January 15, 2005
Conflict of Values within Social Democracy
1-"Give the poor and impoverished a hand up to lift them out of poverty because more people with more money makes our economy grow." (And not because doing so is a primary responsibility of a just society)
2-"Guarantee that all citizens are equal before the law because justice is the only path to social stability." (And not because justice is a good in itself)
3-"Promote science and education because they are the foundations of prosperity." (And not because having an educated and cultured citizenry has intrinsic value)
4-"Maintain strong alliances around the world because true security comes from being surrounded by friends, not enemies." (And not because peace is an indivisible aspect of human happiness)
5-"Create, enforce, and protect the rights of workers because America is not about enriching the few while crushing the many." (And not because there is nothing that should take precedence over the rights of producers of wealth, that is, the workers)
6-"Protect the environment because our children will have to live in the world we leave them." (And not because the environment has intrinsic value independently of whether there are human beings around or not)
7-"Keep the government out of the lives of citizens because the most fundamental right we have is the right to be left alone." (And not because the government's job description does not include a right to interfere in the lives of the citizens)
Of course, perhaps a more fundamental decision for the Democratic Party is whether it wants to be a Social Democratic party in the first place, or whether it wants to languish in its New Deal legacy. The New Deal, to those who know what it was really about, was fundamentally anti-worker and anti-progressive.
Maybe in other countries it's different, but here in the US, I get the impresssion that Democrats are anti-values. After the election, a bunch of Democrats tried to jump on the values bandwagon, the trouble is, they didn't know what it is.
You clearly know what values are. It would be good for you to influence your brethern in the US. I think that if the Democrats here actually figured out what values are, and actually voted for candidates that have them, it would help to balance the political situation that so many see as a problem.
By the way, the values listed here are exactly the values of the US Republican party. Maybe not officially, but you would see it in their works if you were not blinded by pride.
8 years of Clinton killed our military.
If that were true, how do you account for the swift victory the military had in marching to Baghdad? It is universally accepted that we have the best military in the world. The military success of the 2003 Iraq invasion was a result of Clinton's administration. If he had weakened it as you suggest, there would have been no success. You can't build up a military force of that sort in just 2 years.
Now everyone is whining because the Iraq campaign is taking so long.Wrong again. People are criticizing Bush for not taking the advice of the MILITARY and placing more troops on the ground. He listened to civilian advice, (Rumsfeld and the neocons) not the generals. That's why the Iraq debacle is such an overwhelming failure.
Most of the laws that are being past to impede our freedoms aren't Bush's fault. Its the liberal law makers in congress.This is a totally uninformed statement. The Republicans have a majority in BOTH houses. The Republicans are the ones creating legislation, not the Democrats. Where have you been the last 4 years? Or do you get your information from FOX? If you do, I understand your ignorance on these matters.
As for the invasion of Iraq - the failure is not lack of soldiers - the failure of Bush was to refuse to listen to those who have tried this before. Invading a country does not mean you will get the result you want. Containing a country until its people decide to take matters into their own hands has a better prospect for success - an example is the world's response to South Africa.
Terrific post - couldn't agree more. Moe Blue's list (to my mind) represents the attitudes of the Clintonite wing of the Democratic party - moderate and pragmatic. Whatever happened to the idea of doing good for the sake of doing good? I'm also reminded of those hideous business gurus of the 80s and 90s who talked about "values" and doing the right thing, blah, blah, blah. Sounded good (for those who never learned how to behave ethically in the first place), until one realized that the objective wasn't a more harmonious work environment, but big, fat profits.
While I miss Clinton desperately these days, I hope one day that we can see a truly progressive party, whether it's the the Greens or a retooled Democratic party.
PS Great blog, too!
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