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> Political militants, plumbing the depths of extremity...
Political militants
Who is worse: Left or Rlght?
The extreme right wing [ 11 ] ** [26.83%]
The extreme left wing [ 8 ] ** [19.51%]
Neither (feel free to elaborate a third option you may have identified) [ 3 ] ** [7.32%]
They are equally bad [ 19 ] ** [46.34%]
Total Votes: 43
  
moif
post Mar 7 2007, 03:48 PM
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QUOTE(Nighttimer)
But being a right-wing reactionary means never having to say you're sorry. Or have any class either.
I saw the above quoted by NT in the Ann Coulter thread* and in light of recent developments here in Denmark I felt I had to react to it, but since my reaction would have been OT, I've decided to ask my questions in a seperate thread.

For those of you unaware of the further context of my questions, let me explain that Denmark has just been witness to several days of civil unrest and urban violence as self proclaimed anarchists and left wing radicals battled the police in the streets of Copenhagen.
Here is the BBC's reporting on the subject.
Here are some of my own musings.

I often see people from one side demonising the other and since I like to think of myself as occupying some sort of political middle ground, I often find myself in agreement with both sides on this issue. In other words, both sides have their black sheep. Where I disagree is in the scale though for it seems to me that whilst right wingers talk foul, left wings act it. It may be I am more to the right than I care to acknowledge so I'd like to pose some questions and see how others regard this issue:

Questions posed for debate:

What is the dividing line between main stream and the extreme (in other words how can you know when some one has crossed the line from the former to the latter?)

Is either side actually worse than the other?

Does political bias cloud the issue of judgement with regards to one's own political opinions? (By which I mean, are conservatives/socialists unable to disassociate themselves from the extremists who share some of the same opinons?)

How dangerous is western political extremism anyway?



*Note I make no objections against NT's characterisation of Ann Coulter

edited for grammar

This post has been edited by moif: Mar 7 2007, 03:52 PM
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aevans176
post Mar 8 2007, 03:43 PM
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QUOTE(Landru Guide Us @ Mar 7 2007, 05:30 PM) *

QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 7 2007, 10:06 PM) *
I definitely disagree. Did Martin Luther King's sit in's and marches destroy property? Of course not. In America in 2007, destroying property just might cause violence. Civil disobedience isn't lowering yourself to the levels of those you oppose (or worse). I think you can cause a ruckus and still retain class.


I don't know, the protestors who ended the Vietnam war and saved thousand of lives seemed to disagree with your claim, and history seems to be on their side. As I recall there was more than a riot or two in the anti-war movement. Looking back, if that what it took to end such a useless destructive conflict, it was well worth it. As a famous man once said, "Democracy's a messy thing" -- I guess he meant it's OK for Iraq but not us.


Landru, your view in my earnest opinion is very slighted. Maybe you saw the end of the war as a personal victory because you were a protestor, but frankly the war ended because politicians weren't willing to put forth the effort to win it. Vietnam was a debaucle because the US government was 100% involved in the operational effectiveness of the soldiers on the ground, and forced the military leadership to adhere to protocol that crippled long-term effectiveness. Consider this. In Vietnam, the US Army and Marine Corps won 90-95% of all battles, but we still left Vietnam as perceived losers. It would be like if the Dallas police dept was tasked to get rid of Crack dealers, and they could beat them on the streets but could never go into their homes or cars to arrest them.

We left Vietnam because the leadership came to understand that the war's ineffectiveness was costing too much financially and in terms of human lives... consider that the President that began the departure from Vietnam was Nixon, and the President that got us into that mess was Kennedy. Protesters might've helped to sway congressmen to make the war a "more humane" and " less invasive" war (for Cambodia and Laos, etc), but that really probably had a less auspicious effect. Then as the war became less effective, of course our nation came to the conclusion that the war wasn't going to get any better under current circumstances.

Read General Westmoreland's biography by Samuel Zaffiri. You might garner a better understanding of what really happened in Vietnam, on the ground as opposed to what someone told you in a classroom.

QUOTE

You might be a political extremist if:

Your room is plastered with posters of some big political hero, Adolf or Che'.

The weekly shopping list includes fuel oil, fertilizer, pipes and stick matches.


HAHAHAHA.... Good one Author. One time in high school I worked at a supply store in Bossier City, LA (years and years ago) and some of our neighbors came in to buy supplies (1/4 sticks of dynamite and fuses I think) to blow up stumps. Back then all you needed was some cash and a handshake. I think now you have to get a background check, give dna, hair samples, etc, etc....

It sucks because last summer we took up a tree where the roots where about to tear into our foundation and had already messed up a plumbing pipe. Do you know how long it took to chop that thing up? 1/4 stick of dynamite and a Bud Light would've fixed that dude in 'bout 30 seconds flat. (Bud light is of course to be held in one hand while you light the fuse w/ the other).
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Julian
post Mar 8 2007, 04:54 PM
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QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Mar 8 2007, 08:15 AM) *

QUOTE(Julian)
Though it's like a competition to find out whether cow or buffalo chips taste better - no doubt there is a difference between them, but nobody in their right mind should swallow either to find out.
thumbsup.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

I'm glad someone noticed the most pertinent sentence in my reply to "who's worse - the extreme right or extreme left".

Before I reply in detail, can I draw the attention of aevans176 and moif to this - the gist being that it would be hard to get a cigarette paper between the two extremes when measuring their "badness".

However, you did raise interesting points in your replies I wanted to address

QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 7 2007, 10:06 PM) *

QUOTE(Julian @ Mar 7 2007, 02:19 PM) *

Not really. If I were to split hairs, the extreme right tend to foment hatred against people for who they are or what they look like, whereas the extreme left do the same thing against people based on what they think or how they act.

Given that nobody has any control over who they are or what they look like, but has a modicum of control over their thoughts and actions, I'd say the extreme right are very marginally worse than the extreme left.


Another whuuu????

Conservatives judge people based upon how they look? Good Lord. This is a good one. Please provide examples, as I don't see this one to be even close to reality in my opinion.


I didn't mention conservatives at all. While conservatives are clearly to the right of the centre politically, I don't think of "conservatives" and "extremists" in the same way. It sounds to me like you define everyone that is to the right of centre as a conservative. I don't - but for the sake of argument I will.

In this light, do you think of the KKK, the fascists, the Nazis or the Taliban as being politically on the left, or (as I do) on the right? If so, then we have a fundamental disagreement on one of the assumes premises of this debate, which would explain the misunderstanding.

I consider racism - the most obvious way to judge people based on how they look - to be a human failing, but the left (generally) is unlikely to politicise it, in the sense of making racist poilicies part of their platform. Even leftwing extremists don't usually consider race, or skin colour (or religion, to be honest, at least not in the sense of one religion being right and one being wrong; if they make a distinction, it's that ALL religions are wrong and atheism is the only approved position) to be important in framing their worldview.

Mainstream conservatives don't generally make much of it either (occasionally they are accused by the left of "playing the race card", but that's simple politicking as often as it is creeping racism).

Stalinesque communists do things that are just as bad - indeed, Stalin often sent people belonging to one race or other visually identifiable group to the Gulags, but his justification for doing was usually because they were somehow subversive or acting against the interest of the state. Hitler's justification was the other way around - Jews, gypsies and homosexuals were acting as enemes of the state because their status as Jews, gypsies or homosexuals made them inferior.

To the poor victims, the public justification made little difference to what they had to face (hence my comparison of buffalo and cow chips - it's all the stuff at the dirty end of the muck raker), but there was a difference in the justifications used when the extreme right wanted them out of the way, and the one used when the extreme left did.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 7 2007, 10:06 PM) *
I think BOTH sides are judgemental based upon what each other thinks, and most importantly this is why there are two parties. In my opinion, conservatives are most concerned with issues centering around morality, while liberals are concerned with issues revolving around social consciouness (& other social issues). Liberals are most often the champions of the minority, while many conservatives tip their hat to the majority.

I would never say that conservatives or liberals are better or worse, but I suppose we'll see how this board reacts. I'd say there will be a number of liberals and a handful of conservatives who make inane statements of value about this....


I think you should re-read the debate questions. We aren't talking here about the left and right, but about the extrem left and the extreme right.

QUOTE(moif @ Mar 7 2007, 11:35 PM) *

One of the factors I think is most compelling with regards to political extremism is an ignorance of the other. It seems that often people form opinions on personal perceptions that rely on an intepretation of available information. So, for example, Julian see's conservatives as being people more likely to make decisions based on ethnic identity or skin colour where as aevans is amazed at this observation.

I'm not sure Julian is either right or wrong because I can see the reason why he might think that (its also a pretty common perception in the UK left) but at the same time I think I disagree with him. Opposition to Islam in the UK for example is often regarded as a racist perspective, and yet Islam is an ideology that transcends race and the distinction between those opponents of the Islamic ideology and mere racists is deliberately ignored in order to indirectly associate the one with the other. This continued trend of labelling all opponents of Islam as racists is an example of what I deem to be extremism.


The automatic labelling of opponents of Islam as racist is a problem, granted. But so is the automatic labelling of Muslims as a problem. I find it interesting that you criticise the demonisation of a whole group based on what they believe (that Islam is a problem) as racist by defending the demonisation of a whole group based on what they believe (Muslims) which you (rightly, in principle) say transcends race. In practice, where are all the blond, blue-eyed white Muslim suicide bombers? To my knowledge, the non-Arab/Middle Eastern, non-black, non-South Asian, Muslim troublemakers are small in number and are certainly not at the forefront of any news reporting, even aside from the leftie Muslim-hugging BBC.

Plus, your line of argument would be much easier to sustain across the board for all opponents of Islam if there hadn't been well documented assaults on brown Sikhs and Hindus (both faiths have white adherents as well as brown ones, just like Islam) because it was assumed by their attackers that they were Muslim. 'Cos after all, they're all "pakis" aren't they?

QUOTE
For, the other point to consider with regards to political extremism is the meaning of the term 'extreme'. What does it mean? For me an extremist is not just some one who will resort to volence but actually some one who is unwilling to compromise. I think that is my definition of extremism. The unwillingness to even entertain consideration of an opposing perspective.


Tony Benn, who you may remember form your time in the UK, hasn't compromised very much, but I wouldn't say he was an extremists. Even Iain Paisley - the poster boy for uncompromising politicians - I wouldn't say was an extremist, especially. The people to his right in loyalist paramilitaries certainly ARE extremists.

That said, I agree with your definition in certain contexts.

So maybe the definition of what is or isn't an extreme position depends on context in the first place?

Intuitively, it should, because one can only be extreme relative to everyone else. If everyone else's position on some matter is skewed in some way (for good or ill), having a contrary opinion marks one out as an extremist?

In a way, but I'm not sure how useful it is to WORRY about such extremists - the only ones we need to WORRY about are the ones who either have power and intend to implement their extremism (the Hitlers & the Stalins of the world), or the ones who don't have power but intend to implement their extremism anyway (who we usually end up calling terrorists, or their supporters).

QUOTE
Obviously I have my own bias. I try to stay in the centre and entertain any and all persepctives so for me, extremism is the opposite of my own personal approach.


I suspect this is one of the intractable problems of extremism. Everybody thinks their own opinions are reasonable, because we've all had the time to come up with reasons why we have them. Very few of us (and I include myself in this) ever arrive at our opinions through reasoning, we just use reasoning to justify our (intuited or learned) opinions to ourselves and others.

QUOTE
Regarding the two main political ideologies at the fore in western politics, I find that European socialism is far more extreme than any European conservative perspective and that the opposite is true in the USA. This would also explain why there is so much bad blood between the two at the moment. Europe's socialists hate the USA (hate is not too strong a word to describe the depth of emotion I am witness to these days) and I feel the opposite may also be true for many American conservatives, though not possibly to the same extent.


If European socialism were the dominant world power (as if!), which could steamroller its ideas through without regard to contrary views, I daresay you'd find American conservatives to be much more vocal (and extreme).

QUOTE
There is a popular line in Europe that runs: "I don't hate America, just Bush". I hear this one a lot and I don't believe it any more. A lot of the time people who make this statement go on to list all the things that that they hate about the USA and the gist of it revolves around over indulgent self-consumerism. Something which GW Bush might promote, but can hardly be held responsible for.


Again, "a lot of the time" people disguise dislike or hatred of America with the fig leaf of dislike of President Bush. Which doesn't preclude them geniunely liking America, or perhaps just bits of it, while disliking Bush so much they want to mouth off about it. Which, in turn, makes your disbelief something of a generalisation.

QUOTE
I also find socialists are much, much more apt to resort to violence as a means of political control and a testament to this lies in the fact that I have never heard of any conservative advocating revolution. I have heard of abortion clinics being blown up and stuff like that, but I'm not convinced this is an action based on any conservative ideology. I don't agree that religious extremism is a conservative ideology either, nor even nationalism. The recent rise of the nationalists in Europe has not happened at the expense of conservative parties but at the expensive of main stream socialism and most of Europe's religious extremists (and 90% of our Muslims) vote social democrat (Labour)


Again, I think small-c conservatism, while on the rightward part of the spectrum, is not an all-encompassing thing for all right-wing views. Here, the common parlance is at fault rather than any commentator, because politics is more complicated that a single straight line with everyone spaced along it somehow. I remember a website called "political compass" from a while back which had two axes, the traditional left-right from side to side, and a "libertarian/authoritarian) axis from top to bottom, so you'd plot people's positions on a graph.

Generally, political extremists from ALL parts of the left-right spectrum are found near the top of the "authoritarian" scale - self-evidently, you can't be an extremist if you don't see yourself having the right to tell anyone else what to do! smile.gif

But to your point on revolution, generally speaking where revolutions happen the political right is in power at the time. Certainly, small-c conservatism cannot possibly be revolutionary, because how can you revolt against the status quo when your primary political motivation is to keep the status quo? (One can, of course, revolt against Status Quo by not buying their albums or wearing denim waistcoats.)

QUOTE
In the UK there is a different trend. Under Thatcher, the militant left wing organized nation wide strikes that pitted people against the police. I was a child during that period and I remember the miners strike and the righting that took place when left wing extremists rose up against the conservative government.


I was a teenager at the time, the leftwing rose up to defend itself against a planned assault from the Thatcher government with the objective of breaking the power of the unions. It was a well-planned assault, the left wing lost, and the unions were broken.

QUOTE
Its a poigniant contrast that today, under a labour government equally set in its ways and equally distrusted by the British public, there are no right wing militants organising violent protests that lead to street fighting and clashes with the police. That in fact the most ardent and outspoken opponents of the Blair government are left wing.


You fail to realise, or remember several things.
1. The Labour party drew most of its power and ideology from the old-style trades unions, which Thatcher broke, so breaking the old-style left-wing Labour party, and requiring a realignment with the centre and the realities of Thatcherite market economics which had become the dominant factor in British politics.
2, Hence Tony Blair and the attacks he receives from the Left both inside and outside his party, because his government does not govern from the Left, but from somewhere in the centre that is, objectively, slightly to the right of the old Major government. They not nationalised anything, and have privatised several things. They've implemented the PFI which came out of a Major-era think-tank. etc.
3. Hence, the past 10 years have felt more or less the same as the previous 18, meaning that the Thatcherite market-economy consensus has continued unbroken, so after the initial euphoria of getting rid of the same tired old ideas, the nation woke up and realised they were still being used to run the country.
4. There HAVE been violent protests from the right against this government - the "fuel crisis" of 2000, the Countryside Alliance marches and demonstrations against the ban on foxhunting. The main differences have been that the government under Blair capitulated to the fuel protestors at the first sign of trouble, and have been chasing after tomorrow's (right wing tabloid) headlines ever since.

QUOTE
One of the justifications for using violence as a political tool bandied about by European far left socialists is 'nazism'. It is made abundently clear that these rioting left wingers see themselves as engaged in a struggle against such dark forces as capitalism, nazism and the main stream right wing parties they believe unite the two.

I have never seen a right wing riot happen in Europe. Never. No matter how extreme a right wing group or person may become, I have not seen any of them move from belligerent language to actual violence. I have seen neo nazi's marching but I do not recognize nazism as being akin to conservatism. I see nazism as its own thing, as an ideology that attracts people on the basis of an idelogy that transcends left or right wing thinking and appeals to people from right across the spectrum. A lot of people see nazism as being conservatie extremism, but I don't. I believe this is a deliberate generalisation used by extreme left wingers to excuse their own revolutionary fervor and which has taken root in the common left wing perception due to the cold war dichotomy and repetition.


Okay, but that speaks to me more of the bankruptcy of using a single left-right delineator to describe politics and political extremism. Neo-nazis are certainly authoritarian, but can anyone really say they aren't right wing.

QUOTE
At the same time, the link between socialism and communism is far more blurred and so the association between the main stream left wing and the extreme left wing is both harder to identity and easier to ignore. Its also easier to cross. Thus you get mainstream left wingers regarding a communist dictator like Fidel Castro almost with affection but viewing a creep like Robert Mugabe (apparently devoid of any political perspective beyond personal ambition) with honest disdain (and even calling him a conservative on occaision). I've seen it remarked on and I agree that western socialists are often hypocritical with regards to where they direct their condemnation. Right wing dictators, like Pinochet and Franco, get the full force of anger where as more left leaning dictators, like Saddam Hussein and Ho Chi Minh get a free pass ...and then there is Hugo Chavez hmmm.gif


Can't find much wrong with this, but then I'm not here to try and apologise for the extremist left. They're a cigarette paper away from being as bad as right-wing extremists.

QUOTE
If extremism is being unwilling to compromise then I say each side is equally guilty. But if extremism is a willingness to use or accept violence then I'd say the left wing were the the more extreme of the two.


Here I just have to speculate that, if the left is more prone to violence in Europe, and the right is so in the USA, perhaps it's because Europe as a whole leans to the left, and America as a whole leans to the right, and the propensity to apply violence for political ends is just something that is stronger in a small percentage of all people? So you end up with more violent lefties in Europe, and more violent righties in the USA.

Just a thought.


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Grendel72
post Mar 8 2007, 05:19 PM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 7 2007, 04:06 PM) *
Grendel, this is bordering on absurd. First of all, Gun Shows don't welcome the Klan. Texas is the home of the gun show, and really most of the time it's a huge redneck gathering and/or (depending on the show) a very high end collectors show. Every now and again manufacturers sponsor shows and it's a little more industrial (cops, fed agents, etc). Hunting and personal protection are big industries in the US, BUT NOT conservative political gatherings. I dabble in collectables, and even have sold at shows. I've never in my time in Texas ever even seen a skin head or Klansman.
I said klan types. Anyone who's been to a gun show in the US knows what I'm talking about; any gun show I've ever been to or seen there will be people selling literature about race war and the like. They're not the majority but it always creeps me out.
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Bikerdad
post Mar 8 2007, 06:15 PM
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QUOTE(Juian)
I consider racism - the most obvious way to judge people based on how they look - to be a human failing, but the left (generally) is unlikely to politicise it, in the sense of making racist poilicies part of their platform. Even leftwing extremists don't usually consider race, or skin colour (or religion, to be honest, at least not in the sense of one religion being right and one being wrong; if they make a distinction, it's that ALL religions are wrong and atheism is the only approved position) to be important in framing their worldview.
Here I must disagree most profoundly with you Julian. At least in the US, racist policies are one of the cornerstones of the Left. Affirmative Action is racism. A foundation of modern Leftist/Progressive thinking is that "because of your skin color and/or ethnicity, you are oppressed." Now, it can be said with some justification that the Left practices a "soft" racism, in contrast to the KKK or Aryan Nation. Unfortunately for the Left, their racism is widespread, adopted by almost all organizations on the Left, which is again in contrast to the racism of the KKK, which is broadly repudiated on the Right.

Over here, identity politics is one of the pillars of Leftism. Look at high profile racial or ethnic political organizations not considered to be on the fringe, they're all on the Left. The NAACP is the flagship and model of such groups. By and large, Democratic candidates court the NAACP endorsement, Republican candidates do everything they can to distance themselves from the KKK.

Then there is anti-Semitism, which, by my reading, is becoming something of a fixture on the Left over there in Europe. Not so here in the US, as explicit anti-Semitism is still pretty much a flaw of the fringes on the Right, but the step from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism is a very short one, and the Left here is very much into the anti-Zionism.

QUOTE
where are all the blond, blue-eyed white Muslim suicide bombers? To my knowledge, the non-Arab/Middle Eastern, non-black, non-South Asian, Muslim troublemakers are small in number
Said troublemakers are small in number because the population of "blond, blue-eyed white Muslims" is likewise pretty small, and very few of them hail from societies steeped in Islam.

FWIW, I do know a blond, blue-eyed white Muslim, a truckdriver. He's scary, not in a "he's gonna blow up a truck stop" kinda way, rather "he'll cheat anybody he can" kinda way. I consider his attitude to be a heritage of how and where he was raised (as a Syrian Muslim), rather than exclusively a result of his religion, as two other Muslims I know (both raised here in the States) are pretty upstanding. Of course, one has essentially abandoned her faith and is functionally secular, and the other is a casual adherent last I heard. Admittedly, a small sample. shifty.gif
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aevans176
post Mar 8 2007, 09:46 PM
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QUOTE(Grendel72 @ Mar 8 2007, 12:19 PM) *

QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 7 2007, 04:06 PM) *
Grendel, this is bordering on absurd. First of all, Gun Shows don't welcome the Klan. Texas is the home of the gun show, and really most of the time it's a huge redneck gathering and/or (depending on the show) a very high end collectors show. Every now and again manufacturers sponsor shows and it's a little more industrial (cops, fed agents, etc). Hunting and personal protection are big industries in the US, BUT NOT conservative political gatherings. I dabble in collectables, and even have sold at shows. I've never in my time in Texas ever even seen a skin head or Klansman.
I said klan types. Anyone who's been to a gun show in the US knows what I'm talking about; any gun show I've ever been to or seen there will be people selling literature about race war and the like. They're not the majority but it always creeps me out.


I hear ya man... I also find it interesting that you correlate gun shows to conservative (or right wing) political gatherings. I'm not sure where you're going to gun shows, but I've never gotten a race war flyer in my life (except one time on a business trip in Pike Place Market in Seattle... that was weird). Then again, that's Seattle I'd suppose. I really wasn't surprised. Anyway- maybe you live in the midwest. It seems that neo-nazi groups have a hay day in small town USA.

Anyway, I'm not sure what angle you're trying to push. Frankly, I can't see how you've shown that conservative groups are more violent. Maybe the Taliban or Al Qaeda are good examples, but whatever. They're not in the US and surely aren't Republicans.

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gordo
post Mar 8 2007, 09:59 PM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 8 2007, 09:46 PM) *

QUOTE(Grendel72 @ Mar 8 2007, 12:19 PM) *

QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 7 2007, 04:06 PM) *
Grendel, this is bordering on absurd. First of all, Gun Shows don't welcome the Klan. Texas is the home of the gun show, and really most of the time it's a huge redneck gathering and/or (depending on the show) a very high end collectors show. Every now and again manufacturers sponsor shows and it's a little more industrial (cops, fed agents, etc). Hunting and personal protection are big industries in the US, BUT NOT conservative political gatherings. I dabble in collectables, and even have sold at shows. I've never in my time in Texas ever even seen a skin head or Klansman.
I said klan types. Anyone who's been to a gun show in the US knows what I'm talking about; any gun show I've ever been to or seen there will be people selling literature about race war and the like. They're not the majority but it always creeps me out.


I hear ya man... I also find it interesting that you correlate gun shows to conservative (or right wing) political gatherings. I'm not sure where you're going to gun shows, but I've never gotten a race war flyer in my life (except one time on a business trip in Pike Place Market in Seattle... that was weird). Then again, that's Seattle I'd suppose. I really wasn't surprised. Anyway- maybe you live in the midwest. It seems that neo-nazi groups have a hay day in small town USA.

Anyway, I'm not sure what angle you're trying to push. Frankly, I can't see how you've shown that conservative groups are more violent. Maybe the Taliban or Al Qaeda are good examples, but whatever. They're not in the US and surely aren't Republicans.


So if people in general were not conservative with there stances or ideas the world would be the same? I mean from my point of view if we did not have a bunch of hardcore extremists running around typically attempting to rule the universe the planet might be a nice place to live in general. Just look at America, with conservatives that feel the need to make "camps" were homosexuals can go to be cured or what not. Ideologically to me most of its a mess, fact is second hand to feeling and for the most part you get people that do become very conservative with ideological fixation really. Such as in both parties that rule our political scene. Regardless of this, if people per say were more liberal maybe WW2 or war period might not occur to the point in which we need to make enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world many times over.

Just as the history of race relations in America, and everyone wanting to conserve there culture, it leads to a great many problems, chronically I would say. Its almost like choking to death slowly.

As for the hi fives and all that jazz, last time I checked the world is not some utopia, neither is America, but of course you have groups pointing fingers saying its there fault and not mine, makes you wonder, being I don’t know about how you feel but I don’t think the word dormant could be used to describe behavior of either of our major political evils. Also in some chronic fashion a supporter of some ideology will be quick to point out that nothing wrong can be done by such people, or moreover that such an ideology is perfect and so fourth and so on.

To simply draw a nice parallel, what’s the leadership in Iran and the republican party have in common, they both hate secularism and basically want to rule via a theocracy, but hey, its only American, though of course statements like god told me to invade should simply be brushed aside, or the countless other facets one could bring up historically to support this idea of mine.

Anyways, anything objective or fact related typically comes last in anything political, yesterday, today and tomorrow it will be like this.



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Grendel72
post Mar 8 2007, 10:08 PM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 8 2007, 03:46 PM) *
Anyway, I'm not sure what angle you're trying to push. Frankly, I can't see how you've shown that conservative groups are more violent. Maybe the Taliban or Al Qaeda are good examples, but whatever. They're not in the US and surely aren't Republicans.
You are correct, gun shows are not political gatherings, I was mentioning them just as an example from personal experience of someplace where conservative politics are the norm.
Let's go with CPAC, then. Ann Coulter makes the satirical point that Isaiah Washington is somehow a victim because he faced some extremely minor consequences for physically assaulting his co workers while shouting slurs.
Hell, you want to talk extremist; who was it that bussed in thugs to physically intimidate vote counters in Florida in 2000? The right relies on the thuggishness of a certain subset to accomplish their ends. They can't make abortion illegal but in most states you'll have a hard time finding a doctor to perform one. Not out of any moral qualms, but because they know there is a good chance they'll be murdered if they do. "Conservatives" couldn't get John Edwards' bloggers fired, but they ensured the bloggers quit in the face of harassment and threats.
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Landru Guide Us
post Mar 8 2007, 11:48 PM
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QUOTE(moif @ Mar 8 2007, 03:22 AM) *

QUOTE(Landru Guide Us @ Mar 7 2007, 11:30 PM) *

QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 7 2007, 10:06 PM) *
I definitely disagree. Did Martin Luther King's sit in's and marches destroy property? Of course not. In America in 2007, destroying property just might cause violence. Civil disobedience isn't lowering yourself to the levels of those you oppose (or worse). I think you can cause a ruckus and still retain class.


I don't know, the protestors who ended the Vietnam war and saved thousand of lives seemed to disagree with your claim, and history seems to be on their side. As I recall there was more than a riot or two in the anti-war movement. Looking back, if that what it took to end such a useless destructive conflict, it was well worth it. As a famous man once said, "Democracy's a messy thing" -- I guess he meant it's OK for Iraq but not us.


I did not know the term 'Weatherman' so I looked it up on Wikipedia and what I read there brought me back to reread what was being said here.

Landru Guide Us, I am not convinced that the anti war protests ended the Vietnam war. I see no evidence that supports such a claim. The war spanned ten years and the student protests were ongoing through out. Despite the peace marches and rallies, the war continued until it could no longer be continued. It was lost, not ended. South Vietnam was not a viable endeavour and nothing the US military did was going to change that. The collapse of South Vietnam was inevitable and the understanding of this is what ended the Vietnam war, not the protests. If South Vietnam had been stronger then the US military would still be camped in Vietnam today.

Its interesting though that the USA had such a group as the Weatherman. I never realised the anti Vietnam war movement was quite so politicized. I am not surprised however to learn that this group
QUOTE
was a U.S. Radical Left organization consisting of splintered-off members and leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society. The group referred to itself as a "revolutionary organization of communist women and men" whose purpose was to carry out a series of militant actions that would achieve the revolutionary overthrow of the Government of the United States (and of capitalism as a whole)
Link.

This fits the pattern I see all over. Both sides resort to violence (war) when in power, but there is a willingness on the left to resort to violent action to acheive political goals even when not in power that I do not see on the right.


Abortion clinic bombings and contra executions on a grand scale suggest otherwise. And of course historically, the Nazi's and Mussolini's brownshirts organized street violence at every turn as part of their scheme to attain power.

But of course in general, rightwingers tend to have limited support in populations since they almost always support the rich against the weak and powerless. So it isn't suprising you don't see mass protests in support of conservative ideology. They simply don't have the numbers and have to acheive power by selective violence - assassinations, killing nuns and priests, and so forth.

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post Mar 9 2007, 04:21 AM
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QUOTE(Julian)
Before I reply in detail, can I draw the attention of aevans176 and moif to this - the gist being that it would be hard to get a cigarette paper between the two extremes when measuring their "badness".
ermm.gif Are you saying I'm 'bad'?


QUOTE(Julian)
The automatic labelling of opponents of Islam as racist is a problem, granted. But so is the automatic labelling of Muslims as a problem. I find it interesting that you criticise the demonisation of a whole group based on what they believe (that Islam is a problem) as racist by defending the demonisation of a whole group based on what they believe (Muslims) which you (rightly, in principle) say transcends race. In practice, where are all the blond, blue-eyed white Muslim suicide bombers? To my knowledge, the non-Arab/Middle Eastern, non-black, non-South Asian, Muslim troublemakers are small in number and are certainly not at the forefront of any news reporting, even aside from the leftie Muslim-hugging BBC.

Plus, your line of argument would be much easier to sustain across the board for all opponents of Islam if there hadn't been well documented assaults on brown Sikhs and Hindus (both faiths have white adherents as well as brown ones, just like Islam) because it was assumed by their attackers that they were Muslim. 'Cos after all, they're all "pakis" aren't they?
I don't know because I'm not sure what it is you are saying here.

I have a problem with Islam, yes. I have that problem because I've become aware of Islam due to violence carried out by Muslims. If there hadn't been so much violence then I would not be aware of Islam as a problem. I am not aware for example of any Buddhist problem, specifically in Denmark, or Sikh or Hindi. Christianity is the majority religion in Denmark, yet, and even though we have our fair share of Christian extremists I don't see them plotting terrorism, shooting each other dead in the street, attacking Jews with eager enthusiasm or carrying out a wave of sexual violence against the rest of us.

Having looked deeper at this new problem I have found Islam to be an oppressive ideology. I do not care what ethnicity a Muslim is, Whether he be an Asian from Pakistan or a European from Bosnia is all one and the same to me. I don't even care that he is a Muslim. What I care about is when that person justifies extremism against me and my nation by virtue of his personal belief. And having looked closer at the ideology behind that belief, I can't see how any one can call themselves a Muslim and not be an extremist. Its an extremist ideology that essentially has no moderate form.

Its the only religion I know that puts a moral obligation on its followers to oppress and even kill non believers.


QUOTE(Julian)
Tony Benn, who you may remember form your time in the UK, hasn't compromised very much, but I wouldn't say he was an extremists. Even Iain Paisley - the poster boy for uncompromising politicians - I wouldn't say was an extremist, especially. The people to his right in loyalist paramilitaries certainly ARE extremists.
By my measure, Benn is an extremist. He may not be militant but that doesn't change his unwillingness to compromise.


QUOTE(Julian)
So maybe the definition of what is or isn't an extreme position depends on context in the first place?

Intuitively, it should, because one can only be extreme relative to everyone else. If everyone else's position on some matter is skewed in some way (for good or ill), having a contrary opinion marks one out as an extremist?

In a way, but I'm not sure how useful it is to WORRY about such extremists - the only ones we need to WORRY about are the ones who either have power and intend to implement their extremism (the Hitlers & the Stalins of the world), or the ones who don't have power but intend to implement their extremism anyway (who we usually end up calling terrorists, or their supporters).
Well the 2,000 or so autonome who just spent a few days burning Nørrebro district have no political power what so ever, but that doesn't make them any less dangerous. This is whom I worry about. These are largely the same people who came out in sympathy with Hizb'Allah a few months back, only there were more mainstream left wing politicians in their number then.

Thats partly my concern with the left wing. I can't see where the dividing line is. When the left marches, its the same sight that greets me eye. Left wing politicians gladly march alongside religious fanatics to protest against the evil of the Jewish state. Not one of them has marched against Darfur or spoken out against the Iranians.

There is a clear, unmistakable bias that is so skewed from reality as to be frightening. The left wing speaks of the right as if all conservatives were evil racists and yet thats exactly how the left wing manifests its one sided anger at Israel. Worse yet, there is an oft stated perception in the European left wing that violence is legitimate if used against a right wing government that does not conform to the left wing perception of what is justifiable.

Its a hypocrisy plain and simple. The left wing has demonstrated itself willing to stand alongside people like Hizb'Allah and yet then complains about the use of military force in Iraq. Why is wrong for us when its just A OK for Hizb'Allah. What makes us different from them that we must be held to a different standard? Our laws? The left wing goes out of its way to break laws when those laws go against the left wing. Thatcher may have attacked the Unions but she did it with a mandate from the people. Scargill and his ilk had no such mandate.


QUOTE(Julian)
I suspect this is one of the intractable problems of extremism. Everybody thinks their own opinions are reasonable, because we've all had the time to come up with reasons why we have them. Very few of us (and I include myself in this) ever arrive at our opinions through reasoning, we just use reasoning to justify our (intuited or learned) opinions to ourselves and others.
The difference I think lies in that I constantly question my own belief's and I am willing to change my perspective if I am shown cause enough to do so. I inhabit the middle ground as much as possible because I do not see either side has having all the answers. I am right wing in this particular context but for most of my life I've voted to the left. It all depends on the issue and whats at stake. If I feel my country is at risk, I have no problem with adopting a nationalist stance.

All that stuff about being born some where gives you no right to be proud means nothing to me. I am Danish and proud of Denmark. I am that way because I feel this is where I belong. I am not a nationalist in the sense of race or ethnicity. My philosophy is I support those who support me. For this reason I support the USA despite my disregard for GW Bush.


QUOTE(Julian)
If European socialism were the dominant world power (as if!), which could steamroller its ideas through without regard to contrary views, I daresay you'd find American conservatives to be much more vocal (and extreme).
What worries me is the willingness of European socialism to surrender to Islamic ideology. I don't understand how socialists can suddenly be seduced by religion, but that is what I am seeing. I'd support any right winger who took a stance against such an abject surrender. I am horrified by the sight of Islam being foisted onto us without so much as a by your leave, because it has become a cause celebré for the left


QUOTE(Julian)
But to your point on revolution, generally speaking where revolutions happen the political right is in power at the time. Certainly, small-c conservatism cannot possibly be revolutionary, because how can you revolt against the status quo when your primary political motivation is to keep the status quo? (One can, of course, revolt against Status Quo by not buying their albums or wearing denim waistcoats.)
rolleyes.gif


QUOTE(Julian)
I was a teenager at the time, the leftwing rose up to defend itself against a planned assault from the Thatcher government with the objective of breaking the power of the unions. It was a well-planned assault, the left wing lost, and the unions were broken.
It was also legal was it not? Governments are put in power to govern and to arrange and rearrange as they see fit. If Thatcher had been wrong then the next election was where to fight her. As it turned out the unions reacted with predictable stupidity. They did what they always do, They used 'direct action' instead of using political action. Thatcher was unpopular her whole time in office and yet she was put back in power. Why? In my opinion, Thatcher, Major and now Blair all stayed in office because the British people had no viable alternatives. Better the devil you know.

I hated Kinnock. Even as a child. His lunatic edge was so blatant that even I at 12 years old could see it. Its surreal for me now to see him orbiting Danish politics and playing the grand old man from Bruxelle because his daughter-in-law (and hows that for political in breeding!?) is now the head of the Danish Social Democrat party.


QUOTE(Julian)
You fail to realise, or remember several things.
1. The Labour party drew most of its power and ideology from the old-style trades unions, which Thatcher broke, so breaking the old-style left-wing Labour party, and requiring a realignment with the centre and the realities of Thatcherite market economics which had become the dominant factor in British politics.
2, Hence Tony Blair and the attacks he receives from the Left both inside and outside his party, because his government does not govern from the Left, but from somewhere in the centre that is, objectively, slightly to the right of the old Major government. They not nationalised anything, and have privatised several things. They've implemented the PFI which came out of a Major-era think-tank. etc.
3. Hence, the past 10 years have felt more or less the same as the previous 18, meaning that the Thatcherite market-economy consensus has continued unbroken, so after the initial euphoria of getting rid of the same tired old ideas, the nation woke up and realised they were still being used to run the country.
Yeah, so Blair is not 'left enough', I understand that perfectly.


QUOTE
4. There HAVE been violent protests from the right against this government - the "fuel crisis" of 2000, the Countryside Alliance marches and demonstrations against the ban on foxhunting. The main differences have been that the government under Blair capitulated to the fuel protestors at the first sign of trouble, and have been chasing after tomorrow's (right wing tabloid) headlines ever since.
Is the Countryside Alliance really right wing? What is your definition of right wing here? Because it seems to me that your saying any one who is not left wing must be right wing. I don't see that the fuel crisis or the land owners belong to any sort of right wing ideologic movement. These are merely protestors who do not identify themselves as being left wing.

This is the sort of thing I'm referring to with regards to how the European socialists continue to refer to nazism as being right wing. It isn't. Nationalism is a very different thing. There are plenty of left wing nationalists. All studies into voting patterns in Europe have shown that the nationalist surge we are witness to is due to left wing supporters moving to the far right as they rebel against their own party's willingness to sell out to the Muslims.

And look closer at the more realistic nationalist parties (not the BNP for example) and you'll see most of them have social policies which contradict right wing thinking. In other words, nationalism is not right wing. The left only refers to it a such because the left doesn't want to admit that its sharing/losing voters with the nationalists!

In the UK the pattern is blurred because land owners and farmers are regarded as being right wing when they complain against a fox hunting ban. They are not right wing. They are simply not left wing. Their cause stems from an entirely non political slant, but goes against left wing thinking so they become labelled right wing. This willingness to label all opposition as right wing is a part of the reason why I consider so many left wingers, people like Benn, to be extremists. Because they refuse to see why people oppose them and lump all opposition into one great big right wing evil enemy.


QUOTE(Julian)
Okay, but that speaks to me more of the bankruptcy of using a single left-right delineator to describe politics and political extremism. Neo-nazis are certainly authoritarian, but can anyone really say they aren't right wing.
YES!!!! a thousand times over. Neo nazi's are racists. They have no legitimate political ideology at all and look closer and you'll see they seldom share the same political reasons for their racism. The majority of neo nazi's regard socialism as an enemy, but many express socialist idea's. The left regards all neo nazi's as right wing because the left needs an enemy by which to exist. Struggle against an 'oppressive elite' is central to the revolutionary ideal so the left foists a biased perspective on to the right, lumping them in with religious fanatics and nationalists. It doesn't matter that half the nationalists are spouting left wing opinions, it doesn't matter that left wing politico's openly march in sympathy with Hizb'Allah, what matters to the left is identifying with the 'struggle' against the 'oppressive elite'. Even when that elite is largely a construct in the left wing mentality.


QUOTE(Julian)
Here I just have to speculate that, if the left is more prone to violence in Europe, and the right is so in the USA, perhaps it's because Europe as a whole leans to the left, and America as a whole leans to the right, and the propensity to apply violence for political ends is just something that is stronger in a small percentage of all people? So you end up with more violent lefties in Europe, and more violent righties in the USA.

Just a thought.
I'm still not seeing anything that puts the American right wing on a par with the European left wing for a propensity to use violence as a political tool. Some one mentioned the Oklahoma bombing, but that was the work of nationalists as far as I have understood.

I asked myself how do I identify who is who in politics? Can you seperate people into categories by means of a simple theory? Would it be accurate? I see people in politics in five distinct groupings.
1. Those who put themselves first.
2. Those who put humanity first.
3. Those who put their nation first.
4. Those who put their god first.
5. Those who refuse to take a stand.

Now, you can move back and forth or belong to different groups on different issues, but essentially I think this is how I can explain what separates people. The right wing, as I see it belongs to the first group, socialism to the second. Simplistic I know, but its just a guide to explain why I don't see nationalists as right wing. Nationalist belong primarily to the third group, but can easily belong to any of the other groups as well on other issues.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Landru Guide Us


QUOTE(Landru Guide Us)
Abortion clinic bombings and contra executions on a grand scale suggest otherwise. And of course historically, the Nazi's and Mussolini's brownshirts organized street violence at every turn as part of their scheme to attain power.
Yes, but I do not consider either group as right wing because both the Nazi's and the Fascists implimented policies which are essentially socialist. Nationalism is a seperate political ideology that does not fit into the left right spectrum.


QUOTE(Landru Guide Us)
But of course in general, rightwingers tend to have limited support in populations since they almost always support the rich against the weak and powerless. So it isn't suprising you don't see mass protests in support of conservative ideology. They simply don't have the numbers and have to acheive power by selective violence - assassinations, killing nuns and priests, and so forth.
If that were so no right wing governments would ever get into power.

I do not accept your definition that right wingers almost always support the rich against the weak and powerless. Rather I see it that right wingers support the individual which means often the poor are left with no advantages over the rich, where as the rich, by virtue of their wealth, retain their advantage.

Left wingers would even out the balance by taking from the rich to give to the poor. Very 'Robin Hood' this may be, but it is essentially theft, which is itself a form of violence. To many in the left the rich are already guilty of theft though since they have acquired riches that should belong to every one, but this is, in my opinion, usually a flawed argument that does not distinguish between a man made rich by exploiting natural resources/other people, and a man made rich by virtue of his own labour. Left wingers would tax them both regardless of how they made their wealth. Right wingers would grant them tax breaks regardless of how they made their wealth.

Neither side has a monopoly on being in the right, but from where I am sitting the left wing uses violence with greater ease than the right because for the left, theft (direct action) is justified.
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post Mar 9 2007, 09:36 AM
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QUOTE(moif @ Mar 9 2007, 04:21 AM) *

Neither side has a monopoly on being in the right, but from where I am sitting the left wing uses violence with greater ease than the right because for the left, theft (direct action) is justified.


Again I would like to point out this may be due to composition of political groups in America. The right wing of say America is no where as diverse as say the left wing. For instance the green party, natural law party, of those two parties what are the odds someone would label them closer to the left then to the right? Speaking of splinter groups(?) what are splinter cells of the left and of the right? Does the titles giving always reflect a like pattern, or is personal interpretation a looming issue on that function?

Politicians is a diverse creature, in some nations the right would be considered to the left and so on, and even in America the amount of dimensions to our political system is probably more numerous then one can count. The neo cons for instance, there platform is rather extreme? Yet is that a wrong title to give to it? What about PETA?

As for how these groups typically orbit or composite around the major two political evils of America is a very complex issue and not easily reduced to some objective state.

Is fighting period for an ideology, either violently or some other physical form such as debate extreme in any regard? Last time I checked political debates are hardly matter of fact about the facts, I actually don’t know if they ever are in all reality.

I fear the right, I fear a corporate police state with pictures of Jesus everywhere in neon lighting. I fear the basic destruction of the environment and of course the subsequent death that means to life. To me these are staples of the right wing in America, anti environmentalism, theocracy, corporate America, all enforced by a strict moral coded police state of servitude. These fears to me evoke a strong reaction to want to deny this from ever becoming close to reality, and as for bushco its nothing but a reinforcement of my beliefs, even if not fully factual.

Giving the idea though that such groups work for there idea more then some objective reality, what are people left to do? IS it reality as they see it, is such what enables Hitler to be the person he was? When fact fails to be the goal, and something else is placed on that pedestal, what’s a person to think, or really do? This is maybe why voting works, because beyond that when the subjective ideas did not work you had riots, or sack the kingdom.




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post Mar 9 2007, 04:34 PM
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QUOTE
Moif
What worries me is the willingness of European socialism to surrender to Islamic ideology. I don't understand how socialists can suddenly be seduced by religion, but that is what I am seeing. I'd support any right winger who took a stance against such an abject surrender. I am horrified by the sight of Islam being foisted onto us without so much as a by your leave, because it has become a cause celebré for the left


Could it be that the far left, while not embracing religion, sees in often violent Islam a natural ally against the forces they are against – i.e. global capitalism, free markets, etc? Perhaps they believe that Islam can help tear down the fabric of Capitalism and then they will be free to remake it as they see fit – at which time they could dispense with religious Islam.

Stalin, thought of US liberals and leftists in the 60s and 70s in a similar way, calling them “useful idiots”. Perhaps this is a similar ploy. The enemy of my enemy……..

This post has been edited by Ted: Mar 9 2007, 04:35 PM
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post Mar 9 2007, 04:44 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ Mar 9 2007, 11:34 AM) *


Stalin, thought of US liberals and leftists in the 60s and 70s in a similar way, calling them “useful idiots”. Perhaps this is a similar ploy. The enemy of my enemy……..


This is not accurate Ted. Joseph Stalin died in 1953.

Although the way you are defining "useful idiots" is correct.

"The term is purported to have been coined by Vladimir Lenin to describe those Western reporters and travellers who would endorse the Soviet Union and its policies in the West."

*As quoted by wiki*

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post Mar 9 2007, 05:21 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ Mar 9 2007, 10:34 AM) *
Could it be that the far left, while not embracing religion, sees in often violent Islam a natural ally against the forces they are against – i.e. global capitalism, free markets, etc? Perhaps they believe that Islam can help tear down the fabric of Capitalism and then they will be free to remake it as they see fit – at which time they could dispense with religious Islam.
And yet oddly enough it is ultra conservatives like Dnesh D'souza who write books about how much they agree with Islamic fundamentalism and how if America would just lynch all the fags they'd get along with us. But don't let that stop you from imagining liberals agreeing with fundies.
Maybe, just possibly, liberals actually believe in freedom of religion and are somehow able to differentiate between insane fundamentalists and regular muslims. I know, it's just to wacky to contemplate.

This post has been edited by Grendel72: Mar 9 2007, 05:25 PM
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post Mar 9 2007, 09:01 PM
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QUOTE
Grendel
Maybe, just possibly, liberals actually believe in freedom of religion and are somehow able to differentiate between insane fundamentalists and regular muslims. I know, it's just to wacky to contemplate.

Moif was speaking of socialists in Europe and I was not implying that that translated to “liberals” in the US.


QUOTE
Sleeper
This is not accurate Ted. Joseph Stalin died in 1953.

Although the way you are defining "useful idiots" is correct.

"The term is purported to have been coined by Vladimir Lenin to describe those Western reporters and travellers who would endorse the Soviet Union and its policies in the West."


Correct. Thanks
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post Mar 11 2007, 10:52 AM
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What is the dividing line between main stream and the extreme (in other words how can you know when some one has crossed the line from the former to the latter?)

Although there is also a certain grey area between mainstream and extreme political supporters, I have to agree with Victoria Silverwolf's categorization. The extreme is categorized by a willingness to use violence to obtain their goals and by its fanaticism (lack of doubt and uncompromising stance). It is often the result of an unreasonable anger towards contemporary aspects of society.

But then again, someone with an extreme view does not have to fall in the above mentioned categorisation. One could look at it from a different angle of course: mainstream ideas are mainstream because the majority of people more or less accept these ideas, extreme ideas are ideas that is only cherished by a small fraction of the population. Having an extreme idea does not automaticaly leads to fanaticism and agression.

Is either side actually worse than the other?
I will follow Julian on this one.
QUOTE( Julian)
... the gist being that it would be hard to get a cigarette paper between the two extremes when measuring their "badness"

It does not matter from which side they come from, extreme and fanatical ideas are in general reprehensible.

Does political bias cloud the issue of judgement with regards to one's own political opinions? (By which I mean, are conservatives/socialists unable to disassociate themselves from the extremists who share some of the same opinons?)
I don't think so. I believe in many socialistic/social democratic ideas, but I do not support the extreme ideas of leftwing anarchists, anti-globalists, communists (Maoists, Stalinists, Leninists etc) or any other leftwing fanatics.

How dangerous is western political extremism anyway?
Political extremism is always dangerous. In potential western political extremism (as seen in Europe in the 1930's and '40's and the fanatical anti-communistic wave during the McCarthy era for example) could form a huge threat to us and (in this age of globalisation) even the rest of the world.

.
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post Mar 11 2007, 05:22 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ Mar 9 2007, 03:01 PM) *
Moif was speaking of socialists in Europe and I was not implying that that translated to “liberals” in the US.
Apologies. I think the same holds true, though. Because somebody wants a society where outsiders are welcome they must be in favor of terrorism?
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moif
post Mar 11 2007, 07:14 PM
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QUOTE(Grendel72 @ Mar 9 2007, 06:21 PM) *

QUOTE(Ted @ Mar 9 2007, 10:34 AM) *
Could it be that the far left, while not embracing religion, sees in often violent Islam a natural ally against the forces they are against – i.e. global capitalism, free markets, etc? Perhaps they believe that Islam can help tear down the fabric of Capitalism and then they will be free to remake it as they see fit – at which time they could dispense with religious Islam.
And yet oddly enough it is ultra conservatives like Dnesh D'souza who write books about how much they agree with Islamic fundamentalism and how if America would just lynch all the fags they'd get along with us. But don't let that stop you from imagining liberals agreeing with fundies.
Maybe, just possibly, liberals actually believe in freedom of religion and are somehow able to differentiate between insane fundamentalists and regular muslims. I know, it's just to wacky to contemplate.
I'm not familiar with Dnesh D'souza so I had to look him up. He seems to be a very complex person who is not easy to catagorize. The man is of India and yet an American conservative. When he was due to speak at Columbia University...
QUOTE(Wikipedia)
at an academic conference titled "A Place At The Table: Conservative Ideas in Higher Education." The overwhelmingly liberal student population began protesting early in the morning, chanting loudly and holding signs that read slogans such as "Go Home Racists, Go Home Bigots." The university administration decided to cancel the conference, which many students from the tri-state area had come to. The group was forced to move across the street to Morningside Park and the fray was mostly over D'Souza, the featured speaker.
Link.

I don't know how extreme this man's views are since I am not all that familiar with him, but it strikes me that a man who is commissioned to express and opinion is no where near as extreme as a crowd of people who come out to vigourously protest against that opinion. Actions speak louder than words.

D'souza seems to me to be nothing but a man with unpopular opinions. Compare him to his European opposite and you'll find a very different kettle of fish: Jan Guillou is a Swedish author and left wing 'intellectual'. In the 1970's he was convicted and charged for espionage against the Swedish state. Since spending 10 months in prison he has made it his personal crusade to champion left wing ideology by means of popular culture and journalist opinion. He is virulently anti American, refused to honour the victims of 9/11 describing them as victims of the struggle against US imperialism and is so anti Israeli as to appear anti Jewish. He constantly makes references to Jews controlling the Swedish media (which is already the most left wing media on planet Earth). In the 1970's Gillou wrote a book called "Iraq – the new Arabia" in which he paints a picture of Saddam Hussein as being a great and benevolent leader. Iraq as being on its way to pass Europe as a force for democracy and in standards of living. In this book he wrote "[When Iraq executed a number of Jews in 1969, and hanged them on the largest square of Baghdad] there were absolutely nothing that should indicate that the trial had been a show trial."

Today, Gillou is a very wealthy and very influential Swedish intellectual and best selling author. Many of his books have been made into TV shows and films. The man receives broad interest from the European media as though he were one of the great thinkers of our time. He is on record as telling the Swedish media and people not to believe anything they read about Al Qaeda.

This is the sort of left wing embrace of Islam I am refering to for there are a great many people like Gillou in Europe. Just why people like these have decided that the USA is more dangerous that Islam I do not know. I only know they exist in all Europe's country's and to a degree that heavily outweighs the influence any one like D'souza might bring to bear. The left wing perspective is very old and has undegone a long period of metamorphosis. It has constantly had to bear the association with communism and stalinismand today there seems to be no real divide between the outer edges of socialism, from moderate to extremist is just one big blur.

The fact of the matter is, Gillou, a convicted traitor to his country, has both been proven wrong, many times and has exposed his own anti Jewish sentiments many times also but he is still accepted, even celebrated by the Euroepan media as some one who's opinions carry weight. Gillou is the typical European left wing extremist. He is an anti American, anti semite, Islam apologist of the most ardent kind. Nothing that has ever happened has caused him to change that stance.
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drewyorktimes
post Mar 11 2007, 09:45 PM
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I'm going to throw a bone into this one.

Of course the rise of extremism -- whether liberal or conservative -- hangs over a nation's future like an awful omen. But absolute power corrupts absolutely, whether in the name of left or right-wing ideology. So its diffuclt to say which brand is worst. Frankly, I think Dennis Kucinish poses far less of a threat to the peace and security of the world than, say, Jerry Falwell. But it's an apple and orange comparison, so instead let me pin-point the real culprits:

Apathy in the middle makes both sides possible: economic difficulties, unemployment, cultural erosion fuels the fires, but that kind of skepticism lets the blaze get out of hand. Frankly, Bush is an incompetent President, irrespective of his ideology. Had America been paying attention, he could never had held a candle to the wisdom, experience and moderation embodied in John McCain or Al Gore; both were well-liked, battle-tested statesmen tanked by low-voter turn-out on behalf of America's political center. Four years later, we get a President who, I think many of us would agree, has done a terrible job representing the conservative wing of the Republican party, and a spectular job undercutting the effectiveness of the Democratic party. So we have a government that can't effectivley rule.

A lot of this comes, I believe, from negative advertisements. I can't blame pols for resorting to 'em -- this this UCLA experiment concluded that they effectively curtail voter turn-out for the candidate attacked -- but its well known Barack Obama-harped on fact that they breed cynicism. Which gives a voice to the loonies, many of our regular posters incuded.

A quote:

"Even if in the next election every politician you liked got elected, and proceeded to do exactly what you wanted him to do, there would still be a gap between the world as it is, and the world as it ought to be."

- Bill Clinton, with some advie to keep in mind in here.

This post has been edited by drewyorktimes: Mar 11 2007, 09:49 PM
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Ted
post Mar 11 2007, 11:08 PM
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QUOTE
Moif
The left wing perspective is very old and has undegone a long period of metamorphosis. It has constantly had to bear the association with communism and stalinismand today there seems to be no real divide between the outer edges of socialism, from moderate to extremist is just one big blur.

The fact of the matter is, Gillou, a convicted traitor to his country, has both been proven wrong, many times and has exposed his own anti Jewish sentiments many times also but he is still accepted, even celebrated by the Euroepan media as some one who's opinions carry weight. Gillou is the typical European left wing extremist. He is an anti American, anti semite, Islam apologist of the most ardent kind. Nothing that has ever happened has caused him to change that stance.


I agree. IMO this broad spectrum of the left is still visible here in the US but at a much lower lever than in Europe. We have had “anti war” protests here in the US where the majority of the protestors wanted it to be clear they were “not with” some of the far left organizers and supports of the event who even went so far as to make up and hand out far left “protest signs”.


Certainly most who disagree with the war are not Socialists, but here as in Europe (in a bigger way) they are there portraying the US as the bad guy and butchers like Saddam as the “victim”.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/apr2003/sep-a10.shtml
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