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View Diary: Book review: The balance and battle between individualism and community (88 comments)

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  •  our history (8+ / 0-)

    We are a nation of immigrants--who hate immigrants, we are a free society that had the cruelest form of slavery, we are a nation without natural enemies, that is warlike.  We are bipolar--we are bigoted--we are snobs--we are failures.  The success the US enjoyed was economic, the result of abundant natural resources and room for expansion.  The most exceptional aspect of our "success" was how docile the downtrodden reacted.  People here should go back and read the original Black Panther treatises -- plain spoken truth too hard to swallow even for the liberals of that time.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun May 27, 2012 at 06:35:10 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, that was some pretty deep stuff, (0+ / 0-)

      compared to Tocqueville.  Bobby Seale was one deep thinker.  

      The only way to beat the game is to rig it to guarantee that everyone wins something. That's not possible if there is a house.

      by SpamNunn on Sun May 27, 2012 at 06:46:09 AM PDT

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    •  Yet (0+ / 0-)

      And yet, with most of what you're saying being the case, America is where just so many people from just so many countries want to come.  It isn't perfect and we have to continue to work on it, but I'd not want to live anywhere else and thank my lucky stars I was born here.  I know everyone won't have that opinion especially if their plight in life hasn't been what they want it to be.  

      But, I would bet most Americans believe as I do.  I truly do wonder what would make our country better other than for there to be far more chances for people that truly do want to succeed to improve their life.

      The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

      by commonsensically on Sun May 27, 2012 at 06:56:24 AM PDT

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      •  except (0+ / 0-)

        Your attitude prevents change--are we good enough?--when the economy busts, our inequality will be exposed.  I'm gathering the kool-ade of our success will fade when people return to begging in the streets--the depression had a decent ending because we were still rich in resources--not so much today. What's it all about Alfie?

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:01:26 AM PDT

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        •  I remain an optimist (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bill warnick
          Your attitude prevents change
          We have a very different view of America.  I am not ready to throw in the towel.  We definately need a new direction that can only come through thinking "outside the box" on how to best use our existing resources (including our people) to bring us back from the funk we find outselves in today economically.  We've always been innovative in America.  We have faced many a tragedy and many tough times throuhout out country's history.  We've dug way down and found the strength to recover each and every time.  Now is no different.  

          But then, I'm an eternal optimist.  That, to me, is the attitude that will create change.

          The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

          by commonsensically on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:12:47 AM PDT

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    •  can see why war on educators (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OleHippieChick, Egalitare

      don't want to know our own history

      you point out the contradictions of out society

      racism is one of those contradictions

      book that I am pushing is "Worse Than You Think" by Keith Qunicy

      Here are the first few chapters:

      1. Leaving the Blacks Behind

      2. Leaving everyone else behind

      3. Vanishing Jobs

      A few highlights from the book related to the blacks

      Racism was official policy for Roosevelt.

      "The New Deal established a new social contract that did not include blacks. Roosevelt had risen to power via a coalition of labor unions, big city political machines and the South. To keep the coalition together, he had to make concessions to Southern Racism."
      ... Britian running out of navy .. Germans sinking one ship per day. Churchill pleaded with Roosevelt to sell some of our destroyers. We were not yet at war but officially neutral. By law, Roosevelt could not sell ships to either Germany of England. But there was no rule against a trade. Churchill offered to exchange England's Carribean Islands for American Warships.
      Roosevelt and his aids could not accept the deal. Britain had given the islands good government. Black islanders had equal rights and even held government posts. If the islands became part of the US, blacks would suddenly have equal rights on American soil. The South would go ballistic.....
      Blacks cut out of the new deal.

      Here is a link to a comment I wrote about the book. It is too hot to handle for most because it criticizes both parties.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      •  FDR (0+ / 0-)

        FDR was a rich guy--better than most--but not good.  He also refused to believe Germany was exterminating Jews.  I had a cousin who escaped from Austria, worked in the defense industry, engineered duplicates of German war technology, met with Eisenhower, explained concentration camps--was ignored.  The "man" hates everyone not in his circle,  is selfish and self absorbed.  The American "man" was  better than Hitler--but that's kind of a small compliment.  BTW, after WWII, America allowed 500 Jewish surviving families to emigrate from concentration camps--sent them to unused barracks in Buffalo.  Such generosity.

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:19:49 AM PDT

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      •  Even so, my Grandparents worshipped... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bill warnick

        ... FDR for the gains the did see and feel.

        My grandmother was a domestic, and she and her fellow housekeepers were specifically excluded from the initial list of beneficiaries of Social Security. As were her cousins who were farm workers. But her sons all got G.I. Bill benefits allowing all of them to get degrees. Her husband (fortunate enough to be a factory worker) got into the SS system immediately, as did other Black factory workers who migrated from the South to Northern and Midwestern factories.

        It was unfair, unjust and uneven. It was certainly less than small-d democratic.  And no one has to like it or be satisfied with it. But it was measurable and meaningful progress.

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Sun May 27, 2012 at 07:28:29 AM PDT

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      •  This analysis... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemFromCT, Susan from 29

        is much too arch. Read Harvard Sitcoff's A New Deal for Blacks for a much more nuanced and historically honest critique of race and the New Deal. While it is true that Black Americans suffered disproportionately during the Great Depression, it is not true that Blacks were "cut out of the New Deal." To draw such a Manichean conclusion is to do violence to historical rigor.

        Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

        by JoesGarage on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:14:42 AM PDT

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        •  half (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Don midwest

          Half the gain is as commendable as half the truth--better is not good enough.  LBJ was much better than was FDR--except for compounding JFK's screw up in Vietnam.  

          Let them eat cake is better than let them starve--but not really something to be proud of.

          Apres Bush, le deluge.

          by melvynny on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:27:58 AM PDT

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          •  Proleptic comment... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Susan from 29

            We're talking about history here, not moral judgments. All historical actors are bound by their context. Men and women cannot do what they cannot say they can do. To put it another way, political dynamics only operate within the realm of the possible, and that realm is determined by the intellectual and social worldview of the participants. For example, there will never be a "People's Revolution" in the United States because we do not have a revolutionary context or imagination to bring such an event into being.

            Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

            by JoesGarage on Sun May 27, 2012 at 08:56:59 AM PDT

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            •  no (0+ / 0-)
              For example, there will never be a "People's Revolution" in the United States because we do not have a revolutionary context or imagination to bring such an event into being.
              No country does, until they do.  Leaders lead, not rule by consensus.

              Apres Bush, le deluge.

              by melvynny on Sun May 27, 2012 at 09:58:17 AM PDT

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              •  Events can only occur within the realm... (0+ / 0-)

                of the possible and the possible is only defined by deep culture. Deep culture is historically constructed over a very long period of time. Ask yourself, for example, why the American and French Revolutions were so fundamentally different in spite of being contemporaneous. Historical imagination operating within the realm of the possible. You may want a so-called "Revolution" in the United States but you're not going to get it, and certainly not by offering epigrams that carry all the intellectual heft of a fortune cookie. Again, you've missed my central point by clinging to presentism instead considering theories of history.

                Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

                by JoesGarage on Sun May 27, 2012 at 10:25:52 AM PDT

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