"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

July 12, 2006

Yesterday evening I attended a lecture by Eric Liu, author of The Accidental Asian, speechwriter and deputy domestic policy adviser for the Clinton Administration and currently a fellow at the New America Foundation.

Mr. Liu suggests a humanism approach to resolving the increasing political, social and racial polarization in the U.S. while simultaneously integrating into the process the universal compassion, fairness and equality espoused by all major religions.

Liu describes his subject, "Democrats recently have been working overtime to get reacquainted with the language of faith. But is the salvation of progressive politics truly to be found in the Bible? Before we rush to do keyword searches of the great religious texts, we should return to first questions: What is the purpose of progressivism? What, beyond defending the edifice of the Great Society and New Deal, is the promise of progressivism in this age of change?"

Liu emphasized the recent retreat by Americans from finding "purpose" in their lives, instead getting overwhelmed by the encroachment of materialism and consumerism. Purpose in life can be discovered only when the core principles of morality, fairness and "true" patriotism are once again the primary driving force in our daily lives and political process, principles that our founding fathers (e.g. John Adams et al.) emphasized so strongly when defending the necessity of establishing the new republic of the United States.

The lecture was presented by Zocalo at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in L.A.

A podcast of the lecture will soon be available.

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