Tag Archives: left

The Gulf of Morality – NYTimes.com

14 Nov

The intensification of disagreements over moral values not only makes compromise difficult to achieve, but sharpens competition for scarce goods at a time when austerity dominates the agenda. If, as is increasingly the case, left and right see their opposites as morally corrupt, the decision to cut the benefits or raise the taxes of the other side become easy – too easy — to justify.

via The Gulf of Morality – NYTimes.com.


Occupation and realignment – Salon.com

18 Oct

The Occupy Wall Street movement has the potential to help the center-left, even if some of its activists despise the center-left the way that the New Left in the 1960s and 1970s dismissed progressive-liberals like the Kennedys and Johnson as sinister “corporate liberals” promoting the “warfare-welfare state.” The reemergence of a radical economic left can create a fourth point on the political spectrum, changing the relative position of all other points. The Tea Party right, now the mainstream right, would become the far right. Today’s center, shared by Clinton and Obama with Reagan and the Bushes, would become the new center-right. And the new center-left would be something like New Deal liberalism — to the left of Clinton and Obama, but to the right of an anti-capitalist left. Better yet, if the public tired of Tea Party conservatism, the far right could implode and the new “far right” would be moderate economic conservatism of the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Obama variety. What until recently has been the left — old-fashioned social democratic reformism in the New Deal tradition — might once again be the center.

via Occupation and realignment – Salon.com.

Conundrums on the Left

6 Apr

John Quiggin has an interesting post at Crooked Timber about problems in formulating a leftist politics that makes sense. It’s mostly about Australia (where Quiggin lives and teaches), but it opens with a statement about things here in the USofA. He observes that “the fact that the base has nowhere to go, and can’t even justify abstention means that Obama and the rest of the Democratic leadership can and do kick them (or, thinking more globally, us) with impunity.” He further observes:

The frustration felt on the left at present is (at least at my case) associated with a feeling that we should be doing a lot better. The case for market liberalism is in ruins after the Global Financial Crisis and it’s obvious that the reconstruction of the system has changed nothing, leaving the bankers unscathed and putting all the burden onto ordinary people. Left positions on lots of specific issues have much more public support than is evident from their political representation. The right screwed up massively over Iraq, is delusional on climate change and so on. And Obama won office easily running hard against Bush’s abuses on civil liberties and for a decent health care plan.

Maybe it’s time we make the move to Truth and Tradition. Instead of progressing into a nuclear disaster financed by fat cat bankers we need to conserve the land and our local communities.