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Hi, all. You know, I'm often called upon to resolve nasty debates, etc. I think it's because of my easygoing nature. Everyone respects my reasoned, logical opinions on things. I'm the calm in the middle of the storm. I'm the guy who's always reasonable. I am the meta, the person who sails around exploring the crannies of the movement, always trying to figure out how to make this ship sail a little faster, and tack a little smoother.

So a few people asked me to maybe post something about liberals and money. I read SusanG's post, and despite all the very thoughtful philosophizing it so nobly engendered, I read it as merely being a pretty straightforward response to something that I've seen here and there, lately... this nagging notion that if a liberal blogger meets with much actual success, then, well, they were not really liberal. They were sellouts. That if someone makes a living in the progressive cause, they're then the enemy. John Aravosis has gotten a bit of this... Markos and Jerome... Atrios... even our treasured Armando got the rough backhanded reverse of it. (YearlyKos, too, questioned as a movement, here and there around the edges... are we sufficiently pure, after all, if the politicians we asked to listen to us actually do?)

We like our leaders pure, but more than that, is a leader a worthy leader if they are successful at it? As in, if they can make a living at it?

So with the utmost of respect, I'd like to give my enlightened two cents on the matter of purity, of money, and of the general way that progressives, in general, treat their own movement.

Oh crap. What's that? It looks like a fuse...

Ahem.

Hey, folks, you know what? Thanks a lot. No seriously, thank you for blowing purity smoke out your assholes to such an extent that the entire progressive movement looks like a scene shot on the Scottish moors. Thank you for the flowering nobility that says any member of the movement that meets with success might be -- might just be -- a sellout, because really, who would actually pay for any of the crap that we publicly call a "movement to be reckoned with" but we privately think of as just puttin' on a show in the ol' barn fer all our friends and family pets?

You know, it's nice that people like Gina dedicated a year and a half of their lives to coming up with a nice big party for us all. And fuck it all if that wasn't just the nicest thing to do, and goddamn her if she thinks that maybe she doesn't want to blow the rest of her life, her family time, her career, and any thoughts of retirement doing it again, and again, and again, for absolutely free, so that she can do a really nice thing for a movement that is very, very impressive in their purity of Not Selling Out to the Man! What, was there thought of paying people to work in the movement? What are we, a bunch of political opportunists? Needing cash, what the hell part of politics is that, and how did we get to such a foul point?! Do Republicans do that shit?

I mean, what the hell? Isn't the true progressive movement all about bleeding people dry and then thanking them profusely for it? Isn't it all about bleeding people until the point when they simply can't do anymore, can't write anymore, and suffer from (tsk tsk) "burnout" -- thus proving all along they weren't really dedicated to the cause, not like the tremendously pure among us who do jack-shit for years on end, but do it with purity and style and the perfect aplomb achievable only by the perennially sulky and ignored?

Because let's face it, the purity of the whole progressive movement itself depends on no bloggers or authors or humorists or activists actually making a living at it unless they can somehow "sneak it in" under our upturned noses with things like --gasp!-- advertisements! Or pledge drives! Or book deals! Or, gasp upon satanic gasps and horror among ultimate horrors, advertising their own demonic books, on their own foully commercialized, Dantean sites! The vapors, you say! The sulfurous fumes! The sad creak of two pennies, rubbed together!


But you know what? I'm such a fucking progressive that I don't need to eat, and neither do any of the rest of us! My mortgage gets paid in flowers, and my child eats good feelings for dinner! I confess, though, sometimes I'm a traitorous bastard, and work at an "actual job", meaning a career where the people who read what I have to say will pay me in cash instead of Karmic Good Waves of Destiny, and it's true that during those times my child seems to gain weight and grow and stuff, but what the hell... if you can't eat purity, maybe you're not evolved enough to live, right?

Yesser. And this new push to do "original reporting" by the blogs -- frikkin' awesome, the amount of work people are putting into it. Just don't ask us to pay for it. A new comment system that blows everything else away? Pretty cool, especially since the free high-powered servers that run it are made of chocolate and hosted in the Land of Magical Unicorns. This movement stuff is great, but it can only be great if it is a popular and economic failure, because then we'll know Just How Pure We Are! That we're better than everyone else! Surely our movement can survive the minor detail of not actually being available as a career choice for anyone but the independently wealthy or people who eat corn flakes for dinner?

So don't sell out by becoming more popular then others, or being on the hated TV. God forbid a politician pays attention to you, you slutty whore, simply because we've all been demanding that attention be paid. Don't develop a cult of personality, in which more people listen to you than listen to the insane half-illiterate bullshit ravings of barely sober protopundits that we should be promoting equally here and elsewhere, in order to float every German Shepherd turd of aromatic wisdom in the same pure and level pond.

And above all, please, don't achieve any sort of success that would entail people outside of our core movement actually being able to hear what we all have to say -- on the radio, on television, or in print. Don't be so stuck-up of a billygoat snot as to think you're better than the rest of us, or have ideas, or should express them. Don't get out there into the mainstream with real-world results for all the ideas and framings that we bicker among ourselves endlessly about -- we're not about having a successful movement, didn't you know? We're about having an online debating club! It's like Quake Three, except instead of big guns and stuff we shoot ponies at each other and try to trap each other with our heavily armored cleverness! Until the next day, that is, when we reset the box and can start right over again!


So thanks, it's nice to be loved, and bite us all, each and every one. When being part of the progressive movement doesn't mean living in a hole in the ground with your own sense of enlightened self-worth, give me a damn call. Until then, you'll excuse me, but I have a family to take care of. I'm currently writing a book called I Hate You All You Goddamned Purity Snots, and I'm hoping that some Republican group picks up a few hundred thousand units in bulk sales, so I can put a gold-plated pagoda with a soda fountain in back of my progressive mansion, a.k.a. behind the termite-riddled workshop. And me and all the rest of the most wildly successful voices of the online progressive movement will then pool our vast sellout resources and buy a '74 Impala with a light-up antenna ball that looks like Karl Rove's most prized hemorrhoid, and we'll cruise the boulevards showing you all the pavement-cruisin' high life that we bloggers can aspire to when we finally "sell out".

Do some progressives have a problem with money? You bet we do. We have the central problem of not treating our own movement seriously, not valuing our own leaders, be they large or small, and not striving for the kind of self-sufficiency that is required in order to take netroots influence onto a wider stage. For the well-funded movements of the right, in which books, blogs, and even entire magazines and newspapers are run at substantial losses in order to get the conservative message out, that's all fine and good. But we don't play that way. And as a result, we've got to pay our own way. So we will.

Thank you for listening.

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:20 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I couldn't... (15+ / 0-)

      I find Hunter's diversion disturbing. He makes it about bloggers, when the real question is about us... the normal people who just type here... it's about our moral choices concerning our income.

      That was how the other diary broke down.

      Rather than discuss the fundamental problems with creating wealth in America, Hunter creates a false choice between purity and feeding his family. In so doing, he really dumbs down the discussion that went on. Does it a terrible disservice.

      Really, it's quite hacky.

      Because no such choice exists.

      I think what most Progressives sceptical of wealth in America are saying is that the things that are necessary to do in order to attain wealth in our society destroy one's soul, because inevitably there are choices that are immoral. I haven't run into any people here who could give evidence of a truly wealthy person who made it without unethical cynical decisions, or just a lack of care that inevitably hurt the poor. A number have tried to propose such individuals but all of them have been shown to have made immoral investments from my understanding.

      And it's inescapable really to avoid the fact that our consumer society is set up to destroy. Everything we enjoy here is a minus for someone somewhere. Every productive move we make has negative effects. That doesn't have to be the case. But people will have to stop investing themselves in the current system if they hope to shift it. It's quite a simple bottom line. And it's all about personal responsibility and morals.

      In reality, one of the most ethical things to do is to unplug, to tune out, to stop producing... and as much as you can. There's a reason the first and most important "R" is Reduce. That's why the net is sooooo revolutionary. People can now tune out, and tune in to what's really important. The net isn't about things but about data. Such a critical turning point for us all. And a good one in my view.

      My final point is that Hunter should have spent his time discussing the real choice:

      Which is to live a very reasonable, yet very modest lifestyle and to always make the moral decision, despite what it means for your bank account.

      That's what many of us choose to do. And we're frankly quite frustrated by the way that our moral highground is being eroded by people here who's arguments seem to us to be very contrived.

      This was one I got:

      I don't blame people for their ability to make money.  I am only interested in how they SPEND it.

      I can give more details if people like. But this followed a breakdown of some of the person's wealthy heroes and their aid work. But I don't even believe that this person believes what they wrote. At least I sincerely hope not.

      And it's not even a choice between success and morality either. Plenty of people I know personally have achieved world-renowned success without wealth and without suspending their moral position. And that's the real payoff... respect. It's not easy. It takes talent and hard work. But it's just as attainable as the more cynical easier route.

      And don't tell me everyone can't decide to be moral in that way. You just have to choose to.

      •  Thanks For Jogging My Memory (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        da, scionkirk, rgdurst

        This is why punks wanted to kill all the hippies.

        •  I know... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grayscale

          it's not easy facing up to our immoral country. But I'm not sure Bad Religion or Rancid would argue with my position. However, our culture certainly failed in the 80's after Vietnam, for whatever reasons. I put it on frustrated broke-ass nihilism, and hyper-consumption... ie the beginning of the consolidation of wealth. But now after the 90's (where wealth was even more concentrated via globalization) and now Iraq and Bushco...

          How much longer can people avoid the truth, how much longer before either us "hippies" (I happen to be quite successful myself, just not monetarily) are either thrown in camps... ;)

          or people realize what our corporatocracy is about?

          How much longer before Americans just shut up and read Chomsky? Probly, it'll never happen.

          People just will not admit they are wrong, that their lifestyle is wrong, particularly when they don't have to.

          Well, duh.

          •  Praytell, what lifestyle (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            highacidity, vcmvo2

            would you have all of us follow?

            What one-size-fits-all guide to life would you set out for us?

            Wait. You don't even know me. You don't know thing one about my "wrong" lifestyle. I think I'll pass. It all sounds a bit Republican to me.

            "As you get older, you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality." Leonard Cohen

            by mentaldebris on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:29:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It seems to me (0+ / 0-)

              that was answered in Burning's first comment above.

              ...to live a very reasonable, yet very modest lifestyle and to always make the moral decision, despite what it means for your bank account.

              Apologies if your comment was a snide remark that wasn't to be taken literally.

              ------

              Only $6 per citizen per year to publicly fund each and every election for House, Senate and White House.

              by We hold these truths on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 01:19:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'm married to a jazz musician. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hose B, BarbaraB

            He's gone to school, invested in instruments and equipment, spends hours practiciing. Just putting together a demo disc so that he can find work is a major investment.

            And everybody wants him to play for free, for applause.

            Musicians may live for applause, but they sure as hell can't eat it.

            The starving artist syndrome is really old, and really detrimenetal to the creative process.

            It's detrimental to progressives, too.

        •  LOL (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity, vcmvo2

          no offense, burning spear, but that just made me laugh.

          weather forecast

          The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

          by Cedwyn on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:03:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You make it sound (8+ / 0-)

        so simple.  live a very reasonable, yet very modest lifestyle.   As though everyone in the world defined a reasonable modest lifestyle the same way.

        •  but is it really all that hard (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raines

          for people to take a look out their door, maybe a little more responsible check in with the poorer side of town, and see what constitutes a reasonable, modest lifestyle?

          i fully aknowledge that a buck in the u.s. is different than a buck in mexico...

          but all things being relative...

          we've still got eyes, right?

          •  OK (6+ / 0-)

            But after I check in with the poorer side of town how do I decide exactly how much better my lifestyle can be than the people on the poorer side of town in order to still be reasonable and modest?  5% better?  10% better?  If I go as high as 25% better do I get kicked out of the progressive club?  

            Really.  I want to know.

            •  i think that's up to you of course... (0+ / 0-)

              up to your sense of empathy or whatever we're talking about here.

              but i don't think i'd be comfortable keeping more than $65-75,000 a year in today's market. some people may decide to shift that by $25k or so if they add a partner, family, or subtract one.

              that's me.

              •  The way I interpret (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                highacidity, gkn

                that answer is that if I decide to keep more than you'd feel comfortable keeping, I'm presumed to have less "empathy or whatever" than you.

                •  well, i might think so... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  larala

                  but who cares about that?

                  it's up to you, and if anyone even decides to start making their choices in that way, i doubt i'm going to be the one to criticize what you're honestly comfortable with; not if i had reason to believe in your integrity.

                  •  Well (6+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hose B, highacidity, cappy, papercut, gkn, BarbaraB

                    BSoJ, all I can say is that I hope that some day I have waaaaay more than your minimum dollar amount.  It would be nice to use some of it to do good in the world.

                    I'd use the rest of it to throw fabulous progressive parties.  To which I would invite Hunter but not the purity police.

                    •  that's a very common attitude... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      grayscale

                      and yet, our society is in shambles. i wonder where all the good-willed money is? i wonder if acquiring it changes people?

                      wow, what a shocker that would be to discover... after it's too late.

                      •  Um (11+ / 0-)

                        Who do you think is funding all the progressive organizations in the world? It ain't $20 donations, I'll tell you that.

                        What a crock.

                        •  And (0+ / 0-)

                          has it been enough?

                          Is that what you want to encourage; an ethos where American wealth isn't approached with scepticism? Scepticism is healthy, particularly when there are reasons for it.

                          I understand your goals are political here, and that's fine, but there are a good number of people that choose to blog here that prefer to talk about their honest feelings and beliefs. You really want to discourage that honest discourse with this mocking attitude?

                          It must be Friday night.

                          How much time do you suppose one has to devote to earning $150,000 a year in America? What does it do to a person to do that? What do they become? I propose that they most often become Republicans. Because humans are selfish, and can't resist goodies. In my profession, earning that income is a soul-killer. And it's the same in many other professions too.

                          So you think it's a good idea to dismiss the obviously very heartfelt views of seemingly a good portion of the Kos community?

                          Not that this issue seems likely to explode, although I suppose it could reappear... and hurt your apparent direction for the site... but it does seem to me that rather than satire and mocking, a better response from the site would have been something less dismissive. What many call hippies may be unpolitic in 2006, but much of that ethos is more relevant than ever.

                          •  Do you work for Netvocates? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raines

                            If you don't, maybe you should.

                          •  Okay, that was a bit harsh. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raines, highacidity, cookiebear

                            But for a newcomer, you've made a splash, drawn attention to yourself with strong and persistent posts... you've single-handedly managed to draw a lot of energy from (or into, depending upon your perspective) this diary thread.

                            From my experience, more often than not, such behavior (when it does not seem to be constructive, when there is not give and take) comes from what we call "trolls" - people who come to Daily Kos to disrupt, distract, diminish, etc.

                            You just may be quite zealous in your social perspective. And it is Friday night, you are quite astute for considering that may have something to do with how you have been received. With no "street cred", though, you have come in to a close-knit community and asked for respect without demonstrating so much. For that, you will be scrutinized, and that would happen anywhere, online or not.

                          •  it's disturbing (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bigchin

                            how quickly things turn to this... but perhaps the poster is a monster.

                            it doesn't matter.

                            the idea stands in english.  or not.

                            for the record, I'm plenty materialist.

                            I've also eschewed money when that was the right thing.

                            balance of course... balance.

                          •  Funny, I thought This Thread Was About... (0+ / 0-)

                            not being a purist.

                            Yet the guy makes some very thoughtful, if unorthodox, comments and you drop the T word on him?

                            You really are missing the big picture here.

                            Knowledge is the Past. Wisdom is the Future.
                            Visit Hoot at the Dark.

                            by Night Owl on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 11:46:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There's your problem: (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            cookiebear

                            How much time do you suppose one has to devote to earning $150,000 a year in America? What does it do to a person to do that? What do they become? I propose that they most often become Republicans. Because humans are selfish,

                            Gee, you know, I don't think people are inherently selfish. Sure, some people end up that way. So what; some leftists end up as totalitarians. And would you believe it, 100% of divorces actually start in marriage!

                            Seems to me you'd get a lot further focusing on the selfish issue than on the income issue....

                        •  Is that a good thing? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          peraspera, cappy

                          It is certainly a current reality that political movements require large sums of money to successfully impact the public sphere.  Some might say an unfortunate reality.  Indeed, one of the great things about blogs like this one is the relatively small capital investment necessary.  People powered politics and all that.

                          I suppose on a more fundamental level, the question might be asked "Is the accumulation of wealth, and thus that which really matters, power, by the few a good thing for society?"  I think we see the results of that in many of the injustices we rail about everyday, big and small.

                          A typical response is that if somebody earns that wealth, then they have a right to it.  But even the idea of "earning" something is poorly defined.  How much of what we have is a result of our own hard work, and how much is due to the vast array of opportunities afforded by being allowed to participate in an advanced economy?  Or put another way, if we were dropped off in sub-Saharan Africa, how would each of us fare based upon the work we put in?  I'd guess most of us would starve.

                          Should we feel guilty about aspiring to a middle-class (or better!) lifestyle?  Well, I suppose that is up to each of us.  I know my wife has certain expectations, and that's one person I wouldn't want to disappoint.  But I never forget that the opportunities that I take advantage of are in a very real sense a gift.  Had I been born on the wrong side of some line on a map, I would not have them.  That is, but for the grace of God, go I.

                          One of the great differences between liberals and "conservatives", in my experience, is empathy.  I appreciate that I will expect to have things that many people in this country, let alone in this world, can only dream of.  And this is fundamentally unfair.  As a progressive I feel some duty to change that.  But that's me.  It won't happen tonight, or tomorrow, or next year.  But if we let that stop us, then we've already lost.

                          •  that's why we're Democrats (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            vivacia, zephron

                            because we both appreciate and take advantage of the opportunity that's been given us , but we also think it's a duty to try to make sure that our neighbors can take advantage of the same opportunities.

                            (changing the subject) probably the big problem with globalization is that we can work together and help everyone in our society climb the ladder, but we don't have the resources to spread that throughout the world -

                            It's not a sacrifice to pay more in taxes so our brave boys have what they need, it's a privilege. FDR

                            by mississippi scott on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:26:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Absolutely! (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            vivacia, FindingMyVoice

                            Today, we don't have the ability to give everyone on earth an median U.S. lifestyle.  Hell, there just aren't enough acres to grow enough cows to make enough Big Macs!  But we can stop abject poverty from killing 150,000 people a month.  That'd be a start.

                            But you're right on, this is why we're Progressives!

                        •  strange response from the netroots (4+ / 0-)

                          don't the politicos come here for 20$ donations?

                          I get very confused by these type of conflicts... where is the real argument?

                          just a bunch of put downs, nothing personal kos, I respect your savvy as a pulisher, as a publishing businessman, but don't bother putting down 20$ donations, they are part of our power.

                          or so I've been lead to believe.

                      •  I'm willing to take the risk n/t (0+ / 0-)
                    •  I had a reply (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      highacidity

                      but I don't want to miss out on any parties.

              •  Clearly you don't live in San Francisco. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                vivacia, highacidity

                Because the amount you feel comfortable keeping is not enough to buy your family a home.

          •  so... (0+ / 0-)

            what if you make really good money doing something that doesn't hurt other people?  Is that immoral?

            Check out my podcast of piano improvisations.

            by tunesmith on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:18:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)

        A very eloquent response.

        I've got the fever for the flavour, the payback will be later, still I need a fix - Bran Van 3000

        by Linnaeus on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:06:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I read this apparently differently than you. (22+ / 0-)

        I read it as being about how a progressive movement - whether that movement be organized around blogs, unions, advocacy groups, whatever - is going to be organized.  About the belief that the people doing progressive activist work should be paid a fair wage, should not be accused of selling out if they do more than eke out a bare living.

        You're right - we should be working to, if not dismantle, at least fundamentally change the nature of capitalism in this country.  And we should not be working at jobs that harm other people or the environment or anything else more than we absolutely have to.  But everyone's threshold for "have to" is different, and while we shouldn't excuse rampant materialism, neither should we feel comfortable saying "well, because I'm comfortable living in such-and-such a way, so must you also be."  We all have different tolerance levels for different kinds of progressive purity.

        But our union organizers, our administrators, our interns, are worth more than minimum wage - and they often make less, when you count up all the hours they work.  So when we talk about how leftwing political work should be organized, we have to think about these issues.  Because a union organizer should not be forced to work 80 hours a week at a 40-hour-a-week salary any more than a factory worker should be forced to do the same.

        •  Okay (0+ / 0-)

          I can buy what you're selling here.

          I've got the fever for the flavour, the payback will be later, still I need a fix - Bran Van 3000

          by Linnaeus on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:10:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  All agreed. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vivacia, grayscale

          We should make it an ethic to raise the tide.

          This is all quite reasonable. The simple fact is that since the 50's (when we had it so good), our standard of living and buying power have been totally dismantled. Much of that was eased (and masked) by globalization and cheap foreign goods.

          Trick was on us.

          Demand higher wages! Damn right. Hell, I'm the first to state what I'm worth. I'm no sucker. But I do see what goes on in the corporate world I must deal with, and many of the choices people make are not choices I want any part of, and I say so. And I lose some work. Yes. But I also gain respect and rep. And that's invaluable. So if one can't earn their properly deserved bread morally, they should think about another line of work...

          Or gasp, maybe we should divert money from the Pentagon and ensure that those who cannot earn a "proper" living (from all angles), can nevertheless live a decent honorable life.

          The capital is there, we all generate it. We just need to rethink where we put it, rather than scrabbling and grasping and slitting throats to get the upper hand.

          •  I don't think Hunter or anyone else disagrees (0+ / 0-)

            with this - I don't, anyway (in fairness, I'm the only person I can speak for) -

            It's not a sacrifice to pay more in taxes so our brave boys have what they need, it's a privilege. FDR

            by mississippi scott on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:25:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i don't think so either... (0+ / 0-)

              not on that topic. but I thought I could somehow decipher from Hunter's writing that he was sceptical about the idea of criticizing the attainment of wealth in america.

              of course i could be wrong, he'd have to be more clear than the somewhat intentional, yet ambiguous farce he had going there.

              •  I didn't catch the ambiguity (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MissLaura, cookiebear

                I thought he was talking about the immutable connection some people make between making money and evil - it's not always evil, as you yourself said -

                It's not a sacrifice to pay more in taxes so our brave boys have what they need, it's a privilege. FDR

                by mississippi scott on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:37:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  i think the ambiguity (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  grayscale

                  was in the dismissive tone in a diary about resolving arguments.

                •  if so (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pyrrho, vivacia, dewey of the desert

                  Then who exactly are Hunter and SusanG addressing? I've never seen more than a handful of people, and less than that on dkos, claim that money is always evil.

                  Honestly, I have no idea where SusanG's post sprung out of, and I read this site and the recommended diaries every day. I'm struggling to see the controversy that's worth commenting on. Why is this an issue worth discussing? Are we so deeply concerned about a few extremists in our ranks?

                  Oh God, I haven't read your book; I'm sure it was divine
                  Especially the part where you turned water into wine

                  by nasarius on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:22:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  they're not posting on this thread, anyway (0+ / 0-)

                    I've seen folks complain from time to time about the book tour, or ads on the site -

                    It's an interesting conversation, I think, regardless of where on the earth-shattering-importance scale it might be -

                    It's not a sacrifice to pay more in taxes so our brave boys have what they need, it's a privilege. FDR

                    by mississippi scott on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:33:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I would agree (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      vivacia, cantwait08

                      But I don't see the conversation. I see a lot of people I respect making snarky remarks about...I don't even know who. Some crazy lefties.

                      I mean, my god...I'm a guy in college with long hair and a political compass score of (-8.88, -9.38), and I think it's great that Markos and others are making money. They deserve success.

                      Oh God, I haven't read your book; I'm sure it was divine
                      Especially the part where you turned water into wine

                      by nasarius on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:45:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  don't worry about it, then (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        alizard

                        part of this, I think, is a lot of us remember people in the past (60s, 70s, 80s) working for progressive causes and really getting a case of the look-down-the-nose at people who supported the same cause but actually made money, either from their own profession or from some efforts they made on behalf of the cause.  Many of us remember people who took the attitude "Oh, you can't be an environmentalist if you smoke," or "Oh, you're a hypocrite if you support programs for poor people but you make enough money to feed your family."  Stuff like that -

                        I'll admit I don't know the specific pin that stuck Susan or Hunter and led them to start the conversation -

                        It's not a sacrifice to pay more in taxes so our brave boys have what they need, it's a privilege. FDR

                        by mississippi scott on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:38:27 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  why not complain? (0+ / 0-)

                      there should be NO complaints about that?

                      how does caution get called?

                      posts like this are blankets for all cases.

                      that's not appropriate.

                      this casts and aspersion that can be thrust the next time someone objects to the way a progressive for-profit is run, but we liberals want cautions and watch dogs, right?

                      and they will be thrust... it is assured, people accept leadership on these issues and post quotes about how they were told what the law was.

                      I love money, but it DOES corrupt.  I love work, and I love private work, but it does lead to heirarchical structures that become innately conservative.

                      posts like this try to hide the issue in shame, if not consciously (as I trust Hunter's intentions), then unconsciously and factually.

                      •  To my mind, Hunter is right on the mark (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        maryb2004, vcmvo2, BarbaraB

                        There are a whole bunch of posters around dkos that continually have the same mind-set that any wealth is bad, that all Dem politicians are horrible, etc., all the stuff Hunter laid out. It gets really old because it's a reflexive mind-set. There's not much nuance to it. Granted, at times it provides needed debate on certain issues. But it gets often ridiculous (taking offense to shrimp cocktail spreads).

                        •  this defensive post of Hunter's (0+ / 0-)

                          was at least as equally reflexive.

                          and sorry, money does not have a progressive history.

                          •  Oh yes, money does have a progressive history, or (0+ / 0-)

                            there would never have been an FDR, a JFK, or even a McGovern. Money made the WPA possible. It was money that created recycling as a wide-spread institution. The list goes on. Money is neutral, it's how you use it and whether it uses you.

                          •  naive and hopeful (0+ / 0-)

                            what you provide is not an argument.

                            examples of money put to progressive purpose does not prove that overall monied interests are "neutral" and can go either way.

                            And they don't.

                            Those example you cite are people WELL AWARE of the corrupting power of money who overcome and or mitigate those affects... through personal heroism.

                            For you to credit that to the neutrality of money in culture is frankly to rob them of their heroism in the fact of corrupting influence.

                            I like money.

                            It IS a matter of how you use it, or if it uses you.

                            The fact is that the drive to make money causes constant and near automatic conflict with the interests of social justice, and that is historical fact according to my eyes. We can only counteract that if we admit it.

                          •  Then we are basically in agreement (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            pyrrho

                            on this matter. The way you state your position above, I can agree with. Perhaps I stated my view less eloquently than you just did.

      •  'unplug, tune out, and stop producing' (6+ / 0-)

        er - I don't think starving oneself is moral.  If humans don't produce our extinction as a species is assured. You seem to suggest that producing by definition is immoral.

        what is produced can clearly be immoral.

        the means of that production (i.e. who's screwed) can also clearly be immoral.

        but you seem to be making an absolutist argument, and in the process replaying an argument from the Middle Ages - whether to truly serve God one needed to starve oneself, live in poverty, and spend ten hours each day on their knees in the chapel.

        It's not a sacrifice to pay more in taxes so our brave boys have what they need, it's a privilege. FDR

        by mississippi scott on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:16:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  oh, good lord (15+ / 0-)

        ok, I have NEVER commented on a comment before - but burning spear, who pays your electric bill?  Who pays for your food?  and do you consider vaccinations and orthodonture for kids "selling out?"  

        And by the way, who made you the judge and jury of what is a "reasonable" lifestyle?  Should we all submit financial statements to you, so you can, from your moral purity, determine if we are WORTHY to post on Kos?

        And, by the way,  News Flash - you don't HAVE any moral high ground.  Let me guess - you voted for Nader, right?  And I bet  you feel NO responsibility for the debacle that is Bush.

        Sorry, but this comment is the perfect example of what Hunter was talking about

        There are a lot of people on this blog who, by dint of hard work, have been very successful in their careers.  Like me, I imagine, they invest their dsposable income in donations to progressive candidates and democracy bonds, rather than mink coats.

        And, by the way - since the majority of the electorate has NOT tuned out and turned off - are you suggesting that no prgressive candidates should run TV or Radio ads, or mail GOTV materials?  Because those things take - that's right - MONEY.  Money given by democrats and prgressives succesful enough to spare it.

        Nobody on this blog is Gordon Gecko - and I have to say, I resent the hell out of your implication that anybody here is.

        •  Wow. Passion. Good... (0+ / 0-)

          No, earning a living is cool. Check above for my conversation with bmary or mbary or something to see my views on that.

          Nader, no. I see big pictures too.

          What I'm talking about is one's personal income and lifestyle. I don't know why you couldn't run TV ads... just because it takes money? I don't know about individual people being rich enough to buy their own ads... for example. Not in today's market... although someday our public airwaves might even be for the public. (Yeah, and unicorns are pretty, Burning Spear).

          But this is all about ideals. And breaking the rules is allowed only once you set them up, right? Problem now is that the rule is... well, I think the Conservatives are correct that morality in America isn't what it was, and merely out of confusion about our new direction post-civil rights, we have defaulted to nihilism.

          •  thanks for the kind permission (5+ / 0-)

            to earn a living.  Also, I am SO THRILLED that you approve of the "passion" in my comments. Gee, makes a girl go all tingly -

            Ok, never made a personal attack before - maybe I put it too subtly in my original comment - so let's try again.

            WHO the FUCK do you think you are?

            The people on this board -

            who have been passionately committed to change for years, and done a lot of fighting in the electoral trenches for years -  

            are NOT in need of condescending lectures from pretentious newbies - especially fuzzily-argued lectures by someone too thick to get the point of Hunter's brilliant snark.

            Lose the patronizing tone, junior. You haven't earned the right to use it - especially to blog gods such as Hunter.

            All of the successful, professional, 50-year-old long-time activists on this board  - you know, the ones putting their money and their time where their mouth is - resent it.

            At least, I sure as hell do.

      •  Your steely assurance as to what my own diary (32+ / 0-)

        should have been about, as opposed to what I specifically and directly made it about, fills me with a newfound sense of purpose.

        It is matched only by my impressedness that, after one hundred and twenty six comments, you made sure to attach it to the very tippy-top of the thread so that you would be very prominently listened to. It is almost as if you were... demonstrating... a point I was getting at.

        But I will say this:

        Rather than discuss the fundamental problems with creating wealth in America, Hunter creates a false choice between purity and feeding his family. [...] Because no such choice exists.

        No such choice exists, you say. The choice in the netroots is meaningless, you say. Because you know me, and you know that I don't have to decide between a mortgage and just posting here all day to act as personal unpaid cheerleader to a movement that has difficultly deciding which way to walk on a one-way street. We all just need to do it for free, and there's really no implications to that at all, and how dare I say that a choice exists!

        Well, thanks for that. Now not only is my diary not about what I think it is, but even if it was, you dismiss the notion as petty. While, ironically, droning on in the exact tone I've been making fun of...

        The other diary "broke down", as you put it, because a collection of self-important people who don't actually read diaries decided to have a masturbatory oration about the very nature of money rather than read the goddamn diary presented and note that Susan quite specifically was addressing the financial challenges and "sellout" questions of the netroots. The great thing about philosophical discussions, as opposed to real-world discussions, of course, is that you don't actually have to get up off your ass to address them, which is why they're great fun here.

        I look forward to your next diary, which I will surmise (no matter what it is about) actually should have been about how you hate Israel, and damn your hackery for beating around the fact that you do.

        •  Shorter Hunter: (10+ / 0-)

          "Don't pick a fight with me, because I will end you."

        •  i love those late nights (7+ / 0-)

          ... when massive thunderstorms are moving in and i'll be damned if that isn't a bow echo i see on the satellite and i'm keeping my tennis shoes handy in case i have to jump in the tornado shelter ...

          ... and people like hunter are diarying.

          simply brilliant!

        •  well, if you want to disregard (0+ / 0-)

          what people were quite interested to have made susan's diary about, that's your prerogative.

          many people obviously must have thought it was an important topic. but you don't think that view is relevant. you don't think those people are relevent?

          i for one suspect you need those people, that those people want to form a larger community, one where they aren't mocked for being quite justified to have the views they do?

          so when you came in to calm the storm, you did it by returning to a part of the original discussion  in susan's diary.

          but i think that's only half the story, and maybe it's an insincere (though somewhat effective) way of trying to resolve the debate.

          your diary was so dismissive... really. you can defend it if you like, but i found it distasteful.

          and i would say that hating israel is a waste of time. everyone knows what powerful israelis and americans have done on this planet. it's no secret. and there have been a number of good diaries here on kos that i've seen that have discussed larger social problems in the jewish community, yes. like with all communities...

          but i'm doubtful whether you really want to make a diary that's suppose to be about calming storms into a diary about israel.

          so i don't really mind if you choose not to discuss israel, where normally i would want to see someone try to defend such a silly claim as "hate."

        •  Hunter, I adore you! (0+ / 0-)

          I was going to save this comment until I had read the whole thread, but I could not resist. You are a warrior and a champion.  And I mean "champion" in the traditional sense.

        •  hunter I like you (0+ / 0-)

          but there is a problem in america, to get too far is to be assailed with the MBAs and the things that keep money in power, that coopt you and say the new freedom is that you can enter that structure, but not change it... cooption.

          COOPTION IS A PROBLEM.

          your diary is motivated against sanctimony, I'm all for that and against sanctimony.

          but you go too far, you scare, unconsciously perhaps, the conversation away... and protect the system which maintains itself from serious questioning.

          I don't know what comments are provoking this and susan's message, and I don't have to.

          I read your essay, and respond to it.

        •  btw, part of my reaction (0+ / 0-)

          was to your announcement that you come to calm and resolve.

          you see, I believe that.

          I believe that you are that way.

          From that start it was almost a sucker punch, your screed against the "pure"... and further, you come across QUITE pure in your anger and angst on this subject.

          but don't forget I love money.

          I'm all for it.

        •  Masturbator Held For Questioning in Series of (0+ / 0-)

          "Yeah, we need to nip that Sodom and Gomorrah shit in the bud." -Al "Albert" Swearengen

          by RepublicanTaliban on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 04:18:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. You don't (0+ / 0-)

        get to decide for me what's moral, what's reasonable, or what's modest.

        Those are your value points, not mine.

        Sure, you like those. And you know, I like them, too. But that doesn't mean someone gets to set the purity standard for progressive/liberal/goodness for everyone.  

        The problem is that there's an old lefty assumption buried in there that is' not possible for a person to make a lot of money doing something that's moral and reasonable and modest. I think that's just an assumption, and I think that it's right when it's right, and it's wrong when it's wrong.

        You know, I try to live morally, reasonably, and modestly. I drive a 10 year old Accord, for instance. And I couldn't disagree with you more.

        It's an individual decision, for crying out loud. It has to be addressed by speaking to people's hearts, not their heads or wallets.

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        I agree with the sentiment. I think he slept through the discussion. Clearly he loves to bring attention to himself.

    •  Hunter is my new role model. (18+ / 0-)
      ...since I saw him in the metakos panel.  Not only does he have a powerful and poignant writing style, but his whole speaking style is amazing.  It's slow and thoughtful, pausing for just the right words.  He doesn't seem to waste breath on useless phrases.

      I wanna be like that.  I've always wanted to be like that.  The kind of person that talks softly and yet everyone hushes to hear.  

  •  Classic Hunter (15+ / 0-)

    A good mixture of snark, with some serious interspersed (I think?).

    In all seriousness, progressives need to get the fuck off their high horse when it comes to money. Are you going to hate me for attending business school? Are you going to discount my opinion because I might end up working at some investment bank, earning money that I probably don't deserve?

    Get the hell over it. Not all businesspeople are Republicans. It kills me when everyone here acts like that.

    Deny My Freedom
    "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

    by PsiFighter37 on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:23:30 PM PDT

  •  You missed something: (16+ / 0-)

    Collective guilt.

    It was all of us who failed to stop our own success! We must all burn in hell for it.

  •  Conservative ideology turns a profit (26+ / 0-)

    Big time. Even if they sunk a couple of hundred million into their 'movement' over the last decade, think what kind of return they're getting, in cash, from the Iraq contracts, de-regulation, and tax cuts. That's the problem.
    Their ideology turns a gigantic profit at the public expense. They make money off turning things to the right, and I've seen it in action.
    I was once recruited to work for an astro-turf 'environmental' group funded by the major polluting industries. They all chip in a little, and over the years lobby public opinion for less regulation...I declined, but I got a glimpse of how things work on their side.
    Think how much money they got trimming the inheritance tax? Think how much money the war has made. These guys pay their own way and then some.
    Our side doesn't work that way. It's an essential asymmetry.

    We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. Aesop (620 - 560 BC)

    by AWhitneyBrown on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:26:33 PM PDT

  •  Exactly right. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiebear, Rick Oliver

    The King of Meta says exactly the right thing.
    As always.

  •  Selling out (19+ / 0-)

    Selling your soul. Selling him or her down the river ...See, it has a certain ring to it and an associated vague but nevertheless unpleasant definition. Selling out means you give up your ideals or dignity for easy bread when you don't have to. Getting paid to promote your ideals is more along the lines of ... being real fucking good at promoting your ideals. So good in fact that other people who share them and want to incorporate them into a campaign or a media event pay you to help.

    Read UTI, your free thought forum

    by DarkSyde on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:27:39 PM PDT

  •  All liberals... (19+ / 0-)

    ...should take the money they earn through their efforts steal, and burn it in large piles to heat their homes in the winter.  It's the only way to prove they are a True LiberalTM.

    We will appoint as...officials, only men that know the law of the realm and are minded to keep it well. -- Magna Carta, #46 (-6.25, -7.18)

    by DH from MD on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:29:48 PM PDT

  •  Hunter (8+ / 0-)

    you should team up with peeder and set up a wall on Kos and make people fucking pay to read your diaries.

  •  I'd love to live in a world (19+ / 0-)

    where money didn't matter so much.  But you do have to work in the world you live in - no matter how much you work to change it.

    So we'll have a stronger movement if we pay people what they're worth.  

    And we'll have a stronger movement if we don't demand that to be a part of it you have to forsake joy and aesthetic or sensual pleasure.  If we don't expect people to go around in oatmeal-colored omnisex hemp jumpsuits, or whatever the vision is.

    We need to embrace life - that means not letting money rule us, either because we pursue it so frantically that the pursuit defines our lifes or because we run from it so frantically that fleeing defines our lives.

    •  I saw something interesting: (9+ / 0-)

      In the recent demographic survey, the two top responses were $100,000-200,000 and $200,000 and up. Many people here are pretty well off. I wonder if the "liberals must be poor" meme is somehow a right-wing talking point meant to deny us real power.

    •  IMO (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ed in Montana, matt2525

      our country is too set on acquiring things, which means one needs money.

      I did it for years, and finally got burnt out.  It's amazing what you can live without.

      But gives me my internet with a cable connection!

    •  Money, get away. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, dlcampbe, cappy, nasarius, SherriG

      Get a good job with good pay and youre okay.
      Money, its a gas.
      Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
      New car, caviar, four star daydream,
      Think Ill buy me a football team.

      Money, get back.
      Im all right jack keep your hands off of my stack.
      Money, its a hit.
      Dont give me that do goody good bullshit.
      Im in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
      And I think I need a lear jet.

      Money, its a crime.
      Share it fairly but dont take a slice of my pie.
      Money, so they say
      Is the root of all evil today.
      But if you ask for a raise its no surprise that theyre
      Giving none away.

      Pink Floyd

      •  that song (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana

        always strikes me as so incongruous with the rest of the album.  it just doesn't fit and one wonders what they were thinking, until one realizes that in the LP version, the groove had already been broken anyway - money's the first track on the second side.  but i still wish they'd moved it around for the CD version.

        weather forecast

        The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

        by Cedwyn on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 07:39:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There's nothing wrong (4+ / 0-)

      with wanting to make money doing something you love.  Instead, progressives are supposed to do something we love less and give money to the cause.

      I admit it -- I ate Mark Warner's sushi. And I liked it, so there.

      by Unstable Isotope on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:56:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes indeed. Great comment! n/t (0+ / 0-)

      We Need REGIME CHANGE

      by Sally in SF on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:02:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The reality is that money is a concept that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, papercut, Gorette, BarbaraB

      is in essence very bourgeois and thinking that you don't need it is even more so.  Very few people in this world can get up in the morning thinking working is "optional" and next to none (percentage wise) have a choice in accepting pay for their work.  Do these purist liberals think that we are all "ladies of leisure" or something eating bon bons whilst dabbling in politics?  My mother made her career as a fund raiser.  I had people tell me that she shouldn't be paid to raise money for organizations because "you know people like that shouldn't have to be paid if they love the cause".  Well my mother wasn't a fucking trust fund baby who had a choice.  She couldn't forgo being paid for what she did.  I have quite a bit of contempt for people who believe that because someone has chosen to give back to this world they must also be impoverished or some other nonsense.  It is stupid to think that her talents be discounted while people like Bill O'Reilly make a freakin' fortune.  Why don't we pay teachers more?  I mean really.  This puritanical hair shirt stuff really gets on my last nerve. :)

      •  I agree, yet (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming, begone, MarketTrustee

        I'm one of those people who think that socially important jobs like teaching are underpaid.

        I guess I'm just confused - and I suspect my responses will incur Hunter's wrath - because I don't know who all of these progressive who are against money are.  Maybe I've met a few, but most I know who express problems with capitalism do so because they think people who should get more don't under capitalism.  That's different from the hair-shirtism you're talking about.

        I've got the fever for the flavour, the payback will be later, still I need a fix - Bran Van 3000

        by Linnaeus on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:43:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes it is a different topic - but related in that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BarbaraB

          there are a lot of people who work the butts off all their lives trying to help other people and those are some of the people who are often under attack by these types of purists who usually in my experience come from serious money by the way.  They've "rejected" their parents' Fifth Avenue apartment and East Hampton lifestyle "to work for the poor", but they are living off of trust funds and can't understand why other people need to and (more importantly) deserve to earn a decent living.  Of course you aren't going to get rich working for not for profits, but you shouldn't have to get poor to do it.  Furthermore, your credibility shouldn't be called into question if you require pay for work.  Oddly, this purist model really does nothing more than leave a few rich trust fund babies along with some other strange nutcase types (the ones who do things like make their own candles and make their kids make their own shoes) to do any "credible" work.  It is stupid really.  Being a participant should be equal opportunity in that you shouldn't be expected to fully fund your own participation or sacrafice so much as to endanger your family's stability or participation in modern society.

          •  In my experience (4+ / 0-)

            The folks who are the most critical of people getting paid to do socially important work are conserative, not liberal.

            I guess that's why I didn't really see the point of this diary and SusanG's.  When I was involved in a unionization drive here at my university, one of our big issues was pay.  The argument I heard from conservatives against our unionization was that "no one goes into teaching for the money anyway" and that if we wanted more, we should find other jobs.

            It was the progressives who supported our efforts - of course - and they were the ones saying we deserved more.  So, I guess my experience is different, and that's why I didn't really get what was going on.

            I've got the fever for the flavour, the payback will be later, still I need a fix - Bran Van 3000

            by Linnaeus on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:01:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It is the same philosophy tendered on our side, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              maryb2004, Linnaeus

              but in a way I think our side is a bit worse because they add the spin on the argument that you are morally repugnant and likely corrupt if you went into teaching and wanted to actually earn a living.  At least the conservative view is in this case a lot more practical - Conservatives say, "There's no money there.  Get into another profession if you want to earn a decent living".  The Liberal purist view on the other hand is very judgemental and far from practical or reality based.

              •  I don't fully agree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                papercut

                Perhaps those people on our side exist, but (again, in my experience), the "psychic benefit" argument is generally advanced from an antiprogressive viewpoint.  It was our campus right-wingers who were saying, "Gee, you're living the life of the mind.  Isn't that enough?"

                I've got the fever for the flavour, the payback will be later, still I need a fix - Bran Van 3000

                by Linnaeus on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:21:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Linnaeus

                  I have grown up encountering people with this philosophy and attitude having been raised by parents involved in progressive causes and Democratic politics my whole life.  All I can tell you is that at least from my perspective you are lucky not to have come across the Liberal version of this type of person - they are as you say "antiprogressive" in their thinking.

      •  I've always wondered (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hhex65, inclusiveheart

        If doctors had traditionally been women, would they be as badly paid now as teachers are?

        •  in Russia, most doctors ARE women (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inclusiveheart

          and they are  very poorly paid - espcially in comparison to typically  male occupations, such as engineer - that require the same amount of training.

          (sigh) - see, even in the worker's paradise - the WOMEN workers get screwed!

        •  in Russia, most doctors ARE women (0+ / 0-)

          and they are  very poorly paid - espcially in comparison to typically  male occupations, such as engineer - that require the same amount of training.

          (sigh) - see, even in the worker's paradise - the WOMEN workers get screwed!

    •  Hey, Carnacki! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Carnacki

      I nominate this one, if you're still doing "top comments of the day."

  •  Must have missed something today? (14+ / 0-)

    Are we no longer permitted to prosper according to the purity police?

    Well, I'm with Hunter FWIW (which is not much).

    If we abandon our ideals in the face of adversity and aggression, then those ideals were never really in our possession. - Cpt. Ian Fishback

    by Rick Oliver on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:33:31 PM PDT

  •  So much fun (4+ / 0-)

    Matching the online voice with the offline guy.

    Heh.

  •  If you made this rant into a video podcast (11+ / 0-)

    I would pay serious money to watch it. Serious. I'd pay double if you did it with a backdrop of magical unicorns on the misty scottish moors.  We could make it a telethon! To benefit...the Daily Kos Purity Fund, wherin young people take pledges to abstain from monetary success until they marry republicans.

  •  Hair Shirters Since '72 when I was 12 (13+ / 0-)

    have annoyed the fuck outta me.

    Of course, my brother, sister and mother had been on welfare for several years, AND

    while the despicable pricks who wanted to keep us slaves - ya know, the goldwater / bircher thugs of 1932 ... ooops, I mean 1972, were my enemy when I was 12, and I knew it,

    I REALLY REALLY couldn't put up with the holier than me save the world fucks.

    I grew up in Holyoke MA, I left 12% unemployment to Boston and college in '78, I left Boston and moved to Seattle in '89, I have been in 3 different careers and have also made significant switches within those careers, AND

    I've diddled in politics for 30 years, only killing myself in '91 after I had been in Alaska cooking on fishing boats for 15 of the prior 21 months, AND

    in my little world, over 90% of the people who've told me that money doesn't matter are people who have at least 1 of the big 5 covered, if not more than 1: health insurance, housing, retirement, retraining (grad school from mummy like, ya know), and transportation.

    know what my high school drop out stepfather taught me as a teenager?

    money talks, and shit walks.

    wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which one fills up first.

    there are 6 billion people who need health care, transportation, housing, food, vacation ...

    who is gonna do what? when? where? how?  

    these noblier than me pain in the asses can all be nailed to a cross for all I care.

    rmm.  

    http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

    by seabos84 on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:41:13 PM PDT

  •  Threw away the purity at 22 (9+ / 0-)

    I am a progressive yet I don't recycle.
    I am a progressive yet I still throw my cigarette butts out the window.

    I do not support the death penalty.
    I am an avid supporter of women's rights to privacy.
    I am an acitve member of the Missouri Democratic party.
    I believe W should be impeached.
    I believe the Iraq war is illegal & immoral.

    I make lots of money.
    I help lots of people through my work.

    Not pure but progressive!

    Cheers!

    I'm walking 60 miles to eradicate breast cancer. Will you support me.

    by aimeeinkc on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:42:00 PM PDT

  •  i got the biggest ... (15+ / 0-)

    ... grin on my face from reading this.

    nailed it to the wall, you did!!

    thank you, hunter.

  •  'purity' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pyrrho, cookiebear, va dare

    it's one of those words, huh?

    i'm an agnostic, i'd be an atheist if it weren't for mozart

    by rasbobbo on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:45:12 PM PDT

  •  Brilliant diary (12+ / 0-)

    Hunter, you are right on the money.  Markos and Jerome wrote a litle bit on this in Crashing the Gate, and it made me reconsider my own ideals.  Before reading the book, I was just like all the other so called purists.  I even felt that way about my own personal non-profit goup that does advocacy for orphan diseases.  

    We need the funds to build up our own war chests.  Then, and only then, can we sustain the losses that right does now for the sole purpose of advancing the movement.

  •  Purity (15+ / 0-)

    I work my ass off for money.

    then I come home and burn it with the yard waste.  But I do get a permit first.

    Nicely done, Hunter.

  •  I skipped Susan's thread (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiebear, nasarius, begone, FrankFrink

    after it cracked 50 or so comments.

    Were there really a signficant number of people who had the sort of attitude Hunter is lampooning?

    -dms

  •  Sigh (27+ / 0-)

    When I said the same thing today (although much less eloquently, obviously), I got accused repeatedly of creating a strawman argument.

    You get heaped with praise.

    Go figure.

    •  Some people just need (6+ / 0-)

      to read the same thing twice before it sinks in.

      When I read what you wrote, I thought "right on!"  I just didn't have time to comment right then and there were already many many comments in the thread.

    •  It was a fantastic diary, Susan (8+ / 0-)

      and very much needed.

      John Aravosis has also written about this. Liberals need to get over this. No movement has ever succeeded with out some "ka-ching" funding it's momentum. There is no reason why we cannot save this country and still have satisfying personal lives. Isn't this why we are so politically engaged?  

      I myself live in very reduced means. I have very little, but I begrudge no one for having significant assets. I just hope they give all of their loyalty and and any assets they can spare to making this country great for all those who call it home.

    •  nah (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharoney, cookiebear, NJwlss

      sometimes it takes a one-two punch to make the point. You blocked, he tackled. /mixing sports metaphors...

      My GOP Fox-watching sister repeats your Dem-bashing talking points. Just sayin'.

      by Buffalo Girl on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:29:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, you hit it just fine (0+ / 0-)

      I tried to argue in one quibbling diary, and realized it was a matter of their comprehension.

    •  That's intentional (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryb2004, SherriG

      It's actually a private experiment we non-frontpagers are running: we're studying what will happen if we heap praise on Hunter, and scorn on you, regardless of what you say.

      I keep telling everyone that Hunter will remain humble, and those who predict you'll dissolve into a heap of shredded ego are dead wrong.  In fact, I have $10 on it, so keep your chin up!

      •  Here's another consideration, Susan... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mississippi scott, SherriG, BarbaraB

        ...you posted your front-page story during the day, when most of the site's non-communist majority is at work.  What did you expect?

        Gotta consider the demographics :)  

        Seriously, you can't always puzzle out dKos's logic--who knows?  Maybe it really is an experiment.  But I can tell you this: I think you're cool.

        (before you dismiss it, let me tell you that's worth a small fortune in certain countries)

    •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cookiebear, sbdenmon, FrankFrink

      You didn't have magical unicorns and whatnot in yours.  ;-)

      Seriously, your diary was excellent. I didn't read the comments (since it was at 500+ by the time I read it), but I think I'll wander back over and see the fuss you (apparently) kicked up.  

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:47:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I loved what you wrote (0+ / 0-)
      But by the time I saw it it had over 300 comments, and a page that big will slow my computer to a crawl... not so good when I'm supposed to be working in the other window.
    •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

      I checked out of your post because I was at work and things got very busy just as it looked like the comments were going to explode.

      As I commented upthread, I've seen this fight before. It inevitably rears it's head every generation or so.

      The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

      by FrankFrink on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:30:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was one of those (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      I'll own up to it right now:  I was one of those who thought there was a strawman aspect to what you said (and what Hunter argued here).

      I'm all for common ground, so let me explain why.  Your diary looked like it was written in media res:  there weren't any specific examples, so I didn't know if you were talking about specific people and in what context you meant that.  Instead, I saw a lot of generalities about "progressives and money" and references to purists that I personally don't know and whom I didn't see in your diary.

      So, I hope you can understand why I interpreted your diary as some kind of broadside against those who might be a little concerned that what you really mean was that too many of us were too worried about the problems of wealth inequality.  It's easy to see why people draw that conclusion, given the general attitude toward wealth in our culture.

      So, if I missed the point, I'm sorry.  But I hope you can see why.

      I've got the fever for the flavour, the payback will be later, still I need a fix - Bran Van 3000

      by Linnaeus on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:55:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tee Hee! (9+ / 0-)

     I would like to see the whole entire movement suffer from the liberal crime of prosperity. Prosperity with Integrity.

     Delicious post H.

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:58:03 PM PDT

  •  Don't tell BiPM (8+ / 0-)

    but this is better than a rum and coke at the end of my Friday.

    Kampai, Hunter!

    "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

    by hono lulu on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:59:46 PM PDT

  •  Awright now... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiebear

    ... who's signing your paycheck? Huh? Well! Huh?

  •  If those with money (5+ / 0-)

    are not getting it through downsizing, eliminating pension plans, cutting health benefits, skimping on safety measures, violating pollution rules, outsourcing good jobs to cheap labor, importing goods made by slaves, prisoners and children I have no gripe with them.

    •  I've always had a bad attitude about money (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trashablanca

      just because most of the wealth in this country has been obtained through all the things you list.  And I so agree that as long as a progressive doesn't achieve success or even wealth through those means, I have no gripe with them.  Afterall, we have to build the financial foundation on which our movement can grow, sustain itself, and get our message out as effectively, hell no, even better, then the repugs do.

      Thanks for your comment.

      We Need REGIME CHANGE

      by Sally in SF on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:25:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is why the progressive movement (15+ / 0-)

    is such a tough sell: because of the impression that you most be so spiritual, politically and aesthetically pure that you have to walk around in sack cloth and ashes, live in a cave and exist on tofu and water. Who the hell can live up to that. Who the hell wants to.

    I believe the Democratic party with its progressive ideals is the party of smart money men and women who know who to make a buck, save a buck and spend a buck. My favorite Dem is probably Franklin D. Roosevelt (along with Eleanor).  Born to great wealth and raised to be idly rich, he superceded his personal baggage and worked to pull millions out of poverty with the New Deal. But he never apologized for who he was. He knew how to have fun and never missed his evening cocktail hour filled with friends, family and wicked gossip.  That's a progressive.

    The Republicans know one thing - you get what you pay for.

  •  So now I've got SusanG's diary, two by (5+ / 0-)

    ... Hunter, and that diary asking 'who we are' and our incomes - all swirling around in my head and a theme is gelling, an argument - about 'elitism' and the age-old progressive / missionary mindset - may be a'formin'. But since it's been a really fucked-up week (yeah, Webb won in my state but the turnout sucked), I'm going to sleep on it and see if I can channel it via the keyboard tomorrow.  Peace and love...

    always the mountains,
    va dare

    Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one. - A.J. Liebling

    by va dare on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:08:21 PM PDT

  •  It's kind of childish... (5+ / 0-)

    this isn't your favorite band you discovered at that whole in the wall bar in college, this shit matters, and unfortunately, money matters as well.

    I'm lucky, I work as an attorney for philanthropic trust, so I can feel pretty good about that 40 hours per week, but I sure as hell don't have any "purity" complex about it, because like any other attorney, I've worked for clients I didn't necessarily choose. Gotta pay those damned loans...

  •  I've never had any problem... (19+ / 0-)

    ...with anyone getting rich, as long as they play by the rules and don't screw people on the way up.

    Come to think of it, that's pretty much my standard for most people.

    People, both liberal and conservative, have the right to try to be as successful (in any way) as they can.

    This is one of the classic strawmen on the Right: that left-wingers just hate the rich.

    Unfortunately, it's not always a strawman.  But it should be: there's no reason you can't hate graft and screwing people over, corruption, illegal activities, etc., push for equal, fair opportunities for all, a decent social safety net and at the same time support the idea that people should be rewarded very well for hard and smart work.

    And frankly, if someone's gonna get rich, I'd rather it be liberals.

  •  'Business from a Progressive Perspective' (6+ / 0-)

    I couldn't agree with you more. This is why I'm organizing a "Business from a Progressive Perspective" panel & social mixer for YK07. Specifically, I feel it's important for us to explore:

    1. Small business issues: health care, the SBA, microfinancing, education and business opportunities for everyday people.
    1. Networking among progressive businesses. Most Chambers of Commerce and "Old Boy Club" networks lean conservative. How do we effectively establish our own networks to help each other start and grow our businesses?
    1. Socially and environmentally responsible capitalism. Once we reach success -- or during the process -- how do we use business as a tool to do well and do good?

    If anyone is interested in these issues, please let me know. Thanks!

    Mariva's Guide: Stuff for the mind, for passing time, for sharing, for yourself, for fun.

    by mariva on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:18:38 PM PDT

    •  still got me on your list? I'm interested. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cookiebear

      My GOP Fox-watching sister repeats your Dem-bashing talking points. Just sayin'.

      by Buffalo Girl on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:32:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course! But perhaps you can help me... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raines

        I'm trying to figure out the best ways to:

        1. Keep track of everyone (such as yourself). Keeping a running list of all the people who commented in the diary doesn't seem like the most efficient way to manage contact info.
        1. Get people to notice that I'm doing this. Many folks do seem to be interested in this, but I can't seem to get past the "noise" on dKos.
        1. Get different people and organizations hooked in together. I have some vague ideas about starting a web site/community/social networking tool (maybe?) to do this eventually.

        Of course, I do have my own business to run in the meantime.  ;-)

        Thanks for any ideas you may have.

        Mariva's Guide: Stuff for the mind, for passing time, for sharing, for yourself, for fun.

        by mariva on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:21:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Social networking. Hmm, try NSA. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          ....But there's something bubbling (up) in America that will be reflected at the polls. --John Kerry 5/31/6

          by Gorette on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:11:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cannot grok. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raines

            I'm sorry; I don't know what you're talking about.

            I'm referring to online social networking tools/systems like LinkedIn.

            Mariva's Guide: Stuff for the mind, for passing time, for sharing, for yourself, for fun.

            by mariva on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:56:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hi. I was referring to (0+ / 0-)

              social networks of the type which are being studied with the results of data mining. NSA through their illegal email, computer, phone etc. monitoring and data collection are believed to be aggregating a LOT of data. Perhaps they are trying, some say, to collect ALL the data out there.

              Anyhow, some in govt. --or scholars as in the article I found in Wharton when I googled the NSA soc. networking stuff--are considering now what a great research mine this could be. Social networking, who knows who and is talking to whom, is of extraordinary interest because they think it will answer lots of questions and provide tools for being able to uncover terrorists.

              I know hardly anything at all about it but it reminds me of things like game theory, not much of a comment, but what did you expect? :) HA.  Just thought you might like some kind of answer. I will look into that interesting link you provided.

              ....But there's something bubbling (up) in America that will be reflected at the polls. --John Kerry 5/31/6

              by Gorette on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 09:34:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Check out CivicSpace (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raines

          It is referencedupthread with a direct link. And add me to your list. I work in economic development with grassroots organizations in the Mississippi Delta, a region with more entrenched poverty than many third-world countries.

          There are many groups there that have projects going on about small business/entrepreneurship. Different groups are working on things like business skills, involving young people, financing, etc. associated with small business. So far, this process has identified some key issues, like the need to train the Ag Extension people to work with small businesses. (I find it ironic, and a little scary, that agriculture professionals need to be trained to work with what was once the backbone of agriculture. Now, apparently, they work primarily with ADM and Riceland.)

          Anyway, I use Access to keep up with a database of about 1000 people, including contact info, interests, participation, etc. We are talking about a web site, but, frankly, most of the folks there do not have reliable access to the Internet. There is a huge interest among small business owners for the networking, etc. and we are working to provide those opportunities.

          They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -- Franklin

          by carolita on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 12:28:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hell, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryb2004, cookiebear

    I didn't think liberals even liked to work, much less earn money.

    I'm shocked!
  •  And don't forget (8+ / 0-)

    Real progressives work for free, never charge a rush fee, and always ship overnight next day mail.

    It's what we do.

    I don't know about you, but the reason I live in a hole with my own sense of enlightened self worth has to do with rent sharing. Them holes are in high rent districts. Someday I'll get my own cardboard box down by the river...

    </snark>

    Witty comment goes here...

    by michael in chicago on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:23:38 PM PDT

  •  I was wondering what this was about (0+ / 0-)

    Now, I get it.  Thanks Hunter for clearing it up.  It's another Meta-war.  The pie fight for June of 2006 six.  I'm not sure I like this one. Kind of agree with both sides. May just have to wait until the July fight to pick a side.

    if (Kos) doesn't like what goes on here, he can start his own damn website! - Major Danby

    by Green Zombie on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:25:46 PM PDT

  •  Work is supposed to be fun (0+ / 0-)

    The payscale is secondary. (I don't seem to have a choice in this matter)

    regards,

    mikolo

  •  Hunter, my Rec is for sale on eBay (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jonathan, cookiebear, peraspera, SherriG

    I also have some 4s commentors can bid on as well as a Magic Sword of Purity from the Halo Kitty II game.

    As always a big nail hit on the head with a huge hammer.

    Thanks for making my last read of the day a great one!

    I'm naming my first billion after you.

  •  Love this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryb2004, cookiebear

    You are soooo right.

    The attitude that we all should give every ounce of blood for "the cause" (however we define it), get nothing in return and be grateful for the opportunity to do so is crap. For our actions to be pure we have to suffer? This is why people end up bitter, cynical and burned out.

  •  The purity trolls seem to be the same people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryb2004, AnneElizabeth

    who are always trying to spend rich liberals money for them.  I can't tell you how many times i saw on this site people calling for George Soros to fund a liberal news network.

    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." J. Lennon

    by trashablanca on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:31:09 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for steering us away from Charybdis (11+ / 0-)

    We're so lucky that Scylla is only a <WHAM!> myth....

    I'd be taking the opposite side of the argument if people were skewing in the opposite direction, but as of this point the argument is a rout, and that's not healthy either.  Yes, there are people who will sacrifice victory, comfort (mostly other people's), and a sustainable movement on the altar of Purity.  You and SusanG and Markos and whoever else are certainly right to press them on that.

    But do they have no point whatsoever?  I doubt it.

    I haven't really noticed whatever turmoil led to SusanG's diary this morning; the sense I've had is that people are pretty happy with Markos's success and that some other people are making money off being liberal bloggers and activists.  Maybe you're hearing something different.  And has anyone even batted an eye at Gina making what will be a wholly inadequate amount of money for her efforts?  Maybe so, but if so I've missed it.  My sense is that the only concern people raise is the prospect of people trimming their sails (i.e., giving the opinion someone wants them to give rather than what otherwise have been their own honest take) to make a buck.  That is, after all, at base what underlies the occasional muttering about the whole Kos-Jerome-Warner-YKos relationship.  You can portray it as jealousy that Jerome is making money off of Warner, but the concern is that Kos's judgment is affected by the fact that his good friend is being paid to endorse an opinion, and the concern that we won't get what would otherwise be his real opinions.

    (Is this an offensive concern?  I'm sure that, to many of the most prominent writers here, it is.  We'd all like to think ourselves above that sort of reproach.  But none of us are, and we should not be.  Critics should not continually hammer at those who are most prominently in the public eye -- but those in the public eye should continually be thankful that there are people out there keeping them honest, because it is so easy to give into the temptation not to notice how one is compromised.)

    Part of the problem is that this "money and purity" discussion is conflating several issues: (1) do we want our progressive leaders to be ascetics?  (2) if so, is it out of jealousy or spite?  (3) if not, is whatever they want to do OK because they're on our side?  (4) should bloggers, or conference organizers, be able to make money?  (5) assuming no one is stupid enough to say "no," is there some lesser amount they should be willing to accept given the receipt of what Jerry Brown once called "psychic dollars" so that the limited amount of money to go around can go to other worthy causes?  (I had to make an actual decision yesterday whether to send $20 to Gina or to John Laesch.  I chose Gina.  Do you want to wish the need to make such choices away?  And give everyone a pony?)  By defending the easy terrain -- of course bloggers should be able to get money for what they write! -- we avoid taking on the hard terrain.

    Yes, progressives need to eat and need to have a life.  And that certainly shields us from some criticism as to the choices we make in life, in our employment, in what we eat, what we drive, who we love.  But the rout that this argument has become (as of this writing) invites the inference that all such decisions should be above reproach, and I am simply not willing to go that far.  Since you've had your rant and swallowed it too (by noting that it's self-satirical, ha-ha-ha), I don't actually know where you stand on the issue of how much we should resist the idea that the personal -- including how we choose to earn money -- is political.  Is there no moral constraint on what progressives should feel able to do to make a buck?  Reading this diary, I don't see any.  I expect that the best path to take will end up being somewhere between Scylla and Charybdis.

    I note again that if this argument were as big a rout in the opposite direction, I would be making many of the points that Hunter, SusanG, and others have made here.  Not because I'm a contrary bastard, though that may be so, but because both arguments have merit and deserve respect -- as do their proponents.

    My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

    by Major Danby on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:32:08 PM PDT

    •  Clarification (22+ / 0-)

      There wasn't really any one incident that led to my FP post today. It's just something I've noticed for a long time (Aravosis DID do a post at AmericaBlog about it a few months ago, but I'd actually been playing with this idea for ... well ... years).

      And I don't think anyone is advocating earning money in any exploitive way.

      Part of what I like about Buddhism (kind of a change of subject, but stay with me) is its emphasis on (a) right livelihood; and (b) the middle way (neither inflicting self-flagellating sacrifice upon one's self, nor giving in to the obsessive desire to pursue pleasure).

      Growing up, I was lucky to have a parent who ditched a job for what he saw as an immoral master and immoral cause (Lockheed, 1963, you can guess the moral quandary from the date). Ever since then, I've been careful to work in endeavors I've been proud of.

      But running ourselves down and using crates as end tables, depriving ourselves of income as activists, is counterproductive. If we burn out, it's because we didn't take care of ourselves and husband our own resources wisely. So I think we need to ask ourselves periodically: What can I do to make sure I can sustain my activity? What purchases/services can I make that will guarantee I can keep going at a fulfilled pace, to productively work for change, for 20 years instead of two?

      I also worry a bit -- maybe I shouldn't, but I do -- about how the disdain for paying people working in the progressive infrastructure can feed into long-term problems of believing the causes we fight for aren't worth it, aren't worth real cash. This seems liable to build a kind of "I am not worthy, I am not worthy" mindset in progressivism ... and in related underpaid social professions (teaching, nursing, counseling, etc.).

      Damn it, what we do is important. And some are really, really good at it. And a lot of people have highly marketable skills to give to this movement and we should pay them what they're worth. After all, as many have pointed out, progressives stand for paying enough wages that people can live in some dignity. I want that attitude transferred to the people who work for our causes as well.

      And perhaps I'm a little touchy on the whole thing because I lived through this in a parallel situation -- as a clergy wife for 17 years, I was expected to be happy that the church underpaid my husband and still expected about 65 hours a week of work for him  ("it's all for Jesus, you know.").

      I'll stop now.

      •  I hope you don't stop now! (7+ / 0-)

        That was very well put (as if you need me to say so) and I appreciate the tone more than some of what else I've seen today.  (And I've had clerics in my family, and spent a decade as a professor where my salary started out in the mid 30s and dropped from there, so I do sympathize with your perspective.)  But aside from noting why I think we should not reject such "purity" criticism out of hand, I do think that there are some facts we have to accept and some ideals we ought to embrace.

        A fact:  we will never have as much money as our opponents.

        More than anything else -- more even than stacking the judiciary with fundamentalists and reactionaries -- this has been the aim and the success of the conservative movement ever since Watergate.  The point of the tax code, the tossing public money to the grasping hands of GOP contributors, the lack of enforcement of fairness and pro-social regulations, and a host more, has been to make sure that the rich get richer and that those who want to make a better world don't have enough money to compete in the political sphere.

        The bad part of this is that we're always at a competitive disadvantage both in issue and electoral politics.  The good part is that their side ends up with a disproportionate share of the sociopaths, whores, and greedheads.  (We used to have more than we do now.)

        So what this means is that progressive politics is rarely going to be a way to get rich.  The payoff for people -- not entirely, but to a larger extent than for the Right -- is going to be the feeling that (as some smart poster noted here this week) those hearing Shakespeare's Henry V had when he began his "St. Crispin's Day" speech: that we are on the right side of history and there's no other place to be.

        If there were more money to go around, we would not need this type of payoff.  But this is the side, god love us, that we chose.  Yes, the Left should pay its interns even half as well as the Right pays theirs; CTG was absolutely right about that.  But there is not enough money to go around.  That will not change.

        A proposal: we need to cultivate less expensive tastes and values -- including those deriving from a sense of belonging.

        I'm a little abashed to say this, but at this point DKos is probably my biggest hobby.  And, do you know what?  Except when someone gets the crazy idea to go meet in Vegas, it's a pretty inexpensive one.  And it's meaningful and life-affirming.  I wish that there were ways that people with hobbies that are less wholesome than this one -- like playing fundamentalism Christian shoot-em-up games -- could develop this one instead.

        One thing that we do for each other is to reinforce the feeling that what matters in life is not having the best house or car or lawn or vacation, but the satisfaction that comes from getting the best people together and the best political system we can manage.  Yes, everyone needs money -- but above a certain level, you need the incremental amounts of it less, especially if you have something better in your life to give you satisfaction.

        Maybe that's part of what underlay the reaction to the Warner party, the Puritan instinct in us that says "don't take your satisfaction from the shrimp and the booze and the chocolate, take it from each other."  Can that feeling go too far, especially when directed outward rather than inward?  Absolutely, and I'm glad you and others are making the point.  But that feeling does deserve a seat at the table.  To the extent that we substitute our satisfaction that comes from being together and doing good works for our satisfaction with glitz, we even out some of the money disadvantage that our opponents will have.  I guess that's why, even though I too hate being criticized, I don't want to stop listening to those damn Puritans altogether.

        My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

        by Major Danby on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:18:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In my view ... (11+ / 0-)

          The secret to keeping yourself reasonably "pure" is keeping your desires low. Like you, YK is probably my single biggest indulgence (well, okay ... outside of my car).

          I don't buy a lot of clothes, I don't buy a lot of books. I don't have cable TV. I don't even have a dishwasher, believe it or not. I don't travel much. This isn't out of self-punishment ... it's out of a desire to keep my "needs" in check and to lead a fairly uncomplicated life ("things" always need maintenance and repairing and I find the responsibility to do that dull dull dull). And I'm very satisfied with that. But that's just me. People who earn money non-exploitively should have the choice to spend as they see fit.

          Ironically, when the demographic dollars went up in the recent survey of the left blogosphere, I found out I make less than half of what the median was. Yet I DO seem to have quite a bit of money left over to give to causes.

          I make a conscious effort not to be enslaved by my desires, and at my age (48) it's not all that difficult. But god forbid you cut off my internet access, or make it impossible for me to get to the public library. And everyone else has their own quirks and "needs" that should be honored, as long as it's not hurting anyone else.

          •  Well, not only are you putting in practice (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            llbear

            what I've been preaching, but you're doing it better than I am.  Once they start streaming full shows of Jon Stewart and Colbert -- I promise to watch the commercials! -- my cable goes away too.

            By the way, as another one who spends not very much on clothes, this is why it chafes me when people here slag others on fashion.  Just a pet peeve.

            You might (or might not) enjoy the diary I just posted further pursuing this topic, by the way, and that is not a plug for an eventual rescue.

            My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

            by Major Danby on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:46:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here's a tip: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              highacidity

              I can watch Colbert and Stewart (and I do) from the Comedy Central website one day after the show was broadcast.

              You can thank me now and kill your TV.

              (Actually, I have a TV and a DVD player and a cheapo subscription to Netflix.)

              •  I thought they only showed excerpts (0+ / 0-)

                (that's what they used to do.)  Do they now show the whole show?  Are they archived?  O happy day!

                Actually, I am selling my TV when I move.  YKos auction came a little too early....

                My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

                by Major Danby on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:04:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You have to realize something. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Meteor Blades, raines, mariva, BarbaraB

              By the way, as another one who spends not very much on clothes, this is why it chafes me when people here slag others on fashion.  Just a pet peeve.

              Dressing poorly is often class or race privilege.  If you believe your education, your credentials, your respectability will hold up, or that the color of your skin will insulate you from suspicion, you can dress like a slob.  If you believe that people will suspect you of being a thief, or a thug, or not respectable in any of a variety of ways, or simply uneducated, and you don't want to be thought those things, you dress nicely.

              That's what chaps my ass.  People who act like it's a moral good that they look like shit all the time when really what it says is that they don't believe anyone will suspect them of anything.  In my entering cohort of grad school, who wore dress pants every day?  The woman whose parents never went to college and who always have to think twice about whether they can afford to fill the car with gas.  Those of us whose parents went to college and had solidly middle-class or upper-middle-class jobs?  We wore jeans, because we felt like we belonged in an Ivy League graduate program, because we weren't worried about being thought to be imposters.  And my classmate in the dress pants?  After several years of grad school she married an upper-middle-class guy, and the combination of those two things is definitely a part of why she typically wears jeans now.  Still very nice jeans, and she always looks fabulous, but she doesn't worry so much about whether she'll be judged for not wearing dress pants.

              So I don't judge people who don't spend a lot of money on clothes.  I judge people who walk around looking like damn slobs - not combing their hair, everything all wrinkled - because aside from being ugly, it's an unrecognized form of class and race privilege.  I'm not saying I never take advantage of it, but it pisses me off to see people acting like it's a morally better way of being.

              •  Well, I did say fashion, not grooming (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                raines

                Even if people from lower economic classes have more pressure to dress presentably, that doesn't mean that they have more pressure to dress fashionably.  Think about it logically: they just don't have as much money to do so.  I'm not arguing for looking like shit in public, though I'm sure that you'd find me too rumpled.  (I wear Dockers to work in NYC, and sometimes wool slacks.)  But I don't see how anyone but manufacturers and others in the business benefit from getting everyone to follow the latest styles.  If that's what you enjoy, then I don't begrudge you that indulgence.  But slagging others for not doing so?  I don't like it.  (And I'm not accusing you of this; I know that you are reputed to dress nicely, but I don't recall your slagging others.)

                My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

                by Major Danby on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:00:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I like this statement: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Land of Enchantment, llbear

          One thing that we do for each other is to reinforce the feeling that what matters in life is not having the best house or car or lawn or vacation, but the satisfaction that comes from getting the best people together and the best political system we can manage.  Yes, everyone needs money -- but above a certain level, you need the incremental amounts of it less, especially if you have something better in your life to give you satisfaction.

          ....But there's something bubbling (up) in America that will be reflected at the polls. --John Kerry 5/31/6

          by Gorette on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:21:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well said. Total agreement. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llbear
  •  I used to feel that way (8+ / 0-)

    and I worked in the human rights field for years and knew people who really seemed to feel that while people suffered, they could not enjoy life. Very very sad. When I went to Guatemala, people thought I was crazy for not appreciating the opportunities I had in the US (while resenting my govt at the same time.) Had me see it a different way.

    My GOP Fox-watching sister repeats your Dem-bashing talking points. Just sayin'.

    by Buffalo Girl on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:36:12 PM PDT

  •  This diary is... (8+ / 0-)

    ...0ne more reason that Hunter is, hands down, the best damn writer/thinker within the progressive world.    

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:37:05 PM PDT

  •  Well done Hunter! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiebear, matt2525

    BTW, I'd just like to say it's nice to put a face to the words.  You don't look at all what I thought you'd look like.  Don't ask me what I thought you'd look like, but I guess I didn't expect to see well, such a conservative looking guy!

    I love your diary and often wonder why people would believe we all have to live in a hole in a ground to be a true progressive and be considered part of the movement.  We have to build a financial foundation on which the movement can grow and as long as we don't do that by screwing the next guy, then I have no problem with someone actually achieving success and maybe even wealth.  

    Invisible Paradigm posted a comment

    IF those with money are not getting it through downsizing, eliminating pension plans, cutting health benefits, skimping on safety measures, violating pollution rules, outsourcing good jobs to cheap labor, importing goods made by slaves, prisoners and children I have no gripe with them.

    I couldn't agree more.

    We Need REGIME CHANGE

    by Sally in SF on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:38:55 PM PDT

  •  not to be dense (9+ / 0-)
    but could somone point me to an outside link where someone expresses in words, either directly or indirectly, the attitude and philosophy that this diary and Susan's are meant to be the antidote to?
  •  I'm tired tonight (4+ / 0-)

    Worked all week; got paid for it.  I earned it.

    "The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country..." - Thomas Paine

    by elveta on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:54:25 PM PDT

  •  Off topic, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity

    the presnit seems to be enjoying a pounce in the polls today.  Barf!  He's still in the less than 50%.

    "The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country..." - Thomas Paine

    by elveta on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 07:58:53 PM PDT

  •  Scarecrow (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, wu ming, bleargh

    So much straw in this diary, I could put it in my garden to keep the crows away....

    I'm sorry, but outside of a few commenters and diaries on a few blogs, I can't see any politically meaningful and significant moves among liberals/progressives to keep those who have done well from enjoying the fruits of their efforts.

    I'd like to point out that in the larger, non-blog world, the tendency is to celebrate capitalism and the acquistion of wealth as intrinsically good.  It's long been a hallmark of American culture that wealth = moral superiority.  Regardless, wealth = political power in a capitalist society, and I see nothing wrong with applying a critique to that situation.

    Do some people go too far?  Sure.  But they are not, and have never been, the majority in the Democratic Party and certainly have never achieved any kind of real political power, nor do they have any real chance of doing so.  Let's not overcompensate by engaging in some of of quasi-red baiting/reverse purity in which we have to somehow prove our capitalist bona fides.

    I've got the fever for the flavour, the payback will be later, still I need a fix - Bran Van 3000

    by Linnaeus on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:01:31 PM PDT

    •  Is is just me-- (0+ / 0-)

      or don't you get this diary? I've been reading your comments and it seems as if you are just on a different wavelength.

      Really, not a snark here....but I think you are taking it wrong. I don't think that anyone is against people making money. The whole point is that rw'ers have been acting as if liberals/progressives are hypocrites if they get paid for political activities. Since that is totally ridiculous, that is what the diary is about. The whole talk about purity is just for fun. Fun. That's all.

      I apologize if I mis-read or misunderstood you, Linnaeus.

      ....But there's something bubbling (up) in America that will be reflected at the polls. --John Kerry 5/31/6

      by Gorette on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:31:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe I didn't get it (0+ / 0-)

        I'll totally admit that I may be way off of the mark.  Part of the problem is that it's not clear to me whom Hunter (and SusanG) were addressing.  I feel like I just walked into the middle of a movie and I have to ask everyone what I missed.

        I agree that right wingers making the argument that progressives shouldn't be paid for their political efforts are full of it (just like they seem to think teachers should be paid less because their love of education is a "psychic wage").  It sounded to me, though, that Hunter was talking about fellow left-liberals and I honestly don't know who these people are.  To me, this argument seemed to come out of nowhere, and so I took issue with what I thought Hunter (and SusanG) were arguing absent this context.

        It is Friday, and I did have a few drinks, so maybe that's a factor, too. :)

        I've got the fever for the flavour, the payback will be later, still I need a fix - Bran Van 3000

        by Linnaeus on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:50:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  confederacy of dunces, vacancy of ideas (13+ / 0-)

    I work for a charitable foundation and encounter a wide variety of attitudes about money.

    The pissing and moaning here lately about sell-outs, buy-outs, "blood money", and purity is something I deal with a lot in my work.

    More often than not, it's a emblematic of people who approach life with a high degree of cynicism and distrust.

    If I had more time, I'd love to analyze the "money is evil" crowd with affirmation of "Vichy Dem" invectives, fraudster diaries, and the like.

    I'd bet dollars to donuts there is a correlation.

    Unbossed--a dangerous blog for dangerous times.

    by em dash on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:12:37 PM PDT

  •  Unfreakingbelievable meta shit again (6+ / 0-)

    So is it more pure (as in purely Democratic) to be anti-pure? I'm confused as to what level of meta-purity we are talking about. Are we against the pure, the meta-pure or the meta-meta-pure? Are we even deeper in the argument than this? Or is it that we must be funny at the same time as being anti-pure in order to escape the next layer of purity?

    •  Its called narcissism (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lisa, cmanaster, sockpuppet, BarbaraB

      And that is the really heinous risk of a great blog like dKos and a great shindig like yKos.

      I went to the Warner party and had a blast. If he felt compelled to spend the money on us, then thank you Mark Warner. Loved it.

      It even made me look at him more closely and I liked what I saw. So sue me.

      I have a hot flash. If progressive values DON'T create wealth and value for humanity - then fuck em.

      I am convinced to the marrow of my bones that progressive values do create wealth and value for humanity. Now I just have to prove it - and take my well-earned slice.

      -2.38 -4.87: Maturity - Doing what you know is right even though you were told to do it.

      by grapes on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:12:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  lolololol~!!!! @ microcondenser/meta purity n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  LMAO (13+ / 0-)

    Fucking brilliant!

    Still retired.

    Retired from blogging

    by Armando on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:49:53 PM PDT

  •  Angry screed sighting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gorette

    Money is like manure; it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow.
    Thornton Wilder

    "A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they're dead." - L. C. Rosten

    by Wayneman on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:52:22 PM PDT

  •  Lenin, Trotsky, and the rest... (5+ / 0-)

    were very clear about this issue.

    Successful revolutionary movements require the efforts and actions of a professional revolutionary cadre who get support for their work.

    The pamphlet writers, columnists, agitators, organizers and proselytizers of EVERY successful progressive, reform, revolutionary, union, or other movement have either been a) independently wealthy, or b) supported by the movement they worked for in terms of food, lodging, travel, school for their children and so on.

    Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Joe Hill, Big Bill Heywood, Leon Trotsky, VI Lenin, Marx, Engels, ANY NUMBER of those organizers, revolutionaries, and activists...and MANY MORE

    ALL were either independently wealthy class traitors or were PAID in one form or another to do the work.

    People who think that social changes comes for free, on a wing and a prayer and the sweet smell of hash-oil, patchouli and purity of thought word and deed are*

    CHILDISH, IMMATURE, SELFISH and pretty fucking stupid.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 08:56:50 PM PDT

    •  and yet (3+ / 0-)

      who gets to claim that status, how 'leaders' are chosen, and who picks the direction are not small things. i sort of feel like one of those peasants in life of brian: "king? i don't remember voting for you."

      we need to fund a decent activist infrastructure, but this doesn;'t really seem as much about that as an attempt to make anyone who disagrees with how things are going feel uncomfortable and out of step with the crowd. a ritual denunciation of the commie hippie straw men as hairshirt-wearing trust fundies, and more often than not, an implicit celebration of those who are well off.

      this is more of a SYFPH than a real discussion of the need for a revolutionary cadre.

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:33:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it's pretty targeted. (10+ / 0-)

        There are several folks and groups of folks who have decided they do not like the way things are going, for one reason or another...

        They do not like Marcos' politics, the choices made by the community, the focus on the democratic party, the nod to centrists that happens all too often...whatever.

        Those criticisms are valid, they have weight, they should be discussed openly, honestly, passionately.

        I have similar issues and criticisms, and have had such since long before I joined up at DKos, and I joined up at DKos KNOWING that I would continue to bump up against the eternal problem: criticize from outside, work to change from inside, work with reformists, or denounce them as pathetic, weak and doomed to fail.

        But some members of the folks who have criticisms of many stripes have decided that the best avenue to either voice those criticisms OR to hobble a movement/group that they feel is compromised is to attack along the lines of "sell-outs are doing this for money and therefore don't really care about the results"...

        It's false, it's childish, and it's dishonest.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:40:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ahem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bleargh

        You're referring to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, not Life of Brian.

        Sorry, I'm a geek.  Couldn't let that one go. :)

        I've got the fever for the flavour, the payback will be later, still I need a fix - Bran Van 3000

        by Linnaeus on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:02:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm so late to this party (0+ / 0-)

    but, isn't money just STUFF?  Isn't it just the stuff we use to get other stuff?  We buy stuff,  we sell stuff..stuff is.  What's the BFD?

    -5.0,-5.54 "There are no victimless crimes in politics." Bill Moyers

    by SherriG on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:13:30 PM PDT

  •  Maybe some background or context? (0+ / 0-)

    I would understand this diary and SusanG's previous diary if I knew better specifically what they were responding to, who said it, etc.

    I've been critical of both of these diaries, but like a good left-liberal, I'm totally open to modifying my stance if I knew what the "real" problem was.  As it is, I just don't see it.

    I've got the fever for the flavour, the payback will be later, still I need a fix - Bran Van 3000

    by Linnaeus on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:17:38 PM PDT

  •  What got my attention... (15+ / 0-)

    ...was Alegre's poll on income the other day.  Wherein more than a third of the respondents (not a scientific poll, I know) said their income was over 100k.  I was surprised.  Astonished?  But it gave me an idea why some of the issues and realities in the world I know are alien to a wide swath of Kossacks.

    I live in a county where median per capita income is under $20k.  Where the budget choices are stuff like:  need dental work?  No new clothes this year - strictly thrift shop.  I know quite a few people with 4-figure annual incomes (<$10k).  Quite a few who have outhouses rather than flush toilets.  It's a way different reality than a lot of you have.</p>

    I would like to see some of our higher income users, just as an exercise, figure out how they'd plan their budget for $2k/month income.  (Which is more than much/most of the world has to live on in a year.)  Whaddya have to give up?  Might be useful in understanding what big sectors of our countrymen have to cope with.

    We live in a country where one in seven doesn't have any health coverage.  Where a lot of people do without a lot of things.  Mostly, those seem not to be the people who populate DailyKos - even moreso YearlyKos.  

    I look at the world we live in, and it often comes to mind that Charles Dickens was writing at the apex of wealth and power of the  British Empire.  Yet so many Brits lived in desperate squalor then, as he depicted so well.  Best of times, worst of times.  It's what we've got going on here, and it's been getting steadily worse for decades now.

    Yet most all of us in the US live is still much better than vast swaths of people in other parts of the planet face.  Not a good idea to pretend otherwise.

    To me, this isn't about whether it's "OK" to make a lot of money.  It's whether people have much of a clue to the kinds of difficulties faced by people living below the country's median income.  Not to pick on one individual, but a user who sacrificed one of their two annual trips to Europe to come to YK pops to mind.  Just can't see it as hardship - only one trip to Europe this year!  Even if the user is economical on other fronts like not habitually drinking expensive lattes.  (That's a heckuva lotta of lattes to pay for a trip to Europe...)

    All this leaves the impression of how much more financially well-off the denizens here are than the country at large.  Maybe all these YearlyKos assertions about how "we" are just like the a cross-section of the country should be revisited, carry a caveat.  

    Less a matter of "judging" anyone, and more a matter of owning the label "reality-based".

    •  yup (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Land of Enchantment, Gorette

      a lot of old conservative lines getting recycled tonight. it confirms some of what the pew typography poll said a while back, that many of the "progressive" liberals of today are largely ex-new democrats from the 90s who had the living bejeezus scared out of them by bush, but who retain some of the old white collar political assumptions.

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:36:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, Land, I'm with you.... (4+ / 0-)

      That poll also took me by surprise. I almost thought it might be that people did not take it seriously, how could it be? But I guess people were being straight since it is being talked of seriously.

      I feel as if I might live in your neighborhood, but unfortunately I do not live in New Mexido.

      Your idea of having people see how far 24K would go per month is one I really like. Of course, my income is substantially less than that so I guess I'm at the bottom of the economic rung. I haven't always been or I would not be here at dKos probably. But I try to add my perspective to the "reality" thing here. I respect what you have put down here tonight and believe it is very important, so thanks.

      ....But there's something bubbling (up) in America that will be reflected at the polls. --John Kerry 5/31/6

      by Gorette on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 09:42:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  as far as that goes (0+ / 0-)

      the demographic here has to trend towards folks  with computers at home, and probably with broadband.  pretty much lets out most folks making 2k/month, especially if they have kids -

      It's not a sacrifice to pay more in taxes so our brave boys have what they need, it's a privilege. FDR

      by mississippi scott on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:01:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  100% on the mark! (3+ / 0-)

      One of the primary distinctions between progressives and regressives (or Republicans, as their more commonly known) is empathy.  The ability to appreciate that many of us live a lifestyle that likely the majority of U.S. citizens, and the vast majority of the people on earth, can only dream of.  That you don't need to have two European vacations a year to be the envy of 5 billion people.  Having a new car (or hell a car) would suffice.

      And your good fortune is the result of luck not work.  Being born into the right family, in the right country, with the right economy and opportunities is much, much more important than drive.  Sure we all work hard, but so do the African farmers who are starving to death because we subsidize U.S. cotton so heavily.   If they had the chance to go to bussiness school, I'm sure they'd jump at it too.

      Because progressives by and large appreciate this, if only intellectually, and because "All men are created equal" means something to us, the extreme wealth disparities we see in the world strike us as fundamentally unfair.  And worthy of action.

      But in the end, I think that this debate is a little different.  It is based upon the notion that in order to have a robust progressive (and liberal) movement it is necessary to pay the people involved.  Indeed, communism is a beautiful idea which fails miserably on large scales.  Capitalism is a terrible idea, based upon the greed and selfishness of humanity, which succeeds wildly (in moderation, of course).  While the latter is a terrible indictment of human character, it's success cannot be ignored.  And in today's reality, it's success must be harnessed by any serious political movement.

    •  exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet

      I get pissed when I hear about the stigma of the rich... frankly.

    •  But then again, some people worked to that level (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, sockpuppet

      and perhaps recall their roots.

      I certainly work with a lot of people like that.

      For my part, 15 years ago I was spending $17 a week on groceries because that's all I had (that's not just for food; it includes toilet paper and the like).  I didn't have health insurance, and I never ran my air conditioning - in Houston, Texas.

      I used to spend a lot of time at my grandmother's in the country - where the water came barely-filtered from a stock tank (she was finally switched to "city" water about 1990 when the county ran it through her area).  You didn't flush the toilet but once a day to save water - since it didn't rain too much.

      Now currently, I'm living the high life as my income improved over the last 15 years:

      • My watch is the one I bought in 1981
      • My television is the Toshiba 19-inch I bought in 1983.  I suppose I'll have to get a new one in a couple years when HDTV finally becomes mandatory.  Too bad.
      • My furniture is all secondhand - except for the particle-board bookcases I bought new on sale at Target
      • I'm 6 years into my 3rd car in 22 years (one got totalled out, else I might still be on my second one)
      • I still have a number of clothes that are 10-20 years old

      I know very well what it's like to live in poverty conditions because I did it for years.  And my standard of living has not scaled anywhere near what my income could accomodate.  

      I suspect there are a lot other folks here who've had it tough and who haven't forgotten, either.  I choose my lifestyle of my own free will now, not from moralistic or purity reasons, but perhaps partly after years of ingrained habit as well as my nature.  There's nothing noble about my choices; I'm simply comfortable with what I have.  I don't expect and certainly don't want others who have a choice to live as I happen to feel like doing.  

      I understand your concern, because it's been echoed throughout history (America's own revolution, FDR's role, etc.) as well as popular culture (holding the barricades at General LaMarque's death waiting for the common people to rise up and join the bourgeoise student-activists), but I guess you're just gonna have to trust that even a vanguard that's a small slice of the population may be able to do good whether or not they've all "walked a mile" in someone else's shoes.

      •  I fucking worked (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musing graze, cappy, Gorette

        I worked my way through college

        I worked after college

        I started working when I was 13

        I still work

        and yet, I feel no stigma, no need to defend myself.

        frankly, the money I get for my work is enough appreciation for my wealth.

        and yes, I'm also proud of the money I've turned down, when that was right.

        I've been happy to not be for sale (at some high prices)... and proud to have a valuable skill at others...

        I don't know that my ability to make a living can possibly be stigmatized, why would I care?  Perhaps if I'm trying to convince people I'm uncorruptable or something?  I really am not sure.

        The stigma of being poor is 1000 times more important to this nation's problems, than the imagined stigma of being rich.  make that 100,000.

        not because poverty is "good"... but because it's a real problem.  people have fucked up attitudes about it.

      •  This seems to me the crux... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryb2004, Abou Ben Adhem, cappy

        ...of what all this hoopla has been about since SusanG's Diary singed a few feathers: And my standard of living has not scaled anywhere near what my income could accomodate.

        Same here. Having a lot of money isn't the problem if you remember most people don't and you make good use of what is now extra for you.

    •  Great disparity (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Land of Enchantment, Gorette

      in incomes in the the real problem that progressives have with money. How can you have anything like equality among individuals when society is so heavily privatized and monetized, and the income gap between rich and poor is widening, and wealth is being concentrated among the top 1 percent of the population? It's foolish to personalize this and criticize individual people for their financial success, but the root of the impulse is not wrong.

      IMO, you've hit the nail right on the head LoE.

      There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening. - McLuhan

      by Alien Abductee on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 02:31:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Land of Enchantment...Beautifully said. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gorette
  •  Hunter, Thank you (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hunter, SusanG, TampaProgressive, vcmvo2

    I just want to get my little bit in here--I can't read through all these posts and honestly I don't know or understand where many of these people are coming from--oh well.

    I am older than many people here, I remember what my dad taught me in the 50's when he was striking for better wages and benefits--he taught me that all people should earn a good pay for work rendered--

    He also taught me that within the unions the people took 'care of their own' just like Kos said in reference to the person who organized the yearly Kos and the one who lost his home due to a car crashing into his house. I contributed what I could and did so within the memory of my dear old dad, lifelong Dem till he died.

    I also am so proud when I see one of our own--like Kos--on the national media--more of us should be out there and I hope we are in time--but we should be out there--and good for those that are!

    Thanks again for this diary, and even if you don;t read my comments--at least I have said what I wanted to say.

  •  all money is, is trust (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mississippi scott

    that's what money is, in the final analysis.

    TRUST

    You pay your money, and trust that you will get the greasy hamburger and wormy french fries from Micky D's. If they are really bad, worse than what you normally expect, you might even get your money back.

    You go to work to earn that money to buy that burger from someone who trusts you to do your job; they pay you either after you did the job they wanted, or after the fact. Somehow, it usually works out that if there is no trust, you would not get any money.

    If that job happens to be making said greasy burger and fries, well .. I'm sorta sad for you.

    Banks won't lend you money {if they have a decent business plan, and aren't stupid} unless they trust you to pay it back - oh ya, they also want to MAKE money on your money.

    Simply .. I have no problem with progressives who 'make money off the movement'. Even if I don't always agree with everything they say.

    Money, a way to show trust.

    "Rovus vulgaris americanus"
    Chronic infection
    of Democracy.
    Cure: Pending
    -7.63, -9.59

    by shpilk on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:08:42 PM PDT

  •  this sanctimony (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, hrh

    how, hunter, is it better than what you criticise?

    there are 100 progressive people that sycophant on success and money for every one that bitches about it.

    That take it as proof of merit.

    I fail to see how you found a balanced take, but rather offer a blanket criticism for all careful skepticism about wealth and power.

    The non-liberal thing is to assume the problem is envious masses and not listen to the dangers.

    History is not on the side that claims money doesn't corrupt.

    sorry.

    and fwiw, I love money.

    y'all ought to listen to me more I guess...

  •  Tools (0+ / 0-)
    SusanG posted earlier today and I glad she waited.  Money is a tool!  It pays for doctor visits, food, shelter, and the type of transportation you need.

    For me:

    Immigration is about money.  Lower wages vs Living wages.

    School funding is about future money.  Lower wages vs Living wages.

    Unions are about money.  Lower wages vs Living wages.

    Try reading Andrew Tobias if you are perplexed about money.

    My grandson doesn't need an inheritance except the love of his family, food on the table, good health care, and time with the ones that love him.  That is what I'm fighting for.

    Great education wouldn't hurt either along with everyone else's grandchildren.  It's called community.

    God, I love that peanut.

  •  Simply too much rant for my taste... (0+ / 0-)

    ...though I completely agree with everything that you say. Poverty is not virtue. Virtue is virtue. Poverty is not integrity. Integrity is integrity.

    The urge to equate wealth with corruption goes against the basic Liberal principle of focusing on how a person contributes to bettering society, not what the person looks like or what the person has.

  •  'Purity Snots' (0+ / 0-)

    So how about the people who claim that nobody should "whore" their blog by mentioning it here?  How tacky that is!  Ooh!  "Blogwhoring!"

    That's pretty much the height of "purity snotness", as far as I'm concerned.

    beat-a-go-go.com - a journal of music + the arts + writing

    by hrh on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 11:12:00 PM PDT

  •  what I read in this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bleargh

    FEAR

    fear there is no good argument... and the question must be silenced.

    good luck with that.

    But I want to say I respect you Hunter, and don't begrudge you this error, as I see it.

  •  And who says (0+ / 0-)

    That Hunter aint the voice of reason.

    Experience may differ in online play...

    by OCD on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 12:28:27 AM PDT

  •  The ultimate statement on selling out (0+ / 0-)

    So now that I've posted this can we all go back to what we were doing before?

    -fred

  •  Bravo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbaraB

    The way some people think about liberals and money (you can't be the former if you've got the latter) is a good way to limit the progressive movement to the sidelines forever, and let the plutocrats roll over us.

    It's a form of bigotry.

    That is, it's a way of judging the whole of a person by a single characteristic, and one not particularly relevant to the discussion.

    Thus:

    I wear tight clothing, high-heeled shoes
    Doesn't mean that I'm a prostitute

    similarly, just because a person has money does not mean they are good, bad, progressive, not progressive, right wing, left wing, or any other thing.  The only thing that rich people have in common is money.

    You don't have to poor to be pure.

    But go ahead.  Limit your movement to those who do not one thing of which  you disapprove.  But please don't bother the rest of us while we

    Take back the house
    Take back the senate
    Win the presidency
    and Take back the country.

    Whenever we take away the liberties of those whom we hate we are opening the way to loss of liberty for those we love. -- Wendell Willkie

    by plf515 on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 04:35:55 AM PDT

  •  This sounds like the Baptist Preacher conundrum (0+ / 0-)

    Can you love God, and still make money?

    The real question is who (or what) is God?

    IMO, God is money in America.

    Therefore, bringing more money into one's life is the spiritual thing to do. It gets one closer to discovering one's true self. There's the rub. Finding one's true self. When one has everything, does one have everything? I don't think you can find that out, until you have everything. Go for the experience.

    More power to ya.

    Mythology is what we call other people's religion-Joseph Campbell

    by Sherri in TX on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 04:39:44 AM PDT

  •  I am wondering (0+ / 0-)

    I am wondering if you bothered to read any of the comments before you started ranting. I did and participated in the discussion and did not see what you saw at all. I did see intelligent, coherent, and reasoned and responsible discourse on the distribution of wealth in this country which is certainly an appropriate topic at a political blog be it conservative or liberal.

  •  Insulin shock therapy? (0+ / 0-)

    Here's a fable for all sides of the table: Charlie the Unicorn visits Candy Mountain.
    (Animation - click "Watch this Movie.")

  •  I am not pure, but dirt angry (0+ / 0-)

    There was a poll a couple of days ago trying to get the income structure of the dailykos audience. In the very early stages of that poll, it seemed to be that 20 percent were over 150,000.00 and the remaining 80 percent were pretty evenly distributed between $ 10,000.00 and up in increments of around $ 15,000.00. If someone can find that poll and tell me if the income distribution remained the same after a larger number of readers had participated, I would appreciate it.

    First let me get off my steam:
    Why am I angry? I am on the low end income-wise. If I had not a couple of savings which I didn't save on my own, but my parents saved for me, I would be at the brink of being homeless, and my son wouldn't be far from that either, if I didn't save my parent's saving for him to have in the future. With both our monthly incomes we both could not afford to pay the rent, food and car to survive, whereever we live, each on our own for himself.

    Recently I looked what I donated during the last year and last months. It's 8 percent of my net income and quite frankly, every day I receive at least one real paper letter by USPS from any of the democratic, progressive, environmental or civil rights oriented organizations out there. And yes, it starts to make me angry.

    Three years ago, I didn't receive any such letters. I don't remember when I started donating. I think it started during the Iraq war. My first donation induced an avalange of fundraising letters from all over. Obviously donating through links from dailykos to websites linking to fundraising pages and using them, increased my incoming email fundraising requests to around five to six a day.

    You see, if you want my dollars to support your cause, I want to know what you use the dollars for. I want it used for research, analysis and to fund legal procedures that engage in the defense of those who can't defend themselves.

    But my feeling is that my few dollars I would donate just pays for one of the next glizzy, costly and superfluous fundraising letters I get next day in the mail. That's the last thing I would my donation to be used for.

    I have decided, to never ever donate anything to Democratic candidates, who waste fundraising money in completely useless paper letters.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the most wasteful spenders of money she raised. So far, I have never received a paper letter from Edwards and from Clark. Bless both of them. At least they don't waste money for something as idiotic as a fundraising letter.

    Not only are they usually three pages long, densely typed with at least four or five sentences dedicated to ask me for money, they are alos boring like hell. Who the hell reads those darn letters?

    And why are they sending ME these letters? I didn't donate in the first place, because I got a letter from them. So, obviously I don't need a letter to decide to donate, right? Why then this waste?

    I DON'T WANT costly fundraising letters and I DON'T WANT costly thank you letters. I also DON'T WANT getting calls and be harrassed with people asking me for money. I get at least four every every day. I HATE IT. Stop that. Do something REASONABLE with the donation dollars. Use the INTERNET for fundraising purposes and don't waste time on paper mail.

    Now  my real question:

    If the Democratic Party and the liberal, progressives, whereever they are, don't represent the little guys, the people who just get by and struggle every day, if they don't stand up in defense of the common good for all equally, for fairness, for justice and against exploitation, then the Democrats can go to hell, if it were for me.

    But as they stand up for us (poorer folks), it is quite clear that by default the Democrats will never be able to raise the same amount of money as the Republicans do.

    I wonder if you would look at the statistics how much money each party raises from its non-corporate donors, if there isn't a systemic discrepancy between the Democrats and the Republicans.

    As Democrats represent more likely the interests of employees and the Republicans represent the interests of the employers and corporations, there too is an systemic discrepancy of how much money can be raised by the Democratis in comparison to the Republicans.

    Why isn't that discrepancy AGAINST all rules of fairness in voting? Can't this systemic discrepancy be challenged in court?

    Isn't the whole "sell-out" claim, people like to attack progressive, liberal democrats with, just the logical consequence of the above mentioned systemic discrepancy?

    Boy, if I were an Armando, I would love to sue the hell out of your electoral and campaign financing system. IT'S NOT FAIR AND NOT EQUAL. It's a system designed by crooks for crooks and should be put to death.

  •  Bingo Hunter. Right on. Amen. Yes brother. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbaraB

    Last night was our local Dems' annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner - the fundraiser where we try to raise the money the party needs for infrastructure over the coming year (office rent snd supplies, phones, utilities, etc).

    It was an All-Star event - both Senators (Murray and Cantwell), our Congressman Brian Baird, and many state reps and local officials.

    Our town loves fund-raising auctions, so I've been to a lot of them. People fork over buckets of money for the auction items, often paying double and triple what the items are worth because it's "for a good cause".  But at the JJ, we look for Value. We try to get a good deal and if we could get the thing for less at Costco we put down our paddles. We're no dummies.

    We're filled with Democratic Party Fervor except when asked for money.

    OK maybe we'll fund the office rent. But nothing for staff. Nothing for education and training. Nothing for outreach.  All that comes out of the pockets of noble volunteers who have the time and money to give.

    Which means that mostly retired folks play.

    I feel a full page rant coming on, which I'll save for another time, but the whole idea "Meaningful Work should be its own reward" is whacko. We pay our teachers and social workers and non-profit staffs like shit. THey should be GRATEFUL to work for the common good - and money would only taint their pure motives....

    -7.38, -4.72 Progressive Voices Toastmasters - Learning to speak persuasively about things that matter [http://www.progressivetoastmasters.org Find it here]

    by JoieDe on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 08:25:28 AM PDT

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