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Fri Apr 6, 2012, 08:41 PM

Why America Needs the Left


from In These Times:



Why America Needs the Left
The fight for true equality since 1776.

BY Eli Zaretsky


From the beginning of the American republic, most of the country’s thinkers and politicians have argued that our nation neither had nor needed a Left.

Historians of the so-called liberal consensus school argue that the United States has simply always enjoyed agreement on such matters as private property, individualism, popular sovereignty and natural rights. Others claim that the country never developed the leftist working class or peasantry seen in other nations, a claim often termed American exceptionalism. Still others say that the country doesn’t need a Left because it already believes in, or has even achieved, such goals as democracy and equality – a view held by Cold War liberals and neoconservatives.

But these are all false and misleading ways to understand America. The country has always needed, and typically has had, a powerful, independent, radical Left. While this Left has been marginalized (as it is today) and scapegoated (during periods of national emergency), the Left plays an indispensable role during the country’s periods of long-term identity crisis.

The United States has gone through three such crises: the slavery crisis culminating in the Civil War; the Great Depression precipitated by the rise of large-scale corporate capitalism, culminating in the New Deal; and the present crisis of “affluence” and global power, which began in the 1960s. Each crisis has generated a Left – first the abolitionists, then the socialists, and finally the New Left – and together, these movements constitute a tradition. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/12867/why_american_needs_the_left



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Reply Why America Needs the Left (Original post)
marmar Apr 2012 OP
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #1
idwiyo Apr 2012 #2
saras Apr 2012 #3
marmar Apr 2012 #5
xchrom Apr 2012 #4

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:43 PM

1. Because the right wing and the pragmatic moderate centrists need a punching bag?

Otherwise I don't see much use in being on the left. Frankly I'd be a lot better off today if I had just ignored politics, joined a fundy church and grifted all the damn cash I could,.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:53 PM

2. K&R Good reading material, thank you.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 03:21 AM

3. America needs the left: neurobiology indicates right-wing politics is brainstem, not cerebral cortex

 

I'm sure there are other reasons beyond these, but reality's well-known left-wing bias is another.

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Response to saras (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:21 AM

5. True that.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 07:32 AM

4. du rec. nt

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