neshomeh: (Default)
[personal profile] neshomeh
Pausing briefly in my volunteer cataloguing work to put something interesting in a place I won't forget about it. This is sort of a poem in three parts:


Not a Liberal

They say that I am a radical.
If I am a radical
then I am not a liberal.
The future will be different
if we make the present different
But to make the present different
one must give up old tricks
and start to play new tricks.
But to give up old tricks
and start to play new tricks
one must be a fanatic.
Liberals are so liberal about everything
that they refuse to be fanatical about anything.
And not being able to be fanatical about anything,
liberals cannot be liberators.
They can only be liberals.
Liberals refuse to be
religious, philosophical or economic fanatics
and consent to be
the worst kind of fanatics,
liberal fanatics.

Not a Conservative

If I am a radical,
then I am not a conservative.
Conservatives try to believe
that things are good enough
to be let alone.
But things are not good enough
to be let alone.
Conservatives try to believe
that the world is getting better
every day in every way.
But the world is not getting better
every day in every way.
The world is getting worse
every day in every way
because the world is upside down.
When conservatives and radicals
will come to an understanding
they will take the upside down
and they will put it right side up.

A Radical Change

The order of the day
is to talk about the social order.
Conservatives would like
to keep it from changing
but they don't know how.
Liberals try to patch it
and call it a New Deal.
Socialists want a change
but a gradual change.
Communists want a change,
an immediate change,
but a Socialist change.
Communists in Russia
do not build Communism,
they build Socialism.
Communists want to pass
from capitalism to Socialism
and from Socialism to Communism.
I want a change
and a radical change.
I want a change
from an acquisitive society
to a functional society,
from a society of go-getters
to a society of go-givers.

-- Peter Maurin, qtd. in Catholics, Politics, and Public Policy by Clarke E. Cochran and David Carroll Cochran

I wouldn't call myself a radical, but I think the poem contains ideas worth thinking about.

Perhaps...

Date: 2009-03-25 11:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wikimaster.livejournal.com
But I would still like to consider myself a liberal, except on moral issues (which I am not elaborating on, thank you). By the way, I'm friending you!

Re: Perhaps...

Date: 2009-03-25 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neshomeh.livejournal.com
You realize that people are going to jump to conclusions when you say you're morally conservative without elaborating, right? For example, I tend to think that means you're against abortion, gay marriage, welfare, and possibly health care for everyone in the country.

I'm for all of those things. I'm not going to hold it against you if you're not. I'm not going to agree with you, but I won't hold it against you. For me, part of being liberal is believing that people have a right to determine how they live their own lives, whether I agree with it or not, as long as they obey the law.

Re: Perhaps...

Date: 2009-03-27 10:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wikimaster.livejournal.com
I disagree with only half of the list. Okay, possibly two-thirds. Oh, and Welfare is one of the things I agree with. By the way, did you get my PM? You see, I wanted to apologize for contributing to the discord of the Half-Week of Nightmares(fun name huh?).

PS: If you call me conservative again, I'll take it as an offense. For me, Jack Chick, Ann Coulter, and The-President-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named will always represent conservatism for me. I currently regard myself as independent (all political ideologies are man-made;even those with support from scripture) and will continue to be for the rest of my life.

Another PS: Sorry again! It's been a bad time for me, that's all.

oops!

Date: 2009-03-28 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wikimaster.livejournal.com
It should have been with claimed support from scripture. Sorry!

Re: Perhaps...

Date: 2009-04-01 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neshomeh.livejournal.com
I did see the PM. At first I couldn't reply because you didn't have me as a friend, and then I was gone all weekend. I accept your apology on the condition that you make an effort not to make the same mistakes again.

You can start by noticing that I didn't call you a conservative, at least not in the sense of an accusation or an insult. You said you like to think of yourself as a liberal except on moral issues. The natural interpretation of a statement like that is that you are not liberal on moral issues. I read that to mean that you are the opposite of liberal on moral issues, which would translate to "conservative." Combined with the ambiguous nature of the entire statement, it was a fair reading.

Instead of apologizing for your last post, before posting, you could have rephrased it in a way that wouldn't have required an apology. Always make sure that your posts say what you mean before you hit "Send." That would save you from some of the trouble you get into on the PPC Board.

Sigh...

Date: 2009-04-01 11:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wikimaster.livejournal.com
I guess it's just because I act on first impulses, creating fiascos in places that don't need one. The road to hell is paved on good intentions, after all. By the way, Care to talk about something not serious?

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