Tag Archives: Democratic Party (USA)

Mark Lilla and the crisis of liberalism

Samuel Moyn, Boston Review, 27 February 2018

Lilla - The Once and Future LiberalFor an author known for much of his career as a scourge of the left, Lilla’s reliance on Karl Marx to drive his argument is curious. Over the course of the short text, he makes not one but two section-length shout-outs to Marx—and they are utterly pivotal. Lilla appeals to ‘material conditions’ to explain what politics are plausible in any particular time period and—above all—how it was that progressives drifted into an unholy alliance with the right they were supposed to be fighting. Too bad Lilla does not follow through on that insight. If he did so, we would have more of the explanation we need, and the story of what happened between 1968 and Trump would be about economics and politics, and not solely about culture.

‘If an ideology endures,’

Lilla explains,

‘this means it is capturing something important in social reality.’

And in Lilla’s story, it was no accident that the left embraced an individualism—embarking on searches for meaning and obsessed with their personal identities—that atomized the country at the same time that the right championed a parallel economic libertarianism. Identity politics is ‘Reaganism for lefties,’ Lilla says, just with self-absorption rather than self-interest as the rationale. Beaten in their initial demands for a collective justice beyond the limits of the old welfare state, refugees from the 1960s took over the English departments and taught their students not communitarian politics but wounded narcissism.

Lilla is right that material conditions strongly affect the imaginations of reformers, even if they do not determine it. Marx made that point most famously, but it is the common coin of all who believe that no one makes history under circumstances of their own choosing. And we are living in times that force a new acceptance of this truth, even if we conclude that the imagination counts alongside interests (indeed, helps define interests) in the making of social reality. Our economically neoliberal age has shaped many of the most exciting causes progressives have embraced in recent decades, helping to tilt them in an individualist and meritocratic direction. These range from an affirmative action that has tended to help the best-off African Americans (along with recent immigrants and their children who fit the terms of the programs); to a feminism that honors the shattering of glass ceilings for elites but not the stagnation of the lives of middle-class and poor women; to an LGBTQ politics that lifted centuries of opprobrium by appealing to the libertarian instincts of constitutional judges.

Rorty.jpg

Richard McKay Rorty

Indeed, Lilla’s feints toward a politics of economic interests distinguish The Once and Future Liberal from other once-famous analyses and indictments of atomistic fracture and the ‘disuniting of America,’ of identity politics and liberal racism, ranging from Tocqueville himself to Daniel Rodgers or Richard Rorty or Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. But Lilla’s overall story of the United States and the Democratic Party is still far too much about the superstructure (in the relevant terminology). It needs more attention to the base. More importantly, it is too much about the wrong reformers, focusing on the New Left in humanities departments and omitting the actual governmental and party policies that have mattered most. Lilla intuits the limits of his culturalist analysis of narcissism, but he discards his newfound acknowledgment that structural forces matter.

Read the full article in the Boston Review,

+++

Related

  1. Mark Lilla on Identity Politics
  2. The Once and Future Liberal by Mark Lilla
  3. Mark Lilla – The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics
  4. On Mark Lillas critique of identity politics
  5. The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics by Mark Lilla
  6. The Once and Future Mark Lilla
  7. Censorship and the Liberal Arts
  8. Liberal identity politics
  9. Up for debate – The New Inquiry
  10. Chris Hedges and Identity Politics
  11. Chua, “Political Tribes”

2 Comments

Filed under Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

The twist of politics and expression

A retired public school administrator and history professor says political polls asked people all across the nation how they felt about issues and adds that hey have been publicized in the mass media and questions how minorities would not being protected?

He writes

Our laws call for equal justice for all. The problem is that certain segments of our society are in denial about some of the crimes committed in our country. For example, the Black Lives Matter supporters blame the police for the killing of a few black people some of whom had criminal records.  But they ignore the fact that the greatest killers of black people are other black people. In Chicago, the murder rate of black on black is greater than the casualties we suffered in Afghanistan. So why doesn’t the Black Lives Matter supporters focus on the greatest killer of young black men? {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

That America where effectively a lot of killing goes on between the black population by their own skin-coloured compatriots, could once more shake Europe with something they never would have expected and would not have hoped for.

A great problem of the States and Europe is that they had to undergo a terrible stock market crash and a period with lots of job losses. Both parts of the world also had to face a lot of people becoming poorer.

He writes

According to federal government statistics, we have more poor people now than ever before in our history. Ever since Lyndon Johnson started to spend billions on welfare and food stamps through his War on Poverty, poverty has INCREASED not decreased. Under Obama, according to federal government statistics, our nation now has more people than ever before. Obviously throwing money at the problem has increased poverty, not decreased it. {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

For him

ObamaCare is a total disaster.  Need I remind you that the Democratic Party politicians NEVER included Republicans in the drafting of the law. They refused to work with the Republicans.  So the high premiums and high deductibles which make ObamaCare unaffordable is entirely the blame of the Democrats. {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

He seems to forget Obama Care could not really be worked out as envisioned, because the republicans worked against it. It also had to face the difficulty, that though the U.S.A. claims to be a Christian nation there is not much Christian love for sharing with the weaker and needy ones. A lot of American citizens seem to care most for their own self little cocoon and all the rest they do not bother how they can manage.

For Europeans all what is going on in the states should be a portent. We should be aware of the dangerous harbinger showing very similar situations we have already encountered with the Weimar republic. In the twenties and thirties of previous century there was also a nation where there was a big difference between those who had money and those who had to fight every day to have some bread on the table. Last century Europe also face a crisis which made them very much afraid of all that was foreign or different than the main stream. Also then we saw a man with a big mouth shouting load and promising a lot.

This time it was at the other side of the ocean that some bigger or larger man used similar rhetoric tricks to get the majority of people on his hands.

Those who had other viewpoints at that time were not tolerated and often considered traitors. Something we also found a man of the American senate calling Hillary Clinton and demanding her to be put on the electric chair. It is not because the U.S.A. is called the land of the free that they are really so free.

The man replies

Trump has done nothing to violate the freedom of people. He isn’t even in office yet.

though did he not give enough signals that he would love to limit the freedom of many?

It is the protestors who are either unwilling or unable to accept Trumps’s selection in a democratic process.  They are the ones who are creating the violence. When Obama won his elections, there were NO demonstration or violence committed against his supporters.

I agree with him that violence should not be permitted, in no circumstances, but to call Trump a full democratic process is to lay violent hands on the truth. In the U.S.A. people with not enough money never will make a chance to become a presidential candidate and once the are in, they have to count on people or worse organisations funding them. that the one with the biggest mouth can force them to step down, you can call part of the democratic system, so no objection to that. It is up to people to hear what a person is promulgating. It is up to the listeners to examine what that person in front of them is enunciating and if his or her words are filled with the truth or are distorting the truth. In the case of Donald Trump they seemed to be deaf for all the lies he told and for how he switched from one side to an other, turning like the wind. He could uncap whatever he wanted and they all wanted to take it in like sweet buns.

Hillary Clinton speaks to the press in New Ham...

Hillary Clinton speaks to the press in New Hampshire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The writer thinks we in Europe must be taken by all the propaganda, because most of us seem to have a distorted view of what is going on in America, and perhaps in the world.

What I find strange the writer of A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal does not seem to see the difference of what the bible-scholar Bijbelvorsers wrote and on what he reblogged, taking everything what was reblogged on the Stepping Toes article A Progressive Call to Arms as the writing of Bijbelvorsers though the reblog was of an article the bible-scholar wanted to lay in front of the readers to think about it. By doing so the reactor to that article also misses the point of such reblog, and also of such a writing on Stepping Toes, where I created a site where people should be able to come together to talk about controversial matters.

The second part the retired schoolmaster is referring and commenting to is a text written by theindependentthinker2016. I must commit it disturbs me we are not given more information who this can be, or which organisation may behind that name. But that does not make me to disagree with a lot that writer tells us.

I also would love to ask the readers on this readers digest and on the other lifestyle magazine to think about their way of going on with politics, willing to see what is going on or wanting to close an eye for certain things.

Niemöller, author of “First they came …” at The Hague’s Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk in May 1952

I too would like to call to remember what the ex-naval officer and commander of a German U-boat in World War I wrote. He also had faced a man who wanted to have control over everything, including the churches. Until his arrested by Hitler’s secret police, the Gestapo, he was not afraid to open his mouth and to defend those who had no voice. We as Christians should come up for the weaker ones in society and should look at what happens in the world, if it can endanger man, animal and flora.

Christians also should take care that we do not have a second generation to have a collective guilt. Lecturing widely, Martin Friedrich Gustav Emil Niemöller spoke freely in favour of international reconciliation and against armaments.

Like there has been given a call on the lifestyle magazine Stepping Toes, to remember his famous statement and provocative poem, I also would repeat that important saying here also:

 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

-Martin Niemoller

Let us always be prepared to stand ready, to defend those without a voice and those who are oppressed.
I also express my hopes that we shall not have to face such cowardice of American intellectuals following the rise to power and subsequent purging of his chosen targets, group after group.

+

Please do find both articles

the original A Progressive Call to Arms

the repost A Progressive Call to Arms

the reaction A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal

++

Additional reading

  1. Expanding opportunities for more American families
  2. Where is the USA wanting to go with the freedom of their people
  3. Islamophobia Must be Fought and Defeated
  4. Stand Up
  5. God Isn’t a Republican
  6. American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder
  7. 150 Years after the 13th Amendment
  8. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts
  9. Scepticals of the Bible
  10. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  11. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
  12. Looking at an American nightmare
  13. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory
  14. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  15. Some quotes Americans should remember when going to the ballot office
  16. When so desperate to hold onto power
  17. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  18. A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America
  19. Brexit No. 2 Blow-up
  20. Voted against their system
  21. Nigel Farage called Donald Trump’s victory ‘bigger than Brexit’

+++

Further reading

  1. Election Historic Tidbits
  2. President Trump. Why the surprise??
  3. When a Country Elects a Celebrity Populist
  4. Will The Whitelash Last?
  5. Trump v. Clinton
  6. Trump Thoughts
  7. Trump and the hidden racism inside us
  8. Ep.04: Sound The TRUMPet Of TRiUMPh 
  9. How the Atheists Rage That Donald Trump Triumphed in the President Election
  10. EU top dog: “We will need to teach the president-elect what Europe is and how it works”
  11. The Future of the Anglo-American Alliance?
  12. Anti-Trump Protesters March by Tens of Thousands Nationwide
  13. Presidential matters
  14. How Electoral College Cheats Democracy – Consortiumnews
  15. Trump the Puppet
  16. They Got It Backwards: Tell Tale Signs Of Blatant Hypocrisy
  17. Stand In Your Sovereignty
  18. Warding Against Hate
  19. Michael Moore Makes Another Prediction: Trump Voters In Michigan Are In For ‘A Rude Awakening’
  20. David Duke Calls Trump’s Victory ‘One of the Best Days of My Life’
  21. Wynwood Protesters Want Trump To Know They’re Watching Him Closely
  22. As many question if Trump will fully repeal Obamacare, Kellyanne Conway says his promise relies on this factor
  23. Mister Trump Goes to Washington
  24. Broward Republican Party Chairman Bob Sutton At Donald Trump Victory Rally
  25. On President-elect Donald J Trump, the Simpsons, and Leonard Cohen making sense of it all through the clarity of Erik Nielsen
  26. Donald Trump announces plan to deport three million immigrants
  27. Trump’s Family Plan to Cut Business Conflicts Falls Short, Experts Say

+++

6 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Quotations or Citations, Religious affairs, Social affairs, World affairs