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Old 11-09-2019, 05:42 AM
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Identity, politics, and the in-fighting of the left


Identity, in one way or another, has been at the center (or at least, the shadowy background) of politics in recent years. In Germany, we have the 'Identitäre Bewegung' (identitary movement), a far-right extremist group; but identity is not just a right-wing topic, and some voices have argued that the left-wing divisivenes on issues of identity has aided the large-scale shift to the right by alienating the masses.

This isn't what I want to discuss. Rather, my topic is, first, why there is such a current focus on issues of identity, and, second, how the way we construct our identities helps to explain some of the differences between left- and right-wing ideologies. That's of course a rather large topic, and I won't be able to do it justice in a single post, but I hope to put some ideas out there that might lead to fertile discussion.

So, first. Identity. I think the basic issue is that we never used to have to think about identity terribly much: who you were was, in the bad old times, largely determined by the circumstances of your birth---the farmer's son would likely be a farmer himself, and so on. This was, of course, an egregiously unfair and oppressive system, so none of what I'm saying should be interpreted as advocating for a return to it (although I think that in our myths and stories, we often have an implicit longing for such a form of identity construction, with the hero being destined to be the chosen one, the savior, the one standing out from the rest of the rabble).

The thing is, identity was largely dealt with, for better or worse. However, with the (still far from complete) shift towards a more egalitarian society, with at least some upward (and sideward) mobility, these ways of identity construction have started losing relevance, yet, no readily available substitute has emerged. Options are great, but can be paralytic. In result, we're increasingly confused about who we are, who we ought to be, and how to become that.

How, then, is identity constructed? I think the essential elements of identity construction are association and, perhaps more importantly, dissociation: by counting ourselves among the members of some group, we basically avow that we are like those in the group, and unlike those outside of it. Each group-membership then further constrains our own identity, until perhaps the sum total of groups we count ourselves to be members of uniquely single out that one sparkling individual that is you.

This isn't new, of course. The new thing is that, rather than being born into the essential set of groups, we can now, to a certain extent, at least, self-select what groups we want to be part of. Different groups are then more or less effective at forging identity: a group that includes almost anyone (and hence, excludes almost noone) serves little to specify yourself as an individual; while a group that has few adherents---such as, perhaps, an extremist faction---provides a strong sense of identity.

Thus, a consequence of this idea is that those with a weak sense of identity are most vulnerable to falling into extremist views---something which, I think, seems largely born out by observation.

This theory, of course, can only be a first pass at identity construction. It has some immediate weak points: different groups provide different levels of identification, despite being exclusive of comparable numbers of people---your local congregation will feature more heavily into your conception of yourself than your knitting circle does, for example. I believe that this has to do with a valuation of the groups we're considering ourselves members of: some groups are such that we want to be part of them, that being part of them constitutes what we think a 'good person' ought to do, so being part of these groups allows us to consider ourselves 'good' or 'righteous'. Now, this introduces a certain complication: there's a sort of nonlinearity that creeps into this issue, since what we think is 'good' or 'righteous' is influenced by what social groups we're part of---hence, the picture of our identity just being essentially determined by the intersection of the groups we're part of must fall short. But I think it'll serve to at least provide some intuitions that will prove useful.

The first of these is that an attack on the legitimation of groups we consider to be the core constituents of our self-identity essentially forms an attack on our innermost self. Hence, when we debate somebody on something that we both feel strongly about, it's never facts, figures and arguments that are on the line, but rather, our core conception of ourselves. This, I think, vividly illustrates how little facts, figures and arguments often do to change minds. Paradoxically, a good argument for the opposite site may serve to strengthen our convictions, as it necessarily widens the gap between 'us' and 'them', making the non-members of a given group even more fundamentally 'other'.

Furthermore, the greatest threat to an identity constructed in such a way is not those that are opposed to our core convictions, that are excluded by the groups we adhere to, but rather, the lax adherents: those who don't follow the program with the necessary zeal. The reason for this is that such behavior serves to erode the barrier between self and other, between our allies and our opponents, introducing a sliding scale where the construction of our self-identity demands an impenetrable wall. The zealot is harsher on the doubter than on the atheist; the existence of the atheist simply serves to cement the zealot's sense of self, while the doubter opens up the possibility that there might be merely a difference of degree, not of essence, between the zealot and the atheist.

This entails that certain forms of self-construction are inherently more vulnerable to in-fighting than others. A group that selects its members based on inherent characteristics, whether they are legitimately so or only perceived as such, will have less trouble with eroding boundaries than a group that self-selects, say, on similarities of behavior. The latter must thus introduce more internal policing than the former, to keep its adherents in line---because each apostate is a threat to the group as a whole, by questioning its legitimacy as a monolithic bloc.

This is, I think, what's at the heart of left-wing infighting. Right-wing groups typically select along borders of characteristics such as race, heritage, gender, income and the like, while it's precisely one of the main characteristics of the left that such distinctions are not valid. Thus, the left must keep its integrity by carefully keeping its members on the party line---hence, the sad irony of seeing the language developed to overcome the arbitrary distinctions between, say, different genders used as an identifier for dividing between the proper adherents and the apostates---utilizing that which was developed to unify as a marker along which to divide.

Thus, while the members of the right can stand unified by virtue of their overt characteristics, the left endlessly self-criticizes, ruptures and fractures, thus often hurting the (what I believe to be) worthy causes they are devoted to, ceding dialectical ground to those actually opposed to these causes---in the extreme, merely replacing arbitrary distinctions of race, gender etc. with arbitrary distinctions of who genders correctly, who is opposed to cultural appropriation in the right way, etc. Just to be clear, I think these are important issues, but we should strive to unify along them, rather than use them just as a convenient yardstick to tell ally from other.

This has some troublesome side-effects, as well. The right, perceiving the trend of the times to go against them, yearn back towards a time when their identity constructs hadn't come under fire, when being white and male was still sufficient to be who you were; the left, on the other hand, becomes increasingly rarefied and utopian, opposed to every compromise and 'realpolitik' as ceding too much ground to the other. Its discourse, at least in my perception, has in large parts slid away from the factual towards the moralistic: you're not either right or wrong---and thus, perhaps amenable to argument and being convinced---but a bad or good person. It's hard to have a factual, balanced discussion on, say, the merits of organic farming versus genetic engineering, when supporting a certain side of the issue is seen as inherently morally wicked.

This isn't intended as some form of argument for centrism, as some limp-wristed compromise; my values are, for the most part, pretty firmly planted on the left. But I think we do need to raise the question of what to replace the current form of identity construction (provided, of course, I'm right with my assessment) with. For one, I think it might be worth trying to raise awareness of the issue---that when you're debating somebody, in their perception, you may come off as questioning their entire self-identity, rather than, as you presumably intend, offering up new facts, figures and arguments.

But what else could be done? Is it possible to dissociate our sense of identity from our opinions and values? Can we overcome the need of dividing the world into 'us' and 'them'? Or am I just going about this the entirely wrong way?

Last edited by Half Man Half Wit; 11-09-2019 at 05:45 AM.
  #2  
Old 11-09-2019, 09:25 PM
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Half Man Half Wit, you wrote a lot of intelligent thoughtful stuff here, but unfortunately it was incredibly difficult to parse or figure out. Still good stuff though. So.....

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Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
This is, I think, what's at the heart of left-wing infighting. Right-wing groups typically select along borders of characteristics such as race, heritage, gender, income and the like, while it's precisely one of the main characteristics of the left that such distinctions are not valid.
Just to make sure I understand this, you are saying that right-wingers usually categorize people into simple and clear boxes such as "white," "black," "male", "Hispanic," "rich," "poor," etc. but that left-wingers try to claim things like "Gender is a social construct" or "there is no such thing as race"? As for income, though, I don't know that those on the left have ever claimed that there isn't an income distinction - for instance, that "there is no such thing as rich or poor."
  #3  
Old 11-09-2019, 11:56 PM
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I personally feel you're overthinking it.

Identity is about group cohesion and status/privilege. People whose social identity is associated with a group that has a higher level of privilege generally want to maintain that privilege even when it is unfair. Being male, being white, being native born American, being christian, etc.

The more of those boxes you click, the more likely you are to be right wing. A white christian man is far more likely to be conservative than a black muslim woman. Both believe what they believe out of self interest, because for the first one the system offers benefits and for the second one it doesn't.

You can also tell who has the privilege by looking at things like what social traits are shared by those at the top and bottom levels of the socioeconomic totem pole, as well as who holds positions of influence and power. Its not a perfect system (women are treated more leniently by law enforcement for example), but overall its a way to gauge which group is privileged and which one is marginalized by looking at which group is high vs low on the socioeconomic totem pole.

CEOs, police officers, judges, politicians, etc. are more likely to be white and male than the general population (white males only make up 30% of America but they make up the majority of these vocations). Homeless are more likely to be black, LGBT, than the general population. Low wage workers are more likely to be non-white or female, billionaires are more likely to be white and male. When a white male commits a mass killing it is an isolated mental health issue. When a black person or muslim commits a mass killing it reflects badly on all blacks and muslims. When drugs ravage the black community it is because black people are animals and they need violent cops to contain their animal behavior, when drugs ravage a white community it is a mental health crisis and we need drug courts and treatment programs. Defending this status and privilege is why so many domestic terrorists are white christian men. They like the system that puts them at the top, takes their problems more seriously, makes sure they get the best jobs and the most lenient treatment by law enforcement and the most attention from politicians.

People want the group cohesion but also to defend their groups relative status and relative privilege. Wealthy industrialists are happy to play on these divisions, which is why fascism is supposedly an alliance between the conservative working class and the business class. Racism itself in the US was somewhat engineered as a way to prevent poor whites, poor blacks and poor indians from aligning together over class and rather to get them to identify with their race rather than their class. Wealthy industrialists do not want people aligning over class, they'd rather them be divided by race, religion, philosophy, gender, etc.

But anyway, I don't think there can be any coming together. Politics in the US is more about morals than anything and our morals do not align anymore.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 11-09-2019 at 11:59 PM.
  #4  
Old 11-10-2019, 12:06 AM
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This appears to be a very thoughtful, very polite way to ask "Does the left need to grow up?" I think so. It's easier to signal that you're white than it is to signal that you're virtuous, so the (far) left has to constantly vocalize their identity and ends up coming off preachy and judgemental. A very large and legitimate study found that 80% of Americans believe "political correctness is a problem in this country." That doesn't mean that 80% of Americans don't want equal rights and treatment for all Americans (though the remaining 20% probably assume that) - it means 80% of Americans don't like feeling judged as racist or transphobic if they haven't read the latest issue of Woke Monthly and don't know a new letter has just been appended to LGBTIQ. Nobody cares what Nazi's think of them, but people do care what wealthy, highly educated people think of them, so being scorned by the left hurts more. How do you think a white middle class man feels when he has a shit tedious job, can't pay his bills, is lampooned on every sitcom since Archie Bunker, and is being told he's too privileged? We need to give EVERYONE who is hurting in America our compassion. It's up the left to make this change because the right sure as hell won't. Plus we control the educational curriculum for the most part so we can diseminate the message. Maybe a White Studies college major is a bit much at this point, but perhaps we can have a Middle Class studies?
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:24 AM
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The left needs to outgrow the notion that there's a Culprit who can be blamed for everything that's wrong. A Culprit who, unlike the rest of us, doesn't fall into at least one of the marginalized categories, and by god we've got a list. And if you ain't on it, maybe the Culprit is YOU!!

It's a stupid way to look at privilege and inequality and oppression. Bloody hell. You think oppression benefits oppressors, quit wasting your time and go out and oppress somebody. Report back. (Was it fun? Was it better than being a cooperative free equal person with comrades and friends and stuff?)
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:39 AM
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The left needs to outgrow the notion that there's a Culprit who can be blamed for everything that's wrong.
The LEFT does?!
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:12 AM
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I think it's even simpler than that, to be honest. The left side of politics is the progressive side - it's the one that wants to change things to make them better. The right side is the conservative side - it's the side that's happy with things as they are, or possibly two steps of change back, on the grounds that if you change things you'll just bugger everything up.

Everything follows from that. 'Identity' is just the current idea that the left of politics is playing around with, in the never-ending quest to find ways of organising society so it's better. It wasn't a big thing 20 years ago. If it doesn't really work for people, then it won't be a big thing in 20 years time.

And of course there's more infighting on the left, because if your organising principle is "let's change stuff" then you need to decide what stuff to change. But the progressive side has a long term advantage all the same - it only takes about twenty years of holding on to a change and it's the new normal for the next generation of conservatives.

I generally think, over time, that things come good in the end. Notwithstanding that there's a hell of a lot of dumbasses out there

Last edited by Aspidistra; 11-10-2019 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
This is, I think, what's at the heart of left-wing infighting. Right-wing groups typically select along borders of characteristics such as race, heritage, gender, income and the like, while it's precisely one of the main characteristics of the left that such distinctions are not valid. Thus, the left must keep its integrity by carefully keeping its members on the party line---hence, the sad irony of seeing the language developed to overcome the arbitrary distinctions between, say, different genders used as an identifier for dividing between the proper adherents and the apostates---utilizing that which was developed to unify as a marker along which to divide.
...I know you put a lot of time and effort into this post, but I don't understand what you are saying at all. "The left" simply isn't a homogenous group. It isn't a club. It doesn't have "members." Nobody polices the "integrity" and I don't know what you mean by "proper adherents" and the "apostates".

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Thus, while the members of the right can stand unified by virtue of their overt characteristics,
You say this like its a good thing.

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the left endlessly self-criticizes, ruptures and fractures,
And you say this like its a bad thing.

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thus often hurting the (what I believe to be) worthy causes they are devoted to, ceding dialectical ground to those actually opposed to these causes---in the extreme, merely replacing arbitrary distinctions of race, gender etc. with arbitrary distinctions of who genders correctly, who is opposed to cultural appropriation in the right way, etc.
I'm Tangata Whenua. My mum is Nga Puhi. Do you want a lesson on "cultural appropriation in the right way?" I'm here if you want it. But looking at what you are complaining about I doubt you are interested in listening. I don't hurt "your cause" if I make the case for indigenous intellectual property. That isn't my fault. If your cause is so weak that speaking up for myself and my whanau will hurt it then you've got bigger problems on your hands than "cultural appropriation."


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Just to be clear, I think these are important issues,
Nope. I don't think that you do. If you thought they were important issues you wouldn't dismiss them with the wave of your hand.

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but we should strive to unify along them,
Fuck that colonial nonsense. Why aren't you striving to unify along with me?

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rather than use them just as a convenient yardstick to tell ally from other.
Are you my ally? Do you stand with me and if you don't, why not? Is it my responsibility to compromise?

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This has some troublesome side-effects, as well. The right, perceiving the trend of the times to go against them, yearn back towards a time when their identity constructs hadn't come under fire, when being white and male was still sufficient to be who you were; the left, on the other hand, becomes increasingly rarefied and utopian, opposed to every compromise and 'realpolitik' as ceding too much ground to the other.
I just want to live my fucking life. I'm not opposed to every fucking compromise. I'm pissed off that you insist on compromise without giving me the courtesy of fucking listening to what we have to say first. This thread is the perfect example.

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Its discourse, at least in my perception, has in large parts slid away from the factual towards the moralistic: you're not either right or wrong---and thus, perhaps amenable to argument and being convinced---but a bad or good person. It's hard to have a factual, balanced discussion on, say, the merits of organic farming versus genetic engineering, when supporting a certain side of the issue is seen as inherently morally wicked.
Its hard to have a factual, balanced discussion on, say, cultural appreciation and the merits of indigenous intellectual property when supporting a certain side means "I'm going to pretend this is important to you, but this isn't important to me, so just shut up and unify with the rest of us for the greater good."

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This isn't intended as some form of argument for centrism, as some limp-wristed compromise; my values are, for the most part, pretty firmly planted on the left. But I think we do need to raise the question of what to replace the current form of identity construction (provided, of course, I'm right with my assessment) with.
There is no need to replace it with anything. You haven't identified a problem. We don't always agree. Sometimes we argue. We self-criticise. I mean, welcome to real fucking life. That's what we do. You are asking me to stop fighting for things that I believe in. I'm not going to do that sorry. I don't have that privilege.

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For one, I think it might be worth trying to raise awareness of the issue---that when you're debating somebody, in their perception, you may come off as questioning their entire self-identity, rather than, as you presumably intend, offering up new facts, figures and arguments.
Or perhaps you shouldn't be debating. Perhaps you don't need to offer up new facts, figure and arguments. Maybe you need to just listen.

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But what else could be done? Is it possible to dissociate our sense of identity from our opinions and values? Can we overcome the need of dividing the world into 'us' and 'them'? Or am I just going about this the entirely wrong way?
Well it depends I suppose. Black people were bought to the United States in chains. They were sold and used as slaves. They were whipped and punished and slaughtered. In the opening episode of the TV series the Watchmen they opened with a reconstruction of the real-life destruction and massacre at "Black Wall Street." They were trying to live the American dream, and they got fucking slaughtered.

U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon for the District of South Carolina prosecuted Erron Jordan, a black man never convicted of a violent offense, and he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a small amount of illegal drugs, prescription pills and a firearm in the car. The day before Lydon prosecuted Bobby Paul Edwards. He was convicted and jailed for only 10 years in prison. Edwards crime? He forced an intellectually disabled black man to work for free for 17 years. Edwards made Chris Smith work 100 hour weeks with no pay. Edwards whipped Smith with a belt. He beat him with pots and pans. He burnt him with hot grease. He kept him as a slave. In 20-fucking-19. Edwards got 10 fucking years. The black guy gests 12 years for possession of drugs and a firearm. The white guy gets 10 years for keeping a slave, making him work 100 hour weeks, for beating him and burning him.

So you tell me. Can a black person living their lives in the United States of America today dissociate their sense of identity from their opinions and values? I personally think that's a pretty insulting question to ask. Of course that fucking can't, and of course they fucking shouldn't. If you aren't going to fight for me (and you've made it pretty crystal clear with this thread that you have no interest in becoming my ally) then I don't know why you would think I should be obligated to fight for you.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
So, first. Identity. I think the basic issue is that we never used to have to think about identity terribly much:
This is not so.

Also, the right engages in identify politics just as much as the left--only implicitly.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Just to make sure I understand this, you are saying that right-wingers usually categorize people into simple and clear boxes such as "white," "black," "male", "Hispanic," "rich," "poor," etc. but that left-wingers try to claim things like "Gender is a social construct" or "there is no such thing as race"? As for income, though, I don't know that those on the left have ever claimed that there isn't an income distinction - for instance, that "there is no such thing as rich or poor."
Well, my point is rather that the right self-categorizes in terms of race, gender, and wealth, and derives its own identity from that, with others just being on the wrong side of the fence, part of the out-group, while the left recognizes these to be arbitrary and unfair distinctions, hence wants to abolish them. However, there is at least a danger that these distinctions are simply being replaced by another set, along agreed-upon issues, with just as much in-groupism---that is, what's being treated is the symptoms, rather than the root cause of tribalist mentality.

I just stumbled on your thread proposing that it's the moralization of discourse that's driving a wedge between the left and the right, and that's I think part of it---only as long as you're perceived to be on the side of the good and the true are you allowed to have an opinion worthy of discussion, deviate from that, and nothing you say can even be allowed to the table. Once you've been identified as alien rather than ally, there's no more constructive engagement possible. To the right, the line between ally and alien is drawn along these traditional, overt characteristics, while to the left, it's drawn along demonstrations that you're sufficiently against these traditional identity constructions; but neither side is doing anything to get rid of the line-drawing itself, and that's where the root cause of inequality, disenfranchisement, and oppression lies.

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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I personally feel you're overthinking it.

Identity is about group cohesion and status/privilege. People whose social identity is associated with a group that has a higher level of privilege generally want to maintain that privilege even when it is unfair. Being male, being white, being native born American, being christian, etc.
This is where the traditional lines of distinction run, yes, but I think there's at least some positive signs of change, with #MeToo and the like. And sure, those who benefit from the present system have little cause to change it, and little reason to question the sense of identity they derive from their respective group associations, but if it were true that whether you want to challenge the system is solely determined by your role within it, then we'd be stuck with the status quo, and those in power would stay in power indefinitely.

My issue is just that the effort of breaking up these traditional lines of self-identification is hampered by merely drawing new lines in the sand that divide self from other. An effective means of challenging the traditional structure can't just replace it with an equivalent one using merely different features for characterization of who's in and who's out, but must overcome the in-and-out distinction itself.

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Originally Posted by Aspidistra View Post
I think it's even simpler than that, to be honest. The left side of politics is the progressive side - it's the one that wants to change things to make them better.
I think that ultimately, the left is less progressive than it thinks itself to be, and less progressive than it needs to be in order to succeed. What's needed is, again, not merely the replacement of traditional identity-constructions, traditional group-associations with new selective criteria aligned with progressive values, but rather, the abolishment of the whole 'us vs. them'-mentality as a whole. Until we figure out how to do that, usher in a radically new paradigm of how we forge our self-identities, the progress we make will always be fragile.

Add to this the fact that the way identity is constructed on the left is inherently more fragile both to external and internal attack, and I think the argument that the radicalization towards the right is at least in part a failure of the left doesn't seem so far-fetched anymore.

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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
Nobody polices the "integrity" and I don't know what you mean by "proper adherents" and the "apostates".
What I mean is roughly the following. You and me, if we were to sit down and compare values, would probably agree on a substantial fraction. You're undoubtedly more familiar with the relevant issues, and your experience will be vastly different from mine, but hey---that's life. I didn't choose the circumstances of my birth anymore than you did.

Yet, you have, rightly or wrongly, judged me as criticizing some of your core values. That immediately makes me other, and all the more so because I, in your view falsely, profess to be aligned with what you hold to be important. So I'm the apostate; and you come right out and tell me to shut up. (And no, I'm not whining about my right to free speech being curbed, or any bullshit like that.)

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I'm Tangata Whenua. My mum is Nga Puhi. Do you want a lesson on "cultural appropriation in the right way?" I'm here if you want it. But looking at what you are complaining about I doubt you are interested in listening. I don't hurt "your cause" if I make the case for indigenous intellectual property. That isn't my fault. If your cause is so weak that speaking up for myself and my whanau will hurt it then you've got bigger problems on your hands than "cultural appropriation."
I'm not questioning your right to speak up for yourself in the slightest, and it's slightly mysterious to me how you got that from my post. What I'm complaining about is stuff like this:

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Nope. I don't think that you do. If you thought they were important issues you wouldn't dismiss them with the wave of your hand.
You're making unsubstantiated assumptions, simply based on the fact that I didn't in your eyes do enough to identify myself as your ally, and use these assumptions to dismiss my opinion as even worth engaging. You, rightly or wrongly, identify me as not belonging to your in-group, and hence, label me as 'other'. That isn't a good strategy, no matter whether you're on the right side of history or not, and it's a strategy that, in my eyes, hurts your cause rather than helps it; hence, I want to question that strategy---not because I'm opposed to your cause, or the more general issues of 'the left' (which, while not homogeneous as you say, is enough of a recognizable group for the term to have a pretty unambiguous referent), but precisely because I'm aligned with them. I'm just aligned in the wrong way, and hence, there never will be any true discourse between you and me---and that's the thing I find lamentable.

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So you tell me. Can a black person living their lives in the United States of America today dissociate their sense of identity from their opinions and values?
I don't see where and how I implied they should?
  #11  
Old 11-10-2019, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
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Thus, while the members of the right can stand unified by virtue of their overt characteristics,
You say this like its a good thing.
It's a good thing for the right, since it means they're more stable in regards to internal pressure.

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the left endlessly self-criticizes, ruptures and fractures,
And you say this like its a bad thing.
It can be a bad thing for the left, if the fracturing is over ultimately spurious issues, since it prohibits them from effectively fighting for their cause.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
What I mean is roughly the following. You and me, if we were to sit down and compare values, would probably agree on a substantial fraction. You're undoubtedly more familiar with the relevant issues, and your experience will be vastly different from mine, but hey---that's life. I didn't choose the circumstances of my birth anymore than you did.

Yet, you have, rightly or wrongly, judged me as criticizing some of your core values.
...nope. I've criticised you for the position you have taken in this thread. I haven't "judged you as criticizing some of my core values." You don't even know what my core values are.

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That immediately makes me other,
Bullshit. I haven't labeled you as "other." We don't have to talk in the abstract. I'm right here.

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and all the more so because I, in your view falsely, profess to be aligned with what you hold to be important.
You literally said "Just to be clear, I think these are important issues, but we should strive to unify along them, rather than use them just as a convenient yardstick to tell ally from other." The degree you think they are important is relative. They are important: but "striving to unify" is more important. I'm taking you at your word.

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So I'm the apostate;
No you are not.

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and you come right out and tell me to shut up. (And no, I'm not whining about my right to free speech being curbed, or any bullshit like that.)
If I came right out and told you to "shut up" somebody would have reported me for it. I didn't do that. Stop twisting my words.

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I'm not questioning your right to speak up for yourself in the slightest, and it's slightly mysterious to me how you got that from my post. What I'm complaining about is stuff like this:

You're making unsubstantiated assumptions,
Not at all. You literally dismissed gender identity and cultural appropriation with a wave of a hand. You did that. I asked: do you want to discuss it? You are making it crystal clear that you don't.

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simply based on the fact that I didn't in your eyes do enough to identify myself as your ally,
But are you my ally? What are your positions on gender identity? What are your positions on cultural appropriation?

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and use these assumptions to dismiss my opinion as even worth engaging.
I haven't made any assumptions. I've responded to the posts you've made in this thread.

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You, rightly or wrongly, identify me as not belonging to your in-group, and hence, label me as 'other'.
Incorrect. I'm right here. You can talk to me. HELLLLLLOOOO!!! This isn't an abstract discussion. I haven't labeled you as "other." That hasn't happened. This is fantasy.

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That isn't a good strategy,
LOL.

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no matter whether you're on the right side of history or not, and it's a strategy that, in my eyes, hurts your cause rather than helps it; hence, I want to question that strategy---not because I'm opposed to your cause, or the more general issues of 'the left' (which, while not homogeneous as you say, is enough of a recognizable group for the term to have a pretty unambiguous referent), but precisely because I'm aligned with them.
If you are aligned with "my cause", then why aren't you fighting for my cause? If you are aligned with my cause then why did you start this thread? How does this thread help my cause?

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I'm just aligned in the wrong way, and hence, there never will be any true discourse between you and me---and that's the thing I find lamentable.
LOL.

This is true discourse. I'm here, I'm not going anywhere. You want to talk? Well talk away. Just stop with the strawman attacks. You presented a topic for discussion. But I'm not convinced you actually want to have a debate. Fortunately for you witnessing is allowed in Great Debates, so you probably are posting in the right forum.

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I don't see where and how I implied they should?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
Is it possible to dissociate our sense of identity from our opinions and values?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
So you tell me. Can a black person living their lives in the United States of America today dissociate their sense of identity from their opinions and values?
So you tell me. Do you think the answer to my question is yes or no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
It's a good thing for the right, since it means they're more stable in regards to internal pressure.
A "left-wing" coalition is in power in my country. This didn't help the "right" to win power at all.

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It can be a bad thing for the left, if the fracturing is over ultimately spurious issues, since it prohibits them from effectively fighting for their cause.
You are here pretending to be reasonable then you use the word "spurious" to describe issues that are important to me.

These things that you consider "spurious" or "not as important as "unity" are very important to the people that they affect. You are asking the most marginalised people in society to compromise because you think "its a better strategy." But you don't live their lives. You don't know what they've tried. "Compromise" got us Trump. When we speak out it isn't a matter of strategy. For many its a matter of life or death.
  #13  
Old 11-10-2019, 06:22 AM
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I agree with pretty much everything you said, but I’m not sure it’s the most useful way to understand the current situation. Tribalism is a profound part of our nature, but I believe that the leftist project still needs to be fundamentally built around the “class struggle”, which cuts across all the tribal divisions.

My take how we got here - very roughly, the idea of class struggle dominated the left / right divide from the mid 19th century up through the 70s - notwithstanding the little problem of why the German proletariat sided to a large degree with the Nazis. The intellectual left more or less aligned with the working class, union movement etc. It wasn’t always that simple of course, e.g. the late sixties leftist intellectuals were often of a much more libertarian leaning than the trade unionists, but by and large all leftists agreed that the major fault line was the class struggle, and the primary goal was better income distribution, better opportunity and a voice for the working classes.

Moving up to the 80s 90s and into the present, the social fault lines appear to have shifted in the western democracies, and the intellectual left has become far more concerned with identities, and less with wealth distribution and the class struggle. I believe there are a bunch of reasons for this - the final collapse of the Soviet Union, we’re generally more comfortable, more people are university educated, and a lot more of that education is in the social sciences, the decline in the manufacturing labor force, people moving around more, and we’re all confronted by way more diversity of culture, religion ethnicities etc than in the past etc etc.

There are also some less comfortable aspects to this, it has allowed the “upper class” left to distance itself from the problematic working classes, and the less educated, dismissing them as racists, sexists, etc. thus comfortably solving the problem of why the unwashed masses don’t always follow the path of virtue, or even of self interest (cf Nazi Germany). On the other hand this same upper class / educated left can still claim the mantle of virtue by retaining a measure of solidarity with some elements of the lower classes, chosen through the prism of selected identity groups.

It also worked as a generation gap thing, where people with working class roots who had benefited from university education and gravitated to a more professional class could reject their parents while still proclaiming a leftist identity.

So where I think the current left really needs to do some soul searching is that it has divorced from a huge part of its base and roots, bizarrely by taking a bunch of seemingly virtuous postions on social justice, and turning them into weapons for class bullying - I have to admit that I’m often amazed by the naked contempt I see here on these boards, directed at the less educated, and those who aren’t up on the latest approved vocabulary.

On preview - maybe we agree more than I thought
  #14  
Old 11-10-2019, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
You literally said "Just to be clear, I think these are important issues, but we should strive to unify along them, rather than use them just as a convenient yardstick to tell ally from other." The degree you think they are important is relative. They are important: but "striving to unify" is more important. I'm taking you at your word.
Then you're misunderstanding me. The 'but' doesn't entail a ranking of issues, but applies to a way of framing them---I'm not saying that unity is of a higher value, and hence, cultural appropriation needs to take a backseat, but that fighting against cultural appropriation should not be done in terms that are themselves just generating further division. That is, I'm not talking about different causes, but about different ways of promoting a cause.

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If I came right out and told you to "shut up" somebody would have reported me for it. I didn't do that. Stop twisting my words.
You're right, you said 'perhaps' I should stop debating.

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Not at all. You literally dismissed gender identity and cultural appropriation with a wave of a hand. You did that.
I didn't, though, and the fact that you're so keen on framing my post as if I did---as if I, in other words, am not properly aligned with the values you hold---is exactly what I'm pointing to as hurting the causes of the left.

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I asked: do you want to discuss it? You are making it crystal clear that you don't.

But are you my ally? What are your positions on gender identity? What are your positions on cultural appropriation?
Indeed, I don't want to discuss gender identity, cultural appropriation, organic farming, climate change or nuclear power in this thread, even though they're important issues to various factions of the left, because they're not the topic of the thread; rather, the topic of this thread is that just because you're right about these issues, categorizing people into those properly aligned with them and those opposed is doing these issues more harm than good.

And the question 'Are you my ally?' is exactly what I think the issue is: it doesn't matter. There really isn't a division of the world into allies and aliens, and any pretense there is, whatever the dividing factor is taken to be, ultimately categorizes some portion of people as 'other', and that's what the real root cause is behind oppression and disenfranchisement. (And no, this isn't some shit along the lines of 'men's rights' or 'all lives matter'.)

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I haven't made any assumptions. I've responded to the posts you've made in this thread.
You have, for instance, assumed that I'm just pretending that topics like cultural appropriation and the fight against it are important to me, in order to, I don't know, throw you a dialectical bone or something.

In reality, my opinion on cultural appropriation simply isn't my topic here.

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If you are aligned with "my cause", then why aren't you fighting for my cause? If you are aligned with my cause then why did you start this thread? How does this thread help my cause?
It helps---or at least, is intended to help---in trying to find the root causes of why left discourse is so often fragmented and self-defeating, and trying to find a way to overcome this, while simultaneously not stifling the self-criticism that any movement must apply to itself in order to not choke on its own ideology.

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This is true discourse.
No. Discourse would be telling me where I'm wrong, making arguments, trying to show why your way of thinking is reasonable; but all you've tried to do is question the legitimacy of my position by alleging that I only pretend to find important what I say I find important.

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So you tell me. Do you think the answer to my question is yes or no?
It's not, and that's a bad thing we ought to strive to change, and that's what I'd hope we could work towards, together.

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You are here pretending to be reasonable then you use the word "spurious" to describe issues that are important to me.
I haven't specified there which issues I consider to be spurious, I merely said it's a bad thing if the left fractures over spurious issues. That these must be those you hold to be important is, again, your projection.

And the 'spurious' wasn't meant to label the issues, as such, but rather, as issues over which to fracture. In the end, we're all in this together---there's only one humanity, and that includes those believing this isn't the case. So any sort

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These things that you consider "spurious" or "not as important as "unity" are very important to the people that they affect. You are asking the most marginalised people in society to compromise because you think "its a better strategy."
Again, this is a misunderstanding. I'm not asking for compromise on issues of race, gender, and so on; I'm cautioning against using the question of where people stand on this issue as a new dividing line along which to split people into in- and out-groups. I'm arguing that it's not a good idea to use ideas ultimately about equality to partition humanity into the 'right' and the 'wrong' kinds of people. That doesn't entail compromise on the issue of cultural appropriation at all.
  #15  
Old 11-10-2019, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
Then you're misunderstanding me. The 'but' doesn't entail a ranking of issues, but applies to a way of framing them---I'm not saying that unity is of a higher value, and hence, cultural appropriation needs to take a backseat, but that fighting against cultural appropriation should not be done in terms that are themselves just generating further division. That is, I'm not talking about different causes, but about different ways of promoting a cause.
...but it does entail a ranking of issues. You are happy to discuss cultural appropriation as long as we do it on your terms.

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You're right, you said 'perhaps' I should stop debating.
What I actually said was "Or perhaps you shouldn't be debating." And for context I was responding to this:

"For one, I think it might be worth trying to raise awareness of the issue---that when you're debating somebody, in their perception, you may come off as questioning their entire self-identity, rather than, as you presumably intend, offering up new facts, figures and arguments."

I was in no way even implying that you should "shut up." It was a direct response to the words that you wrote.

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I didn't, though, and the fact that you're so keen on framing my post as if I did---as if I, in other words, am not properly aligned with the values you hold---is exactly what I'm pointing to as hurting the causes of the left.
You literally did.

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Indeed, I don't want to discuss gender identity, cultural appropriation, organic farming, climate change or nuclear power in this thread, even though they're important issues to various factions of the left, because they're not the topic of the thread; rather, the topic of this thread is that just because you're right about these issues, categorizing people into those properly aligned with them and those opposed is doing these issues more harm than good.
I would posit that the position you have taken in this thread, categorizing people like me as one of "various factions on the left who categorizes people into those properly aligned with them and those opposed is doing these issues more harm than good" is both rank hypocrisy, and doing more harm than good.

And we actually need to discuss gender identity, and we need to discuss cultural appropriation, because we don't have any frame of reference in regards to what it is you are talking about. Who are these people? Where are these people who are doing their cause "more harm than good?" Your first cite was to an editorial with a picture of a "Black Lives Matter" protester. Is that who you are talking about? Your second cite was to a book. You haven't made a case that this is a problem. All you did in the OP was write a lot of words.

If this is as big a problem as you claim it is then you should have no problem calling it out. Do you think Black Lives Matters protestors are part of the problem? What is problematic about gender identity, or cultural appropriation? Provide examples.

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And the question 'Are you my ally?' is exactly what I think the issue is: it doesn't matter.
It sure as fuck matters to me. Thank you for making your position clear.

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There really isn't a division of the world into allies and aliens, and any pretense there is, whatever the dividing factor is taken to be, ultimately categorizes some portion of people as 'other', and that's what the real root cause is behind oppression and disenfranchisement. (And no, this isn't some shit along the lines of 'men's rights' or 'all lives matter'.)
LOL.

I would have thought that the real root cause behind oppression and disenfranchisement would have been things like the belief in white supremacy and the patriarchy, but apparently its me, arguing for gender equality and indigenous intellectual property. Who woulda thought?

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You have, for instance, assumed that I'm just pretending that topics like cultural appropriation and the fight against it are important to me, in order to, I don't know, throw you a dialectical bone or something.
Nope. I'm assuming your position because I asked your position and you declined to comment on it.

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In reality, my opinion on cultural appropriation simply isn't my topic here.
In reality, your opinion on cultural appropriation would show whether or not you actually understand what those words actually mean.

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It helps---or at least, is intended to help---in trying to find the root causes of why left discourse is so often fragmented and self-defeating, and trying to find a way to overcome this, while simultaneously not stifling the self-criticism that any movement must apply to itself in order to not choke on its own ideology.
This is Great Debates. If its your position that "left discourse is so often fragmented and self-defeating" then its your job to prove that "left discourse is so often fragmented and self-defeating." I don't see it. I don't see what needs to be overcome. You haven't provided any real-world examples. I don't accept your position and I see no reason why I need to change anything that I do.

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No. Discourse would be telling me where I'm wrong, making arguments, trying to show why your way of thinking is reasonable; but all you've tried to do is question the legitimacy of my position by alleging that I only pretend to find important what I say I find important.
I wrote a fuck-ton more in my responses to you than simply "only pretend to find important what I say I find important." "Discourse" would be you stopping contextualizing all of my arguments down to a single sentence that isn't representative of everything I've said in this thread.

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It's not, and that's a bad thing we ought to strive to change, and that's what I'd hope we could work towards, together.
Then your first step would be to start listening. Your second step would be to start providing evidence for your thesis.

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I haven't specified there which issues I consider to be spurious, I merely said it's a bad thing if the left fractures over spurious issues. That these must be those you hold to be important is, again, your projection.
I can't do anything but project because you refuse to commit to any specifics.

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And the 'spurious' wasn't meant to label the issues, as such, but rather, as issues over which to fracture. In the end, we're all in this together---there's only one humanity, and that includes those believing this isn't the case.
What you think are "spurious" and what marginalised peoples think are spurious are probably two different things. (I say "probably" because you don't want to actually commit to a position here in this thread.)

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Again, this is a misunderstanding.
Not a misunderstanding.

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I'm not asking for compromise on issues of race, gender, and so on; I'm cautioning against using the question of where people stand on this issue as a new dividing line along which to split people into in- and out-groups.
I don't need your caution. Where people stand on an issue is important to me. Do you believe in White Supremacy? I'm not going to be your friend. Do you think #metoo was exaggerated and that men got a raw deal? You don't get an invite to my birthday party. I'm an adult. I can make decisions for myself.

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I'm arguing that it's not a good idea to use ideas ultimately about equality to partition humanity into the 'right' and the 'wrong' kinds of people. That doesn't entail compromise on the issue of cultural appropriation at all.
But you won't even tell me what your ideas "about equality" actually are. So if you think that transgender people shouldn't be allowed to use the facilities that match the gender they live every day then you are the "wrong kinds of people" as far as I am concerned. You've provided zero context for this discussion. You mention gender identity then handwave it away from discussion. But its relevant. And important.
  #16  
Old 11-10-2019, 08:12 AM
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One of the starting premises is that there's a significant amount of infighting on the left. Cite?
  #17  
Old 11-10-2019, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
...but it does entail a ranking of issues. You are happy to discuss cultural appropriation as long as we do it on your terms.
No, not in the least. I have no interest, in this thread, to discuss cultural appropriation---that's not the thread's topic. The topic is, in part, how the left reacts to those it perceives to not get with the program, and why I think this hurts the left. In what way do you believe this questions the importance of fighting cultural appropriation?

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You literally did.
That's just a blunt falsehood.

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What is problematic about gender identity, or cultural appropriation?
Again, this isn't my topic.

My topic is that here are two people, you and me, whose values are probably closer to one another than to 90% of the rest of the population. Yet, your response to me wasn't one of trying to find what common ground we have, where we differ, whether we can reasonably differ or whether those differences signal a true opposition of core values, but rather, questioning the legitimacy of my values---whether I actually hold them---and whether I hold the proper values, ranked in the right way. That is, your first issue is whether I should be put into the in-group or the out-group; the actual content of my arguments is secondary to you. That's really all the cite I need for my point.

Quote:
I would have thought that the real root cause behind oppression and disenfranchisement would have been things like the belief in white supremacy and the patriarchy, but apparently its me, arguing for gender equality and indigenous intellectual property. Who woulda thought?
White supremacy, patriarchy, and the like are just various ways of categorizing people into 'us' and 'them'. Getting rid of that by creating new 'us's and 'them's just isn't the best idea, even if the new division isn't as overtly oppressive and unfair.

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Nope. I'm assuming your position because I asked your position and you declined to comment on it.
I'm continually trying to clarify my position, just not on issues that have nothing to do with the present topic. That's another element of the sort of thing I'm pointing to: in order to classify my views to decide whether to really engage with them, you require me to give some form of proof that I'm properly aligned with you on issues that matter---to show my membership badge, so to speak.

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This is Great Debates. If its your position that "left discourse is so often fragmented and self-defeating" then its your job to prove that "left discourse is so often fragmented and self-defeating." I don't see it.
OK, I had thought this was enough of a cultural meme that I didn't need to cite it, but at least the perception is wide-spread. A simple google search for 'leftist infighting' leads tons of examples, like here, here, or the one I gave in my OP. If you want to argue that no, there's actually no such thing going on, you're free to do so, but I don't think you can claim that there isn't at least a widespread perception that this is the case, and that it's hurting the left. If this perception is misplaced, then I'd like to understand what's caused it, at least.

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What you think are "spurious" and what marginalised peoples think are spurious are probably two different things. (I say "probably" because you don't want to actually commit to a position here in this thread.)
For the purposes of this thread, it simply doesn't matter what positions I hold on cultural appropriation, gender, and so on. That's the point.

Quote:
But you won't even tell me what your ideas "about equality" actually are. So if you think that transgender people shouldn't be allowed to use the facilities that match the gender they live every day then you are the "wrong kinds of people" as far as I am concerned. You've provided zero context for this discussion. You mention gender identity then handwave it away from discussion. But its relevant. And important.
Why should that be the case? I mean, clearly, my opinion on gender identity is quite irrelevant to the question of whether the proton radius is 0.877 or 0.842 fm. I can either be right about that, or not, no matter what my opinion is about who gets to use which toilet.

So there are factual issues of legitimate controversy for which it doesn't matter what my opinions on various social issues are. The assumption that it does matter---that I must self-identify in the appropriate way in order to legitimately hold an opinion---is exactly what I'm arguing against.

Even if I think that animal suffering has no moral import, I could be right in claiming that whether somebody thinks animal suffering has moral import should not be a criterion for considering them as fundamentally other than yourself. They could, for instance, just be ignorant, and misinformed; but by essentially dismissing them out of hand, you've already given up the hope of maybe correcting this, doing more to cement the split between you and them than to actually address the issue.

And it's this dismissal that I think hurts both sides, and I think the reason for this dismissal is that anything else just serves to erode the self-identification derived from considering yourself right on the issue of animal rights.
  #18  
Old 11-10-2019, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
One of the starting premises is that there's a significant amount of infighting on the left. Cite?
I came to this issue via reading a book of essays laying out the problem, Trigger Warnung: Identitätspolitik zwischen Abwehr, Abschottung und Allianzen (roughly, Trigger Warning: Identity Politics between Defense, Isolation, and Alliances). It's a collection of essays by leftist scholars concerned with the fact that "For everyone who can't substantiate politics with their own victimhood, the discussion closes. Those who can't follow the difficult mandatory literature, are out." (My translation from the back cover.)

Furthermore, I pointed to the article by Mark Lilla in my OP, which is full of quotes like "Identity liberalism does the opposite and just reinforces the alt-right’s picture of politics as a war of competing identity groups".

And no matter where you stand on the factual issues being debated, I think the famous response to Rebecca Tuvel's article on Transracialism shows more than a fair share of the sort of 'infighting' I'm talking about.

This sort of thing also happens in other contexts. I remember (so no cite) that under an article discussing Jonathan Safran Foer's new book We Are the Weather, the top comment was one chastising Foer for not being vegan---that is, not sufficiently devoted to the dogma, and hence, eroding it, threatening to water down the distinction necessary for identity building. Which of course completely misses the fact that if we could get those on the fence just a bit further, to eschewing meat a couple of days of the week, we could do massively more good for the climate than a staunch refusal to accept anything but veganism as valid is likely to ever do, since few (comparatively) will be willing to go to that length. Hence, the demand for ideological purity hurts the actual cause the ideology was conceived to further.
  #19  
Old 11-10-2019, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Themenin View Post
My take how we got here - very roughly, the idea of class struggle dominated the left / right divide from the mid 19th century up through the 70s - notwithstanding the little problem of why the German proletariat sided to a large degree with the Nazis. The intellectual left more or less aligned with the working class, union movement etc. It wasn’t always that simple of course, e.g. the late sixties leftist intellectuals were often of a much more libertarian leaning than the trade unionists, but by and large all leftists agreed that the major fault line was the class struggle, and the primary goal was better income distribution, better opportunity and a voice for the working classes.

Moving up to the 80s 90s and into the present, the social fault lines appear to have shifted in the western democracies, and the intellectual left has become far more concerned with identities, and less with wealth distribution and the class struggle. I believe there are a bunch of reasons for this - the final collapse of the Soviet Union, we’re generally more comfortable, more people are university educated, and a lot more of that education is in the social sciences, the decline in the manufacturing labor force, people moving around more, and we’re all confronted by way more diversity of culture, religion ethnicities etc than in the past etc etc.

There are also some less comfortable aspects to this, it has allowed the “upper class” left to distance itself from the problematic working classes, and the less educated, dismissing them as racists, sexists, etc. thus comfortably solving the problem of why the unwashed masses don’t always follow the path of virtue, or even of self interest (cf Nazi Germany). On the other hand this same upper class / educated left can still claim the mantle of virtue by retaining a measure of solidarity with some elements of the lower classes, chosen through the prism of selected identity groups.
You make a good point---I haven't really looked at this from the point of view of class struggle. Part of the reason for this is that I don't really understand how the 'traditional' left aiming to unite the workers has become the present-day left that all too often seems to alienate them instead (or is seen by the working classes as such). I think I'll have to educate myself on that more before I can really comment.
  #20  
Old 11-10-2019, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Themenin View Post
I agree with pretty much everything you said, but I’m not sure it’s the most useful way to understand the current situation. Tribalism is a profound part of our nature, but I believe that the leftist project still needs to be fundamentally built around the “class struggle”, which cuts across all the tribal divisions.

My take how we got here - very roughly, the idea of class struggle dominated the left / right divide from the mid 19th century up through the 70s - notwithstanding the little problem of why the German proletariat sided to a large degree with the Nazis. The intellectual left more or less aligned with the working class, union movement etc. It wasn’t always that simple of course, e.g. the late sixties leftist intellectuals were often of a much more libertarian leaning than the trade unionists, but by and large all leftists agreed that the major fault line was the class struggle, and the primary goal was better income distribution, better opportunity and a voice for the working classes.

Moving up to the 80s 90s and into the present, the social fault lines appear to have shifted in the western democracies, and the intellectual left has become far more concerned with identities, and less with wealth distribution and the class struggle. I believe there are a bunch of reasons for this - the final collapse of the Soviet Union, we’re generally more comfortable, more people are university educated, and a lot more of that education is in the social sciences, the decline in the manufacturing labor force, people moving around more, and we’re all confronted by way more diversity of culture, religion ethnicities etc than in the past etc etc.

There are also some less comfortable aspects to this, it has allowed the “upper class” left to distance itself from the problematic working classes, and the less educated, dismissing them as racists, sexists, etc. thus comfortably solving the problem of why the unwashed masses don’t always follow the path of virtue, or even of self interest (cf Nazi Germany). On the other hand this same upper class / educated left can still claim the mantle of virtue by retaining a measure of solidarity with some elements of the lower classes, chosen through the prism of selected identity groups.

It also worked as a generation gap thing, where people with working class roots who had benefited from university education and gravitated to a more professional class could reject their parents while still proclaiming a leftist identity.

So where I think the current left really needs to do some soul searching is that it has divorced from a huge part of its base and roots, bizarrely by taking a bunch of seemingly virtuous postions on social justice, and turning them into weapons for class bullying - I have to admit that I’m often amazed by the naked contempt I see here on these boards, directed at the less educated, and those who aren’t up on the latest approved vocabulary.

On preview - maybe we agree more than I thought
Well said.
  #21  
Old 11-10-2019, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by guizot View Post
This is not so.

Also, the right engages in identify politics just as much as the left--only implicitly.
The entiretly of the rights appeal is identity politics. Appealing to whites, men, christians, etc. about the coming hordes of non-whites, feminists, LGBTs, muslims, foreigners, etc. They play on these people's fears of being overrun, displaced and being treated by the newer, younger, browner majority the same way they themselves have treated marginalized outgroups in the past (persecute them, take their voting rights away, oppress their religion, keep them out of the good jobs, etc).

Thats really at the root of what fox news is about. Thats why they obsess over 'the squad', four new democratic politicians. They're all brown, have foreign names, have families who were immigrants, are proudly feminist and proudly liberal.

Really the lefts obsession with identity politics is more a response to the rights efforts to maintain social hierarchies based on social identities.
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  #22  
Old 11-10-2019, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
The entiretly of the rights appeal is identity politics. Appealing to whites, men, christians, etc. about the coming hordes of non-whites, feminists, LGBTs, muslims, foreigners, etc. They play on these people's fears of being overrun, displaced and being treated by the newer, younger, browner majority the same way they themselves have treated marginalized outgroups in the past (persecute them, take their voting rights away, oppress their religion, keep them out of the good jobs, etc).

Thats really at the root of what fox news is about. Thats why they obsess over 'the squad', four new democratic politicians. They're all brown, have foreign names, have families who were immigrants, are proudly feminist and proudly liberal.

Really the lefts obsession with identity politics is more a response to the rights efforts to maintain social hierarchies based on social identities.
the difference is that solidly republican voters will reliably get out and vote for whoever has the (R) after their name. liberal voters will sit home and let the other side win because the (D) candidate isn't 100% in alignment with every single one of their beliefs.
  #23  
Old 11-10-2019, 06:35 PM
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No, not in the least.
...LOL.

Quote:
I have no interest, in this thread, to discuss cultural appropriation---that's not the thread's topic. The topic is, in part, how the left reacts to those it perceives to not get with the program, and why I think this hurts the left. In what way do you believe this questions the importance of fighting cultural appropriation?
Your OP and this thread is about how you perceive "the left reacts." You've provided zero evidence that it actually reacts this way.

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That's just a blunt falsehood.
No it isn't.

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Again, this isn't my topic.
You don't own the thread.

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My topic is that here are two people, you and me, whose values are probably closer to one another than to 90% of the rest of the population.
This is simply projection on your part. You don't know me. You don't know my values. And you are simply refusing to share your values here in this thread. So you can't make this claim.

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Yet, your response to me wasn't one of trying to find what common ground we have, where we differ, whether we can reasonably differ or whether those differences signal a true opposition of core values, but rather, questioning the legitimacy of my values---whether I actually hold them---and whether I hold the proper values, ranked in the right way.
My response to you was to literally find out what common ground we have. What is your opinion of gender issues? What do you think about cultural appropriation?

You refuse to answer. How do you expect me to find common ground when you won't tell me if we have common ground or not?

So don't accuse me of "not trying to find what common ground we have, where we differ, whether we can reasonably differ or whether those differences signal a true opposition of core values." Because that is exactly what I've been trying to do throughout this thread. You can't see that because you are so convinced of the correctness of your position that you aren't actually listening to anything that I'm telling you.

I'm judging your value based entirely on your perception of me. You are treating me as "other." You are being entirely hypocritical here.

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That is, your first issue is whether I should be put into the in-group or the out-group; the actual content of my arguments is secondary to you. That's really all the cite I need for my point.
So I'm your cite then?

I'm responsible for "making things worse?"

Everything is my fault?

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White supremacy, patriarchy, and the like are just various ways of categorizing people into 'us' and 'them'.
Yep! I don't invite white supremacists around for Christmas. That isn't a bad thing.

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Getting rid of that by creating new 'us's and 'them's just isn't the best idea, even if the new division isn't as overtly oppressive and unfair.
I haven't "gotten rid of that." White supremacy is still on my "don't get a christmas card" list. And who are you to judge what is an appropriate "us and them" to add to my list?

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I'm continually trying to clarify my position, just not on issues that have nothing to do with the present topic.
You can clarify your position by providing evidence that your position isn't just something you invented. I'm entirely open to being persuaded by evidence. But this thread is evidence free.

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That's another element of the sort of thing I'm pointing to: in order to classify my views to decide whether to really engage with them, you require me to give some form of proof that I'm properly aligned with you on issues that matter---to show my membership badge, so to speak.
I literally want to find out if we have common ground or not. That's what you wanted me to do earlier in this post. Asking you questions about topics that are important to me is my way of establishing do we have common ground. This isn't a "membership test." Its how humans actually work.

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OK, I had thought this was enough of a cultural meme that I didn't need to cite it, but at least the perception is wide-spread. A simple google search for 'leftist infighting' leads tons of examples, like here, here, or the one I gave in my OP.
Those are all just opinions. Tim Lott is an "old man yelling get off my lawn" who also recently wrote a rather positive article about Jordan Peterson. His article had over 2000 comments, many people disagreeing with him. Conor Friedersdorf is a self-described libertarian. He literally says "he is not a leftist" in his article. I don't find the evidence he provides in the article to be compelling. I kinda got bored in his third paragraph about Abraham Lincoln.

I'm asking you for objective evidence that what you claim in the OP is harmful. Those article contain nothing objective. The "evidence" in those articles is all shaped by the perceptions and the biases of the authors.

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If you want to argue that no, there's actually no such thing going on, you're free to do so, but I don't think you can claim that there isn't at least a widespread perception that this is the case, and that it's hurting the left.
I don't doubt the perception is widespread.

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If this perception is misplaced, then I'd like to understand what's caused it, at least.
What caused it? Probably by people writing articles like the ones you've cited that have convinced people like you that "the perception is reality", prompting you to write evidence-free-rants here in Great Debates that prompts other people similarly convinced to nod-their-heads-in-agreement. That's how a "feedback loop" works.

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For the purposes of this thread, it simply doesn't matter what positions I hold on cultural appropriation, gender, and so on. That's the point.
Then don't make claims we have "common ground on lots of things" when I have no way of knowing if we have common ground or not.

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Why should that be the case? I mean, clearly, my opinion on gender identity is quite irrelevant to the question of whether the proton radius is 0.877 or 0.842 fm. I can either be right about that, or not, no matter what my opinion is about who gets to use which toilet.
If the position you hold is one that causes my transgender friends great pain and indignity then as far as I'm concerned you are "the wrong kind of person." It doesn't matter what common ground we have. I'm not going to sacrifice them for the sake of compromising with you. Are you the kind of person who would tell the restaurant manager that you think that "a man is using the women's toilets?" Are you the kind of person who would turn your neighbour over to ICE? The fact you are being secretive over your positions leads me to believe that we have much less common ground than you think we have.

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So there are factual issues of legitimate controversy for which it doesn't matter what my opinions on various social issues are.
It goes to verifying claims you've made in this thread. You think we have lots of common ground. I'm not so sure.

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The assumption that it does matter---that I must self-identify in the appropriate way in order to legitimately hold an opinion---is exactly what I'm arguing against.
I'm not asking you to "self-identify" for fucks sakes. I'm asking for your opinion. You clearly have an opinion about people like me. You've written this thread to rail against your perception of people like me. You don't hold yourself to the very same standard you want to hold me to in this very thread.

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Even if I think that animal suffering has no moral import, I could be right in claiming that whether somebody thinks animal suffering has moral import should not be a criterion for considering them as fundamentally other than yourself.
In a free society you are entitled to hold whatever opinions you like.

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They could, for instance, just be ignorant, and misinformed; but by essentially dismissing them out of hand, you've already given up the hope of maybe correcting this, doing more to cement the split between you and them than to actually address the issue.
So you don't want me to dismiss people who hold white supremacist views out of hand?

There is a poster on these boards who holds the position that (paraphrased from memory) "he welcomes immigration to America from all around the world as long as those people are not Muslim." This poster is a self-described leftist, who holds many positions that one could say we have "common ground." But I have no obligation to "correct this." It isn't my job to "cement the split between us." This poster holds a position that I personally think is fundamentally inhumane. That you are asking me to not dismiss them out-of-hand is inherently cruel and is, in my opinion, a much more dangerous position to hold than anything I've said in this thread.

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And it's this dismissal that I think hurts both sides, and I think the reason for this dismissal is that anything else just serves to erode the self-identification derived from considering yourself right on the issue of animal rights.
Its not about "considering myself right." We all live by a moral code. I'm sure that even you have some sort of a moral code. There are things we all choose not to compromise on. I'm sure you aren't planning on committing any murders or burglaries over the next couple of days.

You think that me living by my own personal moral code "hurts my side." I don't understand this. I don't see how supporting my transgender friends, opposing white supremacy, supporting indigenous intellectual property rights, fighting people who would oppose Muslim immigration, putting my pronouns on my profile, I don't see how any of these things hurt my cause. My dismissal of people who literally want to kill me shouldn't be something you have a problem with.
  #24  
Old 11-10-2019, 06:48 PM
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And no matter where you stand on the factual issues being debated, I think the famous response to Rebecca Tuvel's article on Transracialism shows more than a fair share of the sort of 'infighting' I'm talking about.
...the question was about significant infighting. How significant was this? What impact did it have outside of academia? If this is the sort of infighting you are talking about then can you objectively demonstrate how this particular incident was harmful to "our cause?" If this is the kind of thing you are talking about I'm even less convinced of your position. This is a nothing-burger.
  #25  
Old 11-10-2019, 07:03 PM
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the difference is that solidly republican voters will reliably get out and vote for whoever has the (R) after their name. liberal voters will sit home and let the other side win because the (D) candidate isn't 100% in alignment with every single one of their beliefs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by New Republic
A new Mother Jones report on voter suppression in 2016 found that as many as 45,000 people in Wisconsin were deterred from voting due to the state’s voter ID law, possibly costing Hillary Clinton the election. In the majority-black city of Milwaukee alone, voter turnout decreased by 41,000 for the 2016 election.

...

An MIT study found that 12 percent of all voters—an estimated 16 million people—encountered at least one problem voting in 2016. There were more than 1 million lost votes, the study estimates, because people ran into ID laws, long lines at the polls, and registration problems.
https://newrepublic.com/minutes/1453...er-suppression

...I'm sure that some "liberal voters will sit home and let the other side win because the (D) candidate isn't 100% in alignment with every single one of their beliefs." But that number would probably be matched by the same amount of Republicans who do exactly the same thing. And at the next election those people will be joined by the ranks of the ever increasing population of "Never Trumpers."

But the real problem with liberal voters isn't "identity politics". Its voter suppression. I wouldn't worry about the former. You can't do anything about it. You can do something about the latter.
  #26  
Old 11-11-2019, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
...the question was about significant infighting. How significant was this? What impact did it have outside of academia? If this is the sort of infighting you are talking about then can you objectively demonstrate how this particular incident was harmful to "our cause?" If this is the kind of thing you are talking about I'm even less convinced of your position. This is a nothing-burger.
I would think the whole "Bernie or bust" thing would qualify. Liberal leaning Facebook groups were all afire with talk of abstaining rather than vote for Clinton.
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  #27  
Old 11-11-2019, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear

...I'm sure that some "liberal voters will sit home and let the other side win because the (D) candidate isn't 100% in alignment with every single one of their beliefs."
I'm in a bunch of fb groups where this sentiment is loud and clear. There is something wrong with every Dem candidate so they don't bother voting. The thing I hate most about this attitude is it tries to ascribe virtue to inaction.

We don't need perfect, we need the best choice from the available choices. I haven't seen a single liberalish person who thought Clinton would have been worse than trump but they still wouldn't vote for her.
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  #28  
Old 11-11-2019, 12:47 AM
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I would think the whole "Bernie or bust" thing would qualify. Liberal leaning Facebook groups were all afire with talk of abstaining rather than vote for Clinton.
...but the "Bernie or bust" thing was a very specific thing. It had almost nothing to do with what one would call "identity politics" and had everything to do with both "a cult of personality" and direct intervention from the Russian government.

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Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
I'm in a bunch of fb groups where this sentiment is loud and clear. There is something wrong with every Dem candidate so they don't bother voting. The thing I hate most about this attitude is it tries to ascribe virtue to inaction.
But there is something wrong with every candidate! There is nothing wrong with people pointing that out. And if they decide not to vote whats your problem with that? You live in a democracy. They have a right not to vote. You don't have compulsory voting.

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We don't need perfect, we need the best choice from the available choices. I haven't seen a single liberalish person who thought Clinton would have been worse than trump but they still wouldn't vote for her.
Are you sure all those people in those "Liberal leaning Facebook groups" are actually real people?
  #29  
Old 11-11-2019, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
Your OP and this thread is about how you perceive "the left reacts." You've provided zero evidence that it actually reacts this way.
Well, I've provided links to several articles...

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Those are all just opinions. Tim Lott is an "old man yelling get off my lawn" who also recently wrote a rather positive article about Jordan Peterson. His article had over 2000 comments, many people disagreeing with him. Conor Friedersdorf is a self-described libertarian. He literally says "he is not a leftist" in his article. I don't find the evidence he provides in the article to be compelling. I kinda got bored in his third paragraph about Abraham Lincoln.
Right, OK, so these didn't come from people that are members of the right sorts of opinion groups for their opinion to matter. So I also posted a widely-discussed controversy on the left...

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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
...the question was about significant infighting. How significant was this? What impact did it have outside of academia? If this is the sort of infighting you are talking about then can you objectively demonstrate how this particular incident was harmful to "our cause?" If this is the kind of thing you are talking about I'm even less convinced of your position. This is a nothing-burger.
Right, OK, so I have to find a cite from the right sort of people somewhere that has a greater reach than that obscure pamphlet of leftist academia, the New York Times.

So what about the book of essays that I pointed to? There's another one that's been recently published in Germany, Beissreflexe (Bite Reflexes), which I haven't read, however, and which has been subject to much controversy.

Or take this article about 'Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist'.

Now, you might not agree with all of the above (and I don't know whether the opinion of a 'former' leftist is acceptable to you). And it might be that in Germany, the perception of leftist infighting is stronger, as evidenced by the two collections of essays I pointed to. But I don't think it's reasonable to doubt that there exists a significant perception that the left is indeed hurting itself---loosing 'card-carrying' members---by its fragmentational tendencies.

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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
You don't own the thread.
Well you don't own me, so no, you're not going to get me to opine on irrelevant topics just to see if I pass the smell test.

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My response to you was to literally find out what common ground we have. What is your opinion of gender issues? What do you think about cultural appropriation?
That's however not the topic of the thread. Why are you so interested in those topics, for instance? I've also appealed to organic farming, nuclear energy, and vegetarianism. Why aren't you interested in what's on my dinner plate, or where I get my power?

This isn't looking for common ground (on the issues of this thread), it's taking the topics most important to you, and seeing whether I'm properly aligned with them---i. e. the very thing I'm criticizing.

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I'm judging your value based entirely on your perception of me. You are treating me as "other." You are being entirely hypocritical here.
No, I'm not. I'm engaging with you, trying to better explain where I'm coming from, providing cites, trying to explain why it doesn't matter if I eat meat or am pro-nuclear or have the right opinion about cultural appropriation in order to be allowed to argue that insistence on the purity of dogma, caused by the threat to its identity-constructing powers presented by each skeptic, ultimately hurts the cause that the dogma was originally introduced to further. Whether I'm right or wrong about this is entirely independent of my sociopolitical views. Hence, I won't let you goad me into declaring my allegiance, even if doing so would probably make this conversation a whole lot easier.

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So I'm your cite then?

I'm responsible for "making things worse?"

Everything is my fault?
No, of course not. But by out of hand rejecting cites I provided because they came from people who don't have the right opinion on other issues, who aren't properly aligned with your views, you are indeed demonstrating just the behavior I've pointed out in my OP. So yes, in that sense, you are my cite.

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I literally want to find out if we have common ground or not. That's what you wanted me to do earlier in this post. Asking you questions about topics that are important to me is my way of establishing do we have common ground. This isn't a "membership test." Its how humans actually work.
You're right, it is how humans actually work. The thing is just that this is problematic. Humans 'actually work' in many ways that are ultimately hurtful. We don't have a great appreciation of the larger issues in themselves, so we litter, buy too much plastics, and eat too much meat, with all the damage to the environment that entails. We're really only capable of thinking about ~150 people as humans, so we treat everybody outside of that sphere as less than human. And so on. All of these are ways how 'humans actually work'; that doesn't make them good, and doesn't mean we can't, or shouldn't strive to, change them.

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What caused it? Probably by people writing articles like the ones you've cited that have convinced people like you that "the perception is reality", prompting you to write evidence-free-rants here in Great Debates that prompts other people similarly convinced to nod-their-heads-in-agreement. That's how a "feedback loop" works.
Every feedback loop needs an initial signal to get started, though. And as I've stated, it's not the articles above that have prompted me to think about these issues, but an entire book of scholarly articles by scientists in the appropriate fields of study.

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If the position you hold is one that causes my transgender friends great pain and indignity then as far as I'm concerned you are "the wrong kind of person." It doesn't matter what common ground we have. I'm not going to sacrifice them for the sake of compromising with you.
I'm nowhere near asking anything of that sort. Let's try to take another example.

Above, I appealed to a reaction I'd seen to Jonathan Safran Foer's 'We Are The Weather'. The reaction was that a post chided Foer for not being vegan. Now, think about this in the following way. Foer advocates a reduction in eating meat in order to combat climate change. Let's for the moment suppose that this is also an important issue to the anonymous responder. They and Foer are thus aligned on that issue; yet, the reaction is not one of support, but one of rejection, because, according to the poster, Foer does not go far enough in the 'right' direction.

I'm now pointing out that, as far as the unifying goal---reducing climate change through less meat eating---goes, that's an unhelpful reaction---that, indeed, it's conceivable that if this were the most widespread reaction, more meat might get eaten than if one only advocates for a reduction of meat eating. Few people like to join those that denounce them; but if we instead engage people on an equal level, it seems to me we have a much greater chance to actually do some good.

What I'm not thereby doing is infringing on anybody's activism, be it for veganism, vegetarianism, and whatnot. I'm not saying that they shouldn't advocate for veganism, much less that they should come around and eat meat once in a while; I'm merely saying that the way you get a message across may influence the acceptance of the message, and if you alienate people, you may achieve the opposite of what you're trying to do.

So I'm not saying anyone should compromise in their activism. I am on the contrary saying that there may be ways to make this activism more effective, and one of those ways is to not partition the world into 'us' and 'them', because that's giving up on 'them' and painting them as lost to the cause---which they then inevitably will be.

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So you don't want me to dismiss people who hold white supremacist views out of hand?
Depends. What do you mean by 'dismissing out of hand'? Because I believe that there's potential for reform even in such cases---I mean, these things do happen, but they won't if nobody reaches out. So I'm not asking you to send them Christmas cards, and I'm not even going to give you some sort of 'love your enemies'-speech, but I would ask you not to dismiss them as human beings---misguided, perhaps ignorant, perhaps even downright evil, but still human. Everything else, I think, just gives the game away.
  #30  
Old 11-11-2019, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
Well, I've provided links to several articles...
...and none of those articles contained any objective evidence that we can use to determine the accuracy of what they suggest.

Quote:
Right, OK, so these didn't come from people that are members of the right sorts of opinion groups for their opinion to matter.
I'm skeptical that a self-described libertarian would have anything positive to say about "the left." And you should be skeptical as well. Why did you choose those two particular articles to cite?

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So I also posted a widely-discussed controversy on the left...
LOL. How widely discussed was this?

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Right, OK, so I have to find a cite from the right sort of people somewhere that has a greater reach than that obscure pamphlet of leftist academia, the New York Times.
The New York Times posts thousands of articles every single fucking year. What was significant about this one? How specifically did this article "hurt my cause?" How does this article fit into your thesis?

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So what about the book of essays that I pointed to? There's another one that's been recently published in Germany, Beissreflexe (Bite Reflexes), which I haven't read, however, and which has been subject to much controversy.
You point me to an entire book of essays that you haven't read that is written in a language that I don't understand and you want my opinion on this? It might have been "subject to much controversy" but not enough controversy for me to have a fucking clue what it all is about.

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Or take this article about 'Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist'.
You're citing Front Page Magazine now? I just checked the front page. The lead story is "An Open Letter to Greta Thunberg." You can read that here. Are you aware that the quality of your citations is getting worse and worse? What next, Quillette? Breitbart? Do you know why Danusha V. Goska is no longer a leftist?

Here are her Top Ten Reasons why she is no longer a leftist.

1) Huffiness. Leftists are too HUFFY. I kid you not.
2) Selective Outrage.
3) Its the thought that counts. (AKA Virtue Signalling)
4) Leftists hate my people. Yep. We are haters.
5) I believe in God. She believes in god. None of us leftists believe in god. Obviously.
6) Straw men. This one made me laugh out loud.
7) Straw men. She felt so strongly about this that she posted it twice.
8) It doesn't work. She doesn't believe left-wing policies work. I'll remember that next time I see my cardiologist on my scheduled six-month appointment to have an echocardiogram that will cost me nothing-out-of-pocket
9) It doesn't work. Yep. Danusha is so good at writing top-ten lists that she only managed to actually list eight things.
10) Hate. Us leftists? We are the hateful ones.

It looks to me that Danusha V. Goska is exactly the sort of person you are talking about in this thread. I'm an "other" to her. She isn't a leftist. Maybe its time to rethink your original thesis?

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Now, you might not agree with all of the above (and I don't know whether the opinion of a 'former' leftist is acceptable to you). And it might be that in Germany, the perception of leftist infighting is stronger, as evidenced by the two collections of essays I pointed to.
You mean those collections of essays you haven't read yet? More opinions, but no objective evidence?

You don't need to argue about perception anymore. I've conceded the perception exists. You have nothing to prove here.

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But I don't think it's reasonable to doubt that there exists a significant perception that the left is indeed hurting itself---loosing 'card-carrying' members---by its fragmentational tendencies.
What part of "I don't doubt the perception is widespread" are you failing to understand?

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Well you don't own me, so no, you're not going to get me to opine on irrelevant topics just to see if I pass the smell test.
LOL. No need to be so dramatic. It should be no big effort to avoid answering questions. Just don't answer my questions.

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That's however not the topic of the thread. Why are you so interested in those topics, for instance? I've also appealed to organic farming, nuclear energy, and vegetarianism. Why aren't you interested in what's on my dinner plate, or where I get my power?
I'm interested if we have common ground on things that are important to me. That is central to your thesis, isn't it?

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This isn't looking for common ground (on the issues of this thread), it's taking the topics most important to you, and seeing whether I'm properly aligned with them---i. e. the very thing I'm criticizing.
Nope. Its looking for common ground. The very thing you asked me to do.

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No, I'm not. I'm engaging with you, trying to better explain where I'm coming from, providing cites, trying to explain why it doesn't matter if I eat meat or am pro-nuclear or have the right opinion about cultural appropriation in order to be allowed to argue that insistence on the purity of dogma, caused by the threat to its identity-constructing powers presented by each skeptic, ultimately hurts the cause that the dogma was originally introduced to further.
You aren't "engaging with me." You have lectured me. You have belittled me. You have twisted my words and put words in my mouth.

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Whether I'm right or wrong about this is entirely independent of my sociopolitical views.
You're sociopolitical views will help me find out if we have common ground on issue that I think are important.

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Hence, I won't let you goad me into declaring my allegiance, even if doing so would probably make this conversation a whole lot easier.
I haven't demanded your allegiance. I don't give a fuck how you "align yourself." Labels like "left or right" don't matter to me. They obviously matter to you. I'm more interested in your positions.

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No, of course not. But by out of hand rejecting cites I provided because they came from people who don't have the right opinion on other issues, who aren't properly aligned with your views, you are indeed demonstrating just the behavior I've pointed out in my OP.
This is a strawman. I didn't reject your cites because of "who wrote those cites", although who wrote those cites did provide me with a degree of amusements. I rejected those cites because they contained exactly zero objective evidence that we could use to measure the validity of your very lengthy OP. This isn't the behaviour demonstrated in your OP. Your behaviour here demonstrates the behaviour pointed out in your OP. You are the living embodiment of everything you profess to hate.

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So yes, in that sense, you are my cite.
LOL.

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You're right, it is how humans actually work. The thing is just that this is problematic.
Yep. Humanity is problematic. Messy, uncomfortable, we poop, we sweat, wo do silly things. Its what we are.

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Humans 'actually work' in many ways that are ultimately hurtful.
Yep. We aren't a hivemind. And (at least in the country where I live) we have agency, and we have freedom.

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We don't have a great appreciation of the larger issues in themselves, so we litter, buy too much plastics, and eat too much meat, with all the damage to the environment that entails. We're really only capable of thinking about ~150 people as humans, so we treat everybody outside of that sphere as less than human.
LOL.

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And so on. All of these are ways how 'humans actually work'; that doesn't make them good, and doesn't mean we can't, or shouldn't strive to, change them.
You are welcome to try. You are doing a very poor job on it with me. I ain't changing jack-shit for you.

Quote:
Every feedback loop needs an initial signal to get started, though. And as I've stated, it's not the articles above that have prompted me to think about these issues, but an entire book of scholarly articles by scientists in the appropriate fields of study.
So to be clear: the cites you've posted in this thread aren't the cites that you used to prompt you to think about these issues, but what did prompt you to start thinking about them was a "book of scholarly articles by scientists in the appropriate fields of study?" Can you cite that book then? What are the "fields of study" appropriate to your OP?

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I'm nowhere near asking anything of that sort.
How do I know this? I've asked for your opinion on gender identity. You refuse to answer. Is this a clue to what sort of answer you would give if you were to give an answer? Why don't you save us all some trouble and just answer the question?

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Let's try to take another example.

Above, I appealed to a reaction I'd seen to Jonathan Safran Foer's 'We Are The Weather'. The reaction was that a post chided Foer for not being vegan. Now, think about this in the following way. Foer advocates a reduction in eating meat in order to combat climate change. Let's for the moment suppose that this is also an important issue to the anonymous responder. They and Foer are thus aligned on that issue; yet, the reaction is not one of support, but one of rejection, because, according to the poster, Foer does not go far enough in the 'right' direction.
Is this it?

Is this really the kind of thing this thread was set up to rail against?

Because your problem isn't that Foer and a random person on the internet don't align on the issue.

The problem is as technology improves the world gets "a bit smaller" every single day. Could you imagine 20 years ago being able to interact with a celebrity in real time from the other side of the world? Everyone is just one-twitter-post away from a soapbox. There are no filters.

Random person on the internet says something. This is news to you? This is the great big problem that you think needs to be addressed?

Did you know that this thing called internet trolling exists as well? People can invent internet personas and they will pick an author like Foer and they will troll them. Was this a troll? Ultimately does it really matter if it was or it wasn't?

I hate to break it to you: but you aren't going to be able to stop this. Its the world we live in now. We are increasingly interconnected. This is a classic example of you having developed a theory, and you've taken "the evidence" and twisted it to fit your theory. Everything fits your theory. Apparently even I happen to fit your theory. Its why I'm asking for objective data.

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I'm now pointing out that, as far as the unifying goal---reducing climate change through less meat eating---goes, that's an unhelpful reaction---that, indeed, it's conceivable that if this were the most widespread reaction, more meat might get eaten than if one only advocates for a reduction of meat eating. Few people like to join those that denounce them; but if we instead engage people on an equal level, it seems to me we have a much greater chance to actually do some good.

What I'm not thereby doing is infringing on anybody's activism, be it for veganism, vegetarianism, and whatnot. I'm not saying that they shouldn't advocate for veganism, much less that they should come around and eat meat once in a while; I'm merely saying that the way you get a message across may influence the acceptance of the message, and if you alienate people, you may achieve the opposite of what you're trying to do.

So I'm not saying anyone should compromise in their activism. I am on the contrary saying that there may be ways to make this activism more effective, and one of those ways is to not partition the world into 'us' and 'them', because that's giving up on 'them' and painting them as lost to the cause---which they then inevitably will be.
Don't you think this response is a bit of an over-reaction to what was probably just an example of internet trollery?

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Depends. What do you mean by 'dismissing out of hand'? Because I believe that there's potential for reform even in such cases---I mean, these things do happen, but they won't if nobody reaches out.
It isn't my job to reach out to White Supremacists. Its my job to survive White Supremacy. Don't put that burden on me.

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So I'm not asking you to send them Christmas cards, and I'm not even going to give you some sort of 'love your enemies'-speech, but I would ask you not to dismiss them as human beings---misguided, perhaps ignorant, perhaps even downright evil, but still human. Everything else, I think, just gives the game away.
You want me to treat proto-Hitlers as human. Aha. Gotcha. Maybe misguided. Perhaps ignorant, perhaps not? Just like Hitler. Poor, misguided, potentially ignorant Hitler. If only I had reached out before he decided to exterminate millions of people.

Here's the thing though. I do treat proto-Hitlers as humans. Humans are messy and complicated and many are good and some are down-right evil. Humanity is messy. You don't understand how I tick. You've slotted me into a box. You've put me into a group. You are assuming the way that I think. You are guilty of everything you rail against in the OP. Why would you think that I didn't think White Supremacists are human? That isn't how my brain works.

I can't believe we've reached the point in this thread where you are asking me to reach out to people who literally want me either dead or in chains. You don't have to worry about me giving the game away. I think you've just given your game away.
  #31  
Old 11-11-2019, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post

Or take this article about 'Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist'.

Now, you might not agree with all of the above (and I don't know whether the opinion of a 'former' leftist is acceptable to you). And it might be that in Germany, the perception of leftist infighting is stronger, as evidenced by the two collections of essays I pointed to. But I don't think it's reasonable to doubt that there exists a significant perception that the left is indeed hurting itself---loosing 'card-carrying' members---by its fragmentational tendencies.
Wow! Just wow. Banquet Bear's response to that is a good start but I have to take it a bit further.
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
You're citing Front Page Magazine now? I just checked the front page. The lead story is "An Open Letter to Greta Thunberg." You can read that here. Are you aware that the quality of your citations is getting worse and worse? What next, Quillette? Breitbart? Do you know why Danusha V. Goska is no longer a leftist?

Here are her Top Ten Reasons why she is no longer a leftist.

1) Huffiness. Leftists are too HUFFY. I kid you not.
2) Selective Outrage.
3) Its the thought that counts. (AKA Virtue Signalling)
4) Leftists hate my people. Yep. We are haters.
5) I believe in God. She believes in god. None of us leftists believe in god. Obviously.
6) Straw men. This one made me laugh out loud.
7) Straw men. She felt so strongly about this that she posted it twice.
8) It doesn't work. She doesn't believe left-wing policies work. I'll remember that next time I see my cardiologist on my scheduled six-month appointment to have an echocardiogram that will cost me nothing-out-of-pocket
9) It doesn't work. Yep. Danusha is so good at writing top-ten lists that she only managed to actually list eight things.
10) Hate. Us leftists? We are the hateful ones.

It looks to me that Danusha V. Goska is exactly the sort of person you are talking about in this thread. I'm an "other" to her. She isn't a leftist. Maybe its time to rethink your original thesis?
To the OP: if that article is the sort of thing that shapes your opinions about the issues of the left, I'm totally flabbergasted. The author of that piece first of all was never a leftist in the sense that we usually understand the term in western democracies -- being a progressive liberal. She was some kind of radical Marxist loon. Now she appears to be a radical right-wing loon. And of the ten reasons she gives about why she finds leftist politics unpalatable, not a single one is true -- not even remotely. In fact many of them, like hatefulness and aversion to objective fact, have long been prime attributes of the right. The thing is just laughably and completely delusional from start to finish.

It was only later that I noticed the publication it was in: Frontpage magazine. That explains a lot. Here are some of its notable contributors: the racist neocon gadfly David Horowitz, who believes universities are hotbeds of liberal indoctrination; the lunatic Ann Coulter; the raving Islamophobe Robert Spencer; and Trump's own pet Nazi, Stephen Miller, arguably the scariest of the whole bunch. HMHW, a source like that totally destroys any argument it was supposed to support.
  #32  
Old 11-11-2019, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
[snipped for brevity]
If I came right out and told you to "shut up" somebody would have reported me for it. I didn't do that. Stop twisting my words.
[end of snip]
You told Half Man Half Wit

Or perhaps you shouldn't be debating. Perhaps you don't need to offer up new facts, figure and arguments. Maybe you need to just listen.

Which is a way of saying shut up and listen.
  #33  
Old 11-11-2019, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Ale View Post
You told Half Man Half Wit

Or perhaps you shouldn't be debating. Perhaps you don't need to offer up new facts, figure and arguments. Maybe you need to just listen.

Which is a way of saying shut up and listen.
...LOL.

If I wanted to say "shut up and listen" I would have said "shut up and listen." Do you know why I didn't say "shut up and listen?" Because that wasn't what I intended to say. Do you know how we can tell that I didn't intend to say "shut up and listen?" Because those weren't the words that I used. I'm glad I could clear that up for you.

My response specifically addressed the comment made by Half Man Half Wit. My use of "debate" mirrored his use of the word "debate." Like Half Man Half Wit you've removed my quote from the context of that discussion. Can you please not do things like that.
  #34  
Old 11-11-2019, 06:05 AM
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I think that what you present in the OP is, in part, a consequence of the current "Attention Economy" brought along by the Internet and the rise of Social Media; many people are in a rat race for recognition trying to out progress everyone else. I see a lot of narcissism in how Identity Politics are expressed, people loading their self worth with all the good done by people who share their identity and all the evil done against them depending on which one they perceive would increase their social capital.
Of course that has always existed, but Internet and Social Media has taken it to previously unfathomable levels, these days one can become the head of a global movement by hitting it right with a one line hashtag or an image.
My guess is that dynamic is more prevalent on the Left than the Right because the Left is more biased towards community (where social capital has more value) whereas the Right tends more to individualism.
  #35  
Old 11-11-2019, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
LOL. How widely discussed was this?
Well, it's got like a foot long wikipedia article, with 74 citations.

Quote:
You're citing Front Page Magazine now? I just checked the front page. The lead story is "An Open Letter to Greta Thunberg." You can read that here. Are you aware that the quality of your citations is getting worse and worse?
Fine. I wasn't aware of the publication's reputation. I retract that cite.

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You mean those collections of essays you haven't read yet? More opinions, but no objective evidence?
No, that was in reference to the collection of essays I actually have read, as noted in the thread---this one. It's largely what got me thinking about these issues. I didn't mention it in the OP, mainly because it's only available in German; I did mention the article by Mark Lilla, and noted explicitly that the claim that the left is hurt by this divisiveness isn't what I'm actually arguing:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
some voices have argued that the left-wing divisivenes on issues of identity has aided the large-scale shift to the right by alienating the masses.

This isn't what I want to discuss. Rather, my topic is, first, why there is such a current focus on issues of identity, and, second, how the way we construct our identities helps to explain some of the differences between left- and right-wing ideologies.
So you're hounding me for cites on an issue that I've explicitly said isn't my main topic, while dismissing everything I come up with.

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I'm interested if we have common ground on things that are important to me. That is central to your thesis, isn't it?
The relevance of common ground to my topic is that we tend to only meaningfully engage with those that we believe we share common ground with, and dismiss others.

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You're sociopolitical views will help me find out if we have common ground on issue that I think are important.
And I have been at great pains to try and point out that exactly this attitude is what I think is the problem. You want me to declare my allegiance to your cause as a precondition to engaging with my topic; but my topic is wholly independent of whether I'm aligned with your causes.

Ask yourself: Why have you been demanding I declare my position on gender and race, but not on vegetarianism, organic farming, and the like? They stand to my topic in exactly the same relationship as the gender/race debate does: as an issue where the discourse can become closed to you if you don't clearly state your allegiance to the 'proper' view upfront.

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Your behaviour here demonstrates the behaviour pointed out in your OP. You are the living embodiment of everything you profess to hate.
I haven't professed to 'hate' anything. I've barely professed to be mildly annoyed. So no need for all this drama.

And besides, if my OP is an example of what I'm talking about, then that still means the sort of thing I'm talking about exists...

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You are welcome to try. You are doing a very poor job on it with me. I ain't changing jack-shit for you.
I'm not asking you to change anything for me.

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So to be clear: the cites you've posted in this thread aren't the cites that you used to prompt you to think about these issues, but what did prompt you to start thinking about them was a "book of scholarly articles by scientists in the appropriate fields of study?" Can you cite that book then?
I have, a couple of times now---this one. But again, as explicitly noted in my OP, this isn't the topic I want to discuss. I could have just as well used the animosity between supporters of different soccer teams and their sometimes violent clashes as an example, but I had hoped that it's clear that my discussion doesn't actually concern the issues (read: vegetarianism, organic farming, nuclear power, gender identity, Man United-support...) as such, but rather, how we behave towards one another if we differ on these issues.

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How do I know this? I've asked for your opinion on gender identity. You refuse to answer. Is this a clue to what sort of answer you would give if you were to give an answer? Why don't you save us all some trouble and just answer the question?
Because that answer doesn't matter anymore than the answer to the question of what soccer team I support does.

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Is this it?

Is this really the kind of thing this thread was set up to rail against?
No. This is an example---a hypothetical set up to try and explain to you how what I'm saying is divorced from the actual underlying issues. I. e., I set up the example purely to show that it doesn't matter whether we're talking vegetarianism versus meat eating or Man United versus Leeds-support; I'm about how best to fight the fight for one's cause, not about what that cause is, much less what it ought to be.

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It isn't my job to reach out to White Supremacists. Its my job to survive White Supremacy. Don't put that burden on me.
I'm not, but, do you think it's a completely misplaced effort to set up exit programs for White Supremacists, for example? I. e. do you think nobody should reach out to them?

Because I have nowhere argued about what you (in particular) should do. But I think that there's an issue here regarding what the left (as a group) ought to do in their own interest---and that's reach out rather than deepen the 'us' vs 'them' divide.

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You want me to treat proto-Hitlers as human. Aha. Gotcha. Maybe misguided. Perhaps ignorant, perhaps not? Just like Hitler. Poor, misguided, potentially ignorant Hitler. If only I had reached out before he decided to exterminate millions of people.
You conveniently left out 'and perhaps even downright evil'. Don't try to paint me as some sort of Hitler apologist just because I'm saying that in many cases, it might make more sense to reach out to somebody, even if they're not in your particular in-group, than to paint them as other, wrong, or even bad.

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I can't believe we've reached the point in this thread where you are asking me to reach out to people who literally want me either dead or in chains.
There really is no reasonable way to construe anything I've said in that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
To the OP: if that article is the sort of thing that shapes your opinions about the issues of the left, I'm totally flabbergasted.
It was a quickly googled up hit for a former (self-described) leftist breaking with the left. I shouldn't have let myself be goaded into providing yet another cite for what I explicitly noted isn't actually my topic, but I did, and I acknowledge that the cite is garbage.
  #36  
Old 11-11-2019, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
Well, it's got like a foot long wikipedia article, with 74 citations.
...its a wikipedia article about a controversy in academia. I just finished writing a report about "The casting of Scarlett Johansson for the movie Ghost in the Shell" that had about 20 citations. So my reaction to the amount of citations is pretty much "there were only 74 citations? I would have expected more!"

Quote:
Fine. I wasn't aware of the publication's reputation. I retract that cite.
Forget about the reputation of the publication for a minute: did you even bother to read the article you cited? Didn't the article strike you as kinda...absolutely nuts?

Quote:
No, that was in reference to the collection of essays I actually have read, as noted in the thread---this one. It's largely what got me thinking about these issues. I didn't mention it in the OP, mainly because it's only available in German; I did mention the article by Mark Lilla, and noted explicitly that the claim that the left is hurt by this divisiveness isn't what I'm actually arguing:

So you're hounding me for cites on an issue that I've explicitly said isn't my main topic, while dismissing everything I come up with.
Lets start with your first question which was "why there is such a current focus on issues of identity?" My question to you would be "is there a current focus on identity? How are you defining identity? How are you measuring focus? What do you mean by 'current'?"

This thread is set up to discuss a topic with an underlying premise you have yet to prove. I'm hounding you for cites because your OP (despite all the words) is essentially content free.

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The relevance of common ground to my topic is that we tend to only meaningfully engage with those that we believe we share common ground with, and dismiss others.
Have you forgotten already what it was that you accused me of?

You said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
My topic is that here are two people, you and me, whose values are probably closer to one another than to 90% of the rest of the population. Yet, your response to me wasn't one of trying to find what common ground we have, where we differ, whether we can reasonably differ or whether those differences signal a true opposition of core values, but rather, questioning the legitimacy of my values---whether I actually hold them---and whether I hold the proper values, ranked in the right way. That is, your first issue is whether I should be put into the in-group or the out-group; the actual content of my arguments is secondary to you. That's really all the cite I need for my point.
Your first mention of "common ground" in this thread wasn't to say "we tend to only meaningfully engage with those that we believe we share common ground with, and dismiss others." It was to accuse me of not trying to seek common ground with you. An unfounded accusation. You are acting as if I can't scroll up the thread to see what was actually said.

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And I have been at great pains to try and point out that exactly this attitude is what I think is the problem. You want me to declare my allegiance to your cause as a precondition to engaging with my topic; but my topic is wholly independent of whether I'm aligned with your causes.
You. Do. Not. Know. What. My. Cause. Is.

I have not made it a precondition that you "declare your allegiance" (whatever the fuck thats supposed to mean) before I will engage your topic. I'm engaging your topic. Right here, right now.

You do realize that its you, not I, that is playing identity politics here. I don't have an allegiance. I'm not affiliated with anything. I'm not trying to trick you.

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Ask yourself: Why have you been demanding I declare my position on gender and race, but not on vegetarianism, organic farming, and the like?
How many times do I need to answer this very same question? The subjects of gender and race are important to me. Vegetarianism and organic farming: not so much. I wanted to establish if we had common ground on issues that were important to me. That's it. I think that's the third time I've told you the exact same thing. No tricks. No membership tests.

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They stand to my topic in exactly the same relationship as the gender/race debate does: as an issue where the discourse can become closed to you if you don't clearly state your allegiance to the 'proper' view upfront.
But they don't stand in this topic in relation to their importance to me. And this "allegiance" thing is just utter nonsense. What is it do you think I'm going to do if you don't "pass my imaginary allegiance test?" Why would I do such a ridiculous thing? I mean, when I said before "I don't give a fuck how you "align yourself" did you think I was joking?

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I haven't professed to 'hate' anything. I've barely professed to be mildly annoyed. So no need for all this drama.
LOL

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And besides, if my OP is an example of what I'm talking about, then that still means the sort of thing I'm talking about exists...
It would mean that the entire premise of your OP is completely off-base.

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I have, a couple of times now---this one. But again, as explicitly noted in my OP, this isn't the topic I want to discuss. I could have just as well used the animosity between supporters of different soccer teams and their sometimes violent clashes as an example, but I had hoped that it's clear that my discussion doesn't actually concern the issues (read: vegetarianism, organic farming, nuclear power, gender identity, Man United-support...) as such, but rather, how we behave towards one another if we differ on these issues.
I'm asking for cites to back your thesis. I've been asking you for cites that back up the topic you want to discuss. Why are you posting cites for things that you don't want to discuss? Don't blame me for that.

You want to know "why there is such a current focus on issues of identity?" I want you to prove their is a current focus on issues of identity first.

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Because that answer doesn't matter anymore than the answer to the question of what soccer team I support does.
What soccer team do you support?

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No. This is an example---a hypothetical set up to try and explain to you how what I'm saying is divorced from the actual underlying issues. I. e., I set up the example purely to show that it doesn't matter whether we're talking vegetarianism versus meat eating or Man United versus Leeds-support; I'm about how best to fight the fight for one's cause, not about what that cause is, much less what it ought to be.
It wasn't a hypothetical. You were describing something that actually happened that you cannot cite. We don't know if that person was a real vegan or a troll. I don't know if your recollection of what they said matches what it was they actually said. The entire example is being filtered through your perspective. And based on this thread I'm taking your recollection with a grain of salt, with all due respect. Somebody said something to someone on the internet. That doesn't shock me at all.

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I'm not, but, do you think it's a completely misplaced effort to set up exit programs for White Supremacists, for example? I. e. do you think nobody should reach out to them?
My question to you was "So you don't want me to dismiss people who hold white supremacist views out of hand?" Do you see the bolded bit? The bit thats says ME? My question was about me. Your answer to me was to tell me to reach out. The battle against white supremacy is a complex one. But it shouldn't be the responsibility of black or brown people to come up with the answers. We are busy enough just trying to keep ourselves alive. So don't ask me that question. It isn't my responsibility and it isn't my burden.

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Because I have nowhere argued about what you (in particular) should do. But I think that there's an issue here regarding what the left (as a group) ought to do in their own interest---and that's reach out rather than deepen the 'us' vs 'them' divide.
This isn't a "left/right" divide. There are people on the right that are horrified by white supremacy. Micheal Steele, the black former Republican National Committee chairman said last year

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Steele
Call it what it is. It is stupid to sit there and say that we elected a black man chairman of the party…Do you know how that sounds to the black community? I’ve spent 41 years in this party. Forty-one, all right?” Steele continued. “I have taken crap you have no idea about, and I have carried this baggage. And for him to stand on that stage and denigrate my service to this party, and for you as a friend to sit there and go, ‘Well, you have been critical of this party.’ There is only one word I can say, and I can’t say it on this air.
https://deadline.com/2018/02/msnbc-a...ac-1202302380/

You keep playing identity politics. This isn't about left or right.

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You conveniently left out 'and perhaps even downright evil'.
LOL.

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Don't try to paint me as some sort of Hitler apologist just because I'm saying that in many cases, it might make more sense to reach out to somebody, even if they're not in your particular in-group, than to paint them as other, wrong, or even bad.
You can reach out as much as you like. But you were suggesting that I reach out.

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There really is no reasonable way to construe anything I've said in that way.
Except for the part where I asked you the question ""So you don't want me to dismiss people who hold white supremacist views out of hand?" and you responded with this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
Depends. What do you mean by 'dismissing out of hand'? Because I believe that there's potential for reform even in such cases---I mean, these things do happen, but they won't if nobody reaches out. So I'm not asking you to send them Christmas cards, and I'm not even going to give you some sort of 'love your enemies'-speech, but I would ask you not to dismiss them as human beings---misguided, perhaps ignorant, perhaps even downright evil, but still human. Everything else, I think, just gives the game away.
Quote:
It was a quickly googled up hit for a former (self-described) leftist breaking with the left. I shouldn't have let myself be goaded into providing yet another cite for what I explicitly noted isn't actually my topic, but I did, and I acknowledge that the cite is garbage.
Give me a fucking break. Don't blame me because you quickly googled something then posted it without even reading it. You have agency here. This is your thead. This is your topic. I didn't goad you into googling and I didn't goad you into posting that link.
  #37  
Old 11-11-2019, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
And of the ten reasons she gives about why she finds leftist politics unpalatable, not a single one is true -- not even remotely. In fact many of them, like hatefulness and aversion to objective fact, have long been prime attributes of the right. The thing is just laughably and completely delusional from start to finish.
Actually there are a number of points in which she is right on the money, in particular
Quote:
It astounds me now to reflect on it, but never, in all my years of leftist activism, did I ever hear anyone articulate accurately the position of anyone to our right.
And I don't think she ever will.
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I'm Tangata Whenua. My mum is Nga Puhi. Do you want a lesson on "cultural appropriation in the right way?" I'm here if you want it.
And this demonstrates another of the issues. The left has set up a victimization hierarchy, and anyone lower in the hierarchy is presumed to be less oppressed than someone claiming a higher rank, and has to defer to the more-oppressed based on that alone.

Which is a logical fallacy - claiming an ethnic name does not establish anyone's authority on the "right way" to think about cultural appropriation, or anything else. The truth or falsehood of a proposition is independent of the identity, even the self-identity, of the one who makes it.

Although it is kind of entertaining to read an OP about infighting and sniping in the left, and then read the responses to that OP.

Regards,
Shodan
  #38  
Old 11-11-2019, 09:36 AM
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Hilarious to see these two things in the same post:

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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Actually there are a number of points in which she is right on the money, in particular
Quote:
It astounds me now to reflect on it, but never, in all my years of leftist activism, did I ever hear anyone articulate accurately the position of anyone to our right.
And I don't think she ever will.
and

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And this demonstrates another of the issues. The left has set up a victimization hierarchy, and anyone lower in the hierarchy is presumed to be less oppressed than someone claiming a higher rank, and has to defer to the more-oppressed based on that alone.
Excellent self-own! Do you have any more examples from the "Hannity school of straw-manning the left"?
  #39  
Old 11-11-2019, 09:59 AM
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This was an example from the SDMB, not Hannity.

Regards,
Shodan
  #40  
Old 11-11-2019, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
This was an example from the SDMB, not Hannity.

Regards,
Shodan
You mean it's an example of your own misunderstanding of a liberal argument? As you're very fond of pointing out, it's quite common for liberals to misunderstand and mischaracterize conservative arguments and motivations. Is it really beyond the realm of possibility, in your mind, that conservatives like you might also sometimes make the same kind of mistake?

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 11-11-2019 at 10:12 AM.
  #41  
Old 11-11-2019, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
This was an example from the SDMB, not Hannity.

Regards,
Shodan
No, we get it. We can actually read what you wrote. Somebody on the left mis-characterized the entire left with a broad brush and you happily joined in because it fits in with your caricature view of the left. Which is quite ironic in context of the comment about how 'the left can't articulate an accurate position of the right'.

ETA: ninja'd.
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Last edited by QuickSilver; 11-11-2019 at 10:16 AM.
  #42  
Old 11-11-2019, 10:33 AM
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You mean it's an example of your own misunderstanding of a liberal argument?
No, it's an example of what the OP was talking about.
Quote:
As you're very fond of pointing out, it's quite common for liberals to misunderstand and mischaracterize conservative arguments and motivations. Is it really beyond the realm of possibility, in your mind, that conservatives like you might also sometimes make the same kind of mistake?
Sure, it's possible. It isn't what is happening in this thread, but it's possible.

If you would like to explain how the thread isn't an example of in-fighting on the left, feel free, but you have a job on your hands. Because the posts are right here in the thread.

Like I said, it is kind of entertaining to watch people engaging in sniping and sealioning and infighting in a thread where they deny that it is a problem. So carry on.

Regards,
Shodan
  #43  
Old 11-11-2019, 11:22 AM
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No, it's an example of what the OP was talking about.
The OP does not insist that "the left has set up a victimization hierarchy, and anyone lower in the hierarchy is presumed to be less oppressed than someone claiming a higher rank, and has to defer to the more-oppressed based on that alone".

I'm not sure where you got that from, but it's not this thread. If you think it is, I invite you to specifically quote the part of it you believe this accurately characterizes.

Quote:
If you would like to explain how the thread isn't an example of in-fighting on the left, feel free
Why would I do that? My dispute with you was about your "victimization hierarchy" quote, not some vague notion of "in-fighting on the left". Sure, there's in-fighting on the left, and on the right, and in pretty much every other group in human existence.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 11-11-2019 at 11:22 AM.
  #44  
Old 11-11-2019, 11:37 AM
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Are you sure all those people in those "Liberal leaning Facebook groups" are actually real people?
Right.... hmm, who benefits from encouraging liberals to hold their breath and sit it out until perfection is achieved...
  #45  
Old 11-11-2019, 12:03 PM
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Forget about the reputation of the publication for a minute: did you even bother to read the article you cited? Didn't the article strike you as kinda...absolutely nuts?
I didn't in fact read it, no. I collected a few google hits that I hoped might help illustrate that yes, there's such a thing as people leaving the left because of infighting going on. Since that's however not my actual topic here, I didn't put too much effort into it, and shouldn't really have engaged it in the first place.

Quote:
Lets start with your first question which was "why there is such a current focus on issues of identity?" My question to you would be "is there a current focus on identity? How are you defining identity? How are you measuring focus? What do you mean by 'current'?"
I don't think it's reasonable to deny that there is a focus on identity. I did point to Germany's 'Identitäre Bewegung', I did point to Lilla's article, and use of the term 'identity politics' basically exploded since the nineties.

Quote:
This thread is set up to discuss a topic with an underlying premise you have yet to prove. I'm hounding you for cites because your OP (despite all the words) is essentially content free.
Yet, you are asking for cites on the entirely wrong issues---those I've explicitly disavowed in the OP, namely, the fractionalization on the left. Hence, my unwillingness to expend much effort hunting for them.

Quote:
Your first mention of "common ground" in this thread wasn't to say "we tend to only meaningfully engage with those that we believe we share common ground with, and dismiss others." It was to accuse me of not trying to seek common ground with you. An unfounded accusation. You are acting as if I can't scroll up the thread to see what was actually said.
I've tried to explain to you that seeking common ground on an issue means actually addressing that issue, rather than just checking for alignment on some set of value statements that are important to you:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
That's however not the topic of the thread. Why are you so interested in those topics, for instance? I've also appealed to organic farming, nuclear energy, and vegetarianism. Why aren't you interested in what's on my dinner plate, or where I get my power?

This isn't looking for common ground (on the issues of this thread), it's taking the topics most important to you, and seeing whether I'm properly aligned with them---i. e. the very thing I'm criticizing.
Think about this. Pretend we're discussing the radius of the proton. Would you consider it 'seeking common ground' to inquire what soccer team I support? No, because it's irrelevant on the issue. You might, instead, inquire about which methods of measurement I support, and so on.

In the same way, it's not 'seeking common ground' to try and get me to commit to some particular view on cultural appropriation in a thread that's just not about cultural appropriation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
You. Do. Not. Know. What. My. Cause. Is.
It. Does. Not. Matter. What. Your. Cause. Is.

This thread is about how to effectively further causes, how identities are formed around causes, and how different causes lead to different identity constructs. I have posited that we derive our identity from associating, respectively dissassociating, with social groups. I've also posited that different causes yield differently robust identities, and that hence, how well a cause does in providing identity constructs may influence the success of that cause---thus, understanding this relationship may help further the cause.

Am I convinced any of this is right? No---those are the things I was hoping to discuss. Not cultural appropriation, veganism, nuclear power, or whether Man United is going to win the Sports Cup.

Quote:
How many times do I need to answer this very same question? The subjects of gender and race are important to me. Vegetarianism and organic farming: not so much.
That's nice, but what's the relevance of that? How does the fact that these are important issues to you require me to provide my stance on them?

Quote:
I wanted to establish if we had common ground on issues that were important to me. That's it. I think that's the third time I've told you the exact same thing. No tricks. No membership tests.
Again, why is this 'common ground' relevant? Would you start by trying to establish my opinion on these matters if we were discussing soccer instead?

Quote:
I'm asking for cites to back your thesis. I've been asking you for cites that back up the topic you want to discuss. Why are you posting cites for things that you don't want to discuss? Don't blame me for that.
No. Among the first things you did was to question whether what I claimed where important issues to me actually are important to me---scratch that, you flat out claimed they're not. Then you prompted me to ally with you, and asked me whether I stood with you. That's literally what you led with, so so much for your claim that this isn't about allegiance.

Quote:
It wasn't a hypothetical. You were describing something that actually happened that you cannot cite.
This is why I didn't ask you to take that at face value, but rather used verbiage like 'Let's for the moment suppose'---i. e. explicitly framed it as a hypothetical. I was trying to illustrate.

Quote:
My question to you was "So you don't want me to dismiss people who hold white supremacist views out of hand?" Do you see the bolded bit? The bit thats says ME? My question was about me. Your answer to me was to tell me to reach out.
No. Since you're such a stickler for words, read the bit you quoted back to me again: I'm not asking you to reach out, I'm asking you to not dismiss them as human beings. I also said that if nobody reaches out, then the prospects for reform dim considerably; but that's not asking you to reach out.

Quote:
Give me a fucking break. Don't blame me because you quickly googled something then posted it without even reading it. You have agency here. This is your thead. This is your topic. I didn't goad you into googling and I didn't goad you into posting that link.
No. But I shouldn't have engaged you in the diversion that is the whole issue of infighting hurting the left/gender/race issues and where I stand on them, but I did, because I was frankly a little miffed about you just flat out denying that what's important to me actually is important to me. Still, it's my fuckup, and I own it; doesn't mean I can't try to explain it.
  #46  
Old 11-11-2019, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
The OP does not insist that "the left has set up a victimization hierarchy, and anyone lower in the hierarchy is presumed to be less oppressed than someone claiming a higher rank, and has to defer to the more-oppressed based on that alone".

I'm not sure where you got that from, but it's not this thread. If you think it is, I invite you to specifically quote the part of it you believe this accurately characterizes.
:shrugs: I quoted the example right there in the post to which you responded. If you didn't see it, re-posting it won't help.

Regards,
Shodan
  #47  
Old 11-11-2019, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
:shrugs: I quoted the example right there in the post to which you responded. If you didn't see it, re-posting it won't help.

Regards,
Shodan
Actually it doesn't; because, as usual, the argument you pointed at was referring to a classic nutpick (Pointing at an extreme leftist radio personality is as effective as pointing that Rush Limbaugh totally represents what the right is in America). Cites like that ensnare guys like Half Man Half Wit into thinking that the issue is as clear as he thinks when in reality it comes from the efforts from the right wing media to convince many that that is what the left or liberals or the Democratic party are all about.
  #48  
Old 11-11-2019, 12:27 PM
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...LOL.

If I wanted to say "shut up and listen" I would have said "shut up and listen." Do you know why I didn't say "shut up and listen?" Because that wasn't what I intended to say. Do you know how we can tell that I didn't intend to say "shut up and listen?" Because those weren't the words that I used. I'm glad I could clear that up for you.

My response specifically addressed the comment made by Half Man Half Wit. My use of "debate" mirrored his use of the word "debate." Like Half Man Half Wit you've removed my quote from the context of that discussion. Can you please not do things like that.
Right, OK, I think we need to revisit that, because I'm not actually prepared to let this stand like that. I said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
For one, I think it might be worth trying to raise awareness of the issue---that when you're debating somebody, in their perception, you may come off as questioning their entire self-identity, rather than, as you presumably intend, offering up new facts, figures and arguments.
The background to this is that lots of debates, lots of discussions end up with both parties angry at one another, and neither any closer to the other's point of view, or even an understanding thereof. (Cite: this entire goddamn forum.) I think this becomes explicable, if we think of things in terms of the construction of identity: we like to pretend that our views are arrived at by dispassionate reasoning, that we hold a particular opinion because it's the most reasonable one, given what we know. That sort of theory spectacularly fails to explain the lack of result from reasoned debate.

Hence, I believe it might be better to allow for the notion that people don't just have viewpoints, in a sense, they are their viewpoints, and thus, even a factual attack on some viewpoint is never just that, but also an attack on the person holding that viewpoint. I think if we keep that in mind, we stand a greater chance at actually finding (relevant!) common ground, at concentrating on the ways we and our opponent are alike, rather than those in which we are different.

Again, that might be utterly wrong-headed, and you're free to argue against it. But instead, you responded with:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
Or perhaps you shouldn't be debating. Perhaps you don't need to offer up new facts, figure and arguments. Maybe you need to just listen.
That is, there are those who have a right to speak, and those who need to listen. And I'm one of the latter. My opinion---no matter if it's right or wrong---thus doesn't enter into the discourse. It's not subject to consideration, criticism or correction---it should not, in fact, be spoken. I have no right to speak it.

So not only did you, in your first reply to me, deny that I actually hold the values I do, you also denied my right to speak out on my values. And you're really surprised that I'm getting the impression that you will only allow me to speak if I can demonstrate my right, in your eyes, to do so, by demonstrating the right sorts of values?

I'm not being facetious, or accusatory, here. I'm trying to explain how you come across. I think this sort of impression is hard to avoid, just reading what you wrote here. If it's mistaken, then I'm wrong, probably not the first time. But, and that sorta ties this back to the topic of the OP, that impression, that perception is a real thing, and it influences the debate, or even whether there is one in the first place.

So you can LOL about this all you like---I'm always glad to provide some (apparently much needed) levity. But that's how things looked to me, and I don't think I'm being entirely unreasonable in that.

And no. I'm not trying to play the victim here. I'm not whining that the bad person told me to shut up, I'm trying to explain that I understood you as telling me so, not wholly without cause, and got angry as a result. Whether you appreciate that or not isn't my concern.
  #49  
Old 11-11-2019, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
:shrugs: I quoted the example right there in the post to which you responded. If you didn't see it, re-posting it won't help.

Regards,
Shodan
What you quoted doesn't support your argument, because you misunderstood and mischaracterized it. You know, that thing that you says happens pretty frequently. It's okay -- I'm sure I get conservative arguments wrong sometimes. It's okay if you got a liberal argument wrong. Not that big a deal, and not that big a deal to say "oops, I guess I mischaracterized or misunderstood this argument".
  #50  
Old 11-11-2019, 01:30 PM
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Two examples that might fit the OP's criteria of infighting among the left:



White Gay Men are Hindering Our Progress as a Queer Community
https://www.them.us/story/white-gay-...g-our-progress


How Black Lives Matter Halted a Gay Pride Parade in Toronto
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-e...nap-story.html

Last edited by Velocity; 11-11-2019 at 01:31 PM.
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