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Dear Dr. Progressive

web posted June 11, 2001

Important Note: Dr. Progressive has been missing since April 9 because he joined a cult. He has now returned very disillusioned. He is back to helping angst-ridden Leftists. He is taking your questions at jglazov@home.com

Dear Dr. Progressive,

In a recent argument with a conservative, I claimed that LBJ's "War on Poverty" never really took place because all the money he was going to use to redistribute wealth and eliminate poverty was diverted into fighting the war in Vietnam. Therefore, we've never really tried to fight poverty or redistribute wealth in this country. Conservatives can't claim that social welfare programs failed if they never existed in the first place. How was my reasoning? Was it sound? Was it true? Does it matter if it's not true?

Because I'd really like to keep using this argument even if it's false. I'd rather deny failure altogether than make excuses for it. All suggestions are welcome, but please be kind and constructive (it's not that I'm emotionally fragile; it's just that I ignore anything unpleasant or personally inconvenient). Thanks for your help.

Emma
Los Angeles, CA

Dear Emma,

I don't really know what to say to you. Government spending programs that try to fight poverty always expand and impoverish the underclass further. But the Left cannot let go of its religious faith. So continue arguing your baloney if you want to.


Dear Dr. Progressive,

I want to be a Leftist, but I am outraged at how the Islamic terrorists are engaging in violence against innocent Israelis. Is it ok for a Leftist to be pro-Israel?

Larry
Boston

Dear Larry,

No.


Dear Dr. Progressive,

My husband and I have been fighting for social justice for a long time now.

He fought for the environment and I fought against racism and sexism. Both of us are now fighting against homophobia. The problem is that, while both of us are dedicated to overthrowing the oppressive capitalist patriarchy, I am noticing some problems between us. We got married not because we liked anything about each other in particular, but because of our agreement over Marx's writings about the importance of workers gaining the means of production. But now that we don't talk about Marxism that much anymore, I am noticing some problems. For instance, he seems to get very irritated when I talk about some of my problems. He is particularly frustrated when I talk about problems that he can do nothing about, and to which he cannot ascribe an economic interpretation.

Lately my husband has regularly been invalidating my feelings, especially about how I feel about homophobia. He talks about homophobia but he doesn't seem like he cares about how I feel about it. I get a feeling of unworthiness when he does this, especially when he just cuts me off and starts talking about sexism and racism.

The other day he said he noticed that I figure out what I want to say about homophobia through the process of just talking. He said I should think what I want to say about homophobia and then say it, rather than talking first and figuring out what I want to say while I am talking. This hurt my feelings and when I tried to tell him this, he told me to "shut up." I told him that Marx would never have talked like this to his wife, and neither would Foucault have said this to one of his boyfriends. Then my husband told me I was a traitor to the progressive cause. He threw a temper tantrum, broke a few dishes and stormed out of the house.

I find my husband's behavior very unfair. Lately, he seems to almost live in a cave. He never talks to me. Isn't part of being progressive activists to discuss things in a collectivity? Lately, the only time he talks is not even about the fight against capitalism. We will be eating and he makes a snide remark about my table manners.

What, as a woman dedicated to the progressive cause, should I do?

Leona Carter
San Francisco

Leona,

It greatly saddens me that I have returned to a life in which I must answer idiotic questions posed by idiotic people.


Dear Dr. Progressive,

Should sex be enjoyed for its pleasurable qualities? Or is sex a means to a certain end? Should a Leftist see sexuality as political or pleasurable?

Kevin Inglis
Ontario

Dear Kevin,

If you enjoy sex you are betraying the cause. Sex is a political weapon. If you are male and you want to be politically correct, then you should be going out with guys. Otherwise, you are being homophobic.

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