Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just What are the Real Liberal or Socialized Values?

There has been of late a tremendous effort on the Right to redefine what it means to be Liberal or Socialized and ascribe to anyone claiming it a series of ideals and activities that do not reflect any sort of reality in this Universe, often giving a list of offenses that are more fitting of the last administration, and in fact actual policies of that administration, rather than the policies of the present one.

It is true that Obama has not tossed the entire Gang Of Pirates in jail and taken steps to assure that Bush/Cheney would stand as a warning to future dictators instead of precedence for them, and Clinton was conned by GOP criminals to signing the destruction of Glass-Stiegal and a few such things as NAFTA etc that have had a terrible effect and are not in the Liberal Tradition.

I guess in such an opposite universe Militant Quakers that have been advocating the invasion of Iraq and all the other violence and mayhem would not be an oxymoron, but they would be a null set in this universe. I suppose that in that universe the Neocons would be the peaceniks, willing to die themselves rather than be responsible for the deaths of others. Here, not so much.

But whatever the Universe the actual liberals would be the ones with four key values. Empathy, Empowerment of the powerless, and Accountability for the powerful to keep them from embezzling all the goodies and dumping the cost on to others. And a loyalty to reality to distinguish what the facts actually are as best they can be determined.

Basing their thinking on actual reality at least in making judgements of this world, some find their motives in various spiritual traditions, but almost all agree on scientific method where it can be definitive.

Basing their concerns in empathy for others, understanding them by being able to see through their eyes, and acting to the benefit of all in ways that could declared fair by any honest person. This is more leap than many on the right can make as they have had their empathy ground out of them and so are utterly confused by the concept.

With Empathy comes desire to give Empowerment to every person to achieve the very best for their own life, because a person empowered to contribute the maximum amount to society at the same time contributes to each member of that society in excess to what it cost in the first place.

For example if it is made a horrid and expensive ordeal to become a doctor there are fewer doctors, they are more expensive, and less doctoring is done. But if the barrier is only one of ability and society removes all the other barriers, there are many more doctors, and more doctoring is done, and at much less overall cost to society.

One lacking empathy might object to the expense of these freeloader doctors, but they would be very happy with the result, even if they could not make the connection. So it is with many things. Some like 3M have discovered how beneficial such empowerment can be, but as long as there is no accounting for the decisions of those in high places, most industries will be driven to the most unsocialized behavior by others in their industry who are still worse.

And this brings up the fourth value that lies at the heart of liberal thought. In every organization their must be leadership. Those without quality leadership might limp along if they are indestructible (at least in the short term) or explode eventually but not until they do such as Enron. The same is true of other jobs, but leadership confers the power of decision, given to it by all the members of the enterprise as their agent to assign tasks and benefits to those people with the expectation that they will do the job well and honorably.

Like Kings of old the job is not always done well or honorably, and as ever the problem is to hold them accountable for how their decisions affect all around them. The entire sweep of liberal history is to hold all who exercise power so accountable, no matter under what guise that power is exercised.

There have been many who claimed they stood on the side of accountability and did not, and many more who considered the idea of accountability an evil concept. While the former might be seen as false liberals who were conservative in their hearts, the latter would be unabashed Conservatives as the idea is currently framed.

The idea is not to elect perfect men to leadership but to create structures that those dishonest or self serving would be held accountable, and thus fear doing wrong if it ever enters their head to do so, not just in Government but in every enterprise where several or many are needed to accomplish a goal. To do that the accountant of last resort has to be a large enough government to do the job, and that government held accountable by its people as well.

Any policy or activity that deviates from those values, deviates from what is Liberal or Socialized, though honest folk can disagree about whether specific policies or laws work for or against those values, and there are even many wildly different societies that can still be expressions of those values. And of course it is a path and a process rather than a place where it would be declared arrived, but certainly differing levels along the way.

The founding of the country was indeed a giant leap along that path for the time, but they could and did improve on what was started, and not all changes were positive, but the liberal position has always been the greater expression of those values, just as the conservative position has been to retard them.



One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between 2 "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility,
kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

"Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

from an old tale.

The Golden Rule
“That which is hateful to you do not do to another ... the rest (of the Torah) is all commentary, now go study.”

- Rabbi Hillel



The self made man just isn't admitting how or where he came by all those parts

---FreeDem---- Aug 2005


If a man tells you that the Government cannot accomplish anything of value, then voting for him would be like hiring an Amish Auto Mechanic.
If they don't believe in the concept, they are more than likely to do a very poor job of it.

---Bob Danforth Sept. 2009


Republicans never meant to cut government waste, fraud and graft, from the get-go their plan was to organize, monopolize and privatize waste, fraud and graft.

They see the civil service as meddling “middleman,” who interfered with the free flow of cash from taxpayers into corporate coffers. Their intent was to eliminate the “middleman” as an obstruction to corruption.

---Unknown rabblerowser Feb 2007


No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.

Edward R. Murrow

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot

Mark Twain


You see, we often get noncreative leaders, people most interested in preserving their own positions. They flock around centers of power. Such centers attract people who can be corrupted. That is a more descriptive observation than to say simply that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

If you are corruptible and your imagination is confined to worries about loss of power, you exist in a self-destructive system. Eventually, as all life does, you must encounter something you did not anticipate, and if you have not strengthened your creative resources, you will have no new ways for adapting to change. Adapt or die, that's the first rule of survival.

The limited vision of noncreative people is not difficult to understand. Creativity frightens the unimaginative. They don't know what's happening. Things new and unexpected arise from creativity. This threatens "things as they are." And (terrible thought) it undermines illusions of omnipotence.


Herbert 1984 (the year not the book)


"News is what powerful people want to keep hidden; everything else is just publicity."

....Bill Moyer


Just as having only a hammer makes every problem either look like a nail, or as something irrelevant, our very technological skills have had us look there for explanations and ignore reality it cannot deal with. With our powerful hammer, we seek only nails, and dump the rest as dross. Not all questions involve hammers, not all answers are nails.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

My issue with Atheists is not that they have no God, there are many religions that have no God, but that they have no religion.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

__Note: by this I mean that there are many things religions do besides the discredited "science" and self serving promises (give me your money and God will hold and pay the note), many like charity or fellowship, even social accountability can be very good things not requiring a God.


Many have been very disappointed that their "God-critter" was not to be found as a technology swimming about in the shallower pools of knowledge. So in the obsession basic to our culture, we search ever deeper and more difficult pools, and always the "God-critter" seems to wink at us from the pool just beyond.

In the process we have found technologies beyond the wildest dreams of our most sophisticated ancestors. The great joke is that the "critter" never existed except as the pools themselves.

----Freedem --- Oct 2006

Indeed I do think that many folk, believe all kinds of stuff from the actually true, to the utterly illogical, with no personal discernment one from the others. But that would hardly make any of them a scholar to rely on, any more that one should get their theology studies from a door to door salesman, offering "get out of hell free" cards, on special because the creator of galaxies in greater numbers than beach sand, nonetheless has an ego so weak He cannot exist without shamelessly excessive psychophancy from a major portion of the inhabitants of this particular dust speck.

----Freedem ---June-2007

More to come