Why Liberals Can’t Think •itinerant reluctant marxist Usergroup: Members Joined: May 06, 2006 Total Topics: 15 Total Posts: 28 #111 - Quote - Permalink Posted Dec 2, 2009 - 4:10 PM: C'mon now. The structure I'm getting at is capitalism itself. Individuals acting only as consumers cannot change capitalism. At best, they can influence what capitalism produces.And really, writing to senators doesn't mean shit. I've signed every fucking petition and every damn letter that liberals ("progressives") have been sending me at least since Obama took office. So far, I've seen exactly one have its intended effect. No, if you want the system to change, you have to change the system. A few yuppies growing their own vegetables does nothing to alter capitalism or institutionalized racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism, etc. And that's why liberals are incoherent. •yebiga Forum Veteran Usergroup: Members Joined: Jul 25, 2009 Location: Australia Total Topics: 15 Total Posts: 502 #112 - Quote - Permalink Posted Dec 4, 2009 - 4:11 AM: itinerant: it is all economics Where ever there be yuppies there is only one ism: capitalism. Those other isms are ghosts which spook and distract you from the onne and only game in town. 99.999999% of our culture is defined by economics. All those other isms are not some growth in altruism rather they are the products of capitalism: racism, sexism ageism, globalism, etc... •Crackers Forum Veteran Usergroup: Members Joined: May 28, 2009 Total Topics: 5 Total Posts: 751 #113 - Quote - Permalink Posted Dec 4, 2009 - 4:44 AM: In the US media "Liberals" are portrayed as far left-wing. This is not the case, in fact all views that take part in debate in the US media are right-wing.Noam Chomsky (http://edstrong.blog-city.com/noam...anda_works_in_the_west.htm) argues that the way propaganda works in the US is that the media encourages lively debate but only within narrow margins. He says that both sides of the debate have to accept certain presuppositions before they can be cast in the media. It is in these presuppositions where the propaganda takes place and the lively debate going on is a shallow way to create the illusion that free speech is taking place. The certain presuppositions that I speak of include one vital one: Capitalism works fine. In the media "Liberals" and "Conservatives" argue over certain issues of reform (Health-care, abortion, rights for homosexuals etc.) which further cements the idea that reform is the only option to better society and that the underlying superstructure of it, Capitalism, is fine.Here is a Socialist on reform:William Morris wrote:The palliatives [reform schemes/movements/petitions etc.] with which many worthy people are busying themselves now are useless: because they are but unorganized partial revolts against a vast wide-spreading grasping organization which will, with the unconscious instinct of a plant, meet every attempt at bettering the condition of the people with an attack on a fresh side; new machines, new markets, wholesale emigration, the revival of grovelling superstition, preachments of thrift to lack-alls, of temperance to the wretched; such things as these will baffle at every turn all partial revolts against the monster we of the middle class have created for our own undoing.In other words, reform is useless and revolution is necessary. All reform lends itself to the idea that the system that needs reforming is not inherently unjust and flawed. In a Capitalist society the first and highest value is Capital, money used for the sake of making more money; profit. All other values are bought and sold. All reform that causes negative impact on profits will be ignored. Equality and democracy are impossible as long as an elite class are in place. In Capitalism the elite class are the Capitalists, those who buy labour-power as a commodity from workers in the form of wages, and in turn sell that commodity for profit.The Liberals in US media accept that this structure works and is only in need of minor changes, or "reform." Thus they belong to the right-wing. Many of these people may have Socialist ideas like equality but are uneducated as to what Socialism actually is. In the media "Socialist" is used as a slang word to insult people on the left, portraying the left as a side that has no serious ideas to contribute. I haven't experienced the US education system myself but I have a feeling that it doesn't cast Socialism in a good, or even a fair, light.The "Liberals" in America are conservative in that they want to conserve Capitalism. The idea that anything other than Capitalism could possibly function is not expressed in the so-called "free media" in the US. •itinerant reluctant marxist Usergroup: Members Joined: May 06, 2006 Total Topics: 15 Total Posts: 28 #114 - Quote - Permalink Posted Dec 4, 2009 - 10:06 AM: yebiga,I would tend to agree with you, but would suggest some caution. True, sexism, racism, etc. are exploited by capitalism to further its own ends. But, we shouldn't forget that many forms of oppression and discrimination predate capitalism. In a sense, they are separate "systems" that capitalism has integrated for its own ends. Still, and as Charles Mills might say, establishing economic equality wouldn't by itself (and certainly not immediately) establish sexual or racial equality.* Women might still be raped, homosexuals beaten, or blacks seen as inferior even in an economic equi-topia. So, while I'd admit that economic equality might go some way towards undoing them, these separate systems of oppression were not purely economic in origin, so their solution may not be purely economic, either. •itinerant reluctant marxist Usergroup: Members Joined: May 06, 2006 Total Topics: 15 Total Posts: 28 #115 - Quote - Permalink Posted Dec 4, 2009 - 10:07 AM: Crackers,I have nothing to add to what you said. You pretty well summed up who I'm after when I'm talking about "liberals." •unrealist42 Resident Usergroup: Members Joined: Jan 06, 2003 Location: City of Dreams Total Topics: 13 Total Posts: 296 #116 - Quote - Permalink Posted Dec 4, 2009 - 12:46 PM: itinerant wrote:C'mon now. The structure I'm getting at is capitalism itself. Individuals acting only as consumers cannot change capitalism. At best, they can influence what capitalism produces.And really, writing to senators doesn't mean shit. I've signed every fucking petition and every damn letter that liberals ("progressives") have been sending me at least since Obama took office. So far, I've seen exactly one have its intended effect. No, if you want the system to change, you have to change the system. A few yuppies growing their own vegetables does nothing to alter capitalism or institutionalized racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism, etc. And that's why liberals are incoherent.Individuals acting as consumers have changed capitalism. McDonalds does not use beef raised with hormones and uses vegetable oil instead of fat to cook the french fries and buys fish only from certified sustainable fisheries and serves organic coffee. Wal Mart is getting into the organic food business. Coca Cola and Pepsi sell as much non-carbonated drinks like juice and water as they do soda. These changes are a direct result of changing consumer preferences and are generating wide reaching changes in the entire food supply chain. Consumer product companies are very sensitive to changing consumer preferences and once they get on board with something they become the drivers of change in the other parts of the economy that support them, do business with them, and compete with them.Change takes time. 30 years ago the only people who ate organic food were a few dirt hippies living in the woods, now we have Whole Foods and WalMart and every other grocer selling organic food. •yebiga Forum Veteran Usergroup: Members Joined: Jul 25, 2009 Location: Australia Total Topics: 15 Total Posts: 502 #117 - Quote - Permalink Posted Dec 4, 2009 - 7:41 PM: itinerant: These forms of oppression are entirely economi Eg: woman go to work, woman gain economic power, women want equality, ditto: Negros, Gays, Workers, etc If your wealthy you do not suffer oppression. It is your poverty not your color which oppresses. Culture is just economics sexed up •itinerant reluctant marxist Usergroup: Members Joined: May 06, 2006 Total Topics: 15 Total Posts: 28 #118 - Quote - Permalink Posted Dec 9, 2009 - 3:14 PM: unrealist42 wrote:Individuals acting as consumers have changed capitalism.Are we speaking different languages? Here's what I mean by capitalism: private ownership of the means of production. What I've been denying is that individuals acting as consumers can ever change the fact that the means of production are privately owned (in the U.S., this is only 0.5 to 1% of the population). It would take something other than individual consumer "action" to change that fact. •itinerant reluctant marxist Usergroup: Members Joined: May 06, 2006 Total Topics: 15 Total Posts: 28 #119 - Quote - Permalink Posted Dec 9, 2009 - 3:22 PM: yebiga wrote:Culture is just economics sexed upI wish you were right. It would be much easier to end inequality if all its forms were reducible to economic inequality.But, consider these facts:- For gay men, the median household income is $83,000 per year (gay singles$62,000; gay couples living together $130,000), almost 80% above the median U.S. household income of$46,326, according to US census data.- For lesbians, the median household income is $80,000 per year (Lesbian singles$52,000; Lesbian couples living together \$96,000).So, if one's economic position entailed one's socio-political position, we would expect gays and lesbians to be social and politically dominant over heterosexuals. But, we know that's not the case, so it seems heterosexism is a form of inequality that's independent of economic inequality. •yebiga Forum Veteran Usergroup: Members Joined: Jul 25, 2009 Location: Australia Total Topics: 15 Total Posts: 502 #120 - Quote - Permalink Posted Dec 9, 2009 - 5:01 PM: Your not suggesting the well paid gay is oppressed are you? If not I am not sure what your counter-point could be. As economics changes and different demographics are empowered there is inevitably a lag for the "culture" to recognise and absorb the change. Thus a poor uneducated white male is more likely to beat up on his wife/girl. What I am suggesting is that the well educated white male stops bashing his wife because of economics not because of some altrusim for the equality of gender. Rather, his wife is more likely to be well educated too, working, smart and in short empowered. This empowerment has inevitably influenced governments and our legal system and so now the police will lock you up if you do bash your wife. All I am saying, lets not become emotional and christian about this, the force of economics is paramount.