Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another essay savaging liberals

An essay at commondreams:

Sometime early in Ronald Reagan's first term, I decided to forget
everything I'd always disliked about liberals. I took pains to subordinate what
put me off about them to the larger objective of unity against the rightwing
onslaught, I decided to overlook their capacity for high-minded fervor for the
emptiest and sappiest platitudes; their tendencies to make a fetish of procedure
over substance and to look for technical fixes to political problems; their
ability to screen out the mounting carnage in the cities they inhabit as they
seek pleasant venues for ingesting good coffee and scones; their propensity for
aestheticizing other people's oppression and calling that activism; their reflex
to wring their hands and look constipated in the face of conflict; and, most of
all, their spinelessness and undependability in crises.

... Beneath all this idiotic coyness lie liberals' long-standing aversion
to conflict and their refusal to face up to the class realities of American
politics. They avoid any linkage of inequality with corporations' use of public
policy to drive down living standards and enhance their plunder,


Ravenmn said...

But why do you expect anything different from liberals? They can only disappoint you if you believed they had something to offer and just failed to deliver.

They are liberals for a reason: they like things the way they are. They want to be the ones in power instead of the other guys. They don't want change for everyone, just for themselves and their friends. They believe in their heart of hearts that they will be more enlightened leaders than the current leaders.

The ruling class has the privilege of appearing to be liberal or conservative: it doesn't matter to them. Whatever ensures their continued wealth and power is all that matters. Today conservatism is the fad, tomorrow it will be liberalism again.

I prefer the slogan from Pat Smith's poster printed by the now-defunct Press Gang Publishers: "Class consciousness is knowing which side of the fence you are on. Class analysis is figuring out who is there with you."

Posting the link here so we can remember to order some up for the store:

AA said...

You are right and I can't quibble with what you are saying. It does, however, need to be pointed out that liberals act as the lightning rod for public dissatisfaction with the status quo, and as such make sure that nothing of substance changes. As you say, they are merely another instrument of ruling class control. It is with their role as a lightning rods that I take issue -- with their deceitful talk, with their vague "programs" and promises, that lulls people into thinking that "reform" of the system is possible, and that the way of the ballot box will lead to change.