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The New Right
Capitalism Magazine ^ | February 4, 2005 | John Lewis, Ph.D.

Posted on 02/16/2005 5:58:47 AM PST by paudio

The evidence of the past two decades is unimpeachable: the political right in America no longer stands for individual rights, limited government and capitalism. The “rightists” now advocate expanding the welfare state, increasing government intrusion into our intimate private affairs, and sacrificing American lives to foreign paupers. They call it “advancing the cause of freedom.”

This is not what the right once stood for. Fifty years ago one could recognize serious problems in their positions, but also that by and large they favored individual liberty, opposed the growth of government beyond necessity, and advocated a strong military defense. In contrast, the left wanted socialism, the welfare state, and, following Vietnam, military humility.

(Excerpt) Read more at capmag.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: capitalism; freedom; hateamerica; leftwingjive; libertarians; neocons; republicans

1 posted on 02/16/2005 5:58:47 AM PST by paudio
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To: paudio
The “rightists” now advocate expanding the welfare state
I can't disagree there
increasing government intrusion into our intimate private affairs
Eeh, there's a fine line there
a nd sacrificing American lives to foreign paupers

Gotta disagree. Nobody likes war but when terrorism is involved, things must be done.
2 posted on 02/16/2005 6:05:29 AM PST by RockinRight (It's NOT too early to start talking about 2006...or 2008.)
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To: paudio

I simply call it "Selling Out".


3 posted on 02/16/2005 6:07:33 AM PST by standupfortruth
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To: paudio

Wow! Right on target. He sounds a lot like Ayn Rand.


4 posted on 02/16/2005 6:08:56 AM PST by Arkie2
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To: Arkie2
He sounds a lot like Ayn Rand.

Well, look at his short bio:

Dr. Lewis holds an Anthem Fellowship for Objectivist Scholarship.

5 posted on 02/16/2005 6:11:13 AM PST by paudio (Four More Years..... Let's Use Them Wisely...)
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To: paudio
and todays capitalists are no longer "american nationalists" but globalists who are moving the "means of production" out of the united states to foreign countries. i trust big business less then politicans...
6 posted on 02/16/2005 6:15:45 AM PST by thejokker
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To: paudio

We just love leftwing liberals who pompously place "Phd." after their names and transparently attack their "betters".
File under: More Hate America drivel.


7 posted on 02/16/2005 6:16:56 AM PST by CBart95
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To: CBart95

I think you may be wrong . Check this out:http://personal.ashland.edu/~jlewis8/TerrorChronology.htm


8 posted on 02/16/2005 6:23:35 AM PST by sausageseller (Look out for the jackbooted spelling police. There! Everywhere!(revised cause the "man" accosted me!)
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To: paudio

Figures. He uses the same terms and analogies she did. He's right on the mark. Ayn Rand pretty much despised the Republican party and things haven't changed much among the Randians.

My sincere wish is that the Democratic party will fail and a new party will replace it that is more in tune with the ideas in this article. The Republicans seem to have moved into the political space occupied by the democratic party of the 50's and 60's.

I know, it's just a pipe dream. We seem headed for Socialism. It's just a question of how long before we declare it openly.


9 posted on 02/16/2005 6:27:38 AM PST by Arkie2
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To: paudio

We have a (R) white house and congress and we are spending like a drunken sailor with no end in sight. WTH? When is this country going to wake up and realize that socailism does not work?

If someone would have told me 10 years ago that we would have a Republican congress and white house and have out of control spending, I wouldn't have believed it.

When Bush came into office, the federal budget (FY'01) was $1.8 Trillion (1,800,000,000,000.00) and now nearly $2.6 trillion.

You can't say that the war on terror is the reason for the increase. In FY'01, defense spending was $279 billion. In FY'06 it will be $419 billion (est.). Spending went up $800 billion and only $140 billion of that was a result of increased defense spending.


10 posted on 02/16/2005 6:32:15 AM PST by foobeca
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To: paudio

AMEN in the limited government part. It's sickening. Was the Contract With America just 10 years ago? Seems like a century with today's spend-happy Republican party.


11 posted on 02/16/2005 6:48:38 AM PST by Akira (Experience is a hard teacher, but fools will have no other.)
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To: thejokker; paudio
and todays capitalists are no longer "american nationalists" but globalists who are moving the "means of production" out of the united states to foreign countries. i trust big business less then politicans...

In Ayn Rand's fantasy world businesses were run by magnificently beautiful geniuses with colorful names. In real life they are run by "citizen of the world" bureaucrats with liberal cultural values. That is what makes "Atlas Shrugged" so ridiculous.

And we will leave aside her pagan, Social Darwinist 'intellectual' roots.

12 posted on 02/16/2005 6:51:17 AM PST by Sam the Sham
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To: paudio

Sounds like a lefty view of the Right.


13 posted on 02/16/2005 7:33:39 AM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: paudio

Troll stuff... Dems want us to be the straw man they imagine us to be... We changed. Not the way this piece says, ( this troll piece) but we're not our Daddy's Republican party anymore.


14 posted on 02/16/2005 8:29:57 AM PST by GOPJ (Jacksonville and the NFL did us proud. Thanks for a great show.)
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To: Chi-townChief
BINGO:

Sounds like a lefty view of the Right.

15 posted on 02/16/2005 8:30:38 AM PST by GOPJ (Jacksonville and the NFL did us proud. Thanks for a great show.)
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To: standupfortruth
As said by a fellow freeper:

Sounds like a lefty view of the Right.

16 posted on 02/16/2005 8:34:11 AM PST by GOPJ (Troll post:...when everything sounds like a lefty view of the Right)
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To: GOPJ

"We changed. Not the way this piece says, (this troll piece) but we're not our Daddy's Republican party anymore."

I agree. We're not even a shell of "our Daddy's Republican party anymore." But you seem to approve of the changes.

Would you care to offer a defense of, say, the Medicare drug bill bloodletting from the new and improved republican perspective?

Or maybe the current 1,632-page, $388-billion omnibus bill, with its oinking outlays for such pressing matters as:

the Wild American Shrimp Initiative

"emergency" extension of the Mississippi state duck hunting season,

floriculture research in Hawaii

grasshopper research in Alaska

the Alaskan "minerals at risk" program (combining the pointless, the mysterious, and the expensive in a single appropriation)

the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area

aquaculture research and marketing in West Virginia (the seafood capital of Appalachia!)

etc., etc., etc., etc.

I'd be really fascinated how the new and improved republican perspective justifies this nonsense.


17 posted on 02/16/2005 9:16:44 AM PST by atlaw
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To: atlaw
Difference? We're not Dems.

Dems are a one trick pony. Their trick is fear.

Dems scare the old people saying Bush will destroy social security, they scare the blacks -- telling them conservatives are racist, they scare the rich, "intellectual" elites, saying "evangelicals" will take away their freedom to screw everything and everyone on the planet.

The powerful and corrupt don't want values of decency pushed down their throats. If they're hitting up on young girls, they want the ease of abortion -- a few dollars, no responsibility. Big liberal money is fighting for "play without pay": porn, creepy movies, exploitation of cheap immigrant labor etc.

18 posted on 02/16/2005 12:16:06 PM PST by GOPJ (Troll post:...when everything sounds like a lefty view of the Right)
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To: GOPJ

I see. So the new republican justifies fiscal irresponsibility by changing the subject to the evils of greed, power, and fornication.

Won't balance the books, but it makes a pretty good smoke screen.

Of course, this means that the new republican is nothing more than a democrat in Elmer Gantry's knickers. But hey, at least we have the chest-thumping high ground on "porn, creepy movies, and exploitation of cheap immigrant labor."


19 posted on 02/16/2005 12:48:23 PM PST by atlaw
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To: atlaw
Odd frames. You come here and trash Republicans. Think of a person from Kansas who votes Republican and stuns Dems with an unwillingness to sell out for a dem bribe. The typical dem bribe being "you'll get someone's tax dollars if you stay with us". Here's the problem. No one believes dems, and if they did, they know dems make the same promise to anyone willing to vote for them. Then, Bush is making sure dems can't buy voters ... so those promised have even less a chace to collect. Republicans win votes and voters.

Republicans don't have to buy votes or voters. We don't have to cheat like the dems do... How do you feel about what I've said? Please answer directly -- stop constantly reframing ( the old term was "changing the subject"). If you won't answer, say so.

I've read some of your other comments and I would like to see if you can trash dems. I suspect it might be difficult for you. Give it a try. I'm waiting for your response.

I see. So the new republican justifies fiscal irresponsibility by changing the subject to the evils of greed, power, and fornication.

20 posted on 02/16/2005 3:13:58 PM PST by GOPJ (Troll post:...when everything sounds like a lefty view of the Right)
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To: GOPJ
"How do you feel about what I've said? Please answer directly -- stop constantly reframing ( the old term was "changing the subject"). If you won't answer, say so."

What the devil are you talking about? I asked you whether you would be willing to defend the current fiscal and budgetary excesses from the new republican perspective - a perspective that you yourself have declared to be different from our "Daddy's republican" perspective. Please re-read post 17.

You then went off in post 18 on a bizarre diatribe about the evils of greed and fornication (and added for good measure some kind of socialist nonsense about how the new republicans are battling the rich liberals to protect the rights of immigrant laborers -- what the heck is that all about?).

I haven't changed the subject or re-framed the issue. You have. Fiscal irresponsibility is not justified by self righteous chest-thumping about pornography.

Now how about it? Please offer a defense of the fiscal and budgetary largesse we are currently witnessing in Washington from your "new republican" perspective. I can't do it, because I am in fact still a member of what you have derided as our "Daddy's republican party." You remember, don't you? Small government, balanced budgets, de-centralization, all that stuff that is now just so much bunkum to the "new republicans."

21 posted on 02/17/2005 6:41:55 AM PST by atlaw
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To: GOPJ

"Fear"? For sure. Did you leave out "Hatred" on purpose?


22 posted on 02/18/2005 11:10:17 AM PST by CBart95
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To: paudio

The GOP is run by Globalists...not Conservatives.


23 posted on 02/18/2005 11:12:24 AM PST by ApesForEvolution (I just took a Muhammad and wiped my Jihadist with Mein Koran...come and get me nutbags.)
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To: ApesForEvolution

Did anyone here ever see the play "Waiting for Godot"?
This series of exchanges is reminiscent of it. Wild accusations. Cross talk. Shouts in the darkness. Non Sequitur on top of Non Sequitur.
This will give the poor Dems something to chuckle about. They need a laff.


24 posted on 02/18/2005 11:18:42 AM PST by CBart95
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To: CBart95

LOSING OUR DELUSIONS: Not Much Left (Despondent Liberal on state of Liberalism)
New Republic ^ | 2/17/05 | Martin Peretz


Posted on 02/17/2005 9:31:56 PM EST by pissant


I think it was John Kenneth Galbraith, speaking in the early 1960s, the high point of post-New Deal liberalism, who pronounced conservatism dead. Conservatism, he said, was "bookless," a characteristic Galbraithian, which is to say Olympian, verdict. Without books, there are no ideas. And it is true: American conservatism was, at the time, a congeries of cranky prejudices, a closed church with an archaic doctrine proclaimed by spoiled swells. William F. Buckley Jr. comes to mind, and a few others whose names will now resonate with almost nobody. Take as just one instance Russell Kirk, an especially prominent conservative intellectual who, as Clinton Rossiter (himself a moderate conservative) wrote, has "begun to sound like a man born one hundred and fifty years too late and in the wrong country."

At this point in history, it is liberalism upon which such judgments are rendered. And understandably so. It is liberalism that is now bookless and dying. The most penetrating thinker of the old liberalism, the Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, is virtually unknown in the circles within which he once spoke and listened, perhaps because he held a gloomy view of human nature. However gripping his illuminations, however much they may have been validated by history, liberals have no patience for such pessimism. So who has replaced Niebuhr, the once-commanding tribune to both town and gown? It's as if no one even tries to fill the vacuum. Here and there, of course, a university personage appears to assert a small didactic point and proves it with a vast and intricate academic apparatus. In any case, it is the apparatus that is designed to persuade, not the idea.

Ask yourself: Who is a truly influential liberal mind in our culture? Whose ideas challenge and whose ideals inspire? Whose books and articles are read and passed around? There's no one, really. What's left is the laundry list: the catalogue of programs (some dubious, some not) that Republicans aren't funding, and the blogs, with their daily panic dose about how the Bush administration is ruining the country.

Europe is also making the disenchanting journey from social democracy, but via a different route. Its elites had not foreseen that a virtually unchecked Muslim immigration might hijack the welfare state and poison the postwar culture of relative tolerance that supported its politics. To the contrary, Europe's leftist elites lulled the electorates into a false feeling of security that the new arrivals were simply doing the work that unprecedented low European birth rates were leaving undone. No social or cultural costs were to be incurred. Transaction closed. Well, it was not quite so simple. And, while the workforce still needs more workers, the economies of Europe have been dragged down by social guarantees to large families who do not always have a wage-earner in the house. So, even in the morally self-satisfied Scandinavian and Low Countries, the assuring left-wing bromides are no longer believed.

he conflict between right and left in the United States is different. What animates American conservatism is the future of the regulatory state and the trajectory of federalism. The conservatives have not themselves agreed on how far they want to retract either regulation or the authority of the national government. These are not axiomatic questions for them, as can be seen by their determined and contravening success last week in empowering not the states against Washington but Washington against the states in the area of tort law. As Jeffrey Rosen has pointed out in these pages, many of these issues will be fought out in the courts. But not all. So a great national debate will not be avoided.

Liberals have reflexes on these matters, and these reflexes put them in a defensive posture. But they have not yet conducted an honest internal conversation that assumes from the start that the very nature of the country has changed since the great New Deal reckoning. Surely there are some matters on which the regulatory state can relax. Doubtless also there are others that can revert to the states. Still, liberals know that the right's ideologically framed--but class-motivated--retreat of the government from the economy must be resisted. There will simply be too many victims left on the side of the road.

At the same time, U.S. politics has not yet confronted a phenomenon that has been on the front page of the international financial press for years. This is the dizzying specter of economic competition from China, whose hold on U.S. Treasury bonds leaves the dollar vulnerable to a tremendous decline should China decide to sell them. (There is a new model of society emerging before our eyes: a most rapacious capitalist economy under a most pitiless communist political tyranny.) The industrialized states of Europe and, predictably, Japan are battening down their hatches rather than admitting to the challenge from China. But China will not go away.

There is also a rapacious capitalism in our own country. Of course, it is not as brutalizing as it is in China. But it is demoralizing and punishing. Moreover, it threatens its own ethical foundations. The great achievement of U.S. capitalism was that it became democratic, and the demos could place reasonable trust in its institutions. The very extent of stockholding through mutual funds, pension funds, and individual holdings is a tribute to the reliability of the market makers, the corporations themselves, and their guarantors. We now know that much of this confidence was misplaced and that some of the most estimable companies and financial institutions were cooking the books and fixing the odds for the favored. Eliot Spitzer has taught us a great lesson in our vulnerability. Many individual corporations, investment banks, stock brokerages, insurance companies, auditors, and, surely, lawyers who vetted their contracts and other arrangements were complicit in violating the public trust. What does a certification of a financial report by an accounting firm actually prove when each of the Big Four (formerly the Big Five) has been culpable of unethical behavior on several counts? What has happened on Wall Street in the last few years would be tantamount to the doctors of the great teaching hospitals in the United States deciding in secret to abjure the Hippocratic Oath. For some reason, even liberals have been loath to confront this reality of the country's corporate and financial life. Yes, it is true that greed plays a role, even a creative role, in economic progress. Still, greed need not go unbridled. What is a responsible liberal for if he doesn't take on this task?

iberals like to blame their political consultants. But then, if you depend on consultants for your motivating ideas, you are nowhere. So let's admit it: The liberals are themselves uninspired by a vision of the good society--a problem we didn't have 30 years ago. For several years, the liberal agenda has looked and sounded like little more than a bookkeeping exercise. We want to spend more, they less. In the end, the numbers do not clarify; they confuse. Almost no one can explain any principle behind the cost differences. But there are grand matters that need to be addressed, and the grandest one is what we owe each other as Americans. People who are voluntarily obliged to each other across classes and races, professions and ethnicities, tend to trust each other, like a patient his doctor and a student her teacher. It is not easy to limn out such a vision practically. But we have it in our bones.

In our bones or not, it is an exacting and long-time task. It's much easier, more comfortable, to do the old refrains. You can easily rouse a crowd when you get it to sing, "We Shall Overcome." One of the tropes that trips off the tongues of American liberals is the civil rights theme of the '60s. Another is that U.S. power is dangerous to others and dangerous to us. This is also a reprise from the '60s, the late '60s. Virtue returns, it seems, merely by mouthing the words.

One of the legacies of the '60s is liberal idealism about race. But that discussion has grown particularly outmoded in the Democratic Party. African Americans and Caribbean Americans (the differences between them another largely unspoken reality) have made tremendous strides in their education, in social mobility, in employment, in housing, and in politics as images and realities in the media. Even the gap in wealth accumulation between whites and blacks has begun to narrow, and, on this, even tremendous individual achievement over one generation cannot compensate for the accumulated advantages of inherited money over two or three generations. Still, the last 30 years separate two worlds. The statistics prove it. And this, too, we know in our bones.

But, in the Democratic Party, among liberals, the usual hustlers are still cheered. Jesse Jackson is still paid off, mostly not to make trouble. The biggest insult to our black fellow citizens was the deference paid to Al Sharpton during the campaign. Early in the race, it was clear that he--like Carol Moseley Braun and Dennis Kucinich--was not a serious candidate. Yet he was treated as if he just might take the oath of office at the Capitol on January 20. In the end, he won only a handful of delegates. But he was there, speaking in near-prime time to the Democratic convention. Sharpton is an inciter of racial conflict. To him can be debited the fraudulent and dehumanizing scandal around Tawana Brawley (conflating scatology and sex), the Crown Heights violence between Jews and blacks, a fire in Harlem, the protests around a Korean grocery store in Brooklyn, and on and on. Yet the liberal press treats Sharpton as a genuine leader, even a moral one, the trickster as party statesman.

This patronizing attitude is proof positive that, as deep as the social and economic gains have been among African Americans, many liberals prefer to maintain their own time-honored patronizing position vis-à-vis "the other," the needy. This is, frankly, in sharp contrast to President Bush, who seems not to be impeded by race difference (and gender difference) in his appointments and among his friends. Maybe it is just a generational thing, and, if it is that, it is also a good thing. But he may be the first president who apparently does not see individual people in racial categories or sex categories. White or black, woman or man, just as long as you're a conservative. That is also an expression of liberation from bias.

t is more than interesting that liberals have so much trouble recontextualizing race in the United States. It is, to move to the point, pathetic. And it leaves work undone. In Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's majority opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger (the Michigan affirmative action case), she wrote that the Court assumed that, in 25 years, there will no longer be a need for affirmative action. Unless things change quickly, she will be completely off the mark. Nearly two years have passed since that ruling and virtually nothing has been done to make sure that children of color--and other children, too, since the crisis in our educational system cuts across race and class--are receiving a different and better type of schooling, in science and in literacy, than those now coming into our colleges. This is not about Head Start. This is about a wholesale revamping of teaching and learning. The conservatives have their ideas, and many of them are good, such as charter schools and even vouchers. But give me a single liberal idea with some currency, even a structural notion, for transforming the elucidation of knowledge and thinking to the young. You can't.

This leaves us with the issue of U.S. power, the other leftover from the '60s. It is true: American liberals no longer believe in the axiomatic virtue of revolutions and revolutionaries. But let's face it: It's hard to get a candid conversation going about Cuba with one. The heavily documented evidence of Fidel Castro's tyranny notwithstanding, he still has a vestigial cachet among us. After all, he has survived Uncle Sam's hostility for more than 45 years. And, no, the Viet Cong didn't really exist. It was at once Ho Chi Minh's pickax and bludgeon in the south. Pose this question at an Upper West Side dinner party: What was worse, Nazism or Communism? Surely, the answer will be Nazism ... because Communism had an ideal of the good. This, despite the fact that communist revolutions and communist regimes murdered ever so many more millions of innocents and transformed the yearning of many idealists for equality into the brutal assertion of evil, a boot stamping on the human face forever.

Peter Beinart has argued, also in these pages ("A Fighting Faith," December 13, 2004), the case for a vast national and international mobilization against Islamic fanaticism and Arab terrorism. It is typologically the same people who wanted the United States to let communism triumph--in postwar Italy and Greece, in mid-cold war France and late-cold war Portugal--who object to U.S. efforts right now in the Middle East. You hear the schadenfreude in their voices--you read it in their words--at our troubles in Iraq. For months, liberals have been peddling one disaster scenario after another, one contradictory fact somehow reinforcing another, hoping now against hope that their gloomy visions will come true.

I happen to believe that they won't. This will not curb the liberal complaint. That complaint is not a matter of circumstance. It is a permanent affliction of the liberal mind. It is not a symptom; it is a condition. And it is a condition related to the desperate hopes liberals have vested in the United Nations. That is their lodestone. But the lodestone does not perform. It is not a magnet for the good. It performs the magic of the wicked. It is corrupt, it is pompous, it is shackled to tyrants and cynics. It does not recognize a genocide when the genocide is seen and understood by all. Liberalism now needs to be liberated from many of its own illusions and delusions. Let's hope we still have the strength.


25 posted on 02/18/2005 11:58:16 AM PST by GOPJ (Liberals haven't had a new idea in 40 years.)
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To: atlaw
Please tell me what you don't like about the modern democrat party. I keep asking. I know what you don't like about Republicans. Tell me what you don't like about liberals. The following New Republic piece might give you some ideas.

LOSING OUR DELUSIONS: Not Much Left (Despondent Liberal on state of Liberalism) New Republic ^ | 2/17/05 | Martin Peretz

Posted on 02/17/2005 9:31:56 PM EST by pissant

At this point in history, it is liberalism upon which such judgments are rendered. And understandably so. It is liberalism that is now bookless and dying. The most penetrating thinker of the old liberalism, the Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, is virtually unknown in the circles within which he once spoke and listened, perhaps because he held a gloomy view of human nature. However gripping his illuminations, however much they may have been validated by history, liberals have no patience for such pessimism. So who has replaced Niebuhr, the once-commanding tribune to both town and gown? It's as if no one even tries to fill the vacuum. Here and there, of course, a university personage appears to assert a small didactic point and proves it with a vast and intricate academic apparatus. In any case, it is the apparatus that is designed to persuade, not the idea.

Ask yourself: Who is a truly influential liberal mind in our culture? Whose ideas challenge and whose ideals inspire? Whose books and articles are read and passed around? There's no one, really. What's left is the laundry list: the catalogue of programs (some dubious, some not) that Republicans aren't funding, and the blogs, with their daily panic dose about how the Bush administration is ruining the country.

Europe is also making the disenchanting journey from social democracy, but via a different route. Its elites had not foreseen that a virtually unchecked Muslim immigration might hijack the welfare state and poison the postwar culture of relative tolerance that supported its politics. To the contrary, Europe's leftist elites lulled the electorates into a false feeling of security that the new arrivals were simply doing the work that unprecedented low European birth rates were leaving undone. No social or cultural costs were to be incurred. Transaction closed. Well, it was not quite so simple. And, while the workforce still needs more workers, the economies of Europe have been dragged down by social guarantees to large families who do not always have a wage-earner in the house. So, even in the morally self-satisfied Scandinavian and Low Countries, the assuring left-wing bromides are no longer believed.

he conflict between right and left in the United States is different. What animates American conservatism is the future of the regulatory state and the trajectory of federalism. The conservatives have not themselves agreed on how far they want to retract either regulation or the authority of the national government. These are not axiomatic questions for them, as can be seen by their determined and contravening success last week in empowering not the states against Washington but Washington against the states in the area of tort law. As Jeffrey Rosen has pointed out in these pages, many of these issues will be fought out in the courts. But not all. So a great national debate will not be avoided.

Liberals have reflexes on these matters, and these reflexes put them in a defensive posture. But they have not yet conducted an honest internal conversation that assumes from the start that the very nature of the country has changed since the great New Deal reckoning. Surely there are some matters on which the regulatory state can relax. Doubtless also there are others that can revert to the states. Still, liberals know that the right's ideologically framed--but class-motivated--retreat of the government from the economy must be resisted. There will simply be too many victims left on the side of the road.

At the same time, U.S. politics has not yet confronted a phenomenon that has been on the front page of the international financial press for years. This is the dizzying specter of economic competition from China, whose hold on U.S. Treasury bonds leaves the dollar vulnerable to a tremendous decline should China decide to sell them. (There is a new model of society emerging before our eyes: a most rapacious capitalist economy under a most pitiless communist political tyranny.) The industrialized states of Europe and, predictably, Japan are battening down their hatches rather than admitting to the challenge from China. But China will not go away.

There is also a rapacious capitalism in our own country. Of course, it is not as brutalizing as it is in China. But it is demoralizing and punishing. Moreover, it threatens its own ethical foundations. The great achievement of U.S. capitalism was that it became democratic, and the demos could place reasonable trust in its institutions. The very extent of stockholding through mutual funds, pension funds, and individual holdings is a tribute to the reliability of the market makers, the corporations themselves, and their guarantors. We now know that much of this confidence was misplaced and that some of the most estimable companies and financial institutions were cooking the books and fixing the odds for the favored. Eliot Spitzer has taught us a great lesson in our vulnerability. Many individual corporations, investment banks, stock brokerages, insurance companies, auditors, and, surely, lawyers who vetted their contracts and other arrangements were complicit in violating the public trust. What does a certification of a financial report by an accounting firm actually prove when each of the Big Four (formerly the Big Five) has been culpable of unethical behavior on several counts? What has happened on Wall Street in the last few years would be tantamount to the doctors of the great teaching hospitals in the United States deciding in secret to abjure the Hippocratic Oath. For some reason, even liberals have been loath to confront this reality of the country's corporate and financial life. Yes, it is true that greed plays a role, even a creative role, in economic progress. Still, greed need not go unbridled. What is a responsible liberal for if he doesn't take on this task?

iberals like to blame their political consultants. But then, if you depend on consultants for your motivating ideas, you are nowhere. So let's admit it: The liberals are themselves uninspired by a vision of the good society--a problem we didn't have 30 years ago. For several years, the liberal agenda has looked and sounded like little more than a bookkeeping exercise. We want to spend more, they less. In the end, the numbers do not clarify; they confuse. Almost no one can explain any principle behind the cost differences. But there are grand matters that need to be addressed, and the grandest one is what we owe each other as Americans. People who are voluntarily obliged to each other across classes and races, professions and ethnicities, tend to trust each other, like a patient his doctor and a student her teacher. It is not easy to limn out such a vision practically. But we have it in our bones.

In our bones or not, it is an exacting and long-time task. It's much easier, more comfortable, to do the old refrains. You can easily rouse a crowd when you get it to sing, "We Shall Overcome." One of the tropes that trips off the tongues of American liberals is the civil rights theme of the '60s. Another is that U.S. power is dangerous to others and dangerous to us. This is also a reprise from the '60s, the late '60s. Virtue returns, it seems, merely by mouthing the words.

One of the legacies of the '60s is liberal idealism about race. But that discussion has grown particularly outmoded in the Democratic Party. African Americans and Caribbean Americans (the differences between them another largely unspoken reality) have made tremendous strides in their education, in social mobility, in employment, in housing, and in politics as images and realities in the media. Even the gap in wealth accumulation between whites and blacks has begun to narrow, and, on this, even tremendous individual achievement over one generation cannot compensate for the accumulated advantages of inherited money over two or three generations. Still, the last 30 years separate two worlds. The statistics prove it. And this, too, we know in our bones.

But, in the Democratic Party, among liberals, the usual hustlers are still cheered. Jesse Jackson is still paid off, mostly not to make trouble. The biggest insult to our black fellow citizens was the deference paid to Al Sharpton during the campaign. Early in the race, it was clear that he--like Carol Moseley Braun and Dennis Kucinich--was not a serious candidate. Yet he was treated as if he just might take the oath of office at the Capitol on January 20. In the end, he won only a handful of delegates. But he was there, speaking in near-prime time to the Democratic convention. Sharpton is an inciter of racial conflict. To him can be debited the fraudulent and dehumanizing scandal around Tawana Brawley (conflating scatology and sex), the Crown Heights violence between Jews and blacks, a fire in Harlem, the protests around a Korean grocery store in Brooklyn, and on and on. Yet the liberal press treats Sharpton as a genuine leader, even a moral one, the trickster as party statesman.

This patronizing attitude is proof positive that, as deep as the social and economic gains have been among African Americans, many liberals prefer to maintain their own time-honored patronizing position vis-à-vis "the other," the needy. This is, frankly, in sharp contrast to President Bush, who seems not to be impeded by race difference (and gender difference) in his appointments and among his friends. Maybe it is just a generational thing, and, if it is that, it is also a good thing. But he may be the first president who apparently does not see individual people in racial categories or sex categories. White or black, woman or man, just as long as you're a conservative. That is also an expression of liberation from bias.

t is more than interesting that liberals have so much trouble recontextualizing race in the United States. It is, to move to the point, pathetic. And it leaves work undone. In Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's majority opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger (the Michigan affirmative action case), she wrote that the Court assumed that, in 25 years, there will no longer be a need for affirmative action. Unless things change quickly, she will be completely off the mark. Nearly two years have passed since that ruling and virtually nothing has been done to make sure that children of color--and other children, too, since the crisis in our educational system cuts across race and class--are receiving a different and better type of schooling, in science and in literacy, than those now coming into our colleges. This is not about Head Start. This is about a wholesale revamping of teaching and learning. The conservatives have their ideas, and many of them are good, such as charter schools and even vouchers. But give me a single liberal idea with some currency, even a structural notion, for transforming the elucidation of knowledge and thinking to the young. You can't.

This leaves us with the issue of U.S. power, the other leftover from the '60s. It is true: American liberals no longer believe in the axiomatic virtue of revolutions and revolutionaries. But let's face it: It's hard to get a candid conversation going about Cuba with one. The heavily documented evidence of Fidel Castro's tyranny notwithstanding, he still has a vestigial cachet among us. After all, he has survived Uncle Sam's hostility for more than 45 years. And, no, the Viet Cong didn't really exist. It was at once Ho Chi Minh's pickax and bludgeon in the south. Pose this question at an Upper West Side dinner party: What was worse, Nazism or Communism? Surely, the answer will be Nazism ... because Communism had an ideal of the good. This, despite the fact that communist revolutions and communist regimes murdered ever so many more millions of innocents and transformed the yearning of many idealists for equality into the brutal assertion of evil, a boot stamping on the human face forever.

Peter Beinart has argued, also in these pages ("A Fighting Faith," December 13, 2004), the case for a vast national and international mobilization against Islamic fanaticism and Arab terrorism. It is typologically the same people who wanted the United States to let communism triumph--in postwar Italy and Greece, in mid-cold war France and late-cold war Portugal--who object to U.S. efforts right now in the Middle East. You hear the schadenfreude in their voices--you read it in their words--at our troubles in Iraq. For months, liberals have been peddling one disaster scenario after another, one contradictory fact somehow reinforcing another, hoping now against hope that their gloomy visions will come true.

I happen to believe that they won't. This will not curb the liberal complaint. That complaint is not a matter of circumstance. It is a permanent affliction of the liberal mind. It is not a symptom; it is a condition. And it is a condition related to the desperate hopes liberals have vested in the United Nations. That is their lodestone. But the lodestone does not perform. It is not a magnet for the good. It performs the magic of the wicked. It is corrupt, it is pompous, it is shackled to tyrants and cynics. It does not recognize a genocide when the genocide is seen and understood by all. Liberalism now needs to be liberated from many of its own illusions and delusions. Let's hope we still have the strength.

26 posted on 02/18/2005 12:05:33 PM PST by GOPJ (Liberals haven't had a new idea in 40 years.)
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To: GOPJ

You're hopeless. Good day.


27 posted on 02/18/2005 12:11:06 PM PST by atlaw
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To: GOPJ

Thank you for your voluminous and thoughtful reply, the sincerity of which there is absolutely no doubt. Your wonderful command of language and considerable education make you a remarkable spell binder.
Your seriousness and apparent sincerety prompt me to counsel you to strive for KEY FACTS in your system of thinking that help to bring the complex web of circumstance you describe into a semblence of order of the type that might produce intelligent action...and possibly peace to your troubled conscience.
Let me suggest just one as an example: George W. Bush may possibly be the most important Liberal President the USA has ever experienced.
I am tempted to remind the caring person that you are to forgo worrying and fretting over situations over which you have zero control.
Blessings.


28 posted on 02/18/2005 2:15:46 PM PST by CBart95
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To: CBart95
Now that's a liberal line... Where do you get this stuff from?

I am tempted to remind the caring person that you are to forgo worrying and fretting over situations over which you have zero control.

29 posted on 02/18/2005 9:13:16 PM PST by GOPJ (Liberals haven't had a new idea in 40 years.)
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To: CBart95

I've read your responses to me -- and to others. You seem to enjoy nothing more than looking down on everyone. In short, you come across as a liberal elite -- puffed up, plenty of attitude, and not much to say. To say the least, we're mutually unimpressed. So, feel free to throw your weight around, but please, not around me.


30 posted on 02/18/2005 9:38:30 PM PST by GOPJ (Liberals haven't had a new idea in 40 years.)
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To: CBart95

I'm sorry. My answer was for "atlaw" not for you. Please forgive me.


31 posted on 02/19/2005 9:26:33 PM PST by GOPJ (Liberals haven't had a new idea in 40 years.)
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To: GOPJ
"I've read your responses to me -- and to others. You seem to enjoy nothing more than looking down on everyone. In short, you come across as a liberal elite -- puffed up, plenty of attitude, and not much to say."

Coming from a one-trick pony who assiduously avoids addressing the questions put to him, who apparently believes that fiscal conservativism is a derisive thing of the past, and who can say so little in so long-winded a fashion, I'll take the criticism for the grain of salt that it is.

"To say the least, we're mutually unimpressed."

LOL. The royal "we", eh? I fear for conservatism if you truly are speaking for more than yourself.

32 posted on 02/20/2005 7:24:44 AM PST by atlaw
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To: CBart95
Your wonderful command of language and considerable education make you a remarkable spell binder.

A friendly hint - if you are going to insult someone's writing on FR, make sure that your post is free of errors like splitting spellbinder into two separate words.

Oh, and please see if you can do something about those run-on sentences while you're at it.

33 posted on 02/20/2005 7:32:08 AM PST by dirtboy (Drooling moron since 1998...)
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