President Obama: “Mahalo!” *drops mic*

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Liberalism Today – by Umair Haque (@umairh)

1. Conservatism is a failure. Conservative nations under-perform in financial and human terms.

2. We live in something like a golden age of human prosperity. Liberalism is responsible for this, and liberalism alone.

3. But liberalism is failing. In precisely the same way that conservatism is succeeding.

4. Conservatism is succeeding at inventing an anti-future; a nostalgia for a past that never existed. Nationalism, extremism are symptoms.

5. Liberalism is failing at creating a human future worth living, instead of an unsustainable, uninhabitable, empty dream.

6. Being a liberal is significantly more cognitively and ethically challenging than being a conservative.

7. Being a liberal requires making investments in the common and greater good, not merely hoping to.

8. Being a liberal means prioritizing freedom in one’s everyday life; not merely as subject, but actor.

9. Being a liberal is hard. And that’s precisely why liberalism is failing.

10. Conservatism failed conservatives. But liberals are failing liberalism.

11. No liberal state can let unchecked institutions flourish. Banks, polities, corporations–these are existential threats to liberalism.

12. Neo-liberalism isn’t even worth discussing. Put simply, it prioritizes freedom for money over people. It’s illiberal at its root.

14. Neo-liberalism is the great failure of liberalism. It’s toxic set of negative sum trade offs are tearing liberalism apart.

15. Those of us who claim to be liberals mostly aren’t. We will almost always choose money and stuff over meaning and purpose.

16. Nor is liberalism merely about technological salvation. Technologies are tools that can enslave; liberalism frees minds.

17. The challenge for liberalism, then, is recognizing the depth of its failure; it’s inability to offer a future worth creating.

17. There is no liberalism in America.

18. The only set of ideas that has ever truly freed humanity from oppression and poverty is what we came to call liberalism.

18. Liberalism, where it fully exists today, is no longer called liberalism. What is called liberalism is properly conservatism.

18. The only set of ideas that has ever truly freed humanity from oppression and poverty is what we came to call liberalism.

19. It is that great ideal of liberalism–that in every person, there is a life worth living, because it is true–that must be recaptured.

20. Nations that reinvent liberalism for for the future will prosper. Those that don’t already aren’t, and this is their future.

21. There is no need for argument or refutation. Liberalism alone is the hope of humanity, and a glance at the globe confirms why.

22. America, now in a real perma-depression, it’s young irreversibly harmed, is a case study in how to get liberalism exactly wrong.

23. Conservatives have precisely nothing to offer people. Liberals do. But they must start recognizing it’s more than money.

24. A robust liberalism fit for the future is grounded in meaning, purpose, justice, and human well being.

25. It isn’t up to politicians to offer us this New Liberalism. It’s up to each of us to offer it to ourselves, and those we love, first.

25. A liberalism redefined for the 21st century is the only and best hope the globe has of averting crisis and catastrophe.

26. The point of liberalism wasn’t freeing people to buy McShit. It was freeing people to live lives that resonate, count, and matter.

27. If you discuss “radicalism” vs liberalism, you’re committing a fallacy of composition. Go back to politics 101, you just flunked.

25 Points on Conservatism’s Failure – by Umair Haque (@umairh)

1. What’s going wrong with the globe? The problem really isn’t economics anymore; it’s politics. We are stuck with a broken politics.

2. The problem facing us isn’t economics per se, but politics. Solutions are obvious; but politicians deliberately ignore them.

3. Politicians ignore obvious economic solutions to crisis because our politics is broken. There is NO incentive for them to fix anything.

4. There is no incentive for politicians to fix anything because our political systems aren’t just corrupt, but badly designed.

5. Take the example of the UK. It’s been plunged into FIVE YEARS of real depression. Why? Mostly, because politicians…wanted it.

Take the example of America. It’s got a “recovery” where 90% are poorer than in the “recession.”  Why? Because…politics.

6. Conservatism is modern history’s greatest, most tragic, and most lethal failure. It is plunging the globe into a lost decade.

7. Conservatism is a failure because it has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. And the result is a society unfit for the future.

8. Conservatism has succeeded in preserving an unfair distribution of income, social stratification, opportunity, and injustice.

9. Conservatism’s great success is its failure; it’s goals are precisely what rob economies of dynamism, and leave them fragile.

10. Conservatism EXPLICITLY aims for rent-seeking, social fracture, systemic externalities, and elite capture.

11. Thus, modern conservatism is not a political philosophy fit for a humane future; nor is it one built for a prosperous future.

12. America is a mini case study in conservatism’s failure. It is off the charts compared to other advanced economies rightward.

13. Modern conservatism is a kind of intellectual poison that corrodes modern economies by degrading politics, society, and culture.

14. There are many avenues to fight the lethal toxicity of conservatism. But societies have to choose them.

15. Societies that choose conservative politics in the middle of historic transformations will, by definition, not move forward.

16. Societies that choose conservative politics today are choosing a nostalgic utopia: the late 20 century, forever.

17. A conservatism incapable of grappling with the challenges of today, instead of holding fast to the past. is little more than a fantasy.

18. Liberals who do not recognize the failure of conservatism, and take a more aggressive stance in highlighting it, are conservatives.

19. The great failure of liberalism is also its great success: it is responsible for a golden age of prosperity. And it must claim so.

20. At this point, the central tenets of modern conservatism require NO refutation. They are disproved by recent history.

21. Liberals who engage in “intellectual” debates with conservatives are neither. Because there is no intellect left in conservatism.

22. We may trace the rise and fall of nations over the next decade according to this logic: are they conservative? If so, they’re toast.

23. (Neo)feudalism is essentially the event horizon of modern conservatism. Where it comes full circle, and regresses into lunacy.

24. Reality: there is no example of an advanced economy anywhere in the world following conservative policies and prospering.

25. There are no conservative and prosperous countries. Hence, to attempt conservative politics today is an exercise in magical thinking.

Ann Coulter’s Underwear Fail

Many of you know Ann Coulter as a supposedly brilliant Republican political commentator, lawyer, syndicated columnist, and Romney surrogate. She also has a Twitter account. Last week she tweeted this: The word’s out, Harry Reid wears women’s underwear. If he’s not, let him prove it. This was in response to Senate Majority leader Harry Reid’s claim that Mitt Romney paid no income taxes for the last ten years. Ann Coulter was attempting to point out the ridiculousness of Reid’s claim. This tweet shows two things: Team Romney is grasping at straws. And Ann Coulter is not that bright. There is a flaw in Coulter’s argument. You see, Harry Reid never claimed to have worn women’s underwear, so he has nothing to prove. There is no burden of proof on Harry Reid’s part to prove or disprove Coulter’s accusation.

Then there is Mitt Romney. He has claimed over and over again that “he paid taxes. Lots of taxes.” And now Harry Reid has a reliable source (backed up by Nancy Pelosi) that this claim is untrue. So the burden of proof is on Mitt Romney as to whether Reid’s claim is true or false. Romney will not do it. Mitt Romney’s response to Harry Reid was that Reid needed to “put up or shut up,” in other words, reveal the source of the claim. This is ludicrous on its face. It is Romney who needs to put up or shut up. Releasing his tax returns for the last 10 years would put the whole matter to rest instantly, IF Harry Reid truly is talking out of his ass. But we all know that Mitt Romney has some pretty big secrets in those tax returns, otherwise he would have released them months ago.

More and more top Republicans are calling for Romney to release his returns already. John McCain looked at 23 years of Mitt Romney’s tax returns in 2008, and then chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. The other thing Romney keeps repeating is that he has already released two years worth of taxes. This statement is false. He released his Form 1040 from 2010, but not the attachments showing income from foreign investments. He has also not yet released his tax returns from 2011, because (as he said) they are not yet completed. Or completely doctored up.

As for Harry Reid, I really don’t care whether or not he wears women’s underwear (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But he just doesn’t seem like that kind of guy.