Regarding the "authoritarian left", Steve Diamond is not an idiot.
Bringiton, I think you're lumping the wildass speculation in No Quarter's comment streams with the relatively well-considered and sourced work Diamond has done. It's part of his job as a labor activist to fight the damage corporations have done in spreading the "Labor = Mafia/Corruption/Communists!" meme.
Read this post, and tell me he's not discussing the same subject as we are: How Obama's most feral handlers and supporters would really appreciate it if we stopped asking for solid reasons to support his campaign, and instead just give them our money and loyalty now, OK?
Thus, as one example, there is a great deal of hostility from the authoritarian left towards the American labor movement, which is still a generally democratic movement.
It is because of that hostility to the democratic instincts of most Americans that I have suggested that the “authoritarian left” is no real left at all. I consider democracy the critical component of any constructive left or progressive movement here and abroad. Democracy means transparency, accountability and the protection of the rights of dissenters and minorities within the body politic. That hostility to democracy is what all of the tendencies I have discussed here share, whether old style American Communists, the new communists of the new left or today’s authoritarian leftist sympathizers with Chavez and Castro. And I think that hostility to democracy is the danger in the apparent role of the new authoritarian left in the Obama campaign.
*He* might take all of No Quarter uncritically; I don't have to. But he makes good sense regarding the intersection of labor, old and new Left skirmishes, and how the past really isn't past, but gets reenacted through new players.