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Forum Post: my thread

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 27, 2011, 5:17 a.m. EST by zati321 (169)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

i have this other thread with the catchy title "do you know how much republicans hate you." i dont consider it some kind of brilliant masterpiece: it isnt. im not re-inventing the wheel, just regurgitating what 90 percent of the world thinks, a world most right wingers would call "socialist." however, i do think that the thread's inhabitants do illustrate, often in graphic detail, the contrast between the liberal/democrat point of view and that of the other side. i believe that politics isnt just politics: the "right" wing and "left" wing points of view basically exist in almost every subject, and there are differences between the two sides that run deeper than race, age, income, religion or even gender. does this mean i think liberals are some "master race"? no, of course not, but sometimes, maybe you'll agree, you can even just LOOK at someone, and there's something deep in their face, that you can tell which side of the spectrum they're on. am i being bigotted? am i wrong? in a way, id like to be wrong because, while differences between people are usually a GOOD thing, i believe there is something that innately repels The Right and us Lefties from each other, something we may never overcome--and it's a divide that the people in washington definitely dont seem like they'll bridge any time soon.



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[-] 2 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 12 years ago

Liberal, Social, Conservative, Progressive, Republican, Democrat

I find that most people are confused about the meaning of these terms. Often I see posts where people believe that liberal is the opposite of conservative or the Republican and conservative are the same thing.

Conservative vs Progressive

  1. A Conservative is disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions and is marked by moderation or caution.
  2. A progressive is more open to moderate change of political existing views, conditions, or institutions and is comfortable with aggressive change.

Liberalism vs Socialism

  1. Liberalism is a philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets.
  2. Socialism advocates collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods or group living in which there is no private property.

Republican Vs Democrat - These are both political parties

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 12 years ago

Both sides have good and bad ideas alike. I think if it was possible to take the opposing views and compromise a little bit then maybe something could actually happen.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Left vs right is really east vs west thinking.

Broadly, speaking, Western society strives to find and prove "the truth", while Eastern society accepts the truth as given and is more interested in finding the balance.

Westerners put more stock in individual rights; Easterners in social responsibly.


[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

You're painting with a very broad brush. Saying that members of Easter societies simply accept the truth as given is extremely naïve. You have to dig a lot deeper than that. Your simplistic dichotomy is extremely reductionist.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Are you still a sophist, here to complicate things? Please give your view of how it looks with a finer brush.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

The only epistemology that leads to a semblance of truth is the scientific method. It was perfected by René Descartes a few hundred years ago because he realized that his predecessors had often based their claims on nothing but assumptions and that many were accepting what others were saying at face value. A thorough method of investigation was needed, and so the scientific method was born.

Still, people all over the world cared about the truth before then even though they were using a rough trial and error methodology. They did not know any better at the time. The Chinese invented gun powder. Middle eastern muslims made a lot of discoveries in mathematics and astronomy, etc...

Nowadays, there are scientists from all over the world who use the scientific method to search for the truth. I live in Indonesia. This is an Eastern country, but there are universities and researchers here, just like in Thailand, Japan, China, etc...

It's also clear that there are many Westerners who don't care about the truth and accept anything that is given to them at face value. We can think of the conspiracy theorists on this site and of religious fanatics.

Your dichotomy which tries to paint the West as being scientific, and the East as being "spiritual" and based on the pseudoscience of accepting anything that is being passed on is not only false and simplistic, it is demeaning towards Easterners.

The fact of the matter is that there are serious thinkers in all countries of the world, and there are also pseudoscientific dabblers in all countries of the world.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Scientific method leads to truth. Agreed. Yet science cannot fill in all the blanks and leaves room for assumption.

True, nowadays there is much global blending of cultures. Still, the concept of eastern vs. western thinking exists and has been around for a long time. A dichotomy of polar opposites (division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups) does not need to be complicated; Collectivism vs. Individualism, Science vs. Spiritual, these are diametrically opposed.

Now, to your own ideas about simplicity vs sophistry. Is that derived from rigorous scientific method? Or simply an assumption on your part that sophistry is better. Or should one try to find a middle ground between the two.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.~Leonardo da Vinci

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

that's another one to think about, simplicity IS sophistication. who was it who said "exactitude[ie sceince] is not truth." if you try, you can think of lots of examples of that. for instance, once when my father came to visit me in college, i hid a vodka bottle that had been on my dresser, thus disgusing "the truth," and yet the fact was that i HADN'T been drinking much at all, and he would have gotten the wrong idea had he seen the bottle....and let me throw out another dichotomy when it comes to "truth:" eastern truth tends to be more internal based on meditation, an inward journey, while western is more external.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Acupuncture anyone.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

The simplistic dichotomy of eastern vs western thought you describe has run its course. We're in 2011 now. Not in the renaissance period. Take a trip to asia.

Iv'e never stated that sophistry is better. I don't know where you got that idea. Please click on my username and read my short description for a better understanding.

"Yet science cannot fill in all the blanks and leaves room for assumption."

Indeed it does. However, trying to fill in those gaps with spiritualism, religion, or other such pseudosciences is nothing more than a God of the gaps fallacy.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Religion, spiritualism, pseudosciences, & east/west philosophies persist despite it being 2011. Not my choice. But they do.

Have you had a doppleganger in the past? Somebody with a user id like yours lectured me, to put it mildly, on the finer points of being a sophist about two or three weeks ago.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

Iv'e had about 20 people using various spellings of the Thrasymaque username to pose as me. Most of them desperate conspiracy theorists trying to discredit me. They're mostly all banned now.

Of course pseudosciences persist in 2011. That's not the point. The point is this dichotomy of yours that western people use science and eastern people use pseudoscience is a myth, and is insulting towards easterners.

Like I said previously, there are scientists and pseudoscientists in all countries of the world. Actually, most of the world's famous pseudoscience is now coming out of UK and America. We can think of Alex Jones and David Icke, just to name a few. These people are not asians.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

I'm not trying to insult anyone. Nor do I think any individuals fit neatly into one spectrum or the other. Maybe I can appease your sensitivity by calling it inner philosophy vs. outer philosophy?

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

Like I said, this dichotomy has run its course. It's an old myth created by westerners. You'll find its beginnings in old anthropological works. It's time to throw these simplistic generalizations in the garbage.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Well, westerners do seek the truth.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

If westerners were so interested int eh truth, why would we revote the same two corrupted parties for over 100 yrs.

We are terrified of the truth, which is this democracy is scam.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

I don't know, why did you do that?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

(thread ran out)

I think the only way is to start actively attacking the people themselves. Start calling out their stupidity. Start calling out the fact taht the candidate with the most money wins, and its because they can run the most tv commercials (how freakin dumb is that?).

Start challenging them, telling them they are no longer capable of governing themselves. Tell them they are scared of different parties.

We are throwing a convention in Tampa in April to draw attention to just this.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

I would love to see a third party candidate emerge. Hope we can get enough people to support one to make something happen. Sounds awesome. Give 'em hell.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

I did it because I was 27 and it was only my second campaign I have ever worked on. I would get lots of "Ya, go Obama" and also lots of "Im not voting for that socialist!". But those were very typical, and very predictable.

It was the people I met who would say something like "there's no difference in their actions. There words are always different, different marketing messages, but hte product is always the same".

Those were the ones who interested me. And that is the path I have taken the last three years, really studying the actions, not the words. Hence I do promos like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6e5qRUCI1I

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

How do we break the cycle of re-electing the same old crooks? Nice video btw.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

I hope you realize this idea that westerners are above other races in terms of science and their search for the truth stems from a time when westerners didn't even think africans or asians were homo sapiens. It's an old myth from a time when westerners thought that caucasians were the smartest and most evolved race on earth. This type of thinking has absolutely run its course.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

For your information, I was born in the west, but associate with a lot of eastern philosophies above western philosophies. I have the utmost respect for Asians. My wife is one.

This has nothing to do with superiority. If I started talking about optimists versus pessimists, you would tell me it is an old myth that has run its course, and completely miss the relevance of two opposing approaches to life.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

"One last question, how do you account for the blanks that science can't fill?"

They should be left as questions yet to be answered. If you can't answer a question properly by using the scientific method, you shouldn't try to answer it with some kind of fallacy like a God of the gaps argument. That only leads to more confusion. The goal should not be to answer questions at all cost, it should be to answer questions only when it's possible to do so with rigor. The cost of logic is just too great. The goal of answering a question is to move an inch closer to the truth, not to simply answer the question. I don't see a problem with questions left open, but I do see a big problem with questions improperly answered by using some form of pseudoscience. The problem with that is the question is not really answered at all, but some people get confused because they think it is. It's a step backwards.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

I don't consider it insulting to say that new age texts are just babblings. They are what they are and what they are is drivel, nothing more. I'm just calling it how it is. New agers just take "cool" sounding scientific terms and stitch them together in random ways to make "deep thought".

New agers are just as dangerous as conspiracy theorists. They are on a quest to destroy logic and real science. They spew a lot of nothing and pretend its science. It should be illegal in my opinion, or they should at least be forced to put a warning label like you see on cigarette packages: - WARNING: This is not science. The scientific method was not used.

Its like your idea of inner-philosophy vs outer-philosophy. That doesn't mean a thing. If you think it does, please try to explain it. I have no idea what it could possibly mean. Inner and outer as opposed to what exactly? Philosophy is a specific type of thought process. It comes from the mind. Period. There is no spirit or soul involved in the act of doing philosophy. No one even agrees what the spirit and the soul are, and they even haven't been proven to exist. At this stage, they are like the Tooth Fairy. A myth. Unless you can provide evidence that some or all philosophy is not born in the mind, then your point is moot.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

That is actually a damn good argument. One last question, how do you account for the blanks that science can't fill.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

My point is your dichotomy is essentially baseless. It's simplistic and doesn't serve to explain anything. It doesn't help foster logical thought and research. Expressions like inner-philosophy vs. outer-philosophy don't mean anything. They are like new age babble. Big words combined that don't make much sense at all.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

New age babble - now you've gone and offended new age people. Anyway, this discussion has run its course, so I'll agree with myself that I am right. And you can agree with yourself that you are right.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

Everybody does. What do you think Japanese scientists are doing? Looking for fallacies?

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Every scientist does. Not every Japanese person is a scientist, are they?

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

No, but the dichotomy you raised is not scientists vs pseudoscientists, but, rather, westerners vs. easterners. Japanese scientists are easterners looking for the truth. They provide evidence that your dichotomy cannot serve to explain the modern world. It is fallacious and not based on reality.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Who is being delusional? The reality I raised is two different approaches to life. I apologize if the east vs. west offended you. It is how it is often described. I will be more careful to label these two philosophies differently in the future.

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

thras, you seem to be saying that you feel science has completely slain religion and "spirituality" which have thus "run their course" in teh modern world. i think that's hardly true: something like 90 percent of the world still believes in god, 75 percent of americans literally believe in "angels," and im pretty sure 800 million hindus still believe the external world is an illusion, " a world of dew." no?

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

yes, but there's no denying that eastern traditions and eastern society is more communal. and that the billion + followers of buddhism, hinduism, taoism and confucionism think about concepts like "balance" while western philosophers and religious texts are more concerned with the struggle between(and defnition of) "good and evil." however, it is true that there are communal aspects to western religions too: it's undeniable that christian charities like the kind my grandmother was involved with do tremendous good in countless local communities, and equally undeniable that jews give far more money and support to charity than any other religious or demographic group...and i think both the east and west are aware enough to see that, regardless of dogma, science is our future: one great beyond our wildest dreams, or one of utter de-humanization and/or anhiliation.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

I couldn't reply to your post above, so I'll reply here. Indeed, many people still believe in old religious myths. This includes people of all nations and creeds. We hope this will one day change and that we can rise above that, but for now delusions are still a very common part of our societies. Still, I feel we are entering a new phase in human evolution. Religions are slowly going to die out in my opinion. This might even happen faster than expected. I live in Indonesia where religions are quite strong, yet I already see a huge difference between the thinking of the young generation vs the old one. The general tendency is to move away from religious thought. There are exceptions here and there, but in general religion is being thrown into the garbage bin of bad historical ideas. As the gaps of knowledge continue to be filled, God of the gaps logical fallacies are needed less and less.

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

i basically agree with you but just to play devil's advocate, so to speak, i do think that religion WILL be around as long as science cant answer the question: WHERE DID THE UNIVERSE COME FROM? something cant come from nothing. i believe science is no closer to answering this question than the cavemen were and i dont see how it ever will...

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

"i basically agree with you but just to play devil's advocate, so to speak, i do think that religion WILL be around as long as science cant answer the question: WHERE DID THE UNIVERSE COME FROM? "

You might be right. But, I'll add another reason why religion might linger around for a little while longer. I think it's a form of mind protection which came about through evolution. We are perhaps the only creature that is fully self-aware, and that means we are aware of our own death. This causes a very big pressure for the brain. To realize we will eventually become nothing just like before we were born gives the impression that life is for nothing. I think the brain confabulates to protect itself against these nefarious thoughts. Being self-aware of our imminent destruction might be too much to bear.

"something cant come from nothing"

Who says?

In any case, answering this question by using a God of the gaps argument and saying that God created everything simply moves the question to who created God? God of the gaps arguments only seemingly patch things up. They don't really answer anything.

"i believe science is no closer to answering this question than the cavemen were and i dont see how it ever will..."

I definitely think we are closer to answering this question than our far ancestors. Every day we come closer. Every little bit of new information helps us get closer. How much further we need to go is still unknown though. The answer might very well be that this question is unanswerable. However, this is still an answer.

Perhaps we will evolve to a stage where we don't feel the need to answer this question. Or, perhaps we will be aware that it is an unknowable and will no longer care. Or, perhaps we will figure it out.

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

but maybe the question should instead be "what is god?" maybe god is simply "that which is unknowable." and no matter how much we know, there will be some people(i might be among them, im still not sure) who cant believe all this evolved from a big cloud of hydrogen...

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

I'm ignostic for this very reason. (ignostic, not agnostic - many people confuse the two.)

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

"ignostic" i like it. ill be "ignostic" from now on.

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

yup, i got it: the very question, the word itself is the issue...and i think that was an interesting point that humans being MORE aware than animals (of their own mortality) would cause them to believe in something IRRATIONAL like god. again, "exactitude is not truth..."

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 12 years ago

I was particularly concerned by JadedCitizen's idea that Easterners simply accept the ideas given to them at face value, while Westerners search for the truth.

From a zoomed out perspective you can indeed say that Eastern traditions are often more communal that Western ones. Still, this is a broad stroke and there are many exceptions. South-Americans are extremely communal for example and stem from Spanish and Portuguese traditions.

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

great point. i really like that.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

It is a fundamental world problem.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23769) 12 years ago

I like this post. I don't even know what to say in response, but I'll try.

No one is better or smarter than anyone else. Everyone just has a viewpoint based on what they've learned and what experiences they've had throughout their life.

It may sound crazy, but I think the empathy and compassion that is more evident in those that lean toward the left is learned in early childhood. It is also the result of being the beneficiary of unconditional love because when you experience love on that level you can give it back more easily.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 12 years ago

Nice. I also believe in nurture.

This is why we are here this is why you are needed.


Share, circulate, educate, inspire.


[-] 1 points by LSN45 (535) 12 years ago

Folks, don't get distracted by the "right vs. left" hometown football rivalry. The establishment loves to see the US populace polarized and fighting each other - meanwhile they are laughing all the way to the bank. BOTH sides are bought and paid for by the corporations and special interests.

Here's my 2 cents:

There are a lot of improvements that need to be made. The list reforms Americans want to see is long and varied depending on who you talk to. That said, I believe there is one reform that would provide the American people the best chances of seeing other meaningful reforms actually happen - that is REAL, loop-hope free CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM! I have seen others on this site calling this the "fulcrum" or pivotal issue. Right now the current legalized bribery, pay-to-play system of campaign donations and paid lobbyists has disenfranchised the American voter. Until this is fixed, any other reform the politicians may try to placate us with (be it a change to healthcare, clamping down predatory school loans, new financial regulations, etc.) will be about as effective as a farmer putting a new roof on his CHICKEN COOP, but still letting the FOX guard it.

We need to go back to the original political currency. Instead of the current system of who can collect the most money from corporations and special interests it should be who has the BEST IDEAS to EFFECTIVELY RUN THE COUNTRY (we don't need "Wealth Redistribution," what we need is "Political Influence Redistribution")!

For the sake of our children and future generations of Americans, we need to take back our democracy from the rich and powerful who are using their vast sums of money to "speak" as if they represent millions of Americans. This "Corporate Personhood" that has crept into our laws is allowing them to manipulating our policies in their favor at the expense of the average American (the recent "Citizens United" Supreme Court ruling is a miscarriage of justice and must be reversed. The $50 or $100 a normal American may give to a political campaign becomes meaningless when corporations or other special interests are handing our millions to buy political access to the decision making process.

For decades now the corporations and special interests have had our "representatives" bought and paid for (both on the right and the left). Concentrating our efforts on getting the money out of our politics is the best way we can create an environment in which further reforms can be realized. Until we end the current system of legalized bribery (campaign donations) and paid lobbying our politicians will continue to be the LAP DOGS of the corporations and special interests. What we need first and foremost is real, loop-hole free CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM!!!! If the corruption is not dealt with first, the chance of any other meaningful reforms becoming a reality is almost zero - the special interests will just use their money to buy votes and put forward bills that create loop-holes or otherwise twist the law in their favor. If we want our children to live in a country where there vote matters, we need to get the money out of our politics, otherwise they will increasingly become the 21st century version of the "landless peasant." Spread the word - End the LEGALIZED BRIBERY!!! CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM needs to be THE main goal of the protests!!!

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

The problem with the various kibbitzers on this forum some with good and some with bad ideas about what the movement "should" or should not do, is that they really offer no practical strategy regarding how to get the movement to adopt whatever strategy that they think is so wonderful, largely (I suspect--though I could be wrong) because they are totally clueless about the decision making processes of the movement,

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

the right wing leaning supreme court ruled 5 to 4(right to left) to allow unlimited anonymous corporate donations into our system. it was a stunning ruling, overturning 100 years of law and making america unique in the developed world in this regard....EVERY republican ive seeen who's willing to give an opinion on the decision SUPPORTS it while EVERY democrat OPPOSES it, including obama who called the scotus out on it at his first state of the union speech. this polarity makes sinse: with these new corporate donations, republicans were able to outspend democrats EIGHT TO ONE in the contested races in 2010. undoubtedly the ratio will be even worse in 2012. what does this suggest to you about which side wants campaign finance reform?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

A big problem for me with the beginning of this thread is that like most Americans it seems incapable of thinking outside the liberal-conservative binary and OWS is already way beyond that as it has been since day one and before. It is a kind of thinking that excludes radical democracy (lower case--case is very important in politics), all 57 varieties of socialism, anarchism and even progressivism, none of which have anything at all to do with liberalism,

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

Is it possible that a person is entirely capable of thinking in different ways, about different economic and political forms, but simply disagrees with it?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

I'd say so. For example, a lot of people think I'm an anarchist (which is not the case) simply because I try to present and objective and sympathetic description of the ideology.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

I try not to make assumptions about people. I like to come here and read the posts and learn new things. Some things I agree with some things I don't.

I don't think you should make the the assumption that people are incapable of thinking about different ideologies. When, in fact, it may be more related to general disagreement.

I have tried to learn more about different ideologies. Like anarchism. I have decided I disagree with it. I haven't found much I agree with about it. In fact, I have observed a double standard in the use of it. Which I described on our other post.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

I try not to make assumptions either and try to base my views on concrete evidence. My perception that people tend to view me as an anarchist merely because I present an objective and sympathetic description of anarchism is not based on any preconception but on actual experience.

I also think that it is objectively provable that the American population is politically undeveloped. Most Americans don't vote. Why is that? There are probably a lot of reasons, though I suspect that primary among them is that they are disengaged from the political process and don't think it has much to do with them. In a sense they are correct in this evaluation but on the other hand it is also the case that as a mass they are not really doing anything about it to make politics more relevant to their lives. A concrete example of this is the fact that the United States is the only industrialized democracy in the world without a mass labor or social democratic party. You can evaluate that fact any way you'd like, but to me it is an indication of what I'd tend to call political backwardness,

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

I've noticed your sympathy towards anarchist ideas. I don't have a problem with anarchists exactly, not in any personal sense. I just don't agree with it in theory. I don't agree with Republicans either. I don't have any real hostility towards either school of of thought. Well, sometimes a little bit maybe. The anarchism of this movement drives me crazy sometimes. And I really really dislike the Republican House and Senate leadership.

I agree that as citizens many of us have not been involved enough in the political process. I think there are many reasons for this. Some people have suggested it is apathy. I disagree with that assessment in so far as that implies that people don't care.

I think people do care. But I think as our political process has been more dominated by money, people have gotten the feeling that their voice doesn't matter. Which is understandable and mostly true.

I think information overload has something to do with it too. The 24/7 news cycle. So many issues swirling around. It makes it difficult and a little overwhelming to determine what to focus on. The reality is, we all have our lives to live. We can't possibly be writing to our Representatives about every policy issue, for example. Before the 24/7, the MSM would choose the headlines. That made it more manageable to determine what the biggest issues are. More information is definately better, but it makes it harder, and we have to rise to this challenge to choose and focus on the issues that matter the most to us. Or where we feel we can make the biggest difference according to each of our own abilities and knowledge.

I think getting money out of politics will help to solve these problems. Even like you say, lack of a labor party. Getting money out of politics I think will open up the potential for more political parties to participate.

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

since you're the expert on labels, give me an exaample of a "socialist" policy that doesnt fall somewhere on the left-right spectrum. try to be specific. and yes, we certaintly wouldnt want to count out anarchy right? that would be swell if gangs ruled the streets and the world was just waiting around for another hitler to organize an army to take over....

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

I would not dispute that socialist policies, based on a spectrum of political ideologies, is a left wing doctrine. Indeed, it is THE left wing doctrine and virtually co-terminous with what it means historically to be left,

What I would dispute is that what is called liberalism and progressivism in America are left wing doctrines. Liberalism is essentially a centerist doctrine. Only in America would someone like Nancy Pelosi be considered left. That liberalism is considered left in America only demonstrates how skewed to the right American politics are, how conservative American politics are, how narrow American politics are. The only reason liberalism is considered left in America is because, substantively there is no left in America, there is no mass socialist movement in America, there is no mass culture of opposition in America (which is another way of defining or describing what a left or socialist culture really is--an intransigent opposition to the status quo on behalf of the vast majority).

Anarchy is not about gang rule, it is not about the absence of rules. Many anarchists are perfectly comfortable taking leadership in voluntary organizations with very complex rules such as labor unions. What anarchists oppose is the state, not rules as such, though again, such distinctions tend to be incomprehensible to people who find it impossible to think outside the liberal-conservative binary.

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

gee, yes, the dem party isnt liberal enough, we can all agree there...but the green party/ralph nader isnt liberal enough for you? the american communist party is too far to the right, according to where your opininon of where "the center" lies? ...and besides, that wasnt my point: my point was you said there are doctrines which fit outside the left-right spectrum if only i would open my consciousness--so what are they? your personal defintion of "anarchy" aside(yes, its not beyond me to comprehend what a labor union is. i was in one for a decade, they tend to be quite liberal/left leaning) if there is no "state," there is no police, no military, nochecking of food and drugs for safety, no monitoring the dumping of toxic waste, no regulation and oversight of the airline industry for example, which we'd like to make independently sure is safe right? that is, unless you have some other , special definition of "the state" just for you? are you saying that all those things should be funded and implemented and organized for 7 billion people "voluntarily"? good luck.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

"Liberalism" as a meaningful poltical category has been dead for nearly 100 years, though as an historical category it is centerist and not leftist. What is often characterized as liberalism today is more properly characterized as progressivism, as unlike classical liberalism, progressivism does tend to look to the state as an agency of social stability.

The definitions of where left and right lie as political ideologies are not unique to me but can be found in any basic text book. The specifically American political spectrum, however, is considerably more narrow and specifically more conservative than is typically the case elsewhere. One of the outstanding characteristics of what is sometimes referred to as "American exceptionalism" is the absence of an organized left, the absence of a mass culture of opposition, which in virtually every other capitalist democracy in the world is organized either as a labor party or as a social democratic party, neither of which exist in the US.

It would be a gross mischaracterization to characterize the Democratic Party as social democratic party or a labor party as it is staunchly and openly supportive of what it calls "free enterprize", the market system and capitalism and unlike a genuine labor party, while most unions support the Democratic Party, they have no organizational or organic connection to it.

I was not arguing that there are ideologies outside the left-right spectrum. What I said was that the American political spectrum was extremely narrow and essentially based on a liberal-conservative binary (which is itself considerably narrower than and skewed to the right of the left-right spectrum as such). My observations regarding the narrowness of American political culture were not intended to be directed toward any individual but rather toward the culture as a whole in comparison to other democratic cultures,

The very short explanations of anarchist behavior that I offered are not unique to me but part of any extremely rich anarchist intellectual tradition dating back at least to Proudhon and Bakunin but including more modern thinkers including Camus and Chomsky.

A condition of statelessness does not necessarily connote and absence of rules. What it connotes is an absence of coersion. Anarchists (and for that matter Marxists) basically argue that coersion (which is to say police and military) are necessary in a class society to ensure the class rule of a ruling class minority and would be un-necessary since the primary (and virtually exclusive) function of the instruments of coersion is to maintain the class rule of the minority.

If it matters I was born in 1943 and I was long a member and sometimes officer in several different labor organizations,

My overall point is not whether or not the rule of a culture of opposition would "work" or not, but simply that mass cultures of opposition exist elsewhere in the world but that has not been the case in the US for nearly 100 years.

[-] 1 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

nope you bemoaned "not thinking outside the liberal-conservative binary,"your words.... but chomsky is absolutely perfect for you: true elitist snobbery and vague abstract poly sci 101 terms thrown around like they mean something. go ahead: vote for your 3rd party protest candidate, whoever that is. you know they willl have no chance of getting more than 2 percent of the vote, but you dont WANT to win anyway, because then you'd have to actually deal in something besides verbiage. the most your candidate will ever do is what nader did in 2000: split the liberal vote, costing gore the 2 percent he needed to win, giving us bush, 2 useless wars, a crashed economy , a trashed environment, and 2 corporatist evangelicals on the supreme court for the next 30 years. ...but at least you can sit and complain from atop mount olympus how pathetically brainwashed we masses are with our impure candidates and pathetic clinging to the concept of having a government, which every developed country on earth has had for a loooooong time. i really thought you were 20 years old, but since you're an old man, i can definitely tell you to lose your superior tone with me: your rhetoric is supported by about .0000001 percent of the population, so blab away....

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

I made no mention of marginal so-called third-parties (so-called because a real third party would not be nearly so marginal). I do think that there is substantial evidence that the Democratic Party has been the grave yard of every mass movement since the days of the Populists, but obviously the premature launching of a non-movement almost bound to be marginal is no solution either.

To the extent that there is any culture of opposition in the US, its success has been neither in the Democratic Party or in any marginal so-called third party effort. The real power of incipient cultures of opposition in the US has been through direct action. This is not to say that at some point popular movements should not engage in electoral action, but generally they have tended to launch such efforts way too prematurely, long before they were in a position to have any decisive impact on any electoral contest one way or another.

My experiences in social movements (including a number of labor movements) has not been from "Mt. Olympus" but from the very opposite direction, as a rank and file activist, though I have occasionally taken some organizational responsibility at the local level. The traditions of a culture of opposition are extremely weak in the US, which is certainly not the fault of the vast majority who are in such a desperate need of such an oppositionist culture.

On the other hand it is also the case that there is an extremely strong anti-intellectual current in American life which unfortunately has often found itself into the behavior and thinking of social movements. Fortunately OWS is not like that and is one of the most intellectually grounded social movements I have seen in my lifetime. Part of the evidence of this is the reverence that the movement has for books and the fact that at virtually every occupation a library was set up within days after the occupation began,

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

"the graveyard of social movements" eh? which party gave up the southern vote knowingly to end segregation and embrace the civil rights movement? which party went after hitler, saved western europe with the marshall plan, stopped a genoicide in korea and bosnia, all when republicans looked at the polls and OPPOSED all of that? which party funds scientific research and the arts and put a man on the moon? which party has created and kept aive every program that helps the poor even though the poor dont donate money and tend not to even vote? why do "social movements" like gay rights people, women's movement pro choice groups, environmental groups, and just about all minority groups support democrats overwhelmingly? which party integrated the military, as unpopular as that was too? so i would say the democratic party is hardly a "graveyard for social change." ...and i guess it's beneath you to even consider voting right? that's just a bourgeois concept that went out "100 years ago..." bla bla bla yeah, and im pretty sure those pro-pot protesters and the REAL protesters who protested against vietnam werent exactly big nixon fans....

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

The Democratic Party of the 1950s and 60s (and really as far back as there was an organized Democratic Party) was controlled by racist southern crackers. The civil rights movement was born in opposition to that Party and the social system it represented. LBJ was willing to loose the southern wing of the DP in order to capture the civil rights movement and eviserate it, which is exactly what happened. Far from being strengthened by going into the Democratic Party the civil rights movement died there

As for World War II, what American intervention did was really strengthen American imperialism to the point where it developed a military presence that spans the globe. In the course of doing that it also forged an alliance with Stalinism that put a generation of people in Eastern Europe under the yolk of totalitarianism. So much for fighting totalitarianism, American imperialism simply switched one kind of totalitarianism (fascism) for another (Stalinism).

Every social movement that you mention, whether labor, or women, or civil rights, or environmentalism was more vital and militant when it stood independent of the Democratic Party and was basically tamed and eviserated on its "mature" entry into one of the two parties of the status quo.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 12 years ago

I would say that militant movements don't die once they enter party politics they just loose their militancy. But to your assertion that America has always had imperialistic tendencies, I'd have to agree. In fact, I often say, brokenheartedly, that after Vietnam our imperialists took off their jack boots and slid on their three piece suits to bring about the realist vision of international politics, zero sum. If a business man can do what a soldier can do without upsetting the American populace, then let the mergers and acquisitions begin.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

For movements defined by their militancy, to lose their militancy is to die. It is to lose their moorings, their defining characteristics. Once that is lost, whatever they become, they are no longer what they once were. In reality what they become is bureaucratic shells of what they once were, because the lose much more than their militancy. Another thing they lose is the vital democratic control which was really the source of that militancy. Ultimately it is militancy that defined them as expressions of an incipient culture of opposition rather than rather tepid reformers of the status quo,


[-] 1 points by Mattholck (51) 12 years ago

both support the use of bombs

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

yes, but there's one side, the left, who feels we should only use those bombs to stop the genocides of people like milosevic, stalin, and hitler...then there's the right wingers who think america owns the world and should use those bombs in case we want more oil....also, one side, the right wing, is GUN CRAZY and believes everyone would be safer if we all walked around with concealed pistols, even though america already has by far the loosest gun laws in teh developed world and, as a result, by far the highest violent crime rate in the developed world. another great stat is: you are almost 5 times more likely to be shot(wounded or kiled) in a mugging/assault if you ARE carrying a concealed gun than if you arent. the NRA supports REPUBLICANS.

[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

there is a thread around here somewhere illustrating scientific proof -

  • conservatism is a mental illness
[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 12 years ago

I would have to totally disagree with that assertion. My understanding of that term is that Conservatives, unlike progressives, are not keen on quick and drastic changes. In fact, i'd even add that conservatism is a characteristic of age. those that have been there and seen that are slow and steady when it comes to change. Where as those who are young and compulsive, are quick and unrelenting in their crusade for change. That leaves you and me in our middle age who, speaking for myself, are centrists, not in the political sense but in the analytic sense. Now, I know there are caveats and wackos to factor in in both views, but to single handily brand any view as suffering from a low cognizant is a little extreme. no?

[-] 0 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

but to single handily brand any view as suffering from a low cognizant, is a little extreme. no?

Twenty or thirty years ago maybe. Not anymore. The repelican party has determined what conservative means today - they insist.

All of the repelican candidates insist they are it - and they're all nuts.

I rest my case.

[-] 0 points by zati321 (169) 12 years ago

if you ever run across it, please let me know, z

[-] 0 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

this is one thread

And I think I saw another along the same lines.

[-] 0 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

Not sure when it posted, but it was on the stack just within the last couple of days

try: http://ows.superunion.org