Sunday, May 20, 2007

Selling Out

I agree with Atrios on this one. If you have an opportunity to make money, go for it. Certainly the modern progressive movement would seem to be quite comfortable with people making money, to an extent that the old movement perhaps was not. For example, Markos and Jerome in "Crashing the Gates" (and elsewhere) argued for the need to better support our young progressives financially. Young people entering conservative politics, people who wish to work on campaigns , policy development etc. can expect decent salaries and a real prospect for career advancement. Young folks entering liberal politics have long been expected to do so for free, or for minimal compensation. Today's progressives are arguing that that needs to change. Folks on the left are not opposed to making money and acquiring wealth. What we are opposed to are the special privileged that conservatives want to bestow upon the wealthy. We are opposed to the idea of heavily subsidizing the wealthy and only the wealthy with the services government can supply. We are opposed to the two class, privileged/servile, society favored by the right.

There is one other thing about the idea of "selling out" that relates to the things I write here. If some band, or other artist, has done some great work illustrating the importance of progressive ideals some ten hears ago, then the work of art continues to demonstrate those ideals whatever the artist might do afterwards. Later changes to what the artist does, shouldn't change the meaning of things done earlier. If I may be forgiven a bit of a tangent, there is a good example of this concept in the debates about evolution and creationism. (I said there would be a tangent). Over the years various folks on the creationist side have often put forth what is often refered to as "The Lady Hope" story. In short, supposedly a very Christian women of the name of Lady Hope converted Darwin on his deathbed to fundamentalist Christianity and to renounce evolution. Now the reaction of evolutionists is two-fold. On the 0ne hand the story is false and the historical evidence of it's being false if presented. But the other reaction is, so what? If Darwin had recanted that would not in the slightest change the value of "The Origin of Species" or the validity of natural selection. We know that modern species are linked by ties of common ancestry and that natural selection is the process which promotes increased diversity because the evidence shows it to be the case. Whatever Darwin himself might think. In a similar way, the original artistic work carries whatever message it had originally, whatever happens afterwards.



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