[FoRK] At the risk of inflaming JB and others ...

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Sat Mar 29 21:04:16 PDT 2008

On Mar 29, 2008, at 9:27 PM, James Tauber wrote:

>
> On Mar 29, 2008, at 9:51 PM, il-young son wrote:
>> New Deal liberalism
>
> Okay, I still can't work out what Americans mean by "liberalism".

Neither can all but a few Americans.

Its least-useful but most-common definition is the one promoted by the  
right-wing American propagandists:  anyone who disagrees with some  
limited (and vague, shifting) subset of the actions of the current  
administration specifically;  more generally those who criticize or  
oppose the Republican party.

In any case it's a false dichotomy;  clearly the political landscape  
has multiple dimensions.  By compressing everything down into this  
false left-right axis you get all kinds of unlikely bed fellows, along  
with the occasional abomination such as "neo-conservativism."  You get  
weird brain damage like the (apparently common, at least in America)  
idea that the left-right axis "wraps around" --- i.e., go far enough  
to one extreme and you find yourself on the opposite extreme.

IYS's point is an accurate one in a historical sense;  the neo-cons  
are indeed converted liberals.  But I'd take it further;  I'd say they  
have their roots not in New Deal liberalism per se, but *actually* in  
hard-core left-wing revolutionary thought and action.  They just came  
up with an interesting new angle on how to fight the revolution.  They  
(or at least the recognized founders of the neo-con cabal) are, quite  
literally and of their own admission, "former" Trotskyites.

Proving the old adage that converts are the most zealous.


jb




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