Following release of the results of a recent Fairleigh Dickinson University poll showing 29% of registered voters in the U.S. believe armed revolution to ‘protect liberties’ may be necessary the self-appointed political ‘center’ went into full conniption in defense of the established order. Visions of shotgun wielding Tea Partiers were trotted out, racists no doubt, storming the Capitol to roll back the radical progress President Barack Obama and a blameless Congress have made to save ‘our fledgling democracy’ from the predations of empire, the corrupting influence of money in politics, the growing and conspicuous divide between haves and have-nots, the murderous militarism of the war industry and the oppressive machinations of a militarized police. Accurate descriptions of official policies to which the citizenry might legitimately object were prominent in their absence.
By Richard Gale
Part 2 of a series of 3. How did the liberal left get it so wrong? When did it become so powerless in facing the avalanche of domestic and global crises ahead? At what point did it lose its moral bearing and compromise on its fundamental principles that at one time were truly progressive and democratic?
Editor’s Note: The author(s) are correct in castigating the liberal left. Left liberals (“the best of liberalism”) lost their moorings long ago because they never had a trustworthy compass, always being much more liberal than left, just as “capitalist democracy” is always far more capitalist than democratic. The liberals’ fear and aversion of class analysis as a method to understand politics and history, their eager participation in the anti-communist crusade and similarly sordid enterprises, inevitably yields this kind of result. And it’s no use to put on a hairshirt at this point, the damage is done. —P. Greanville
Not long ago, it was widely assumed that faith in God is no longer an authentic motivator in modern politics, and that sectarian strife, despite its religious veneer, has more to do with class struggle or anti-imperialist resistance — or “subversion,” as Cold Warriors used to say — than religious conviction.
Academic history — the kind backed up by piles of primary-source research and hedged with cautionary remarks — is often useful, but rarely fascinating. Most of it, however, isn’t about a subject as perennially engaging as Faramerz Dabhoiwala’s. The Oxford historian’s new book, “The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution,”  describes how sex became modern in 18th-century England, a transformation that explains “the profound chasm between our present attitudes to sex and those that prevailed for most of western history.” We tend to think of sex as something primal and unchanging, but as Dabhoiwala tells it, nothing could be further from the truth.
Several years ago, for a series of Salon articles about Scientology, I was asked to review the founding text of the church, “Dianetics”  by L.Ron Hubbard, first published in 1950. The book seemed so clearly the work of a man suffering from particular and pronounced mental health issues that I became, for the first time, curious about its author. Like most self-help books, “Dianetics” frequently invokes case histories or hypothetical scenarios, but unlike most self-help books, Hubbard’s stories featured an alarming amount of violence, specifically domestic violence.
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February 27, 2013
The latest Academy Awards ceremony, which crowned the well-intentioned but fatally flawed Argo as the year’s best film, merely formalized the nearly universal acclaim that director Ben Affleck has received for his gripping CIA drama set in Iran. It also said a lot about what’s wrong with Hollywood today.