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Thread: The Decline of the Debate and the Rise of the Far Left and Right

  1. #76
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Whilst I agree that some of the opinions on the far right should not be tolerated. If we react violently / aggressively toward it, are we any better than it?

    I'll admit that my gut reaction when seeing such people is to want to hurt them badly, but in doing so we'd only fueling the fire. Much the same if we silence them entirely. All you do by doing so is drive it underground (as I mentioned), which over time makes it worse. In the end you create the very thing you were trying to prevent in the first place.

    These people need to be debated properly in discussion. Acting violently towards them, only gives them exactly the reaction they wanted. Hatred only begets further hatred.

  2. #77
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    It depends on which far right we're talking about. Are we debating with anarcho capitalists, minarchists, and their ilk, or people who want to try and kill all the Jews again?

  3. #78
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    Whilst I agree that some of the opinions on the far right should not be tolerated. If we react violently / aggressively toward it, are we any better than it?
    If you actually kill someone, you will go to jail. There is free speech. Talking is not the same as acting. However, if you seriously say you are going to kill someone particularly, you will go to jail.

    Same thing should apply on a larger scale. Lynching black people is a crime. There is free speech. But if you say you want to kill or deport or lock up a whole group of people, just because, then maybe you should go to jail to.

  4. #79
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    All you do by doing so is drive it underground (as I mentioned), which over time makes it worse.
    No. Trump brought out many despicable groups from an underground existence. They are in broad daylight now. Do you think that makes America better ? I don't.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 20th Aug 2018 at 08:47.

  5. #80
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Last edited by Jason Moyer; 20th Aug 2018 at 13:41.

  6. #81
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    FYI, all those diagrams are pure bullshit.

    There are hundreds of broad political subjects. Just the idea that you can group all solutions/proposals/ideas in two groups, "the left" and "the right" is bogus. Adding a "democratic" vs "authoritorian" scale to it doesn't give it any value. The idea that everybody needs to pick "sides" is bogus. It is a stupid idea that simplifies hard questions, as if they are all simple and have only 2 solutions. And they encourage the "us versus them" mentality.

    The idea that all "capitalist" or all "communist" are the same is ridiculous.
    Even inside the same governments (e.g. Trump's, but also Obama's, Bush's or Clinton's administrations) people had different and even opposing ideas.
    I guess it is all to blame on the two-party system in the US. Democracy of the stupid. ("Vote red or vote blue, it's that simple").

  7. #82
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    FYI, all those diagrams are pure bullshit.

    There are hundreds of broad political subjects. Just the idea that you can group all solutions/proposals/ideas in two groups, "the left" and "the right" is bogus. Adding a "democratic" vs "authoritorian" scale to it doesn't give it any value. The idea that everybody needs to pick "sides" is bogus. It is a stupid idea that simplifies hard questions, as if they are all simple and have only 2 solutions. And they encourage the "us versus them" mentality.
    It's obviously a simplification, but that doesn't make it bullshit.

    As a general rule, economic policy can be neatly filed under left (more state intervention) and right (less state intervention). Left-wing economics is all about putting control of the economy in the hands of "the people" (read: the government) and right-wing economics is all about leaving it to the market, with everyone between the two extremes favouring a mix of state and market solutions.

    And question like "should cannabis be able to be consumed legally" is absolutely a binary question, with an authoritarian ("no") and a libertarian ("yes") response. I mean, I can't really conceive of a libertarian argument for opposing a person's liberty to use drugs.

    I'm certainly interested in seeing some examples of hard questions which can't be divided like this.

  8. #83
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless Voice View Post
    But what I don't agree with is that hatred should be protected by the right of free speech. If your speech is designed solely to attack and hurt others, then that is not okay and you should not have the right to that speech. You have the right to have an option. You do not have a right to spread hatred and vitriol, to attack others. Those aren't valid political beliefs, they're behaviours which are unacceptable in any society.

    I keep seeing "freedom of speech" being used to defend the alt-right. No. Just no. Stop trying to use free speech to defend the indefensible.
    Racism, bigotry, sexism, death threats, these things are never okay, anywhere, on any side of the political spectrum.
    One problem I have with hate speech is the word hate. It's not against the law to hate someone. Besides, how do you know when speech is motivated by hate and when it isn't?

    Being able to say what you think is one of the most fundamental and universal human rights. I don't think we should be censoring speech except in cases where an individual is actually being threatened with violence or harassed. Using racial or ethnic slurs or derogatory language is ugly and unnecessary but doesn't rise to that standard. That kind of language should be fought culturally. Teach children not to use it, don't tolerate it at school, don't tolerate it in the workplace, challenge your friends if they do it, shame people who do it in public, etc.

    Another problem with taking political correctness to the point of censorship is that the terms racist, bigot, sexist, xenophobe, etc. are being thrown around with as much care as my two year old throws his toys. Their significance is being eroded by people who use them as general insults to put down people with different political views. Political correctness can serve a useful purpose in communicating norms of culturally acceptable behavior, but it can also be used as a tool for silencing opposing political views, and that's not OK with me.

  9. #84
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    But people should also have the freedom that if you say reprehensible things, they don't have to listen to you or to suffer your presence.
    They should be within their rights to throw you out of the places that they are trying to inhabit and not be forced to listen to you or put up with you.

    That applies both to physical spaces as well as virtual ones.

  10. #85
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I think of freedom of speech as such:

    Are you being persecuted by the government for the things you say? Do you risk life and liberty for speaking unpopular opinions?

    No?

    Then your 1st Amendment rights are being upheld.

    Did you someone call you an asshole for the things you said while speaking your mind?

    Yes?

    Well, that's their right. Speech is reciprocal, after all.

    Did someone kick you off their property because you spoke your mind?

    That's their property, and property rights triumph over all in a capitalist society. When you walk into a store, a restaurant, a private online forum, you're there by the owner's good graces. If they don't want you screaming about socialist black people on welfare in the front lobby, they can demand you leave.

    There are exceptions to the above, but these should be considered the true base facts that underlie all free speech rants.

  11. #86
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by SD View Post
    My chart is doubtless pretty standard for a European liberal (socially libertarian, economically centrist) but they put my party in the upper right quadrant, seemingly apropos of absolutely nothing. Given that the Liberal Democrats is the party that drove legalisation of gay marriage in the UK, wants to legalise marijuana etc, it's difficult to understand how they managed to put them up there:
    Yeah, I got nothing. The only thing I can think of was Farron's antics with the "gay sex is sin" stuff, but that was a flash in the pan, really.

    I know there was the perception that the coalition government was dragging the UK back to Thatcherism, so they were getting flak just for associating with Tories, but that was before they got practically wiped out.

  12. #87
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: on a mission to civilize
    I'm right where I thought I'd be. With the amount of people who seemingly have libertarian values, it's weird that how little traction the Libertarian party gets. Though, that might have something to do with the lack of good candidates in the past...or that too many "libertarians" are stay-off-my-porch lunatics.

    Me, I'm all for doing whatever is best for the planet and society; and couldn't care less who is kissing who, or what fairy tale people decide to worship. As long as you don't hurt anyone, don't fuck up our only home, or try to force anyone to conform to your nutty beliefs then you have every right to be as nutty as you want.

    Who am I to judge, lest I be judged myself.


  13. #88
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    The actual Libertarian party is a little more right leaning than you are, which means that they occupy an unhappy medium between the big two.

    They're too socially liberal for conservatives, too laissez faire capitalists for the liberals, they somehow manage to be even more preachy than Democrats, and the candidates they run for the presidency always end up being kinda doofy.

  14. #89
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    It doesn't change the fact that you can't debate certain topics nowadays without being abused from members of the far left.

  15. #90
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    It seems strange to be complaining about the far left when the world is being increasingly taken over by the far right and the alt-right.

    Where are all these far-left people hiding? I don't see them. Am I one of them?
    A lot of people here on TTLG are in that left quadrant, as we've shown, but I don't think that's what you mean by far-left.

    Maybe I just don't travel in enough circles to see them?

  16. #91
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    These far left are more the types that start loudly protesting and yelling down any counter argument at such debates. No'one here would fit that category. These are more your extremists from the side.

  17. #92
    Looks like I'm circa -6 on both scales, that would make me close to anarchists. And I thought my high school punk days are long over

    Edit: correction, according to the GoToQuiz I'm left social moderate (4.79, 0.8), so that's closer to what I think of myself.

    Btw. rising aggression in debate isn't something that appeared yesterday or even a few years ago. I saw that during my uni years. I was taught that debate is about presenting your arguments and listening to what the other party has to say. Finding value in that, or changing your mind wasn't something to be ashamed of. But with students from subsequent younger years that appeared on uni, the debate was all about winning and the other side became an opponent, someone to be humiliated and defeated. These people are now managers, heads of deparaments, politicians.
    Last edited by Judith; 21st Aug 2018 at 09:40.

  18. #93
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    The last Democratic president was Barack Obama. The current Republican president is Donald Trump. And you're trying to tell us that abuse in modern civil discourse is principally a left-wing phenomenon? Well I say it's a principally right-wing phenomenon and as exhibit A, I present to you the President of the United States of America.

  19. #94
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    He's leading by counter-example. It's a new thing

    Seriously though, Trump is a buffoon and icemann has a point. How often do you see political righties trying to aggressively shout down, drown out, silence, or block left-wingers in their exercise of freedom of speech and assembly? The Occupy movement was allowed to take over public parks for a few months. They were given the opportunity to make their point in public, without being over-run by counter-protesters or having militant right-wing "direct action" groups rough them up. Before that, I think we made an effort to accommodate the traveling mob that protested the WTO and G8 meetings. They had room to protest, media coverage, and we tolerated some civil disobedience getting in the way for a while in the name of protest. The cops started getting serious when a militant minority was trashing store fronts, flipping cars, starting fires, and the like. The protestors received plenty of criticism from the right, but I don't remember righties taking direct action to shut them down or calling for left-anarchists to be silenced online.

    It wasn't always like that. If you go back to the middle decades of the 20th century, the shoe was on the other foot. But I don't want that to be an excuse for a wave of left-McCarthyism. The suppression of left politics in the mid-20th century led to a boiling over and wave of real violence in the late 1960s and 1970s. I don't want to repeat that history.

  20. #95
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    So, when there were all those Tea Party rallies, leftists went there, overran them with counterprotests, and shut them up?

  21. #96
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    No. Fair point. In 2010, the Tea Partier's could hold a rally or protest. But now they can't.

  22. #97
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Hmm... if Lord Dampnut can have his rallies, why can't the Tea Party people? What's so different about them?

    The only ones I've seen suppressed so far are the alt right, like what happened at Unite the Right 2. But these are a bunch of white supremacists and literal Nazis, who quite unironically talk about ethnic cleansing and the day of the rope. Hardly legitimate political discourse.

  23. #98
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Everything heywood said above I completely agree with.

    You don't hear about the extremists on the far left in the media, only those on the far right. When those on our far left silence the right, our media supports them. That is the current climate that we are in, and thus the very reason I started this thread (and went into more detail on, in my first post).

    I'm not talking about specific people. The facts speak for themselves of what actually happens when civil non hostile debates are attempted in everyday places like public forums, universities etc. It is those on the far left that are shouting people down, and in most cases causing the debates to be called off. This is happening world wide. It's not just an American problem, it's in my country as well and likely in many other places world wide. The thing is, that it's not discussed in the media, or almost anywhere. I find that most worrying, as extremes on the left can be just as bad as extremes on the right. When people are silenced because of their beliefs / opinions, then that is not democracy. It's a one sided argument, where there is only one accepted "truth".

    But the real truth is that what we all define as "truth" will vary from person to person. My truth is no more right or wrong than yours. We all deserve in a free and democratic society to express our opinions without fear of being silenced or oppressed by another.

  24. #99
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Maybe you don't hear so much about the extremists on the far left because they aren't equal. The extreme left want to give people healthcare and, at the worst, break things while protesting globalism. The extreme right want to get rid of everyone who doesn't look like them and, at the worst, advocate killing all non-white people and at times resort to actual murder, as it happened in the case of Dylann Roof and Anders Breivik.
    Last edited by Starker; 22nd Aug 2018 at 00:29.

  25. #100
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    No, the extreme left are anachro communists and other fringe weirdos. The people you're talking about are just regular left.

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