There was a similarly poorly-written article in the University of Mississippi's newspaper recently by some idiot who dropped a Spanish class because some of the videos shown about Spanish culture were a bit too R-rated for our poor sheltered reporter. She complained that she didn't need to know about the darker parts of a society to know its culture -- as if the dark parts don't shape the culture more than any other influence!
So, forgive me if I can't bring myself to fully read this. I don't think I need to get that angry yet today. Just a note, though, about socialism, for those who see it as a bad thing:
I apologize for not having gone through all the posts yet, but one of my many responses to that opinion piece has to do with the rhetoric of "freedom." Let's make this clear: "freedom" is an illusion and a conceptual wasteland devoid of any coherent meaning; it is a word variously used to defend selfishnesses all sorts.
We are all interconnected environmentally (share ONE planet), economically (!!), culturally and, increasingly via the Internet, we have become, functionally, one global culture; we are all citizens and have all the rights and responsibilities attendant to that status. We are not 'free' in the sense that we ALL depend upon a reciprocity with others (both locally and globally).
To play the "I love freedom" card is another way of saying that I abrogate my responsibility as a local, national and, indeed, global citizen. To put it in other words, "freedom's just another word for nothing else to lose." [thanks, Janis]
Yes, of course, we need certain freedoms ( from religion, of expression, etc.) but I do not believe these are the freedoms being referred to by that opinion piece writer.
People like to invoke the word "freedom" when they feel their power's being encroached upon, and when they aren't getting their way. In many ways, the people who fling around the word most are the people who are irresponsible, reckless and utterly childish.
Why is this article so offensive? I voted for Obama, but what has he done so far that could be called "change" or "progress". Anyone can spend money, and he's done that.
However, it takes a leader to shut down Guantanamo, withdrawl from Iraq and Afganhistan, persecute the criminals of the Bush administration, punish companies like AT&T for being complicit in the Patriot Act, stop compromising with Republicans enough to push through something better than the Baucus bill and prevent the cap and trade laws from being neutered before they are even born, or even redistribute income along more egalitarian lines.
During the Bush administration we saw one of the greatest redistributions of wealth to the highest earners sense the gilded age. How have the past 9 months been anything other than more of the same? As someone who used to self identify as a socialist I feel compelled to warn my fellow leftists to be wary of the same dogmatism and identity based ideology that we hate so much in our opponents. Indeed, I've frequently found the political "right"(economically speaking) to have a more malleable ideology than much of the "left".
I don't even see this from a leftist perspective. Just the sheer logic of the article pissed me off royally.
If you take a gander at some earlier replies, you'll see why the article is considered to have some fightin' words. If you focused on economics, I can't really say very much because my understanding of current Administrative policy is weak. However, I know enough to say all the bitching and moaning about Obama spending more than Bush and trying to restrict the free market is unfounded.
I still agree with you in that we don't have a leader right now. He's very eloquent, but we keep getting banana cream rather than mince pies.
Right, I think you meant to say "...the sheer illogic of the article...", which I would agree with.
And Tom perhaps overstates the case, but I think it's fairly clear that when Libertarians and Republicans talk about freedom, they basically mean the freedom to be greedy and irresponsible to their fellow citizens.