‘Progressive Liberals’

Obama Supporters Strongly Opposed to Deal Extending Bush Tax Cuts | CommonDreams.org. – by Greg Sargent

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The poll, done by the respected non-partisan firm Survey USA, surveyed over 1,000 people who contributed time or money to Obama in 2008, and found intense, overwhelming opposition among them to Obama’s support for a temporary extension of the tax cuts for the rich. This supports the notion that there may indeed be a serious liberal revolt in reaction to it.

Indeed, majorities of people who contributed to Obama in 2008 say they are less likely to support Obama and Democrats because of his backing for the temporary extension.

My online response to the above linked-to article follows:

“Obama Supporters Strongly Opposed to Deal Extending Bush Tax Cuts”

The capitalist class can’t lose as long as it’s victims continue to support it. The people, too often, are their own worst enemy.

“liberal revolt”? Honestly, This language is seriously flawed. I always thought so and haven’t seen anything to make me change my mind about it. Why ‘liberal’, to begin with? Is that ‘liberal’ as in ‘free’? As in ‘not imposing restrictions on others’? As in ‘live and let live’? Because that’s harmfully generous. Would it be a good thing to put all our toddlers together in a big kitchen and go watch tv and leave them to their own devices in the name of freedom for all?

Recognizing that a civilization needs genuine law and order in order to be civilized and pushing to have such a system and to have ‘everyone’ adhere to it’s rules isn’t a rightwing position. The operative rightwing position is to have a system of rules that it sees as roadbumps that slow everything down just enough so that the whole rickety system doesn’t crash down on everyones’ heads, including the heads of those who count. But that is not law and order by people who believe in the principle of law and order. That’s law and order by people with bad intentions who, in fact, understand that they can gain advantages by deliberately, strategically breaking the rules that we’ve all agreed to (such as taxes).

Maybe ‘progressive liberals’ would be a better adjective. Because just ‘liberal’ applies equally to right- and leftwingers, in my mind. It’s just a crappy term, especially when so many who are called liberals are in fact rightwingers who the ‘alternative’ media so often presents as leftwingers. Obama is rightwing. And so are many of his supporters. Perhaps most of his supporters. You tell me.

However the term came about, It’s not a good one, especially because of the way it’s used. Do we want people who are confused about the meaning of that political label to become rightwing? We talk about – or should – neoliberal capitalism, which is ripe capitalism, which is ‘if you can’t operate in the economy in a positive sense then you’re on your own’ capitalism.

What is the origin of the word ‘neoliberal’? I can’t recall exactly. I only recall that the discussion isn’t too useful. It’s still English. ‘Liberal’ means ‘freely’, but you need objective language here, not subjective language that embraces moral valuations. Corporations constantly seek more freedom – liberty – which usually involves placing more constraints on the people who they seek to exploit. Corporations practice a limited ‘live and let live’ among themselves. They will sometimes defend rules that hurt one corporation only when they see it might hurt their own. As for the people, who are now, conveniently, the enemy, they get cointel programs such as those that Obama, the ‘liberal’, has signed off on.

Social safety nets have been shredded and labelled ‘socialism’ by neoliberal capitalists who in fact practice socialism, as the public is always there to bail out the banks and failing big companies, while those entities use offshore tax havens and leave the little people to pick up the slack. I haven’t read the book yet, but Dean Baker’s “The Conservative Nanny State,” would probably talk, profitably, about all of this.

Elites redesigned governments to be more useful to them and less responsive to the people, and created an economy that wasn’t mean[t] to include all as participants in a positive way. High unemployment, and underemployment, is meant to discipline labor. The people are exploited for gain, very simply. There’s no good reason for it. If it’s a built-in feature of capitalism, then capitalism itself isn’t natural, or a product of evolution, as Karl Polyani set out to explain in “The Great Transformation.” (I’m actually of the view that we can take even an imperfect system like capitalism and make it work for everyone – if enough of us have good intentions.) Rather, It’s a result of choices made by frightened, unprincipled people. (“The Great Transformation” can be bought from Barnes & Noble at: (http://bit.ly/fi3tsH). Then again, What does Barnes & Noble think about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange?)

And now, after so much time, that system, which devours all and everything, has become too big and strong for us to destroy on our own. Even if some those who have been feeding the monster decided to join with ‘progressive liberals’ in destroying it, They wouldn’t be enough numerically to make a difference. The big boat would need more force still to turn it around.

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