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Although I am certainly not a leftist or part of the progressive movement, I read this article in its entirety, finding it to be an interesting and thoughtful read until I got to the phrase “you can still be merciless towards conservatives.” Up until that statement, although we have different and even some opposing ideas about policies, I respected the author and what he had to say. I was open to listening to what he had to say. Why must you be merciless or encourage others to be merciless to conservatives? We are all human beings with dignity and value. For all your talk about compromise and working together, that statement tells me you engage in the same identity politics that you claim to be a detriment to getting things done and making a real impact.

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This guy is a complete fool. He should be forced to give two examples of where Marxism has been implemented AND led to human flourishing. He can’t and he wont. Anyone who believes in Marxism as a means for organizing a society is an an absolute fool or absolute idiot. Or both. Just because he may be a good writer doesn’t change that one iota.

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Why are there still people who believe in Marxism? I just don’t get it.

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I’m a Marxist. Though I’m a fairly unorthodox one at this point, I would still love to see a Marxist revolution. Seriously? Freddie actually wants me to pay for his Substack! He's a Marxist but is a greedy Capitalist as well? WTH? He wants his cake and eat it too. Well I'll subscribe comrade but I want your work for free, to be equitable to a fellow worker toiling under the oppression of Biden's Inflation.

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I liked this article, because the author accurately describes the underlying reasons why the progressive movement has gone overboard and by doing so has become less effective and more isolated. I do find it fascinating that most of the comments do not talk about the content of his essay but more on knee jerk reactions to his self declared Marxist label.

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On the subject of Leftists not "talking like humans", I present a rollout of an exhibit that Canadian taxpayers spent $29M on:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlkXli-Wl9E&ab_channel=MacKenzieArtGallery

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If Freddie deBoer is a “brilliant essayist,” I, for one, fail to see it in this article which tries to provide a manual for promoting “Progressivism.” As a self-proclaimed Marxist, he can’t admit that the philosophy has failed wherever it has been attempted in the past nearly two centuries. His advice is for “Progressives” not to alienate people in power, but essentially to exploit them in pretended alliances in order to promote such causes as Black Lives Matter and financial reparations for slavery.

He doesn’t seem to notice that Identity Politics is fundamentally destructive to American unity and to American world leadership. He fails to admit that national excellence (and therefore power) in every field is achieved by promoting people based on their accomplishments not on their color.

While Freddie deserves credit for his criticism of the left’s obsession with politically correct vocabulary, he loses credit for mindlessly echoing leftist mantras such as “police violence against Black Americans is vastly disproportionate.” Disproportionate compared to what? According to FBI statistics, in 2021 233 Blacks were shot by police compared to 8488 murder victims of overwhelmingly Black crime. Were the killers of those 8488 Black victims also racist? If the police are so racist, why aren’t they shooting Asians as well?

To be brilliant, and essayist must make valid and insightful observations. I see only fleeting moments of such observations here.

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founding

"I am a Marxist ... workers rising up and taking control of political and economic systems, and distributing resources and labor based on need"

The best antidote to this is Frederick Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom", showing how centralized control of resources allows the worst of peoples to rise to the top and results in the horrors of Stalin, Mao and Castro.

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founding
Oct 5, 2023·edited Oct 5, 2023

"role of Latinx intersectionality "

Long overdue to topple the tyranny of the monolinguals: Spanish, unlike English (but like French, Russian, Hebrew) is a completely gendered language where every noun (including inanimate ones like table, car, tree) has either masculine or feminine gender. Adjectives applied to a noun must agree in gender. "Carro latino, casa latina".

"Latinx" is an ignorant attempt to impose Anglo-Saxon grammar on the language of Cervantes, destroying it root and branch in the process.

An imperialist and arrogant attempt that offends most Hispanics in the United States:

https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2020/08/11/about-one-in-four-u-s-hispanics-have-heard-of-latinx-but-just-3-use-it/

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Refreshing!

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Mickel and Kate -- Exchange between us may be difficult because we're working with different definitions. When you say "socialism", I suspect you are referring to things like health care for all, minimum wage, regulation of business, labor unions, etc. To me, those things simply mean moving into the 21st century, following the lead of most Western countries. The only socialism in this country at the moment (other than (1) basics like highways and schools and (2) a few welfare programs) are the bailouts and tax breaks going to the elite each time they or their companies get into trouble. I doubt we will ever agree on this difference between us, so I guess there is not much point in debating it further at this time.

As for the article, clearly the author would live in a Marxist society (which the right insists erroneously on equating with socialism) if given his choice (then why does he live here?). But that's neither here nor there because the number of people in America (left and right) who want Marxism is in the hundreds, maybe. For that reason, the Marxism issue is a red herring.

But I don't think that is the thrust of the article. The thrust of the article is about the pig-headedness of the group calling itself the progressive left, which is wasting its energy on a transgender and pronouns battle instead of unifying and putting their energy toward important issues like financial equality or democratic reform. In this way, the progressive left has become (or always were) just like the right wing whose leaders refuse to unify, consistently vote against the interests of their constituencies, have abandoned conservative ideals, and promise future violence, and whose constituency is obsessed with the "woke", can't wait to use their guns, would turn Trump into the "second coming", and seem to idolize the rich.

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Thank you for the thoughtful comment. An in-depth conversation is best started over at least one bottle of wine. However, here's a hodge podge of thoughts.

I loathe crony capitalism. I loathe big government. I loathe back-room deals. I think we'd find some common ground there.

Marxism and socialism may be different. However, some folks use socialism as cover for their Marxist desires. Others, like BLM, are, or at least were until called out on it, explicitly Marxist. It's a lot more than a few hundred folks.

A comment that caught my attention is: "In this way, the progressive left has become (or always were) just like the right wing whose leaders refuse to unify, consistently vote against the interests of their constituencies, have abandoned conservative ideals, and promise future violence, and whose constituency is obsessed with the "woke", can't wait to use their guns, would turn Trump into the "second coming", and seem to idolize the rich."

1) Everyone has abandoned their principles - most likely they never had them and manipulated us poor rubes who do. The DNC is now apparently for forever wars, the suppression of free speech, and are a shill for big Pharma. Further, I'm not sure the RNC ever had fiscal responsibility as anything other than a talking point and wedge issue. I've taken to saying the half-life for hypocrisy in DC is becoming very short.

2) Vote against the interests of their constituency... In what ways to do you feel the RNC votes against their constituency?

As for the DNC, their constituency seems to be elite liberal whites who don't suffer the consequences of their counterproductive policies. Here's some examples. A strong majority of Americans don't like abortion in the 3rd trimester. The DNC has become explicitly anti-woman in their extreme support (i.e. beyond supporting in a rational way) of the Trans movement. I believe the DNC border policy is harmful to the working poor and opposed by at least a plurality of Hispanic Americans. With regard to the African American vote, a majority of African Americans support voter ID and oppose the concept of 'Defund the police'. To me it seems the DNC takes the racist position of knowing what's best for the minorities whether they agree or not. That the minority vote is still overwhelmingly Democratic is baffling to me - though that appears to be shifting... some.

3) As for the Maga-Trump portion of this quote. It's my opinion that Mr. Trump is a buffoon. I'd love to see someone else win the Republican nomination. However, I also believe the Federal government and DNC have thrown due process, equal justice and a host of other American ideals out the window, and they pose the bigger threat than Mr. Trump. I'd rather have the buffoon who mostly has centrist policies than the start walking down the Road to Serfdom that the DNC is selling.

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Fair statement. I don't have the energy to address all of your points (nor do I disagree with some of them), but here are a few comments (in order).

I think if we were together we would before too long move past the commonly discussed issues to the one which, I believe, underlies all of them, namely, ending or at least diluting the dominance (overt and covert) by "the elite". I've had that experience with other thinking people on the right. In my opinion, most of the other issues are created by the elite to distract and separate all of us.

Pretending that the other issues are important . . . The reason that I do not have a party affiliation is that I feel both sides - equally - have failed to give the issues much thought. I see almost no one offering solutions (the exception for me being Robert Reich). I don't think many of us fully understand the issues because the words from the supposed experts are superficial and often devolve to the ad hominem. I think Biden is genuinely trying to offer solutions on some issues, but he is so different from his party (not to mention the right) that I don't hold out much hope for him, even if he wins in 2024. I put no stock in the attempts to portray him as criminal or incompetent: Americans always destroy whoever is on top at the moment. (Besides, there is still no evidence.)

By giving the politicians (fed and state) a "short half life", you show more regard for them than I have. I hate that we have to show them so much attention. I blame the press for that.

I would love it if we got to the point where we are debating the third trimester. Right now, we're stuck in the 6-week debate, which I consider mean and ludicrous. I also believe too much of the abortion debate is really about attitudes toward women. I know that's so for me.

I too don't like the DNC's relationship with minorities. Unfortunately, the right is no better. This is one of the many instances where the two-party system, where the parties pretend to be at war but are actually aligned, fails. The minorities have no real political friends, but then neither did the minorities (mostly immigrants) who went before.

Describing Trump as a man of "centrist policies" is down right silly. As a historian and student of the Third Reich, I for one take seriously Trump's promises to create a dictatorship (aligning with the dictators already in power), to use federal agencies to effect his desires for revenge, to back white (and Christian) supremacy, and to financially enhance the elite to the detriment of the rest of us.

Though we will never agree, I have enjoyed our discussion. Discussions in our tone of voice are way too rare.

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A philosopher I admire wrote, I paraphrase, Conflict begins when I separate myself from the next person. The identity politics to me is deeply divisive. To make matters worse my identity changed twice in the first thirty five years of my life.

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Freddie is a smart guy and a really good writer.

But this: "I’m a Marxist" cannot be reconciled with this: "It’s okay to call nonsense nonsense."

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"I feel a little dumber"

- Nikki Haley

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Good on you, Freddie for recognizing and admitting how the progressive Left has lost its way. As a classical JFK-Liberal (who now refers to herself as a Centrist because the Left side of the political spectrum has been stretched into Crazy Town), I can appreciate your viewpoints, even if I don't agree with all of them.

And thank you, Bari for offering this piece to your subscribers. I haven't read through the comments yet, but I have no doubt both you and Freddie were eaten alive by this crowd. Which is both sad and ironic, given this piece's overall message.

**Takes deep breath, and dives in**

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From a humanist, Johnsonian "Survival of the Fittest" evolutionary drift perspective, equitable distribution of the good things of life (whatever that means) will accrue to pathological predators. Mathematically, Pareto theory observes competence hierarchies are unavoidable, for example. Nothing is as hierarchal as the monopolistic power exhibited by attempts to organize a society by class, nor as murderous.

Nothing creates or spreads wealth as moral capitalism. While immoral capitalism can indeed get nasty and destructive -- nothing compares to the slaughter of humans and the environment as socialism at its extreme.

Mostly moral capitalism has raised the wealth and welfare of the world to the highest standard of living in recorded history today. Worldwide poverty is at its lowest, ever. Yes, we have a problem with oligarchic, near-cornered markets for some things. Yes, the wealth disparities at the extremes are perplexing -- but the poor today are nothing like the poor of even recent history.

All of this astonishing wealth has blossomed from the seed of Judeo-Christianity's truth about our fundamental identity: We are individuals, created in God's image, and self-evidently merit respect and nurture from before conception to physical passing. Our individuality presents unique purpose and talent that only capitalism respects and rewards, based on a moral framework of, essentially, respect for personal property in all its forms. Property is not theft, it is the safe space for investable value that individuals, not classes create and steward. Protections or preferences based on immutable characteristics other then sex and age of majority (meaning mothers and fathers and the children they raise into adulthood), are hollow divisions.

Marxism is simply an excuse for pathological thieves to rationalize their avarice.

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