Yesterday Doug Henwood of Left Business Observer had some nuggets. This Walden Bello review of Naomi Klein's new book, in the midst of gushing praise, offers some constructive criticisms of Klein's work. Start with the "But manufacturing matters!" section and keep reading. Mention of that review was prompted by Klein stating her hatred of Friedman's "utopianism" in the critical take on Klein found here (the term "anarcho-liberalism" resulted in much discussion). Henwood wryly noted that "this distrust of grand narratives is ready for the glue factory."
Henwood also noted Ralph Nadar's recent support of Ron Paul, and recalled Nadar's first published article, which is an attack on public housing (a burden on the private sector, destroys incentives, and is the enemy of independence and self-reliance, etc.). As Henwood put it this morning, "Why is it that when someone says 'We're beyond left and right,' it's almost always a defense of the right?"
Lastly, from Ulli Diemer:
When people say they reject ‘grand narratives’ they aren't referring to cultural theorists like Northrop Frye (The Great Code) or Robert Graves (“there is one story and one story only that will prove worth your telling”). They’re talking about the Marxist tradition.
It seems to me that the pejorative term ‘grand narrative’ is similar in function and intent to the term ‘political correctness’. It’s a glib way of saying “Don’t give me none of that Marxist shit.”
Typically, it’s code for rejecting a coherent historical analysis of capitalism, for rejecting a Marxist analysis of capital and the inherent contradictions of capital accumulation. All-too-often, it signals an unwillingness to seriously consider how capital and the capitalist state can be brought down. Which tends to lead to wishful thinking like ‘changing the world without taking power’.
Me, I prefer Marxism.