"Young Minds in Critical Condition" (SLNYT)
"Having strong critical skills shows that you will not be easily fooled. It is a sign of sophistication, especially when coupled with an acknowledgment of one’s own “privilege” … We should be wary of creating a class of self-satisfied debunkers—or, to use a currently fashionable word on campus, people who like to “trouble” ideas," opines Michael Roth, on the status quo of liberal education. Also "The case for a liberal education"
, 2014/05/09, The Boston Globe
; and, "There's Nothing Liberal About Specializing in Philosophy" The Atlantic
, 2014/05/09. Roth, the president of Wesleyan University, recently authored “Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters”
, and teaches "The Modern and The Postmodern"
, offered on Coursera.
posted by polymodus
on May 12, 2014 -
on a study published by Psychology Today that claims the reason the OWS movement has not gained more traction within the Democratic Party (as compared to the rapid growth of the Tea Party on the other side) is that liberally-minded people see themselves more as a unique collection of beliefs that happen to be joining with other individuals, where conservatives see themselves more as part of a homogenous group of people with similar beliefs.
posted by softlord
on Dec 3, 2013 -
Matt Welch, Reason
: The Death of Contrarianism
Klein, then at The American Prospect, a progressive D.C. opinion magazine founded in 1990, wanted Peters, founder (in 1969) of The Washington Monthly, to answer for the way neoliberalism had degenerated into lefty-on-lefty contrarianism. “What has happened, at least to some younger folks like me,” Klein said, “is that at times this appears to have become not an honest critique, but a positioning device. The idea that it’s not about the quality of the argument, but the display: You show honesty by attacking Democrats, you show independence by attacking liberals. At times I think that has been a damaging impulse on our side.” [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 22, 2013 -
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?
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Feb 13, 2013 -
The US does not have a spending problem, we have a distribution problem
"Forty years from now, America will be twice as rich on average as we are today. But most of that wealth will go to the very richest households. We only have a budget crisis if they refuse to pay higher taxes... So the real point isn't that we can't afford Social Security and Medicare. It's that some people don't want to pay the higher taxes necessary to maintain Social Security and Medicare. This is a question of distribution, pure and simple."
posted by bookman117
on Nov 20, 2012 -
"Liberals have not always been very good at communicating why liberalism works. There’s many reasons for this, but part of it is that it can be hard to defend the obvious from an absurd and deceptive attack. For half a century you had to be a crank to oppose what Roosevelt accomplished; liberals got out of the habit of arguing for their beliefs.
I hope this page will help. Liberals don’t need to apologize for their vision of how American society should work. Liberalism saved American capitalism and democracy, defeated Naziism, created a prosperous middle class, and benefited every sector of society, from the back streets to Wall Street. " Mefi's own Zompist (previously
) on Why Liberalism Works.
posted by The Whelk
on Sep 30, 2012 -
A bridge builder, a student of how societies hold together; an advocate of dialogue. Standing against polarized and simplistic styles of thought. Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor is Canada's best known and most widely read contemporary thinker. In books like Sources of the Self and A Secular Age, he has attempted to define the unique character of the modern age. He maps the fault-lines in our modern identity, and points to both the pitfalls and the promise of our condition. Learn about his life, history, upbringing, and... ideas.
Now available, CBC IDEAS in five one-hour parts: the malaise of modernity
(this special program has the same title as the 1991 Massey Lecture of the same name, but is not the same [MP3's, get them now, they will go away, and then you can only stream them]).
. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation
on May 20, 2011 -
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]
posted by ennui.bz
on Jan 18, 2011 -
While much is being made of dysfunctional government
] and hung parliament
], David Cameron's pitches for a fairer society
], smarter policy
] and employee ownership
] have been positively, uh, Obamanian
.* [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Mar 5, 2010 -
"The crisis is an opportunity to sweep away the rotten postwar settlement of British politics. Labour is moribund. But David Cameron has a chance to develop a "red Tory
" communitarianism, socially conservative but sceptical of neoliberal economics" [more inside]
posted by doobiedoo
on Feb 15, 2009 -
Five myths about torture
In a Washington Post column, Darius Rejali
, author of Torture and Democracy, explains why five beliefs about torture are wrong. In a Harper's interview
, he answers six questions. "Yes, torture does migrate, and there are some good examples of it both in American and French history. The basic idea here is that soldiers who get ahead torturing come back and take jobs as policemen, and private security, and they get ahead doing the same things they did in the army. And so torture comes home. Everyone knows waterboarding, but no one remembers that it was American soldiers coming back from the Philippines that introduced it to police in the early twentieth century." [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson
on Feb 20, 2008 -
In 1946, Encyclopedia Britannica
and Harold Lasswell
produced an educational film about the nature of Despotism. Calls to mind contemporary examples of despotism, and (in view of Lasswell's own views on the subject) raises some interesting questions about the uses and misuses of persuasion and propaganda.
Film link via the Prelinger Archive
, previously discussed here
posted by washburn
on Mar 16, 2006 -
INTERNET AS HYPER-LIBERALISM:
By the limitations of common sense and consensus. Sometime wacky ideas can help us look at things much clearer than a technical manual description of them by rational and well argued people. Paul Treanor is a one-of-a-kind writer. don't try to argue with him about being wrong. he does not believe in communication and therefore there is no CONTACT link anywhere on his site. He writes and lives in Amsterdam, Holland.
posted by sundaymag
on Jan 10, 2006 -
Open Democracy: Anticapitalists Of The World, Left And Right, Unite? Open Democracy
is a very interesting project which proposes to discuss - and open to discussion - the great issues of our day. While mostly socialist and liberal - with some new anarchism intelligently thrown in - it refreshingly makes space for conservative philosopher and polemicist Roger Scruton's
reflections on the political and social consequences of how we eat
. Despite a vaguely anticapitalist bias, so far as I can see, Open Democracy
seems to be intellectually wide open
. I've been a subscriber for a while now (it's free, btw) and it's that old-fashioned thing: it makes you think
. Do consider adding it to your usual peregrinations. [I'll resist the temptation of pointing to favourite essays and debates - it really is worth exploring one one's own. Jacknose was the first to refer to Open Democracy on MeFi, back in December 2001.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on May 19, 2003 -
and Conservativism FAQ
describe the differences (and similarities) between the two oft-discussed by seldom understood political mindsets. Both FAQs are detailed, concise, enjoyable, and not annoyingly biased. Read with caution: Knowing your enemies sometimes makes it less fun to bash on them.
posted by oissubke
on Sep 27, 2002 -
"Universities have a serious problem.
The type of liberalism so heavily favored by the intellectual elite has crossed the line. Professors throughout the educational world are supporting murderers and terrorists; they are justifying despicable actions because of the political philosophies of the actors. Murder, slaughter, and terrorism are OK, they say, as long as they are directed at law-enforcement officials or civilian Westerners. It's fine as long as the murderer is anti-capitalist, anti-establishment or anti-conservative." -- Written by a UCLA student
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Nov 23, 2001 -
Limp Liberals - Aintchasickovem?
A really fine left liberal answer to Berkely and all the faint hearts. And it fits right in with my own thinking. It's time we stood up and got counted for human rights against any "culture" or "religion" that denies them. Polly Tonybee writes an excellent and timely piece. Liberals too, should not "go wobbly" out of a plain cowardly "respect" for reactionary strains of Islam, Christianity or Judaism. What do you think?
posted by terrymiles
on Oct 10, 2001 -
Terror and Liberalism
I have found this piece in The American Prospect to be one of the most balenced pieces I have yet come across. It considers all aspects of the terrorist groups--Israel, American policy, poverty, Iraq, fundamentalisim, history of the area, westernization, etc and finds the rights and wrongs in each, offering finally a way to cope with things in the future while at the same time dealing with present needs.
In other words, it avoids the overly simplistic formulas offered by so many stalwarts of the far Right or far Left.
posted by Postroad
on Oct 5, 2001 -
Why does the left ignore Waco?
I remember watching Waco burn on tv and being totally radicalized by it. Believing I was experiencing holy truth, I was of course shocked to find alot of people thought they had it coming. This link proposes things I had not considered.
posted by thirteen
on Jun 19, 2000 -