Beyond Left and Right: Compassionate Pragmatism

 

Beyond Left and Right: Compassionate Pragmatism
By Wade Lee Hudson

There’s no widely agreed-on definition of “liberalism” and “conservatism.” Terms like “free-market fundamentalism” vs. “egalitarian economics” make more sense, but supporters of one of those terms may agree with the other side on other issues. So they can’t logically be lumped together as either “liberal” or “conservative.” The “left-right” spectrum is incoherent and serves to divide and conquer. However, even if the meaning of “liberalism” and “conservatism” were clear, the more rational approach would be to integrate the best of each perspective into a new worldview, such as “compassionate pragmatism.”

Traditionally, the “right” has been said to affirm authority, order, hierarchy, duty, tradition, and nationalism. And the “left” has been associated with liberty, equality, solidarity, human rights, progress, and internationalism. But most people believe in all or most of those principles — because each holds value.

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Denis Diderot

I do not flatter myself into thinking that, when the great revolution comes, my name will still survive…. This feeble work [the History of the Two Indies], whose sole merit will be to have inspired better books, will undoubtedly be forgotten. But at least I will be able to tell myself that I contributed as much as possible to the happiness of my fellow men, and prepared, perhaps from afar, the improvement of their lot. This sweet thought will for me take the place of glory. It will be the charm of my old age and the consolation of my final moment.
–Denis Diderot

From Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely, by Andrew S. Curran

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From the wikipedia:

Diderot’s contemporary, and rival, Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote in his Confessions that after a few centuries Diderot would be accorded as much respect by posterity as was given to Plato and Aristotle.[70] In Germany, GoetheSchiller, and Lessing[72] expressed admiration for Diderot’s writings, Goethe pronouncing Diderot’s Rameau’s Nephew to be “the classical work of an outstanding man” and that “Diderot is Diderot, a unique individual; whoever carps at him and his affairs is a philistine.”[45][73]

In the next century, Diderot was admired by BalzacDelacroixStendhalZola, and Schopenhauer.[74] According to Comte, Diderot was the foremost intellectual in an exciting age.[75] Historian Michelet described him as “the true Prometheus” and stated that Diderot’s ideas would continue to remain influential long into the future. Marx chose Diderot as his “favourite prose-writer.”[76]

The Left-Right Spectrum: Email to Ezra Klein

I just sent the following email to Ezra Klein, founder of Vox.com and host of The Ezra Klein Show podcast.

–Wade

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SUBJECT: Critique the “Political Spectrum”

Ezra, I love the show, the format, and how you conduct it. I especially like the concluding three-book question.

I suggest you engage with a guest who challenges the left-right spectrum. I have not heard you adequately explain that frame. Please explore:

  • What is “liberalism” and “conservatism”?

  • Why do you want to defeat conservatism?

  • Does “conservatism” affirm some, or many, valuable principles?

  • Do we need another worldview that integrates legitimate elements from each ideology?

I suspect you could consider these issues in a way that would help me and other listeners clarify our thinking on this important issue.

Harry Boyte [“Populism and John Dewey: Convergences and Contradictions”) is one possible guest. Ken Wilber, Trump and a Post-Truth World, (good summary here) might be another.

With great respect,

Wade Hudson

TransformTheSystem.org
Wade’s Wire (daily)
Wade’e Weekly
Wade’s Monthly

Por Vida – A tribute to the songs of Alejandro Escovedo

includes 32 songs

Alejandro Escovedo (born January 10, 1951, in San Antonio, Texas) is a Mexican-American rock musician, songwriter, and singer, who has been recording and touring since the late 1970s. His primary instrument is the guitar. He has played in various rock genres, including punk rock, roots rock and alternative country, and is most closely associated with the music scene in Austin, Texas. He comes from a well-known family of musicians.

 

The Note: Biden blasts Trump — though not his Republican Party

By RICK KLEINandMARYALICE PARKS Jun 12, 2019, 5:59 AM ET
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/note-biden-blasts-trump-republican-party/story?id=63638753

…Former Vice President Joe Biden has now unleashed a torrent of criticism at President Donald Trump. In an Iowa trip that wraps up on Wednesday, Biden has called the president an “existential threat to America” who is “shredding” the nation’s values and “damaging” the country.

But he was virtually silent on the Republican Party at large. Earlier in the week, Biden expressed confidence that “you’re going to begin to see things change” with Republicans when Trump is off the national stage.

“These folks know better,” he said at a fundraiser.

And on Tuesday, he pushed back at the notion that you need wholesale change in the type of people who lead.

“Guess what?” he told reporters after a campaign event in Iowa. “The system worked pretty damn well. It’s called the Constitution. It says you have to get a consensus to get anything done.”

Suffice it to say that such confidence in the GOP reverting to pre-Trump form is not shared widely among Biden’s rivals. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted, “What’s next? Expecting Toronto fans to cheer for the Warriors in Game 6?”

This may be an example of Biden, with his proud history of cutting bipartisan deals, staying true to himself. …

When They See Us | Netflix Official Site

Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. … Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” “13th”) directs this powerful retelling of a case that gripped the nation. … In the spring of 1989, five boys of color …

Excellent, timely, extremely important. Highly rated by audiences.

https://www.netflix.com/title/80200549