Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 ... 10
1
Richard Mellor / Marx 200: Carney, Bowles and Varoufakis
« Last post by Richard Mellor on Today at 06:00:17 AM »
Marx 200: Carney, Bowles and Varoufakis

by Michael Roberts

As the 200th anniversary of Marx?s birth gets closer, a  host of conferences, articles and books on the legacy of Marx and his  relevance today are emerging ? including my own contribution.  The most interesting was a speech last week by the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney in his homeland of Canada.

In his speech at a ?Growth Summit? to the Public Policy Forum in  Toronto, Carney set out to be provocative and headline catching with a  statement that Marxism could once again become a prominent political  force in the West.  ?The benefits, from a worker?s perspective, from  the first industrial revolution, which began in the latter half of the  18th century, were not felt fully in productivity and wages until the  latter half of the 19th century. If you substitute platforms for textile  mills, machine learning for steam engines, Twitter for the telegraph,  you have exactly the same dynamics as existed 150 years ago (actually 170 years ago ?MR )? when Karl Marx was scribbling the Communist Manifesto.?

Just as the first industrial revolution in early 19th century Britain  led to the collapse of traditional jobs and held down real wages for a  generation in the first two decades of the 19th century, so in this  current Long Depression globally, with the advent of robots and AI, a  new industrial revolution threatens to destroy human labour and  livelihoods.

In 1845, Engels wrote, The condition of the working class in England,  which exposed the misery and poverty engendered by the replacement of  manual skills with machines and kept real incomes stagnant.  Now, says  Carney, Marxism might again be relevant with a new burst of ?capital  bias? (ie a rise in machines relative to human labour power).

Automation may not just destroy millions of jobs.  For all except a  privileged minority of high tech workers, the collapse in the demand for  labour could hold down living standards for decades.

In such a climate, ?Marx and Engels may again become relevant?, said Carney.
Without realising it, Carney was reiterating Marx?s general law of  capitalist accumulation outlined in Volume One of Capital (Chapter 25),  written some 160 years ago, that capitalist accumulation will expand and  promote machines to replace human labour but this will not lead  automatically to higher living standards, less toil and more freedom for  the individual, but mostly to downward pressure on real incomes, not  only of those losing their jobs to machines, but in general.  It would  also lead to more not less toil for those with jobs, while leaving  millions in a state of ?precarious labour? ? a reserve army for capital  to exploit or dispense with as the cycle of accumulation demands. (see  Capital Volume One p782-3 and my new book, pp32-37).

Carney?s view of the robot revolution leading to massive job losses has much empirical backing.  However, as Marx pointed out in Capital, it is not a one-sided collapse  in jobs.  Technology also creates new jobs and raises the productivity  of labour and, depending on the balance of forces in the class struggle  between capital and labour over the value created, real incomes can also  rise.  This happens in periods when profitability is improving and more labour comes into the market.

Of course, this ?happy? side of capitalist accumulation is the one  that mainstream economics likes to promote, contrary to Carney?s  worries.  For example, Paul Ormerod, commented on Carney?s view of the relevance of Marx. You see, Marx ?was  completely wrong on a fundamental issue.  Marx thought, correctly, that  the build up of capital and the advance of technology would create long  term growth in the economy.  However, he believed that the capitalist  class would expropriate all the gains.  Wages would remain close to  subsistence levels ? the ?immiseration of the working class? as he  called it.?

In fact, says Ormerod, ?living standards have boomed for everyone  in the West since the middle of the 19th century.  Leisure hours have  increased dramatically and, far from being sent up chimneys at the age  of three, young people today do not enter the labour force until at  least 18.?  Apparently prosperity is the order of the day:  ?every single instance of an economy which enters into the sustained  economic growth of the market-oriented capitalist economies, from early  19th century England to late 20th century China.  Once this is over, the  fruits of growth become widely shared.?

There are several points here that I have taken up in many previous posts.  First, Marx did not hold to a theory of ?subsistence wage levels?.  As  for the argument that capitalism has taken everybody out of poverty and  reduced toil and misery, it is full of holes.  Note that Ormerod talks  of ?everyone in the West?, thus giving the lie to billions outside ?the West? that remain in poverty by any definitions.  See my detailed posts on the level of poverty globally here.

And contrary to Ormerod?s view (as that of Keynes before him), the rise of technology under capitalism has not led to much reduction in toil.  I have shown that most people in ?the West? continue to have working lives (in hours per year) much as they did in  1880s or the 1930s; they may work less hours per day on average and get  Saturdays and Sundays off (for some), but they still put in over 1800  hours a year and work longer overall (50 years or so).

Ormerod also argues that inequality of incomes and wealth is not  getting worse and labour?s share in national income has stopped falling,  contrary to Carney.  Well, there  is a wealth of evidence that wealth and income inequality is not  improving, both globally between nations and within national economies.

Ormerod is right, however, to question Carney?s one-sided model of  capitalism.  Labour?s share of total value created can rise and fall in  different periods depending on the balance of class forces and impact of  accumulation; and Carney?s own graph shows that real wages did not just  stagnate in the first industrial revolution or now, but also in the  1850s and 1860s; and in the first quarter of the 20th  century.  So there is more to this issue than technology.  The current  stagnation in real wages in the UK and the US is more a product of the  Long Depression of the last ten years than robots or AI, which have  hardly started to have an impact yet (labour productivity growth is low or slowing in most economies).  The profitability of capital itself and the strength of labour in the battle over value created are more relevant.

Unfortunately it is not just mainstream economists who either distort or dismiss Marx?s economic theory.  In an article for Vox, eminent and longstanding Marxist economist Sam Bowles writes on the legacy of Marx?s economic ideas in order to dismiss them.  He agrees with Keynes? view that Capital is ?an  obsolete economic textbook [that is] not only scientifically erroneous  but without interest or application to the modern world? (Keynes 1925). And he agrees with 1960s mainstream economic guru, Paul Samuelson?s judgement that ?From  the viewpoint of pure economic theory, Karl Marx can be regarded as a  minor post-Ricardian?and who in turn was ?the most overrated of  economists? (Samuelson 1962).

Bowles considers that Marx?s labour theory of value was ?pioneering, but inconsistent and outdated?. According to Bowles, Marx?s labour theory of value as a representation  of a general system of exchange and his theory of the tendency of the  profit rate to fall ?did not resolve the outstanding theoretical  problems of his day, but rather anticipated problems that would later be  addressed mathematically.?  Bowles reckons that mainstream  economics, in particular neoclassical marginalism, went on to sort out  Marx?s failures by replacing his value theory.  And this has also led to  dropping the idea of social ownership of the means of production to  replace the capitalist mode. ?Modern public economics, mechanism  design and public choice theory has also challenged the notion ? common  among many latter-day Marxists, though not originating with Marx himself  ? that economic governance without private property and markets could  be a viable system of economic governance.?

Apparently, all that is left of Marx?s legacy is what Bowles calls ?despotism in the workplace?, the exploitive nature of capitalist production; which is not due to the  exploitation of labour power for surplus value; but the ?power  structure? where moguls and managers rule the roost over the worker  serfs.  Thus we are reduced to a political theory (and even that is not  much in common with Marx?s political theory for that matter) as Marx?s  economic ideas are ?outdated? or false.

Well, all Bowles arguments (and those of Keynes and Samuelson) have  been taken up by me in various posts in the past, and more thoroughly in  my new book, Marx 200.  In short, we can show that Marx?s value theory  is logical, consistent and backed empirically.  It even provides a compelling explanation of relative price movements in capitalism, though that is not its main aim.  Its main aim is to show the particular form that the capitalist mode of  production takes in exploiting human labour for profit;  and why that  system of exploitation has inherent contradictions that cannot be  resolved without its abolition.

Moreover, the Marxist critique of capitalism is based on economics  and leads to revolutionary political action; so it is not (just) a moral  critique of ?despotism? in the workplace or anywhere else.  The market  economy (capitalism) cannot deliver the full development of human  potential because despotism in the workplace is a product of the  exploitation of labour by capital.

Yanis Varoufakis recognises this in his long article on Marx and Engels? Manifesto of the Communist Party to promote his new introduction to that masterpiece.  Varoufakis writes a colourful, if over flowery,  article emphasising one great message of Marx and Engels? CM: that  capitalism is the first mode of production that has become global.   Varoufakis sees this process as only being completed with the fall of  the Soviet Union and other ?communist? states that blocked globalisation  until then. That is probably an exaggeration.  Capitalism from the  start aimed to expand globally (as Marx and Engels explain in the CM).   After the end of the depression of the 1870 and 1880s, there was startling expansion of capital worldwide, now named imperialism, based on flows of capital and trade.

While correctly recognising the powerful (happy?) effect of  capitalism globally, Varoufakis also emphasises the dark side: of  alienation, exploitation, imperialism and despotism: ?While  celebrating how globalisation has shifted billions from abject poverty  to relative poverty, venerable western newspapers, Hollywood  personalities, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, bishops and even  multibillionaire financiers all lament some of its less desirable  ramifications: unbearable inequality, brazen greed, climate change, and the hijacking of our parliamentary democracies by bankers and the ultra-rich.?

And, contrary to the conventional mainstream view, Varoufakis argues  that Marx and Engels were right that class struggle under capitalism can  be boiled down to a battle between capital and labour.   ?Society as a whole,? it argues, ?is more and more splitting up into  two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each  other.? As production is mechanised, and the profit margin of the  machine-owners becomes our civilisation?s driving motive, society splits  between non-working shareholders and non-owner wage-workers. As for the  middle class, it is the dinosaur in the room, set for extinction.?

And he sees that capitalism must be replaced, not modified or corrected for its faults.  ?It  is our duty to tear away at the old notion of privately owned means of  production and force a metamorphosis, which must involve the social  ownership of machinery, land and resources.   Only by abolishing private  ownership of the instruments of mass production and replacing it with a  new type of common ownership that works in sync with new technologies,  will we lessen inequality and find collective happiness.?

Varoufakis recognises the ?irrationality? of capitalism as a system for human progress and freedom, but this self-confessed ?erratic Marxist? does not present the material explanation for this irrationality, apart  from growing inequality and inability to use new technology to benefit  all.  Capitalism also suffers from regular and recurrent crises of  production that destroy and waste value created by human labour.  These  crises are of ?overproduction?, unique to capitalism and regularly throw  human development backwards.  This aspect of capitalism?s irrationality  is missing from Varoufakis? article, although it was expressed vividly  by Marx and Engels in the CM.  See the striking passage in CM where Marx and Engels start by explaining ?the need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe? and finishes with ?paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises and diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented?.

And a theory of crises is important.  People can live with rising  inequality, with relative poverty even, even wars etc, as long as, for  them, things improve gradually each year without break.  But gradual  improvement in living standards is not possible because capitalism has  regular and recurrent slumps in production, investment and employment  built into its system, which can last for a generation in depressions ?  as Carney?s graphs show.  That is a fundamental character of  capitalism?s irrationality.

Marx?s economic theories are often trashed or disputed ? fair enough  in a debate for truth.  But when each critical argument is analysed, it  can be found to be weak, in my view.  Marx?s laws of motion of  capitalism: the law of value; the law of accumulation and the law of  profitability still provide the best and most compelling explanation of  capitalism and its inherent contradictions.  And I am leaving out the  great contribution that Marx and Engels made to the understanding of  human historical development ? the materialist conception and the  history of class struggle ? that lie at the basis of human actions. ?Men  make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do  not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances  existing already, given and transmitted from the past.?

As the Manifesto says (and Varoufakis echoes in his article),  capitalism has taken the productive forces of human labour to  unprecedented heights, but dialectically it has also brought new depths  of depravity, exploitation and wars on a global scale.  Marx?s legacy is  to show why that is and why capitalism cannot last if human society is  to go forward to the ?free development of each? as the ?condition for the free development of all?.   Marx?s ideas remain even more relevant in the 21st century than the  19th.  But understanding is not enough.  As the epitaph on Marx?s tomb  in Highgate cemetery, London inscribes from Marx?s Theses on Feuerbach: ?The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it?.
Source: Marx 200: Carney, Bowles and Varoufakis
2
AlterNet / A Lot More of Us Are Committing Serious Crimes Than You Might Think
« Last post by AlterNet on Today at 06:00:13 AM »
A Lot More of Us Are Committing Serious Crimes Than You Might Think



 
 
 



It may not be ?American carnage," but Americans aren?t saints either according to a 2,000 person survey.


During Donald Trump?s inauguration speech, he spoke puzzlingly of "American carnage," a crime wave sweeping the United States that to listen to him, had Americans cowering in their homes, afraid to walk the streets. But the truth, as is usually the case with our 45th president, is somewhat different. The crime rate in the U.S., while slightly higher than past years, is still at a historically low point in modern history.

With this in mind, safehome.org, a home security review website, decided to produce a snapshot of everyday American criminal activities?a nationwide rap sheet if you will. They surveyed over 2,000 Americans to find out who among us has broken the law. The results, if not quite American carnage, are eye-opening.

Most Frequently Committed Crimes

When survey takers were offered a list of several crimes, both major and minor, and asked if they had committed any of them at least once, people answered yes to many of them. The most committed crime was a traffic violation, with 86% of survey participants admitting their guilt to anything from a parking ticket to running a red light to speeding.

Second on the list was downloading music, videos or software illegally, aka copyright infringement. Over three-fourths of the participants?76%?admitted to this crime, which if committed by a large corporation could result in billions of dollars in fines.

Further down the list, over half of the surveyed, 52%, admitted to possessing or using illegal drugs, and an equal number said they used prescription medicines that were not prescribed to them. While many of the crimes they admitted to were minor (urinating in a public place, throwing trash into someone else?s dumpster, littering), one major crime stands out at number 10. Forty percent of participants admitted to driving under the influence, a crime that kills 28 Americans a day and could land the driver in prison.

Top Major Crimes Committed

Most of the most commonly committed crimes are not in the ?carnage? category, but Americans do admit to some major criminal activity. DUI, as noted, is the most egregious crime that is commonly committed, at 40%, but it is not the only one. Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed said they had driven recklessly; 27% said they had threatened (but not followed through) to hit somebody; and 23% admitted that they knew about someone else?s criminal plans but failed to report their knowledge to the police, making them accomplices.

Other major crimes committed include stealing personal property (18%), physically attacking someone causing injury (17%), selling illegal drugs (16%), and knowingly writing a bad check (10%).

Crimes by Gender

Both men and women equally commit traffic violations, but after that, criminal activity differs between the genders. For instance, 63% of men have peed in a public space, while only 41% of women have stooped to this level. Sixty-one percent of men have trespassed, while only 50% of women have done so. Conversely, 39% of women admitted to shoplifting, while this crime does not even register in the top 10 for male criminal activity. 

Switching it up, 47% of men have made an illegal bet, while women don?t register in the bookie pool. Eighty-two percent of the surveyed men said they had downloaded music, videos or software illegally, while only 69% of women did so. Interestingly, while 55% of the men used or possessed illegal drugs, compared to 49% of women, more women, 54%, admitted to using prescription drugs that were not written for them, then men, at 51%.

All in all, among the top 10 most female-centric crimes vs. male-centric crimes, men admitted their crimes more frequently than women.

Crimes by Religion

Atheists lead the minor crime parade, though the differences are minimal, with 39% admitting to committing minor crimes, followed by Catholics, Jews and Buddhists, all at 36%, and Protestants at 33%. However, in the major crime category, Catholics are the leaders at 13%, almost twice the major crime rate of the last-place Buddhists (at 7%).

In the middle are Protestants and atheists at 10%, and Jews at 8%.

Crimes by Party Affiliation

Not much difference here. Democrats commit more minor crimes, 38% to 36%, but Republicans commit more major crimes, 11% to 10%.

Crimes by Sexual Orientation

Self-identified bisexuals lead the pack in both minor and major crimes, with 41% admitting to minor infractions and 13% admitting to major crimes. Straight people come in at 37% minor and 11% major, followed by gay people at 36% and 9%.

Crimes by Region

At 24.96%, the American South harbored more admitted criminals than any other region in the U.S. But it is close. The lowest number of crime committers is in the East where 23.46% say they are at least minor criminals, followed by the West at 23.86% and the Central States at 24.44%.

Crimes by Association

Seventy-one percent of men say they know someone who has committed a crime, while 65% of women say the same. Twelve percent of men know someone who has committed a major crime, vs. 9% for women. Overall, atheists seem to know the most criminals, with 72% admitting to knowing a criminal, while Jews are the group least likely to know a criminal, at 58%.

However, Jews and Christians tied at 14% when asked if they know a person who has committed a major crime.

What Should Be a Crime?

It isn?t a shock to find that most of the crimes committed by the survey participants were crimes they don?t think should be labeled crimes. Seventy-eight percent do not think dumpster diving should be a crime, while 74% think betting should be legal.

An equal number think repairs or renovations to your home should not require a permit; 70% think it should be legal to be paid for sex, and an almost equal 69% think it should be OK to be the one paying for sex.

Other minor infractions the surveyed think should be legal include throwing trash into some else?s dumpster (68%), being drunk in public (67%), illegal downloads of music, videos and software (66%), peeing in public (66%), and taking someone else?s prescription meds (63%).

By gender, the top crime both men and women think should be legalized is dumpster diving, at 76% and 81% respectively. To the surprise of no one, men think it should be legal to pay for sex, 73%, to 65% of women. And perhaps in response to those long public restroom lines for women, 70% of them think peeing in public should be legal, vs. 62% of men.

See the entire survey.






 

Related Stories


Source: A Lot More of Us Are Committing Serious Crimes Than You Might Think
3
Richard Mellor / Some Thoughts on Space and Time
« Last post by Richard Mellor on Yesterday at 06:02:33 PM »
Some Thoughts on Space and Time

Image Not with the Original Text
I read these brief comments written by a comrade in response to a person who claimed proof of "god". I found it sort of interesting although I have to admit, I don't really understand it, but I know some will.  I'm also aware that with subjects such as these there will be some controversy and different opinions. I am not referring to controversy between religious doctrine (idealism) and science but within the scientific community itself. Anyway, read away.

On the matter of "God" and "creation" (I just posted elsewhere):

Dave Parks, Exeter UK

The Friedmann solution to the Einstein equations of General Relativity  is something I studied in my 2nd year at University. For simplicity here  I will describe the closed model solution - this is where there is  enough matter in the universe for it to eventually collapse under it's  own gravity. A bit like a rocket shot directly upwards but without  enough speed to escape the effects of Earth's gravity - eventually it decelerates and falls back to Earth.

First thing this is a 4-D model. There are two assumptions the universe  is homogeneous and isotropic. Basically made of the same stuff  throughout and in a symmetric or equal way in all directions. Any  localised clumping or asymmetry evens out on a grander scale. Evidence  from microwave background radiation suggests this is a highly reasonable  if not accurate assumption for the early universe.

It is almost  impossible for us humans to visualise 4-D - so we use analogies. For the  closed Friedmann model that analogy is the surface a 3D sphere  representing the whole history and expanse of 4D space-time. The North  pole of this sphere represents T=0 (the Big bang). Time (1D) is  represented by longitude, 3D space is represented by latitude. At this  point the radius of the universe is the extent of the latitude of the  sphere at that point which is also zero. As longitude increases as you  move away from the north pole the size of the universe increase until it  reaches a maximum at the equator. From then on the universe stops  expanding and starts contracting back down to zero size - a "big  crunch".

All points in space and time throughout the entire  history and expanse of the universe are represented on the surface of  this 3D model. This is a finite and bounded model. There is no "edge" -  if you could travel around it you would not fall off the edge. If you  could somehow approach the north pole you would find the region "smooth"   no edges or boundaries. To speak of a minus time here is meaningless.  There is no minus time or time "before". This is to abstract "time " as a  concept separate from relativistic space-time. It is hard to understand  for those who have not studied the maths and physics of Riemann  geometry - non-Euclidean geometry is the reality of the Universe we live  in. Talk of creation and "gods" have to be understood in that context.

Source: Some Thoughts on Space and Time
4
AlterNet / Has Donald Trump Made the World Less Safe for Jews?
« Last post by AlterNet on Yesterday at 06:02:24 PM »
Has Donald Trump Made the World Less Safe for Jews?


The virus of white nationalism is spreading, warns "(((Semitism)))" author Jonathan Weisman.


Earlier this month, a lifetime ago in the Trump administration, an art dealer named Todd Brassner burned to death in a fire at Trump Tower. (The building did not have a sprinkler system on its residential floors because its eponymous owner refused to install one, citing its prohibitive cost). According to the New York Daily News, real estate mogul Trump was less than enamored of Brassner, reportedly referring to his tenant as "that crazy Jew." The scandal barely registered with the American public, but it offered yet another reminder that the Oval Office is still oozing with anti-Semitism, even after the departures of white nationalists like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka.

Bigots and bullies have grown emboldened. The Anti-Defamation League tallied 1,986 anti-Semitic attacks in 2017, up 57 percent over the year prior. Schools proved the most common place for these incidents; 457 were perpetrated against children grades K-12. American Jews have not faced the kind of overt persecution that Muslims, African Americans and Latinos have since Trump assumed office, but as Jonathan Weisman warns in his new book, now is no time for diffidence or retreat.

One part memoir, two parts sociological study, (((Semitism))) explores what it means to be Jewish in Trump's America, with all of its inherent possibilities and dangers. (The triple parentheses allude to the so-called alt-right's method of marking Jews on social media for online harassment). Days ahead of a neo-Nazi rally in Newnan, Ga., AlterNet spoke with Weisman over the phone about the rising tide of white nationalism, American Jewish organizations' singular obsession with Israel and the need for Jews across the country to form broad coalitions. The following conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.

Jacob Sugarman: You yourself acknowledge that there are other religious and ethnic groups who are even more imperiled by Trump's presidency than American Jews. Why do you think it's important to explore the wave of anti-Semitism his run for office and subsequent election appear to have triggered?

Jonathan Weisman: When white nationalists talk about so-called white genocide, they imagine that white human beings, specifically white men, are being supplanted and driven out by brown people: African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and immigrants more generally. But their mythology also tells them that these brown people are inferior beings, so they summon the Jews as the cause of their demise, the answer to the question, "How could this be happening to us?" It's the Jews, they believe, who are the puppet masters, pulling the strings of the ethnic hordes. You can't separate one group from another, we're all in this together.

The American Jewish community also has a certain amount of power and resources to bear in this fight. If a Jew stands up and screams, "Anti-Semitism," the response is often, "You're just being parochial. There are other people who have it far worse than you. What are you doing?" That's why it's so essential we form alliances with Muslim Americans, immigrants, Latinos and African Americans to denounce all forms of bigotry.

JS: Does Trump pose a unique threat to Jews, or is he simply channeling hatreds that have always been present in American society?

JW: I'm not sure I'd call it a unique threat because the globe goes through spasms of nationalism, and these spasms tend to be bad for Jews. The rise of white nationalism is international, and Trump is proof that it has arrived at the shores of the United States. If you look at [Viktor] Orban's Hungary, or what's happening in Poland, or the last elections in Italy, or Golden Dawn in Greece, you have to think that the virus is spreading. Things are demonstrably worse in Europe than they are in the U.S., but we're at a dangerous moment in history.

JS: I'm glad you brought up Hungary and Poland. Has Trump's victory rekindled anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe?

JW: Absolutely. There's no question that the white nationalists in Europe look at the president as a kindred spirit. They feel they have some momentum, and with Trump in the Oval Office, they no longer have to fear the United States as a bulwark against their movement.

JS: If we can wind back the clock two years, why do you think American Jewish organizations were so tepid in their response to Trump's presidential campaign? Did they fail to recognize the threat he posed?

JW: Over the last 20 years, whether they're liberal outfits like J Street and New Israel Fund or conservative groups like the Republican Jewish Coalition and AIPAC, mainstream Jewish organizations have become obsessed with Israel. To an extent it's understandable, because at least for now, support for Israel may be the one thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on. You're not going to get into trouble with potential donors or supporters by focusing on the Israeli cause. But this focus has come almost at the exclusion of domestic politics in the United States. Few realize that the white nationalist movement actually emerged in the later Bush years, after the public had soured on the Iraq War and later with the collapse of the financial system. Conservatives were looking for a new rallying cry. Most people, virtually everybody, ignored the alt-right for eight years. And during that time, American Jews were basically arguing about Israel.

JS: How did the concern of these organizations become so blinkered, and do you believe it has affected their commitment to social justice?

JW: Money is obviously a big part of it, but it's also complacency. The United States from 1960 to 2016 felt like it was on slow but steady trajectory toward a more pluralistic, inclusive and tolerant society. I think these organizations were completely blindsided by this latest surge of nationalism. They had been looking for a cause to rally behind, and Israel offered an obvious one.

JS: At the risk of falling into the same trap, do American Jews have a responsibility to speak out against the recent violence on the Gaza border?

JW: You have to understand that Jews in their late teens and early 20s have grown up experiencing nothing but Likud politics, with no exposure to hope in the Middle East. They don't know an Israel with a Labor or a centrist government. They don't remember the Oslo Accord, and they certainly don't remember the Camp David Accord. On their left, they have the BDS movement, and on their right they have their elders telling them, "Part of your Judaism is bound to your fealty to Israel."

I believe very strongly that if love of Israel is a prerequisite to Jewish identity in this country, then we're going to lose an entire generation. It's probably the biggest threat facing the American Jewish community today?that drift of young Jews away from Judaism because of the demands that Israel puts on them. Jews should be able to embrace their religion and their identity without having to answer to the latest atrocity in Gaza.

JS: Why do you think anti-Semitism and militant Zionism have proven so compatible? At least superficially, Likudniks and an administration that has featured the likes of Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka would appear to make for strange bedfellows.

JW: I think the more you study alt-right ideology, the less strange it appears. Unlike the kind of anti-Semitism that you see emerging in the British Labour Party or on the French left, the alt-right is not especially anti-Zionist. They view Israel as a model ethno-state for their own country. There's no incompatibility with white nationalism because they believe Jews have a place to go and should go there.

JS: I have to push back a little bit here. Are you really suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party is rife with anti-Semitism?

JW: I wouldn't go so far as to call him an anti-Semite himself, but absolutely, I think anti-Semitism is a real problem in the Labour Party and that Corbyn has been especially reluctant to confront it.

JS: How did Gamergate presage the 2016 election, and why does misogyny so often serve as a gateway drug for overt racism and anti-Semitism?

JW: For most of the decade, members of the alt-right talked to themselves in their own little online ghettos at the National Policy Institute and Taki's Magazine, and then at the Daily Stormer, Stormfront and other neo-nazi publications. Gamergate showed that they could spread their ideology in the chat rooms of 4chan and 8chan, the comment sections of YouTube and eventually on Twitter?that through doxxing, trolling and other tactics, the web could be weaponized. And remember, there was a bridge from one movement to the other. One of the great orchestrators of Gamergate was Milo Yiannopolous, who parlayed his notoriety into an editing gig at Breitbart and later emerged as a celebrity on the alt-right.

I talked to [video game developer] ZoŽ Quinn, and she believes that Gamergate was like a signal flare to white nationalists. They said to themselves, "Oh my God, we can do that too." And it took very little time for the harrassment campaign to turn anti-Semitic, because Quinn's boyfriend was a Yeshiva-educated Jew. Before long, trolls were threatening her with rape and posting photo-shopped images of her covered in semen. 

The entire episode was a trial run for Trump's presidential bid. All of the abuse heaped on Quinn, Brianna Wu and other women video game designers was redirected not just at political journalists on the campaign trail, but the Jews of Whitefish, Montana. (The National Policy Institute is based in Whitefish, as is the mother of alt-right founder, Richard Spencer). As for why misogyny leads to anti-Semitism, I think feelings of sexual frustration or humiliation can be a powerful source of hatred. And hate breeds hate, right?

JS: Donald Trump won't be president forever, even if he wishes he could be, so what hope do we have of mending the hole his political ascent has torn in the social fabric? You advocate for American Jews to assume their place in the public square, but given how insular our media consumption has become, are we sure one still exists?

JW: You know, I actually think it does. I've been doing a lot of traveling to promote the book, and everywhere I go, I'm asked, "What can we do?" I'm a journalist; I'm not a social activist or a community organizer, so my answers are limited. But I think that there's a desire out there to build alliances, and you're seeing it now. I recently spoke to a Jewish organization on Long Island, and its first instinct after a swastika was found scrawled on a local synagogue was to form an interfaith coalition against bigotry. People understand we cannot be a series of atomized organizations standing up for ourselves. I believe we'll remember the age of Trump as a re-emergence of activism on a very local level.

 

Related Stories


Source: Has Donald Trump Made the World Less Safe for Jews?
5
Richard Mellor / Barbara Bush a "Force for Civil Rights"? Please.
« Last post by Richard Mellor on Yesterday at 06:00:42 AM »
Barbara Bush a "Force for Civil Rights"? Please.

This pouring of admiration and sympathy around the death of Barbara Bush is nauseating. Bloomberg Business Week writes of her: "While generally declining to discuss policy, she was a force in supporting civil rights. And she liked to walk her dog in her bathrobe." No, Martin Luther King was a "force" supporting civil rights, Barbara Bush was not. An example of the "policy" she chose to keep her mouth shut about was the attacks on civil liberty at home. An increase in state security services. The illegal arrest and detention of people without trial. An unprovoked attack using chemical weapons on a Middle East country that forced hundreds of thousands in to refugee status including to Syria and the deaths of more than a million people.

Lying to the American people and the world.

What is there to respect about this matriarch of one of the world's most ruthless, barbaric and powerful ruling class families? And what is so sacred and why should we honor this ridiculous saying that we should not "speak ill of the dead". This matriarch of a ruling family who wandered around with her dog in a bathrobe, a habit the pimp Hugh Hefner was fond of with somewhat different motivations, possesses no qualities a working class person should respect or admire. Please teach your kids not to end up like that.

A friend and I always used to say of our kids, like if one of them was a Jeffrey Dahmer for example, that we'd never disown them, they would always be our son. But we'd say lock him up, he's, sick, he's a threat to society. We would not keep our mouths shut. The war criminal standing next to Barbara Bush killed a lot more people than Dhamer and did it for political and economic gain. He's far worse. And he had the support of all his family.

We could learn a thing about class solidarity from this gang. In that way we should be more like them.
 
Source: Barbara Bush a "Force for Civil Rights"? Please.
6
Conservative Pages Are Still Making Racist Russian Propaganda Posts Go Viral on Facebook


The images include content from banned accounts.


Conservative and pro-Trump Facebook pages, most affiliated with fake news websites, are recycling memes created by the Russian troll companies like the Internet Research Agency (IRA), which the social network has banned from its platform. Media Matters found 24 posts dating back to December 2017 from 11 right-wing pages that contained memes bearing watermarks from Russian troll-run social media accounts. Ten of these posts have earned over 20,000 interactions, with the two most popular crossing 70,000. These 28 posts appear to be Russian propaganda because they contained watermarks of logos from Russian troll-run accounts like South United, most of which pushed racist and anti-immigrant propaganda.

Propaganda from the Russian troll account Secured Borders, which has used violent language to push anti-immigration misinformation related to illegal voting, crime, and welfare, has showed up on conservative pages multiple times. Memes from two other anti-immigration Russian troll accounts, Stop All Invaders and Heart of Texas, have also been recently reposted by conservative pages. A pro-gun meme from Heart of Texas was posted by the blue badge-verified page Chicks on the Right and by the page Cold Dead Hands which, according to its ?About? section, pertains to a pro-gun Texas-based nonprofit group. Propaganda from the pro-Confederate Russian account South United has also been reposted by conservative Facebook pages with memes featuring the Confederate flag. Other Russian troll accounts pushed on Facebook include the pro-gun account Defend the 2nd, a law enforcement account called Back the Badge, and a conservative account Being Patriotic.

Most pages posting such Russian propaganda are connected to or run by fake news and hyperpartisan sites. They include:

 

Related Stories


Source: Conservative Pages Are Still Making Racist Russian Propaganda Posts Go Viral on Facebook
7
Inter Press Service - Labour / Dreaming of A New Sustainable Economy
« Last post by Inter Press Service on Yesterday at 06:00:32 AM »
Dreaming of A New Sustainable Economy

Officials from around the world came together to create and support a vision for a new, sustainable economy: a bioeconomy. Almost 1000 bioeconomy experts, from former heads of state to civil society leaders, convened in Berlin for the second Global BIoeconomy Summit to discuss best practices and challenges. Already, over 50 countries have begun to […]

The post Dreaming of A New Sustainable Economy appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: Dreaming of A New Sustainable Economy
8
Richard Mellor / He Shot a Hobo in the Back
« Last post by Richard Mellor on April 22, 2018, 06:06:58 PM »
He Shot a Hobo in the Back

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

As if being homeless isn?t bad enough, those of us that end up living in the streets due to market failures and/or mental illness in a society that pays no serious attention to mental illness other than filling the jails with its victims, is repeated attacks and abuse from the general public that often result in death.

At one point in time about one third of the homeless were Vietnam Veterans, working class people that survived a devastating war perhaps with physical damage but certainly with severe emotional trauma.  The Hollywood propaganda wars of John Wayne, Silvester Stillone and others are simply nationalistic garbage. Neither of these two characters faced what so many ordinary young workers have. They are despicable individuals, an insult to those who actually experienced the true horror of war.
Homeless camp Oakland CA. Source East Bay Times

In the years I have lived in the East San Francisco Bay Area, I have seen homelessness mushroom. There are entire tent cities now all over the place; under freeways, in wooded areas, or out in the open along sidewalks. I worked in the streets of Oakland and the surrounding area for 30 years so I know this is the case.

The highly censored mainstream media doesn?t delve too deeply in to this subject, after all, if the homeless had made better choices they wouldn?t be homeless. We all know that if you work hard in America, you will succeed; if you?re poor, it?s your own damn fault.

The US is the worst of the advanced capitalist economies to be poor in. Last year homelessness was on the rise again, particularly on the West Coast, perhaps because of our weather. Gentrification, housing costs and rents are another driver of homelessness. A two bedroom apartment in my small town can cost $2500 a month, when one considers that to get in to a place one needs to fork over a first and last month and a deposit, getting in to a basic place could cost $6000. Beyond the most desperate, there are many people that sleep in their cars and still keep a low waged job not earning enough to get in to a regular place. The working poor are perhaps the most numerous as without a car, having a dismal transportation system can make it hard getting to work and at least a car can function as a makeshift home as well.

Those living on the streets are the most vulnerable and fall prey to racists, masochists and other types of sociopathic elements. Homelessness is in a crisis situation for Native Americans and they are among the most vulnerable to attack. Just writing these words presents me with a bizarre thought in that those whose land this was, who roamed free on it for the most part, suffer the most and are often homeless, separated from decent housing and the land. The genocidal wars, driving them from their lands and herding them in to camps has had catastrophic consequences for the Native people.

Last month, in Albuquerque New Mexico, two teenage boys shot and killed a 50-year old homeless Native American man. According to reports, he was shot a dozen times, four times in the back as well as in the forehead and temple. The suspects, one 15 the other 17, apparently shot the man ?for fun? according to the police and the 15 year old boasted to a friend at a party he attended after the murder, that he shot a ?hobo in the back? They even returned to the scene of the crime and saw that their victim Ronnie Ross, was still alive, so the older kid pumped four more bullets in to him to finish the job.

As a handful of Americans continue to accumulate massive wealth in to the billions, coupon clippers basically, and we fork over close to $800 billion a year in order to defend US corporations? profits abroad, living standards and basic social services decline and homelessness continues to grow.

Native Americans are about 4 percent of Albuquerque?s population but 44% of people living in the streets and some 75% of them have been physically assaulted according to a 2014 survey. Ross? brutal murder occurred three months after the body of Audra Willis was found east of the city---Willis had been decapitated. Back in 2014, two other Native men were beaten to death with cinder blocks at a homeless encampment by three teenagers.

There?s no doubt that there is a mindset that homeless people are less than human, and therefore fair game, but in my mind it is inconceivable that racist motivations are present as well in most cases. As the Guardian pointed out last year, ??.out of frame and ignored, a Brooklyn-sized housing crisis has languished in the 617 American Indian and Alaska Native tribal areas and 526 surrounding counties where 2.5 million of this land?s first peoples live. There, Native men, women and children occupy the most severely overcrowded and rundown homes in the United States.?

I once spoke to a tribal official at the Pine Ridge Reservation some time ago and she told me that the living conditions when teenage girls, unemployed men, and alcohol are thrown together under one roof, trouble arises in the form of violence and sexual abuse. The same Guardian article points out, ?The 11,000 members of the Northern Arapaho in Wyoming, for example, share just 230 reservation homes. A staggering 55% are considered homeless because they?re couch surfing. In the Navajo Nation, 18,000 homes or roughly 40% of total Navajo housing stock lack electricityor running water.?

And in 2005, ??.a CDC Prevention report found 11.7 percent of deaths among American Indians and Alaska Natives were tied to alcohol. Over 60 percent of those who died were younger than 50. In the general population, by comparison, alcohol related deaths were 3.3 percent.? Indian Country Today

Native Americans are not the only homeless people of course, and it?s quite likely that European Americans are the majority as they are most likely the majority of the poor population because there?s more of them. But it?s the overall crisis and percentage of certain marginalized groups that is staggering. After centuries of racism and in the case of the Native people, a genocidal war on them, the savagery of the market economy and crisis of capitalism has taken its toll. It is not necessary to look to Syria or the underdeveloped world to see massive poverty and social crises, we have it right on our doorstep.

A significant aspect of the offensive of capitalism that has such destructive repercussions is the ideological offensive. Outside of lip service paid to the noble Natives, the dominant ideology in society---bourgeois ideology----maintains that the resources are there to change ones condition if only one makes the right decisions. History is but a blip on the radar screen. The institutions of capitalism will never alter this thinking or approach history from a perspective of understanding it fully, laying bare the economic and political forces behind it and are today incapable of rectifying past horrors. The system must not be undermined.

What must it be like for Native people to see that mountain with the ?New World?s? new rulers carved in to it, those responsible for the genocide?  It?s similar to black folks having to walk post those statues of racist heroes of the Apartheid South. Amherst in Massachusetts is named after an English colonial aristocrat who responded to one of his colleagues who suggested infecting Native people with Typhoid and referred to them as ?Vermine? that, ?You will Do well to try to Innoculate [sic] the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. I should be very glad your Scheme for Hunting them Down by Dogs could take Effect, but England is at too great a Distance to think of that at present.?

No doubt there would be an outcry at the suggestion Amherst change its name but it would be a small gesture a recognition of wrongs, especially if the demand came from working class people and our organizations.

Things are changing though and the  U.S. is reaching a boiling point as more and more people are being driven in to poverty. Insecurity and the fear of being cast aside is everywhere as social services and basic social needs are eliminated in order to pay for the crisis of capitalism.  Millions of Americans live a life of fear, fear of losing ones shelter, the fear of getting sick and being without adequate health care and being priced out of a decent education or the fear of losing one?s life. What sickness must exist in US capitalist society with all it?s supposed freedom and wealth that 15 year olds murder homeless people, or beat them to death with cinder blocks then boast to their friends about it?

Capitalism makes us sick, destroys our humanity. Here in the belly of the beast, Citizens of the United States currently consume 85 percent of all the antidepressants in the world

Gideon Levy, the Israeli journalist, thanked Trump in a recent speech for lifting the mask off of the faces of those Israeli politicians who for years have pretended that they want peace with the Palestinians, the indigenous people whose land they stole. It is an excellent speech about what it is like to live in Israel and readers can watch it here. And we can say the same thing about Trump here at home. He is the ?whip of the counterrevolution? that will force the US working class to recognize that their backs are being pushed against the wall, they have no alternative but to fight. 

There have been numerous responses to the outright brutal treatment that marginalized sections of society experience, Black Lives Matter in response to police murders and the conditions in these communities in general as well as obscene incarceration rates. We had a near civil war as Native people at standing rock and their allies fought the corporations and security forces assault on the land. Since Trump we?ve had millions of women marching in the streets, some 4 million in one day by some accounts. We had the science marches, the occupations of airports in response to attacks on immigration and campaigns against polluted water and land.

Coming on the heels of these developments there has been an unprecedented illegal strike wave as teachers, particularly in the southern states, have made it clear they have had enough. Teachers struck in West Virginia, a state where strikes are illegal and they won a 5% increase for themselves and for all other state workers. They did this by overcoming their conservative pro-capitalist leadership who for years have told us that we can?t break the law. Next week, Arizona teachers are going on a statewide strike and these actions continue to spread. 

The affect of these developments cannot be understated as millions of workers will be watching. The conservative trade union hierarchy that has suppressed any movement from below that threatened their relationship with the bosses? based on cooperation and concessions fear nothing greater than a victory that undermines their worldview.Victories inspire.

We are in anew era that is witnessing the end of the domination of the two capitalist parties over US political life and the likelihood of all sorts of developments arising from this.  The intense anger and hatred of the system and those that run it will rise to the surface as this process unfolds and the numerous isolated and separate struggles against a common enemy come together.  Facts For Working People wants to play a part in helping this movement grow and, more importantly, win.

Source: He Shot a Hobo in the Back
9
AlterNet / Big Banks Are Raking in Record Profits Thanks to Trump's Supposedly 'Middle-Class' Tax Cuts
« Last post by AlterNet on April 22, 2018, 06:06:52 PM »
Big Banks Are Raking in Record Profits Thanks to Trump's Supposedly 'Middle-Class' Tax Cuts



 
 
 



Republicans misled voters about what the bill would do.


When President Donald Trump and the Republican Party pitched their bill to overhaul the American tax code, they promised voters that their plan was aa "middle-class tax relief." As the law goes into effect, though, most Americans are seeing little benefit, while the big banks are raking in record profits.

According to new analysis by the Associated Press, six big Wall Street banks made an additional $3.59 billion dollars so far this year thanks to the tax law.

Financial Analyst James Shanahan told the AP:?If there was one significant factor quarter for the big banks that I follow, it was taxes."

This is no surprise. The tax law was designed mainly to slash taxes for business, dropping the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

The bill also cut individual tax rates, but those changes benefit the rich the most the poorest the least. Meanwhile, health insurance costs continue to rise, which can easily wipe out the meager wage increases middle- and low-income people may get from the tax law.

At a time of growing inequality and the rising power of corporations, the GOP decided to take the tax code and skew it even more toward those who already have a disproportionate share of wealth in the society. Record profits0 from the banks are only the most recent evidence of this change.






 

Related Stories


Source: Big Banks Are Raking in Record Profits Thanks to Trump's Supposedly 'Middle-Class' Tax Cuts
10
AlterNet / Is It Time to Admit the 'Grotesque Caricature' of White Evangelicals Is the Reality?
« Last post by AlterNet on April 22, 2018, 06:00:26 AM »
Is It Time to Admit the 'Grotesque Caricature' of White Evangelicals Is the Reality?


There?s no doubt that evangelicalism seems to have an image problem, especially since its overwhelming alliance with Trump.


This week dozens of prominent evangelical leaders gathered at conservative Wheaton College, in Wheaton, IL, to address the ?grotesque caricature? of their faith in the Trump era. The organizer of the gathering, Doug Birdsall, told the Washington Post that under Trump?s leadership, the term ?evangelical? has taken on too many negative associations, especially when it comes to racism and nationalism. The goal of the gathering, then, was to address these concerns while returning the word ?evangelical? to its core meaning. Rather than a political pariah, an ?evangelical? is simply ?a person who believes in the authority of the Bible, salvation through Jesus? work on the cross, personal conversion and the need for evangelism.?

This article is reprinted with permission from Religion Dispatches. Follow RD on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates.

There?s no doubt that evangelicalism seems to have an image problem, especially since its overwhelming alliance with Trump. In the minds of many outside the fold, evangelicalism no longer represents a specific religious position centered on sin and the need for individual salvation but rather a self-serving, power-hungry political movement that will side with the devil himself for the sake of political pragmatism.

?When people say what does it mean to be an evangelical, people don?t say evangelism or the gospel,? Birdsall told the Washington Post. But this image problem isn?t new. Although polling showsthat overall feelings toward evangelicals as a religious group have remained relatively stable since 2014, the perception of evangelicals as ?agents of intolerance,? to quote John McCain back in 2008, well predates the Trump era.

And besides, we shouldn?t chalk it all up to image. The fact remains that over 80% of self-identified white evangelical voters cast their lot with Trump. Moreover, despite a host of missteps and scandals, overall evangelical support for Trump as president hasn?t declined but grown.

It would be wrong to paint all evangelicals with the same brush. Evangelicalism is and will remain a complex socio-political movement propped up by a religious rhetoric that emphasizes individual piety, but its adherents aren?t all the same. Indeed, some of Trump?s most vocal critics come out of evangelicalism.

That said, given the consistency with which white evangelicals as a whole have lent their support to Trump?and right-wing candidates and policies more generally?it?s far past time to own up to the fact that the image is, in many respects, the reality.

Well-intentioned evangelical leaders may not like to hear that, but it remains the case that an overwhelming majority of evangelicals continue to support Trump and his policies. Sure, they may have issues with his moral center, or lack thereof, but they?re willing to overlook all this for the sake of political expediency, for promises of ?religious freedom,? and the hope of a judiciary stacked with conservative judges.

This is because, at the end of the day, evangelicalism isn?t really about personal values but, rather, social and political conversion and control. Little has changed, in this sense, since the days of Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority (as Daniel Schultz rightly pointed out recently on RD).

The Trump era, then, does not create a new problem for evangelicals and their image; it?s simply casting a very bright light on what has always been there, at least for the past forty years or so.

If evangelical support for Trump sounds more calculated than sincere because of this, that?s because it is. But while critics charge evangelicals with hypocrisy, with undercutting their own assumed moral authority for the sake of political success, it?s important to emphasize, contra John Fea, that this more pragmatic approach to social change isn?t completely outside their own religious traditions, and it?s questionable the extent to which evangelicals ever held much moral authority in the first place.

Evangelicals put great stock in the Bible, but as others have noted in the Trump context, the Bible is full of stories of God choosing morally ambiguous and even repulsive individuals to lead the so-called faithful. Indeed, that narrative line, repeated over again in numerous ways, makes up a significant portion of what most Christians refer to as the Old Testament.

Another way to put the matter is to say that the Bible isn?t all about love and how you relate to your neighbor, as Christians of a more liberal bent seem to assume privately and when they enter the public sphere. Love?s certainly part of the story too, but it?s not the whole story: sure, the Bible tells us to love each other, to care for poor, the outcast, and the oppressed; but it also tells us many stories of cold calculation, self-preservation, and ideological success?and many of the ?heroes? of the Bible play just these games.

It would be wrong, however, to understand the distinction between these two impulses according to the tired?and ultimately anti-Semitic-distinction?between an Old Testament God of wrath and a New Testament God of love. There?s plenty of the latter in the so-called Old Testament, but there?s also pieces of the former in the New Testament. Indeed, someone like Paul could not have become an apostle if the narrative of the morally ambiguous, repulsive individual weren?t in place there as well. Even after Paul?s conversion, he?s not exactly the nicest guy on the block; indeed, if one reads Galatians, Paul can even sound a little Trumpish: certain of his own position while dismissive of others, all the while touting his accomplishments as a way to gain favor (Gal. 1-2).

In pointing this out, I?m not saying that I agree with the particular narrative arc of the morally suspect individual and the way it?s deployed by evangelicals in our current political landscape. I don?t, and if I had to throw my hat into the ?culture wars? I?d throw it on the side of the more liberal Christians every time. Nevertheless, it?s wrongheaded to reduce evangelical involvement in politics to a simple hypocrisy that lies completely outside the purview of biblical faith. In this respect I part ways with John Fea, who believes that prominent evangelical leaders have ?sacrificed their moral vision? to become ?court evangelicals.?

While emphasizing only this aspect of the Bible is horribly simplistic, to assume it?s not there is to ignore the book?s complexity and ambiguities, some far from ideal, that mark the history of Christianity. But covering over the ?darker? aspects of the faith for the sake of love, as more liberal Christians tend to do, reads Christianity just as simplistically, even if it?s a reading that is, in many ways, more palatable.

I applaud those evangelicals who want to think honestly about the movement?s current image in the Trump age. But appealing to some ?pure? form of the faith beyond its supposed political corruption?beyond the racism, xenophobia, nationalism, and the like that even critics of paper over?isn?t the way to go.

Not only do such appeals represent little more than nostalgia-laden theological desires that have little to do with what goes on on the ground, but they also ignore the fact that the line between religion and politics is flimsy at best, if not entirely non-existent. Evangelicalism, in its current manifestation, isn?t a religion that has been corrupted by its entry into politics but is, rather, a social movement that works through a specific type of politics. The substance of that politics has been clearly on display for some time now. Trump and his evangelical allies didn?t invent it; they only exacerbated it.

If evangelicalism ever wants to play a more positive role in social and political life, perhaps it?s time its leaders acknowledge that its public image isn?t a ?grotesque caricature,? but the thing itself. There?s a weighty theological term and disposition for taking an approach that comes to terms with such hard truths but attempts to chart a new path beyond them: repentance. If that doesn?t happen, then Daniel Schultz is probably right: the meeting at Wheaton will not have accomplished much of anything.

 


Source: Is It Time to Admit the 'Grotesque Caricature' of White Evangelicals Is the Reality?
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 ... 10