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View Diary: CAUGHT ON TAPE: Tom Friedman's Shocking Admission (250 comments)

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  •  A much better analogy than 60s liberals (0+ / 0-)
    is functionaries of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The only thing they needed to know was Marxism-Leninism. Just like the only thing Friedman needs to know is free trade good. The US now and the USSR when it existed are mirror images of each other.

    Liberals don't have an ideology in the sense that American right wingers or communists do. Liberals are pragmatic, and wanting to make the world better is not an ideology: it is an ethical attitude.

    Also, people who were into "free love, drugs, rock and roll" were not liberals! The politically inclined among them were into radical politics and read people like Herbert Marcuse. Liberals do not read Marcuse.

    Liberalism is the origin and center of American politics. Thus, to reject liberalism is to reject America.

    by Alexander on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:22:59 PM PDT

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    •  Sounds like you read Richard Rorty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MHB

      (or at least would agree with him). He's a philosophy professor who talks about American liberals (read Achieving Our Country). He talks about how old school liberals were pragmatic and willing to work incrementally within the system (first half 20th C.) and points to a fundamental change beginning in the 1960s. He traces the radicalization of the '60s to the realization that the government lied to us about the Gulf of Tonkin (more to it than just that of course).

      I think we are returning to the pragmatic.

      "Help us to save free conscience from the paw -- Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw." --John Milton

      by ohiolibrarian on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:14:55 PM PDT

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      •  Don't know that book - thanks (0+ / 0-)
        It's been a while since I thought about Rorty, but anyway, he is a bit of a black sheep among philosophers. In fact, after writing his most famous book Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, in which he argued that the notion of objective truth is just an artificial and incoherent creation of Western philosophy, he left his philosophy department to join a comparative literature department (something which shows a high degree of integrity). He likes to claim the mantle of pragmatism, and argues that truth is a useful notion, but that truth holds only for a specific community, so that what is true depends on what community you belong to. (He claims that this is what the early 20th century pragmatists believed, but most specialists disagree.)

        When it comes to American liberalism, I would say Rorty is a bit suspect as an authority or interpreter, since I think that liberalism is incompatible with Rorty's views on truth. Still he is to be commended for discussing the role of intellectuals in America, something professional philosophers almost universally shy away from.

        Liberalism is the origin and center of American politics. Thus, to reject liberalism is to reject America.

        by Alexander on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:54:29 PM PDT

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