Sunday, August 5, 2012

Chameleons: Bernard Shaw and Van Jones

In his 1928 book The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (page 386) George Bernard Shaw says the following:
And I, who said 40 years ago that we should have had socialism already but for the Socialists, am quite willing to drop the name, if dropping it will help me to get the thing done.

Oh really? I've heard this before:

I'm willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.

This is Jones' turning point, where he becomes an Evolutionary Radical instead of a Revolutionary one. (which I have no doubt, he'll take full revolution should it come) He said this in an interview with the East Bay Express, in an article titled "The New Face of Environmentalism". Here's the larger context:

Jones' fixation on solidarity dates from this experience. He took an objective look at the movement's effectiveness and decided that the changes he was seeking were actually getting farther away. Not only did the left need to be more unified, he decided, it might also benefit from a fundamental shift in tactics. "I realized that there are a lot of people who are capitalists -- shudder, shudder -- who are really committed to fairly significant change in the economy, and were having bigger impacts than me and a lot of my friends with our protest signs," he said.

First, he discarded the hostility and antagonism with which he had previously greeted the world, which he said was part of the ego-driven romance of being seen as a revolutionary. "Before, we would fight anybody, any time," he said. "No concession was good enough; we never said 'Thank you.' Now, I put the issues and constituencies first. I'll work with anybody, I'll fight anybody if it will push our issues forward. ... I'm willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends."

See. He got rid of the antagonism and the overtly/outward radical ways; but his beliefs haven't changed one iota. He still believes in centralized planning.

This is when radicals become their most dangerous. When they stop looking like this:

And they start looking like this:

Very few people will listen to that first guy. Everybody will listen to that second guy.

Taking a revolutionary and laundering them into the appearance of respectability is a process, which is go into some detail here. This is a process that all of us are well familiar with, it's been happening for a long time. It's just not been something that's been highlighted much over the years. As I mentioned in the previous posting, Bill Ayers. Who went from revolutionary to respectable professor. Ayers isn't the only one, several of the Weathermen are teachers now. The father of modern community organizing, Saul Alinsky... Have you ever seen a picture of him where he wasn't in a suit?

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