What would cause you to classify somebody as far left?

I was arguing against the idea that the people who were saying “defund the police” meant “completely defund the police”, which would indeed be some sort of far left position.

It’s fine to say that “defund the police” was a bad slogan, because some people will purposely misinterpret to say you mean to completely defund the police, but it’s a ridiculous strawman to say that most of the people saying that meant to reduce all funding to the police. All I was saying was that reducing and redirecting police funding to some other useful purpose (like psychiatric emergency services) is not a far left position.

With that, I think we’ll have no further useful dialog here, since either I’m not communicating this well to you or you’re not picking up what I’m saying. I thought I was pretty clear in those quotes, and yet you still came back with:

So, go ahead and have the last word. Hopefully it, “oh yeah, I see what you were trying to say.”

Nuance doesn’t belong on a bumper sticker. When I first heard someone say “Defund the Police” I had a very negative reaction. When I learned what that person meant I thought to myself, “Yeah, that sounds reasonable, but most people aren’t going to see past defund to give your proposal any thought.”

When I hear far left I think of someone who wants to end capitalism and replace it with an entirely different economic system. I don’t very often hear them come up with a good way to smash capitalism, and many of them don’t want to sully their political purity by participating in a corrupt system, so most of them just aren’t very effective and getting things done. Whenever I hear someone call Biden a Communist I just laugh and laugh.

Agreed. That’s unrelated to my point, though. The point was that most of the people who shouted “defund the police” aren’t far left, since they had the nuance in mind, not the right-wing strawman of eliminating the police.

And that’s fair. I think only a tiny minority of the defund the police folks are far left. And that would be the ones who literally want to defund the police.

Agreed. This is the point I made above.

In fact commonly they are not just ineffective at getting things done, they are actually opposed to concrete reforms that could actually help oppressed people. As that would be “making the workers chains more comfortable” and make the revolution that tears down the capitalist system (and solve every single problem in the world) less likely.

Yep. Had they not managed to saddle that concept with what is possibly the WORST and most counter-productive slogan in living memory, it might have got a lot more traction than it did.

I mean, the idea that maybe police aren’t ideally suited for every encounter isn’t a controversial one, and nor would the idea that maybe the cops shouldn’t be responding to crazy people doing crazy stuff, unless that crazy stuff is violent or destructive, probably wouldn’t have been controversial either. Hell, it would have been really easy to spin to the right wing- reallocate some funds to let the mental health people handle this, so the police can get back to policing. All they’d have to have done is portray it as something that was getting in the way of police doing police stuff, and they’d have had that side of the aisle practically wetting themselves to get it done.

Instead, they come up with that moronic “Defund the Police” slogan and fucked it all up. Still pisses me off to think about how monumentally stupid and shortsighted that was, and how it couldn’t have been engineered by PhDs and focus groups to be any worse and alienating than it was.

Presumably it would be the leftist position on the topic which someone is furthest to the right. In my case it’s the criminal justice system. If someone is in favor of very light sentences for people convinced of violent crimes, or if their focus is on rehabilitation to the exclusion of punishment (for violent crimes) IMHO that makes someone far left.

I don’t kmow… There were lots of signs back then saying ‘ACAB’ as well - “All Cops are Bastards”. Colin Kapaernick got critized for wearing ACAB socks with pigs in uniform on them.

I think saying that ‘defund the p9lice’ never meant that is revisionist. There was a VERY strong anti-cop backlash hysteria that went on for some time after the George Floyd protests before some on the left realized it wasn’t helping politically and tried to revise ‘Defund the Police’ into ‘Reform the police and slightly reduce their budgets’. After all, if you think all cops are bastards, wouldn’t you want to defund them?

And can you blame conservatives for thinking ‘defund the police’ means, you kmow, defunding the police? Especially when the same people demanding it are saying all cops are bastards?

A far-left movement based on critical theory and the notion that policing is inherently racist. And all we have to do to find harmony is just abandon policing and all private property.

I agree with you that someone who actually wants to abolish the police is far left. In fact, I said that above:

I’m sure there are some people who agree with that. I disagree that it was a significant portion of the poorly-named “Defund the Police” people.

Debating whether that’s a good slogan seems off-topic for this thread to me. I was responding to this:

I’m sure there were some people who said that who are far left. I disagree that someone using the slogan is necessarily far left, I think since most people who used it meant the more nuanced idea.

I’m not arguing the issue, I was just looking for an example of a far-left policy that wasn’t anti-capitalism based. Substitute “Extreme strawman defund the police” if that makes you happy.

I couldn’t be happier.

Someone that has no common sense or practicality nor has any regard for their country. That’s just my humble opinion and only my opinion if it matters to anyone else. Please don’t take my comments as an insult.

So you are saying the far right should be classified as far left.

I’ve always thought the far left and radical right had more in common with one another than they would care to admit. But then I consider communism and facism to the opposite sides of the same rotten coin.

Two axis political grids make a lot more sense than ‘right-left’. For example, ‘right left’ puts Fascism and Communism on opposite sides of the spectrum, but both of them are statist philosophies that put the needs of the state or collective above the rights of individuals.

A better way to look at it is something similar to ‘Pournelle’s Political Spectrum’. He had the X axis having ‘individualism’ on one end, and statism on the other. On the y axis, he had ‘irrational’ and ‘rational’

So, libertarianism was ‘rational individualism’, while anarchism is ‘irrational individualism’. Communism is ‘rational statism’, and fascism is ‘irrational statism’.

By ration and irrational, what he meant was not that one was smart and one crazy, but that ‘rational’ meant believing that your political preferences were for a specific purpose that could be achieved and result in overall benefits to society, and irrational was just individualism or statism without having any sort of justification for it.

Fascism simply asserts the glory of the state above all else, whereas Communists think the state can be an effective vehicle for maximizing social welfare. Libertaranism is individualist but comes with a rationalized framework for how it can work and why it is better, while Anarchism is more about just tearing everything down and letting everyone let their freak flag fly without attempting a rational view of how it will make life better for the average person.

If you just want to ‘smash the state’, you are an irrational individualist. If you just want a strong man to run the state because a strong state is a good thing, you tend towards Fascism. Both are irrational. Libertarians and Communists are rational, but one is statist and one individualist.

That framing is not without its flaws, but any visualization that tries to encompass the diversity of human political thought into a graph of any sort is bound to have flaws.


Oh man, that’s a good one. Libertarianism! RATIONAL! Hahahaha!!!

You really didn’t read what I wrote, did you? Notice I also said that Communism is ‘rational’ in this regard - which simply means that people advocate for their statism baded on a constructed set of beliefs that THEY think will lead to a good outcome for everyone.

It doesn’t mean they are right.

This doesn’t seem to make sense. I don’t agree with the ideology of fascism, but AFAICT fascists in general have honestly believed, and still believe, that their political preferences are for a specific purpose that can be achieved and result in overall benefits to society.

Contrary to some popular perceptions, fascists are not actually just in it for the badass-looking uniforms.

Right, like Anarchists who believe that a society set up based on their beliefs would lead to optimal outcomes for all, or Fascists who also believe that a society set up based on their beliefs would lead to optimal outcomes for all (members of the master race)