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It Sways Towards Justice

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Many of the events of the past proved that putting a finger in the dike of history is a futile endeavor. For all of recorded history there have been people who have tried to prevent the advance of the progressive movements of human relationships, but there has never been a prevailing long-lasting tyranny which could completely annihilate human social progress. All over the globe, there have been the greatest human tragedies in the attempt to, shall we say, keep Christmas from coming, but it comes anyhow. The innate drive towards social justice is unstoppable and has the daunting habit of leaving its adversaries and its advocates' deaths in its blossoming; the benefits and the continued battle taken up by successors. This is a lesson lost on those on the fringe political right seeking to impede magnanimity amongst people.

These are scary days in America; when one looks at the next seven years and six months, anything can happen at any moment. The dark clouds of some monumental calamity hang heavy in the air, we can all feel it. This time will be filled with fanaticism, invective, demagoguery and, perhaps, more deaths, deaths at an even higher level.But the march to social justice for all has the uncanny ability to get up off the canvas, dust itself off, and keep on trucking. So when one takes the long view of history, one realizes that midway through this century the march towards social justice will still be alive and kicking when its present day opponents are pushing up daisies; more importantly, their cause will have been greatly weakened. I say greatly weakened, because, like the poor, the obstructionists will always be among us.

I was born on August 5, 1941. That day, ten thousand Jews were murdered in Pinsk, Poland, and there was yet a bleaker period to come: the horrors of the Holocaust. This was a calamity from which, one would think, there could be no restoration, but the Jews of the world have moved beyond that time to a more secured position and can now say assuredly “Never Again.” The world now scorns their persecutors and their persecutor’s evil. The development of social justice is too vital to be impeded by hatred, bloodshed or genocide.

I look back fifty years ago, during my own time, when things were bleaker than they are today. I’m talking a time when National Guard troops had to accompany black children to school, and people in America were risking (and losing) their lives to win the right to vote. This was also a time when, on a visit to his grandmother, a young black paratrooper in uniform had to wait in the "Colored Only" waiting room for a train . A time when George Wallace, the governor of Alabama, stood in the doorway of a school and declared “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” He spoke for many, but George was wrong – dead wrong — and he lived to see how wrong he was. That was a pretty bleak time, but, as they say, the pendulum swings. The forces of history just rolled over George and his declaration. This was also a time of subjugation for gay people, immigrants and women. From these bleak times, gays have come out of the closet to near-acceptance in every aspect save marriage and the military. Latin immigrants are now the country’s largest minority and by mid-century, will be the bulk that turns non-white Americans into the majority. Women have broken through the glass ceiling time and again and a mixed-race man who identifies himself as black, has been elected president of the United States of America. All of this came out of the desolation of the 1950s. And where are the people who opposed this progress? Most of them are dead, while those still breathing bear witness to their failure – everything around them amplifies the defeat of their unworthy goals.

The forces of repression get smaller every generation. In the sixties, a school bus carrying black children to a school in a white neighborhood in Boston was overturned by housewives, blue collar workers and teenagers while the police looked on. Those were the days when an angry mob was easy to form. The pendulum swings. It would be nearly impossible to stage a sizable rally in support of school segregation today, only the hooded would show up. But as the mass forces of repression diminish, their media demagogues get louder and multiply. Their demands get more volatile as they sense a lost battle and the growing generosity of spirit of the American people. You now have Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, Coulter, Beck and Ingraham leading the charge, their fingers in the dike of history, sounding very much like King Henry II lamenting “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” and four of his knights interpreting his lament as wanting the assassination of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Their minions are not yet down to four, but two recent assassinations show how deadly they can become. Today’s obstructionists receive intellectual support from right-wing thank tanks and publications like the Weekly Standard and National Review. What these media demagogues are pleading translates to setting the stage. Someone among the millions of irrational lunatics who follow this crowd will decode the mission.

What of these irrational lunatics who feed on the hatred spewed out daily by media demagogues? A double hoax is being played on them. The media demagogues are paid by oligarchy heads like Rupert Murdoch to obscure the real problem which has always plagued this country: income disparity. Try to find a story about income disparity on Fox News. The real suckers hold tea parties and boycott General Motors cars on the instructions of their handlers; you hear about that on Fox News, while the financial autocrats amass fortunes. They withhold health care, job security, quality education, adequate housing, and a healthy planet from everyone, even their toads. This is a kind of self-mutilation that is puzzling and in the end, unfathomable. What is it that draws tens of millions to causes that jeopardize their own well-being? It has got to be something that has to do with defective genes. When someone says that he wants the president to fail, isn’t that the same as saying you want America to fail? Yet, there were some on the Left who voiced that view regarding President Bush’s war in Iraq. This is talk without thought.

The next generation of obstructionists will be even smaller than today’s. They will have another whole set of gripes. The issues that rile today’s obstructionist will be socially accepted by tomorrow’s obstructionist. The precedent of a black president will have been established and be lost as a source of agitation for many. The black middle class will become indistinguishable from the white middle class. Universal Health Care will be taken for granted. Same-sex marriage will be accepted in nearly ever state except, maybe, the southern ones. The controversy of Roe v Wade will be protected by a solid six to three majority on the Supreme Court. The rapid increase in the Latin population will have propelled enough of them into important political positions to defuse today’s anti-immigration sentiment. Gender issues will be remote. The acceptance of the fact of global warming will be universal, and a billion people around the world will be employed in some form of Green Technology. Tomorrow’s obstructionists will grow up with these issue as a normal part of life, but they will find other issues to be irrational about, because these people will never learn the lesson Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., taught in this parable: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it sways toward justice.”

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About Horace Mungin

  • Arch Conservative

    Their minions are not yet down to four, but two recent assassinations show how deadly they can become.

    There were three recent assassinations [personal attack deleted]! But then the murder of an American soldier on US soil by some jihadi jerkoff doesn’t really rank high on your list of concerns does it?

    When we have a president who is a radical leftist and whose economic and foreign policy are going to make lives much much worse for the majority of Ameerican citizens then there’s not a god damn thing wrong with anyone saying they want him to fail. King Barrys intentions and the welfare of the American people are mutually exclusive notions.

    Keep smoking whatever it is you were smoking when you wrote this article. King Barry will be nothing but a memory come 2012. A very bad memory.

  • Baronius

    American politics has been in a deadlock for about 20 years. Congress has been a few points off 50/50 in either direction and no one’s dominated a presidential election. The Democrats had very good Congressional elections last year. It doesn’t mean that history is unalterably headed in your direction.

    The abortion issue is a stalemate. Gay marriage can’t even win in California. To judge by the latest Supreme Court nominee, racism hasn’t gone anywhere. You’d have to go back to Dred Scott to find a Justice so plainly claim racial superiority.

    And wasn’t it just a year ago that everyone was worried about the rise of the religious right? But that only reflects the great error in your article’s rhetoric, the claim that history is a pendulum moving constantly in one direction.

  • Horace Mungin

    Arch – I don’t smoke.You didn’t dispute the main point of my article and that is that the arc of the moral universe sway towards justice, not matter the temporary set backs like the last eight years. We’ll see about 2012, but I think that Arch will take a heck of a whipping in 2010.

  • Horace Mungin

    Barinius, I’m sorry I was clearer – The pendulum of history swings back and forth from period to period, but its over riding ark is toward our (you and I) direction – because I can’t win unless you win too. I can testify that things are better for women black, gays, the elderly then they were 50 years ago although you can look at many short spans of tim when thing were going badly for any of thee groups. That, my man, is my point.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Horace,

    I very much like your concept of “the arc of the moral universe sway[ing]towards justice,” as you say – although we must grant the possibility of (I’d hope only minor) setbacks and reversals.

    I’d like to refer you in this connection to my own three-part piece on BC, which is basically on the same topic: “Quantum of Solace: The Making of Modern Consciousness,”, parts I through III.

    The argument is rather general, but it does take cognizance of the recent explosion in mass communications and media – a modern phenomenon – to sort of insure against major setbacks. And it is an argument on behalf of humanity’s progress, however slow and snail-paced.

  • Horace Mungin

    Roger,
    Bingo. Set backs and reversals in the short run, under an overall ark that heads at a snails paced toward justice.

    Now I must get to the articles you mentioned – Quantum of Solace.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Horace,

    I see why your writing is so good. You’ve been around long enough to hone it well, like a fine craftsman.

    That said, I’m forced to disagree with you. The price of “liberation” for black people, gay people and women has been a social upheaval that has opened up gates of hatred between the races in your own country, left a trail of bitterness as the morality that once held the States together has been tossed out – leaving millions of broken and “repaired” families to cope – along with “comedians” who use smut to smear young women. In other words, something has been gained – and a great deal lost.

    I remember hearing about this price from brave black grandparents in St. Paul who had built an anti-poverty agency – only to see their own grand-children embracing a culture of hate and failure. They said this to me quietly – over coffee and cake after board meetings of the anti-poverty agency. I would say these people are about your age.

    Why were they brave? Well first of all, they had been willing to fight the bigoted establishment in Minnesota to build a uniquely democratic organization; second of all, they were willing to discuss their disappointments with a white man – me.

    Focusing only on “obstructionists” only skews your vision of the whole.

    But more importantly, I look overseas more than you do. The kind of culture that once represented America has been degraded considerably – and it is this degraded culture that has been exported overseas as the world’s “popular culture” – trash with an American accent. That is the picture I see from Israel, where I now live. If Americans and Europeans can have a pornographic mentality, tinged with violence, it’s okay for Israelis to have a pornographic mentality tinged with violence too. And boy, do they. Monkey see, monkey do!

    I remember a girl standing naked on a Tel Aviv street, claiming to be a liberated woman (at age 12!) because the clothing store offered a discount to any girl who would strip naked on the street. “Lunch taxes” are now collected in secular schools in Israel, and every two-bit politician here who is anything has not made the big time until he has been caught with a few thousand ecstasy pills. And now there are at least two crime hits weekly in Israel. When I moved here, there were barely any.

    I haven’t mentioned human trafficking and prostitution. Don’t get me started. All imports from that great western thedakar – America.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d like to think these are excesses, Ruvy – the wages of liberalism (just like the wages of sin).

    Of course, it’s rather difficult to subscribe to any kind of progress given your particular predicament. Well nigh impossible.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos-/ Christine

    “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it sways toward justice.” Love Martin Luther King Jr. and this quote is “right on”!

    The only problem I have with this article is that it really depends on how you define morality! I think this is one of the root causes of the problem because each side (left and right) claims to know what is right and what is wrong. While some issues are obvious to sane and descent people (like murder and stealing), others issues are not that black and white (like providing welfare to all, even to those who don’t want to work).

    Wasn’t Martin Luther King Jr. a Christian? What about Proverb 20: 5 “the lazy man will not plow because of winter; he will beg during harvest and have nothing”

    And where do we get our sense of right and wrong? From truth? Truth is no longer ABSOLUTE, nowadays it is relative, which means it is a moving target!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Justice is always right, Christine, and pursuit of justice always a noble end. And while some people might disagree as to what is just in this case or another, you’ll never find them saying that justice is wrong.

    Unless they’re psychopaths or mentally defective. In which case, they need to be institutionalized.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos-/ Christine

    Good point, Roger! And at the end of the day, I believe in my heart, there will be justice for all even though there are only remnants of just people!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m glad you’re conceding in this respect, Christine. I certainly wouldn’t fancy trying to persuade anyone that morality and what’s right is something that’s up in the air, only a relativistic mumbo-jumbo. It is a difficult argument to make.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Horace,

    Excellent writing. I have just one question. I may have misunderstood this? If I didn’t I would ask what you think MLK would think.

    When someone says that he wants the president to fail, isn’t that the same as saying you want America to fail? Yet, there were some on the Left who voiced that view regarding President Bush’s war in Iraq. This is talk without thought.

    I’m not sure quite what you mean by that.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos-/ Christine

    Roger, I’m not quite following you after, “I’m glad you’re conceding in this respect, Christine.”

    My point is that morality (standards of conduct that are accepted as right or proper) are different for different groups. For example one may think it is moral to do drugs and others may not. And other standards of conduct like; sex outside of marriage, adultery, gossip, lying, fowl language, etc. One may think these are moral and others may not!

    I then pose the question: where do we get our morality (our sense of right conduct)?

    In these days of “tolerance”, which is good, however, it seems tolerance has bred an “anything goes mentality”. Morality now is just what you feel like, instead of a set of standards you try to live by!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Some “moral questions,” Christine, are undecided (and they may remain so). But I was addressing mainly the notion of justice. And although, as I said, there may be different opinions as to what justice is from case to case, there is no disagreement as to its desirability.

    And morality has never been a matter of what feels good or what one feels like doing. Anyone who’d say that is perverting the concept in order to justify themselves and their behavior.

  • Baronius

    Christine, are you saying that morality is up in the air, or that it seems like that to a lot of people?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    In these days of “tolerance”, which is good, however, it seems tolerance has bred an “anything goes mentality”. Morality now is just what you feel like, instead of a set of standards you try to live by!

    I have not found it to be tolerance that breeds an any-thing-goes mentality. I have found it to be the inability to break out of an authority oriented paradigm. That itself is like an arc. Sort of the authoritarian vs the permissive parent. Neither can see past authority as the salient criteria in raising children. Neither gets it right, imo.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos-/ Christine

    Oh shit! I hope I am not being misunderstood!

    What I am saying is that morality is NOT the same for everyone (we all have our moral code), and yes, SOME have, “perverted the concept in order to justify themselves and their behavior.”

    The truth be told, I am very black and white when it comes to morality, but that’s what keeps me in line (most of the time, not always) and I don’t use it to judge others.

    Baronius, it is just my perception that many people have an “anything goes” mentality these days!

    Roger, I do agree with your commentary on justice!

    I hope this makes sense!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Judging others is not our prerogative, ultimately speaking. But the language of morality is important when it comes to exhortation and forms of appeal – a different matter entirely from that of passing a judgment.

  • Horace Mungin

    Cindy, I didn’t support Bush’s war in Iraq, but I would never wished that, once American troops are committed, Bush’s war policy failed – that would be the same as wishing death to my countrymen. I was once a paratrooper.

    Wishing that the president’s policy fail is wishing that America fail when one assume that the policy is designed to improve America.

    the whole point of my article is although there are setbacks in the long march to justice – set backs that, at times, seems insurmountable, but in the long run, the march to justice keep moving. Its just how the Cosmic Host has designed the development of human relationship. We have a saying, were I come from “He ain’t never there when you want him, but he’s always on time.”

  • Arch Conservative

    If MLK were around today he surely wouldn’t be a Barack Hussein Obama fan.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Great article Horace! It does feel like an awakening towards more equality. I like your question [What motivates people to vote against themselves?] The answer to this is beyond me. I have been asking that for years now. The only motivation I can come up with is perhaps people see sharing anything like education, health care or opportunity as getting less for themselves. This is selfishness isn’t it? I know we have a long way to go before we stop judging each-other, myself included, since I have trouble tolerating the right.
    I really like reading your articles Horace and I will comment more in the future without fear of reprisal.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The obnoxious right (as well as the obnoxious left), I would add, Jeannie.
    Welcome back!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The forces of repression get smaller every generation

    Horace, I’m afraid you’re mistaken about who the “forces of repression” actually are. Today’s oppressors are not the oppressors of the 1960s. Those days and those problems are gone.

    Todays “obstructionists” stand in the way of a government which seeks to oppress us all regardless of race, gender or sexual preference, on the basis of our desire to work and be free and enjoy the benefits of our labor.

    Your mistake here is in applying the paradigms of a past era to the present and thus missing the broadening and institutionalization of injustice and not noticing that rather than lifting minorities up, the goal of the current overlords is to equalize by pushing all of us down into the underclass.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dave,

    I think you and Horace are talking past one another here. I wouldn’t presume it would be as easy to shake off the 1960 paradigm as you seem to suggest – not if I were a black man.

    Is it right for you to so minimize his lifelong experiences with prejudice and racism?

    Indeed, isn’t it the case that from Horace’s point of view, whatever gains there had come on behalf of the “colored people” (forgive everyone for using the sixties’ expression) – whether by way of integration, affirmative action, or civil rights – it was at the hands of the government? And now you expect that Horace should view “the government” as the enemy and entrust his lot to the good intentions and honor of all those who were the oppressors?

    It’s a tall order, I should say.

    Roger

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Thanks Rog! I resemble that label..:(
    I’m just dipping my toes in slowly for right now so please don’t get me going.

    no more hissy fits from me!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I won’t let you and will stop you in your tracks before the wolves descend.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And no, I didn’t mean YOU are obnoxious – only too trusting.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Got that right…

    I love italics!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Just don’t you ever use bolds in any of the articles you submit. And if the editor puts ‘em in, object to the seventh heaven.

    El Bicho made a nice comment apropos: writers use the italics, and bloggers the bolds.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    OH? I didn’t know that.

  • M ark

    And morality has never been a matter of what feels good or what one feels like doing.

    I disagree, Rog. Morality is all about feelings and the aesthetics of action.

    Graffito of the day: Do what feels good.

    Horace, imo the thread of ‘directionality’ in history – progress toward justice – that you see is fragile and not necessary.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    fragile but steadfast; again, not inevitable.

    “Aesthetics of action,” yes, I do like that idea and you’ve got something there (because in a sense, a moral person is having an affair with themselves). This is liable to be interpreted crudely by cruder minds, but I have no fear saying this to YOU.

    And yet … is aesthetics ONLY a matter of feelings?

    Besides, does “do what feels good” exactly the same as “do what is/feels right”?

    Not to knock down doing something nice for yourself for a change, because we all deserve it.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    whatever gains there had come on behalf of the “colored people” (forgive everyone for using the sixties’ expression) – whether by way of integration, affirmative action, or civil rights – it was at the hands of the government?

    This is quite wrong. It’s an important thing to understand that it didn’t come from the gov’t. It came directly from the people and their struggle. The same place change always comes from.

    Dangerous to misapply beneficence to a gov’t like this.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Horace,

    My step father (whom I adored) was in the Korean war. We only had one disagreement as long as I knew him. I said that if I had a son, I would help him go to Canada before I would see him in a war. He got angry, the first and only time he ever did with me.

    He was still under the belief that one should fight for their country, freedom, liberty, etc. This despite that he spent much of his life after the Korean war as a homeless alcoholic.

    I cannot see MLK wishing Bush ‘success’ (whatever success could possibly be construed as here) in his war. It doesn’t have to mean wishing death to anyone. For me it simply means the end of war.

    I will say that on the contrary to being ‘talk without thought’…the greatest considers of such things would have agreed: Jesus, Tolstoy, MLK, Gandhi.

    No wars. Say yes to peace.

  • m a rk

    …a moral person is having an affair with themselves…

    I chose to assume that our feelings are intersubjective and are part of some kind of a cultural consciousness passed generation to generation through our structured experience.

    …is aesthetics ONLY a matter of feelings?

    Which term, reason or feeling, is primary in some way? Undetermined.

    …does “do what feels good” exactly the same as “do what is/feels right”?

    Hey, it’s the ambiguity of this graffito that makes it emotive.

  • http://marksaleski.com MarkSaleski


    Your mistake here is in applying the paradigms of a past era to the present and thus missing the broadening and institutionalization of injustice and not noticing that rather than lifting minorities up, the goal of the current overlords is to equalize by pushing all of us down into the underclass.

    your mistake is that any of us are paying attention to the talking points you keep pedaling.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #36,

    1) “I chose to assume that our feelings are intersubjective and are part of some kind of a cultural consciousness passed generation to generation through our structured experience.”

    I don’t understand the import of this rejoinder in light of the metaphor I used for the sole purpose of illuminating the subject matter (It should be “love affair,” btw.)

    2) “Which term, reason or feeling, is primary in some way? Undetermined.”

    Fine with me. But there’s more than one element involved, which is good enough reason for not effecting “the reduction.”
    (I might want to add that the concept of appreciation, at least a part of what we consider an “aesthetic experience,” is a learning process.)

    3) And if you’re intent on reducing the whole matter to “feelings,” then we would have to make some important distinctions as to kinds of feelings; there are not only different gradations but also important qualitative differences.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    I’m paying attention to Roger’s point and he certainly has the right to make it.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    I sense supremacy in the room…to bad

  • m ark

    Rog #38, no problem with your lack of understanding in 1) above.

    And as to 2) and 3), my intent was to reject the reduction. Reason and feeling have a dynamic relationship.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Are you referring, Jeannie, to #25 perchance?

    I have no fear that Horace understands my meaning, that it wasn’t in any way to denigrate the struggle that his people have gone through in order to accomplish the gains which are now part and parcel of the American experience and that we’re all better for it as a people – each and everyone of us, the rednecks included. He well knows that nothing is accomplished without a struggle because no one is going to give you something for nothing – irrespective of whether you deserve it or not. So that is a moot point.

    He’ll also understand, I’m certain, that when I spoke of “the government” in the context of the aforementioned remark, I was responding to Dave’s comment and using the term accordingly.

    Dave was under an erroneous impression that Horace should all of a sudden switch ranks and see the government as the oppressor – and join thus the big and happy family of all right-thinking Americans fighting for freedom and liberty and justice for all. My point merely was that it was wishful thinking on Dave’s part to so ignore the life experiences of blacks and other minorities in not too distant past. Dave’s major mistake of course was that he happened to ignore the basic fact that human dignity and personal relations trump and come before politics. IMO, for Horace to so switch ranks at Dave’s behest and join the big and happy libertarian family, some of whom may have been (if not still are) racists at heart, is simply unthinkable. Again, and it’s IMO only, he’d be denying his personal history and the history of his people were he to do that.

    Horace is free, of course, to speak for himself, and I haven’t meant to outguess him here or put words in his mouth. All I’ve done is presenting my understanding of Horace’s position, right or wrong, in light of Dave Nalle’s urgent plea.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I’d like to think these are excesses, Ruvy – the wages of liberalism (just like the wages of sin)

    I’ll wait to see what Horace has to say – if anything.

    From what I can see, your country has lost its moral bearings, its economic bearings, its financial stability and a whole load of its political freedom. I hesitate to work for American companies paying dollars because I do not know when the dollar will go down the toilet, along with your moral bearings and your political freedoms.

    The wages of your sins – (not yours personally of course!) – are rather huge and have stained this planet with blood, oppression and hatred, in addition to copies of all the garbage that you suffer in your own society. The planet stinks from them, reeking from the worldwide attempt to adopt the sick values your culture exports.

    It appears that I’m the only one to have commented on Horace’s well written article from overseas, and while I know your perspective on things, I’d like to hear him out, should he think it worth his time.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #41,

    Of course, they do, Mark. A fact most often either ignored or simply not taken into account.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    How refreshing it would be not to have the hall monitor taking everyone’s temperature every 30 seconds.

    We’re all big people here. This isn’t Gangs of the Internet* No one needs a hug to survive. Although hugs are quite nice anyway and good for all occasions.

    *I recommend Anbinders’sFive Points–the book contains the best, most readable real history of the Gangs of New York.

    …spares no gritty detail in this recreation of this immigrants’ hell on earth… — The Washington Post Book World.

    How the Other Half Lives is well worth reading too. Even Jacob Riis, champion of the poor discussed ‘them’ from the perspective of his class.

    hmmm, I seem to have wandered off my original point. Just as well.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “the sick values your culture exports . . .”

    Apart from excesses, which come part and parcel with freedom, what are they exactly? Belief in private initiative? Freedom of speech? A measure of prosperity (until recently quite attainable)? Even today, the Americans are better off as a people than the rest of the world. There is no hunger here yet; true, there’s homelessness, and that’s despicable.

    So if you care to overlook the excesses, what are the sick values, really? Shouldn’t the freedom to do as we please, to the extent possible, count more than anything else? Help me here.

    As to losing moral bearing, well. I think it’s happening the world over. Besides, we may be coming here from a different spectrum. Weren’t we against Vietnam, for example? In sufficient numbers to make LBJ quit. And what are you talking about now? The people at large or the direction of the country, as evidenced, e.g., by US foreign policy.

    There are but some of the questions which I think ought to be considered prior to making sweeping generalizations.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Horace,

    3 minutes of an MLK speech on the Vietnam war where he makes it clear he opposes the administration–not just war, but the president.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Apart from excesses, which come part and parcel with freedom, what are they exactly?

    There is no hunger here yet; true, there’s homelessness, and that’s despicable.

    First of all, for the most part, I’m not talking about foreign policy. I’m talking about culture. But to a degree, foreign policy does get mixed up into culture. The fact that your nation has not fought a war against a foreign nation on its soil since 1815 is part of that. Since 1815, aside from the civil war in the mid 1800’s, service in the military has usually been characterized by overseas service.

    How you live in America is one thing. What you export is quite something else again. But a lot of what you export is what you live. This recent tempest-in-a-teacup over Sarah Palin’s daughter’s less than stellar morals and the problems it caused her – and her mother’s taking advantage of a pathetic comedian to boost her own career and keep herself in some kind of limelight – is an example of how the excesses characterize, more and more, the standard.

    And that is the point. The excesses more and more are the standard.

    A Canadian accountant wrote an article at Blogcritics Magazine on how his American counterparts lie through their teeth in manipulating the GAAP, the principles that dictate how accounting is done in the States – and how this has contributed to the shitty economic situation you are in. Anyone can tell you how the American government has been cooking the unemployment numbers for decades, and now refuses to release the actual numbers of dollars in circulation. Maureen Johnson has written two articles about how the government and corporations routinely lie on food labeling.

    DISHONESTY, an excess of freedom, is now the standard in the United States at the highest levels of government. I don’t give a rat’s ass if the “Blessed of Hussein” lies about where he was born, or locks up his school records to make sure you can’t tell if he is a liar or not. But you should be upset. And you are not! Is this dishonesty just another excess of your “freedom”, Roger? Is your apathy in the face of patent lying another mere excess of liberalism?

    Add this to the pornography that you export over the internet, the attitude of hatred of white people exported by “gangsta rap”, the murderousness we all see overseas when a doctor is killed by a domestic terrorist, or when a soldier is killed by a domestic terrorist, or when some kid goes postal in a high school, along with the shit one sees on the music videos from the States that are ubiquitous in every mall in Israel – THAT IS WHAT YOU EXPORT! The lofty values you talk of do not get exported. But your wild west capitalistic attitudes of exploitation do, and now we have homelessness in Israel, just as you do. And having been homeless, myself (in America), as well as a political activist, I can tell you just how despicable that is.

    It stinks, Roger. It stinks like hell. And we do not need the shit you export. Does that help you out any?

    And now I have to get off for the Sabbath.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Ruvy. I did manage to flesh it out. There’s lots of points to cover, yours and mind. This is a gold mine and we should explore it. So have a Happy Sabbath and I’ll get back to you later.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    There is no hunger here yet…

    A falsehood.

  • Jordan Richardson

    the attitude of hatred of white people exported by “gangsta rap”

    Gross oversimplification – not that I’m surprised Ruvy wouldn’t quite get gangsta rap.

    along with the shit one sees on the music videos from the States that are ubiquitous in every mall in Israel

    So that’s where they’re playing music videos these days! Damn you, MTV.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d think, Jordan, that perhaps the greatest point one could make about Western culture is the diversity, and being able to celebrate the diversity. Which is not to condone the worst excesses, of course, but that comes with the territory. I have no idea why some people would wish to celebrate instead a kind of uniformity in society. I would have thought any notion of uniformity would be the worst that could happen.

    So what are they thinking?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Roger I was gone too long and don’t understand your # 42.
    Oh well, it’s OK :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I was under the impression, Jeannie, that your #39 and #40 were directed at #34. Which is why I have gone to great length to explain my #25. That’s the context.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    If you all conform to the conservative line of thinking then you are not “Anarchists” OR “free of government” because you have now created your own form of government. Right? Having to be true to party lines instead of yourselves you will lose somthing, your free will.
    My teapot is rightfully full of cobwebs now because I refuse to follow the crowd. See what I mean?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Roger I was referring to #37 last line

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But Jeannie. #37 was right-headed and directed against Dave Nalle, not me.

    Look again if you think I’m wrong.

  • Horace Mungin

    Greeting all. I just returned from the “Y” -I had a good workout. I was delighed to see all the comments generated by my article and also by the addendum issues you all raised among yourselves.

    My article was a positive look at social progress made in the 60s disspite opposition. It took a look at the progress we are all making presently in the face of opposition. and i tried to point to the progress we need to make in the future over repressive forces. My point was although each stage of our advance to social justice have been met with obstuctionist, we make tiny advances anyhow. By “OUR” I mean all of us – I’m not talking race as much as many of you seem to think.

    Dave,I think that you missed my point. cindy, you’re right about MLK, but I hope that you will remember that I was talking about myself when I spoke about it being bad to wish failed policy on the president.

    Ruvy, where did you live in America and did that place had something to do with your leaving?

    Roger, I’m still reading the works you suggested – finish part 1 and on to part 2. also thank you for coming to my defense, or rather, the defense of my thoughts, but which color are those “colored” people?

    You are all one great group. I wish you would take a look at my books.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I was merely using the language of the sixties, Horace, to give Dave as much rope as I possibly could (as it’s used in the NAACP, for instance). Plus, I put it in quotes.

    Dave didn’t bite, however. Good for him.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    You are all one great group. I wish you would take a look at my books.

    thank you Horace! :)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle


    Is it right for you to so minimize his lifelong experiences with prejudice and racism?

    Suggesting that things are different today and that we have different problems says nothing about the problems or experiences of the past, Roger.

    Indeed, isn’t it the case that from Horace’s point of view, whatever gains there had come on behalf of the “colored people” (forgive everyone for using the sixties’ expression) – whether by way of integration, affirmative action, or civil rights – it was at the hands of the government?

    Hardly. Government dragged its heels every step of the way. It was people like MLK and others who protested and engaged in activism and forced change on the government.

    And now you expect that Horace should view “the government” as the enemy and entrust his lot to the good intentions and honor of all those who were the oppressors?

    With the exception of Robert Byrd most of those who were the “oppressors” are now dead. In fact, the worst of them are long dead. Everyone today comes from a background where civil rights are a given in society, though sadly they also come from a tradition of far too much dependence on government.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Suggesting that things are different today and that we have different problems says nothing about the problems or experiences of the past

    That is, by definition, bullshit.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    your mistake is that any of us are paying attention to the talking points you keep

    Mark, at least my “talking points” are original creations as opposed to most here who are repeating the same old failed mantras of the past.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dr. D., trying to address todays problems does not diminish the problems of the past. They’re just different. Is that better?

    Part of the problem here is that the concept of “justice” has become quite subjective.
    For some of us it means everyone being treated equally and fairly. For others it is a code word for redressing past wrongs and exacting revenge or imposing a different model of society. I prefer the simpler, more traditional definition.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, a pretty good response, Dave, on all three points. I’ve already conceded (actually not, because I never argued) that the government is the agent of change – only the people engaged in activism. You’ve got to admit, though, we still have quite a few odd balls in the party (like the SC governor mentioned in Glenn’s article) who openly espouse racism. It’s certainly far from dead, although granted, the climate has changed.

    What I was really saying, I guess, is that if I were Horace and given his experiences, which I can only imagine, I’d be rather careful whom I’d regard as friends. In fact, it is to his credit that he speaks with a voice which includes all Americans.

    But to view the government, especially the present government, as the enemy of the people, that, I’m afraid, is quite a step that you’d ask anyone to take. I don’t quite see it that way … at least not yet. And I’m more than certain that most of the black folk who had voted for Obama don’t share that view either. Which makes your appeal, in my opinion, highly unrealistic.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    …at least my “talking points” are original creations as opposed to most here who are repeating the same old failed mantras of the past…

    Dave. Come on! My first year of college I found out what a Libertarian believes. I had a Libertarian friend at 17. He started the ‘Individualists Association’. Most people laughed. I thought I understood that part…you know how individualists would want to associate. Still, I have trouble seeing the Libertarians I met as individualists. I associated with Rob anyhow. He was a nice fellow.

    I like this reply Dave. I will associate with you on this:

    Hardly. Government dragged its heels every step of the way. It was people like MLK and others who protested and engaged in activism and forced change on the government.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Part of the problem here is that the concept of “justice” has become quite subjective.
    For some of us it means everyone being treated equally and fairly.”

    I really don’t believe, Dave, that even today you’d find many who would disagree with the above definition and insist rather on some for of recompense or revenge. Certainly Horace doesn’t come across as suggesting anything of the sort. So how is that part of the problem?

    I think this entire discussion turns on what are or ought to be realistic expectations. And my point really is that we can’t expect every American to take the same view of politics and government as the privileged white male who, all along until now, has been in charge of things.

    Gosh, I almost sound like Cindy, so I had better stop. But you get my point, I hope. We’ve all had different experiences with America, good, bad or indifferent. And we can’t just discount all of that, our backgrounds, where we come from, how we’ve been treated, and expect everyone to come up with a uniform view. It’s great wonder as it is that with all that plurality and diversity we’re not (yet) at each other’s throats. Anyway, tolerance of divergent views is more important to me, the kind of quality I’d hate to see disappear, than “united we stand” kind of theme – be it against the government, the corporation, or what have you. That’s her greatest strength and the glue that holds us together, the ethos. Take that away, and I’d be the first to kiss her good-bye.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    cindy, you’re right about MLK, but I hope that you will remember that I was talking about myself when I spoke about it being bad to wish failed policy on the president.

    Okay it is a deal. I will remember that and I will hopefully read your books (they can go atop the pile of about 30 others I’ve bought. Really…you people need to stop writing faster than us slow readers)…at least I will get through your articles, which is my current goal.

    Thanks for going to the YMCA and making it sound like fun! I need inspiration. :-)

  • irene wagner

    1) Horace Mungin and 2)Cindy
    1)I think there’s not one of us here (including myself) who won’t be surprised at what new revelations of kindness and understanding the Cosmic Host, as you call him, will be able to finally pound into our heads fifty years from now. Hey, yer all right, Horace Mungin, for reminding me in #20 of this song.

    2)Cindy, I watched the video of the tile factory workers. I still believe in the worth of capitalism, but the caprophagous smile on the into-the-ground-running-CEO when he confidently stated “the government will get the company back for me” made me suddenly wish the same thing could happen in Motown. Peacefully, with no goons.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Ruvy, where did you live in America and did that place had something to do with your leaving?

    Horace, the truth of the matter was that I was tired of being the salt in somebody else’s soup, and didn’t want to lose my children to the Christian ice princesses of Minnesota. We wanted Jewish grandchildren, and we made a hell of a sacrifice to try to get them. But having come here, in addition to feeling we did the best thing for our kids, both my wife and I experienced great spiritual growth. In time, we would have been mere empty hangers of people in America.

    I wish you would take a look at my books.

    I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. I have about 120 articles here at Blogcritics Magazine that you can look at….

    And as I said, I do appreciate good writing – even if I do not necessarily agree with the views expressed.

    Have a good week!
    Ruvy

  • Horace Mungin

    Ruvy, I’ve read a few of your articles and I intend to real them all – I like your style.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Ruvy, I’ve read a few of your articles and I intend to real them all – I like your style.

    Thank you kindly, sir.

  • Gerri Mungin

    Horace – What a spirited conversation! I’m enjoying reading everyone’s point of view. Well written, thought-provoking article you’ve written. Your quote: “The pendulum swings. It would be nearly impossible to stage a sizable rally in support of school segregation today, only the hooded would show up.” resonated with me. Flaming optimist that I am, I wrote as a response to one of your other articles about the progress we’ve made (especially electing a black president) and asked for us not to be always functioning from an “us versus them” mentality. Well, I’m coming back with my tail between my legs….The hooded are still here and they’re showing up at “tea parties” yelling for “us” to take our country back from the jaws of socialism. They’re on right-wing talk shows shouting that our president is a racist. They’re sitting in chambers calling our president a liar! This is scandoulous behavior and a sad time in our country. It’s almost as if the seventh graders have overdosed on sugar and are acting out all over the place. I will not, however, lose my optimism. As Fredrick Douglas said “If there is no struggle, there is no progress”. Onward…

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