Monday, November 12, 2007


We toss political and civic terms around without giving them much thought. This leads to disappointment and consternation. For example, why is it that a liberal magazine like The Nation or a leading liberal radio commentator Amy Goodman will not engage in an open exploration and discussion of 9/11? Why will The Nation never examine the working dynamics of capitalism? Why does Al Gore not discuss the effect of the legal imperative governing corporations on Global Warming that the sole legal obligation is to make as much profit for shareholders as possible in the short run? Why will Counterpunch deal with the Israel Lobby but not 9/11?

The dictionary gives as the first meaning of radical: "of or from the root or roots; going to the center, foundation or source of something; fundamental; basic."

I insist on trying to get to the root causes of our political, civic and even my personal problems. It is the only way I can feel sane. Thus I insist on examining and understanding the dynamics of capitalism, the exercise of power by the Israel Lobby, and the root causes of Global Warming. This is more than a personal quirk. I believe that one can have a full understanding of phenomena only by such an examination and analysis. Intellectual honesty and the scientific method compel us to do this.

We are well aware that there may be hidden pressures on liberals and their media outlets. For example, they may be funded by foundations that impose restrictions. They may have accepted CIA approved writers in their bosoms. However in many cases it may be personal inclinations of the authors. It is this latter inclination that I wish to examine here.

The dictionary definition of a liberal: “giving freely; generous…tolerant of views differing from one’s own; broad minded….favoring reform or progress…somewhat more conservative than “progressive.”

It is apparent that getting to the root of things is not a driving force for a liberal. A liberal is thus charitable, but does not question what causes the need for charity. A liberal may be offended by war or by torture, and will give money to protest organizations, but may be less interested in getting to the root causes. A liberal will thus be seduced by those who claim to be preserving freedom and democracy while torturing.

I have a further insight not mentioned in the dictionary. The evidence seems to show that the first imperative for a liberal is to preserve his own privileges, advantages, personal comfort and well being. To a liberal, this is only rational self interest. From that base, a liberal will be tolerant, generous, charitable and reforming, to the extent that his own well being and comfort is not imperiled. Since getting to the root of things might challenge a liberal’s own privileges, a liberal avoids such inquiry. It is not even denial. It is simple avoidance of what is seen as irrelevant. A liberal knows intuitively that his own personal well being rests on the suffering of others, and he does not wish to “go there.”

The upshot of all of this is that we are unlikely to get much help from liberals in halting Global Warming or in terminating wars abroad to secure oil.

November 12, 2007

Douglas R. Page

ZNet Commentary
Veterans' Voices November 11, 2007
By Cynthia Peters

Written testimony "means that we no longer allow ourselves to be silenced or allow others to speak for our experience. Writing to heal, then, and making our writing public, as I see it, is the most important emotional, psychological, artistic, and political project of our time."

-- Louise De Salvo, PhD author, Writing as a Way of Healing

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