2
   

There's no radical left in America.

 
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Aug, 2006 05:07 pm
:just dipping in, didnt read up much:

okie wrote:
The energy of the Democratic party comes from the hatred and disdain of George W. Bush and what he stands for ..

Well, therein actually might lie part of the disconnect, rationally enough even. Part of the background of the disconnect - the disconnect between the impression, at least on the other side of the aisle, of the Democrats having drifted ever further left, and the reality of how the actual policies Democrats are proposing now are nothing as leftwing/liberal as those of the Democratic platforms of yesteryear. Its all about style vs substance.

After 6 years of Bush, right on from the venomous election finale of 2000, it is true for sure that passions run high, and feelings of detestations are fierce enough to make for many a shrill tone. If you only go on tone, there are indeed liberal politicians, and plenty more liberal activists, who sound fierce.

The difference is what Beinart, in that TNR article I excerpted from, points out: there is little to no substantive ideological critique behind the shrillness. Activists are shrilly anti-Bush (and justifiably so) - but there isnt any coherently radical ideology behind it, like there was with Wallace in '48 or McGovern in '72. There are no manifestos; only manifest distaste. The netroots are as pragmatic when it comes to picking issues or negotiating positions as any centrist; they are just far more angry.

To someone with my views, thats actually a pity. Ned Lamont is no Socialist. His like wouldnt steer the Democratic Party much left of Clinton, definitely not left of Dukakis, when it comes to socio-economic policy. The netroots' dissent is that of mobilising the activists to "throw the bastards out"; there's no ambition, or even coherent vision, of a different way to arrange society, or the economy - of an alternative, better world. No vision that unites the smorgasbord of (single) issue activists.

But for the Okies of America, all this should provide an effective reality check to their impressions of resurging communism. Forget about the showbusiness aspects of activist politics, the Michael Moores and their rabble-rousing. Compare the actual policies that Kerry or Feingold or even Howard "I am proud to have been the Governor of a state where we balanced the budgets" Dean propose, with those that Henry Wallace or McGovern proposed. Or with those Walter Mondale campaigned on, for that matter. Hell, I bet that if you compare the policies Dean proposed as candidate in '04 with those pursued by FDR, Dean might look a comparative market convert (anyone proposing mass government-funded employment programmes these days?).
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Aug, 2006 05:15 pm
Blatham,

I have only seen Fahrenheit 9/11, so thats what I'm going on re Michael Moore. I thought it was masterfully made propaganda - and as such, at least as despicable as any of the far more lazy ****-slinging that Coulter does.

In short - you write:

Quote:
She foments hatred and divisiveness. Accuracy in data or in analogy are without importance. .. Logical fallacies fill her work and her speech.

Right. Thats where the equivalency with Moore is, because the exact same things - especially re the latter two points - hold for his F 9/11 too.

A communist, however, Okie, he is not - not by a long shot. To call people like Moore communists is to trivialise the ideological behemoth that Soviet communism foisted on the 20th century. "Communist" should not just be used as synonym for "something I really dont like".
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Aug, 2006 05:26 pm
mysteryman wrote:
nimh said,
While talking about John Kerry...

Quote:
If he had been McGovern's equal he would have called the US soldiers in Iraq war criminals.


I hate to tell you this,but he did...

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/12/5/162822.shtml

Quote:
... And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the - of - the historical customs, religious customs."

I think we are speaking different languages, MM.

American soldiers have gone into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and women and breaking the customs. Thats just a fact, not even a contested one. And its a shame, and it should stop.

How that equates to claiming that "the American soldiers" are "war criminals", I dont know.

Id have thought that there was a rather obvious difference between pointing out a bad practice and saying it needs to be stopped (for the soldiers' sake as well as those Iraqis', btw) and labelling "the US soldiers", collectively, blanketly, as "war criminals".

That, John Kerry most definitely did not do in any recent decade.

Its the difference between any sane American seeing things going wrong in Iraq and pointing out how they should change, how mistakes should be learnt from, and ideologues summarily proclaiming the Americans criminals, period.

And it's one count on which I think American liberals do, leaving aside the freedom4free's of this world, get it better this time round than 35 years ago.

-----

Blatham, I actually have met a communist or two - well, two, exactly, I think... well, my uncle used to be a communist so make that three... but then, I live in "Old Europe" Razz

Definitely a dying breed... but I suppose you dont actually need any communists for anti-communism. Its not like the absence of Jews has hurt anti-semitism any in, say, Poland.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Aug, 2006 07:12 pm
nimh wrote:

A communist, however, Okie, he is not - not by a long shot. To call people like Moore communists is to trivialise the ideological behemoth that Soviet communism foisted on the 20th century. "Communist" should not just be used as synonym for "something I really dont like".


To correct the record here for not only you but others, I don't think I said he was, but rather a sympathizer. The Michael Moores of the world seem to have an affection for communists, and of course Michael Moore is not going to claim he is. The word is not popular now.

Same for many other leftists. They don't like religion, they despise corporations and big business, don't like capitalism, or free enterprise, and they think government can fix nearly anything. They sort of admire Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and others of those stripes. Okay, they don't call themselves communists, but they are part way there at least whether they wish to admit it or not. Many liberals don't even wish to acknowledge that label. They think they are moderates.

Communists can be nice people. I think they are simply misguided, in terms of the policies they advocate.

Oh, I did dig this up on Michael Moore from the following site:



http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=3270
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Aug, 2006 08:33 pm
nimh wrote:
Blatham,

I have only seen Fahrenheit 9/11, so thats what I'm going on re Michael Moore. I thought it was masterfully made propaganda - and as such, at least as despicable as any of the far more lazy ****-slinging that Coulter does.

In short - you write:

Quote:
She foments hatred and divisiveness. Accuracy in data or in analogy are without importance. .. Logical fallacies fill her work and her speech.

Right. Thats where the equivalency with Moore is, because the exact same things - especially re the latter two points - hold for his F 9/11 too.

A communist, however, Okie, he is not - not by a long shot. To call people like Moore communists is to trivialise the ideological behemoth that Soviet communism foisted on the 20th century. "Communist" should not just be used as synonym for "something I really dont like".


nimh

Even discounting his earlier work (you might check with joefromchicago on Moore's tv work...he's a fan) I still don't think your analogy is even close. I'm going to paste a bunch of Coulter quotes (this piece from Washington Monthly). You will not be able to match Moore to this. I think he's got a web site, so you could also take a page or two arbitrarily from both and test in that manner.

Quote:
The Wisdom of Ann Coulter
After the September 11 attack masterminded by a terrorist hoping to spark a religious war, virtually every official and pundit knew better than to take the bait. Except for conservative commentator Ann Coulter, who wrote in a syndicated column on September 12 that in responding to terrorists "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
The column outraged the public, but conservatives, including National Review editor Richard Lowry, ascribed Coulter's column to grief over the loss of a friend in the attacks. But the following week, Coulter was at it again: "Congress could pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave....We should require passports to fly domestically. Passports can be forged, but they can also be checked with the home country in case of any suspicious-looking swarthy males." This time Lowry spiked her column. Coulter responded by calling Lowry and his staff censorious "girly boys." Lowry then dropped her as a contributing editor. Other conservative leaders also condemned her comments.

What's curious is that Coulter's comments aren't all that different, in tone and style, from hundreds of others she's made over the years. But in the past, her ire was directed at her domestic political enemies---for which she drew fulsome praise from conservatives. Last year, the Media Research Center presented Coulter with its "Conservative Journalist of the Year" award. The Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute bestowed upon her its annual conservative leadership award "for her unfailing dedication to truth, freedom and conservative values and for being an exemplar, in word and deed, of what a true leader is."

Coulter is spinning her downfall as a new kind of terrorist-war McCarthyism. "People are hysterical about speech right now," she told The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz. "Everyone's comments are being taken out of context and wildly misinterpreted." At the risk of further de-contextualization, here are some of Coulter's past comments:

"[Clinton] masturbates in the sinks."---Rivera Live 8/2/99

"God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'"---Hannity & Colmes, 6/20/01

The "backbone of the Democratic Party" is a "typical fat, implacable welfare recipient"---syndicated column 10/29/99

To a disabled Vietnam vet: "People like you caused us to lose that war."---MSNBC

"Women like Pamela Harriman and Patricia Duff are basically Anna Nicole Smith from the waist down. Let's just call it for what it is. They're whores."---Salon.com 11/16/00

Juan Gonzales is "Cuba's answer to Joey Buttafuoco," a "miscreant," "sperm-donor," and a "poor man's Hugh Hefner."---Rivera Live 5/1/00

On Princess Diana's death: "Her children knew she's sleeping with all these men. That just seems to me, it's the definition of 'not a good mother.' ... Is everyone just saying here that it's okay to ostentatiously have premarital sex in front of your children?"..."[Diana is] an ordinary and pathetic and confessional - I've never had bulimia! I've never had an affair! I've never had a divorce! So I don't think she's better than I am."---MSNBC 9/12/97

"I think there should be a literacy test and a poll tax for people to vote."---Hannity & Colmes, 8/17/99

"I think [women] should be armed but should not [be allowed to] vote."---Politically Incorrect, 2/26/01

"If you don't hate Clinton and the people who labored to keep him in office, you don't love your country."---George, 7/99

"We're now at the point that it's beyond whether or not this guy is a horny hick. I really think it's a question of his mental stability. He really could be a lunatic. I think it is a rational question for Americans to ask whether their president is insane."---Equal Time

"It's enough [to be impeached] for the president to be a pervert."---The Case Against Bill Clinton, Coulter's 1998 book.

"Clinton is in love with the erect penis."---This Evening with Judith Regan, Fox News Channel 2/6/00

"I think we had enough laws about the turn-of-the-century. We don't need any more." Asked how far back would she go to repeal laws, she replied, "Well, before the New Deal...[The Emancipation Proclamation] would be a good start."---Politically Incorrect 5/7/97

"If they have the one innocent person who has ever to be put to death this century out of over 7,000, you probably will get a good movie deal out of it."---MSNBC 7/27/97

"If those kids had been carrying guns they would have gunned down this one [child] gunman. ... Don't pray. Learn to use guns."---Politically Incorrect, 12/18/97

"The presumption of innocence only means you don't go right to jail."---Hannity & Colmes 8/24/01

"I have to say I'm all for public flogging. One type of criminal that a public humiliation might work particularly well with are the juvenile delinquents, a lot of whom consider it a badge of honor to be sent to juvenile detention. And it might not be such a cool thing in the 'hood to be flogged publicly."---MSNBC 3/22/97

"Originally, I was the only female with long blonde hair. Now, they all have long blonde hair."---CapitolHillBlue.com 6/6/00

"I am emboldened by my looks to say things Republican men wouldn't."---TV Guide 8/97

"Let's say I go out every night, I meet a guy and have sex with him. Good for me. I'm not married."---Rivera Live 6/7/00

"Anorexics never have boyfriends. ... That's one way to know you don't have anorexia, if you have a boyfriend."---Politically Incorrect 7/21/97

"I think [Whitewater]'s going to prevent the First Lady from running for Senate."---Rivera Live 3/12/99

"My track record is pretty good on predictions."---Rivera Live 12/8/98

"The thing I like about Bush is I think he hates liberals."---Washington Post 8/1/00

On Rep. Christopher Shays (d-CT) in deciding whether to run against him as a Libertarian candidate: "I really want to hurt him. I want him to feel pain."---Hartford Courant 6/25/99

"The swing voters---I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don't have set philosophical principles. You're either a liberal or you're a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster. "---Beyond the News, Fox News Channel, 6/4/00

"My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that's because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism."---MSNBC 2/8/97

"You want to be careful not to become just a blowhard."---Washington Post 10/16/98
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 04:11 am
blatham wrote:
I'm going to paste a bunch of Coulter quotes (this piece from Washington Monthly). You will not be able to match Moore to this.

Oh, I think there's a distinct difference in style..

As I said: "re Michael Moore. I thought it was masterfully made propaganda - and as such, at least as despicable as any of the far more lazy ****-slinging that Coulter does."
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 04:38 am
nimh wrote:
blatham wrote:
I'm going to paste a bunch of Coulter quotes (this piece from Washington Monthly). You will not be able to match Moore to this.

Oh, I think there's a distinct difference in style..

As I said: "re Michael Moore. I thought it was masterfully made propaganda - and as such, at least as despicable as any of the far more lazy ****-slinging that Coulter does."


Yes, I did read that statement the first time.

I suppose you ought to clarify what constitutes "style" and what constitutes "content".

And, what you mean by the term "propaganda" and how you differentiate it from, say, "opinionated commentary".
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 09:11 am
nimh wrote:
But for the Okies of America, all this should provide an effective reality check to their impressions of resurging communism. Forget about the showbusiness aspects of activist politics, the Michael Moores and their rabble-rousing. Compare the actual policies that Kerry or Feingold or even Howard "I am proud to have been the Governor of a state where we balanced the budgets" Dean propose, with those that Henry Wallace or McGovern proposed. Or with those Walter Mondale campaigned on, for that matter. Hell, I bet that if you compare the policies Dean proposed as candidate in '04 with those pursued by FDR, Dean might look a comparative market convert (anyone proposing mass government-funded employment programmes these days?).


nimh, thanks for some fairly reasonable opinions here. I believe communism by name is sort of dead or asleep as of now, but the ideas underlying the philosophy are not dead at all, and there are many that would like to revive the same old tried and worn out ideas under different names, and perhaps as disconnected elements of programs. In the U.S. there are many holdovers from the 60's that still have an affection for marxism and communism, and there are many younger people that are products of higher education that have a twisted view of the world, in that somehow government can fix any and every problem. Also, there is a large number of people in the Democratic Party that have a severe dislike of business, capitalism, and corporations. Michael Moore would probably be an example, sure he is not a vocal card carrying communist, but he nevertheless harbors the affections for such, and if given the chance, his ilk would love to try some of the same old ideas over again.

In other places of the world such as Venezuela, perhaps in Bolivia, almost in Mexico, and other places, leftists resembling communists keep rearing their ugly head. It does not seem to be going away. And in the U.S., we have an increasingly dependent culture that seems to look to government to solve almost any problem, so I think the potential for increasingly leftist politicians to be elected is most definitely there. I believe we are currently on the cusp of which way are things going to go from the roughly 50/50 split of the last 2 elections.

I am all for balancing budgets. Bush is by no means an icon of the conservative movement, especially as related to domestic spending, as a Ronald Reagan for example was. And of course if a Democrat slashes defense spending to the bone, it makes it easier to balance the budget.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 09:20 am
BBB
Greedy Capitalists create Communists (and socialists) in case you hadn't noticed. South and Central America is a good example.

When the rich abuse the poor and working classes, the rascals have a tendency to eventually fight back. They can do it with guns (or rocks) or they can try to work within the corrupt political systems.

BBB
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 09:29 am
Re: BBB
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Greedy Capitalists create Communists (and socialists) in case you hadn't noticed. South and Central America is a good example.

Really? I would have said that Chile, which gave more power to its greedy capitalists much earlier than the rest of the continent, is one of the more tranquil places in terms of worker unrest. Not to mention the most prosperous, and the one where workers are the best off.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 09:30 am
Re: BBB
Thomas wrote:
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Greedy Capitalists create Communists (and socialists) in case you hadn't noticed. South and Central America is a good example.

Really? I would have said that Chile, which gave more power to its greedy capitalists much earlier than the rest of the continent, is one of the more tranquil places in terms of worker unrest. Not to mention the most prosperous, and the one where workers are the best off.


You mean after they murdered the president elected by the people?

BBB
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 09:34 am
Re: BBB
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Thomas wrote:
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Greedy Capitalists create Communists (and socialists) in case you hadn't noticed. South and Central America is a good example.

Really? I would have said that Chile, which gave more power to its greedy capitalists much earlier than the rest of the continent, is one of the more tranquil places in terms of worker unrest. Not to mention the most prosperous, and the one where workers are the best off.


You mean after they murdered the president elected by the people?

Yes -- but murdering presidents isn't so uncommon in South America. What's uncommon is that the government creates a genuine market economy and sustains it over the long run. In the rare cases where that happens, the consequences for the country's poor people are much better than your theory would suggest.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 09:59 am
Re: BBB
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Greedy Capitalists create Communists (and socialists) in case you hadn't noticed. South and Central America is a good example.

When the rich abuse the poor and working classes, the rascals have a tendency to eventually fight back. They can do it with guns (or rocks) or they can try to work within the corrupt political systems.

BBB


I will admit to the existence of rich people that do not treat their employees fairly, however I think the theory that poor people can better themselves by envying and tearing down the rich is misguided at best. Without rich people and capitalists that have capital, to produce, create wealth, and provide employment, a country remains in the dark ages of squalor. I heard on the news only yesterday the tremendous impact of better living standards for millions of Chinese because of one corporation, namely Walmart, the company liberals love to hate.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 10:09 am
Quote:
I heard on the news only yesterday the tremendous impact of better living standards for millions of Chinese because of one corporation, namely Walmart, the company liberals love to hate.


Hahaha, that's because Walmart acts as a funnel of money from America to China, 24/7/365. Of course they are doing better because of Walmart - they only sell stuff from China and Taiwan!

Sheesh

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 10:12 am
Thomas
Thomas, your theory will only work if the government, and the elite, reform their economic and political policies. For example, land reform, which most wealthy land owners, who own the majority of the land, are willing to kill to prevent.

Basic land reform would work miracles in most Southern Hemisphere countries.

BBB
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 10:13 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Of course they are doing better because of Walmart - they only sell stuff from China and Taiwan!

You say that as if it were a bad thing. It isn't.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 10:21 am
Re: Thomas
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Thomas, your theory will only work if ...

That makes you more optimistic about my theory than I am. I'm sure my theory will not work, because I didn't state any theory at all. I stated a historical fact about Chile, as compared to other countries in Latin America.

BumbleBeeBookie wrote:
Basic land reform would work miracles in most Southern Hemisphere countries.

This may surprise you, but depending on what you mean by "basic", I probably agree with you. But that's a point about property rights in land. It has nothing to do with your earlier theory about "greedy capitalists", which I was replying to.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 10:40 am
Thomas
Thomas wrote: This may surprise you, but depending on what you mean by "basic", I probably agree with you. But that's a point about property rights in land. It has nothing to do with your earlier theory about "greedy capitalists", which I was replying to.

Pray tell me the difference between greedy capitalists and the Hegemons?

Hegemony is how dominant groups or individuals (known as hegemons) can maintain their power -- the capacity of dominant classes to persuade subordinate ones to accept, adopt and internalize their values and norms.

The abuse impact on the non-wealthy is the same.

BBB
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 10:53 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Quote:
I heard on the news only yesterday the tremendous impact of better living standards for millions of Chinese because of one corporation, namely Walmart, the company liberals love to hate.


Hahaha, that's because Walmart acts as a funnel of money from America to China, 24/7/365. Of course they are doing better because of Walmart - they only sell stuff from China and Taiwan!

Sheesh

Cycloptichorn


Cyclops, have you ever heard of the concept "win / win?"

The Chinese benefit, and we benefit through the availability of cheap goods. Sure, there is a mixed bag here, but every economic scenario has positives and negatives, but on balance, it can end up a win / win situation. I think economists can tell you one of the reasons inflation has stayed lower here in this country is the huge availability of inexpensive goods, no small contributor being China. Cars to be imported from China in 1908, not good for GM, Ford, etc., however it may apply greater pressure to lower prices overall for new cars through increased competition, which is good for consumers.

Another example of a mixed bag in economics. Higher prices for oil increases exploration and marginal production techniques in America, thus providing economic boosts to small communities, farmers, etc.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 11:26 am
Re: Thomas
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Pray tell me the difference between greedy capitalists and the Hegemons?

That land is a given, while capital is made. As a (very general) rule, current land owners in South America got their land by inheritance; the land got into the family because their grandfathers were cronies of the president when he appropriated the land in the country, taking it away from everybody else. Capitalists, by contrast, got their capital by either working, saving, and investing themselves, or by inheriting it from some ancester who did.

I strongly believe that people have the right to own property that is the fruit of their own labor. That includes the right to sell, mortage, donate, or bequeath this property as they see fit. The case for property rights in land is much weaker, because land isn't the fruits of anyone's labor.

And that's what makes the difference between rancheros and capitalists for me.
0 Replies
 
 

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