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In a message dated 12/22/2002 3:22:46 PM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:

Since the "left" is supposedly a group greatly concerned with freedom, I have no idea what they would defend tyrants who keep their people poor, ignorant and in chains, and protect, encourage and fund terrorists>
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> Regards,
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> Kate

The old left/right paradigm has no application to the question of freedom i1n today's politics.  There are many authoritarians, and many freedom-lovers, in each wing, and many who define freedom in a way that others would consider oppressive.  (Your right to share in my property is inconsistent with my right to exclude you from doing so; your right to not be insulted may be inconsistent with my right to express myself, depending upon your sensitivites and my opinions.)

To an extent, the left/right formulation always suffered from these deficiencies, but it seems to me that, since the end of the Cold War, they have come to the fore and left us in need of a new terminology.

Tom K