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Who are your favorite liberal/progressives of All-Time

 
 
Reply Mon 11 Jun, 2018 01:17 pm
Who are some of your favorite liberals/progressives of All-Time? Some were famous. Some were not so famous. Governors, presidents, senators, mayors, state legislators, local city council, actors, singers, sports personalities, directors, television personalities, or any other profession that comes to mind. Some are in the current here and now. Some are from the very recent past. Some are from the far distant past.

Who are your favorite liberal/progressives of All-Time?
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 621 • Replies: 44

 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jun, 2018 01:39 pm
@Real Music,
Do they have to be American?
Real Music
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Jun, 2018 02:08 pm
@ehBeth,
Quote:
Do they have to be American?

Sorry about that. Let's revised the thread.
It does not have to be American.
It can be whichever country you choose to discuss. Very Happy
I'm not sure if the terms liberal and progressive will have the same definition and meaning in some countries.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2018 09:30 am
@Real Music,
RFK, Bernie, MLK, Brother Cornel, Noam Chomsky, Nina Turner, Tulsi Gabbard, Cynthia Nixon, FDR, Zephyr Teachout, Jeremy Corbin.

I know there are probably several historical figures who, in practice, were revolutionary progressives who I may not see in that way. This thread is a nice catalyst to review some of them with this lens.
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2018 09:56 am
@Lash,
Progressivism was the reason that we finally became a German nation in 1871.
But before, we've got the liberal German revolutions of 1848–49.
My favourites of that period certainly are the Göttingen Seven (mainly, because the Grimm brothers were part of them).
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 03:05 am
MLK
FDR
Michael Moore
Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 03:13 am
@Lash,
You know, I think Martin Luther was a bit of a brash, truth-telling progressive.
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 03:34 am
In chronological order:

Jesus
Voltaire
FD Roosevelt
Léon Blum
Gandhi
Nelson Mandela
Lula da Silva
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 04:17 am
@Lash,
Lash wrote:
You know, I think Martin Luther was a bit of a brash, truth-telling progressive.
Can you provide an example - outside religion, I mean.
You certainly remember that he was against social change (especially that of peasants and people who didn't belong to the "bourgeoise" [= weren't citizens of a town]. He rejected a "modern" interpretation of the bible = rulers, who were his followers, introduced an even "stronger" style of government than e.g. Catholic prince-bishops ...

But perhaps that's the meaning of progressive in American English?
Lash
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 04:37 am
@Walter Hinteler,
He took on the overwhelming power of the time, brazenly told the truth about it—at great personal risk, single-handedly enabled peasants to know they were being duped and swindled, and led to the revolutionary change of serfs being able to read the ruling document of the day and think for themselves, rather than being tricked by the church’s ‘representatives.’

That’s revolutionary and quite progressive to me for that time.

I think sometimes we fall into the pit of ‘presentism’ wherein we judge something that happened in the past by present-day standards.
Olivier5
 
  3  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 04:43 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Martin Luther was also a rabid antisemite... Some progressive!
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 04:52 am
@Lash,
Well, Martin Luther called the farmers/peasants (there's only one word in German for it: Bauern) "mörderischen und räuberischen Rotten der Bauer" ("murderous and predatory gangs of peasants").
Luther wasn't opposed to serfdom at all: "Der Esel will Schläge haben, und der Pöbel will mit Gewalt regiert sein. Das wusste Gott wohl; drum gab er der Obrigkeit nicht einen Fuchsschwanz, sondern ein Schwert in die Hand." ("The donkey wants to be beaten, and the rabble wants to be ruled by force. God knew this well; therefore he gave the authorities not a fox's tail, but a sword in the hand."

(All above quote as of 1525.)

The first bible translation into German (and the first to be translated in a vernacular) happened decades before Luther did it by Mendelin in 1466. (That wasn't a success a) because it was a -nearly- word to word translation from Latin, b) because it was was written in the Bohemian dialect, which was less understandable for most opposite to Luther's use of Thuringian.)
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  0  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 04:56 am
@Olivier5,
By some standards, he’d be considered progressive due to going against the ruling power of the time, but I’m not interested in any defense of anti-semitism. I’ll have to read to remind myself of additional details. I don’t recall this detail.

Still think he changed the world as it existed.
Lash
 
  0  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 04:58 am
I think this is a lot of presentism, folks.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 04:58 am
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:
Martin Luther was also a rabid antisemite... Some progressive!
Yes (but not exclusively!).
However, his Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi ("Of the Unknowable Name and the Generations of Christ"), is a book by Luther in 1543, in which he for instance equated Jews with the devil and described them in a really vile language.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 05:08 am
@Lash,
Lash wrote:
... he’d be considered progressive due to going against the ruling power of the time ...
Two kingdoms doctrine is said to be following Luther's sermon (and book) about the "Two Kingdoms" resp. the "Two Kinds of Righteousness".
However, Luther has not clearly defined political terms, so we should rely here on his own interpretation as done in hiss Large Catechism published in April 1529.
Lash
 
  0  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 05:11 am
Wasn’t Gandhi an asshole?
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  0  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 05:23 am
Yep.

Either mark Gandhi off your list permanently, or come to terms that some people in history who did some incredibly wonderful, brave things weren’t perfect.

Presentism.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-34265882

Mahatma Gandhi has been variously described as an anti-colonial protester, a religious thinker, a pragmatist, a radical who used non-violence effectively to fight for causes, a canny politician and a whimsical Hindu patriarch.
But was India's greatest leader also a racist?
The authors of a controversial new book on Gandhi's life and work in South Africa certainly believe so. South African academics Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed spent seven years exploring the complex story of a man who lived in their country for more than two decades - 1893 to 1914 - and campaigned for the rights of Indian people there.
In The South African Gandhi: Stretcher-Bearer of Empire, Desai and Vahed write that during his stay in Africa, Gandhi kept the Indian struggle "separate from that of Africans and coloureds even though the latter were also denied political rights on the basis of colour and could also lay claim to being British subjects".
They write that Gandhi's political strategies - fighting to repeal unjust laws or freedom of movement or trade - carved out an exclusivist Indian identity "that relied on him taking up 'Indian' issues in ways that cut Indians off from Africans, while his attitudes paralleled those of whites in the early years". Gandhi, the authors write, was indifferent to the plight of the indentured, and believed that state power should remain in white hands, and called black Africans Kaffirs, a derogatory term, for a larger part of his stay in the country.
Lash
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 05:26 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I’m going to think for myself, judge what he did, compare it to my ideas of progressivism, and make my decision.

Despite racism—which ruled the day—I believe Luther’s stand against the all-encompassing power of the medieval Catholic Church was a stunning act of progressivism.

Walter, I think you’re bothered because you’re more precise with terminology around this subject — reasoning that there should be a line of demarcation between political progressivism and what I’m calling progressivism in Luther’s case.

If that’s correct, I understand your opinion.
Walter Hinteler
 
  4  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2018 05:48 am
@Lash,
Well, he certainly was "progressive" in many of his religious views.
But not 'politically': he questioned the papal perfection of power but rarely someone before emphasised obedience to state authorities as a virtue as Luther did. (See: Ob Kriegsleute in seligem Stande sein können ["Whether soliers can be saved"]
One of his nicknames was "Fürstenknecht" - 'prince-servant'.
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