Paul’s Perambulations

June 12, 2017

Are liberals still relevant? If not, is reform possible? What is the role for peaceful revolutionaries?

Filed under: Politics — admin @ 9:17 am

My published Comment on NYTimes article telling supposed liberal readers to  ‘Stop Pretending You’re Not Rich‘: “I agree with others who are surprised at the resistance and animosity shown to this article. I think it’s the word “rich” that can drive NYTimes “liberals” into a frenzy. Readers complain about working 60 hours a week (good point, welcome to the club) and their debts and costs that eat away at an income of 200,000 or 300,000. So they claim they are really just middle class and not part of the economic problem. Ridiculous.

The article is imperfect, but at the same time right on the mark. It says a lot about us. My measure of middle class is the number of bathrooms that you have. My family of five always had one bathroom. There was one income producer, maxing out at 62,000 for eleven months of work (yes, that’s academe for many of us). But every year I got excited about the start of the year and exhausted by its end. There have been difficult times of other sorts, but financially and work-wise I am grateful and rich in many ways. Sometimes it seems like we are a nation of complainers who are never going to do anything more.”

3 Comments »

  1. MLKing called for a “true revolution in values.” Gandhi was not a liberal. Tolstoy was not a liberal. Martin Luther King was not a liberal. Jesus was not a liberal. They were true revolutionaries of values and actions. http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_beyond_vietnam/
    Letter from Birminghan jail was addressed to King’s supposed “liberal” supporters. http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/kingweb/popular_requests/frequentdocs/birmingham.pdf
    To what extent do comfortable liberals become part of the problem? Where am I on that spectrum? Difficulty is that folks have been brainwashed to think that we are free and that we need the protection of a professional military under control of an oligarchy. One response is civil (and I mean “civil”) disobedience. There’s a lot of history on this, and while each situation is different, there have been a lot of successes. See http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/ Of course I can’t (and shouldn’t) expect to do it all myself, but I can and must be a prophetic voice to raise the awareness of the people.

    Comment by admin — June 12, 2017 @ 9:09 am

  2. For Facebook I modified my comment as follows: “I was surprised (or not) to see many Comments from NYTimes “liberals” explaining how a couple hundred thousand a year really isn’t much, and that they’re not rich but middle class. Basically these folks are rich in safety, education, diet, housing, health care and the like, compared to the lower half of the economic continuum. The word “rich” really pissed many of these readers (instead of Bill Gates, NYTimes author applied it to include upper middle class NYTimes readers), and it brought out the worst in many of them. I must distinguish myself from current mainstream liberalism — i.e, Chris Hedges “The Death of the Liberal Class” and Paul Krugman’s “The Conscience of a Liberal” I continue to identify as a peaceful revolutionary. Many liberals are not “rich” but this article appears to have hit a nerve for a lot of NYTimes readers.”

    Comment by admin — June 12, 2017 @ 9:28 am

  3. I modified my NYTimes Comment before posting on Facebook. I’ve found that giving particular financial information often leads to ad hominem comments that are hard to address on Facebook (make comments here if you wish, it’s not a matter of keeping anything secret). When I identify myself as a peaceful revolutionary socialist and include personal financial information, ad hominem arguments are used dismissively. The irony is that about half the time folks claim that I am too rich and conventional to be a socialist revolutionary (academic, economically middle class), and about half the time folks say that I only do this because of my too-low economic status and that what I really want is to take the hard-earned money of the more prosperous for myself (jealous of Bill Gates). What folks are actually saying is that they don’t want to discuss this, and so they make feel-good meaningless responses that avoid any serious discussion.

    Comment by admin — June 12, 2017 @ 9:44 am

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