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Old 04-15-2019, 10:24 AM
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What is every political faction's "finish line?"


What does each political faction consider to be its "finish line" - the point at which it can say, "There, that's it, we've accomplished everything we set out to, and there is nothing left for us to achieve?"

With abortion, for instance, it's fairly straightforward - pro-lifers consider their "finish line" to be abortion being banned nationwide, with only a few permissible exceptions - while pro-choicers would consider their "finish line" to be abortion cheap (maybe free,) safe, readily accessible and legal nationwide - or perhaps not even needed due to widespread contraception.

But within each political cause, there are factions - not all feminists want the same thing, for instance; there are libfems and radfems and others (libfems generally just want equality, whereas radfems want outright matriarchy and dominance of men - examples here and here) In the Israel vs. Palestine issue, there are many Palestinians who simply want their own independent nation-state, but there are some who want the outright annihilation of Israel.

Some factions will state their "finish line" outright - ISIS, for instance, had a declared goal of world domination (not that they could ever get close to it,) ditto for Communism and WWII Nazism.

Figuring out the "finish line" is particularly blurry in anything having to do with LGBT or sexual behavior. Does sexual liberation consider polygamy or the abolition of monogamy to be its finish line? Does transgenderism want people to be treated as whoever they identify as (the Canada Winter Games, for instance, will allow men to compete as women without needing surgery or hormone transition?) etc. etc.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:45 AM
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In reality I don't think that any movement has a finish line. If they reach their proposed goal they will immediately move the goalposts to justify their existence. They are not in it so much for the win as for the struggle. Taking abortion as an example, here are some potential successive goals to pursue after the previous have been achieved.

Maintain the anti-abortion laws in the face of opposition
Outlaw abortion in all cases (including rape and incest)
Outlaw abortion even when necessary to save the mothers life.
Increased penalties for those who perform/have abortions.
Investigation of all "miscarriages" as possible ilicit abortions
Outlawing of contraception (divided into stages of each type)
Outlawing pornography (divided into stages of each type)
Outlawing sex out of wedlock
Outlawing certain sex acts within wedlock (divided into stages)
etc.

Not that we will actually reach to point at which those later on the list will be a mainstream opinion, or even considered as a good idea by anyone in the abortion movement, but that if one higher on the list becomes settled law, the movement will find the next lower sweet spot where there is enough controversy to not discard the idea out of hand, but also not make it settled.

I think the same goes for other movements as well.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:58 AM
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In reality I don't think that any movement has a finish line. If they reach their proposed goal they will immediately move the goalposts to justify their existence. They are not in it so much for the win as for the struggle.
I agree with this. This is pretty much the default for any political or social movement.

I think the later anti-abortion goals listed are crazy as even most pro-life evangelicals would not believe in legislating them, but that is a little of the point. As each goal is accomplished, the people who pushed for that moderate goal fall away and only the more hard-line are left.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:59 AM
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Evangelicals have the Rapture. Other than that, I really don't see a 'finish line' being a thing for those on either side.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:11 PM
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I don't think most organized 'factions' have an end-game in mind, at least not formally. A lot of it is merely because in their eyes, the present-day situation needs redress desperately, and anything in that direction is good. Take BLM, for example. I don't think they have a clearly defined end-state, other than something relatively vague about equality and equal treatment.

Another, more sinister/cynical reason for having no defined end-game is because if they did, it might turn off a LOT of people who otherwise might be sympathetic. I mean, if the Democrats were to explicitly come up with an end game, it might well be too socialistic or regulatory for a lot of otherwise moderate people. Similarly, a Republican end game would likely be way too theocratic and hostile to anyone except successful white people.

And finally, I suspect that most organizations don't do that because they're inherently self-propagating, especially if they generate money and/or provide jobs. I mean, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating a disease isn't just going to go "Oh well, everyone pack up and go home. There's a vaccine now." The March of Dimes is a good example- started as a polio prevention organization, shifted to be anti birth-defects, and has shifted again to be against pre-term birth. Had they defined an end-game, they wouldn't have been able to pivot like that.

Last edited by bump; 04-15-2019 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:09 PM
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Canada wins when everyone is like Canada.



Conveniently, that's a winning condition for the world, too.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:46 PM
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Full Communism now, obviously. I mean, as far as I'm concerned. I'll indulge a slight detour towards eating the rich, on sufferance. But only if there's soy sauce.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:36 PM
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A healthy 18 year old with a solid education is a birthright, that would be the founding plank of The Sitnam Politcal Party.

If I was given everything I want on all levels by fiat, there would still always be room for improvement either with laws, methods or funding priorities to achieve the closest possible outcome to my goal.

I wouldn’t consider that ‘moving the goal posts’ to justify my parties existence.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:10 PM
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For the most part, the finish line of liberals is turning America into a Scandinavian nation.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:04 PM
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For the most part, the finish line of liberals is turning America into a Scandinavian nation.
Is it? I doubt that's their end game, though certainly a goal would be to become like most Scandinavian nations. But even in Scandinavia there are guns and issues that still need to be addressed (I'm giving liberals the benefit of the doubt that they have actually looked at the real world countries and seen they aren't paradise either, even for liberals), so my WAG is that as others have said, the goal posts would be moved. They wouldn't be human if they didn't move them once they achieved their goals. That's the real answer to the OP...there isn't a point where a political faction would say 'Well, we've done enough and we are all done now. Nothing more to do so we'll just shuffle off, shall we?'. There will always be something more to do until the last of us dies off or the tech singularity happens and we merge with the space lizards or whatever.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:25 PM
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Yeah it is.

Emulating the Scandanavian model seems to be a strong underlying goal of liberals.

Progressive taxes, higher taxes, universal health care, healthy welfare state, free college, high wages, pro-feminist, secular, etc.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 04-15-2019 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:28 PM
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That's still a moving goal, which I suppose was my point (sorry, I'm drunk posting tonight so hopefully some of this makes sense). I think there isn't really an end goal in any human political system or faction...more long range goals that will shift as things their societies shift and things become a priority or are dealt with and new things come onto the radar. There will never be a 'finish line' as humans just don't work that way. At least, IMHO...
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:18 AM
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Yeah it is.

Emulating the Scandanavian model seems to be a strong underlying goal of liberals.

Progressive taxes, higher taxes, universal health care, healthy welfare state, free college, high wages, pro-feminist, secular, etc.
“The horror! The horror!”
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:20 AM
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I belong to a regional political party in Spain whose main stated goal is a change to the Spanish constitution. I'd call it a small change, except that if it was that small it would have been passed decades ago... The look in the faces of reporters when they come to one of our meetings, ask someone "so what happens if you ever get that change?" and the response is along the lines of "oh, then we dissolve, of course!" is absolutely priceless. That little point is our core policy for a reason, and the fact that the one thing on which the whole party agree is that little point is also the reason we have principles such as "our party will always act to assist whichever party or parties are in government at all times" and "no whips*". We do not expect any member of the party to agree with anything beyond The Little Change and the need to work together towards the greater good without necessarily being in agreement about every detail (or even about what exactly constitutes the greater good).




* The political kind. If people wish to use one in the bedroom and so long as everybody is a consenting adult, have at it.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:35 AM
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A policy campaign has a defined objective, and therefore a finish line, at which point it has to decide whether there's any related/secondary/consequential issue it wants to take up, or whether to wind itself up.

What I understand by a political faction is there to represent interests and promote particular principles and attitudes in relation to public policy, so its work is never done, merely redefined in the light of changing circumstances. There will always be people who think big government and higher taxes is a fair price to pay for more equality and better public services, and those who think that making people fend more for themselves is a fair price to pay for small government and lower taxes.

Last edited by PatrickLondon; 04-16-2019 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:50 AM
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For the major two political parties I don't believe there is a end point, or perhaps they are already there. Their purpose is to stand on their perspective line on the issues, where ever that line is, which is ideally at the 50-50 point in terms of popular support. As this line moves, so do they. Not the individual people, but the party, so to maintain a electable balance.

End game of other parties, such as the abortion issues is not really valid as it is a symptom of a larger problem, which goes back to law and punishment vs grace and love. In this biblically defined battle one side goes to oppression and the other goes to compassion.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:43 AM
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Roe V Wade was settled in 1973, what are abortion rights activists doing with their time now?

Put another way, IS there an objective once reached that cannot go back and therefore no longer needs championing?
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:55 AM
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Well the thing is those "movements" as I call them, have people professionally employed and "winning" means they will lose their jobs.

So quite frankly, its in their best interests in either never winning, moving the goalposts, or creating new bogeymen in order to keep the money flowing and the meal tickets alive.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:40 AM
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The concept that membership in a movement implies the level of unanimity of philosophy, or purpose is absurd. I suppose that in the simplest of causes it is possible. Votes for Women in the United States doesn't seem to have the drive and passion it once had. Abolitionists have been relatively quiet, even though Alabama didn't have a law against slavery until late in the last century.

Long ago there was an entire movement to get America out of Viet Nam. You hardly ever hear from them anymore, although being mostly dead and otherwise very old might have something to do with it.

However, I have not noticed that people who had political passion, and gained political savvy, and achieved political victories took that as a sign that they should shut up, and sit down. The political "common man" generally only thinks about one thing at time. (Hence the oft repeated "here, hold my beer.") The minds from which grow the revolutions of thought that drive revolutions of other types are seldom so easily occupied.

Defense of the status quo benefits those who have the status, and the quo.

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Old 04-17-2019, 07:18 PM
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That's still a moving goal, which I suppose was my point (sorry, I'm drunk posting tonight so hopefully some of this makes sense). I think there isn't really an end goal in any human political system or faction...more long range goals that will shift as things their societies shift and things become a priority or are dealt with and new things come onto the radar. There will never be a 'finish line' as humans just don't work that way. At least, IMHO...
Its basic common sense for most people that political goals change over long periods of time. Of course people won't have the same goals in 5,000 years that we have now, even if we achieve all our goals now.

But the finish line for modern liberals is a more Scandanavian type society culturally and economically.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 04-17-2019 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:24 PM
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Its basic common sense for most people that political goals change over long periods of time. Of course people won't have the same goals in 5,000 years that we have now, even if we achieve all our goals now.

But the finish line for modern liberals is a more Scandanavian type society culturally and economically.
Well, I was drunk when I posted that so...um, ok. Let's say that, tomorrow, the US decided to adopt all of the policies of the Scandinavian society and government. Would the liberals/progressives basically celebrate and disband at that point, their job being done and their finish line crossed? Or would the then basically start looking at new things to set as goals to move toward? I think the later. As good as the Scandinavian governments appear to US liberals, there are still some things in there that, if they actually got what they wished for, they would want to change, IMHO. I actually think it would be a lot, if we adopted ALL of their culture as well as their government and economy. Hell, the reality is the Scandinavian countries aren't actually socialist, really, so ISTM that would be a new goal right there. In any case, I THINK that's what I was getting at. Or, who knows...I don't. That's the best I gots tonight though, FWIW.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:42 PM
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I don't think it's fair to call it moving the goalposts, because we never say that there is a goal. And why should there be? Parties exist for the purpose of democracy. There will always be some new issue. It's like asking "when will medicine be finished?" "When will science achieve its goal?"

As long as democracies exist, there will be political parties, since grouping together with likeminded people have so many advantages in getting elected. You're stronger together than apart. A specific party dies only when it is unable to change enough to hold onto a group. But then, eventually, a new party will form.

Democrats especially have no reason to end, since we're the one who has the progressives, meaning we'll constantly be trying to progress, to get better. The only end state I can see for them is pure equality, with no poor people, no discriminated people, and no unhappy people.

Good luck with that every happening.
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:40 AM
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So, in U.S. politics, what does the finish line for (most) Ds and Rs look like?

For (most) Rs, probably a white Christian theocracy.

For (most) Ds, might it be something approaching communism, but without the actual C word?
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:43 AM
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Also, for (some) gun-control advocates, their finish line is the banning and confiscation of all privately-owned firearms. Hard to tell what the finish line is for (some) gun-rights advocates though - completely and absolutely unfettered right to bear arms, with buying a gun comparable to getting a gallon of milk from Walmart?
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:52 PM
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The endgame is and always will be to win the next election. Or abolish elections.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:04 PM
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So, in U.S. politics, what does the finish line for (most) Ds and Rs look like?

For (most) Rs, probably a white Christian theocracy.

For (most) Ds, might it be something approaching communism, but without the actual C word?
I don't know any Dems who want state ownership of industry. The overwhelming majority of us want a strong capitalist system with varying degrees of responsible regulation and minimal state monopoly (like defense and health care).

Yeah, we're crazy as fucking loons.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:40 PM
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I don't know any Republicans who want a white Christian theocracy either.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:04 PM
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I don't know any Republicans who want a white Christian theocracy either.

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I do.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:00 PM
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Well the thing is those "movements" as I call them, have people professionally employed and "winning" means they will lose their jobs.

So quite frankly, its in their best interests in either never winning, moving the goalposts, or creating new bogeymen in order to keep the money flowing and the meal tickets alive.
This is such a dumb idea, yet people keep repeating it as if there's any truth to it.

For the vast majority of workers in nonprofits, the pay is shit and the hours are long and the work is demoralizing. They're not there because they're like, "Fuck yeah this is the life," they're there because they believe so firmly in the work that they're willing to make personal sacrifices to do it. Workers at your local food bank would be beyond thrilled if there were no more hungry people in the nation. Workers at your local homeless shelter would be ecstatic to be out of a job. Workers at the humane society would love to have no more abandoned animals. Workers at the local Sierra Club would be beside themselves if we reached zero pollution.

It's bonkers to think that workers want things to stay bad so they stay employed. The epistemology that allows this sort of nonsense is deeply broken.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:47 AM
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This is such a dumb idea, yet people keep repeating it as if there's any truth to it.

For the vast majority of workers in nonprofits, the pay is shit and the hours are long and the work is demoralizing. They're not there because they're like, "Fuck yeah this is the life," they're there because they believe so firmly in the work that they're willing to make personal sacrifices to do it. Workers at your local food bank would be beyond thrilled if there were no more hungry people in the nation. Workers at your local homeless shelter would be ecstatic to be out of a job. Workers at the humane society would love to have no more abandoned animals. Workers at the local Sierra Club would be beside themselves if we reached zero pollution.

It's bonkers to think that workers want things to stay bad so they stay employed. The epistemology that allows this sort of nonsense is deeply broken.
You're probably right about non-governmental non-profits. People on welfare in Quebec may not do volunteer work that might give them useful skills or experience and may not take courses that might make them more employable and if you can suggest any legitimate reason for these rules, other than to guarantee employment for the workers in the social services I would like to hear them.
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