Thursday, July 31, 2008

People don't really know what radical is.

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:54 PM Permalink

I like Adbusters. They put out a great magazine and they do some interesting advocacy work. But it's considered radical, and it's really not.

In one of their articles, the writer goes to great lengths to establish Roberto Mongabeira Unger's radical cred:
Unger wrote prodigiously, churning out an endless stream of ideas about philosophy, politics, economics and social theory. He was, and he remains, a committed, radical leftist; he embraces the very idea of radicalism as a central pillar of his political philosophy.
OK. So he's a radical leftist. So I read on:
Unger is more than just another academic-turned-politician, or another radical given a taste of power. His success or failure may very well determine the future of leftist movements around the world. His ideas represent some of the most novel approaches to dealing with the world’s problems: how to reduce poverty, promote economic growth and strengthen democracy. So his appointment will test whether a leftist movement still has the power to transform the world.
OK. So my interest is piqued. But, towards the end, there's this:
But Unger doesn’t think Brazil should compete against the likes of China by giving its workers ever-lower wages. And he rejects the neo-Korean model because he wants to start an economic revolution from the ground up, not top down. Instead, Unger proposes that the government both tax and invest heavily. Voting should be made mandatory, as should savings. These measures would buffer the economy from the influence of international investors. This flies against the textbooks that say governments should prostrate themselves to foreign investment. Growth would not come from big business then, but from Brazil’s small enterprises.
He's no radical. Far from it. He's still working within the established construct. A radical wants to break that construct. Destroy it. Not play with it in different ways.

Yet another example of why the left isn't really the left at all.

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