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  •  I cannot agree, sorry (4+ / 0-)

    because when it comes to social justice, the history of rifts here is very broad, and I think that it's not been divided by Rall so much as made apparent once again: he's pulled the curtain back on a long-standing divide about social justice commitments and the lack thereof, and I believe this is because some Kossacks tend to focus more on economic issues, others on human rights issues, and others on social justice issues, but not always on all three at once.

    So I feel like the artifice is more in the illusion of support for social justice issues that people maintain here much of the time to avoid being castigated by other community members or to maintain alliances surrounding the economy or human rights, if that makes sense.

    I'm sure this is a simplified, scaled-back analysis, but I hope its functionally serviceable enough to follow.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 05:14:32 PM PST

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    •  It makes sense both ways you said it. (4+ / 0-)

      I hope you don't mind if I hope you're wrong on this one, and that things can be mended without splitting the site.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 05:19:45 PM PST

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    •  Economic and human rights, and civil rights issues (6+ / 0-)

      are all social justice issues, wouldn't you agree? I've seen very few people here who are one or the other, though indeed some who appear to assume that if someone's critical of the president that they must not care about civil rights, or worse, be a bigot.

      To the contrary, it seems pretty divisive to try to cram an entire group of people into one contrived category or the other without knowing more than what little you see on a blog. I think the "serviceability" of your (deliberate or unintended, either way) "us versus them" taxonomy is simplified to the point of being counterproductive. Sure, it feels good to simplify, and to categorize, but that doesn't make it right.

      My observations of most Democrats and progressives, here, and outside the blogosphere, is that they are all to varying degrees sensitive to social justice issues across the spectrum, albeit with varying levels of sophistication and knowledge. So yes, some more than others, of course, and yes, a few may be stone-cold racists, others unconsciously so, or homophobes, misogynists, and even others heartless economic neoliberals. But most rank-and-file Dems are trying their best to push for social justice and to stem the tide of rightwing destructions -- and they deserve a little benefit of the doubt on a blog that's supposed to be pursuing Democratic solidarity and political progress.

      Why promote oversimplified, false dichotomies that inflame? Tell Rall might be a racist, but reasonable people here can disagree in this instance that he might be being misinterpreted.

      "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Kombema on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 05:50:33 PM PST

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      •  No, I see them as connected (4+ / 0-)

        but distinct entities. Being able to define terms very specifically is a core component of critical thinking, to be clear and precise with ones' terms.

        clarify: To make easier to understand, to free from confusion or ambiguity, to remove obscurities. Clarity is a fundamental perfection of thought and clarification a fundamental aim in critical thinking. Students often do not see why it is important to write and speak clearly, why it is important to say what you mean and mean what you say. The key to clarification is concrete, specific examples. See accurate, ambiguous, logic of language, vague.
        All three concepts are connected, but they are not the same. They may often have the same root cause, but they are not the same things. They may often attract the same concerned people, but not in all cases.

        I'm unclear what you mean by an "us" vs. "them" taxonomy unless you mean that I point out a fact which is that all peoples' political commitments are not the same, which they are not. I doubt many people care about my political commitments to West African politics, for example, in the same way that I do. That isn't divisive: it's factual. I begrudge no one for holding different commitments. That would potentially be divisive, were it true.

        These are the most basic tenets of critical thinking humanly imaginable. It is true, it is a fact, that some people notice social inequity, others notice human rights issues, and others notice economic inequality differently. And to be clear, I am defining these in a fairly usual sense: social justice is a concern for how others from different backgrounds, particularly those of a minority status due to class or ethnicity or other factors, are treated within one society; human rights are a concern for the basic rights that all people ought to hold globally, not particular to any given society per se; economic inequality is similar to a concern for social justice but focuses more on how economic systems may or may not apportion resources differently to different classes of people. There may be some overlap here. But in the case of human rights vs. social justice, for example, these can be in direct conflict with one another at times. And people, again, may view one aspect of the world with greater importance than another. Human rights, for example, is predicated on humanism which not all those who support social justice always do support.

        So yes, I think it's good to know where there are sometimes not so much divisions but different personal focuses, so that we can potentially understand how to better cause these to overlap. A false dichotomy is no better than a hasty generalization, and lumping these distinct issues into the same category is just that.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 06:38:59 PM PST

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        •  Obviously different views on social justice (1+ / 0-)
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          And your perspective isn't exactly the only one here. If anything, you've offered a very limited and narrow vision of social justice. Read on:

          For starters, here's the basic definition from wikipedia, which actually does tie together economic class, human rights, individual dignity, etc:

          Social justice

          Social justice is justice exercised within a society, particularly as it is applied to and among the various social classes of a society.

          A socially just society is one based upon the principles of equality and solidarity; which pedagogy also maintains that a socially just society both understands and values human rights, as well as recognizing the dignity of every human being.[1][2] The Constitution of the International Labour Organization affirms that "universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice."[3] Furthermore, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action treats social justice as a purpose of the human rights education.[4]

          And the Global Justice Movement is all about economic equality, fair trade, in opposition to hegemonic exploitation by corporations and the global banking industry:

          Economic equality is, in the view of many, a core element of social justice. And civil and political rights are inextricably entwined with this, because without civil rights, its pretty hard to achieve economic equality. If basic freedoms aren't present, how do people organize to work for economic equality? And human rights aren't really different from civil rights and political rights but rather, these different kinds of rights are subsets of human rights:


          Human rights can be classified and organized in a number of different ways, at an international level the most common categorisation of human rights has been to split them into civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights.
          In fact, the UN Declaration of Human Rights is based on the principle of indivisibility of rights, since if any of the basic rights are absent from the bundle of rights, they all tend to unravel.

          The UDHR included both economic, social and cultural rights and civil and political rights because it was based on the principle that the different rights could only successfully exist in combination:

              The ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his social, economic and cultural rights.
              —International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, 1966

          This is held to be true because without civil and political rights the public cannot assert their economic, social and cultural rights. Similarly, without livelihoods and a working society, the public cannot assert or make use of civil or political rights (known as the full belly thesis).

          Of course, there are differing views on this (read the rest of the article) depending on which economic system one favors. For example, capitalists may emphasize civil rights, but aren't as keen on economic rights.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 12:39:43 AM PST

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        •  So, in light of this... (3+ / 0-)
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          jbsoul, Oh Mary Oh, joanneleon

          Isn't it possible that some members here want to narrow the area of focus to certain subsets of social justice, pertaining to personal interests, while others are more global in focus? So, for example, foreign policy, militarism, international banking practices, global economy, are all appropriately part of a global social justice perspective, while a more narrow view of the definition of social justice would be far more limited, taking in a smaller part of the whole. I could see this difference in emphasis causing conflict.

          There are a lot of issues to cover, and of course people will have their interests and particular fascinations, but that doesn't mean they don't care about other areas of social justice. All of these different branches are important, but few persons have the time to take it all in equally, so of course they develop interests.

          I really don't see this as the entire cause of conflict here. I really do think the real cause is a split over the degree to which individuals support, or not, the discipline of working purely within electoral politics (which requires a willingness to completely indulge in partisanship, one team against the other, thus getting into requirements of loyalty). Those who are not content to steadfastly support the electoral system will tend to be free to engage in more criticism, while those who believe the electoral path is the only effective choice will tend to act to tamp down too much extra-partisan behavior, since they see it as defeating chances of success.

          Although there is a split between moderates and radicals, it isn't always about how "far left" or "centrist" ones sociopolitical beliefs are, but rather it is about how reformist vs revolutionary one is. And even capitalists can have a revolutionary streak.

          I've seen several individuals here list all the "far left" views they hold (some claim to be so "far left" they identify with socialism, council communism, or Marxist syndicalism), in order to establish solid progressive credentials, while still holding the view that it is sacrilege to stray too far from support of status quo electoral politics, simply out of the firm belief that too much criticizing of one's own party is tantamount to self-defeatism. Therefore, these individuals have much more subjective views of the Democratic party, since they tend to be inside looking out, no matter how far to the left their political views are thought to be. Their adherence to the electoral process makes them indistinguishable from a center-left Democrat, even if they hold more leftist views.

          And those who are more rebellious, and less trusting of the electoral system, even if rather moderate in politics, are far more willing to stray from the fold in search of alternate solutions, and they are willing to be far more openly critical, since being outside the system gives them a more objective approach, since they tend to be outside looking in.   True, these tend to be hard core leftists, but not all of them are anti-capitalists, and some are rather moderate, and thus some in the latter group may not be as far to left as some members of the former.

          So, these definitions of far left vs moderate tend to get muddled and blurry. People can be left in politics but conservative in tactics, and vice-versa.

          That's the real reason for the divide. And this explains why some who identify with the far left are lumped in with moderates, and why some more moderate individuals are lumped in with the far left. It is more about whether one views oneself as an insider to the process, or an outsider.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 01:29:22 AM PST

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          •  And so... (2+ / 0-)
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            jbsoul, joanneleon

            Regarding the comic strip dude...

            He's one of the "outsiders." The rebels. And the outsiders are so geared up, due to all the conflict and site opposition over years, that they tend to circle the wagons around one of their own, and of course, the insiders to the system do the same.

            So, while the "outsiders" (to use my model) might simply be so intent in protecting their own that they don't seem to see inappropriate drawings as offensive, the insiders are likewise so intent on protecting their own they don't see war crimes being committed.

            Each side is willing to ignore bad actors in their own ranks. They simply are blinded to it. And this drives both sides mutually crazy with frustration.

            So they scream to each other in turn, "Why can't you see what is right under your nose!"

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 01:50:25 AM PST

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            •  And... (1+ / 0-)
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              My apologies if "circle the wagons" is, unknowingly to me, a terrible reference regarding the Indian wars.

              I'd never considered this might not be appropriate, but I'm guessing it isn't at all a good phrase to use. Maybe someone can inform me about the usage.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 01:57:26 AM PST

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            •  ZhenRen thank you (1+ / 0-)
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              for your thought provoking comments.  I was so busy the last couple days I wasn't here much so I wasn't fully aware of the strife.

              You're view has much merit and truth to it and I've learned from it.  I guess my observations may be based more on feelings?

              It breaks my heart to see people who should be able to feel safe here hurt and betrayed by someone who should be their friend.  Ted Rall should have respected and cared for others which is the basis of the Democratic Party I know and love.

              He should have humbly said he was sorry and asked forgiveness for hurting others.  If he can't do that he doesn't belong here or in any other loving and caring community.

              •  I've though long and hard on that... (2+ / 0-)
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                jbsoul, poco

                and I've come to agree with you, although I understand both sides on this issue. People perceive things differently.

                The way I try to sort this out is asking myself what I would have done if I were the creator of the comic strip. It would have bothered me personally if my drawing was racially hurtful, even if that weren't my intent. I'd find myself losing sleep over it. So I'd probably change it enough so that there would be no misunderstanding, while still getting across my message. But that's me. I'm very sensitive and perceptive type of person. I'm sensitive to  nuance and subtlety.  And I care and have perhaps, in some cases, even too much empathy, so I've been told by one or two real life people.

                Seems as if this sort of thing falls on a a spectrum, just like so many other human traits.

                But there has been far too much racially inflicted pain and suffering, reaching levels so horrific it exceeds one's capacity to comprehend, on the African American community. They have endured far more than any people should ever be required to endure. So this does require a special sensitivity.

                We should err on the side of compassion.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 08:51:21 AM PST

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                •  And likewise... (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Choco8, SpamNunn, jbsoul, JayRaye

                  It baffles me why people who care about the offensive drawings aren't even more distraught over the extra-judicial killings from drone attacks, which have been categorized as war crimes by human rights groups.

                  As well as the horrible chilling effect of prosecuting whistle blowers. One could go on and on, as long as we're discussing heartlessness.

                  See what I mean?

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 09:02:09 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes I do (1+ / 0-)
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                    I've thought all day about your post.  It challenged my mind and really made me examine my political philosophy in a way I never have before.

                    Thank you again for your contributions to this site.  You and so many others help to maintain both a high level of intellectual discourse and of decency.

          •  Just caught your comments here. Too late to rec, (0+ / 0-)

            but they were great, FWIW.

            "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by Kombema on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 03:35:12 PM PST

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        •  Good point. (0+ / 0-)

          Where you are standing shapes what you see. and how you see it.  Literally and figuratively.

          So yes, I think it's good to know where there are sometimes not so much divisions but different personal focuses, so that we can potentially understand how to better cause these to overlap.

          Unwitting privileged genetic lottery winner and economic engine

          by SpamNunn on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 10:18:45 AM PST

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