    “I defy somebody to cite me just one recent example that can withstand scrutiny where justice has prevailed”

    Parameters? What kind of justice? By whose standards?

    Comment by Todd — July 22, 2011 @ 11:54 am

  6. Karl,

    Hi hope you are well. I think acts of justice still occur on the personal, individual level. But you are right people will change this world. The more we plummet in despair the more the resistance will increase.

    Please look at this and tell me what you think.



    John Kaniecki

    Comment by john kaniecki — July 22, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  7. Todd:

    The parameters are clearly spelled out in possibly the greatest document ever published in the 20th century — “Their Morals & Ours” by Leon Trotsky circa 1938.


    Dear John:

    Re: “despair” — per the last paragraphs of the document cited above, the proletarian revolutionists: “They learned not to fall into despair over the fact that the laws of history do not depend upon their individual tastes and are not subordinated to their own moral criteria. They learned to subordinate their indivdual desires to the laws of history. They learned not to become firghtened by the most powerful enemies if their power is in contradiction to the needs of historical development. They know how to swim against the stream in the deep conviction that the new historic flood will carry them to the orhter shore. Not all will reach that shore, many will drown. But to participate in this movement with open eyes and with an intense will – only this can give the highest moral satisfaction to a thinking being!”

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — July 23, 2011 @ 4:51 am

  8. Umm, what does that text have to do with justice? It’s quite specifically critiquing the whole bourgeois “ends and means” nonsense brought against communists; it’s about process rather than product.

    I asked about parameters because justice is such a contingent notion it’s almost impossible to talk about.

    Comment by Todd — July 23, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

  9. […justice is such a contingent notion it’s almost impossible to talk about.”]

    Right, just as morality is a contingent notion.

    What’s “just” and what’s “moral” are intertwined.

    Like Grandmaster Melle Mel once rapped:

    You search for justice and what do you find?
    You find just us on the unemployment line!

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — July 23, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  10. Justice is one of those things you know when you see it.

    Comment by dave r — July 23, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

  11. Dave, if that really were the case, revolution would be one hell of a lot easier . . . .

    Comment by Todd — July 23, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

  12. Karl,

    Hi hope you are well.

    Allow me to share this with you. I began my life quite the ignorant fascist. I was taught the United States, (which never lost a war, a sign of its nobility) was the protector of all good. A country of virtue! Not having any other perspective I believed this.

    When becoming a Christian at 20 I started to have some serious troubles. I believed that people should be Loved yet I saw that the reality was that many lacked the basics. I plummeted into a psychological quandary. You see realities were conflicting. This place of virtue did not even take care of its own!

    So I continued on the best I could and began to study other peoples. This was done for my Love for them and in all honesty to teach them Christianity. Three things I found very interesting was the Native Americans, African Americans and Communists. What I learned really shocked me. Native Americans were not ignorant savages but a wonderful culture more sophisticated than anything else the Earth had known. Manifest Destiny was a lie a euphemism for genocide. How disgusting were those cowboy movies showing the sneaky ‘Indian’ sneaking up to kill the soldier. When in fact the US soldiers were bayoneting babies. The government was making treaties never intending to enforce them. In fact the reason there remains some Native Americans is that it would have cost too much to exterminate them. And most importantly the genocide continues to this day; despite the best ideas of the United States being taken from the Iroquois nation.

    The African American situation was a little more complex. These two were noble people massively oppressed; stolen from their home continent, subjected to extremely brutal conditions and then a legacy of oppression that continues to this day. In their leaders I saw courageous fighters yearning to be free fighting overwhelming odds.

    Then there were the communists; a ‘godless’ people with no morals and full of lies, willing to do anything to destroy the great country of the United States. Upon closer scrutiny I see that Europe’s capitalism, imperialism and colonialism were in fact the greatest evils ever perpetrated on the planet. It led to massive wars and the oppression of billions of people. It was in fact a system of worshipping mammon and love of money, two things the Bible very clearly condemns. The United States is a country that worships an idol which is the dollar bill.

    Unfortunately to most Christians these thoughts and ideas cannot penetrate through their thick skulls. As a member of the Church of Christ we do not recognize the Catholic Church, Protestants or other denominations. But you would think that a religion that’s second greatest commandment is to Love one’s neighbor and having another commandment to Love one’s enemy, would not commit genocide, enslave a people with brutality and conduct wars of reckless destruction to steal resources. But no, Christians feel they can salute the flag and all is well.

    Yet I have found that there is a morality. That I should never break away from my convictions to Love others. I am a pacifist and believe in a righteous and just society. I see the massive amounts of lies told and it disgusts me. Yet when you talk about violent revolution I cannot endorse that. That does not mean I am not a revolutionary, I am. I just choose to use different weapons. In fact I think you will find that premature violence in revolution is the quickest way to destroy it, but that is a discussion for another day.

    Yet I do respect that rights of others to do what they feel is necessary. One of my favorite historic examples is Nat Turner. Nat Turner led a violent slave revolt killing a good number of whites. What I particularly like to point out is the fact that Nat Turner claimed to be a Christian. European ‘christians’ will argue that it was okay for them to slay the savage Native Americans. That the Puritans were justified in their genocide just because the Puritans claimed to follow the Bible and the Native Americans were pagans. Yet bring up Nat Turner. Here was a ‘christian’ who was fighting an obvious injustice. His women were being raped, his fellow enslaved forced to work long hours, the punishment against them was severe and inhumane, and families were torn apart by the wicked master’s auction block. Now if God is on the side of the Christians then Nat Turner must have been doing God’s will. Of course I reject Nat Turner’s actions but I respect what he did. I have never been in such brutal conditions and so I cannot say how I would react to a life of slavery.

    So our roads part Karl. I respect the one that you take and understand why you would choose that way. I also understand if you think me deluded. But I have found that if every step of the way is done correctly than the ends will come out perfect. Yet I can afford to be patient after all, there are no predator drones blowing up weddings in my neighborhood.

    Ultimately my road leads to the pie in the sky place called ‘Heaven’. That is my home. Yet I am told to get to Heaven that it is absolutely necessary to Love others. The best way I can Love others is to give them a place down here that is worth living in. A place where nobody is hungry, or naked, or homeless. A place without war. A place where there is no slavery where all people regardless of race, religion, sex, are emancipated. My conclusion is that place on Earth that both you and I strive for on Earth cannot exist with this wicked entity called capitalism alive.


    John Kaniecki

    Comment by John Kaniecki — July 23, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

  13. Hey folks, this is MSNBC the Obama propaganda channel.

    Of course they would can an objective person who tells the real truths or dares to critique Obama.

    Because then more uiewers would see that this channel is not objectively reporting. Other cable news channels do this too.

    They present you with an agenda, not facts.

    Comment by Deborah Jeffries — August 13, 2011 @ 5:34 am

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