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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Douthat lays an Easter egg edition (141 comments)

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  •  I would suggest that Ross Douthat could kiss (22+ / 0-)

    my middle aged patulous anal sphincter, but for the part of that statement that I wouldn't let him and my ass is plenty tight, thank you Risen Lord!

    As far as Texans and Wisconsinites are concerned, let them go. However, as an American Citizen, I want every bridge, every brick in a post office, every single solitary bit of paving on an Interstate Highway, BACK.

    Of course, the Federal Government has determined that they would rather back down in the face of gun toting rednecks than actually enforce the law. So there's that.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 11:06:30 PM PDT

    •  What has this country come to? (11+ / 0-)

      Turning away from god and love of country and ungrateful towards their moral and cultural superiors, Americans are selfishly demanding to be paid fairly for their hard work and for better roads and schools.

      I weep for the cherished memory of JP Morgan.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:09:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have to read this guy's conclusion (8+ / 0-)

        to see what he was aiming for, apart from tarring Piketty as a Marxist (for the benefit of Wall Street NY Times readers.)

        The taproot of agitation in 21st-century politics, this trend suggests, may indeed be a Marxian sense of everything solid melting into air. But what’s felt to be evaporating could turn out to be cultural identity — family and faith, sovereignty and community — much more than economic security.

        And somewhere in this pattern, perhaps, lies the beginnings of a  more ideologically complicated critique of modern capitalism — one that draws on cultural critics like Daniel Bell and Christopher Lasch rather than just looking to material concerns, and considers the possibility that our system’s greatest problem might not be the fact that it lets the rich claim more money than everyone else. Rather, it might be that both capitalism and the welfare state tend to weaken forms of solidarity that give meaning to life for many people, while offering nothing but money in their place.

        So it's not that the finance MBAs and their "cognitive elite" manipulate the SuperPower Immortal Corporations to increase their wealth from 9% of the total to 27% of the total. A corporation is like any other human social club. Nothing more. (That's CJ John Roberts, in a nutshell.) It's not that the wealthy are the only ones with much for free disposable income.

        The lower class have been reduced to grinding poverty but that's also not important.

        Where lower class people have "material concerns" we should all go one more step and view this as a Sin. How dare they want economic security ?

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

        by waterstreet2013 on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:14:42 AM PDT

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        •  If he's trying to equate capitalism (5+ / 0-)

          with the welfare state, I'll buy that  Wall Street and big corporations get all kinds of tax breaks and outright subsidies not available to those without financial clout.

          •  BEENGO!!! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StrayCat, Heart of the Rockies

            But we don't like to talk much about this pathetic fact here-- due to the fact we all know the democrats in Congress aren't going to do anything to stop the $200 Billion in yearly corporate welfare you refer to-- because we'd then have to admit regarding this crucial financial policy there's ZERO difference between the democrats and repuglicans.

            "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

            by Superpole on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:44:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And "Superpole" tosses in the DON'T VOTE (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean

            and THEY'RE ALL ALIKE meme.

            8-cents worth of bs....

            "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

            by waterstreet2013 on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:50:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Actually it celebrates 1940's - 60's capitalism (4+ / 0-)

          Especially with the rebuilding of Europe and Japan with the Marshall plan where we demonstrated a capitalism with high progressive tax rates, strong government investment, powerful unions and how they created ever stronger democracies and economies. Social Democracy has actually kept that torch lit better than we have.

          Piketty specifically points towards that era, with most money being earned through labor, not private investments, as the kind of capitalism he espouses.

          It's rather sad though that it's taking a Frenchman to point out to most Democrats in America that we were the creators of those very economic and social blueprints put into action by our own party starting 70-odd years ago. No matter. I hope that Obama and the Congress continue to apparently keep seeing this new light which I think they are finally becoming aware of.

        •  He fundamentally misunderstands (0+ / 0-)

          the point that most modern progressives have been making in not opposing capitalism per se, but its unregulated "free market" form, which is both cruel and unsustainable. No one is arguing for pure socialism. Only an idiot believes in unregulated capitalism. We're looking for a sustainable middle ground. They miss the point, as always. These are very stupid people posing as thinkers.

          Yeah, and professional wrestling is a real sport.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:32:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not to mention Douthat's ignorance is showing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          waterstreet2013, Calamity Jean

          He poo-poos Marx for being a materialist and offers his alternative theory:

          our system’s greatest problem might not be the fact that it lets the rich claim more money than everyone else. Rather, it might be that both capitalism and the welfare state tend to weaken forms of solidarity that give meaning to life for many people, while offering nothing but money in their place.
          which was exactly Marx's point when he wrote "all that is solid melts into air":
          Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his, real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.  
          Capitalism reduces "man's relations with his kind" to nothing more than "exchange value" - or as Douthat blithely notes, "nothing but money in their place".

          What made Kit Lasch (and Dan Bell, in Contradictions) such good thinkers was that they actually took Marx seriously as the trenchant critic of capitalism he was - which Douthat seems emotionally and intellectually unprepared to do.

    •  Or pay a "leaving fee" upon succession. And then (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NotActingNaive

      fees for our military protection, if they want it.

      "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

      by merrywidow on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 07:53:01 AM PDT

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    •  And no way would I support my son risking his life (0+ / 0-)

      for the preservation of the union. Good riddance to the asshats. As for my dear friends in Wisconsin, my guest room is open if they choose to become refugees.

      Dementia, you better treat me good. ~Conor Oberst "Slowly (Oh So Slowly)"

      by NotActingNaive on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 09:14:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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