Sunday, May 18, 2008



I offer this a starting point.

A Leftist says that the fundamental organization of our society is intolerable because it leads directly to war, poverty, oppression, and environmental destruction. The Leftist argues that a new and different framework is necessary.

A Liberal says that the basic organization of our society is reasonably good, and should therefore be accepted, and that any efforts at further improving society should come from working within the already-established framework. IOW, the liberal wants slight modifications to what already exists, believing that its basic structure is reasonably sound.

Liberal- will blithely be assimilated.

Leftist- will likely be assassinated.

Liberal- possesses a quaint notion that one can reform hierarchical power structures.

Leftist- desires to completely unravel and eliminate the functions and forms of hierarchy.

Liberal- wishes to reform The Bank into The People's Credit Union.

Leftist- sees the need to turn the tables of the moneychangers and smash the marketplace.

Liberal- says "Living Wage".

Leftist- says "Solidarity".

Liberal- willingly shells out $4 for a glass of carrot juice.

Leftist- sees Root Vegetables as sustenance and metaphor.

Liberal- outside the coffee shop talks about the need for the Cappuccino Revolution but balks at acting out for fear this would endanger his/her daily cappuccino.

Leftist- reuses the same coffee filter, paper towels or odd socks when all other options have been exhausted in an attempt to squeeze one more cup from yesterday's grounds.

Liberal- wants to 'get out the vote'.

Leftist- recognizes voting as a nominal form of political activity meant to validate the Democratic State and convince the political consumer that they are a participant in governance.

Liberal- can often be seen mouthing the "education is the answer" mantra particularly in the rarified atmosphere of the Citadels of Expertise. Revels in being near theory or people 'doing theory' in the academy.

Leftist- sees education as social engineering and cultural imperialism. Education Academies seen as the proving grounds for the future ruling class.

Liberal- users of 'all natural' deodorant. The armpits are fresh particularly during commercial breaks.

Leftists- recognize deodorant as one of the essential pillars of Empire. Will often raise their armpits in tight quarters due to quixotic impulses.

Liberal- writes lengthy position papers on the plusses of developing more efficient killing machines (See Amory Lovins for more details).

Leftist- sees the Techno Warfare State as one of the great life destroying mechanisms in the history of Mankind and understands the relationship between war and oppression. The "Health of the State" being that which kills everything else.

Liberal- true believers in the New Economy and Seattle (the city) home of Microsoft, Boeing and Starbucks.

Leftist- acknowledge a different Seattle (the Amerindian prophet)

Liberals- have recently been experiencing a population explosion which seems to have been caused by a grey form of technocratic inbreeding. Liberalism is now a major growth industry much like Cancer. Much of this exponential proliferation of this well-groomed disease seems to emanate directly from Academia.

Leftists- an endangered species. Said to be only 723 remaining in the contiguous 48 states of the United States of America. For years they have been scooped up and exiled to the Periphery. To date all efforts to exhume the spirit of Eugene Debs have fallen on deaf ears.


Both liberals and socialists empathize with the suffering of society's weaker members, and are sensitive to "man's inhumanity to man." However, the liberal is basically at peace with the socioeconomic system that produces this suffering, while the socialist recognizes that the system itself is a core cause of the suffering.

A liberal might get upset by militarism, but happily invests in Martin Marietta Corp, and rejoices when it increases its dividend. Liberals are also often susceptible to nationalist propaganda appeals, & thus can easily be persuaded to support wars like the NATO war in Kosovo, simply because it was cleverly marketed as a "humanitarian intervention." A socialist would never fall for this sort of ploy.

A liberal might be properly horrified by pollution, waste, hyper commercialism, and many of the ills of modern society, but pays little conscious attention to the underlying issue of corporate power that allows such things to dominate our lives. A liberal will vote for Democrats, despite the obvious fact that these contemptible worms are nothing but bought servants of corporate monopolies or oligopolies. The liberal sleeps easily, figuring, "Well, at least the Dems are better than Bush!" as though this really implies some sort of resistance to rampant corporatism.

Basically, the liberal tut-tuts disapprovingly at some of the blatantly horrible end-effects of policies, politicians, and economic philosophies that, for the most part, he accepts. A socialist, on the other hand, is conscious of where the roots of these disasters lie....


Now is a good time to cue up some Phil Ochs:

I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
as long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crain?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I read New republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like Korea
There's no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the democratic party
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal


kelley b. said...

The Leftist is a critically endangered species, the first to be targeted when the poles melt and the sea level rises.

There is the Cassandra curse of Apollo: the Leftist is the guilty one for seeing the cliff the Liberal drives towards following the Conservative's direction.

Keep posting whereever, Chlamor, I like your work whenever I see it.

Anonymous said...

Chlamor, I like this essay so much I visit it weekly to read it over again. The Phil Ochs song is perfect. I'd love to hear some choir of Unitarians gathered to sing it at the Democratic National Convention this year.

We could then watch Keith Olbermann take the singers to task for "helping McCain."

chlamor said...

Thanks Mister Pyre (waving)

Need to put up the final installment of this booklet and complete the next two booklets. They are pretty much done just a few final touches.

A brief hiatus from the internet over here.

How's everything S?

Anonymous said...

Ah, you know --

the world keeps turning,

the greedy continue to run things,

the smart continue to see the truth and complain about its obscurity, agitate to make others aware of its relevance, and agonize over how many ignore it,

and the vast majority continue to be not much more than pod people, oblivious to what happens around them.

Why is there no Ides of March coming upon us? We already have the Roman Empire in 21st Century form, complete with technological bread and elaborately contrived circus.

Can't we just feed the two major parties, and all their followers, to the lions?

I give my thumbs-down signal indicating that they need to be lion fodder.

How about you?