Response to the JanitorBecause you are so, so far from right, this will probably do us, but you're welcome to comment, of course. I'm making it a post because it stretches the comment format to answer that way.
Well, if point-by-point response is what this has devolved to, then so be it.
It's how I do my answers, dude. IYDLIYWTFO.
"I like parrots."
What's bad is you don't stand for much else.
I stand for all sorts. I haven't suggested you shouldn't disagree.
"Conflating ideas is the mark of a master writer. Getting confused about ideas is the mark of a poor reader."
This is absurd. You and your "marks" of greatness. You have put together multiple ideas that do not belong together and abused them.
Luckily for my sanity, I've done no such thing. These ideas are central to how I look at politics, and I have thought a lot about them.
""Your very example demonstrates it. ""
I'm sorry? What is the question?
"You what?" is English for "what the fuck are you even talking about, you clown?"
"""You claim the left tends to be statists, yet in the case of "reefer madness" it is traditionally the right seeking state intervention in the name of the common good."
"No, in the name of the morality they personally ascribe to. The right does not care about 'the common good' and often agitates for legislation that is not in the common good but serves narrow interests."
Eeh. This is another abuse of sticking two ideas together that don't belong.
It doesn't become truer for simple repetition, dude.
Are we speaking about ideologies or the people that espouse them? And amongst those that espouse them
Ideologies don't actually have an existence outside the people who espouse them.
I imagine that we'd see both those seeking narrow interests and those that seek broader ones.
Both what? Really struggling to see what you're actually talking about here.
No matter how wrongly the "Right" so often goes, I don't doubt for a second that there are many convinced that they act in a way to establish a greater social order.
This does not answer to my point at all. Besides, it is only correct in that the rightist equates "a greater social order" with "a social order that coincides with my personal tastes". Which is precisely my point, right there.
""The crux of the matter is that both the "right" and the "left" seek "protection by authority" for their particular causes (the one, gun control, environmental protection, consumer rights--the other, sexual taboos, reefer, abortion)."
"This is a very poor analysis of how politics actually is. It sounds a lot like the Beltway journos' take on the political debate."
It's certainly a slip-shod analysis, I don't claim otherwise, but it is not a hair worse than yours!
You're going to have to do a bit more showing and a bit less telling.
What I'm cautioning you against is making such broad generalizations about what you clearly don't know. Even such a fool as I am can see through it.
Well, that's telling me.
"Think for a minute before answering. Gun control, environmental protection, consumer rights: these are all issues that affect the common people. The left takes positions that favour the common people.
"Abortion, sexual taboos, reefer: these are all issues of personal or religious morality, which the left generally prefers to leave to the individual."
WTF? So we are contrasting "the left tak[ing] positions that favor the common people" with the right taking up issues of common morality?
No. I absolutely did not say that. I quite purposefully used the phrase "personal morality". That rightists believe that their personal morality coincides with "common morality" does not mean it actually does.
These are not mutually exclusive!
No, indeed I did not suggest that they necessarily are.
Not that this even matters for my point to hold--the condition needed is actually far weaker--they only need not be mutually exclusive by the point of view of one of the ideologies in question.
This is nonsense though. When analysing an ideology, it doesn't make sense to allow its claims about itself.
"The only reason you can consider gun control to be an outlier is that you see it as a freedom issue"
No. Others see it as a freedom issue. I'm pro-control. But don't you see? That's the point. It hardly matters what I see as being the issue when what is being discussed is how an ideology comes down on the issue of statism (or, yet again, the issue of the common will). It is their rationale that matters for *that* question, no matter how fucking demented it is. Be a little clearer what it is you are addressing, eh?
I was only addressing why you think it is an outlier. Statism and the common will are not germane to this point, although the right generally opposes statism, as I noted, when it is a question of protecting the many from the few. And this is true *even if they deny it*.
"...a matter of choice (no one outside America in the West would see it this way, maybe you're not aware). The left sees it as a matter of protecting the many from the few, which is the business of the state."
And is the (albeit ridiculous) debate in America on gay marriage not the Right's attempt at protecting the many from the few, via the state?
Absolutely not. It is about the right imposing their morality on others. They believe that they are protecting something *dear to them*, under attack from others who do not hold it dear. This is precisely what I say that the right do.
"Dude, think. Stopping you from smoking reefer has the aim of preventing you from doing something I personally disapprove of but harms no one but yourself. Stopping you from having a gun has the aim of preventing you from harming others."
You are so on the wrong track. The correctness of the viewpoint isn't at issue. It is amazing that you seem unable to allow for the briefest moment that someone even *possesses* a differing viewpoint.
Well, maybe asking you to think was just too much. I am not discussing the correctness of their viewpoint. I am saying that it is motivated by the reasons I set out.
"It's ridiculous to claim that both sides simply push personal issues with no underlying ideological theme."
I've done no such thing.
Except that you did.
"The crux of the matter is that both the "right" and the "left" seek "protection by authority" for their particular causes (the one, gun control, environmental protection, consumer rights--the other, sexual taboos, reefer, abortion)."
I am at this point hoping you've been drinking or smoking the weed, because not only are you not coherent, you don't seem able to remember anything that either of us has said. You keep claiming I am wrong without ever showing that I am, or coming close to it. I suggest a liedown.
Or thinking. When you're capable of it again.
I've simple said that the *particular* theme that you've identified doesn't fall nicely along the right/left allegiances at the present time.
But you are yet to show *in any way* that it does not.
Gun control is your best shot. I demolished that easily though.
Gay marriage isn't even close. It's a clear example of pushing individual morality onto others, and, as I said, not believing that others should be permitted to choose (or in this case even define the choice).
"I do not confuse libertarianism with liberalism, because for me, libertarians are simply rightists who hate authority and liberals are what intelligent, thinking people inevitably turn into."
This is a point that I can generally agree with.
Well, I'm glad there's one.
""answering the question of statism one way for a particular issue, and the converse for others.""
"Dude, this simply isn't true, and perhaps shows a lack of understanding of what statism is.
If you were arguing that authoritarian systems are more statist than social democracies, then yes, that's true. Statism is a feature of the left, not its exclusive preserve. But rightists are more generally opposed to state intervention than for it, and generally only favour it in terms of imposing their personal morality on others."
Nice hand waving.
FFS. I can't win.
If I don't say that rightists can be statist, you will say blah blah fascism.
If I do, you claim I am "handwaving".
Dude, I claimed the theme of the common vs the individual differentiated left and right, not that rightists could not support statism. As I have carefully explained, but you have ignored, they can reach similar positions from a different ideological basis.
What you are doing is yelling that the positions are the same, so the road to them must be the same. I am trying calmly to explain that yes, some of the positions are superficially similar, but on deeper analysis they are quite clearly different.
Statism is a very good point.
A fascist dictatorship is statism run wild, is it not? But it is not "for the common good". Fascism completely subsumes the common good into the good of the state, which exists solely to enrich those who control the levers of power. The notion of a strongman clearly fits the theme we're discussing. It fits both themes, in fact (authoritarianism vs communalism and personal vs general will).
In my view, a leftist should never support a dictator, and if they do, they will shortly be shown by history to have been mistaken to do so. I have huge qualms about Chavez, whom I mostly admire, for this reason. A populist who deploys the will of the people for the good of the people is admirable; a man who believes his will is superior to that of the people is dangerous.
The right "generally only favour it in terms of imposing their personal morality on others." That's a trick I need to learn. You dismiss that imposing one's personal morality on others can be an exhibition of statism
No, I don't. I said that statism on the left is an outcome of the Rousseauian theme we discussed. And you are again mistaking "statism" to be a simple synonym for "state intervention". It is not.
My original point was that the right does believe in state intervention. Just for other reasons than the left does.
while simultaneously denying the possibility that the right's idea of morality can in any way connect with their idea of the good of society.
They do not believe in society! That's the fucking point, man. But of course I am not denying that the rightist believes that what is good for him is good for society.
That is precisely the fucking point I am making in the first place!
The rightist believes in the imposition of their personal morality on people they do not trust to choose.
What's key is that you've forced "personal" where (in the mind of a rightist) it doesn't belong.
The rightist would use language such as "it is just right". I mean, FFS, dude.
""Furthermore, what exactly you mean "clearly conflicts with the Rousseauian theme", I don't have a clue."
"Well, that's not my problem. Perhaps you should go and read Rousseau and it will become clear."
I have read Rousseau, thank you very much. As much as you like to protest otherwise, your writing isn't always immediately clear. What exactly you meant to be the precendents for all the damn "it"s was a bit of a problem.
Man. You must be drunk.
"It's a theme..." the difference I pointed to is a theme
"and it's..." the "and" should give you a clue. I'm still talking about the difference I pointed to. "It" also refers to "a theme", naturally.
""As it reads, one would think that either it's being a "theme, not a law" does or "the theme" does"
This theme conflicts with the other, as that clearly says in English."
"It's a theme, not a law, dude, and it clearly conflicts with the Rousseauian theme that the communal will is superior to the individual will, which leads leftists to be statists and rightists to be fuckyoujackI'mallrightists."
Does not clearly state anything, not even in dickese.
It (the difference I am pointing to) is a theme, not a law, and it (same referent) clearly conflicts with the Rousseauian theme (to give you a clue, I even gave another theme that it conflicts with, so the two conflicting things have the same quality)...
Any other reading is perverse.
Problem 1) is your use of "it". What you meant as a theme, what you meant conflicts.
The last sentence of your comment. Read it:
"The generalization is nonetheless hasty."
It (the generalisation, the difference I pointed out) is...
FFS, man. Your line of argument is plain demented here. It's absolutely clear what "it" refers to.
(It could indeed have meant "it's a theme, not a law" that conflicts.
What? That hurts my head, it's such nonsense.
Generally, such ambiguities can be resolved as usually one alternative tends to make more sense. Sense here, however, is all around lacking; rendering that quite impossible).
We are discussing what you described as "a generalisation". So I use "it" to refer to the "generalisation", which in answer to your comment, I say is a theme not a law.
Then I conjoin another clause with "and" and use the same pronoun "it" to refer to the exact same thing.
Had I meant to refer to something else, I would have written something else.
You are not just splitting hairs. You do not even have a hair.
Problem 2) is "Which", which could mean any number of things (the Rousseauian theme, the conflict, god knows?)
Dude, it's a rule of English, although sadly not one that you're acquainted with, that "which" refers to the closest available referent, which in this case is "the Rousseauian theme that the communal will is superior to the individual will". Again, if I had meant to refer to something else, I would have written something else, maybe "which conflict leads".
""which again "the theme" is at best there being an "eternal difference..." (funny how eternal difference is watered to "theme", isn't it"
"They are not antonymous, dude. It is an eternal difference generally speaking -- thematically, IOW -- but it does not hold in every instance."
this is disingenuous.
I don't understand why you would think that.
Even you know there is a difference in their intensity.
Sigh. They are different in kind, dude.
Oh, and, being watered down and being antonymous are not synonymous, dude.
No, but I'm saying that "theme" is not a watering down of "law". They are different in kind.
As I go on to explain:
"In science, one would say x tends to y, not that x is always y. But that x always and everywhere tends to y can be true without having to say that x is always y."
Science, dude, is far more precise than this. "Tends to" would have a measure.
You are being silly. You understand the difference perfectly well.
""--but, hey I suppose it's all for rhetorical effect, anyways, so why the hell should I expect you to mean what you say?"
"Dude, it's the big difference between left and right. That doesn't say that on every single issue they will split on these lines, but that generally they do.
Because you tried to argue that I had said that it would always be the case that they differed in this way, which of course I had not, I explained that it was a theme, not a law. I'm mystified that you struggle to understand what I meant by that."
I'm mystified that you fail to understand that my point goes much further (regardless of what you did in fact initially say). The only theme is the one you imposed.
I have illustrated it more than once. You have not given even one instance that refutes it.
"A theme is something recurrent, something that occurs over and over, and more generally speaking, something that characterises a thing. It's what a thing is about.
But of course ideologies, or political standpoints, are too complex to be included entirely in unitary themes. There are going to be outliers, particularly when one considers that whether a position fits the theme is sometimes a matter of interpretation."
Jesus Christ. Outliers. They are only outliers because *you* have marginalized them and ignored the rest. The theme you have chosen is a particularly bad fit, and you should realize that.
Did you even read what I wrote? I said that whether a position fits the theme can be a matter of interpretation. You interpreted gun control as an outlier, not me. I believe it is motivated by the very theme I'm outlining. Try to keep up.
"This is rather like Don's saying "I'm not a rightist because I think pot should be legalised". I would answer him in the same way. He thinks he's disproving a law, but I have identified a theme, not a law. Ideologies do not come with checklists."
Do not come with checklists? Who is the one attempting to identify a measure that the right/left follows? I am surely not!
It is the theme that underlies their ideology, dude. I don't even know what a measure that they follow would mean, or what it would be.
""But how the existence of the eternal difference "conflicts" with anything I can't gather."
"The theme is that the left trusts individuals to make choices. This clearly conflicts with the idea that the general will is superior to the individual will. If you can't see why, I'm not sure that I can help you, because it's elementary."
Taking this paragraph on it's own, it is clear what you mean.
It was clear in the first place.
Unfortunately, it directly contradicts with your assertion that the left "tends to be statists". Please explain to me, however elementary it might be, however low your almighty must stoop to do so, how statists trust the indivuals to make choices.
You must be drunk. I said it conflicts!
But in fact there is no contradiction. Leftists are statists because they believe that the common good supersedes individual good, and the common will is superior to individual will. However, they also believe that the state should not intervene in the personal if the common good is not affected.
So the two themes conflict, but they are readily resolved.
Really man, you're barking up the wrong tree here.
It would be much appreciated, because, I tell you, I'm not seeing it.
""Sure, it's probably not what you mean, but whatever you mean you sure as hell haven't said it."
"You mean you didn't hear it. That's different."
No, I mean that you haven't said it. Whether or not it was there to be heard is a quite different question that what I meant. This is a distinction you consistently have failed to recognize.
The two themes conflict but they are readily resolved. Actually, Rousseau resolved them. I'm surprised, given that you say you've read him, that you don't recognise this discussion from him.
""I'd like to be a little more polite when on your blog, bud, but you sure do make it difficult."
"I don't care about politeness. Feel free to be as rude as you like. I'd suggest not being so witless though, because that's not going to bring the rewards you hope for."
You know, you probably don't care about politeness. I doubt you'd care if I called you a cunt as long as I said you were right. Well, you, your gracious, are dead wrong.
I do not much care for being told I'm right. I know I am already, so it doesn't bother me one way or the other. I don't know why you think I like it. Maybe because I'm willing to disagree with someone who says I'm wrong. That is not a way of seeking assent, dude. You are free to disagree. You've done a stunningly bad job of it though. If you had done a good job, I'd be applauding you for it. Who knows, maybe you would change my mind on this subject.
Address the point. Do not waffle around it. Show that the theme I suggest does not apply. Do not try to sidetrack the discussion into complaining that you can't understand my writing. That's your problem, not mine. I was clear enough for anyone sober.
We could actually have an interesting discussion about the difference between leftist statism and rightist authoritarianism, their merits and otherwise and how they can end badly. Instead, you're simply being passive-aggressive, endlessly yelling that I'm wrong but not showing it. Show it, or fold your tent.