First, a quote I keep putting up from Karl Popper:
“…and if there could be such a thing as socialism combined with individual liberty, I would be a socialist still. For nothing could be better than living a modest, simple, and free life in an egalitarian society. It took some time before I recognized this as no more than a beautiful dream; that freedom is more important that equality; that the attempt to realize equality endangers freedom; and that, if freedom is lost, there will not even be equality among the unfree.”
Now, some folks further Left are taking-on those in the more ‘liberal establishment’ in a contest of ideological purity:
Alex Pareene at Gawker on Jonathan Chait’s pushback against the PC crowd:
“[Political correctness] also makes money,” Chait says, using, as his example, one BuzzFeed post about microaggressions that has “received more than 2 million views.” I’m guessing that Chait makes quite a bit more money than the person who compiled that post. In fact, that’s true of nearly everyone who is presented as a victim of political correctness in Chait’s essay, from millionaire comedian Bill Maher to the anonymous professor at a prestigious university: They all enjoy superior social status to the people who are supposedly silencing or terrifying them. It’s hard to see how democracy was significantly harmed by Condoleezza Rice not giving a commencement address.’
PC isn’t just a vehicle for fame or money for the true believers. The truly ‘virtuous’ know all about the plight of the poor and the underclasses, and while they may not know exactly who’s deserving of power, they know the world as it really is and as it’s going to be. The Bill Mahers and Jonathan Chaits of the world may share common ground, but they too, are either for or against the march to equali-topia.
When exactly did what I would call such a radical worldview became mainstream enough for Gawker? I’m not sure exactly…
This blog is guessing that a good litmus test for how the ‘liberal establishment’ deals with the further Left, the radical and activist base, will be in Hilary Clinton’s behavior should she choose (still looking likely) to run for office again. Can’t seem ‘warmongering,’ uncool, ‘racist.’
Political risk and calculation in dealing with this base, how much she will need those in this ideological camp, and most in the popular media who don’t often think beyond what’s popular and what gets ratings; all will likely be involved.
Where will that less radical liberal center be?
Libertarian editor of Reason Matt Welch took a look at the change of ownership at the New Republic under Chris Hughes, and the move further Leftward:
‘The great irony is that The New Republic is repudiating contrarian neoliberalism precisely when we need it most. Obama proposes in his State of the Union address to jack up the minimum wage to $9 an hour, and instead of surveying the vast skeptical academic literature, or asking (pace Charles Peters) whether such liberal gestures are “more about preserving their own gains than about helping those in need,” TNR columnist Timothy Noah declares, “Raise the Minimum Wage! And make it higher than what Obama just proposed.”
Adam Kirsch, Simon Blackburn, Martha Nussbaum, John Gray. Here are a few links on this site to the New Republic: Leon Wieseltier At The New Republic: ‘A Darwinist Mob Goes After a Serious Philosopher’…Adam Kirsch At The New Republic: ‘Art Over Biology’