Agressive Liberalism

Reading the New York Times obituary of British politician Michael Foot, about whom I know little, I was struck by the following quote:

“We are not here in this world to find elegant solutions, pregnant with initiative, or to serve the ways and modes of profitable progress,” he declared in a campaign speech. “No, we are here to provide for all those who are weaker and hungrier, more battered and crippled than ourselves. That is our only certain good and great purpose on earth, and if you ask me about those insoluble economic problems that may arise if the top is deprived of their initiative, I would answer, ‘To hell with them.’ The top is greedy and mean and will always find a way to take care of themselves. They always do.”

It’s reminiscent of Franklin Roosevelt’s “I Welcome Their Hatred,” a powerful statement of identification with the lower classes. It’s sad that even in the wake of the finance-led economic collapse–and citizen-funded bailout–nothing as forthright can be heard today, especially from our political leaders. They seem more concerned with massaging the money train to its next collapse.