Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Michael Bader argues that a cynical view of politics represents the most important barrier to progressive victories:
Cynicism is a corrosive force in our politics and culture, but one that is invisible to us because it seems so normal. My patients feel the same way. They keep repeating patters that are familiar and experience deviations from these scripts as anxiety provoking. It’s my job to help them see, through education and by creating new corrective experiences in which they are encouraged to freely choose a healthier way to be, that their emotional reality and distress are not something hardwired and inevitable. My underlying message is that transformational change is possible.

Progressives need to convey this same message in the broader political arena. The problem we face is that political cynicism of the sort that suffocates us today masquerades as realism, a realism that warns us that transformational change is a pipe dream and that aspiring to what we really want is a recipe for disappointment. When a patient conveys this belief, I see it as a symptom of an emotional injury rather than objective reality and I seek to change it, not surrender to its inevitability.

That's what a progressive movement should be doing on a social level; challenging cynicism and drawing people to our cause because our cause is big and grand and mirrors their own buried wish to be part of something that big and grand. We need leaders who can present such a vision and fight the realists who want us to be afraid of our own deepest longings.
- And on the subject of visionary policies which are too often dismissed based solely on questionable assertions as to feasibility, Jeff Krimmel points out how a basic income offers important benefits across the income spectrum.

- Craig Scott sees this week's federal budget as an all-too-familiar example of the gap between the Libs' campaign rhetoric and their actions while in power, while Kate McInturff writes that the Libs' budget falls far short of expectations for women in particular.  And Alan Freeman discusses how the CFIB was one of the groups which saw campaign commitments abandoned in the budget - though he rightly notes that the group's past willingness to be used by the Harper Cons may represent part of the explanation.

- Elena Holodny writes about the increasing number and cost of extreme weather events as the most readily visible symptom of climate change.

- Finally, Rose Hackman examines the effects of pervasive and groundless surveillance on a minority population.

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