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« The banshees begin | Main | Obama's greatest legacy (TBA) »

January 08, 2013


Robert Lipscomb

That is a fascinating proposition.

I have been toying another concept - fascinating or not.

What happens to a society whose young male population is immersed in total war for 2-3 years; followed 5 years later by another war enlisting all able bodied men; and followed 15 years later by another war enlisting all able bodied men? Given what we now know about PTSD and its impact on families, what it have done to the national psyche?

How does that relate to PM's proposition - or does it all?

Peter G

Your "ization" is forgiven. Mainly because I will need a dispensation momentarily for mangling Browning. To wit: Ah but a movement's reach should exceed it's grasp or what's a nirvana for? Some thirty year's ago a professor of mine held forth on the subject labor unions, labor law and the law of diminishing returns. He felt that the victories of the labor unions in establishing working conditions, vacations, workman's compensation that were enshrined in law provided less and less reason for the existence of those unions or more importantly, the organization of new locals in unionized businesses. What struck me at the time and still does is how general this argument becomes when one applies it to any goal oriented organization. It is not every organization that can find a new goal like, for example, the March of Dimes, which switched from focusing on polio (a battle largely won) to birth defects (which never will be). So what is a progressive movement to do once the civil rights battles are won, when gay marriage is the law of the land, when what is left to fight over are no more than skirmishes in a war largely won? My point, of course, is that the political organizations that achieved the social programs, Democrats and progressives are reduced to doing exactly what you have observed, acting to conserve them. Becoming the conservatives and conservators of those very necessary institutions. You are now on a road that leads inescapably to universal health care and there aren't very many new offensives to undertake when it comes to human rights or civil rights. What will progressives do with their time besides fighting against an erosive right leaning tide that seeks to undo what has been done?


It seems that every culture/society requires either an enemy or a scapegoat to maintain its cohesion.

My takeaway from Cultural Anthropology 101

Robert Lipscomb

@Peter G: I hope the Democratic Party becomes the Labor Party. While I am long way from giving up on unions (it's in my DNA), labor parties from individual countries could band together for common causes. They could work through governmental and non-governmental venues to achieve their objectives.

That would also have a distinct impact on foreign relations. For instance, if labor parties in the US and China had a common cause, it might be more difficult for the ruling class to stir up military action between the countries.

I said, "might". :-)

Peter G

Careful there Robert! You might give away the dream and thus arm the nutty buddies who speak of UN cabals and world government. Best to let that sneak up on them.

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