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A very simple argument.

The divide between leftists and conservatives comes down to an irreconcilable disagreement about the meaning of fairness with respect to the distribution of resources. Both camps basically agree that resources are fairly distributed when they are distributed in a manner such as that resources are allocated to where they are best utilized. For leftists, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who need them the most--the bottom tier. For conservatives, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who deserve them the most--the top tier.

This disagreement is irreconcilable because one position is neither commensurable with nor reducible to the other. This will inevitably lead to conflict, and the responsible choice for a person rightly belonging to either camp is to try to cause their side to be victorious in this conflict because this result will lead to what they believe to be a just and fair distribution of societal resources. All the rest is strategy and war. Please note that this does not necessarily mean violent confrontation. It merely means a conflict over who gets to legitimately use the engines of state to distribute resources in some particular way, and prevailing in violent confrontation is not a necessary condition for earning legitimacy in this sense when one lives in a society with predominantly civilized people. This conflict could be nothing more than trying to mean the public argument by rational appeal.

The problem with liberals is that they are not acting responsibly. Each person who is not suffering from a political schizoid syndrome is either a leftist or a conservative (though I suppose someone could truly be a centrist if they believe resources are fairly distributed by the Gaussian distribution). Postmodern liberals’ commitment is to conflict avoidance and creating an environment of freedom from harassment is perfectly suited for mastering identity politics for political advantage. This is a pragmatic position, because we live in a political milieu in which negotiated settlements to distributional conflicts are structurally imposed—i.e. some form of parliamentary democracy. So, an inclination toward deal making and giving up on one’s position to some degree in order to avoid conflict and reach agreement is rational within this framework.

But pragmatism aside, it is still irresponsible to avoid conflict when it involves sacrificing deeply held values about the nature of justice and fairness. Liberals like Clinton and Obama have shown that they are not committed to prevailing over rightists in the fundamental conflict over how resources are fairly distributed. And over the course of their tenures as president, they have presided over the continued concentration of wealth and privilege at the top of the income distribution, a predictable outcome in the face of a determined and highly organized cohort of rightists who are still authentically committed to their position. Liberals are not leftists, they are conservative enablers.

Postmodern liberalism has as its goal freedom from harassment. But not all forms of harassment; freedom from harassment of a particular kind. Postmodern liberalism has the tenous position, quite hard to balance, that sociological propositions for the broad categorization of groups of people are legitimate for the construction of both personal narratives and meta-narratives, but illegitimate for the construction of criticisms. So, people, as they are resting in the breast of these sociological propositions, should not be harassed by pejorative labels. The use of labels for the construction of a personal identity is fine, and this identity should rightfully be validated in this view. But harassment is out of the question, and outsiders, especially disinterested patrician reformers, need to be careful about how these demographic categorizations are used because any insensitivity could be a sign of insouciance and harassment. Data about people which uses these sociological categorizations as data labels is perfectly alright to mine by outsiders for the interpretation of patterns of public opinion, however. This makes for a great identity politician, but not for a goal-directed moral opponent of the concentration of material resources.

Originally posted to Nathan Jaco on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:22 PM PDT.

Also republished by Trolls.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 0-)

    There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

    by Nathan Jaco on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:22:42 PM PDT

  •  You Can See Where the Problem Is: (33+ / 0-)
    Liberals like Clinton and Obama
    Both are conservatives.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:29:13 PM PDT

  •  I reject any notion that Clinton or Obama (16+ / 0-)

    are liberals. Instead, Clinton was a softcore Republican, and Obama is a tad left of that. A liberal is much more like FDR.

    •  I used to think the same thing. (0+ / 0-)

      Please see my response to Gooserock.

      There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

      by Nathan Jaco on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:45:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are wrong from the git go... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terrybuck, RUNDOWN, nmjardine, avsp
        For leftists, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who need them the most--the bottom tier. For conservatives, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who deserve them the most--the top tier.
        First there are shades of liberal and conservative,  none of which make anyone a centrist.   Second, resources do need to be rewards to the deserving, but they don't need the whole cake as a reward.    No one should be left uneducated, homeless, hungry, or without healthcare - particularly the young, elderly and disabled.  

        Conservatives are pigs.  Neoliberals are greedy, immoral and corrupt.  Liberals play well in groups and are willing to share.

        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

        by dkmich on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 08:02:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Notice I was very careful to label the current (0+ / 0-)

          strain of liberalism as "postmodern" liberalism. There is a discontinuity between this and classical liberalism. I am basically using the term synonymously with the cultural subset of neoliberalism. You are arguing, naively, than I am wrong because I have failed to draw conceptual distinctions which I have in fact already drawn. I am just using terminology a bit differently from you.

          There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

          by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 05:17:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  "simple," indeed (10+ / 0-)

    Also, where do the flaming liberals Dick Morris and Harold Ford Jr stand on this?

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:32:47 PM PDT

  •  But quite a lot of the top tier (25+ / 0-)

    DIDN'T earn their money. They inherited it. DO you honestly believe Romney would have the kind of money he has if he hadn't had a fair amount of seed money from Dad? And his son wouldn't have his own company if Mittens hadn't loaned him 1o million to begin with?Do you honestly believe Paris Hilton would be anything but a mildly attractive skinny blonde actress wannabe waiting tables in L.A> and praying for her big break--if her last name wasn't Hilton and she didn't have a trust fund?

    It is a WHOLE LOT easier to "make it" if you have Mom and Dad's money to help you get started--and when Poppy's friends clean up your messes as they did for Dubya.

    We'll never know how many good minds and success stories we lost because they were born into poverty, couldn't afford college even with student loans or didn't get terrific grades(hard to get all As if you're working 3 part-time jobs to pay for food and rent) ? Of course, if you're a legacy, you can get gentleman's Cs and still get a cushy job when you graduate.  Helping those at the bottom of the ladder climb up is VERY responsible, because it  allows more people a chance to become a success, without relying on rich parents.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:50:54 PM PDT

    •  Those who didn't inherit it (9+ / 0-)

      won it in a social lottery.  THe main liberal criticism is that the legal and social structures are so rife with unjust processes that those on the top tier didn't "earn" their wealth and certainly don't deserve it.  They don't deserve it any more than Al Capone deserved his wealth for being the meanest gangster in town. This notion is founded on a premise of a meritocracy which simply does not hold any water.  Too much is based on arbitrary nonsense, and there are far too many perverse incentives

      Also, liberals quite rightly point out that the capitalist system does a terrible job of accounting for public good, so in the end fails to deliver a decent society.  It isn't just about distribution, it is also about efficiency.  The capitalist system delivers us a bloated and useless financial sector that is highly lucrative solely because of the legal regimes that govern how corporations function.  It also delivers pollution that leaves society as a whole worse off.  

      Simple yes, as in "oversimplified"

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 04:15:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You will get no argument from me that the so- (0+ / 0-)

      called elite are deserving of their hyper-wealth in some meaningful or legitimate way.

      There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

      by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 05:19:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  well, anyway, if Clinton and Obama are "liberals" (4+ / 0-)

    then I agree with the title of the diary.

  •  Let me see here, move over I'm reading... (7+ / 0-)

    Paragraph 1. Liberals and Conservatives are divided by the old "Makers vs Takers" canard.

    Paragraph 2. The result of the the disagreement is that they struggle for power.

    Paragraph 3. Liberals have a problem because they want to find a way to get things done with as little conflict as possible.

    Paragraph 4. Since Liberals are pragmatic their last two presidents have failed because they haven't been able to pound conservatives into the dust of history.

    Paragraph 5. Liberals would be better off if they weren't so sensitive about labeling, all of the "ists", and all the other kinds of profiling. Is that about it?

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:04:48 PM PDT

    •  You seem to have some understanding. (0+ / 0-)

      But you are struggling to understand paragraph 3. What is it that liberals are trying to get done? And what are the conditions for success in getting this done?

      It is not just that Clinton and Obama have failed to achieve an unprecedented victory over the right, they have essentially aided the right in pursuing a less integrated and more impoverished nation.

      For paragraph 5, it is not just that liberals have a healthy sensitivity to labels that might be carelessly and blithely used by Anglo Saxon aristocrats, but controlling the use of sociological labels for political advantage in the framework of identity politics seems to be the extent of postmodern liberals' vision.

      There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

      by Nathan Jaco on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:26:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe try your analysis using a few liberals, (12+ / 0-)

        and see if it still works. During the last 30 years, even the term "liberal" has been perverted. Additionally, what is called "conservative" now really should be "reactionary." Doesn't that skew your whole theory?

        •  I cannot deny that the shifting meaning of these (0+ / 0-)

          terms is problematic when using them for pure analysis. But the facts of reality have shifted at least as much as the meaning of these terms. Contemporary conservatives are reactionaries, and this is true across the pond. But what counts as liberalism today, in say the establishment media or press, fits fairly tidily with my use of the term postmodern liberalism. So I think there is value to my critique, even without an self-referential adumbration of the evolution of the terms I use. Nor am I going to go to the trouble to historicize every term in every article I write in order to make sure that the contextual framework is as precise as possible. It is difficult enough for me to use language with precision when conveying content.

          There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

          by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:17:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Have you (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lonely Texan, nmjardine, avsp, terrybuck, SuWho

        been paying attention to what is happening right now in both houses? At all? Philosophy goes out the window when you see what's really at stake.

        •  Politics is a game of cooperative and competitive (0+ / 0-)

          strategy and the stakes are very serious. The stakes are the domination of a powerhouse government budget which can change marginally and still have dramatic effects on the lives of real flesh-and-blood people. I don't take the gravity of the situation lightly. But I also see how liberal politics bears on the distribution of resources for those people and feel it merits comment. The philosphic nature of this cultural criticism doesn't make it a trivial dalliance.

          There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

          by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:23:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The conservative, rational and responsible (7+ / 0-)

      course of action is to maximize earning potential and negotiation power of all corporations and organizations in which one is invested, including the government of the United States of America. You may not realize it, but the US government does pay benefits (or dividends if you will) to the citizens of the United States in the form of military protection, Social Security, Medicare, police protection, affordable postal services, highways, bridges, airports, airplanes, railways, Amtrak, currency, national parks, electrical systems, sewage systems, antitrust protections, college educations, and the list goes on. All true conservatives wish to conserve the functioning of essential governmental agencies. Rational and responsible citizens support the negotiation power of the USA. Anything less limits your bargaining power and leaves money on the table that could benefit you.

      If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

      by Bryce in Seattle on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:09:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That was intended as a comment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas

        on the original post not reply to your comment.
        My bad.

        If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

        by Bryce in Seattle on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:11:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How is this insight demonstrated in the behavior (0+ / 0-)

        of the group action of organizations which self-identify as conservative today?

        There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

        by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:24:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To my great disappointment, (0+ / 0-)

          I can rarely find “organizations which self-identify as conservative today” who would support any of the above with the exception of military and boarder protection.

          Conservatives have spent most of their time over the last six years attempting to reduce tax collection on a small minority of the population while hoping against evidence that it will create general prosperity, and dismantling government agencies regardless of the consequences.

          Make no mistake, “conservatives” are socialists when it comes to investment in for profit corporations, and advocate “free market” solutions in the case labor markets.

          I suspect that you are attempting to understand liberal and conservative rhetoric. Remember that most party rhetoric consist of spin, emotionally salient lies chosen to motivate their base. The vast majority of people are not rational, rather they base their action on emotion. If you want to know what a party truly believes, then consider their actions.

          Within our current political framework “a goal-directed moral opponent of the concentration of material resources” is impossible because of the blatant propaganda know as “the red scare” and “red bating” that was powerful in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

          If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

          by Bryce in Seattle on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 01:23:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  "deserve" really? (14+ / 0-)

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:21:17 PM PDT

  •  nope (24+ / 0-)
    For conservatives, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who deserve them the most--the top tier.
    conservatives could give a rats ass about who deserves them. they just want them for themselves. liberals believe they should be fairly distributed to those who most deserve them- everyone.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:35:45 PM PDT

    •  Who deserves them is self-defining as to ... (8+ / 0-)

      ... who has them.  It does not matter how they get them.  This is the conservative credo and that is why spreadsheet jockeys like this guy will always come off as naive adolescents who just read Atlas Shrugged for the first time.  They are defending a system as they wish it to be and not as it is.  They can never be convinced that US government intervention in the economy has done more to promote the meritocracy of markets than hinder it.  Truly free markets destroy the meritocracy almost immediately.

      Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

      by Terrapin on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 04:32:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's where I stopped reading. (7+ / 0-)

      I couldn't get beyond that sentence. The top tier "deserves" them the most--not needs, but deserves. So, according to the diarist, Gordon Gekko was right; greed is good.

      Well...at least he got a diary posted.

      On November 6, 2012, Mitt Romney finally convinced the 47% to take "personal responsibility and care for their lives"...and another 4% more agreed with them.

      by nmjardine on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 04:58:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am giving a sympathetic rendition of a position (0+ / 0-)

        which I do not hold. This is considered good form is serious debate.

        There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

        by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:34:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Now you are being unfair to conservatives. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not saying they aren't fuckers. But they are not wholly unprincipled either. I happen to disagree with their principles, but that doesn't require more reduction of their position that is warranted by some charitable rendition of it.

      There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

      by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:30:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The conservative, rational and responsible (4+ / 0-)

    course of action is to maximize earning potential and negotiation power of all corporations and organizations in which one is invested, including the government of the United States of America. You may not realize it, but the US government does pay benefits (or dividends if you will) to the citizens of the United States in the form of military protection, Social Security, Medicare, police protection, affordable postal services, highways, bridges, airports, airplanes, railways, Amtrak, currency, national parks, electrical systems, sewage systems, antitrust protections, college educations, and the list goes on. All true conservatives wish to conserve the functioning of essential governmental agencies. Rational and responsible citizens support the negotiation power of the USA. Anything less limits your bargaining power and leaves money on the table that could benefit you.

    If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

    by Bryce in Seattle on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:12:26 PM PDT

  •  let's see... (20+ / 0-)

    false premise... supported by non-facts... followed by opaque conclusion... three minutes of my life I'll never get back.

  •  Please - go back to your Poli-Sci class (14+ / 0-)

    This was one big circle-jerk of a simple statement dressed up in lots of big words and important sounding phrases.
    Short and simple is that there are liberals and conservatives.
    The so called liberals are more concerned with labels than they are producing actual results.
    If liberals want to produce actual liberal policies and outcomes they need to stop bending over for the conservatives.
    Tell me something new!
    My policy; Every time someone calls me a "libtard" I give them a nut-tap.

    The Republican model for America is China. One party, corporations are one with the party and the workers are cogs.

    by vet24 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:42:43 PM PDT

  •  Huh? (8+ / 0-)
    For conservatives, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who deserve them the most--the top tier.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:52:05 PM PDT

  •  Not really. The issue is whether individuals are (7+ / 0-)

    at liberty or subject to control. It doesn't even matter who or what the individual is. The Cons exploit; liberals respect integrity--the wholeness of things. The Cons destroy things; liberals repair the broken.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 12:51:01 AM PDT

    •  My intution tells me that I want to agree with you (0+ / 0-)

      but I'm not quite clear what you are saying.

      There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

      by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:36:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this is a pretty hilarious piece of (6+ / 0-)

    satire. . .
    isn't it?

    If not, what a load of useless drivel based on an idiotic and unsupported, and unsupportable, premise.

  •  I went over to firedoglake tonight for ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, Ahianne, avsp

    ... my semi-annual snooping around and saw that their front-page articles and highest-rated blogs had between zero and a pitiful few comments, which goes to prove that the sum gain from spicy words describing a bad idea is a bad idea.

    For some reason I thought that that was more relevant to this discussion than my favorite quote from the movie Sid and Nancy:  "Boring, Sidney!"

    I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

    by Tortmaster on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 01:09:00 AM PDT

  •  So the only difference between (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nmjardine, AnnieR, avsp, terrybuck, RUNDOWN, SuWho

    liberals and conservatives is an economic argument? Wow.

    The word "simplistic" comes to mind.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.

    by serendipityisabitch on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:26:32 AM PDT

    •  I am trying to speak clearly about complex (0+ / 0-)

      phenomena. So I have built a mental model of them and I am talking about that model. The process of developing that model involved some simplification. Is that a fatal flaw?

      There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

      by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:39:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, it is. (8+ / 0-)

        Models are generally built for the purpose of trying to do either analysis or prediction of events.  They have to be complex enough to yield predictive results under constrained testing circumstances.  Preliminary, simple models are usually built in order to see just how far off the test results are from actual situations.  Second and third (and fourth, and fifth) generation models are expected to add complexity based upon that variance.

        If you had been presenting a model, then along with it would have been a list of the factors which you were temporarily removing from the equation, and a set of test protocols which you planned on using with the model.

        Models are not presented as conclusions, but as means of testing specific parameters which are posited to be inherent in a situation.  To the greatest extent possible, nothing included should be defined vaguely, or amorphously, and any terms which are not absolutely understood as single-valued need to be precisely defined.

        You've done none of this.  You've presented this 'model' as a conclusion, and included enough undefined terms to preclude anyone else from duplicating it in order to try their own testing, or even from understanding what your basis was for using this particular simplification.

        Sorry, none of this flies.  Or even limps.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.

        by serendipityisabitch on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 08:58:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Whoa there! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluegrass50, bigtimecynic, avsp, RUNDOWN
    this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who deserve them the most--the top tier.
             All depends on what you mean by "deserves".

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 03:13:06 AM PDT

    •  Let me offer the counterpoint to this diary. (7+ / 0-)

      To liberals, resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who deserve it most; the workers who create actual value.

      To conservatives, resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who want it most; executives with an irrational sense of self-worth.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:08:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You must have gotten all irate because you clearly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bryce in Seattle

      did not read the goddamn article that I wrote. I am not endorsing that position. I am expressing my understanding of it.

      There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

      by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:40:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting - You start off with a framework of (11+ / 0-)

    money-makes-right, then go downhill from there.  From your opener you declare leftists want to take resources from the top and redistribute them to the bottom.  And then to clarify you declare the top 'deserves' them....
       Can you even comprehend that the ideal business person is a sociopath whose only morality is 'not get arrested'?  After all, they will say and do thing that others won't and thus have an edge in business.  From a money-makes-right perspective, a person who sells worthless real-estate to senile old ladies ("think of how surprised your grandkids will be!  They will always remember you for this!"), this person 'deserves' more resources because he has the gumption to swindle senile old ladies out of their pensions and leave them on the street.  He is a millionaire, he is at the 'top', he 'deserves' it.  But, school teachers, police men, firefighters, doctors, nurses, lawyers, they don't deserve much so they are at the 'bottom', right?
      So, your first problem is your 'top' is my bottom.  Your ideal who 'deserves' resources is the scum I try to scrape off my boots.  Your 'makers' are my 'takers'.
       Then you pull a clint-eastwood-and-the-empty-chair routine and talk to figments of your imagination.  Liberals avoid conflict?  Did you see the occupy protests and the keystone protests, or were you watching fox news?  The tea-party sucks up to the wealthy and preys upon the old and infirm, that is weakness and cowardice.  Show me a conservative willing to take on the wealthy and powerful instead of sucking up and getting mad at those who don't.
       And 'Postmodern liberalism has as its goal freedom from harassment'???  WTF?

    To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

    by ban48 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 04:00:56 AM PDT

  •  You are a hyper-rationalist quant. (12+ / 0-)

    And that is probably the nicest thing anybody has ever said about you.  

    The only excuse I can think of for this nonsense is that you were unable to think up an actual example of a real liberal to fit into your ridiculous construct of an argument.  You only find conservative democrats and pragmatists so you label them 'postmodern liberals'.

    I have no idea how old you are but you clearly need to grow up and get out of your own head.  Make an emotional connection with an actual human being - it might help you grow out of your adolescent Randian mental masturbation phase.

    Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

    by Terrapin on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 04:26:40 AM PDT

  •  no further comment is needed (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, bluegrass50, avsp, nmjardine
    For conservatives, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who deserve them the most--the top tier.
  •  Conservatives? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp

    The party of "conservatives," the Republicans, is split among:
    Neocons (Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bolton) who believe that the chief role of government is to impose an American military and commercial empire on the world (and, while they're at it, break up the Mid-eastern nations into squabbling duchies)...the so-called Libertarians, who have some concern for individual freedom but whose primary goal is to liberate corporations from any regulation...the Christianists, who at their most extreme want to install a theocracy, and at least end abortion and gay rights....finally, the so-called Tea Party which, to the extent that it has an intellectual center, is a pack of neo-Confederates whose view of govt is informed by Jefferson Davis.
         If there were no Democratic Party, these folks would be fiercely fighting each other.
          Meanwhile, the Democrats have the corporatists (Obama, Clinton) who have little in common with their ethnic and progressive constituencies, but who manage to keep getting elected because the Republicans are so much worse.

    The term "liberal" doesn't have any clear meaning anymore.

  •  Your logic is fatally flawed until you define (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluegrass50, avsp, nmjardine

    "deserves."

    For conservatives, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who deserve them the most--the top tier.
    Does an investment banker who breaks the law "deserve" a million dollar bonus culled from tax payers' money?  If so, why? Please expand on your logic.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:05:21 AM PDT

    •  I don't understand how that definition is (0+ / 0-)

      necessary to the argument. I am not articulating that position in a factive sense, which would imply that conservatives believe it and that its true.

      There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

      by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:45:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You lost me at the top (7+ / 0-)

    This whole diary is totally screwed up.

    For leftists, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who need them the most--the bottom tier. For conservatives, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who deserve them the most--the top tier.
    "Leftist" is an inflammatory term, when contrasted with "conservatives".   Why not call them "Rightists", if we going to go there.   Otherwise, the flip side of "conservatives" would be "liberals" or "progressives".

    I am a bit confused by the term "Leftist".   Your title refers to liberalism, so if you are equating "leftist" with "liberalism" or "Progressivism", this statement is simply incorrect.    Progressives believe that resources should be distributed among those who work for them, not among those who most need them.    That would be a communist.  If, by leftist, you mean communist, then I agree that communism is a failed system, as it does, as you suggest, eliminate the motivation for work.  It also not feasible in the long term, financially, because the value of the labor is not equated to the value of what is produced which ultimately results in too much red ink.  

    Progressives do believe that a community has certain responsibilities, to educate the young, to care for the sick, to care for the elderly and disabled, and those unable to find work through no fault of their own, and to share resources to create opportunities for everyone in the community, such as building roads, parks and libraries.   Everyone in a community prospers when these responsibilities are met.  Failure to meet these responsibilities places tremendous burdens upon the workers, which reduces their effectiveness at working and producing all those resources that we are so interested in allocating.  For instance, if each parent educates their own children, there are less adults to work, than if we share that responsibility.   If we do not care for the sick, then sick workers do not get well, so they can't work.   Or, people who wander around sick, with such illnesses as flu or tuberculosis, spread disease among the workers, who are then unable to work due to illness.    Or, workers who are well, do not work because they are taking care of sick family members.   The term for this is "socialism".   The key principle in socialism is that overall community health promotes a more effective labor pool, producing greater resources to be allocated.

    I have no idea who these "leftists" are, that you are arguing against, but whoever they are, they are not, as you have described them, the progressives and liberals that represent the majority on DKOS.

    •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nmjardine, Nathan Jaco, avsp
      Progressives believe that resources should be distributed among those who work for them, not among those who most need them.
      News to me - and I write as a progressive.
      •  What do you think the minimum wage is about? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, Quicklund

        Or, the women's rights movements, that worked to make sure that women are fairly paid for their work.   We haven't quite won that one, yet.

        Or, the civil rights movements, that worked to make sure that people are not discriminated against in terms of being paid fairly for the work they do, based on things like race or gender.

        I have never met a progressive who would agree that ALL of his paycheck should go other people because he "doesn't have a greater need for it", because that would be an extremely radical view.   Most progressives I know have the primary belief that they should have the right to work, and enjoy the benefits of their own labor.     But, we also agree that we do need to chip in some to our community, in the belief that a healthy community furthers all of our interests.  

      •  I'm feeling a "greater need" (0+ / 0-)

        Want to send me  what's left of your paycheck?    

        •  Just because you are feeling it does not mean you (0+ / 0-)

          are experiencing it in any way that would be observable to someone else.

          There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

          by Nathan Jaco on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:47:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If not DFWmom (0+ / 0-)

            then there is somebody else in the great nation for whom the question is a perfect fit. And the answer is...

          •  I think that you are operating under (0+ / 0-)

            an incorrect assumption. I'll say more if your interested.

            If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

            by Bryce in Seattle on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:23:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry I missed this needle in the haystack. (0+ / 0-)

              Please elaborate.

              There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things. -Vannevar Bush 1945

              by Nathan Jaco on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:09:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Typical Mind Fallacy (0+ / 0-)

                Most people operate under the assumption that other people think like themselves. For most people in most times, this works just fine, but it does break down. Few people talk about it. In psychology, this is referred to as the Typical Mind Fallacy.

                Your incorrect assumption is this: people are as rational as you are. You have created a rational argument consisting of all prose and nothing close to poetry. Or to put it another way, very little motivation for your reader. Then you insulted your audience. more emotional than rational. In marketing, it is well know that the general population base their purchase decisions on 80% emotion and 20% cognitive decision making processes. This may be rumor but marketing industry is highly motivated to know. I think that it applies to much more than marketing.

                You ignored your audience's emotions. That is why you failed to persuade.

                One of the posters on this thread called you a "hyper-rational quant" in an obvious insult. My point is similar, but I have much more respect for rational people. You are not average, not necessarily better or worse, just not average.

                If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

                by Bryce in Seattle on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 04:30:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  To the victor goes the spoils (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RUNDOWN, nmjardine, avsp
    But pragmatism aside, it is still irresponsible to avoid conflict when it involves sacrificing deeply held values about the nature of justice and fairness. Liberals like Clinton and Obama have shown that they are not committed to prevailing over rightists in the fundamental conflict over how resources are fairly distributed. And over the course of their tenures as president, they have presided over the continued concentration of wealth and privilege at the top of the income distribution, a predictable outcome in the face of a determined and highly organized cohort of rightists who are still authentically committed to their position. Liberals are not leftists, they are conservative enablers.
    Leftist or rightist, conservative or liberal, every president is, himself, a member of the upper class which enjoys the concentration of wealth and privilege at the top of the income distribution.  They may not have been born that way, but by the time they are president, they are well entrenched.

    There is only so far that they will go, in working against the interests of their own class.

    Every person seeking a presidency is seeking power.    Do they seek power in order to advance their political agendas, or do they advance their political agendas in order to seek power?     We would be naive to believe they are doing it all to be in service to mankind.  Most people act in their own self interest.

  •  This Diary (0+ / 0-)

    seems like stolen essay with the words "Conservative" swapped for "Liberal" ...

    But otherwise, this sentence:

    Liberals are not leftists, they are conservative enablers.
    Swap "Democrats" for "Liberals", and that would be closer to the truth.

    In a capitalist democracy - every dollar is a "vote" ... spend wisely ...

    by RUNDOWN on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 09:24:04 AM PDT

  •  some unsolicited advice for the diarist (8+ / 0-)

    It is clear that you have become frustrated by the number of people who have mocked or dismissed your diary without understanding it. Although your frustration is natural, according to the site rules it does not grant you permission to tell people to fuck themselves, and doing so may lead to your being banned.

    You chose a provocative title for a diary that your readers were not able to follow. Although your first impulse may be to blame your readers, as a writer it is your responsibility to present your ideas in a form that your audience will be able to grasp. Whatever its merits, this diary has been poorly received, and you have nothing to gain by arguing with people who don't understand it. At this point I think the most helpful action would be for you to delete the diary.

    I hope you will accept this advice in the spirit in which it was intended.

    •  This is good advice that tends to piss off (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund

      the people who could make the best use of it.

      It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

      by Murphoney on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 06:05:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Diary is inherently resistant to understanding (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth

      I say so because it is just a rant against a collection of labels. It doesn't go any deeper than make broad generalizations of groups which are associated only in the most general sense in that they have been branded with the same label. Trouble is, every reader has their definitions for each label. Of course people are speaking past one another. French speakers generally don't "understand" Urdu speakers for the same reason.

      But since the diary is little more than making broad-brush comments about broad-brush nomenclature, let the Urdu speakers chat with the French. What harm does it cause?

  •  Many people seem to misunderstand your (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp, Quicklund

    intent. I wonder what that tells you.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 12:10:06 AM PDT

  •  Word salad. No dressing. n/t (10+ / 0-)

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 01:14:53 AM PDT

  •  Here's an idea. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bozmo2, avsp, Quicklund

    Read over your stuff before you post it. Take the point of view of one who hasn't seen it before. Try it with this:

    Postmodern liberals’ commitment is to conflict avoidance and creating an environment of freedom from harassment is perfectly suited for mastering ...
    "to conflict" first appears to be a verb. "avoidance and creating"? You mean avoidance and creation? "Creating" also looks like a verb here. "Avoidance and creating is"?

    By the time we figure out what you're trying to say, we don't care anymore.

    GOP: Bankers, billionaires, suckers, and dupes.

    by gzodik on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 04:06:51 AM PDT

  •  I see that everyone else has pointed out (3+ / 0-)

    already that neo-liberals are not liberals, and that it's close to being a malapropism.

    I see that you wanted to propose a simple argument, but I think you oversimplified.

    Both camps basically agree that resources are fairly distributed when they are distributed in a manner such as that resources are allocated to where they are best utilized. For leftists, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who need them the most--the bottom tier. For conservatives, this means resources are most fairly distributed when they are distributed to those who deserve them the most--the top tier.

    I'm a socialist (and yes, a 'liberal') and from my 'leftist' point of view, the issue is not static.  Money (the resource) is constantly in motion, and the 'proper distribution' is simply to keep it moving through all levels of society.  The economy keeps moving, and indeed grows, while it is free to do so.  For a society to stay healthy, government must see that money gets to everyone, preferably in exchange for some service.

    But, because there simply is no true "free market", virtually every transaction that occurs is an imbalanced transfer of wealth, and thus money starts to accumulate in specific pockets, much as if all of the blood in your body was pooling in specific organs, thus starving the rest of your body of oxygen.  This is detrimental to the body (society), and thus it is in the interest of government to temporarily move it back down to the rest of the body.  By the very nature of things, it will immediately begin moving right back to the same places it's been pooling before, but at least that temporary redistribution keeps the cells in the rest of the body from dying off.

    I have no idea why you go on to talk about people such as Obama, who have, on video, said that they were essentially 1980's Republicans, and are only considered 'liberal' by conservatives, but I would certainly consider Clinton and Obama economically irresponsible for embracing many right wing ideas that actually served to keep money flowing more to the already wealthy than to the areas of society that need infusions keep society healthy.

    •  Interesting. My economic background (2+ / 0-)

      is pretty thin, and this is the first time I've seen this analogy.  It's also the first one that ever grabbed my attention enough to set up what I suspect is an indelible picture of money as blood flowing through the veins of society, with government supplying the pumping mechanism.

      I thank you very much for that picture, and I suspect I will think about it quite a bit.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.

      by serendipityisabitch on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:00:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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