The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals
"The left has no particular place it wants to go. And, to rehash an old quip, if you have no destination, any direction can seem as good as any other."
(Originally in Harpers)
Jesse A. Myerson described five economic reforms millenials should be fighting for in Rolling Stone.
Conservatives were generally aghast at the suggestions. Dylan Matthews at Wonkblog wrote a response, "Five conservative reforms millenials should be fighting for".
Liberals disapproved. Both articles argued for I. Employer of Last Resort II. Basic Income III. Land Value Tax IV. Sovereign Wealth Fund V. Public Bank. Ezra Klein discusses the trolling.
How Silicon Valley Became The Man
The Harvard Business Review's Justin Fox interviews Stanford historian Fred Turner about how the New Communalists molded the Valley in their image.
The goal of Red Letter Christians
is simple: To take Jesus seriously by endeavoring to live out His radical, counter-cultural teachings as set forth in Scripture, and especially embracing the lifestyle prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount. [more inside]
So, what's the problem with champagne socialism?
Are well-off advocates of left-wing positions hypocrites? How does one square egalitarian convictions with personal affluence?
Political Identification: communist
"Dear Bloody Red Heart,
I have recently started seeing a communist woman, and I really like her, but my problem is that I still have overwhelmingly strong feelings for the communist woman I had a thing with in the summer, and who has gone to fight the good fight in other lands. Should I tell the comrade I’m currently seeing about my divided affections? As we are not yet in full communism, I fear I may not have enough to go round…
From: Bloody Red Heart"
Always remember that information is power, and functions as such." [more inside]
Or, why is there still socialism in the United States?
Why, then, would we look for evidence of socialism only where a state seized by radicals of the Left inaugurates a dictatorship of the proletariat? Or, to lower the rhetorical volume and evidentiary stakes, why would we expect to find socialism only where avowed socialists or labor parties contend for state power? We should instead assume that socialism, like capitalism, is a cross-class cultural construction, to which even the bourgeoisie has already made significant contributions – just as the proletariat has long made significant contributions to the cross-class construction we know as capitalism. What follows?
Mark Ames (of the eXile
): The Left’s Big Sellout
– How the ACLU and Human Rights Groups Quietly Exterminated Labor Rights (via naked capitalism
) [more inside]
New Yorker profile by editor David Remnick: "Ha'aretz prides itself on being the conscience of Israel. Does it have a future?" (Via)
Who, exactly, represents the left extreme in the establishment blogosphere? You'd likely hear names like Jane Hamsher or Glenn Greenwald. But these examples are instructive. Is Hamsher a socialist? A revolutionary anti-capitalist? In any historical or international context-- in the context of a country that once had a robust socialist left, and in a world where there are straightforwardly socialist parties in almost every other democracy-- is Hamsher particularly left-wing? Not at all. It's only because her rhetoric is rather inflamed that she is seen as particularly far to the left.
Freddie De Boer on the lack of left wing discourse in the blogosphere
. [more inside]
The Christian left
is a term originating in the United States, used to describe a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embraces social justice. "We will not be profiled or pigeonholed and we will not ‘Be Quiet.’ We’re Christians. We’re Liberals. Please get used to it. Thank you."
Why Some Countries Drive on the Right and Some Countries Drive on the Left.
Primarily throughout history people used the “keep-left” rule. It has only been very recently that the world has predominately switched to the “keep-right” rule.
A story arc from the Far Left Side
webcartoon: Comic #1
, Comic #2
, Comic #3
. [more inside]
Left vs. Right
, the Infographic
Left 4K Dead.
Just you, in a dark corridor, with a torch, and a gun. And zombies. So many zombies.
"If Communists liked what we did, that was their good luck,"
said Lee Hays, founding member of the Almanac Singers
. A fascinating portrait of one of the linchpins of the politically engaged folk movement of the '40s and '50s. Hays sang beside the more celebrated
(and, on one important day in Bob Dylan history, infamous
) Pete Seeger on such classic Almanac albums as Talking Union
. [Listen here
Strange Bedfellows: Radical Leftists for Bush
Among the German far-left, one subgroup called the anti-Germans holds some contradictory views. Most call themselves communists, yet loudly proclaim their support for Israel and George W. Bush.
Mexico's election: now being recounted,
but some are saying it was stolen with our help
. Many countries in Latin and South America have been moving to the left lately, following in the footsteps of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile.
Argentina actually caught us messing with things during their election, too. Exit polls in Mexico (as in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004) showed a lead for the more leftist (relatively) candidate, and for those who scoff at using exit polls as evidence--in 2004, US Republican Senator Richard Lugar, in Kiev, cited the divergence of exit polls and official polls as solid evidence of “blatant fraud” in the vote count in Ukraine. As a result, the Bush Administration refused to recognize the Ukraine government’s official vote tally.
So, honest election, or what?
A Letter to the American Left
By Bernard-Henri Lévy.
"Nothing made a more lasting impression during my journey through America than the semi-comatose state in which I found the American left.
I know, of course, that the term "left" does not have the same meaning and ramifications here that it does in France.
And I cannot count how many times I was told there has never been an authentic "left" in the United States, in the European sense.
But at the end of the day, my progressive friends, you may coin ideas in whichever way you like. The fact is: You do have a right. This right, in large part thanks to its neoconservative battalion, has brought about an ideological transformation that is both substantial and striking. "
Okay, so why do they drive funny overseas?
Blame it on swords
, of course, but also on Pope Boniface
(can this really be true?), and, of course, on the French.
At least we all can agree on boats
don't know their left wingers from their right wingers. And no, its not about hockey or chicken parts.
Political Leanings of Selected Cartoon Characters
Did you know that Mickey Mouse is an extreme right-wing Republican (some say even a John Bircher)
? (brought to you from way way back in 1996, as a result of this thread)
How the Left views the Right,
as viewed by the Southern Baptist Press. “I don't get it,” said the movie critic, “the people aren't listening to us... don't all those unwashed cretins out there in flyover country understand that we're the ones who tell them what they can watch?”
Trusting The Redcoats:
How many independent-minded Americans actually rely on the BBC (specially the World Service
) for accurate coverage of American politics? Not to mention The Guardian
. Is it a strictly an elitist, liberal/left-wing phenomenon? What does it mean? What does it say about better-informed liberal newspapers and media of the U.S.? If so, why aren't like-minded Europeans just as cosmopolitan and, say, pay the same attention to news sources like The New York Times, NPR and others, rather than stolidly sticking to their own national staples?
A Left-wing European human-rights activist's take on Iraq.
No, not what you'd come to expect by now. Far from the pro-forma accepted perspective of the Left, Thomas von der Osten-Sacken, a German human rights activist makes a case for
the war in Iraq in this insightful interview. He mentions plenty of things I haven't read about before in regards to Kurds and has quite a few strong words to say about Germany and the recent fashions of the European Left.
Stalin, Hitler, Guilt, Finger-Pointing And Friendship: Timothy Garton-Ash
reviews, a trifle superciliously but fairly, a very lively and soul-searching polemic between two consummate, consuming and irresistible writers, Martin Amis
and Christopher Hitchens
- who also happen to be old friends. Funnily enough, I'd suggest reading Hitchens's review in the Atlantic Monthly first
; then the three
] extracts from
] Amis's book
] and, finally
, Hitchens's reply to them. All in all, it's that rare thing: a long, juicy, well-written and passionately argued polemic with plenty of insights into how generations come to terms with the honest indiscretions and oversights of their youth. Oh and there's a lot about communism, nazism, totalitarianism and the Sixties too...
Media Silent on Pipe Bomber's Leftism
So newsmax says The same media establishment that is quick to label right-wing extremists refuses to call admitted pipe bomber Luke John Helder a left-wing extremist.
I did a little (very little) digging, and they might have something there, more below.
Canadians fuzzy on concept of left and right.
A new poll suggests that three quarters of Canadians have trouble telling political left from right. Sort of makes me wonder why voter turnout is higher in Canada than the U.S.. Canadians are also hard to pin down politically, as polls suggests they generally want less taxes and
more government spending.
With friends like these...
"The Left in 2001 needs a media upgrade in the worst way. It needs to figure out a way to communicate its message that doesn't cause a vast majority of Americans to roll their eyes. Change in this country comes about through numbers, and continually alienating the bulk of the nation with old, tired tactics isn't going to change anything. "