Issue # 17 - From The Editor

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January 2013 - Issue #17

Issue #17 Cover

                                                                                             American Noir by Roger Humes  

In this issue

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In thinking about the general nature of the material in Progressive Democracy and comparing it with material on other progressive sites, one cannot help but see that in much of what one finds here there is a difference.  Since I am a philosopher, what I prefer to publish here and what I write and think about myself, tends to be oriented more toward ideas rather than to facts, figures, and particular policies.  For instance, I and hence (given my position) this publication, tends to talk about and want others to think about why progressive taxation is fair rather than to talk about particular schemes of progressive taxation.  Or why do conservatives think, over and above any considerations of self-interest, that the poor are largely responsible for their own condition?   Most publications are empirically oriented and do not try to raise and investigate the ideas involved in political thought.  That is what makes Progressive Democracy unique as a journal aimed at a broad, intelligent but non-academic audience.

Of course, that is not all that gets published here – even aside from the poetry.  In this issue Barbara Aswad reviews a book on how 9/11 affected the large Arab population in the Detroit area.  Barbara is from that area – until retiring she was a professor of anthropology at Wayne State University specializing in the middle east.  For a more complete account of her work with the Arab community in Michigan see the Notes on Contributors.  The second essay in this issue is by John Grula.  There are those centrists who urge that the progressive left identify more with the American flag, not let the right use it as a symbol of their claim to be the real Americans.  Grula explains why it is so hard for the liberal left to employ the flag symbolically even though our dedication to the ideals of this country is every bit as powerful and historically appropriate as that of the conservative.

The Pithy Polemics section this time around has a bunch of slightly longer thoughts than usual.  But they are, again as usual, especially stimulating and worth thinking about.