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Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, December 30. 2012
That's the title of Mead's latest. He should have used a more provocative and engaging title, but it's not his style to do so.
Mead is a sort-of open-minded Liberal (I think) and an academic. One quote from this excellent piece, which (take note, BD) deserves to be on our Best Essays of the Year thing. A quote:
And later in his essay:
Do me a favor by reading his whole essay. Better yet, read it and ask your Lib friends to consider it. If Obama is a personal friend, email it to him and Valerie Jarrett too. These Progressives are stuck in the past, and have not had an interesting new idea since Marx, who died in 1883, and who could never have been able to understand modern America where the poorest have wide screen TVs, two cars, washing machines, and the right to bear arms.
You know my view: Liberalism, aka Progressivism, is over 150 years old, and way over the hill - policy residue from the early nasty years of the early Industrial Revolution.
Pic is Walter Russell Mead, who looks the way I thought he would.
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First class essay.
I have to admit though, that the guy speaks to my priors. I am very troubled by our society's credentialism. As an employee of an institution of higher eductation, I am convinced the institution is run for the benefit of the faculty (and a select group of administrators), students be damned.
I came to the college after running my own company and am appalled at the difficulty of improving operations. The college is so beholden to accreditation and government that it is powerless to stand out in any significant fashion.
I tell my coworkers to be prepared for the disruption that is certain to occur in higher education when the dam breaks on credentials. And, as posted earlier in another thread, they think I'm nuts.
I refer you to Thomas Sowell's "Intellectuals and Society". He pretty well obliterates intellectuals and their "knowledge without wisdom or experience."
Sowell writes one-sided polemics, not historical analyses. Sorry.
Just as the industrial revolution broke up the manufacturing guilds, the information revolution today is breaking up the knowledge guilds.
That right there.
Pic is Walter Russell Mead, who looks the way I thought he would...like he's had way too much mead before lunch.
Walter Russell Mead: Right now, too many intellectuals try to turn this into a left/right debate rather than one about the past and the future. There is a liberal case for the radical overhaul of our knowledge industries as well as a Tea Party one.
Yes, quite a well-thought essay. (Note the careful use of terminology; left/right and liberal.)
The Barrister: These Progressives are stuck in the past, and have not had an interesting new idea since Marx, who died in 1883, and who could never have been able to understand modern America where the poorest have wide screen TVs, two cars, washing machines, and the right to bear arms. You know my view: Liberalism, aka Progressivism, is over 150 years old, and way over the hill - policy residue from the early nasty years of the early Industrial Revolution.
Quite an overstatement. (Also note that Mead doesen't conflate progressivism with liberalism.)
Progressivism didn't even really have an impact until the 20th century, and while they took many wrong turns, such as Prohibition, they also brought women's suffrage, child labor laws, international law, and a plethora of workers' rights. More generally, the intellectual foundation of the left helped guide the West in the post-WWII period, where diplomacy and an alternative vision supplanted war (see Kennan's Long Telegram), and led the U.S. into the Age of Prosperity.
That this process can be seen to have run its course seems to be the thrust of Mead's essay. That many intellectuals are unaware of this is the important point.
Progressivism's advanced vision and diplomacy supplanted war in the 20th century?
This Zachriel fellow is quite the comedian.
B Moe: Progressivism's advanced vision and diplomacy supplanted war in the 20th century?
There was no outbreak of global war during the post-WWII period. Kennan's vision of containment, diplomacy, and providing an alternative vision of the future, was followed by every U.S. president from 1947 to 1989.
It was the atom bomb. Sorry!
It wasn't diplomacy, Kennan's vision, containment or an alternative vision.
It was, and is "the bomb" in the hands of a country willing to defend itself and others it had made alliances with. It was in fact raw power in the hands of good guys. No more, no less.
The Cold War is usually dated to have started in 1945, Kennan's Long Telegram that formed the basis of Western strategy in 1947, the Berlin blockade in 1948, and the Soviet's first successful test of the bomb in 1949.
Former Vice President Henry Wallace ran as the Presidential candidate for the Progressive Party in 1948. The Progressive Party and Henry Wallace were very much against Truman's Cold War foreign policy- of which Kennan's Long Telegram was a part. Henry Wallace and the Progressive Party thought that Truman's foreign policy was ruining the chance to be friends with Stalin.
Your conflating Progressivism with support of Kennan's Long Telegram is therefore rather comical, given that the Progressive Party in 1948 did not support foreign policy based on Kennan's Long Telegram.
The Z-Team apparently learns its history from comic books.
You are conflating the political left with the Progressive Party.
Anyone who has any knowledge of postwar US history knows that there was considerable opposition on the left and among self-labeled Progressives to Truman's Cold War policy of containment based on Kennan's Long Telegram.
As I said, the Z-Team must get its history from comic books.
Gringo: Anyone who has any knowledge of postwar US history knows that there was considerable opposition on the left and among self-labeled Progressives to Truman's Cold War policy of containment based on Kennan's Long Telegram.
That's right. "Liberalism/Progressivism/Communism" was and is not a monolithic entity. Some on the political left were against the war, but that hardly means FDR was not on the political left.
The term liberal needs to go away for awhile and maybe hopefully return to its true meaning.
It is now used to define some of the most illiberal people and policies imaginable.
they are incapable of creative and innovative response
Their responses are destructive and poisonous. After their century of failures will anything be retrievable? America's only hope is that the grip of Liberalism/Progressivism/Communism on its society fails before their ideals, made concrete, turn America into Putin's Russia.
ErisGuy: After their century of failures will anything be retrievable?
It's called the American Century, and it was largely defined by policies such as those of the FDR administration. Perhaps it has run its course, as Mead suggests. But to say the American Century never occurred is not supportable.
The FDR administration was so "infiltrated" by communist it is likely that it was not an accident. Their policies extended the great depression and set the stage for WW II. I political style and agenda FDR is more like Putin. Perhaps you could provide a list of FDR's policies that you think were so admirable.
GoneWithTheWind: The FDR administration was so "infiltrated" by communist it is likely that it was not an accident.
GoneWithTheWind: Their policies extended the great depression and set the stage for WW II.
Average growth rate of GDP, 1933-1939, was ≈8%.