Saturday, September 25, 2004

think tanks

i read a blog or article somewhere recently about the need for a good liberal think tank to produce some quality thought in reply to the conservative lunacy that's being espoused these days.
i have reservations about the idea though.
one major concern to me would be the possibility of such a group really only producing thought in response to conservative initiatives. with the general shift of the political spectrum to the right (one of the reasons i dislike the labels 'left and right', they're only indications of the position of a speaker relative to their audience, not the actual political position of the speaker. howard is, or more precisely was, a leftie compared to hanson), political and social discourse is all too often dominated by headline-grabbing issues like terrorism and taxation.
IMHO, what a 'good' liberal think tank would have to do is work to produce answers to issues of larger, and longer-term importance. sure, terrorism is the most pressing concern of this decade, but finding ways to undermine its spread into a wider 'civilisational' war is perhaps a bigger issue?
another example is the new morality that is overtaking liberal societies. if we don't address the problem of fundamentalism within our own nation-states, how can we expect to not be hypocritical about the fundamentalism of other nations? isn't that just xenophobia and parochialism masquerading as a 'civilising mission'? the US' actions in regard to iraq being an all too frightening example.
a 'liberal' think tank would have to make an assault on the position of conservatives as the 'rational' and level-headed speakers for the nation in which the tank resides. whereas during the cold war it was the left who were the hysterical ones, today it is the right who all too often follow doctrinaire positions that help no one in the long-term (communism was a farce).
'reason' and 'understanding' (not just tolerance, which is a term that implies 'patience without liking'), have to be the watch-words in such a group.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was "blog surfing" and I came across your site. I couldn't agree more with your comments about "conservative lunacy"; in fact, I believe I used the term earlier today! I don't normally comment on strangers' blogs, but after sifting through a multitude of poorly written, inarticulate drivel, I was pleasantly surprised to find such an intelligent blog on the Internet (especially one which reflects my own political views).

- Paula

12:26 pm  
Blogger the other 'Che' said...

thanks. i'll try and keep up the standard.

1:03 pm  

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