Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by kfbvoice

  1. As Wolfe notes, liberals want equality to extend beyond the aristocratic class or the business elite via equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes. “Liberals,” he writes, “believe that the freedom to live your life on terms you establish does not mean very much if society is organized in such as way as to deny large numbers of people the possibility of ever realizing that objective.” In contrast to conservative claims that liberty can best be achieved via free markets and the absence of state intervention, liberals believe in a “positive liberty,” which holds that human flourishing should not be reduced to a series of monetary exchanges. Thus, it is not enough for a free person to be merely “left alone” by the state; a free person should also have the capacity to realize her own personal goals, and liberals are “prepared to accept state intervention into the economy in order to give large numbers of people the sense of mastery that free market capitalism gives only to the few.”* https://thatdevilhistory.com/index.php/2013/11/17/on-liberalism-its-faults-and-its-historical-necessity/#more-1410
  2. Thanks for the links... A few things do concern me about educated people being more liberal leaning. Are these people liberal only on social and cultural issues rather than economic and political issues ? If less educated lower income people are voting to the right for the GOP that's a problem because they have the most to lose from rightwing policies that exacerbate economic inequality. Liberals should be concerned about these voters because they have so much to gain from Single Payer Healthcare, a Minimum Wage increase, fair trade policies and the like. Meanwhile social liberals might oppose these things while being pro choice on abortion, supporting LGBTQ Rights, and stopping global warming. We need educated people to support a left political and economic agenda as well as social issues. We also have to reach less educated lower income people who have the most to gain from left economic agenda. This bright liberal future is not assured unless we fight for economic and social issues both around a message of common ground.
  3. Really ? Most of what I read suggest that more people identify with Conservatism than Liberalism or the Center. Are there stats with links showing your claim ? Thanks.
  4. While I think there are differences between Liberalism and Progressivism there are also many areas where they come together. And too many Liberals are unwilling to take a strong stand against big money and corporate interests. Good point.
  5. ​For those who might find my take on Liberalism unsatisfactory consider the following insights from an article online that cites Alan Wolfe and Edmund Fawcett : As Alan Wolfe writes in The Future of Liberalism, the liberal philosophy is best summed up in the notion that, “As many people as possible should have as much say as is feasible over the direction their lives will take.” For liberals, liberty and equality come before markets. Liberals, Wolfe continues, believe that all people “should be free to exercise their full capacities: minds, through open societies that allow everyone to develop their intellect, and bodies, through societies that guarantee sufficient economic security to individuals so that they are not dependent upon the arbitrary will of others for the basic necessities of life.”* Without liberty and equality, market freedom is one more tyranny dressed in Liberty’s robes. You can’t be free if you’re stuck in the choking cloud of ignorance, and you can’t be free if you’re stuck under the thumbs of those with more money and power. In his book Liberalism: The Life of an Idea, Edmund Fawcett outlines why the liberal tradition endures to this day: Liberalism offered means to adapt law and government to productive new patterns of trade and industry, to hold together divided societies from which familiar organizing hierarchies and overarching creeds were disappearing and to foster or keep hold of standards of humanity, particularly standards for how state power and moneyed power must not mistreat or neglect people with less power.* It’s the last line, “how state power AND moneyed power must not mistreat or neglect people with less power,” that especially stands out. Here, Fawcett highlights where liberalism differs from conservatism, which tends to only see concentrated power in the state, when, in fact, powers always collude, and moneyed interests have always tried to control the state for their own ends, even if they have to run roughshod over democracy in the process. http://thatdevilhistory.com/index.php/2016/02/19/why-liberalism-matters-in-the-2016-election-and-beyond/
  6. ​ ​Liberalism and the left are often referred to interchangeably and they frequently work together for similar things. There is a difference especially when we talk about democratic socialism and even social democracy. Pointing out the differences doesn't mean liberals and leftists should be enemies. In fact the left plays a crucial role in activism and grassroots organizing efforts for social change that liberals support. Moreover radical demands and ideas often become modified into liberal public policy. Nevertheless we need to recognize the differences to better understand debates around capitalism, economic inequality, and the Presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders. Democratic Socialism ​Emphasizes the need to work peacefully within the democratic process to bring about collective ownership of the means of production. Furthermore once capitalism has ended it uses democratic means to make economic decisions and preserves certain democratic freedom unlike totalitarianism which tries to control and repress every aspect of individual life while not allowing any dissent. Many democratic socialists would argue that real socialism has never existed anywhere because they reject the abuse and excesses of communism whether in the former Soviet Union, Maoist China, or the Third World. But the also tend to think that Western Europe's Labor and Social Democratic parties do not go far enough. Social Democracy Emphasizes the values of freedom, equality, and social solidarity. It may seek to realize democratic socialism at some point or accept capitalism while striving for the values mentioned here. Social Democracy has profoundly impacted Western European countries like the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. It has kept much of capitalism with strong regulations, some state ownership, and a universal welfare state including free healthcare for all. They have used high taxes to nearly eliminate poverty, reduce wealth income inequalities, and preserve a large middle class. Liberalism Emphasizes individual liberty. Things like equality, tolerance, and limited government within the rule of law uphold individual liberty in liberalism. Liberals want to prevent tyranny by controlling power exercised by anyone in society or government. Contemporary liberals unlike their classical forbearers are more supportive of government in society and the marketplace because they see private threats by capitalism as well as government to individual liberty. Liberals in this sense value economic regulation and more limited means tested welfare. Liberals are committed to the individual and private property so they want to control capitalism not abolish it. ​
  7. ​You are absolutely right.
  8. When you say freedom, responsibility, and safety are related issues not separate no matter what the constitution says about freedom - that's troubling. How many and how often will law abiding citizens be infringed upon or harmed in the name of security ? Fear and desperation fuel the desire for evermore repressive measures that weaken us playing into the terrorist's hands. Moreover can we say that rolling back civil liberties is the only way to be secure ? I'm not convinced.
  9. ​I appreciate the point you are making but I can't help thinking that extremism or overreach are the least of liberalism's problems. The problem is a demoralized and confused liberalism that can't define itself, communicate its message, and organize to fight back. As for those who see themselves as radical and progressive left they are small in number scattered across various activist groups and academia. None of this has turned the tide against conservatism or pro corporate centrism, so liberals and the left are not responsible for our broken politics. The Clintons with the New Democrats pushed liberalism and the Democratic Party closer to big business and away from reforms to combat poverty, racism, sexism, and protect organized labor. This why some liberals and leftists are so tough on Hillary Clinton no matter what she says. Let me be clear Hillary Clinton is clearly more liberal than Bill in every sense, but she is far less liberal than anybody who would identify with liberalism. People know this and are speaking out. Calling that extremism isn't accurate.
  10. Think about it. Wage Stagnation and decline not to mention the time passed since the last Minimum wage increase along with mergers in financial services and mass media. NAFTA and TPP have also been ratified by Congress. While some liberal thinkers, writers, and activists have spoken out voters who claim to be liberal and progressive have not held the Democratic Party accountable. What if President Obama had been held been challenged ? Moreover liberals who know that corporate power and inequality are serious problems like Economist Paul Krugman, Columnist Johnathan Chait, Writer Katha Pollitt ( The Nation ) and Princeton academic Paul Starr (cofounder of The American Prospect ) have vigorously criticized Bernie Sanders while supporting Hillary Clinton. They all seem to imply that Sanders is wrong to even challenge Clinton for the nomination. ​I more than understand the practical and procedural nature of liberalism and its preference for incremental change. I also know that liberals change based on circumstance, and maybe all this gets at Hillary Clinton's emphasis on " progressivism that gets things done. " At some point however we have to recognize how a demoralized liberalism has settled for defending past achievements like Social Security and Medicare while offering more modest measures like the Affordable Care Act recently rather than finding the confidence to go further and fight for Single Payer or breaking up the big banks.
  11. ​It's not just the party leaders or elites a lot of rank and file liberals and progressives do not support Sanders and unless he can win in places like New York, New Jersey, California, and Pennsylvania convincing the Super Delegates to back him Sanders will lose. And it won't necessarily be because these liberals lack conviction. Far too many liberals no longer believe it is possible or desirable to challenge large corporations or economic inequality. Liberals since the rise of Reagan and Conservatism in the 1980s have lost confidence in their beliefs and policies in relation to active government.
  12. ​I'm tempted to say it would be nice. But I don't think so. If you are going to have free enterprise and growing businesses employing lots of people then unions are inevitable and desirable. Now if we all lived under a socialist workers democracy then unions might not be needed. But I'm not for socialism. I am interested in what you mean by " the founders blueprint for prosperity ? " Its important to remember that they lived in a rural agrarian economy that included merchants, traders, and craftsmen mainly.
  13. ​While the release of his 1982 album Thriller made Michael Jackson a pop music superstar with hits including Billy Jean, Beat It, and the title track Thriller, Jackson's roots were in R&B with his brothers in the Jackson Five. Singed by Barry Gordy's Motown Records in 1969 the group had debut hits such as I Want You Back and ABC. They followed it up with The Love You Save in 1970 and their last hit with Motown before moving to Epic Records Dancing Machine in 1974. From the beginning however Jackson had what it took be solo artist with songs like Got To Be There and Ben both in 1972. His 1979 solo album Off The Wall featured hits like Rock With You and a moving ballad She's Out Of My Life. There's no reason not believe that Michael Jackson would not have been a highly successful R&B artist with considerable crossover appeal not unlike Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and The Supremes in the 1960s and beyond. But Michael Jackson push himself as an artist and broke ground as a crossover star like no black performer had done before. He left the group with brothers for good in 1984. Yet he never completely left R&B music with its influence evident in his work throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s in songs like PYT - Pretty Young Thing from Thriller, The Way You Make Me Feel 1987, Remember the Time (1991) and Keep It in The Closet (1992).
  14. Notice the key word in my response is limit. The other one is equality. To prevent harm and ensure like liberty no one is free to do everything or anything in a social setting with other people. All rights exist within some limits. We can think about this in another way. Most libertarians and conservatives would say we should enforce contracts among parties. What if someone you have a contract with wants back out or cancel the contract not according to previously agreed upon terms for when, why, or how an agreement can be voided ? The party who violates the terms could say they have the freedom to change their minds and do whatever they want and no terms of contract are binding. I'm going to say I think you would disagree with this.
  15. ​I agree with you on this point but its not just rightwing politicians backed by wealthy supporters who are destroying organized labor with Right To Work laws its non union working people's attitudes as well. They think union workers are lazy and unions like politician can't be trusted.
  16. We premise our society on the equal right to freedom of every person. You have no more right to liberty or freedom than me or vice versa. You can choose to do business or not do business with whoever but you can't discriminate on the basis of things like race that's the limit on the basis of equality in society. Remember the marketplace is socially constructed.
  17. If you say there is no freedom of choice in the constitution then there is no basis for rights or liberties in the document. No privacy rights, no freedom of expression, no freedom of speech, worship, or association. All these things reflect individual choices. Liberty and freedom always imply a choice. We tend to think of liberty as noninterference with the individual by government and society. However if a person is unable to choose how can we talk about liberty in any meaningful way. Its not that hard but you fall short.
  18. When you discriminate you deprive someone else of the equal right to freedom ( or like liberty ). When you go into business to profit what you do has implications for others in society which is where the marketplace exist. To deprive others of the right to choose as consumers or producers on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, or marital status is not conducive to freedom for every individual. Civil Rights and non discrimination laws are built on this premise.
  19. ​No matter what Trump says about trade he's a rich developer who makes deals around the world. He won't do anything about fair trade and Hillary Clinton will need to make this clear. Democrats need to call attention to any and all of Trump's foreign holdings and hammer him in social media and television. ​If Trump wants to ban Muslims refugees then he should be called upon to divest of his holdings in Muslim countries. It needs to be clear that Trump is no friend of workers especially organized labor. He can be beat if you're smart and tough. Hillary knows how to fight hard.
  20. From reading this it sounds more like an inner city high school than a historically black college or university. I wonder if this was the only section or were there others ? I suspect there were other blacks who were better prepared and motivated in the school too. Sometimes its harder for low income students or some middle income students to excel if they are the first people in their family to attend college or university.
  21. ​For years the Republican Right used the rhetoric of liberty and traditional morality to unite business interests especially large corporations and religious conservatives to advance deregulation, tax cuts, opposition to abortion, and public endorsement of religion. They convinced working class people to support them claiming they would ensure freedom, prosperity, and a strong moral fiber for society. However the Federal Government has tended to grow along with wealth and income going to the top one percent. It hasn't been good for working people. The notion of upholding traditional moral values failed too. The Religious Right couldn't bring back school prayer or halt the advance of gay rights. Abortion rights are being weakened but the Roe decision is still law. At the same time talk radio personalities like Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh along with Fox News and various websites have convinced working class conservatives mainly whites that blacks, illegal immigrants, and Muslims are the enemies who threaten their lives, jobs, communities, and values. Far too many people have fallen for this narrative, but they also know what NAFTA, Globalization, Wealth / Income Inequality, Wage Stagnation, and Wall Street Greed and Excess have done to their living standards. They blame the rightwing politicians in Washington for not protecting them from these supposed enemies and economic forces. They don't want to hear what Cruz or Rubio have to say about conservatism or what they or the GOP will do if you just vote for them one more time. Donald Trump has tapped into GOP voter discontent. His outsider status is boosted by his fame and a willingness to say all the harsh, cruel, crazy, tough, things primary voters want to hear. " We're gonna be great again ! " He tells people he will fight ISIS and win and create jobs. While Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio spout off high minded rhetoric about small government and liberty Trump appeals to a more ancient and primal conservatism that emphasizes strength, security, national pride, and greatness. Trump has done what no other Republican was willing to do - build a xenophobic, populist, nationalist, politics around all the extremist sloganeering and symbolism that conservative media personalities and fringe elements have been spouting for years.
  22. ​The kinds of comments posted by supporters of Bernie Sanders at Reddit and Democratic Underground are beyond unfortunate they are despicable. However they are not surprising considering the response of Sanders supporters and others on the left towards Black Lives Matter protestors at some of Sanders's events. Being liberal or leftwing doesn't make you immune to being racist and sometimes white progressives' angry response to black peoples' self assertion shows how bad things are.
  23. ​The primaries are not over yet and Bernie Sanders has not given up yet. More importantly we should not approach the general election thinking a Clinton victory is inevitable. Donald Trump or worse Ted Cruz will be a tough opponent, and Skews13 reference to the Senate is very important. Democrats must get it back. I worry that if Clinton wins she have to settle for simply holding the line on the Affordable Care Act and Dodd Frank rather than getting through any policy initiatives because of GOP extremists in the house and Senate. Let's wait and see.
  24. You got it. Too bad we have to rely on charismatic personalities rather than lots of sensible, committed, individuals.
  25. What's wrong with the Democratic Party ? Consider the following : ​ 1. Too many otherwise liberals in the party depend on corporate money and wealthy donors so they can't challenge the system or enact policies that address gross economic inequality. Moreover some socially liberal donors and voters will accommodate the status quo in which Wall Street cheats, workers are underpaid, and big business doesn't pay its share of taxes. ​2. There is a disconnect between activists, thinkers, and opinion leaders who want bold serious reform and the party officials and elected leaders who go along with big money commercial interests. When those on the right claim that leftwing extremists dominate the party its a lie. If Democratic leaders and politicians really read magazines like The Nation or listened to advocacy groups like United For a Fair Economy, or thinkers like Robert Kuttner it would be so much better. That doesn't happen. Instead they pay lip service to groups like the Sierra Club, NARAL Pro Choice, The NAACP, Human Rights Campaign, AFL-CIO, and Human Rights Campaign and do as little as possible on the issues. Most of us then keep voting for them because we will do anything to avoid rightwing Republicans. ​3. Democratic voters are too divided. Blacks who don't see class as important as race, white liberals and leftists who only see economic issues, middle class usually white feminists who don't relate to low income working women raising children, workers who don't care about environmental protection, environmentalists who don't care about the economic wellbeing of workers or communities impacted by environmental protection, and senior citizens who just want their Social Security and Medicare protected but don't care about others without health insurance or young college grads without decent jobs and burdened by student loan debt - all these people want things from Democrats without concern for others. That has got to change.
  • Create New...