Radicalization

#1
I've noticed that in debates with people on the right, both here and in other places, there does seem to be a shift towards radical ideologies.
Dog whistling traded for unmasked and unabashed racism, free market ideals distilled into absurdly reductionist objectivism, nationalist leanings cranked up into neoconservative imperialism or outright fascism.

I'm not so lacking in self awareness that I fail to recognize an equal and opposite tendency occurring in myself. Progressivism sliding towards Marxism, social liberalism crystalizing into anarchism. I want to find a compromise where we can all just get back to work and make this country truly great, but in the face of aggressively wrong right wing ideologues, especially the elected ones doing such a shit poor job of representing the US, I find myself struggling not to just cry "eat the rich" and strap on some fash-bashing boots to start manually redistributing wealth. I kid (mostly) but the frustration with how our country runs is likely a driving factor in both directions away from the middle, and probably more than a few flips from one side to the other.

It's already been identified by plenty of people as 'Trumpification', a sort of forced acceleration of the conversations we've been having about social and economic models. I can't see myself going back to my relatively moderate left position, and my nearly total disregard for authority is also unlikely to go back in the 'mere discontent' bottle now that it's out. I can't yet say whether this is a good or bad thing, but I do wonder what I look like in the Bernie timeline. Am I still as highly politically active, or is !BerniePres me back to sleep with the false assurance that a well-meaning President can save us from the worst machinations of government despite the House, Senate and most Governorships still being Republican or bluedog Democrat?

I ask because it's normally the opposition that is most effectively galvanized by a President. Under Obama we saw the emergence of the Tea Party, under Bush the Young Turks started up and we found the Socialists becoming bold enough to start speaking openly. Trump seems to be stirring up the anthill in every conceivable camp. It remains to be seen which values are held most fervently, most effectively, and most infectiously...
The 2018 midterms will be very interesting. For much better, or for much worse, the Trump timeline likely means radical changes are coming. It could be that it's the very best timeline in the longterm, with the eventual election of Bernie in 2020 being far more effective with a progressive House and Senate, or perhaps fascism is more persuasive than liberals have accounted for and it proves to be the very worst timeline. Or maybe he just cashes out and hands the torch to Hillary or Booker, business as usual.

I don't know. I think about this quite often, but I'm just spinning my increasingly anarchist wheels.
 
#2
maybe take a step back, and look at it from another angle. I think your world view is a little skewed, only because you're only seeing things through one lense. The lense of the unfortunate. You seem to have plenty of compassion... But none of it is extended to people who deserve it. Like, successful people... Or people who earned their way to the top. It's not about the haves and have nots to you. It's about stripping people who have earned, and giving it to people who have not earned.... Because "Equality" Your world view is legal robbery. I cant cut that slice any thinner for you. I can only assume your poor, or lazy... Because nobody who learns and earns and puts their blood and sweat into every dollar they earn would agree with you... Statistics show most Left leaning people are poor, unatractive, and lazy... Statsitics show most Right leaning people are attractive, busy, hard working and successful. The left is full of 300lb blue haired female whales and 90lb soyboys. Nobody wants them... And thats just the phyiscial attractniveness. Then you get into their goals and political ideals and they become even less attractive. So what do they want? Do they hit the gym, and get straight? Nope, instead they dye their hair. Dress all weird, call themseflves a weird gender, and try to force everyone to accept their bullshit at the same time that they want free rides on the dollar of normal people... It's not left vs right anymore. It's normal vs the freaks... The "Left" in the world has no busniess in politics.. Their about as ill informed on the big picture as a 7th grader. They even act like 7th graders... The left is done... Their over... They are cooked. Gone... Their over. It's done... Get onboard... The left is dead. They killed themseflves with their own weapons... Their the laughing stock of the world now. Saying your left in todays world is the equivalent of saying your mentally retarded. Cause only a retard would call a 6 foot 4, 200lb man with cock n balls, "Her" Those days are over... The left pushed and pushed and pushed, and pushed themselves off the map.
 
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#4
It's a bit of a pendulum. It's why only once in US history the same party won twice in a row after an 8 year term (Regan -> Bush). The further one side pushes the pendulum the harder it can swing back. And it typically does.

Take what we saw from Obama: Openly anti-american, massive amount of race baiting, huge amount of government regulations, etc.
Then take what we saw in the social climate: Men can be women and vice versa, 48 genders, anti-police riots, open anti-white hatred, etc.

So of course you get a pushback.

But what I have found interesting is what kind of pushback there is. From the Left you get fairly new concepts, and then the Right pushes back by... returning things to normal. Nothing coming out of the political Right is particularly new, hell many of these groups that are considered 'right wing' today were standard left wing parties some 30 years ago.

Basically the Left is drifting further and further left and taking the center line with them while the Right remains more-or-less in the same place.
 
#5
Translation. - So the point of this topic was to hopefully get someone to tell me I'm correct. In the interest of that goal I'll just pretend no one has responded yet.

gotchya....

I'll be on my way now. I'll just let this sink in...

I find myself struggling not to just cry "eat the rich" and strap on some fash-bashing boots to start manually redistributing wealth

My response: It's about stripping people who have earned, and giving it to people who have not earned.... Because "Equality" Your world view is legal robbery. I cant cut that slice any thinner for you.

Who do you think would win in a vote, me or you?

You should dye your hair blue, invent a new gender for yourself, and join Antifa you'd fit right in. Honest advise.. You might acutally find a friend who agrees with you. :)
I hear Hillary needs a new water boy

.
 
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Jemini

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
EDIT: This went a little longer than I normally like. It got a little ranty, but I'm not exactly sure how to pair it down just now.

So, to turn this a bit away from attacking and a bit more toward the meta, which I think was the OP's original intention, I think a large part of the political galvinization is mostly due to the other side pushing their opponent's side farther rather than one side deciding to go farther on their own. Basically, when you try your hardest to be reasonable and present what you think will genuinely improve the lives of everyone in the community the most, and then the other side goes and starts calling you evil for even posing those ideas, in other words using an ad-homonym argument that questions your motives instead of genuinely engaging with the ideas and trying to break them down and anylize them and prove to you why they don't work, this can have several negative effects on the entire discussion.

So, it breaks down like this. The 1st thing that happens if you are the reasonable person in the above situation is that you are flabergasted and hurt that someone would be so unfairly aggressive. The 2nd thing, as you cool down and become more rational, is you realize that they just used an ad-homonym attack, and it is the general rule that resorting to ad-homonym is a sign of someone who has a weak argument and can't win on the merits of their arguments alone. 3rd, if you keep encountering nothing but ad-homonym attacks and such, you come to the conclusion that the other side simply has no argument and the only reason they hold their positions is due to lack of critical thinking on the subject. All of these are rather reasonable conclusions to reach if this is the only thing you are seeing in the discourse.

So, that's the rational side of it. You come to the rational conclusion that the other side has no argument. Not only that, but also that they are highly immature and throwing temper tantrums like little children. However, humans are not entirely rational beings. There is an emotional side to this that cannot be discounted. The other side to the polarization comes from the emotional side when you see your arguments getting this treatment repeatedly by an increasingly irrational other side and fall into a state of frustration. In your frustration, you begin to abandon civility. When you are civil, you just get walked all over. Therefore, you become more bombastic in your arguments. As you become more bombastic, you catch the attention of other people with the same experiences you had, and they start paying attention.

Now, up until now, I have attempted to leave any form of political language out of this by not referencing a side, assigning fault to one side or the other, or bringing up particular issues. However, at this point it is no longer possible to leave those things out of the conversation, because now I have to talk about where the state I just described above, once a person is pushed to that point they begin unwittingly sewing the seeds of resentment that lead to extremist ideologies. There have been people who have studied Neo-Nazi ideologies, and a lot of people who work to de-radicalize extremists. These orginizations were originally brought together to de-radicalize ISIS terrorists, but recently they have begun to find the efforts toward Neo-Nazi groups to respond to the same approach and also that those who become Neo-Nazis do so for the same reasons as ISIS terrorists become ISIS terrorists, and both are due to the exact same motivations that I just described above.

To put it most simply, the tendency toward extremism increases as speech about that extremist ideology is censored. If you can discuss concerns openly and rationally, we do not see things rise to that state of extremism. If you do shut the speech down though, even if you find the speech repugnant and the arguments that discredit the speech have already been long since won, refusing to dust off the old arguments and instead just censor the speech will not deal with the problem and instead will lead to it festering and growing.

The scary thing in all of this is how the extremists manage to sway people in the middle over to their ideology. The way that happens is with the stuff I outlined in my 1st 2 paragraphs. Intelligent and rational people who are subjected to that sort of abuse by ad-homonym attack manage to stick to their principals and become thought leaders among the disenfranchised center left/center right people. However, as they become frustrated and bombastic and lead their followers to also become more frustrated, the less intelligent followers become susceptible to anything else that even sounds mildly similar to this bombastic thought leader. Ideologies like Neo-Nazism and Neo-Marxism have some very intelligent followers who are aware of this weakness in the human psyche, and they begin crafting arguments designed to closely resemble the rational thought leader except that they work in some bits of their own hateful ideology that sways their audience to more and more extremism.

Bottom line, if you want to keep the Neo-Nazis and Neo-Marxists from having weak and susceptible audiences they can sway, you HAVE TO have rational conversations and discussions with the moral and rational thought-leaders who express the concerns the more extremist ideologies capitalize on. In the case of Neo-Nazis, this would be immigration. In the case of Neo-Marxists, this would be socioeconomic disparities. Conversations about these subjects need to be had, and they have to be listened to without dismissal or impuning of the motives of the ones making the arguments.
 
#7
Actually, I think Jemini's approach is fairly worthy of consideration. It would explain both driving forces away from the middle.
Genuinely held conservative beliefs in free market economics or civic nationalism are more and more frequently lumped in to one big 'nazi' ball even when it's not appropriate, and likewise I have taken to using the Marxist label not because it's actually terribly accurate to my beliefs but because I try not to play defense and I've had the label thrust onto me by conservatives for my advocacy of demand-side economics and a strong social safety net.

I try to maintain some perspective, but the atmosphere has become rather chaotic all around.
Act7, I don't think you'll get very far by looking for ways to blame all of the issues with political dialogue on the left. From what I can see, I find no value to absolving either side of responsibility for the continued breakdown of discourse.
 

Jemini

Super Moderator
Staff member
#8
Oh, right, there is also a 3rd factor. There are actually some very clever and malicious trolls out there who act like extremists just to stir people up and make them more extreme. They will use intentionally bad arguments and then dismiss all criticism and use ad-homynym attacks on everyone who disagrees with them and everything of the sort for the sole purpose of driving the two sides farther apart. These malicious trolls are people who also realized everything I said above and are using this knowledge to evil ends, using this knowledge to drive the sides farther apart rather than as a road map as to what to avoid.

We now have evidence that Russian trolls have tweeted under both Neo-Nazi and Black lives matter circles, making total asses of themselves on both sides. This was for the purpose of the above goal. This is something that we know is going on. So, this brings in another complication. If you see someone acting like a total irrational ass on the other side, you've gotta ask yourself whether or not they are a Russian troll. There are some Russian troll accounts that even point to the Russian troll accounts on the other side as evidence for how bad the other side is. That's how the game is played now.
 
#9
Of course I'm not blaming everything that's going wrong on the Left, I'm sure the two of us could have a merry ol' time picking out stupid shit coming from the Right.

But riddle me this,
Where on the political spectrum is America's current day political insanity coming from?

Everyday in the news the internet seems to drudge up ever increasing and ever-more political insanity that not only makes you shake your head, but makes you worried about America's future.

Let's start with the feminist Left

For starters Medusa Mag, a feminist satire magazine, is shutting down because it can no longer compete with the actual insanity of the feminist Left.
“I am shutting down this website because recent events have proven to us that it is no longer possible to satirize the Feminist left.”

There was the pussy hat protests where women knitted pink hats, made to look like a woman's vagina, and they marched on DC to protest the election of Donald Trump. Closely related are slut walks that have nothing to do with the election of Donald Trump but is a favorite past time of feminists where they dress like sluts and march in public.

There's the fake rape epidemic epitomized by the University of Virginia's false rape accusation further perpetrated by an article in Rolling Stone magazine. But this should have been prevented had you followed Antioch's sexual consent policy where a man must ask, at each stage of sexual progress, permission to hold a girl's hand, put his hand on her shoulder, kiss her, and (GASP) maybe even fornicate! To top it all off, then there's feminists just yelling and screaming at the sky when Trump is elected, or (if you wish to be more formal about it) you put together an event where you communally yell at the sky to commemorate Trump being elected.

Second you have the ever increasing number of sexes.

Ten years ago there were two sexes (male, female) and three sexualities (straight, bi, gay), Today, there are 63.

There are, of course, not 63 genders. There are two. Male and Female. The remainders are variations, derivations, and permutations of the aforementioned, introducing concepts like "sapio sexual" (being attracted to intelligent people) which are nothing more than splitting hairs. But while you'd think nobody would really believe in these ever-increasing number of genders, oh how mistaken you were. For not only does creating new genders make worthless academics feel like they're doing something for that taxpayer government grant you gave them, it also gives valueless people something to gloom onto providing them false worth.

"I'm a pansexual androgine lesbian!"
"I'm a Masculine Bisexual Androfemale!"

Well good for you. Do you have a job? Do you support yourself? Are you majoring in engineering? Do you pay taxes?

And what you'll find out is they don't...but they do have that obscure gender nobody else does! And that's gotta count for something! Right???

The result is largely what you're witnessing among confused millennials where you have emasculated men, masculinized women, nobody having dates or sex, and an explosion in other forms of differentiation (yet no production). Tattoos, piercings, and (my all time favorite form of body mutilation) ear gauges.

This would be funny if it weren't for the fact these people insist on foisting their religion of pseudo-gender on the rest of society via law. Do you remember the transgender bathroom fiasco Americans were forced to endure? What about that bakery that was forced (then fined for not) baking a cake for a gay couple on religious grounds? (Which will actually be heard by the Supreme Court fairly soon) It's all cute fun and games until you're forced through law NOT to acknowledge their sexual preference (which you should), but rather to obey these people's pseudo-gender religion and dance to their tune.

Third, racism and sexism and whatever other -ism.

The pinnacle example is privilege. It originally started with "white privilege" and "male privilege," but soon rapidly expanded (just like the number of genders) to include any other traits or variables normal, middle of America, Americans had.

Able-bodied privilege.
Mental health privilege.
Financial privilege.
Christian privilege.
Hetero privilege.

The insanity gets to be so much that unless you are a minority, non-straight female (or hermaphrodite) in a wheel chair who is not a Christian or hails from wealth...

then you should feel ashamed, guilty, and need to pay more in taxes.

Examples of political racism/sexism borne insanity doesn't end there. If you're part of BLM you apparently have the right to block interstates. Women will never seem to stop complaining about the wage gap, just as they never seem they'll ever be willing to major in subjects that will actually CLOSE the wage gap. We're going to remove George Washington's pew from a church because he owned slaves 250 years ago. And apparently women are so oppressed they can't afford birth control, so you better afford it for them.

This isn't to say racism and sexism hasn't existed in the history of this country or the world, but the above have nothing to do with race, but mental illness mixed with entitlement and a professional level of playing the victim for preferential treatment while cowardly hiding behind the genuine suffering of those who genuinely endured racism and sexism in the past.

And perhaps the most psychotic of them all - academia.

Here (like sexual harassment complaints) you can find a new and exciting example of mental illness coming out of America's colleges and universities EVERY DAY.

"Safe spaces," "triggering," "micro-aggressions," the aforementioned false rape accusation epidemic, all while you the taxpayers are guaranteeing these kids' worthless degrees.

The result is a generation of both professors and students who just refuse to adhere to reality or grow up, living in a state of perpetual adolescence.

Evergreen College's "day without whites."
Mizzou's racist temper tantrum in 2015 over...well, whites and privilege.
Dr. Jordan Peterson's refusal to use fake "zhe/zher" pronouns "triggered" precious Canadian college students.
And you just have to consult The College Fix to see a well-documented litany of higher education's complete unhinging from reality and its further sinking into the depths of insanity.

So, once again, riddle me this...

from where in the political spectrum is this literal mental insanity coming from?

I know, I know, back in the 80's you had to worry about the "religious right." Nancy Reagan might have told you not to do drugs and Christians prefer you not abort your children. And I know, I know, some right wing idiots protested in Charlottesville several months ago.

But in the totality of mental illness and insanity this country is drowning in, is it coming from the right or the left? The democrats or the republicans? The socialists or the capitalists?

The answer is simple. The left has a COMPLETE monopoly on the political mental illness that is currently infecting (or trying to infect) the country. The left TOTALLY owns the insanity you see coming across the news wires daily. It is the left that screams at the sky, feeds their infants all vegan diets, claim "Baby It's Cold Outside" is rapey, conjure up ideas like "safe spaces, ne'er leave academia to work in the real world, force people to use transgender bathrooms, force people to violate their religion, force people to use "genderless pronouns," and in general act like the world's most spoiled group of insolent, petulant little brats it has ever known, AND if you don't obey them, they threaten you with fees, fines, jail, the law, and force.

This is not an argument that you should all go out and become card-carrying republicans today. Nor is it to say the right is not without its problems. I am merely trying to point out which side of the political spectrum is leaving you alone to do as you please, while the other is demanding you do things for them, pay things for them, even demanding you THINK like them and if you don't, they will punish you.
 
#10
Act7 is giving a great example of the problem we're having with political discourse. This normalization of the extremes, treating the loudest and most annoying contingent of the left as though it's representative of the left as a whole.

Do we learn much about each other by accusing each other of the most egregious intellectual failures of our respective philosophical arenas? Do we advance our dialogue if I assume you believe in a reptilian conspiracy because Alex Jones does? There are stupid, inexplicably influential people and ideas on both sides and not enough people willing to start with an assessment of the problems plaguing their own camp before they march off to do battle, carrying water for people that they simply assume must be correct.

Claiming to be liberal or left or progressive or whatever label should not win points with me, and I try to be consistent to that value.
Anyone who says 'free speech costs too much' or whatever dumbass idiom they use to justify their college regressive attitudes is no ally of mine.
Anti-fa is doing more to advertise fascism than they are to fight it thanks to their tone-deaf violent tactics (my take on them is nuanced, but sadly I don't think theirs is. They're "the good guys" in their own eyes and thus they can justify anything.)
I do try to be trans-inclusive and I do find some interesting nuance to the 'gender as a spectrum' argument, but I'm not going to memorize fifty-seven gender pronouns when they are based on Tumblr daydreams rather than science, and anyone who can't get by with 'he' 'she' or 'they' can just get a thicker skin around me.
Hillary Clinton deserves a jail cell far more than my vote.
Any other dodges for liberal philosophy that you can base on the existence of obnoxious and stupid leftists can be countered with the existence of ridiculous and fantastically wrong right-wingers.

The fundamentalist Christians are one big intellectual embarrassment to the American right wing, and while Act7 implied that I don't have to worry about them any more I contend that this is nowhere near correct. The influence of the likes of the 700 Club may be waning, but it's far from gone.
Neo-nazis and the KKK do seem awfully fond of Trump and assume he represents their values.
Plenty of right-wingers seem to have a strangely rosy interpretation of American history that makes them seem childish.

My point here is, of course, that being a conservative does not mean you should have to take ownership of these flaws with the right-wing. I would be a hypocrite if I didn't offer that allowance for conservatives while making such an escape route for myself. You should be able to recognize and disavow yourself of the most venomous and bizarre aspects of the culture that surrounds you if your goal is to grow as a person and attempt to bring sanity to your political camp.

Ultimately I want to talk about policy, not people. The stupid and proudly wrong have a soap box right next to those making robust and compelling arguments thanks to the internet. It's up to all of us, left and right, to be the adults in the room and recognize the problems at home as well as those across the aisle.
 
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#11
You say we should be critical of our own side and yet you sweep very valid criticisms of your side under the rug as "a few loud voices" despite the fact that these criticisms exist BECAUSE they are gradually becoming policy in numerous Western countries. Canada is a prime example as many of the things I brought up in my last post currently are or are becoming law up there.

"I want to talk about policy, not people" well where do you think policy comes from?! I brought up the total insanity coming out of academia and how the professors and student body are just awash with this nonsense, what do you think is going to happen when these brainwashed students are old enough to be voted into office? What are the policies you think they're going to pass?

Not only do you just dismiss my criticisms of the Left with a wave of the hand you have the arrogance to belittle me. I acknowledge that the Right has problems and that we could have fun picking at them, but you ignore that and wave me off because I'm pointing out issues on your side of the aisle.

You are a hypocrite, what's more, you are an incredibly arrogant one. I've been trying to play nice with you but you have driven me up the wall with this last post and I am done with you as speaking with you is an exercise in futility and frustration.