Monday, November 14, 2016

Two for the road.

Leaving for India tomorrow. Two articles to mull about on the trip
" I call myself a democratic socialist, just as Bernie Sanders does, but we’re living in a time where we have to frankly admit that we don’t know exactly what that means."
And "That phrase ‘true culture’ suggests that the revolution is a cultural rather than material one, with culture normatively conceived by a patrician Marxist sensibility that we ... encounter repeatedly as we trace the history of the Frankfurt School, especially in Adorno’s essays on the culture industry: the workers, once freed of the yoke of oppression, would march to the sunlit uplands of Beethoven, rather than wallow in the sewers of Hollywood." 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A 2014 appraisal of Obama

"The Obama era has been deeply disorienting for the left. Eight years ago, progressives would have delighted at the idea of a president who withdrew from Iraq, remade the rules for Wall Street, slowed the proliferation of greenhouse gases, brought the country within spitting distance of universal health care, and multiplied the rights of gays and lesbians. And yet it’s hard to be a self-respecting progressive these days and not feel a frustration that borders on disillusionment. The victories have been muddled, the errors unforced, the ambitions preemptively scaled back.
How could these two legacies coexist in one presidency? They emanate from the worldview that Jarrett and Obama share—call it “boardroom liberalism.” It’s a worldview that’s steeped in social progressivism, in the values of tolerance and diversity. It takes as a given that government has a role to play in building infrastructure, regulating business, training workers, smoothing out the boom-bust cycles of the economy, providing for the poor and disadvantaged. But it is a view from on high—one that presumes a dominant role for large institutions like corporations and a wisdom on the part of elites. It believes that the world works best when these elites use their power magnanimously, not when they’re forced to share it. The picture of the boardroom liberal is a corporate CEO handing a refrigerator-sized check to the head of a charity at a celebrity golf tournament. All the better if they’re surrounded by minority children and struggling moms." From a 2014 article 'The Obama Whishperer" by Noam Schreiber
Check also