July 12, 2004
Building a better world
....[S]ince the 1980s, the maldistribution of income in the United States has become greater in favor of the rich than in any other modern democracy, and it is rapidly growing worse. Corporate profits have incurable elephantiasis. CEOs receive huge bonuses that have nothing to do with their often poor performance. Employees work harder for less pay, and there is less work for more people. Much of higher education is now priced so far above the means of middle-class Americans as to be available, if at all, only through crushing indebtedness. In the American political climate of 2004, it is all but impossible to have a meaningful debate on taxes for social-democratic initiatives. There are permanent open seasons on affirmative action and women's reproductive rights.
Here's Bond on "Bush and other Republicans":
NAACP chairman Julian Bond, speaking to lawmakers and business leaders in Indiana last month, said Bush and other Republicans appealed to a racist "dark underside of American culture."OK, fair enough. Or unfair enough, depending on your perspective. (Until today I never knew there was such a thing as a Confederate swastika.)
It's all relative, isn't it?
So is truth, and DuBois was -- always -- an utterer of truth!
Always an utterer of difficult and unpopular truths, Du Bois's writing still has the ring of prophecy come true. "The inflexible truth he embraced was that, just as Africans in the United States 'under the corporate rule of monopolized wealth ... will be confined to the lowest wage group,' so the peoples of the developing world faced subordination in the global scheme of things capitalist."According to Bond and the NAACP, Bush is the demon of the dark underside. No doubt if he were alive today, DuBois would agree. Doubtless so would many of Bond's other Communist heroes.
But what kind of people did DuBois admire? Who were his heroes?
Here's W.E.B. DuBois, uttering the truth about Joseph Stalin:
Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. He was simple, calm and courageous. He seldom lost his poise; pondered his problems slowly, made his decisions clearly and firmly; never yielded to ostentation nor coyly refrained from holding his rightful place with dignity. He was the son of a serf but stood calmly before the great without hesitation or nerves. But also - and this was the highest proof of his greatness - he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate.Um, yeah, Stalin definitely drove them out. They were exterminated.
But you didn't really have to be a kulak:
In reality however, the term "kulak" was a loose term to describe anyone who opposed collectivisation, which included many peasants who were anything but rich.If Stalin were alive today, the term "kulak" might even include many members of the NAACP.
Not the leadership, of course. They're the ones who get to do the defining. And the judging.
But in a world today where we are supposedly moving beyond race, I think you would hear Dubois modify that and say that people of color must be judged by the content of their politics.I don't doubt one bit that DuBois would say that. Nor do I doubt that much of the NAACP leadership agrees with it.
Much as I abhor ending on a note of irony, I think it fair to ask why the NAACP refuses to take a position on gay marriage. Bond thinks it's just as well:
When the NAACP opens its national convention here today, one of the hottest issues of the moment - same-sex marriage - will be nowhere on its agenda.Might they be breathing a sigh of relief that President Bush didn't attend?
There are a lot of people who think there are bigger issues than gay marriage. The NAACP obviously thinks socialism is a bigger issue.
In a way, they're right.
Which is why I think opposing socialism is a bigger issue. If I lose my economic freedom and my property rights, what's the point of a legal relationship with the ostensible purpose of protecting them?
I write in longhand; I consider the computer a television set with a keyboard.Gee. I thought my computer was more like a Gutenberg press than a television set, but what do I know? I hate television!
posted by Eric on 07.12.04 at 10:26 AM
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Building a better world:
Search the Site
Classics To Go
See more archives here
Old (Blogspot) archives
Why you might get more of what you try to stop
A knee sock jihad might be premature at this time
People Are Not Rational
No Biorobots For Japan
The Thorium Solution
Radiation Detector From A Digital Camera
This war of attrition is driving me bananas!
Attacking Christianity is one thing, but must they butcher geometry?
Are there trashy distinctions in freedom of expression?