Re: [sixties-l] No left in America

From: Chris Shugart (
Date: Wed Jun 28 2000 - 22:52:46 CUT

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    I thought Don Monkerud's essay "No Left In America" was an honest and
    succinct summary of where the left generally stands on many issues. It also
    serves as a stellar example of why I and others can't get behind the left.
    As I see it, the basic division between left and right comes down to how
    one views human nature and humankind as a whole.

    >>During his tenure, Ronald Reagan organized extremely conservative and
    wealthy forces to turn America back to the 19th century when laissez faire
    capitalism ran hegemony over the public agenda. As a result, the public
    today more often champions opposition to government than opposition to the
    multi-national corporations that control every aspect of our lives and
    redistributes wealth to the rich.<<

    >>Our political climate is held hostage to advertising that convinces us
    that corporations have our best interest at heart, while they control our
    economic life.<<

    >>Unless people begin to see their interests as different from the
    interests of the corporations that control our economic and social lives,
    America will be held hostage to corporate interests well into the 21st

    If I were to accept D.M's. view I would conclude that America is being run
    by people whose primary purpose is aggrandizing their wealth and power
    while subjugating the rest of us. I would further conclude that such people
    are criminal. Can it be true that we're under the control of evil overlords
    devoted to keeping us enslaved, taking great measures to prevent us from
    flourishing and prospering?

    Perhaps that is ultimately true, but the reality is that people, by and
    large are not criminal. And here's where we may differ: Oppression is just
    as often the result of incompetence as it is criminality--perhaps even more
    so. It's true that the corrupt activities of a few can deprive us of
    prosperity and justice. But the criminal does not reside exclusively in any
    political or social group.

    I've met some extremely bright and capable people in my time, decent beyond
    reproach. Some just happen to be rich and powerful. Success and prosperity
    don't preclude one from also being devoted to family, community, country,
    and their fellow man.

    If the left is headed for failure, it will be due to an inability to
    recognize, or an unwillingness to avail itself of the wealth of human
    ability that exists in this country in the form of people who have achieved
    high levels of affluence and power. I, for one don't automatically view
    such people with suspicion and disdain.


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