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View Diary: Reason, Emotion and Politics: An Interview with Drew Westen (88 comments)

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  •  philandrel, you've got it backwards (1+ / 0-)
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    Icarus Ascending

    It is the Left that has an abundance of social thought- so much so that it is necessary to discuss it to come to a consensus.
    It is the Right that is devoid of social thought as it sets aside any personal opinions or beliefs to take up what has been dictated, sent down, to parrot in any conversation. "Talking points" are glaring evidence of Right-winger's desire to agree and embrace a shared ideology, and damn any evidence to the contrary of those points. To free-thinkers like us Liberals, the idea of conforming to so narrow a view for the sake of political unity is unpalatable.
    What Righties view as chaos within the Democratic Party is actually democracy in action. It is how it is supposed to be done. The other way leads to dull-mindedness and short-sightedness.

    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. - Gandhi

    by Gentle Giant on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 09:53:28 AM PDT

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    •  No, I Don't Think I So (0+ / 0-)

      In the early Twentieth Century, a general thoretical consensus formed amongst liberals, which upon accession of Franklin Roosevelt, allowed quick implementation of a generally coherent social program. This ended in the late 1970s when increased economic competition by a resurgent Europe and Japan led Jimmy Carter and Paul Voelcker to shift finances from social to production investment.

      Ronald Reagan transformed what was probably perceived as a temporary shift into a permanent shift. Blaming their fate on social changes introduced by the Great Society, displaced workers abandoned the liberalism of the left for the corporatism of the right. Following the voters, the Democrats similarly abandoned liberalism.

      Achieving what appeared an ever expanding production--albeit at the price of stagnant wages--the right literally came to believe they had achieved the endless cornucopia of Francis Fukuyama's End of History. So being, Federal funding for the humanities in particular dried up. In Bush's current budget proposal, science funding is way up, while funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities is up .7% (seventh tenths of a percent).

      My suspicion is the humanities became perceived dangerous at worst and useless at best, either threatening the perfection achieved especially in the 1990s by Bob Woodward's Maestro Alan Greenspan, or a "luxury good" as asserted in an editorial by the editor of the Opinion section of our local newspaper. At the end of history, ideas are no longer needed, and may well be threatening.

      Wages of the End of History becoming manifest to the working class by the 2000s, there is a void in new ideas globally. Socialism has been abandoned, and liberalism rendered a bad word after incessant attack by political policy makers. Tony Blair, I believe, once commented when Prime Minister he couldn't think of any alternative to globalization.

      Currently the most active venue for new social thought is South America, which learned the price of Neo-Classical economics a bit sooner than the American worker. To my knowledge they haven't settled on anything yet. In the U.S., we have still to begin, humanists and social scientists cowed by a quarter century of funding cuts and ridicule. Test: how many reading this have heard of John Rawls?

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