January 25, 2011

"[T]he conservative nightmare of radicals taking over the university has in part come to pass."

"But if this book exemplifies academic Marxism, conservatives can rest easy. We should all fear, however, what it suggests about the contemporary university and its scholarship."

98 comments:

Methadras said...

Marxists in academia is no longer a shocker. Marxists seeking 'new' utopias in a modern post-marxist age isn't even radical unto itself. What I wonder is why these people, in the face of reality, still bitterly cling to their ideas and notions that this ideology is even worth a damn outside of getting the effete, blue bloods to all nod their heads at the measure of the academe whenever they create content like this.

MikeR said...

"Erik Wright’s favorite source is Erik Wright. He has read all of his works and finds them remarkable."
"To call this book dull as dish water maligns dish water."
Great review. I think I'll skip the book.

Is there any way to prevent my tax dollars from being used to pay this clown's salary? I'm willing to consider secession.

mesquito said...

If it don't have Johnny Horton and Cheetos it ain't Utopia.

Lincolntf said...

A terrible book by a terrible thinker clinging to a terrible philosophy. This could be a candidate for my "Library of the Worst Books Ever".
I'm not gonna buy it, but I just sent a quick note to people with Univ. Library privileges. If I can't get a Library copy of my own, then one of them will have it for me shortly.

traditionalguy said...

The grades given by professors is the weapon used by them to control thoughts of graduates. Thats OK,the Idea of a University has always been to turn young disciples over to the Professors for an indoctrination into its doctrines. The crisis now is that the Christian basis of Western Civilization has been systematically rooted out leaving the professors and the disciples with no perspective on values short of an imperious Nazi like death cult.

shoutingthomas said...

Blame the racial and sexual quota system.

For the details see KC Johnson's Durham in Wonderland.

The racial and sexual quota system has created a nightmare of incompetence, kickbacks and corruption.

MikeR said...

By the way, did the author of the review not realize that whole departments of major universities, and whole fields of study, have been taken over by humbugs? He sounds surprised.

Hagar said...

One of the silliest books I have read was by a pair of marxist anthropologists about the Inca empires. The archeology had its points, but pre-Columbian Inca Marxists?

Coketown said...

+10 LOLZ for Wright using Wikipedia as an example of "the anti-capitalist potential of information technology." I'm sure he knows its founder, Jimmy Wales, is an Objectivist and calls Rand one of his biggest intellectual influences. And surely he knows Wikipedia doesn't function as some egalitarian exercise in collective participation, but instead as a two-tier scheme of workers (contributors) and managers (editors), without which the system would collapse. Try as the Marxists might, they simply cannot escape from dominating power structures. Trying to reinvent socialist utopias is a vacuous and trite exercise. It's been tried in numberless combinations and failed each time. I'll bet cash money--or coupons, if you prefer--that this time won't be any different.

Florida said...

Erik Olin Wright is a chaired professor who has just been elected president of the American Sociological Association.

Which just a few short posts ago we saw defending one of their fellow terrorist associates - Francis Fox Piven - of incitement to rioting on American streets as a way of locating that Real Utopia™ he's been searchng for.

Man is a terrorist apologist who should be being held in the Real Utopia™ at Guantanmo Bay until the war is over.

Tibore said...

""[T]he conservative nightmare of radicals taking over the university has in part come to pass.""

In part???

Well, sure... 70 to 80% < 100%, that's true...

Fidelius said...

Proud to be a red diaper baby.

Larry J said...

As the InstaPundit so aptly put it, "Marxism is intellectualism for stupid people. Or evil."

Or both stupid and evil.

Beth said...

Clearly, mass bloodshed and Second Amendment remedies may be necessary.

ricpic said...

The extent of the Left's victory is made glaringly apparent when a respectable person dares to say that he/she has listened to Beck or Limbaugh or Levin and found something of worth in what they say. That can only be done either before or after a kabuki dance of "Of course he throws red meat to his audience, really gross stuff, but every now and then blah blah blah..."

The Crack Emcee said...

They don't call 'em marx for nothin'.

Kirby Olson said...

Academic Marxists are vampyres who don't know they're dead. They live off the blood of the millions who went through the Gulags.

shoutingthomas said...

Not unrelated, Steve Sailer's suggestion for what Obama could do to stimulate job creation (and, of course, I'll include the caveat that Morris Dee of the Southern Poverty Law Center has officially labeled Sailer a "racist," thus causing Sailer's site to be banned in many locations):

Obama should declare victory in the half-century old War on Discrimination—which Ed Rubenstein of VDARE.COM recently estimated costs 8 percent of a year’s GDP, or over a trillion dollars. ... Hiring legally unprotected whites is dangerous because that accumulates statistical evidence of disparate impact discrimination. But hiring legally protected minorities is a legal minefield because of the potential costs of discrimination lawsuits if they don’t work out and have to be let go. (A friend who owns a small business explains: “If I can’t afford to fire them, I can’t afford to hire them.”

Not surprisingly, firms have been slow to hire American citizens, who can get them in trouble with the Feds. Employers have been using the recession to outsource work to Asia or to hire illegal immigrants off the books. It makes more sense to work a few official employees long and hard than to hire many.

To rectify this, Obama could announce that his election as President shows that the civil rights war is over and it’s time to reap the peace dividend: the federal government can dramatically cut back its persecutions of employers for hiring the wrong people.

Let the "racism" accusations begin! The racism/sexim industry is a goldmine of kickbacks, set-asides and patronage. And the real stronghold of the racism/sexism industry is the university.

And, the racism/sexism industry guarantees that the incompetent and corrupt rise to the top, particularly in the liberal arts.

Revenant said...

The grades given by professors is the weapon used by them to control thoughts of graduates.

Er, no.

There are roughly three types of students:

(1): Students who are dumb enough to be taken in by the indoctrination,

(2): Students who are smart enough to avoid indoctrination, but not quite smart enough to figure out how to tell the professor what he wants to hear, and

(3): Students bright enough to hand in a paper filled with all the right words and phrases, collect their passing grade, and move on with their lives.

I was in group 3. So were most of the people I knew. I knew a couple of 2s, but they wised up after it was patiently explained to them that, no, in fact, the professor does NOT want to hear your brilliant argument about why Noam Chomsky is a douchebag. I didn't personally know anyone in group 1, although there were a few of them around campus. They're probably STILL on campus, come to think of it -- the TAs have to come from somewhere.

College is a hoop you have to jump through to get a diploma. Get through it and get out, so you can join the workforce and actually learn things.

Scott M said...

College is a hoop you have to jump through to get a diploma. Get through it and get out, so you can join the workforce and actually learn things.

If that's true, and I'm not saying it isn't, than it's basically overpriced daycare. I would admit that completing a degree doesn't mean you've necessarily learned anything useful other than the ability and discipline to complete a long, complex task. But that's a very sad, sad conclusion given the cost.

Isn't the relative worth of a BS dropping these days? Is the percentage difference between a college degree and vocational training still as wide as it once was?

Richard Dolan said...

Hilarious review, which could only have been (and was) written by another academic. The review notes that graduate students are force-fed this stuff. Alas, if it were only the grad students -- after all, anyone in a graduate program in sociology knows what they've signed up for.

So how many copies of Wright's tome will be sold? Excluding the grad students in his own classes who have no choice, and university libraries where other sociologists get to spend your tax dollars, probably three.

That's a form of transformative empowerment that Wright is not likely to find attractive.

Revenant said...

If that's true, and I'm not saying it isn't, than it's basically overpriced daycare.

Actually, I view college as a means of proving that you can put up with boredom and bullshit in pursuit of a valuable long-term goal. That's probably the most important job skill there is.

If you major in one of the hard sciences or engineering, you'll also acquire some actually useful knowledge -- but that's just a bonus. :)

Maguro said...

Hopefully Erik Olin Wright will get to write Dissent magazine's review of Russell Jacoby's upcoming book, Bloodlust: The Roots of Violence from Cain and Abel to the Present.

Seems only fair.

nobody said...

They're probably STILL on campus, come to think of it -- the TAs have to come from somewhere.

Or, the TAs might know they're teaching claptrap, but feel they have no choice.

Comrade X said...

Trooper is of course right:

Thats why teachers should be replaced by robots.

iTeacher

Pogo said...

Im in ur college, marxing ur kidZ.
The college radicals, speaking douche to power.

Can we start playing Six degrees of separation of William Ayers?

Start here: Obama.

Geoff Matthews said...

So Wright uses Quebec as an example of a modern utopia?
Quebec, which receives transfer payments from the rest of Canada? Quebec, which is openly hostile to non-francophones (including the brown ones)? Quebec, which continues to cheat Newfoundland on parasitical contract for hydro-electricity? Quebec, which has run the least competent succession movement in the northern hemisphere?

Wright chose a government that can't pay its own bills, marginalizes minorities, takes advantage of a poorer neighbor, and can't even bring itself to complete a popular goal, as an example of a real life utopia?

Selective evidence is the only thing that comes to mind.

Simon Kenton said...

A policeman in one of Joseph Wambaugh's books gets in a gunfight and, at very close range, fires a blast from a shotgun into his assailant. Total penetration: he is able to see stars through the body of the miscreant towering above him. It goes yet more nightmarish; the miscreant does not fall. And for long moments keeps not falling.

So, the review, and the reviewed.

mariner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julius said...

Conservative nightmare of radicals taking over the university?

That's nonsense on its face! What the fuck is "the university"? Which university?! We have thousands in America. Surely they are not all being taken over by radicals.

Has Liberty University succumb to the conservative nightmare? How about BYU? London School of Economics? Or how about any medical school or business school or engineering-focused college?

So send your kids to the schools that you like; don't send them to the schools that are "radical" havens. Simple as that. Then shut up with your incessant complaints about the sorry state of the university because it is just hyperbole, and what's going on at the school your child is not going to attend is really none of your fucking business.

Or should we juice up the hyperbole a little?

We can talk about the populist nightmare of authoritarian, manipulative, and generally-dishonest technocrats taking over the government. We can talk about a whole culture of pedophilia taking over the Church. We can talk about the money-hungry contractor mercenaries who have taken over the Military-Industrial complex.

Hey! It's MadLibs:

The ________ nightmare of _______ taking over the _______ has in part come to pass.

mariner said...

[T]he conservative nightmare of radicals taking over the university has in part come to pass.

In other news, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still in part dead.

Pogo said...

"...don't send them to the schools that are "radical" havens. Simple as that."

After the long march through the institutions, deleting the marxist colleges leaves, what, 3, 4 altogether?

Julius, did you actually go to school? Avoiding university radical professors is like avoiding air. Hell, the socialists teach in most high schools, too.

rocketeer67 said...

what's going on at the school your child is not going to attend is really none of your fucking business.

What's going on at the school my child is not going to attend is ABSOLUTELY my fucking business if it's a public university like UW-Madison.

Sorry, you're not going to shut us up. Go screw.

rocketeer67 said...

Actually, I'll amend that. It's my business whether it's public OR private if they receive one one-billionth of one red cent (pun intended) of my tax dollars, however removed.

Maguro said...

Completely privatize higher education and I won't begrudge the Marxists their tenured professorships. Until then, they're proselytizing on my dime and I don't care for it.

Julius said...

Julius, did you actually go to school? Avoiding university radical professors is like avoiding air. Hell, the socialists teach in most high schools, too.

I went to Cornell as an undergrad. Physics & Applied Math. I was never exposed to the dirty black magic of the Sociologists and others in the Humanities. It was easy to avoid any radical professor and their shit.

But if your parents encourage you to seek out the radical professors and dwell in their shit, then you will end up with a shitty education even if it is a name-brand school.

Sociologists in high school? Dude, high schoolers might not have much life experience, but they have pretty well-refined B.S. detectors. They know the Sociology stuff is all bullshit...

q12345q6789 said...

"Sociologists in high school? Dude, high schoolers might not have much life experience, but they have pretty well-refined B.S. detectors. They know the Sociology stuff is all bullshit..."

I gotta call B.S. on that.
Only to the extent that High School-ers think just about everything is bullshit is your statement true. I was a defacto liberal in High School not because of my well-reasoned, prescient brilliance (although I'm sure I thought it was) but because *every* input (school, media, arts, etc.) was geared to project that sensibility onto me. You'd be flying in the face of centuries of common-sense and psychology to purport that children are not more susceptible to psychological and philosophical indoctrination.

I dunno how many "radical" teachers there are but to suggest zero influence is ridiculous.

Julius said...

Look, these monstrous subhuman Sociologists are in universities, and that's the place where they'll do the least damage to society.

What if they spent their waking lives trying to garner actual political support for their agenda? What if they sought followers, obtained arms, and then led their followers in carrying out, say, Greek-style riots? That might be dangerous.

I think most people understand that much of the university deals with a fantasy world. Because it's a fantasy world, most people ignore it.

Academic sociologists are probably more ignored by the public than anyone else. They are armchair participants in society. Their efforts mean practically nothing.

And yes, they can be ignored: It is easy-- just ignore them, and tell your college-aged son or daughter to ignore them.

Paddy O said...

So my exposure to Marxist thinking comes more from the theological side of things. Liberation theology has been quite Marxist to a varying degree, yet at the same time I think that because of the push back from the Vatican a lot of the thinking over the last 30 years has advanced and pushed some very interesting directions.

The justification from these theologians is they needed language and frameworks for discussing what should be absolutely key topics in theology. Marxism had it. Theology didn't.

The trouble comes for so many departments in that while Marxism did, I think, explore some directions helpfully, history pretty much has shown it to be insufficient.

Which means, for me, that the trouble with so much academic marxism these days is that it's not particularly academic. It's rehashing the same old comments, not pushing the understanding in new directions as needed.

In essence they refuse to acknowledge the great disasters of Marxist practice, and in doing this reject real academic study which should be open to both the positives and negatives of a given theory. Only by advancing in light of marxist failings can there be something that takes the positives of Marxism and help contribute better ways about thinking about poverty and such.

In keeping with the old, they show they're not particularly academic, creative, or thoughtful. Nor do they have, in fact, any genuine interest in helping the poor.

roesch-voltaire said...

From my memory, C. Wright Mills and Hans Gerth often has students lined up to hear their lectures, not because of indoctrination but because of the challenging insights they offered. Erik Wright is a big boy and can stand up to this shredding review, but is sad to read that Mill's wonderful chapter in The Sociological Imagination,(highly recommended)on how to write inspired and clear academic papers has been lost, according to the reviewer.

q12345q6789 said...

Although, I will admit, that I am generally skeptical of any person or group that purports to have figured out the recipe for "Utopia".

Previous attempts on nation-state size populations have not been encouraging. Mass murder is not an acceptable egg to break for my Utopian omelet.

To wit, I don't think any of the founders of the USA really thought they were creating a "Utopia" when they used the language a "more perfect union." It was/is never going to be perfect.

Until the robots or singularity-species kills us all, that is. The last great purge.

Revenant said...

Which university?! We have thousands in America. Surely they are not all being taken over by radicals. Has Liberty University succumb to the conservative nightmare? How about BYU? London School of Economics?

Well, yes, Julius... I suppose it is fair to say that the London School of Economics is, in fact, not an American university taken over by radicals. Mostly because it's in England.

I do see your larger point, though. We shouldn't be hasty to say that radicals have partly taken over the university -- not when it is a plain fact that at least a tenth of a percent of universities are conservative.

Pogo said...

"high schoolers might not have much life experience, but they have pretty well-refined B.S. detectors. "

High school kids are often quite gullible. They believe some of the stupidest shit imaginable.

That is because they no longer learn logic. The 'BS detector' you cite is mere cynicism, a fairly blunt tool that is unable to sift wheat from chaff.

Beth said...

Paddy O's comment holds up pretty well in describing the dilemmas of the right intentions overshadowed by the clear failings of Marxist theory and practice across the Academy, at least in my opinion.

Pogo said...

Beth, I agree. My own church still adheres to Liberation Theology Lite.

I guess it results in only half the genocide as regular LT, but retains that full-bodied social justice flavor.

garage mahal said...

Great, now we're back to words mattering. All last week we were making front of that concept, even having a little contest who could make the funniest flag. Or is it that just supposed liberal words matter, and conservative words do not?

mesquito said...

Poor sociology. Economics comes along and claims Economic Man. Political Science is here to take Political Man. Psycholgy lays a claim to Interior Man. History swoops in and seizes Actual Man.

Poor, poor Sociology.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

You paranoids have been nattering on about this sort of thing since Nixon. Yawn.

Methadras said...

Pogo said...

Beth, I agree. My own church still adheres to Liberation Theology Lite.

I guess it results in only half the genocide as regular LT, but retains that full-bodied social justice flavor.


Methodist or Unitarian?

Pogo said...

Actually, since before Wilson.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Pogo's dismissal of social justice makes a good point. It's much better to take a stand in favor of social injustice. That's the kind of theology that he and his ilk can get into!

Pogo said...

Hell no, Methadras!

We's catlikkers.

Jesus as Karl Marx, social worker extraordinaire, , where the Sermon on the Mount sez 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of earth, taken by progressive taxation, national healthcare, and immigration amnesty'.

garage mahal said...

Jesus would be a Minuteman.

Pogo said...

"Pogo's dismissal of social justice"

Ritmo is king of all bullshit arguments, truly the master of tiny non-discussions and invective, the superman of evasive obfuscatory nonsense.

All hail.

Pogo said...

Call him Mister Threadkill.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Clearly you are uncomfortable clarifying your views on social justice, Pogo - despite your willingness to criticize its apparent "influence" on the pulpit.

Didn't know that comment was an example of "invective". Lol.

Religion has been infected by a sense of conscience and social purpose! Oh Lordy Lordy!!! What will those evil Marxist liberals gits their hands on next!!!

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Just pointing out your glaring inconsistencies and incoherence. If doing so brings your thought process and conversations to a crashing halt, oh well. Sue me.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Thou shalt not draw attention to inconsistencies in right-wing advocacy and ideology. Thou must pay no attention to them.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

I'm curious. If we are supposed to oppose the interest in improving our social surroundings that most religions ask of us, what else is left? I mean, other than the mind control, ritual and conformity aspects?

Quayle said...

"We have thousands in America. Surely they are not all being taken over by radicals.

Has Liberty University succumb to the conservative nightmare? How about BYU?"

Well, little known, but clearly true, is that BYU has its defined place in the Mormon Utopian project, which project starts with individual virtue as a first and essential means to consistent and lasting care of, and responsibility for, others.

The most forceful work on Mormon's view of Utopia by is BYU's preeminent past scholar, Hugh Nibley, titled Approaching Zion.

Of which Nibley said, "All my life I have shied away from these disturbing and highly unpopular—even offensive—themes [the uses of money]. But I cannot do so any longer, because in my old age I have taken to reading the scriptures and there have had it forced upon my reluctant attention, that from the time of Adam to the present day, [Utopia] has been pitted against Babylon, and the name of the game has always been money—"power and gain."

As the forward says, "Nibley addresses 'the great question with which all utopians deal . . . : Can the mere convenience that makes money such a useful device continue to outweigh the horrendous and growing burden of evil that it imposes on the human race and that ultimately brings its dependents to ruin?'"

But different than Marxist radicals in the academies, to Mormons Utopia is not a political struggle, but a spiritual struggle with one's self.

Jay said...

and what's going on at the school your child is not going to attend is really none of your fucking business.

Translation:
Shut up and pay your taxes so incompetent leftists can "teach" at your state's university.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

"Call him Mister Threadkill."

There was a thought in Pogo's head.
He's not quite sure but thinks it's red.
The communists is on his tail,
And gave us Jesus, with cross and nails.

The prophets, too, were quite malign,
The libruls tried to heed their signs.
But Pogo knows, he's far ahead,
The Bible's just a code for "Red".

More bad but accurate poetry to follow...

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Psssst...!

Cross and nails is just code for hammer and sickle. Pass it on.

mesquito said...

Yup. Ritmo killed the thread.

Pogo said...

Serial threadkillers.

Next on CSI.

mesquito said...

Oh well. There's sure to be another tonight when President Shortpants stick his chin up and read his teleprompter.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Serial bad thread ideas.

Paddy O said...

"My own church still adheres to Liberation Theology Lite."

And that's the trouble. There's some really good stuff in contemporary Liberation theologians like Gustavo Gutierrez. He has a tremendous awareness. But, so often the themes of liberation theology get passed down and all the balance is lost, leaving a reductionistic and simplistic Marxism. But that's not at the core of it, and probably not at the core of sociology. Lazy thinking begets field collapse.

I liked this quote from the Medellin Conference of 1968, a really key gathering of bishops and liberation minded priests/theologians:

"The system of liberal capitalism and the temptation of the Marxist system would appear to exhaust the possibilities of transforming the economic structures of our continent. Both systems militate against the dignity of the human person.

"One takes for granted the primacy of capital, its power and its discriminatory utilization in the function of profit-making. The other, although it ideologically supports a kind of humanism, is more concerned with collective humanity and in practice becomes a totalitarian concentration of state power."

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Serial bad commenters.

Paddy O said...

And here's one really good, constructive article on Marxism in theology, with the focus on a key theologian's rejection of it, and some helpful critiques at the end.

Yes, I'm pulling out the links as an attempt to save the thread.

Paddy O said...

Thanks, Beth

Michael K said...

That's nonsense on its face! What the fuck is "the university"? Which university?! We have thousands in America. Surely they are not all being taken over by radicals.

You seem very sure of yourself. Most parents send their kids to a state school and hope for the best. I sent my daughter to U of Arizona because I knew people who had gone there and were pretty upright. I found out that it was run by radicals. She got a crappy education there for three semesters and came back to California. Now she is junior college where the kids are mostly intent on a career or getting into university and the crap level is down quite a bit. She will try again, now knowing her major.

The crap that she was taught was not even true. For example, the history professor used his own handouts to the class to teach them the "Silent Majority" of Nixon was made up of white people who rejected the Civil Rights law of 1964. Wikipedia will tell you that's a lie.

Their final exam in English Comp was an essay on a white man raping or abusing a woman or minority. That was 60% of the grade. The last day of class, ostensibly a review, consisted of the instructor spending the hour in a rant about Ronald Reagan. He was an actor speaking lines that were written for him.

I suggested she write the paper on William Kennedy Smith and, the instructor having no sense of irony, she got a 90 on the essay.

I would actually wish her to get a job and wait until the system collapses. Then try to find a sensible choice. It can't last much longer. Trees don't grow to the sky.

edutcher said...

What the reviewer says about the book can also be applied to the review.

What overblown twaddle.

PS Note that when Ritmo has nothing to say, he says it. Again and again and again.

TML said...

Please define "social justice" in one sentence that isn't complete douchebaggedy sore loser weepy bullshit. Anyone?

Here's my answer: The US Constitution.

All I need to know is that every time--EVERY TIME--I hear or see "social justice", it's attached to some asshole who hates America and has a huge gripe about something most normal people shrug off on their way back to work or life.

Revenant said...

The system of liberal capitalism [...] militate[s] against the dignity of the human person.

The moral of this story is that Catholic priests exhibit the same understanding of liberal capitalism that a stockbrokers do of Vatican doctrinal debates.

Liberal capitalism protects human dignity by giving the maximum possible freedom to the individual and his or her conscience. To paraphrase the line about democracy: capitalism is the worst system for protecting human dignity, except for all the other ones that have been tried.

Pogo said...

@PaddyO "I liked this quote from the Medellin Conference of 1968"

That does contain the core problem, especially " Both systems militate against the dignity of the human person."

Dignity is the thing lost, and neither rapacious individualism nor rapacious statism meets that singular need.

How to provide for that without crushing you is the task, and I have yet to find a better answer than a small government and local charity.

sonicfrog said...

It's much better to take a stand in favor of social injustice.

I prefer antisocial injustice myself...

And this goes to show that every once in a while, a really snarky book review CAN be as good... No, better than a devastating review of a really bad movie!

Paddy O said...

Revenant, I mostly agree with you, especially as capitalism has been practiced in the US, and lately.

However, this conference was in Latin America, where corporations really did some nasty stuff. And we have our own history, especially in the late 1800 and early 1900s where some real injustices took place. For Latin America, this is much more recent. And, as the priests also note, the Church is also very much to blame.

So, there are dangers in unrestrained directions from both sides, though as the link I posted notes, most advanced countries now have a mix of the two systems to some degree or another. Even China, which starts from the communist side but is really only moving forward as they've mixed in capitalism.

virgil xenophon said...

TML/

How does that song go? "Ain't no social breakdown--just another tricky day for you.." LOL

Paddy O said...

"I have yet to find a better answer than a small government and local charity."

I agree. That's why I have such a love for the goals of liberation theology even as I find the key answers in decidedly conservative, non-paternalistic directions.

edutcher said...

Social justice is really what happens when people have to live with the consequences of their own stupidity and not off people who had better sense.

What the Lefties call social justice is the real social - and economic - injustice.

Marshal said...

"[Capitalism] takes for granted the primacy of capital, its power and its discriminatory utilization in the function of profit-making."

This is wrong. Capitalism is based on the primacy of free exchange. In it you have the same right to trade labor and capital. Neither takes primacy over the other.

Revenant said...

Paddy, liberal capitalism requires free markets. Just because a corporation is involved doesn't mean that free markets are involved. Big businesses and governments often form mutually beneficial arrangements that screw the public on behalf of those who are already rich and powerful.

But that's not capitalism. That's what capitalism is the cure for.

Revenant said...

That's why I have such a love for the goals of liberation theology even as I find the key answers in decidedly conservative, non-paternalistic directions.

I could admire the goals of liberation theology if it wasn't for the fact that we've had a century of experience underscoring exactly why its social policy approaches do not work.

Honestly, now. The Church has spent two thousand years teaching us that humans are inherently flawed and sinful. One would expect a priest to be bright enough not to endorse political systems that only work if every single human involved in it them good, noble, selfless, and perceptive.

Capitalism is a system that thrives when used by good people but keeps working even when everyone involved is a scumbag. That's the genius of it.

kcom said...

"The book is startling and depressing evidence of what has happened to American academic Marxism"

What's startling and depressing is that there is such a thing as American academic Marxism. It should have all the honor and dignity of American academic Nazism. Which is to say, none whatsoever. The fact that a man like that could be elected president of anything is an indictment of academia itself. I guess some piles of corpses are less equal (i.e. less important) than others.

Eric said...

If that's true, and I'm not saying it isn't, than it's basically overpriced daycare. I would admit that completing a degree doesn't mean you've necessarily learned anything useful other than the ability and discipline to complete a long, complex task. But that's a very sad, sad conclusion given the cost.

Quite a few people in companies I've worked for have been fired over the years for missing or mail-order degrees. In every case that I'm aware the background check was the only reason it came to light.

You'd think if a person spent four years studying something you'd be able to tell.

Eric said...

Capitalism is a system that thrives when used by good people but keeps working even when everyone involved is a scumbag. That's the genius of it.

Ima write that down. That's it in a nutshell.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Seriously, inequality is a great thing. Inequality when it comes to access to the justice system - that's wonderful. Inequality with regard to access to health care - stupendous. Every country should aspire to that. Inequality when it comes to the tools of wealth creation? Where would we be without the poor to look down upon and thumb our noses at? Where would we be without having to prostrate ourselves to the wealthy? Hierarchy is a really awesome thing!!!!1!!1!!!1

Kirby Olson said...

The worst thing about Marxism is the one-party totalitarianism of it, and how that's been reproduced throughout academia (with the exception of Liberty University which isn't exactly pluralist either).

We need diversity of opinion in our universities.

Soon, there will be more of that in South Sudan than in our state colleges and universities. It's a disgrace.

pst314 said...

"[Capitalism] takes for granted the primacy of capital, its power and its discriminatory utilization in the function of profit-making."

Which reminds us that you can be a bishop and a horse's ass. Or rather asshole, because there is no excuse today for not understanding that socialism is utter shit.

If Bishop Asshat is concerned about "the dignity of the human person" then he should abandon his totalitarian fantasies.

pst314 said...

Further comment on followeers of "liberation theology":

Prove you care by leaving me the fuck alone.

(And that's far more politeness than you deserve.)

Revenant said...

Inequality when it comes to the tools of wealth creation?

"Tools of wealth creation" = the human brain and body. There are no tools of wealth creation other than that.

Perhaps you meant "tools of wealth acquisition". Lefties often mistake wealth redistribution with wealth creation.

Methadras said...

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Pogo's dismissal of social justice makes a good point. It's much better to take a stand in favor of social injustice. That's the kind of theology that he and his ilk can get into!


Social justice is a bullshit agitprop for their own benefit while not benefiting anyone but themselves and to use as a sledgehammer against conservatives and conservativism. So when will you be done shitting your diarrhea on the unwashed masses seagull boy?

Paddy O said...

But that's not capitalism. That's what capitalism is the cure for.

Revenant, but this is the other side to oft mentioned problems with communism. Capitalism in its pure form works, but we never see its pure form. So, there's always a battle to make sure that free markets aren't tipped towards oligarchies and monopolies. But, when those latter aspects are the forms of capitalism that people experience, then capitalism is seen as a dangerous force.

Just like with communism. It's not, one might say, inherently authoritarian. That's not communism, because it's really all about the people sharing.

People in the world experience deformed and deficient forms of capitalism, especially where the safeguards aren't strong. Latin America seems to be a place where the worst expressions of every form of government are experienced. So, they revolt every so often.

Russia is kind of the same way, but they're much more willing to stew in their worst expressions for a whole lot longer.

Paddy O said...

Capitalism is a system that thrives when used by good people but keeps working even when everyone involved is a scumbag. That's the genius of it.

I totally agree. It assumes people are sinful.

Interestingly, there's a different approach based on different theologies of church. In the Northeast US, for instance, the Puritans formed one type of government, and one may suggest that it was Roger Williams' Rhode Island which pushed that to the edge. Everyone is deeply sinful in Puritan theology, and in need of grace. The Congregationalist approach means there's also equality in contribution, all who are sinners are checks against each other. They left England because they did not trust or respect the leaders there.

In Latin America, a Spanish derived hierarchy meant that the more power or authority one had, the seemingly less that person could be sinful. So, the poor were seen as sinful and in need of constant diatribes, while the rich and powerful could get away with almost anything.

Liberation theology basically, at its core, is saying that the poor are as valuable as contributing members as the rich, and sometimes the rich have been immensely sinful in the use of power and money. Which is basically just what the Puritans said 300+ years ago. Liberation theology is not communism, it's seeking societal freedom in what so often is essentially a caste system in many societies. It's calling for space for people to find and use opportunities.

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