The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Mead’s Rose Colored Glasses: Still Fetching

Posted on | February 2, 2012 | 8 Comments

by Smitty

Liberalism is far out, man.

Part two of Mead’s geosynchronous review of the Progressive cratering is up. Read the whole series, if you’ve time:

Right now the right has something of a monopoly on this thinking, but when and if the left begins to reconnect with the ideas of emancipation and empowerment that are part of its historical vision, we are likely to see change. Marx hoped that someday the state would wither away, and the idea of groups of citizens exercising responsibility over their own affairs and taking power from career officials to give it to popular assemblies and grassroots cooperatives used to be central to the imagination of the left.
Liberty is an essential element of any version of the American dream, but our idea of liberty is as social and associational as it is individual, and the third criterion that any new American system will have to satisfy has to do with the quality of our social and community life. While Americans have never accepted the right of external authority to define their ideas of family and community, liberty exists in a communal context for most Americans. The adolescent and the young adult seek the freedom to get up and go, to try new things and meet new people, but at some point these young people usually come to see freedom as the right to live with their family and community as they see fit, rather than the freedom to move unconstrained through life like a lonely meteor in the night sky. Our concepts of freedom and of prosperity are linked to a vision of a society in which the family (however defined) is independent and in which individuals who want to form a family and embark on a religious or spiritual faith journey with the like-minded can do so with reasonable dignity and ease.

Possibly Marx himself really believed in a ‘Kingdom of God (Hold the God)’ sort of Utopia, but by the time these thoughts reached the desk of Otto von Bismarck, the ancient notion of PANEM ET CIRCENSES was reborn. ‘Freedom of action’ (liberty) was replaced with a managed ‘freedom from fear’ that meant we all work for the state, and not the state for us. While crass titles of nobility are no longer issued, the Ruling Class is back with a vengeance, offering such delightful variations on the theme of “Shut up” as “Are you serious? Are you serious?

Why, yes we are serious, Mead. The family is still composed of a male and a female, who ought to marry and raise children to a mature, traditional understanding of liberty. The likelihood of any significant, shiny, new existential expression of the common sense informing our founding documents is really low. Our country is an experiment in self-rule, has engaged in a century-long, disastrous attempt by the Ruling Class to chain us in debt.

I’m eagerly awaiting for something like sober criticism from Mead in this series. I mean, for $15 trillion worth of debt, I wand more than an extended David Brooks mix. Call me feisty.

via Insty


8 Responses to “Mead’s Rose Colored Glasses: Still Fetching”

  1. richard mcenroe
    February 2nd, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

    The Founding Fathers set themselves the task of making available to us the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  They never deluded themselves that they were the source of those rights.

    The lesser lights of our  modern self-appointed aristocracy have set themselves the task of ringing about our liberty and defining down our happiness in order to micromanage both in accordance with their vastly more limited talents

  2. BruceC
    February 2nd, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

    Reading this post makes me want to kick someone in the jewels.  Where’s Moochelle when you need her?   (Now there’s a question I bet Barry NEVER asks)

  3. Adjoran
    February 3rd, 2012 @ 12:55 am

    Mead has actually produced some very fine work devastating the “Progressives” – or what ever the Marxists are calling themselves at any given time to disguise their true intentions.  But he is an academic.

    Academics, at least those in the “soft” disciplines like history and philosophy (sociology isn’t hard enough to be “soft” – more like “gassy”), don’t think like normal people.  Their world involves so many theoretical constructs with unsound foundations that trying to follow their reasoning is sometimes beyond pointless, and just headache-inducing.

    But if you want to question someone’s seriousness, don’t fiddle around with a lame old crone like Pelosi.  Call a pro and bring da heat:

  4. Bob Belvedere
    February 3rd, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    That Marx believed the state would wither away after a dictatorship of the proletariat just shows how totally and prfoundly ignorant he was of how Human Beings behave.

    I suppose I shouldn’t single him out because all Leftists develop their ideas in the sterile laboratories of their minds, cocooned away from Reality.

  5. Tennwriter
    February 3rd, 2012 @ 9:59 am

    I tend to see Mead as a Man of the Left who is uniquely situated unlike us to lead the left beyond its current mess.

  6. Pathfinder's wife
    February 3rd, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    Yes and no; on one hand it’s completely ridiculous because utopia will never happen.  Human nature is not perfectable, power ultimately corrupts.  Even if its good intentioned (sometimes the people leading it aren’t) utopianism is the proverbial path to hell.
    Unfortunately, in the quest to find some perfection or at least a better lot in life we humans sometimes stumble upon some good ideas, hence progress — so the temptations to find utopia are cooked into the book unfortunately.  If we didn’t have the urge we’d still probably be living in mud huts; picking lice from ourselves; cannibalizing our young, old, and weak; and having relations with our domesticated animals….and that would only be if we had at one point some desire to progress to have gotten that far.
    So Marx understood that drive pretty well.

  7. Bob Belvedere
    February 3rd, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    Why would one want the Left to survive?  They are Anti-Life, Nihilists.

  8. Mead Seeks Technical Solutions To Existential Problems : The Other McCain
    February 7th, 2012 @ 11:48 am

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