Lately, I’ve been musing about religion and politics. And more specifically, the thought that keeps recurring to me is the following: Is the idea of born agains and other Christians becoming political radicals, a far-fetched one? Or, should the question be, how could they not become politically radical Christians?
“Puritanism has made life itself impossible. More than art, more than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand variations; it is indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change. Puritanism, on the other hand, rests on a fixed and immovable conception of life; it is based on the Calvinistic idea that life is a curse, imposed upon man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem himself man must do constant penance, must repudiate every natural and healthy impulse, and turn his back on joy and beauty.” — Emma Goldman
Updated: May 20, 2019
Progressives are fooled by the corporate news media, who are paid to lie about wars, climate, economics, everything. Progressives believe the abuses in capitalism can be removed through reforms; they haven’t realized that the abuses are capitalism. A simple analysis shows that inequality, externalities, and alienation are terrible evils inherent in every version of capitalism.
Clearly, the Republican party is one of the most dangerous organizations on this planet so I won’t need to convince any reasonable minded person of that argument. Yet, I see an American populace swept up in the Blue Wave in another attempt to reform the Democrat Party. But the Dems are the problem because they pacify the nation and we keep forgetting that they are capitalists. It is fundamental to understand that capitalists will never give up their power, especially through elections. […]
One of the more darkly amusing narratives in current establishment Democratic Party positioning for the 2018 mid-term elections and the 2020 presidential contest is the claim that the Bernie Sanders tendency represents a radical “socialist” threat that will tip the races to the Republicans and Trump.
Remarks at People’s Convergence Conference, Sept. 8, 2017
Here’s my five-minute case for why you can’t have an effective progressive movement in the United States that doesn’t include working for peace. War and militarism and bases and ships and missiles and sanctions and nuclear threats and hostility make up the filter through which much of the other 96% of humanity experiences this 4%. The U.S. Congress chooses how to spend a great deal of money each year, and chooses to put 54% of it into war and preparations for war. The wars demonstrably increase rather than reduce or eliminate anti-U.S. sentiment and violence. They endanger us rather than protect us. The wars are a top cause of death and injury in the world, and a top cause of famines and disease epidemics and refugee crises that cause massive additional suffering. But war kills most by diverting resources. Small fractions of U.S. military spending could end starvation, provide clean water, end diseases, even end the use of fossil fuels worldwide. Military spending also reduces jobs in comparison to other spending or not taxing working people in the first place.
The battle between Sanders and Clinton over the term “progressive” presented an opportunity to discuss some history. Now that Sanders is supporting the very person who misappropriated the term it is even more important to define what does progressive mean, if it is more than a euphemism for the vague term “liberal.” This article argues on the contrary that “progressive” has a very precise meaning conferred by its history.
Please see revised version: “Progressive”: Does its Meaning Depend on Whatever the Clintons Think is “Progress”? by Rob Hager
The battle between Sanders and Clinton over the term “progressive” presents an opportunity to discuss some history relevant to the campaign. The meaning of the term gains importance from new thinking that “people of color and progressive whites add up to a new majority” comprising 23% and 28% of the electorate respectively. See Steve Phillips, Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority (2016). These Americans are those most strongly committed to America’s republican traditions. Today’s progressives represent the same fraction who fought to establish the republic envisaged by the two Toms, Paine and Jefferson.
The arguments between the Progressives on the left and the Conservatives on the right are mostly straw-man arguments when it comes to cable shows. FOX News on one hand can’t bash the Democrats enough, while MSNBC can’t stop taking the Republicans to task. Still, the content of both cable stations is Republican against Democrat without much meaningful criticism of American polices and direction.
Once in awhile we get a gem from MSNBC like Rachel Maddow’s report on “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”. I’d just like to add that when I was stationed in Germany, a gay friend of mine took me to a gay bar in Kaiserslautern and when I walked in I saw about 15 guys from my unit if 240 guys there. Nobody knew and if they did, the soldiers in my unit didn’t give a damn.
The mouthpiece for “New” Democratic president Barack Obama, apparently felt the need to take a shot at a sleeping dog that was out cold — and near death — and has probably been that way since at least the late 1960s, early 1970s. It would stand to reason that after decades of both sides of the aisle handing over the keys to the family vehicle, to all sorts of avaricious and rapacious, beastly corporate predators, that there might be some push back against the “New” Democratic ancien regime. Said mouthpiece, to the “New” Democratic ancien administration, cited a giveaway to the health insurance industry, and a toothless Wall Street “reform” bill; as achievements of the “New” Democratic ancien administration that should have assuaged “intransigent” progressive agitators.