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This article by Noam Chomsky reminds me of El Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) famous characterization of conservatives and liberals in American politics: "One is the wolf, the other is a fox. No matter what, they'll both eat you."


http://www.chomsky.info/articles/19690102.htm


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Parallel to the assumption that all is basically well at home is the widely articulated belief that the problems of international society, too, would be subject to intelligent management, were it not for the machinations of the Communists. One aspect of this complacence is the belief that the Cold War was entirely the result of Russian (later Chinese) aggressiveness. For example, Daniel Bell has described the origins of the Cold War in the following terms: "When the Russians began stirring up the Greek guerrilla EAM in what had been tacitly acknowledged at Teheran as a British sphere of influence, the Communists began their cry against Anglo-American imperialism. Following the rejection of the Marshall Plan and the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia in February, 1948, the Cold War was on in earnest."13 This will hardly do as a balanced and objective statement of the origins of the Cold War -- in particular, the remark concerning the Russians in Greece is not supported by the historical record, though it is hardly necessary to document British and American intervention1 ; but the distortion it reflects is an inherent element in Bell's optimism about the new society, since it enables him to maintain that our Cold War position is purely reactive, and that once Communist belligerence is tamed, the new technical intelligentsia can turn its attention to the construction of a more decent society.

A related element in the ideology of the liberal intellectual is the firm belief in the fundamental generosity of Western policy toward the third world. Ulam, again, provides a typical example: "Problems of an international society undergoing an economic and ideological revolution seem to defy...the generosity -- granted its qualifications and errors -- that has characterized the policy of the leading democratic powers of the West."15 Even Hans Morgenthau succumbs to this illusion. He summarizes a discussion of intervention with these remarks: "...we have intervened in the political, military and economic affairs of other countries to the tune of far in excess of $100 billion, and we are at present involved in a costly and risky war in order to build a nation in South Vietnam. Only the enemies of the United States will question the generosity of these efforts, which have no parallel in history."16 Whatever one may think about the $100 billion, it is difficult to see why anyone should have taken seriously the professed "generosity" of our effort to build a nation in South Vietnam, any more than the similar professions of benevolence by our many forerunners in such enterprises. Generosity has never been a commodity in short supply among powers bent on extending their hegemony.



This is an example of some of the pontifications of a liberal college professor Adam Ulam which Noam Chomsky dissects intellectually. In this article, Chomsky is pointing out that for all their talk, liberals are really no different than conservatives. They simply have a differing opinion on how to keep the elite, capitalist status quo going. Liberals prefer to keep it going by making it feel nicer to the common man where as conservatives have no qualms screwing people over raw.

But at the end of the day, both have an interest in preserving White Privilege and Western capitalist domination.
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Originally posted by Empty Purnata:

This article by Noam Chomsky reminds me of El Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) famous characterization of conservatives and liberals in American politics: "One is the wolf, the other is a fox. No matter what, they'll both eat you."


There is quite an ideological distance between, say, Noam Chomsky and William F. Buckley. That said, White Supremacy Inc. rules.
sck

It seems like there exists a perpetual battle between liberal and conservative values in America. Clearly many of the social policies that we all take for granted (like the minimum wage, Social Security, etc.) would not exist if conservativism were historically left unchecked. That said, White Supremacy Inc. rules.
sck

BTW - I typically reject these types of arguments out of hand because they lead some to think that they shouldn't even bother to participate in trying to make society better. I think that's the wrong approach. The absolutely wrong approach; we can make a difference - we have made a difference. That said, White Supremacy Inc. rules.
sck
I think you missed what I meant, I didn't say that we should refrain from trying to make soceity better. What I said was, we shouldn't allow ourselves to fall into a false sense of security that "liberals are our friends". My point is that their agenda is not any more pro-Black than the conservative agenda. But unlike the conservatives, they are willing to compromise on some things to pacify Minorities (their sympathies with our causes is not some sort of genuine solidarity, it's an attempt to pacify Minorities).


They still believe in imperial capitalism just like White conservatives, they just do it with a smile. The mimimum wage and Social Security were not granted out of kindness, they were granted to pacify radicalism because there was a real threat to the elite that radicalism could sweep all walks of soceity and challenge elite rule. Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and LBJ passed these measures as a way to keep the interests of elites in place while calming down the public and making the rule of the elites less painful for them. It's like the difference between being screwed with lube or without lube. Social Security and FDR's New Deal was created out of elite fear of popular rebellion/revolution during the Great Depression, especially when the Communist Party USA won over one million votes in the election. Wealthy capitalist and industrial owners were afraid that they could be facing a working-class revolt of Paris 1789 proportions.


We can make a difference, just like we have been, but I think we should be just as wary of liberals as conservatives. African-American advancements in this country were made because Black movements (many of which were radical in nature) pressured progressives and liberals into appeasement. It was either appease us, or face full-out revolution. The Civil Rights act which was one of the biggest appeasements is still just an appeasement. African-American equal rights in this country isn't even codified as an Amendment and the Civil Rights Bill is up for repeal in a few years.
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Originally posted by Empty Purnata:

I think you missed what I meant, I didn't say that we should refrain from trying to make soceity better. What I said was, we shouldn't allow ourselves to fall into a false sense of security that "liberals are our friends".


I didn't suggest that you did. I said that the "there's no difference between conservs/libs" argument often devolves into a defeatist - "what difference does it make?" sentiment which is counter-productive to African America.

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My point is that their agenda is not any more pro-Black than the conservative agenda.


You may be right, but I guess it depends upon your definition of "pro-Black". Without liberalism we would still be in chains - considered chattel property, with no rights, without the ability to own property, or to vote, or to even learn to read and write. One might reasonably argue that the progressive/liberal movements which (however begrudgingly) erased these aspects of Americana have made a meaningful difference in our quality of life. Is that "pro-Black"? Certainly not in the Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey mold, but no doubt in a fashion that has been meaningful to us.

My point - which I attempted to make via the White Supremacy Inc. comments - is that despite the things which bind conservaitves and liberals - African Americans can still do things to make our lives better.

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But unlike the conservatives, they are willing to compromise on some things to pacify Minorities (their sympathies with our causes is not some sort of genuine solidarity, it's an attempt to pacify Minorities).


I disagree that liberal/progressive efforts that aided "minorities" in this country were done solely out of the tactical desire to pacify us. Of course Douglas' quote is true - that power never concedes anything without a struggle. In that light - all change is rooted in a desire to pacify. Nevertheless, in my opinion, ideologically - liberalism views government as a vehicle of serving the public interest, while conservatives view it as a tool of private interest. As such, there are people here like Noam Chomsky who really do believe (at least intellectually) that "all men are created equal" etc.


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They still believe in imperial capitalism just like White conservatives, they just do it with a smile.


BTW - for what it's worth, Noam Chomsky clearly does not believe in "imperial capitalism". 15

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The mimimum wage and Social Security were not granted out of kindness, they were granted to pacify radicalism because there was a real threat to the elite that radicalism could sweep all walks of soceity and challenge elite rule.


I would say that this is why conservatives acceded to these measures. Remember, back when these policies were incorporated into law there was - as you note - a real Socialist undercurrent in America. I do not believe that Socialism is a tactical ploy on the part of imperlialists. I think it's sincere.

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It was either appease us, or face full-out revolution.


When, exactly, would you say this was the case? Do you think that class or race revolution was ever a potential reality here?
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Originally posted by MBM:
I didn't suggest that you did. I said that the "there's no difference between conservs/libs" argument often devolves into a defeatist - "what difference does it make?" sentiment which can be counter-productive to African America.


Oh, well I would hope that doesn't become the case. I think we should have our own clear-cut agenda independent of the "conserv/lib" dichotomy and ally with whoever accordingly for our own purposes. We should use them as Machiavellianly as they use us ("them" being Democrats and Republicans).

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You may be right, but I guess it depends upon your definition of "pro-Black". Without liberalism we would still be in chains - considered chattel property, with no rights, without the abiloity to own property or to vote or to even learn to read and write.


I would say that we would still be in chains without radicalism/progressivism on our own part. White liberalism has little to do with our achievements, they simply codified our equal rights onto paper and put in motion some political measures to help us along (not because they genuinely liked us though).

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One might reasonably argue that the progressive/liberal movements which (however begrudgingly) erased these aspects of Americana has made a meaningful difference in our quality of life. Is that "pro-Black"? Certainly not in the Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey mold, but no doubt in a fashion that has been meaningful to us.


They only moved to do so because WE pushed them. Wink

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My point - which I attempted to make via the White Supremacy Inc. comments - is that despite the things which bind Democrats and Republicans - we can still do things to make our childrens' lives better.


I agree whole-heartedly.

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I disagree that liberal/progressive efforts that have aided "minorities" in this country were done solely out of the tactical desire to pacify us. In my opinion, liberalism views government as a vehicle of serving the public interest - versus conservatives who view it as a tool of private interest.


I'm sure the average Joe who is a liberal feels that way, but liberal elites, just like conservative elites, don't really give a damn about the people. Their only interest is to serve the interests of the upper class, however that is achieved. If it means making things more comfortable for the middle and lower classes to get them on their side, so be it. As Malcolm X said: "The shrewd capitalists, the shrewd imperialists," he said, "knew that the only way people would run towards the fox (Johnson) would be if you showed them the wolf (Goldwater). So they created a ghastly alternative . . . And at the moment he (Johnson) had troops invading the Congo and South Vietnam." Every-day liberals may genuinely feel the way you described, but I'm sure the majority of liberal polticians don't share that same altruism. Their actions show that (while Jimmy Carter was a champion of human rights, he still supported Mobutu and supported American military interventionism to crush communist/socialist governments, even democratically elected ones).


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As such, people like Noam Chomsky really fo believe (at least intellectually) that "all men are created equal" etc.


Noam Chomsky isn't a liberal, he's a libertarian communist. Smile

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Noam_Chomsky#V...ialism_.26_Communism


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BTW - Noam Chomsky clearly does not believe in "imperial capitalism".


Of course not, he's a socialist.

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I would say that this is why conservatives acceded to these measures. Remember, back when these policies were incorporated into law there was a real Socialist undercurrent in America. I do not believe that Socialism is a tactical ploy on the part of imperlialists. I think it's sincere.


I didn't say that socialism is a tactical ploy on the part of imperialists, I'm saying that appeasing socialists with Social Demoracy is a ploy by imperialists.

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When, exactly, would you say this was the case?


Look how much influence the Black Panther Party had and look how many devoted followings the ideologies of W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and MLK Jr. had. MLK was still a revolutionary even though a non-violent one.
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Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
I think we should have our own clear-cut agenda independent of the "conserv/lib" dichotomy and ally with whoever accordingly for our own purposes. We should use them as Machiavellianly as they use us ("them" being Democrats and Republicans).


AGREE! tfro

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White liberalism has little to do with our achievements, they simply codified our equal rights onto paper and put in motion some political measures to help us along (not because they genuinely liked us though).


You're right, but without regard to their motivations, without liberalism (at least to counter-balance conservatism) - life would be extraordinarily worse for us - I believe.

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I'm sure the average Joe who is a liberal feels that way, but liberal elites, just like conservative elites, don't really give a damn about the people.


I think Ted Kennedy, for example, really believes what he says. His focus on helping the least fortunate is, IMO, genuine.

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Noam Chomsky isn't a liberal, he's a libertarian communist. Smile


You framed the post in a liberal versus conservative dynamic. In my view - liberalism includes anything to the left of center - including Communism etc. while conservatism includes everything to the right - on out to fascism etc.

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BTW - Noam Chomsky clearly does not believe in "imperial capitalism".


Of course not, he's a socialist.


He's a liberal (a Socialist to be more specific as you note) who demonstrates considerable ideological difference from conservatives. That's my only point here.

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Look how much influence the Black Panther Party had and look how many devoted followings the ideologies of W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and MLK Jr. had.


This issue is worthy of its own discussion, but I really wonder how much influence the group really had. Sure - they scared J.Edgar Hoover - but it doesn't seem like that was too hard to do back in the day! sck
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Originally posted by MBM:

My point - which I attempted to make via the White Supremacy Inc. comments - is that despite the things which bind Democrats and Republicans - we can still do things to make our childrens' lives better.


MBM, could you explain what you mean... If/since White Supremacy RULES and that implicates both parties/ideologies then doesn't that, in turn, impact definition of what is Pro-Black (making it less so, in absolute terms)? Even definition which take into account what you've said? ("Without Liberalism...")?

If noting, as EP did, that White Supremacy RULES and is the ultimate agenda of both parties/ideologies (i.e. an agenda where neither are "our friends" - save for when it's convenient) somehow seems to suggest some type of defeatism, then doesn't the idea of noting that "Liberalism has done this for us in the past" suggest what EP is calling into question? That LIBERALS are not "our friends"?

Your observations are understood but it seems to me that it makes sense to do a present-day assessment and, instead of talking about what happened in the past, assess exactly how "Liberal" the Democratic party is today.

You say "we can still do things..." and I think no one (or very few) hold the "defeatist" attitude you mentioned... So, please explain what those things are and how they relate to a realistic assessment as to where we stand and what we stand to gain by working under the assumption that "we can still do things..." (I assume, in the same way we've done them in the past - via the Democrat Party...).

I dunno... That's not something you explained.

But it makes sense to address the observations EP or whoever has forthrightly. That is unless you detected "defeatism" in what you presented.


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Originally posted by MBM:

I disagree that liberal/progressive efforts that have aided "minorities" in this country were done solely out of the tactical desire to pacify us. In my opinion, liberalism views government as a vehicle of serving the public interest - versus conservatives who view it as a tool of private interest.



Well, whether tactical or reflexive, history suggests that there is an element of "pacification" involved with the "Liberal" response to say, the Civil Rights Movement. Otherwise, one would have to account what caused the apparent dorment state of that Liberal "public interest" focus to change as it did during the CRM.

Also, "PUBLIC INTEREST" can accomodate ideas of "pacification" or, perhaps more precisely, a desire to avoid the type of social disruption the CRM represented.

No matter how you see it, you can't rule "pacification" out of the equation. If it was not an intent, it was the effect and a motivating factor. Otherwise, again, one has to account for what reshaped or ignited the White Liberal sense of what the government could/should do when, as you say (which is, of course, an fundamental point of agreement) WHITE SUPREMACY RULES.

The thing is both ideas - "pacification" and the fundamental Liberal belief in the role of government - can be held at the same time and, if nothing else, by different factions in said Liberal group.

I really don't see what the problem is here and, again, if there is room to say that "defeatism" is amiss then the hand can point the other way as well.

This all has to do with our own ideological orientations - our own particular worldview. There's a bit a truth to both, IMHO. Nevertheless, I think it would be fruitful to engage each other in moving this interesting conversation forward with each side taking a step back and both sides making a realistic, honest assessment of what is currently the case with the political parties we have today.

So, MBM, I for one would like to hear what you have to say about what "we can still do..." I say that because you know I'm closer to EP, ideologically (and the "pacification" narrative resonates with me more and seems more appropriate). I do however share and understand your point about the Liberal Worldview regarding the role gov't.

Indeed, I hold those same "Liberal" views and found this quote to be quite profound:

"The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself."
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Originally posted by Nmaginate:

MBM, could you explain what you mean... If/since White Supremacy RULES and that implicates both parties/ideologies then doesn't that, in turn, impact definition of what is Pro-Black (making it less so, in absolute terms)? Even definition which take into account what you've said? ("Without Liberalism...")?


I'm not sure I understand exactly what you're asking here. The concept of "pro-Black" is not an absolute - it exists in degrees. Affirmative action is "pro-Black" in that it has helped black folks. Nevertheless, it is not nearly as "pro-black" as reparations would be or as the establishment of an independent African American homeland.

My ultimate point is that we live in a country that is dominated by white supremacy. Despite that, and however meek, there have been legal and other advances that have occurred here in America which have come solely via liberalism and against the constant fight of conservatism.

Please don't misinterpret my comments to suggest that white liberals are necessarily our friends. Clearly society has been made by and for wealthy white men. Despite that, what crumbs we have garnered have come only from liberalism.

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If noting, as EP did, that White Supremacy RULES and is the ultimate agenda of both parties/ideologies (i.e. an agenda where neither are "our friends" - save for when it's convenient) somehow seems to suggest some type of defeatism, then doesn't the idea of noting that "Liberalism has done this for us in the past" suggest what EP is calling into question? That LIBERALS are not "our friends"?


Again, I'm not arguing that liberals are our friends. I am arguing that liberalism has been the vehicle of legal progress for African Americans.

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Your observations are understood but it seems to me that it makes sense to do a present-day assessment and, instead of talking about what happened in the past, assess exactly how "Liberal" the Democratic party is today.


Can anyone argue against the fact that Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Nancy Pilosi et al would be better for African America than George Bush, Trent Lott, Dick Cheney, Antonin Scalia, Tom DeLay et al?

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You say "we can still do things..." and I think no one (or very few) hold the "defeatist" attitude you mentioned...


IMO plenty of people use the "there's no difference" argument to explain/excuse their own lack of participation in the political process.

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So, please explain what those things are and how they relate to a realistic assessment as to where we stand and what we stand to gain by working under the assumption that "we can still do things..." (I assume, in the same way we've done them in the past - via the Democrat Party...).


Suffice it to say that despite existing within the purview of White Supremacy Inc., African America still has the ability to impact the debate and agenda which ultimately impacts our lives.

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But it makes sense to address the observations EP or whoever has forthrightly.


I addressed it both directly and forthrightly. The question is "are liberals all that different from conservatives?". I addressed it by saying that without the influence of liberalism, that we would still be in chains. That directly illustrates the effect that liberalism has had on our lives and differentiates it from conservatism.
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Well, whether tactical or reflexive, history suggests that there is an element of "pacification" involved with the "Liberal" response to say, the Civil Rights Movement. Otherwise, one would have to account what caused the apparent dorment state of that Liberal "public interest" focus to change as it did during the CRM.


Again, Douglas' quote is relevant. In that spirit, most progressive change is about "pacification". Aside from that, I'm not sure why liberal motivation is relevant or meaningful. Personally, I could care less why, for example, Lincoln signed the EP. I'm just glad that he did.
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No matter how you see it, you can't rule "pacification" out of the equation.


I never argued this point. In fact, I acknowledged it with the Fred Douglas quote.

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So, MBM, I for one would like to hear what you have to say about what "we can still do..."


How about get active, organize, participate, vote, run for office, contribute to candidates that you support, etc. In sum - advocate for your/our interests.

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"The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society.


This while they push laws to outlaw same sex marriage, flag burning, abortion, etc., etc. nono

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The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself."


IMO this is self-serving conservative junk! sleep
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Originally posted by MBM:

Despite that, what crumbs we [b]have garnered have come only from liberalism.[/b]



CRUMBS... Okay.

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Again, I'm not arguing that liberals are our friends.


But the "I'm not arguing..." principle did not give you pause from suggesting that EP's statement lends to "defeatism." Something that, while you said it was not something you charged EP with... it was something you decided to say, regardless. So, naturally, the counterargument is that you're trying to suggest, ever so slightly, that Liberals are "more friendly" even if it's among two generally "unfriendly" groups. And that's especially so since you keep saying things in the PAST TENSE.

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Can anyone argue against the fact that Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Nancy Pilosi et al would be better for African America than George Bush, Trent Lott, Dick Cheney, Antonin Scalia, Tom DeLay et al?


I don't know about those particular set of individuals but it seems to me those arguments are made all the time, now. And since you prefer to speak of things in very relative terms or, more precisely, rather subjective terms... well, the argument can be made and has been made how CONservatives, via economic or other social policies, at least currently, offer the better mix of policy programs for African-Americans.

Those relative/subjective arguments can be made. But you're the one insisting, curiously, that "we can still do things..." Well, maybe this list of characters you listed will be more instructive if you can tell us what the Liberals are actively, actually DOING vs. what the CONservatives are actually, actively DOING, etc.

So, if you like... you can list THE CURRENT set of policies which the Liberals support vs. the CONservatives.

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I am arguing that liberalism has been the vehicle of legal progress for African Americans.


PAST TENSE.

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IMO plenty of people use the "there's no difference" argument to explain/excuse their own lack of participation in the political process.


And plenty of people seem to promote Democrats despite the very legitimate feelings of them TAKING US FOR GRANTED.

Like I said, if you get the liberty of painting EP's remarks with your preconceived notion about what those type of sentiments usually suggest then that can go both ways. There are plenty of people, in our opinions, who will just stick with Democrats out of Undeserved Loyalty. To Be TAKEN FOR GRANTED = Loyalty UNDESERVED or To Be Tenuous, at best.

So, just like you hear "defeatism" in EP's remarks, what often is communicated in your idea is Stick With The Democrats DESPITE the current, present-day resume that continues to deepen the sentiments that We Are Taken For Granted.

Isn't that what The Covenant is about? An outgrowth of that very feeling and the development of that Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired Of Being TAKEN FOR GRANTED?

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IMO plenty of people use the "there's no difference" argument to explain/excuse their own lack of participation in the political process.


And might I suggest that such an "excuse" is more than that. Your very statements show how you have "faith" in the system (and in Democrats/Liberals). That is something that's a fundamental belief you have. That is the very thing that motivates you to participate as you do.

The fact that these mysterious people you're talking about "making excuses" have a different orientation and don't invest the same amount of trust or have the same type of "faith" in the system that you have is, IMO, not something to disparage. But then again, maybe you are the type of person who can put 100% into something that you're not all that cool with. That you don't really believe in.

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Originally posted by MBM:

Despite that, what crumbs we [b]have garnered have come only from liberalism.[/b]



CRUMBS... The repeat is intentional. Beyond that, there is "participation" beyond active involvement in party, electoral politics.

But you can go ahead and just say you suspect EP or whoever of "making excuses"...

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Suffice it to say that despite existing within the purview of White Supremacy Inc., African America still has the ability to impact the debate and agenda which ultimately impacts our lives.


Okay. Understood. But some of the very people who make the argument counter to yours make their argument as a way to suggest that we can have a greater "impact" by having more of a focus on "what we can do for ourselves."

So, saying "neither one of them are our friends" does not suggest a "non-participation"... while it may suggest a very different investment than the one you make.

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Again, Douglas' quote is relevant. In that spirit, most progressive change is about "pacification".


Sorry. I missed the Douglas quote, at first. So, I guess that means we're in agreement on that? I guess...

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Aside from that, I'm not sure why liberal motivation is relevant or meaningful.


Ummmm.... To identify what else spurs change besides a "desire to pacify". Identify what motivated said change will help us locate whether it truly was the Liberal belief in the role of gov't as a tool to serve the "public interest" was the reasoning that was instrumental in bringing forth "change" after we allow for the "pacification" factor.

We have to locate how strong the "all men are created equal" impulse is among said "Liberals" - which you curiously associated with Democrats, exclusively.

I mean, we all know the CONservative arguments that say Nixon and Republicans were instrumental in instituting the Civil Rights regime. So I don't see how you maintain your stress on Liberalism there. That is unless you're going to list Richard Nixon and those Republicans of that Era on the Liberal side despite other views of theirs which would make it hard to call them "liberal."

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Personally, I could care less why, for example, Lincoln signed the EP. I'm just glad that he did.


Well, you're the one who forwarded the notion that there are people here like Noam Chomsky who really do believe that "all men are created equal." When you make a claim like that, you're talking about principles that MOTIVATE them. When you make a claim like that, those things are opened to be question. We can question if they really belive that "all men are created equal."

That's easy to dispute when it comes to Lincoln, the EP notwithstanding...
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Originally posted by Nmaginate:

And since you prefer to speak of things in very relative terms or, more precisely, rather subjective terms... well, the argument can be made and has been made how CONservatives, via economic or other social policies, at least currently, offer the better mix of policy programs for African-Americans.


First - this entire argument is both relative and subjective. We're talking about our opinions. Our opinions are relative and subjective to our experiences, no? If I were Clarence Thomas, I would disagree with everything I've ever written here. 15

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Those relative/subjective arguments can be made. But you're the one insisting, curiously, that "we can still do things..."


I suggest that based upon evidence that we have in fact "done things" in the past. The CRM is an obvious example of that. To your pacification point, without the inertia of the CRM, equal rights etc. would not have been granted.

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Well, maybe this list of characters you listed will be more instructive if you can tell us what the Liberals are actively, actually DOING vs. what the CONservatives are actually, actively DOING, etc.


This argument is frequently more about how conservative policy is hurting African America as how much liberalism is helping. I agree that we are being exploited by liberals. I agree that the Democrat party is not naturally 'in love' with black folks. I merely contend that liberalism is the clearly better choice of two evils and that with even greater energy - participation in the system and with the party can yield even greater results for us - whether out of pacification or whatever.

That said - the following current Republican policies are hurting African America: the war in Iraq - killing/maiming our sons and daughters, tax policy - a variety of tax measures are squeezing the middle class while needlessly enriching the wealthy, Bush's stance on immigration has allowed the economy to withhold jobs from the poor and working class while keeping downward pressure on wage rates, affirmative action - conservatives are trying to further gut this program, etc. Not only do Democrats hold opposing positions to those which negatively affect African Americans above, their reliance upon African American votes puts us in a better position to lobby for specific positions and policies which can help our community.


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I am arguing that liberalism has been the vehicle of legal progress for African Americans.


PAST TENSE.


I'm not sure I understand your point here. Certainly we can't talk about the future - other than to say that African Americans will do - politically - what we've always done - which is support the party and policies which are in our best interests. In light of past progress and the highly caustic history of conservative policies toward us - it's really quite easy to choose which party is the better alternative for us.

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And plenty of people seem to promote Democrats despite the very legitimate feelings of them TAKING US FOR GRANTED.


This is a completely different argument. Beyond that, I would rather be taken for granted by Democrats - knowing that their policies are going to be less caustic to me - than not vote and allow Republicans to be making decisions that, no doubt, will negatively impact my welfare.

Beyond that, why blame the Democrats for our inability to hold their feet to the fire? This "taken for granted" argument is really more about our inneffectiveness in leveraging our political power into real policy. If you believe that liberals are not naturally supportive of African Americans then it should be only natural that they are taking advantage of us. Of course they are taking advantage of us. Without sustained, strategic force exerted within the party to get what we want - it ain't happeninig.

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There are plenty of people, in our opinions, who will just stick with Democrats out of Undeserved Loyalty. To Be TAKEN FOR GRANTED = Loyalty UNDESERVED or To Be Tenuous, at best.


And I would suggest that the alternatives - Republicanism or non-participation - are worse alternatives than supporting the Democrats. We've got to get some leaders with some balls to hold the Democratic party accountable for our interests.
quote:
Your very statements show how you have "faith" in the system (and in Democrats/Liberals). That is something that's a fundamental belief you have. That is the very thing that motivates you to participate as you do.


Isn't faith belief in things unseen? Again, without liberalism we would still be in the fields with massa. That we are not is real evidence of liberal activism in America. I merely seek to continue that movement - as long as it is the better alternative for African America.

quote:
The fact that these mysterious people you're talking about "making excuses" have a different orientation and don't invest the same amount of trust or have the same type of "faith" in the system that you have is, IMO, not something to disparage. But then again, maybe you are the type of person who can put 100% into something that you're not all that cool with. That you don't really believe in.


You are speaking in absolutes here. Clearly the American political landscape is not - absolutely - something that is supportive of African American interests. Heck it's not even supportive of all white interests - so you can be damned sure that it's not of us. That said, it's about supporting the alternative that can make a positive difference for us. I don't think there can be any question that progressive activism has been the better alternative for African America than conservative. That's my only point.
quote:
But some of the very people who make the argument counter to yours make their argument as a way to suggest that we can have a greater "impact" by having more of a focus on "what we can do for ourselves."


Nothing that I have said in any way conflicts with a "do for self" ideology. In fact - greater participation - up to running for office - IMHO - is all about "doing for self".
quote:
We have to locate how strong the "all men are created equal" impulse is among said "Liberals" - which you curiously associated with Democrats, exclusively.


Since exploitation is a central by-product of conservatism, I don't think it's a stretch to NOT include conservatives when discussing that principle.

quote:
I mean, we all know the CONservative arguments that say Nixon and Republicans were instrumental in instituting the Civil Rights regime.


And to your pacification argument, that may have been about political expediency on their part. Despite that, I'm not sure Nixon is the author of too much meaningful civil rights legislation - regardless of his motivation behind it.
quote:
I think you missed what I meant, I didn't say that we should refrain from trying to make soceity better. What I said was, we shouldn't allow ourselves to fall into a false sense of security that "liberals are our friends". My point is that their agenda is not any more pro-Black than the conservative agenda. But unlike the conservatives, they are willing to compromise on some things to pacify Minorities (their sympathies with our causes is not some sort of genuine solidarity, it's an attempt to pacify Minorities).
I think you missed what I meant, I didn't say that we should refrain from trying to make soceity better. What I said was, we shouldn't allow ourselves to fall into a false sense of security that "liberals are our friends". My point is that their agenda is not any more pro-Black than the conservative agenda. But unlike the conservatives, they are willing to compromise on some things to pacify Minorities (their sympathies with our causes is not some sort of genuine solidarity, it's an attempt to pacify Minorities).

Liberals aren't close to being perfect when it comes to the needs of black people. They are however the best friends blacks have in this country. IT's not white liberals responisbility to be pro black. IT's black liberals within the party who need to take this cause. It's our liberal party and we need to stand and fight for our beliefs and values.
White liberals are the closest White friends of Black people? What about White radicals? They march for causes that White liberals wouldn't dream of marching for. White radicals marched with us during the Civil Rights movement, they protested Mumia Abu Jamal's imprisonment, they marched in the streets about the 1994 Rwanda genocide while most Americans didn't even know it was going on.

We have other friends than just White liberals. Just how "liberal" or "progressive" are progressives these days? Progressives these days support Neoliberalism and the nefarious actions of the IMF and World Bank in Africa just like consevatives. They also believe in spreading the Gospel of Capitalism even against peoples' will. The Cold War has seriously changed liberals as well as conservatives. They are just as fervently anti-radical as their conservative buddies and it's doubtful they would support us if our causes were "too radical".


You have to understand, progressives and conservatives BOTH (even when progressives were like FDR) have an agenda to preserve the status quo in some way. Progressives just want to make the status quo feel friendlier and less exploitative while preserving the power of the ownership class. I like the way an anarchist once put it, "Conservatives want to fuck you raw without lube. Progressives want to fuck you with lube so it doesn't feel like being fucked as much. Both still want to fuck you over."
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:

White liberals are the closest White friends of Black people? What about White radicals?


No one in the fringe is capable of doing anything for anyone in this country. Hence, the following is about the clearest and best quote that I've seen on this matter - IMHO:

quote:
Originally posted by alonzo:

Liberals aren't close to being perfect when it comes to the needs of black people. They are however the best friends blacks have in this country. IT's not white liberals responisbility to be pro black. IT's black liberals within the party who need to take this cause. It's our liberal party and we need to stand and fight for our beliefs and values.
I know they don't have any power, but I think it would be a good idea to ally closer with them since their goals are closer to ours than that of liberals. The only solidarity liberals have with us is that they believe in using the government to protect people and using it to level the playing field. But after that, we part ways because they still have a vested interest in keeping elites in power (which by default means keeping White Privilege alive).


I don't really have anything in common with conservatives, but I can see the validity in some of their arguments against liberals at times. Especially their argument of: if you seek to preserve capitalism, isn't it hypocritical to make such a fuss about those who are harmed by it? Liberals have the odd situation of trying to serve two masters at once: Elites and Everyone Else.

I think our allegiance should be towards Ourselves first and Everyone Else second. I see no need to support measures that keep the ownership class in power.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:

I think our allegiance should be towards Ourselves first and Everyone Else second.


AGREE! Supporting liberalism is about political strategy and not about subordinating our interests.

quote:
I see no need to support measures that keep the ownership class in power.


So it's either heaven or hell for you? There is no middle ground? You reject all of the measures which have enhanced black people's lives throughout history because they have not resulted in absolute freedom? You would prefer that we return to 1864? 19
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:

^No, I didn't say that. I'm saying that we shouldn't ally ourselves with liberals so much that we neglect "fringes" who are closer to our cause. Smile


Respectfully, if our interest is in making a difference in our communities, then of what practical value is it to align ourselves with folks who can't help us get anything done?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:

^No, I didn't say that. I'm saying that we shouldn't ally ourselves with liberals so much that we neglect "fringes" who are closer to our cause. Smile


Respectfully, if our interest is in making a difference in our communities, then of what practical value is it to align ourselves with folks who can't help us get anything done?


Who says they can't help us get anything done?

What practical value is there of aligning ourselves with a hegemonic group which wish to absorb and integrate us by watering down our goals? Ultimately, liberals do not want Black liberation any more than conservatives do. They'll only accept Black integration because Black liberation presents a real and palpable threat to the ruling classes (whom they still support).

Whether or not you want to admit it, our goals are ultimately bound to become a "fringe cause" as well because our goals are not the same as the goals of White liberals. Whether we like it our not OUR GOAL WILL NEVER BE "MAINSTREAM" OR ACCEPTABLE TO THE "MAINSTREAM". The sooner we get that through our heads, the better. Liberals are still a sect of the mainstream and can only aid us to a certain point. White radicals, even if they are a "fringe group" are still closer to our end goals and as our goals get underway, it would be wise to ally closer to them.


Case-in-point: In the last two years of his life, Malcolm X sought solidarity with people of other races for his Black radical cause. He allied with White progressives, but kept them more at an arm's length than he did White radicals who alligned closer with. To this day, his message is still clear-cut and untainted. MLK's movement got too close to White liberals because they caved into the Cold War anticommunist hysteria. They got so close to liberals, they pushed away their radical support. Now MLK's message is corrupted, mainstreamed and commercialized. MLK's non-violent yet radical message has been reduced to a fuzzy "let's all get along and sing Kumbaya" that White liberals and conservatives alike can manipulate to get Blacks to drop their goals and "co-operate" with the Establishment (ie. move to the right and accept the White Establishment).

As a result, many vanguard Black leaders today are pathetic intergrationists who invoke the watered-down and commercialized MLK to justify what they do. MLK's dream of peaceful Black liberation (but he also believed that people of all races, including non-elite Whites, should be liberated) has been mutated into a weak, liberal intergrationist insult.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:

Who says they can't help us get anything done?


They have no political leverage in this country. Aligning ourselves with a group which - even though they may be more ideologically close to us - cannot help us achieve our objectives - is like political masturbation: it feels good but isn't particularly productive. 16

quote:
What practical value is there of aligning ourselves with a hegemonic group which wish to absorb and integrate us by watering down our goals?


Because we have the chance to actually achieve political objectives which can help our people with them.

quote:
Ultimately, liberals do not want Black liberation any more than conservatives do. They'll only accept Black integration because Black liberation presents a real and palpable threat to the ruling classes (whom they still support).


This is a given! At the same time it's entirely beside the point of why we should be active in liberal politics. What is our alternative? Again, if your objective is to actually get stuff done - then the answer is quite clear.

quote:
Whether or not you want to admit it, our goals are ultimately bound to become a "fringe cause" as well because our goals are not the same as the goals of White liberals.


I agree, but so what? Our interests are much more naturally captured - even if they are a derivative of broader liberal interests - by the liberal agenda. Things that help the middle class help black folks. Things that help the poor help black folks. Issues like universal healthcare will help black folks. Issues like opposing the Iraq War - will disproportionately affect black folks etc.

quote:
Whether we like it our not OUR GOAL WILL NEVER BE "MAINSTREAM" OR ACCEPTABLE TO THE "MAINSTREAM".


The mainstream will never be the vehicle for black liberation. Period. The Democrat Party will never be the vehicle for black liberation. Period.

That said - the Democratic party can help black people today while we work toward broader more Afro-centric ends via other vehicles.

quote:
White radicals, even if they are a "fringe group" are still closer to our end goals and as our goals get underway, it would be wise to ally closer to them.


Perhaps, but I'm not so sure that white socialism or commusnism (or whatever) is the best home for our dreams and aspirations either! sck
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
They have no political leverage in this country. Aligning ourselves with a group which - even though they may be more ideologically close to us - cannot help us achieve our objectives - is like political masturbation: it feels good but isn't particularly productive. 16


lol Alright, that much may be true, but I don't think we should neglect them. I think we should milk Dems for all they're worth, then discard them once they've helped us achieve some of our objectives and they're no longer useful to us. I'm sure these "fringe" groups gain strength by being aligned with our growing influence and power.

quote:
Because we have the chance to actually achieve political objectives which can help our people with them.


I agree, but only to an extent. The Dems are to us like eating pufferfish. We should only eat the good parts, then throw the majority of the meat away since it's poisonous to us.

quote:
This is a given! At the same time it's entirely beside the point of why we should be active in liberal politics. What is our alternative? Again, if your objective is to actually get stuff done - then the answer is quite clear.


Our alternative is to maintain the vision and course our Civil Rights and Black liberation predescessors took. But, we should avoid their pitfalls (such as getting caught up in the anticommunist hype and letting the capitalist elites water down their cause and only align with them as a PR stunt to get the Black vote).

quote:
I agree, but so what? Our interests are much more naturally captured - even if they are a derivative of broader liberal interests - by the liberal agenda. Things that help the middle class help black folks. Things that help the poor help black folks. Issues like universal healthcare will help black folks. Issues like opposing the Iraq War - will disproportionately affect black folks etc.


I'd say that our causes run in common with many of the liberal AND radical causes and goals. One thing I fear about us letting liberals influence us too much is that we could become them. What good would it do to erode away the White Establishment only to replace it with a Black Establishment? Liberalism in general (the ideology itself) still depends on there being some elite group in society. It still relies on the class system.

Like that old Biblical saying, "What profiteth a man to gain the world but lose his own soul?"

quote:
The mainstream will never be the vehicle for black liberation. Period. The Democrat Party will never be the vehicle for black liberation. Period.


Agreed, that's a given. Smile

quote:
That said - the Democratic party can help black people today while we work toward broader more Afro-centric ends via other vehicles.


I'm not even sure the Democrats can help, today they're a center-right wing party. Like Nmaginate said earlier, just how "liberal" are the "liberals" these days? I think the Social Democrats are closer to the original nature of the FDR Democrats that Black liberation made an uneasy alliance with back when.

quote:
Perhaps, but I'm not so sure that white socialism or commusnism (or whatever) is the best home for our dreams and aspirations either! sck


Certainly not. I agree with you. But I'd say their aims are very close to what our ultimate aims are , unless we're just planning on keeping the system in tact, just having Blacks have equal power with Whites in ruling over the non-owning classes and having economic reign over the world economy. Don't tell me that's our goal? Frown

I'm not advocating adopting White communism/socialism/syndicalism/anarchy/whatever, I'm saying we should maintain our own authentically Black and Black-centered social/political/economic goal and just ally with them because their goals are similar to ours in nature. But yes, the goal of Black radicalism is nearly identical to the end goal of anarchists/communists/syndicalists/whatever.

But I'm sure there are many capitalists that are within the Black radical movement too. That's fine. I just hope their version of capitalism doesn't resemble what capitalism became/is today. Black radicals who believe in capitalism or believe in representative democracy are usually Social Democrats, indivdualist anarchists or Radical Republicans since those are the only forms of capitalism that don't believe in class systems (well, social dems do, the other two don't).
quote:
Alright, that much may be true, but I don't think we should neglect them. I think we should milk Dems for all they're worth, then discard them once they've helped us achieve some of our objectives and they're no longer useful to us. I'm sure these "fringe" groups gain strength by being aligned with our growing influence and power.

You get no argument if your objective is to help black people. I disagree though that this should be your only objective. Why should we discard people who've clearly have become our friends and helpers of the cause? We of course should have our interest at the forefront but we should have a higher goal of being inclusive to everyone. Doing it the way you suggest is the same patch white people have taken throughout history and we shouldn't repeat their careless actions. Milking people for all they're worth then get rid of them is not what we should be about. We weaken ourselves and our cause if we do so. If you align yourself with a radical fringe group then you yourself become a radical on the fringe. In this country you're not going to make a lot of progress by being on the fringe.
quote:
Originally posted by alonzo:
quote:
Alright, that much may be true, but I don't think we should neglect them. I think we should milk Dems for all they're worth, then discard them once they've helped us achieve some of our objectives and they're no longer useful to us. I'm sure these "fringe" groups gain strength by being aligned with our growing influence and power.

You get no argument if your objective is to help black people. I disagree though that this should be your only objective. Why should we discard people who've clearly have become our friends and helpers of the cause? We of course should have our interest at the forefront but we should have a higher goal of being inclusive to everyone. Doing it the way you suggest is the same patch white people have taken throughout history and we shouldn't repeat their careless actions. Milking people for all they're worth then get rid of them is not what we should be about. We weaken ourselves and our cause if we do so. If you align yourself with a radical fringe group then you yourself become a radical on the fringe. In this country you're not going to make a lot of progress by being on the fringe.


But don't you see? Our movement is also bound to be a "fringe" cause because it doesn't fit in with the will of the mainstream. "Fringe" simply means "not mainstream". Our movement is a fringe one as well.

But anyway, staying away from the fringe is why our movement became so shabby. We gave into Cold War pressure to appeal to the mainstream and stay away from anything that the McCarthyite mainstream disappaproved of. I say we make friends with liberals only for power and have solidarity with "fringes" because they are the ones who will have our backs when we enter the stages of our cause that part ways with the mainstream. Our cause will not be accpetable to liberals forever because our goals are not the same as theirs. Who's going to have our backs when our goals clash with the goals of liberals if we insist on having only 1 friend (liberals)? And a fairweather friend at that.

What I disagree with is the notion that liberals have become our "friends". They are no more our friends than conservatives are truly the "friends" of Black conservatives. They only show solidarity with us at times when it is helpful to their own agenda. I think you're making out liberals to be much more altruistic than they truly are (I'm referring to liberal leaders, not the everyday people). You seem to believe that they have some sort of fundamental kind-heartedness; they don't. When our goals split ways with theirs (such as our aim to deconstruct the class system), they will turn on us too.

Case-In-Point: For all of their support of MLK, White liberal leaders sided with conservatives when he began his Poor Peoples' Campain which was anti-capitalist in nature.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
My 2 cents:

American presidential elections are like shopping and making a choice between two products which are made by the same company:

The Republicans: Bud
The Democrats: Bud Lite

They both taste like horse piss...

But then I am a Guinness man...


thanks

I seriously hope we aren't falling for the same pitfall that the post-MLK/post-Malcolm X Civil Rights leaders fell for: believing that White politicians are truly our friends. They're not.

Don't let political glad-handing fool you, White liberals have the same ultimate goal as conservatives: to preserve the status quo. They just want the status quo to have some humanitarian changes. You can bet that if a Black movement ever started preaching against America's class system, White liberals will drag out the same McCarhyite sentiments as conservatives (they did with Martin Luther King).
quote:
But anyway, staying away from the fringe is why our movement became so shabby. We gave into Cold War pressure to appeal to the mainstream and stay away from anything that the McCarthyite mainstream disappaproved of. I say we make friends with liberals only for power and have solidarity with "fringes" because they are the ones who will have our backs when we enter the stages of our cause that part ways with the mainstream. Our cause will not be accpetable to liberals forever because our goals are not the same as theirs. Who's going to have our backs when our goals clash with the goals of liberals if we insist on having only 1 friend (liberals)? And a fairweather friend at that.

I'm a liberal, I'll have your back!!! Staying away from the fringe as I understood the meaning is perhaps what made the movement shabby but I think staying away from the fringe is what kept our people alive. Now that I understand what you mean by fringe I understand your point a bit better. I think our thoughts on liberals are different. If your a true liberal then your a liberal no matter what your color. Being liberal to mean is a believe and not merely something that changes with the wind. If someone black or white believe in what you believe in then they'll be there.
quote:
seriously hope we aren't falling for the same pitfall that the post-MLK/post-Malcolm X Civil Rights leaders fell for: believing that White politicians are truly our friends. They're not.

Don't let political glad-handing fool you, White liberals have the same ultimate goal as conservatives: to preserve the status quo. They just want the status quo to have some humanitarian changes. You can bet that if a Black movement ever started preaching against America's class system, White liberals will drag out the same McCarhyite sentiments as conservatives (they did with Martin Luther King).


I don't totally disagree with what your saying but we have to fight a smart fight. This same white liberals and concervatives own everything in this country and have all the power. In order to make progress we have to make friends with somebody. There are white people who can and will help us with our progress as we help them as well. I'm first willing to make the effort to see if these liberals will stand with us. IF we find they can't or won't then yes we'll through there ass to the side.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
My 2 cents:

American presidential elections are like shopping and making a choice between two products which are made by the same company:

The Republicans: Bud
The Democrats: Bud Lite

They both taste like horse piss...

But then I am a Guinness man...


thanks

I seriously hope we aren't falling for the same pitfall that the post-MLK/post-Malcolm X Civil Rights leaders fell for: believing that White politicians are truly our friends. They're not.


I see NO connection between the argument that white America is not our friend and the argument that conservatives and liberals are no different.

One can acknowledge that white America does not/cannot represent the interests of African America, AND that they are generally not our friends, without believing that there is no difference between liberals and conservatives.

Question: What is the objective of thinking that there are no differences between liberals and conservatives? Where does that argument leave/lead us? Either explicitly or implicitly, what does it tell us to do? What's the point? bang 14


Beyond that, do you agree or disagree with the following statement: WITHOUT LIBERALISM, YOU AND I WOULD BE TRYING TO HOOK UP WITH HARRIET TUBMAN IV FOR A RIDE UP NORTH!

If you see that conservatism would still have us in chains - WITHOUT REGARD TO WHY LIBERALS SUPPORTED AFRICAN AMERICAN RIGHTS - don't we have to admit that liberalism has done things for us that conservatism has not? If we admit that, aren't we then saying that there is a difference? Confused 14 19

Furthermore, one can acknowledge that white America is a constant source of tension pulling against our aspirations for liberty and freedom while also clearly understanding that to get shit done in this country, we have to 'play the game'.

Even further more 16 , we can acknowledge that we can 'play the/their game' without compromising or sacrificing any of our personal, cultural, racial, etc. integrity. We're just trying to put food on the table and help our people while keeping our eye on the ultimate prize.

Thoughts?
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
t said, believing that there are no differences between Dems and Repubs is just flat wrong and short-sited.

Question: What is the objective of thinking that there are no differences between liberals and conservatives? Where does that argument leave us? What does it tell us to do? What's the point? bang 14



I'm not denying there's a difference... but in a larger sense the differences are not dramatic...

Yes... I'm a political pragmatist... and I'm a registered voter who tends to pull the lever for democrats... but even EUROPEANS have a hard time seeing the difference between our 2 major parties...


quote:

Even furthermore, we can acknowledge that we can 'play the/their game' without compromising or sacrificing any of our personal, cultural, racial, etc. integrity. We're just trying to put food on the table and help people.


Sure I can acknowledge that... just as long as you're also doing something BESIDES playing their game... Doing that and that only is a definite losing proposition... in the long run...
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:

I'm not denying there's a difference... but in a larger sense the differences are not dramatic...


It's all about trajectory. If you change the angle of entry on a rocket entering Earth's orbit but a small degree, the rocket will shoot off and miss the Earth altogether. Not a "dramatic" difference, but one with "dramatic" consequences.

It's OK to be pissed at white people and the white system that binds us while still working that system to our ends. What alternative do we have?
quote:
Originally posted by alonzo:
I'm a liberal, I'll have your back!!! Staying away from the fringe as I understood the meaning is perhaps what made the movement shabby but I think staying away from the fringe is what kept our people alive. Now that I understand what you mean by fringe I understand your point a bit better. I think our thoughts on liberals are different. If your a true liberal then your a liberal no matter what your color. Being liberal to mean is a believe and not merely something that changes with the wind. If someone black or white believe in what you believe in then they'll be there.


Well, I was saying that staying away from the fringe may have given the Civil Rights movmement more visibility, but it eventually tainted their goals. It played them into the hands of mainstream White liberals instead of the other way around. As soon as the anticommunist rhetoric came a-knocking, many cow-towed and tried to prove, "Oh I'm no commie!" so hard that they alienated their left-wing supporters and tried to move as far as possible to the right.

Is it any conincidence that Malcolm X and MLK were killed right as they were gearing up for a mass-scale radical/progressive alliance to empower the poor, working class and middle class, which by nature is considered "left-wing"? 3

I'm sure you would have my back, my only fear is that other liberals wouldn't. Liberals have been becoming ever less liberal since the 50's. The days of the hardcore progressives of the 10s-40s is almost dead. The status quo is: TINA (There Is No Alternative [to American-style (ie. corporatist) capitalism]). I'm sure there would be many liberals that would have the backs of the Black liberation movement when it parted ways with the mainstream, but I think those liberals themselves are a fringe group of their own group. Most liberals are decidedly center to center-right on the political/economic scale. The left-leaning and left-sympathetic (Black liberation is considered "left-wing" in nature) liberals are the minority.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:

I'm not denying there's a difference... but in a larger sense the differences are not dramatic...


It's all about trajectory. If you change the angle of entry on a rocket entering Earth's orbit but a small degree, the rocket will shoot off and miss the Earth altogether. Not a "dramatic" difference, but one with "dramatic" consequences.

It's OK to be pissed at white people and the white system that binds us while still working that system to our ends. What alternative do we have?


Ask yourself:

What are the goals of most (modern-day, not FDR Era) White liberals?
What are the goals of Black liberals?
What are the end goals of Black Liberation?
How much do the goals of White liberals match with the goals of Black progressives and radicals?
How much do the goals of Black liberals match the end goals of Black Liberation?

The answers to these questions will provide you win the answer to just how closely you should allign yourself with White liberals. 3
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:

The answers to these questions will provide you win the answer to just how closely you should allign yourself with White liberals. 3


What is your alternative? What better solution do you offer to accomplish political objectives in America? Are you arguing to completely ignore the political process? If not - then what?

No one is saying fall in love with a white liberal! 16 What I am saying though is that they are the only ticket up for black folks when considering what 'the system' can do for us. That that ride is not all the way to the top is irrelevant if it gets you part of the way and feeds and clothes and educates and cares for folk on the ride. Perhaps even that partial ride stregthens you in a way that better prepares you to get to that top.

Again - you miss the point entirely if you focus on whether white liberals are in love with black people. No one believes that they are. Beyond that I see no relevance between that point and anything relating to black progress in America. Despite that, though, liberalism is (at least in part) about expanding rights and opportunties; it is an inherently populist ideology which encompasses a reality which is FAR more favorable than the conservative one. Within that platform, it is clear that the most effective tools can be found for African America to do critically important things like provide better schools for our kids, secure comprehensive healthcare for our people, boost the minimum wage, protect the environment, guard our civil rights, keep us out of profit-driven wars, etc.

Do you agree or disagree with this?

P.S. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" also has significant merit here. I hope you are CLEAR what conservatism means for African America. Without regard to your thoughts about a watered down liberalism, please do not lose sight of the reality that Trent Lott, Tom DeLay, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney et al would create for us.
The difference between liberals and conservatives:

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

Democrats and Republicans; Conservatives and Liberals

I have to provide my understanding of the foundations of conservative and liberal political thought to explain why I believe what I do. This is not meant to be judgemental in any way - just an explanation of the genesis of my personal thinking. Also, I believe people choose to be conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, based upon either of two factors: self interest and ideology.

Conservatives -

I do believe that our two parties break largely along economic lines. I believe that conservatives are generally the party of the "haves", and that liberals are the party of the "have nots". My understanding of conservatism is that it is predicated largely upon preserving things: institutions, policies, programs, personal interests etc. People that have already accumulated wealth and priviledge naturally are interested in preserving what they have. Hence, the interest in smaller government with less intrusion in the form of both taxes and policy. If I were white, wealthy, older, and not particularly moved by ideology of any kind, my default would be to be conservative.

Here's my analogy for conservatism: Dean Smith's "Four Corners" offense. Before the shot clock, Dean used to get leads on teams and then spread the offense out and purposefully pass the ball back and forth (without looking to score) with the sole purpose of running the clock down and not allowing the other team opportunities to score. He understood that you could just as effectively get a "W" by winning 30 - 20, as by winning 75-70. One way of looking at this is that he brilliantly exploited the rules to his favor and won lots of games as a result. Another way is that Dean exploited a loop hole in the rules and bastardized the spirit of the game just for the sake of a victory.

Conservative idelogy, IMO, is similar in that, through various means, conservatives have acheived a "lead" in American society and now naturally want to do things to preserve that lead. Unfortunately, these actions have the impact, often times, of limiting opportunity for others. In our often times 'zero-sum' economy, reducing government programs that create opportunity for others is a means to do that. Reducing taxes not only lessens the amount taken, it also limits the resources to fund government programs that might somehow take from them as well. They are obviously conservative because it meets their personal interests to retain/preserve their personal way of life.

(Back to the hoop analogy, the NCAA changing the rules and introducing a shot clock is like establishing laws creating opportunities for others. While Carolina fans, I'm sure, saw it as patently unfair, changing the rules levels the playing field and creates a better, more fair game for all.)


Liberals -

Liberals, on the other hand, are largely coming from the position of being "have nots". Therefore, to them, change and an active government assisting them in their efforts to create greater opportunities, only makes sense. As this country was initially founded for wealthy white males (remember only white males with significant property could vote), all others have from time to time benefitted from government intervention on their behalf.

(Note: I do not believe that government is the natural solution for every problem. On the other hand, I do not believe that it always the problem either. I believe that significant effort must be invested to make government more effective and more efficient. America has grown to accept mediocre performance from government. This must change. I've laid out my broader thoughts about the large/small government debate in the editorials forum.

Obviously there are exceptions to this conservative/liberal generalization. For the most part those exceptions occur when people are moved by ideology. The Kennedy clan is liberal because they embrace certain ideological principles around assisting the less fortunate (to those whom much is given, much is expected). Their adherance to ideology, in this case, supercedes personal economic self interest, which might otherwise make them conservative. On the other side of the aisle, there are obviously also people who are not wealthy, but who are conservative. They are so for other, personal, ideologically-driven reasons as well.

Most people are not ideologically based, however, they vote for personal interests. This dynamic accounts for much of America being in the political center, as well as people evolving from one ideology to the other based upon their changing economic circumstances.

Me

As basically a "have not", I personally am much more moved by what I perceive to be an activist interpretation of government. Ideologically, I also believe in things that one might characterize as "liberal". Further, as an African American, in my lifetime I have seen the benefits of an activist/liberal government with respect to increasing my civil rights, opportunities, and freedoms. I remember segregation, the struggles to gain the vote, and other of the battles that we've fought.

My vision of America would endeavor to create a level playing field, allowing everyone to compete equally for opportunity and wealth. Back to my 'role of government' above, government should work to ensure that the tide is always rising as aggressively as is prudent. It should ensure that Americans are in a position to maximize economic growth by being the best trained, most healthy, best paid "workers" in the world. But there should be a completely even opportunity to gain that wealth by all in American society. Government should aggressively counter self-interest (captialism gone wild) as well work to ensure an equal chance for all to achieve at the best of their ability.

[This message was edited by MBM on October 06, 2002 at 12:03 PM.]
MBM,

I'd just like some clarification on the following:


quote:
I disagree that liberal/progressive efforts that aided "minorities" in this country were done solely out of the tactical desire to pacify us. Of course Douglas' quote is true - that power never concedes anything without a struggle. In that light - all change is rooted in a desire to pacify. Nevertheless, in my opinion, ideologically - liberalism views government as a vehicle of serving the public interest, while conservatives view it as a tool of private interest. As such, there are people here like Noam Chomsky who really do believe (at least intellectually) that "all men are created equal" etc.


From our exchange on that, you went on to say:

quote:
Personally, I could care less why, for example, Lincoln signed the EP. I'm just glad that he did.


More on that in a moment... The thing here is: since then you have not returned to or support that notion very well, if at all.

With all the talk about "The FRINGE"... Well, Noam Chomsky is on the "fringe". So he makes for a poor example of White 'Liberals' who live by the "all men are created equal" creed.

You will note that that was your objection to EP describing Liberals as being motivated out of a "desire to pacify." You suggested that there were some White Liberal "friends" in significant number who actually believed in that "all created equal" creedo. You have not sustain that objection.

Seems to me that you tried to do that with the Abe Lincoln reference - as if to suggest that Lincoln was such a "Liberal" who believed in that "all created equal" creedo, (like Thomas Jefferson before him). If that wasn't the case then where is your case for that objection you made?

Now, as far as the relevant of MOTIVATION(S)... Well, obviously motives are relevant or were relevant to you when it came to considering Nixon (and whatever CONservative/Republicans that helped pass/formulate Civil Rights legislation, etc.).

I've also missed where you've presented the current track record of those Democrats you listed versus a comparable group of Republicans. But I guess I should have just considered your question as self-evident (that's what you wanted to suggest) given the rhetorical nature of your question.

Anyway... Is Democrat suppose to be synonomous with Liberal? Is that the way you see it historically, as well?

Of course not. So why consider today's Democrats as if they are Radical Republicans pushing forth a new "liberal" agenda? Just like the historical shift in the parties have been noted before (mostly when modern day CONservatives try to pretend like they are 'The Party Of Lincoln') then it is only reasonable to consider or examine the parties today from that same perspective that NEITHER is locked into This Left or That Right.

The Democratic Party, simply, is not the same as it was... But let's see you return to and substantiate your assertion:

there are people here... who really do believe that "all men are created equal" etc.

Make sure the people you're referring to aren't "the fringe."

As for this curious notion of "Blaming the Democrats for African-Americans not holding them accountable"... Well, for one, it's that very attitude of "I would rather be taken for granted by Democrats [than vote for] Republicans" that's the problem.

How exactly would you ever muster the gumption to hold someone accountable when your attitude is: "Well, I have to go for the Lesser Of Two Evils." Confused

That leadership you alluded to just can't come out of that kind of idea because the very nature of the idea (as it has translated into practice) is focused on having the alliance - because it is seen as crucial and an end unto itself - instead of being focused on the African-American Liberation Imperatives.

You can't make a demand and, more importantly, stick to it if your very attitude is to compromise your goals for the sake of having an alliance with those IN POWER.

So I say the very attitude of considering White Liberals "our friends" that is the cause for the leadership issue you talked about.

And I don't know where you keep coming up with this "NOT VOTE" stuff.

quote:
I would rather be taken for granted by Democrats - knowing that their policies are going to be less caustic to me - than not vote and allow Republicans to be making decisions that, no doubt, will negatively impact my welfare.


If you didn't understand it before, I'd like to see the list of policies of those Democrats you listed so we can determine, as objectively as possible, who supports policies that negatively impact our collective welfare... and by that we'll definitely be able to determine if any of those Democrats are one of those people who "really believe."

Again, I'd like to see if you can sustain your objection.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Can anyone argue against the fact that Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Nancy Pilosi et al would be better for African America than George Bush, Trent Lott, Dick Cheney, Antonin Scalia, Tom DeLay et al?


Well, let's see just how "different" they are:

Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi: all pro-War. In fact, Hillary Clinton is so pro-War, she criticizes the Bush Administration for NOT BEING WAR-LIKE ENOUGH. She's more pro-War than most right-wingers.

Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi: all pro-business and pro-privitization.

They oppose Gay Marriage except for Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

They are all for shutting down the border except for Ted Kennedy.

Wow, what's so starkly different about them from the Republicans? What really seperates them from George Bush, Dick Cheney, Trent Lott, Antonin Scalia and Tom DeLay other than a couple of social measures? sck

The most liberal person on there is Ted Kennedy who is a best a socially liberal Keynesian. Like most Dems today, the majority of them are politically and especially economically conservative, just socially libreral in some areas.
As I said before, under those Democrats:

  • Thousands of African American men and women would not be dead, maimed, or in harms way in Iraq now.

  • The government would not be wantonly tapping phones, reading emails, viewing internet behavior, investigating books you withdrew from the library, investigating your credit card purchases etc., etc. without a warrant or any other legal justification.

  • People would not be held without charges and without the benefit of legal representation in this country.

  • Affirmative action would not have been gutted.

  • The minimum wage would be higher.

  • All Americans would have comprehensive health insurance as opposed to 40 million having none now.

  • Public education would be better supported and better performing around the country.

  • The environment would take greater precendence. Our water and air and ground would be cleaner.

  • Gas prices would not be anywhere near where they are now.

  • Alito and Roberts would not be on the Supreme Court - thus potentially challenging all manner of laws which are in our benefit.

  • The middle class would not be squeezed in the way that it is now. There would be more people doing better in this country as opposed to less and the wealthy would be paying their fair share of our national tax burden.

  • National security would be taken seriously. Instead of diverting resources to a war of profit, an appropriate military/national security response would have been directed to eliminate/reduce the threat. We would have directed more resources to secure vulnerabilities like our ports and borders instead of extending ourself needlessly in Iraq.

  • America would have a saner policy toward Africa. We would actually have done something in Sudan and Congo instead of fomenting increased instability.

  • The Katrina disaster would have been taken more seriously - less black people would have died and more resources would have been directed there for rebuilding.

  • Without strong liberal opposition, Social Security - a program which keeps millions and millions of American seniors out of poverty - would have been severely compromised by being handed over to the greed and avarice of Wall Street via the Republican privitization plan.

  • If Democrats were in power you can be sure that the voter suppression measures that we saw all over the country - but particularly in Florida and Ohio - where African American votes were marginalized/eliminated - would not have occurred.

  • Gun deaths and crimes would be less in America than they are now as Democrats would limit the distribution of hand guns and assault rifles - which have no purpose but to kill people.

  • A woman's right to choose would be safer and more secure than it is now.

  • All adults would have equal rights under the law to marry as they see fit.

    PLUS - PLEASE REMEMBER THAT WHAT YOU DESCRIBE HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE POLITICAL PROCESS - COMPROMISING, HORSE TRADING ON ISSUES, AND OTHERWISE "TRIANGULATING" ONE'S POSITIONS TO GAIN/MAINTAIN POWER. WITHOUT CONSERVATIVE INFLUENCE/PRESSURE - THERE WOULD NOT BE THE NEED FOR POLITICAL COMPROMISE AND LIBERAL POSITIONS WOULD RULE THE DAY. WHAT YOU DECRY HAS MORE TO DO WITH OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM AND THE TENSION THAT EXISTS BETWEEN POLITICAL PARTIES AND LESS TO DO WITH LIBERALISM ITSELF.

    Perhaps the radicals that you love are really just idealists who prefer to live in the arena of ideas than pragmatists who would rather make a tangible difference in peoples' lives.
  • MBM, dude... UNDER THOSE DEMOCRATS... African-Americans and other Americans were sent to war because WHITE SUPREMACY (and WHITE FEARS) RULE.

    But you can cite where those Democrats stood against the War In Iraq from the very beginning when their votes said otherwise. I mean, the least you can do is read...

    Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi: all pro-War.


    What part of that did you miss and, out of some weird partisanship, want to dismiss with some idealistic Wishful Thinking that doesn't consider the actual position of the very people you listed.

    Again, you can cite where and how those Democrats (which, ironically, you make synonomous with the idea of "Liberalism") stood against the War in Iraq at the critical, initial juncture.

    Dude, it was the "radicals" like the "Fringe" Noah Chomsky who stood against the Iraq War, no Hillary & Co.

    I mean, please...

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