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Reply #28


Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:21 AM

28. When the ancient

philosopher Confucius was asked what he would do, if he had unlimited political power, he answered that he would insist that people use words correctly. That would still seem a worthy goal.

An interesting question: who benefits from the confusion caused by words being used in incorrect ways? Certainly not the individual who, not knowing the correct meaning, uses words improperly -- for that person is making a sincere attempt to communicate.

In many ways, the example of LBJ works for illustrating the difference between liberal and progressive. His "Great Society" was a wonderful liberal concept, and if not for Vietnam, he'd have been ranked as among the very greatest of US Presidents. But the war existed, and there can be no long-lasting great "war on poverty" while a war economy rules. Even today, the very best social programs (social security and medicare & medicaid) are being threatened.

Even LBJ's VP, HHHumphrey -- a great liberal -- would lose a close 1968 election because of his refusal to divorce LBJ's Vietnam policy.

More, two great liberals -- MLK and RFK -- would undergo a transformation circa 1966-'67, and become real progressives, intent upon changing the foundation of American society. Their visions threatened the empire. Even today, the true nature of their lives haunts America to the extent that, say, the King holiday attempts to place Martin on a stained-glass window, which is bought by the consumers of holiday sales.

The roots of the progressive movement in our industrial society can be traced to the railroad workers' unions, after the Civil War. This was, of course, the infamous Gilded Age, where political-industrial corruption shocked society, as it was darned near as corrupt as it is today. More, it is no coincidence that some of the leading voices were Irish-American women. This movement would be targeted by the industrial powers, with both extreme violence and coordinated efforts to discredit its members as "un-American." By the end of WW1, for example, progressives were identified as dangerous socialist.

I am not providing the accurate definitions with any intent to place a "value" judgment on anyone's political-social beliefs. Both are good. The combined efforts of liberals and progressives offers our nation's best -- indeed, only -- hope for the future.

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