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    what missing billions?..., 2005-05-23 14:59:54 | Main | think of hopes in things absurd..., 2005-05-24 10:49:47

    departing parts unknown:

    Why didn't Keith Thompson 'leave' the 'cultural left' back in 1967 if all it takes is an election? Who outside the Bush administration and various war supporters, for that matter, objected to the election? What the hell group of liberals did he fall in with "if someone had casually mentioned taking up child molestation for sport" there would be a "collective bemused smile"? Maybe he was dining at the Vatican? Other absurdities: counting the dead is morally repugnant; Noam Chomsky is a postmodernist; an individualist/anti-elitist left doesn't exist.

    Or take this:

    These days the postmodern left demands that government and private institutions guarantee equality of outcomes. Any racial or gender "disparities" are to be considered evidence of culpable bias, regardless of factors such as personal motivation, training, and skill. This goal is neither liberal nor progressive; but it is what the left has chosen. In a very real sense it may be the last card held by a movement increasingly ensnared in resentful questing for group-specific rights and the subordination of citizenship to group identity. There's a word for this: pathetic.

    A demand for equal training, by which one acquires skill, is a demand for equal opportunity, not outcome. Does he think it exists? Let's take a broad, nigh-universal demand of the "cultural left" that could actually be used to characterize the path the left has chosen: how is a living wage a demand for "equality of outcome"? Is there a coalition of major progressive groups endorsing a maximum wage law that I haven't heard of?

    That leaves "personal motivation": to which one must ask was a woman working three jobs to put bread on the table lacking in motivation or is her outcome "uniquely American"? Pretty much every radical, leftist economic theory I'm familiar argues or asserts that the rational basis for systems of reward is personal motivation and, as such, justifies any resulting inequality of outcome. The parecon kids at Zmag make that as explicit as I imagine one could. Thompson's not talking about mainstream progressivism and he's not talking about any particular shibboleths of the far left, so if anybody has some idea of who he's leaving behind in his bold, heroic stand against the armies of liberalism, please enlighten me.

    I was at a meeting last night with one of those postmodern progressive groups Thompson is lambasting here, and, oh my lord, they were working on a campaign to build a mixed income neighborhood. The other side is trying to push out low income and subsidized families to keep them from muddying up the pristine yuppiedome of Chicago's northside. Explain to me which side is the elitist group demanding "equality of outcome"?


:: posted by buermann @ 2005-05-24 09:27:59 CST | link





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