I appreciate his optimism.
"People who are voluntarily obliged to each other across classes and races, professions and ethnicities, tend to trust each other"
Voluntarily being the operative word here.
"That complaint is not a matter of circumstance. It is a permanent affliction of the liberal mind."
Wow, a thoughtful liberal. Look quick. They're almost extinct.
I remember reading 'Moral Man, Immoral Society' in college. It was required text for a Religious Studies course at Penn State, believe it or not. The idea behind the title can be boiled down to one example (in Niebuhr's thinking): the execution of a murderer.
Outstanding article! Thanks for posting it. Thanks to Martin Peretz for writing it!
This is an unbelievable admission from a liberal about his own party, the Democrat Party.
I, and many others around here, noted long ago that the Democrats were silently begging not only for an economic recession in which people lost their jobs, their homes, and their savings, but for lots and lots of filled body bags to come home from Iraq. It was clear that the Democrats figured their election prospects improved with such tragedies. We all shook our heads and wondered just how sick the Democrats were....
And here, along comes this author to confirm our suspicions - - the Democrats were, and remain, sicker than Dahmer's vomit.
Reality is finally making a dent in some of the libs consciousness, though they still have a long, long way to go. Proof of this is the selection of Howie as their leader.
The other problem that will take them a long time to overcome (if ever) is their congenital ignorance of economics. The following passage provides the evidence:
"This is the dizzying specter of economic competition from China, whose hold on U.S. Treasury bonds leaves the dollar vulnerable to a tremendous decline should China decide to sell them."
It also illustrates the shallowness of their thinking, because if he had thought about this statement for another second he would have realized that China would be cutting their own throat if they dumped all the treasuries.
Great writing from an honest liberal.
Yeah, but still clueless.
Yikes! Way to go Marty! You've come a long way from firing Michael Kelly for criticizing Al Gore. Or was it Andrew Sullivan? Anyway...nice progress and well said.
Sounds like this liberal has a fairly firm grasp of reality, and what that reality is doing to his political party.
It wasn't so long ago (the 80's in my case) when I would have very friendly and spirited give and take with liberal democrat friends. That is now barely possible and I honestly believe that it wasn't me who's changed. People like this writer (Christopher Hitchens also comes to mind) on the left have indeed become a very rare species.
Lawrence Summers. Unfortunately his idea that challenged was a conservative idea.
These are not axiomatic questions for them, as can be seen by their determined and contravening success last week in empowering not the states against Washington but Washington against the states in the area of tort law.
No, it is evidence that we want things handled where they should be handled. If a case has participants from several states it is no longer a matter to be decided by the one state with the most liberal judges but by the federal government
Still, liberals know that the right's ideologically framed--but class-motivated--retreat of the government from the economy must be resisted.
Here is the peak of his error. Liberals see classes. Conservatives only see people.
An interesting read, but the author is still being intellectually dishonest if he believes this. Liberal programs of big-government, welfare and wealth distribution are not VOLUNTARY, they are enforced by law, and as such, involve implied violence upon a section of the population - the productive section whose wealth is confiscated to pay for the program.
A second point: elsewhere, the author points out that some capitlist entities, such as Enron, have committed fraud, and then reasons from the single to the general - capitalism cannot be trusted etc so government bureaucrats should be in control. While that is a logical fallacy in itself (reasoning from the single to the general), it also raises the question, ignored by the author, "why should we trust government anymore than corporations?" Obviously, governments are capable of defrauding the population in many ways (inflation, currency devaluation, abuse of eminent domain rights, changes in the covenant between current taxation and future "entitlements", confiscation of pension rights etc).
That the author ignored these issues tells me that this is actually an example of what he decries - more shallow thinking, dressed up with a good helping of adjectives.
The great unspoken truth, which the author cannot bring himself to admit, is that liberalism/socialism is bunk.
Rush just said he's going to read excerpts from this today.
Without delusions liberals would have no ideology whatsoever.
For months, liberals have been peddling one disaster scenario after another, one contradictory fact somehow reinforcing another, hoping now against hope that their gloomy visions will come true.
I happen to believe that they won't. This will not curb the liberal complaint. That complaint is not a matter of circumstance. It is a permanent affliction of the liberal mind. It is not a symptom; it is a condition. And it is a condition related to the desperate hopes liberals have vested in the United Nations. That is their lodestone. But the lodestone does not perform. It is not a magnet for the good. It performs the magic of the wicked. It is corrupt, it is pompous, it is shackled to tyrants and cynics. It does not recognize a genocide when the genocide is seen and understood by all. Liberalism now needs to be liberated from many of its own illusions and delusions. Let's hope we still have the strength.
A third way is needed. The New Democrat Third Way progressives favor free markets to build wealth and bring "social justice" to the masses. They are for rules-based "free trade" and globalization. They make the rules. They are Davos.
Hardly any difference between them and our very own "free traders."
Well, except for one difference. When the progressives and their Davos elites ask you "free traders," do you have rope to sell? RUN!