- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Modern Times

Posted by: MDG on January 31, 19100 at 18:46:25:

In Reply to: Just a question. posted by Lark on January 30, 19100 at 21:15:20:

: Does anyone find long winding posts with endless quotes from dead authors about the world in their time (not ours) accompanied by politically sectarian and authoritarian interpretations and the odd insinuation and insult of anyone who disagrees, even slightly, that interesting?

While it's dumb to dismiss ideas because of their age, I do agree with you that constant references to the archaic language of Marx and Lenin and other turn of the century thinkers can be offputting. These men and women were visionary and intelligent and have much to offer, but they were also of their time, and the 21st century world is far different from Tsarist Russia, for example. I think we need to do what new generations always do: take the best of the old and adapt it to the new.

: If these posts are not interesting how can those making them hope to persuade anyone of anything?

That's all subjective, isn't it? Brainiacs, or at least the economically/philosophically adept, can follow someone like B. Stoller's posts with a minimum of difficulty, whereas yours truly gets lip cramps trying to decipher them. It is smart politics to speak to your audience in a voice they'll understand, but not to the point of patronizing them.

: I'd also like to know why some people, everyone knows the names I dont have to make them clear here, find it serves their purposes better to insult, ridicule and abuse potential comrades? Or even ill treat opponents when they dont appreciate that ill treatment themselves?

We all have tempers. The trick is to take a step back and, with time, ascertain where you have common ground and work from there. For example, I agree with the Christian Coalition that children should not be exposed to smutty, violent, misogynistic rap and rock lyrics -- I think the record companies are being irresponsible in the extreme, and while I'm not advocating outlawing the making of such music, I do think the record companies should show some decency by choosing not to support the creation of this stuff. This doesn't mean I'm about to donate to the CC, but I'm willing to work with them towards a common goal.

: This isnt a preachy post about 'how to debate' because I know those are a waste of time but as a socialist I think that we have to think about what kind of social relations we would like to see prevailant in the good society. We must decide, once we have we must live in accordance with that decision. I hope we dont decide that a good society would be politically sectarian, authoritarian, religiously observing authoritarian plans or social blueprints.

Government unavoidably includes some form of coercion; even the most limited government imaginable will set some limits on its citizens. What we should strive for is government that minimizes its limitation of liberty whenever possible. Unfortunately, this means different things to different people based on their personal philosophies: for example, I think drugs should be legalized but handguns outlawed, but someone else might feel the exact opposite; one of us is bound to be unhappy (and right now, I'm one unhappy yankee).

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