Another interesting observation from Brooks

Just to get the morning started, check out David Brooks today in The Times:

The Wal-Mart Hippies
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: March 5, 2010
The Tea Party’s raging against the machine echoes an older radicalism from the opposite end of the political spectrum.
Excerpt:

“But the Tea Partiers are closer to the New Left. They don’t seek to form a counter-establishment because they don’t believe in establishments or in authority structures. They believe in the spontaneous uprising of participatory democracy. They believe in mass action and the politics of barricades, not in structure and organization. As one activist put it recently on a Tea Party blog: “We reject the idea that the Tea Party Movement is ‘led’ by anyone other than the millions of average citizens who make it up.”

I’m fascinated by the way we insist on labeling ourselves and each other.  We obsessed with fitting people into groups and making sure we know how to compare/contrast our culture. It’s also interesting how the labels liberal and conservative have stuck with certain groups but the groups have moved beyond the true liberal/conservative definitions.  Conservatives are now looking for radical change and liberals are now hoping for continued, determined progress.  Funny how things change.  Once again, I appreciate Brooks’ perspective and ability to bring interesting discussion to the forefront.

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One response to “Another interesting observation from Brooks

  1. My friend Harleigh made an interesting comment about the Brooks’ piece. She observed that motivations of the two groups highlighted appear to be different. She said and I seem to agree that the basis of the Left’s social movement of the late 60’s was a demonstrated interest against abuse of power creating social injustice. There was a social good element. In her mind, the Tea Partiers have a much more selfish and pragmatic approach. Quote: “They are attacking the man to keep their money…” and I don’t think she’ll mind my noting that here.

    I thought it was worthwhile exploring and thinking about. Are fiscal conservatives and Tea Partiers inherently selfish? Granted, they believe society including our overall economy will benefit from their worldview. That’s worth noting.

    Nevertheless, this comparison, as with most things, boils down the question to one of fundamental motivations.

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