The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Moderators: DrVolin, 82_28, Elvis, Jeff

The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby Belligerent Savant » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:02 am

.

An offering that is destined to be reproduced here.


When I predicted back in January of 2016 that Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States, I suggested that his candidacy would mark a sea change in American politics and public life. That’s turned out to be even more true than I’d expected. It’s not just that Trump’s presidency challenges the bipartisan consensus that’s ruled this country since the 1980s—neoliberal economics, neoconservative foreign policy, and the rest of it. It’s also turned out that his presidency has pushed one of our country’s most influential political movements into the kind of self-defeating tailspin that usually ends in a one-way trip down history’s disposal chute.

The reaction of Trump’s foes to the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is a case in point. The right to nominate Supreme Court justices is one of the perks the Constitution gives to the president; the right to confirm or reject any such nomination is one of the perks the Constitution gives to the Senate. Since Trump’s the president and the Republican Party has a majority in the Senate, they get to pick Kennedy’s replacement, full stop, end of sentence.

This, however, a vocal minority among Democrats refuses to accept. The media and the leftward end of the blogosphere have accordingly filled up with loud demands that Trump be somehow stopped from carrying out his Constitutional duty, so that the party that lost the 2014 and 2016 national elections nonetheless gets to pick the next Supreme Court justice. The people making these demands apparently think that we live in a tantrumocracy, where whoever shrieks the loudest about their hurt feelings gets to tell the rest of us what to do. Fortunately, they’re wrong.

It’s only fair to point out that this sort of grandstanding isn’t universal among liberals. Quite the contrary, I’ve heard in recent weeks from quite a few liberals who are at their wits’ end at this point, having tried for the last year and a half to get their fellow liberals to do the things that might win them elections in the future—that is to say, first, figure out what they did that lost them the 2016 election and stop doing it, and thereafter, get out there and do some old-fashioned grassroots organizing to win back the voters that the Democratic Party establishment ignored once too often. These are the thing political parties and political movements do when they want to win, and the furious denunciations fielded by my liberal correspondents when they point this out do not bode well for the future of the vocal minority in question.

That minority deserves a name of its own, and for reasons we’ll discuss in a bit, I’m going to reuse the same habit of computer-keyboard slang that gave us the term “Alt-Right.” With a tip of the hat to regular reader LeGrand Cinq-Mars, who introduced me to the phrase, we’ll call the people I’m discussing the Ctrl-Left.

The Crtl-Left, as the name suggests, is the authoritarian wing of liberalism. Plenty of hardline conservatives like to claim that all liberals fall into this category, but they’re quite wrong; there are plenty of liberals out there who value individual liberty even when it means that some people do things they don’t like, which is of course the touchstone of real commitment to liberty. The Ctrl-Left doesn’t share that commitment. At the heart of the Ctrl-Left is the insistence that everybody ought to be forced to do what’s right—and “right,” of course, means what the Ctrl-Left says it does. No others need apply.

The recent Supreme Court decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission makes a good demonstration of this. The majority opinion pointed out correctly that the conflict between the gay couple who wanted a wedding cake and the baker whose religious convictions oppose gay marriage was a classic collision of individual liberties in which the rights of both sides need to be safeguarded. The Ctrl-Left, by contrast, insisted at the top of its lungs that the gay couple were right and the baker was wrong, pure and simple, and the baker should be forced by government edict to ignore his own conscience and conform to theirs.

We live in a world in which it’s possible, and in fact quite common, for good people to wrestle with complicated moral issues and come to diametrically opposed conclusions. Over the last two and a quarter centuries here in the United States, we’ve stumbled our way slowly to the recognition that individual liberty is the best solution to these conundrums, so long as the exercise of liberty by one person doesn’t cause significant harm to another—and being offended by someone else’s choices, by the way, does not amount to significant harm; there are no Purple Hearts issued for being butthurt. Nor, it probably has to be spelled out, does it cause significant harm to anyone if they have to get their wedding cake from a different baker.

In exactly the same way, and for exactly the same reason, the only people who have any business deciding whether a same-sex couple should marry are the two people who are considering marrying each other. Since no one suffers significant harm because two men or two women fall in love with each other and decide to get married—here again, being horribly offended by someone else’s decision emphatically does not count—the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage was in the best traditions of American democracy.

So, equally, was the decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which prohibited government from forcing people to participate in celebrating such marriages if that goes against their conscience. Liberty means that people get to do things you disapprove of. It means that same-sex couples get to tie the knot, and it also means that bakers get to choose what kind of cakes they will and won’t bake. Doesn’t that mean that people exercising their liberty will come into conflict? Of course, and that’s why courts and legislatures have been tasked with trying cases and passing laws to deal with those conflicts. It’s a slow, messy, fallible way of doing things, and the only thing that can be said in its favor is that it really does seem to work better than any other way of handling the irreducible cussedness of human beings.

This, in turn, is what the Ctrl-Left refuses to accept. Those of my readers who frequent liberal forums online, as I do occasionally, will already be familiar with the savage bullying that people on the Ctrl-Left unleash on anyone who dares to challenge their exclusive right to define what virtue is and force everyone else to conform to it. It’s classic authoritarian behavior, indistinguishable from the sort you see from hardcore religious fundamentalists on the other end of the political spectrum. It would be a serious cause for worry to anybody who values liberty, except for the factor I referred to earlier—the one that’s got the Ctrl-Left sliding down the chute toward the compost bin of American history.

You know that a political movement is on its way out when it loses track of the fact that it has to convince people who don’t already agree with it. That’s what has happened to the Ctrl-Left since Trump’s inauguration. An embarrassingly large sector of the Democratic party since then has taken to insisting that it’s totally unreasonable for anyone to suggest that they reach out to the people who’d voted for Trump and try to convince them to vote Democratic next time. Why? Because everyone who voted for Trump must by definition be a card-carrying Nazi. That’s why. With that in mind, they’ve gone on to act as though wearing pink hats, shrieking insults on the internet, and behaving in other ways reminiscent of a spoiled two-year-old’s tantrums would force the election results to be overturned. Of course that hasn’t happened; what’s more, it won’t happen—and yet they’re still at it, as Trump’s approval ratings mount upwards and the prospects of Democratic candidates in the 2018 elections slide just as steadily down.

There’s a complex and sordid history behind that stunningly counterproductive strategy, but that’s a theme for a different post. What I want to discuss here is the contrast between the cascading failures of the Ctrl-Left and the rather different results garnered by that movement’s opposite number, the Alt-Right.

Though the term “Ctrl-Left” is modeled on “Alt-Right,” the historical relationship between these two movements runs the other direction. The Alt-Right emerged after the Ctrl-Left, and modeled itself on the Ctrl-Left in a way very familiar to the student of the history of ideas. Just as old-fashioned Satanists accept all the presuppositions of Christianity but reverse the value signs, and Ayn Rand’s Objectivism enthusiastically embraces as good all the qualities that Marxism attributes to evil capitalists, the Alt-Right is what you get when you take the social-justice ideology of the Ctrl-Left and say with Milton’s Satan, “Evil, be thou my good.”

Thus, for example, the Ctrl-Left hates racism, having carefully defined that word so that it only includes those ethnic bigotries they don’t embrace. In response, the Alt-Right accepts the Ctrl-Left definition of racism, and then enthusiastically embraces racism as so defined. That the entire concept of race is nothing more than a scrap of obsolete 19th-century ethnology with no basis in biology or genetics; that claiming that all people with light-colored skin and no epicanthic fold belong to a “white race” is just as absurd as claiming that all white-haired dogs from St. Pyrenees to teacup poodles belong to a “white breed;” that the Crtl-Left uses talk about race to avoid facing up to its own pervasive problems with class bigotry and its own complicity in the exploitation of working class Americans—ideas such as these get little traction in Alt-Right circles, even though they’re far more dangerous to the Ctrl-Left’s project than the kind of simplistic opposition that just affirms everything the other side rejects.

There’s one crucial way in which the Alt-Right has failed to mimic the Ctrl-Left, though. Where the Ctrl-Left has lost track of the fact that it has to convince people who don’t already agree with it, the Alt-Right suffers from no such handicap. What’s more, the Alt-Right has learned the same lesson that Donald Trump figured out very early on in the election campaign, which is that the Ctrl-Left can very easily be goaded into self-defeating overreactions.

One example out of many is the exquisitely clever Alt-Right strategy of posting signs saying IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE all over college campuses. The standard Ctrl-Left reaction to this is a fine spluttering meltdown, insisting that this inoffensive utterance counts as hate speech and must be punished. From within the Ctrl-Left, no doubt such meltdowns look like a proper display of moral virtue. From any other perspective, they look like an admission that the social justice movement central to Ctrl-Left ideology is motivated by nothing better than bigotry against white people, and that the Ctrl-Left is therefore no better than the people it denounces.

Clever strategy, to be sure, does not make up for the many other problems with Alt-Right ideology. For that matter, movements like the Alt-Right never get far. Just as Satanism and Objectivism never became more than fringe movements attracting those disaffected by Christianity and Communism respectively, the Alt-Right will never be much more than a place where people offended by Ctrl-Left ideology can nurse their grievances. The opposite of one bad idea, as I’ve had occasion to point out here more than once, is usually another bad idea.

And the alternative? We do actually have a political tradition here in America that avoids the twinned follies of the Alt-Right and the Ctrl-Left, and arguably offers the best way out of the bitter and brittle polarization that has turned so much of American society into one vast ongoing shouting match. It’s been around for a good long time, and it has tolerably widespread support from ordinary Americans, though it’s suffered neglect in recent years. To continue the computer-keyboard metaphor, we can call it the Esc-Center.

(Those readers who would like a soundtrack for the following discussion, with a nod to the date and also to the spirit of what I’d like to communicate, may want to click here.)

What constitutes the core of the Esc-Center? I’d suggest these as starting points for discussion:

Individual Liberty. A country as vast and diverse as the United States will never be able to find a consensus on most social issues. It’s a waste of time to try to make one, and a source of useless conflict to try to impose one by government edict. That’s why the American tradition has, however clumsily and incompletely, embraced the principle of individual liberty in any situation where one person’s actions do not cause significant harm to another. Would-be social reformers, whether their motivation be religious or secular, are free to advance their agendas by trying to persuade others, but when they try to make their ideologies mandatory via the machinery of government, that act is an intolerable usurpation and should be stopped in its tracks.

Representative Democracy. We have a system to allow citizens to seek redress of grievances. It’s called politics, and it’s open to anyone who wants to get involved in it. The election of Donald Trump in the teeth of the united opposition of the political establishment shows that the political system in this country is far less broken than radicals on either side like to claim it is. (The way that so many of Trump’s opponents denounce him and his followers as “populists” shows that they know perfectly well what the score is. What’s the opposite of populism? Why, elitism, of course.) If you want to change the way things are done, there are plenty of ways to find an audience for your ideas, build a constituency, and make things happen. If you’d rather just show up once every two or four years to vote for prechewed candidates, on the other hand, you can expect to get the government you deserve.

Political Federalism. Our Constitution, as revised by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, assigns the federal government certain duties and responsibilities, and leaves everything else to the states and the people. That’s been ignored time and again over the last two thirds of a century, but it remains very nearly the only way that a country this diverse can manage its internal affairs. There isn’t a single item of social policy that will be equally acceptable to the people of Massachusetts and Oklahoma, and rather than trying to ram Massachusetts law down Oklahoman throats, or Oklahoma law down Massachusetts throats, it really does work better to allow the people of each state to manage their own affairs through their elected officials. Does that mean that people in Massachusetts and Oklahoma will be horribly offended by the laws passed in each other’s states? Of course it does. Deal.

Equality of Opportunity. The word equality can mean two things—equality of opportunity or equality of outcome—and you can have one or the other but you can’t have both. Equality of opportunity means that every person has the same chance in life as every other, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, social class, and so on. Equality of outcome means that every subgroup of society gets assigned an equal share in life, irrespective of talent or effort. The former is as essential as the latter is unjust. If gender, ethnicity, social class, or membership in other categories are used to exclude American citizens unfairly from education, housing, jobs, political representation, and the like, that’s a wrong that should be redressed—but people vary in their talents, their interests, and their willingness to work, and it’s not the business of government to override those differences in pursuit of an ideological goal.

Individual Responsibility. You are not responsible for who your great-grandparents were or what they did. You are responsible only for your own words and deeds—and no, you don’t get a free pass because of who your great-grandparents were, either. The doctrine of collective guilt, by which all the members of a given group are blamed forever for the actions of some members of that group in the past, was invented by theologians in the Middle Ages to justify pogroms against the Jews, and every time the same notion has been deployed since then, the results have been comparable. If historical causes result in injustices in the present, those injustices need to be addressed, but the past can’t be changed retroactively, and once government has guaranteed equality of opportunity to every citizen and made such redress as may be voted into law, its responsibility toward the past is over.

Civil Society. Government action isn’t the best solution to every problem; in many cases, voluntary private organizations do a much better job. When Alexis de Tocqueville toured the young United States in the very early 19th century, one of the things he found that set the new republic apart from other nations was the enthusiasm with which Americans founded voluntary organizations to address social problems. That habit faded with the metastatic expansion of the federal government after the Second World War, but the framework remains in place and deserves much more use than it received during America’s misguided age of empire.

An End to Empire. The United States has no business being the world’s policeman, much less the world’s jailer. We’re currently wasting billions of dollars every year maintaining military bases in more than a hundred countries around the world while our domestic infrastructure collapses from decades of malign neglect. Most countries with empires—and yes, let’s be honest with ourselves, that’s what we have—end up collapsing economically once the cost of maintaining the empire outstrips the benefits. We’re perilously close to that, and need to follow the example of Britain and stand down from our global empire before it drags us down with it. Yes, that means that our allies overseas are going to have to pay the cost of their own defense or go under, and they’re free to choose which of those they want to do.

A Politics of Realism. The world will never be without suffering and injustice, nor can all social problems be solved. It’s incumbent on political leaders and citizens alike to redress grievances and correct injustices as best they can, but insisting that a political system is intolerably evil because it isn’t perfect is the logic of a spoiled child. Nor does it count as injustice when some subset of the citizenry can’t convince the rest of the population to give it everything it wants. We live in a world of limits, where tradeoffs are necessary and individual liberties inevitably come into conflict; the job of government is to broker compromises that share as many of the burdens and benefits of life in community as fairly as possible.

That’s a very rough first approximation of the Esc-Center as I see it: a set of approaches to social and political questions that’s worked tolerably well in the past—better, certainly, than the grand schemes that have replaced it in the political mainstream—and still has a great deal of support among Americans generally. It seems to me that getting these ideas back out in circulation now, as an alternative to the paired vagaries of the Ctrl-Left and the Alt-Right, is one way to help further the values some of us here in the US are celebrating this Fourth of July.

And if, dear reader, your response to the above is to accuse me of being a fascist—the standard response of the Ctrl-Left these days to even the mildest disagreement—let me ask you this. We both know what the word “fascist” means, and it doesn’t mean individual liberty, representative democracy, and a lack of enthusiasm for invading other countries. That being the case, do you really think that flinging an obviously false accusation at me is going to encourage me to vote for the candidates you support in the next election? And if you don’t care about winning votes for the candidates you support in the next election, then just what exactly do you care about?



https://www.ecosophia.net/the-alt-right ... sc-center/
User avatar
Belligerent Savant
 
Posts: 1900
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:58 pm
Location: North Atlantic.
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby Elvis » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:46 am

Hmmmm. Of those eight "Esc-Center" bullet points, half are straight from the rightwing-libertairian-conservative wishbook:

- Political Federalism: i.e. "States' rights" — the cries for which always come from those who insist on flying Confederate flags, excusing Jim Crow, keeping science out of schools, minimizing welfare etc. Racist rednecks, basically. (Deplorables!)

- "Equality of Opportunity": in quotes because it's really about white men angry over "reverse discrimination," and a codeword for ending affirmative action (which has done so much good to mitigate and marginalize segregation and prejudice).

- Individual Responsibility: Despite the example given—the 'doctrine of collective guilt' used to malign Jews—this is more often used to pretend that the effects of 300 years of slavery and oppression don't exist, "I'm not racist" and blacks should just get over it.

- Civil Society: Ah yes, the Thousand Points of Light—picking up the slack when government pulls the rug out from under people, letting them go sick and hungry and robbed by deregulated financial schemes. Maybe this harkens to the dreamy American Golden Age imagined by Trump? This is the part that should read, "Free Universal Single-Payer Healthcare" (if only because that's what 80% of Americans want, ffs).


I dunno. This writer comes awfully close to saying, "Maybe voting for Trump wasn't/isn't such a bad idea..." to which I cannot agree. The rest I see as a mixed bag, but still mostly leaning right.

An End to Empire, I'll go along with that, but, given the other points, I almost feel like it's there as bait. On the other hand, a segment of the right has always been isolationist. (Pat Buchanan comes to mind, and I actually agree much of his foreign policy position, especially his opposition to the Iraq invasion, WTO etc.) But whatever: yes.

A Politics of Realism sounds like more "We don't have the money for it"—see "Civil Society"—again this is where health and education should be prioritized, not ignored, and not treated as a symptom of the "metastatic expansion of the federal government."


...other than that, it was okay! :wink

(And it's possible I'm looking at this from an old-fashioned perspective; feel free to hip me.)
"Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous."
User avatar
Elvis
 
Posts: 5295
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:24 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby Jerky » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:23 am

I think your very fair and astute observations are well taken, Elvis.

Some of the points in the OP I agree with, of course, as they are just common sense, it seems to me. And I am personally somewhat of a free speech absolutist (altho I do NOT believe that money = speech, so I regard Citizens United as an abomination).

There is definitely a Ctrl-Left... but it's no more authoritarian, at heart, than the Alt-Right, for whom the "free speech" stance is pure marketing. By their acts we shall know them, and some of the key alt-right figures have come out and admitted that said stance is completely insincere, meant to fool shallow-thinking part time observers into sympathizing with them... a gateway drug of sorts, before they get to the "race realism" their bogus logic fetishism, and the "ethnic nationalism" stuff that's a much harder sell.

It makes it hard to parse when one side (the alt-right) has basically game-ified things, and has no compunction about arguing in bad faith (i.e. LYING) to "win" an argument by any means necessary.

Jerky
User avatar
Jerky
 
Posts: 1957
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 6:28 pm
Location: Toronto, ON
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:02 am

"An End to Empire" seems like perhaps the most important. If I see anything really animating a big centrist silent majority; that is it. That coalition will disagree on some big wedges and it will be a real challenge to do the networked insurgency thing in the current media environment -- especially the "Boomers on Facebook Who Vote" part.

My biggest quibble with this piece is just scale and biasing -- so many of us who exist online for a living assume that is natural or normal. The Ctrl-Left and the Alt-Right, combined in their entirety, isn't even a full NASCAR stadium. There's been a lot of exasperated critiques of "Tumblr Socialists" or whatever, and while it's all valid in toto, it also omits the fact that, you know, these are just some assholes online.

Still, never underestimate the threat posed by human beings with too much free time, eh?
User avatar
Wombaticus Rex
 
Posts: 10177
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:33 pm
Location: Vermontistan
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby dada » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:11 pm

Shouldn't it be the Del-Center. The Esc-Center sounds to me like a shorthand for apolitical consumers. Hippy nonsense. Del-Center opens up a whole range of creative possibilities. And Delete holds a suggestion of menace, whiff of danger. Might take us down entirely different lines of thought from the article.

Of course, I can't share this authors vision. Fixing the shithouse is not on my agenda.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1627
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby Belligerent Savant » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:17 pm

.
Solid talking points/responses.

a few select/drive-by replies:

Elvis:
This writer comes awfully close to saying, "Maybe voting for Trump wasn't/isn't such a bad idea..." to which I cannot agree.


Can't presume to speak for the author, but I believe the basic gist is that Trump in office was an inevitable outcome of the inequities in place within the current system, and also -- at least in part -- the result of a collective "F#ck U" vote against the status quo by a segment of the disenfranchised.

Jerky:
It makes it hard to parse when one side (the alt-right) has basically game-ified things, and has no compunction about arguing in bad faith (i.e. LYING) to "win" an argument by any means necessary.

Indeed, though the same applies for any of the other "sides" as well, at least those that figure prominently in online debates.

WRex:
The Ctrl-Left and the Alt-Right, combined in their entirety, isn't even a full NASCAR stadium. There's been a lot of exasperated critiques of "Tumblr Socialists" or whatever, and while it's all valid in toto, it also omits the fact that, you know, these are just some assholes online.

Still, never underestimate the threat posed by human beings with too much free time, eh?


Actually laughed out loud reading this. Human beings with too much free time... perhaps a fitting descriptor for much of our current malaise.

dada:
Of course, I can't share this authors vision. Fixing the shithouse is not on my agenda.


I agree with this sentiment in turns. There are days I feel the same. Other days when I am compelled to act, even if only locally.
User avatar
Belligerent Savant
 
Posts: 1900
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:58 pm
Location: North Atlantic.
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby dada » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:02 am

Belligerent Savant » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:17 pm wrote:Other days when I am compelled to act, even if only locally.


Not me. I'm a terrible, terrible person. Think its a fine thing to dance and sing while the bells of death do ring and so forth.

So, what happens when the Democrat party in the US implodes. Money abhors a vacuum (forget where I heard that, but it's one of my new favorites.)

What I mean is, the new party will still include all the same assholes. It'll just have another name.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1627
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:26 am

- I submit the majority of leftists in the United States (they exist) call themselves socialists or progressives. Some call themselves liberals, although "liberal" for the most part is an attack term or mischaracterization applied to everyone from Hillary Clinton to actual socialists.

- Nobody calls themselves Ctrl-Left, of course. A very small proportion might ideologically fit the author's description of this category, which is the attempt of a bad actor to generalize about a large and diverse and actually not unitary group in a defamatory manner. Of course, that small proportion are not remotely the monsters that this guy puts forward as he attempts to put them on the same level as Nazis, or make the Nazis look better and, of course, legitimate Trump. Fuck this guy.

- There actually is an Alt-Right and they call themselves that. Most "conservatives" (the majority of whom are right-wing extremists, Christianists, libertarians and just plain ignorant people who fear crime more than nuclear war) are not alt-right, but cheer that shit on as if it were team sport.

- Thus this author is willing to grant the privilege of identifying one's own politics to the Nazi-lite Alt-Right, but not to his largely imaginary "left." In this he's a lot like Breitbart, FOXNEWS, Alex Jones, et al. Fuck this guy.

- Leftists nowadays in the U.S. mostly think about things like anti-capitalism, Medicare for All, universal income or jobs guarantee, MMT, energy transformation, Black Lives Matter, ending mass incarceration, ending prohibition, ending the empire, etc. This guy doesn't talk about that stuff, of course.

- 90% of the cultural repression comes down from the right. This guy wants to whine about people using their freedom of speech to protest Nazi speakers or the Evergreen College curriculum (which I'm not supporting). Meanwhile it's leftist academics (especially those who criticize Israel) who get fired and get fucked over and get the death threats.

- Many good people on this board have been captured ideologically by this manner of bullshit. You should get offline and go join groups like DSA and do some fucking good in the world.

.
To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
I am by virtue of its might divine,
The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

Top Secret Wall St. Iraq? & more
User avatar
JackRiddler
 
Posts: 13276
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:59 pm
Location: New York City
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby Elvis » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:30 am

Great points. Sort of confirms my suspicions about it.

But re: this,

- Many good people on this board have been captured ideologically by this manner of bullshit. You should get offline and go join groups like DSA and do some fucking good in the world.

I think the capture is less ideological (at least in the case of the OP) than it is in the way the thing is written; it's sneaky. At first glance, taken at face value, out of this context, and ignoring the number of tipoffs, one might well say, "those principals sound okay to me" and see it as a reasonable middle path. But on a closer look, the omissions are glaring and the clues become more obvious.

I hope it doesn't catch on. :shock:

Let's compose our own. As the great center, I propose "Shift-B" — Shift to Bernie (Sanders' policies). "Time to shift gears!"
"Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous."
User avatar
Elvis
 
Posts: 5295
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:24 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby dada » Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:21 am

How about the Backspace Boys.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
User avatar
dada
 
Posts: 1627
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:08 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:14 am

JackRiddler » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:26 am wrote:
- Many good people on this board have been captured ideologically by this manner of bullshit. You should get offline and go join groups like DSA and do some fucking good in the world.

.


Agreed. DSA desperately needs non-date-rapist males these days -- a real drought so far.
User avatar
Wombaticus Rex
 
Posts: 10177
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:33 pm
Location: Vermontistan
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby Belligerent Savant » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:31 pm

^^^^^ :rofl2


dada: the new party will still include all the same assholes. It'll just have another name.


Quite right. A recurring theme inherent to many of my comments here. Power attracts assholes. The higher profile the position, the greater the concentration/caliber of ahole(s). Humans have yet to get over that hump. Non-aholes tend to lack the aholery required to insert themselves into positions that require ahole tactics and unethical behavior to succeed/maintain power/influence, due largely to the flaws inherent to modern human mindsets. Catch 22.

Repeat ad infinitum, or until the next leap in human intellectual evolution (via alien/divine interference or otherwise).

(See the recent thread on Narcissism for additional context)

It's all laid out in this graph, where A = aholery and B = positions of power/influence:

Image
User avatar
Belligerent Savant
 
Posts: 1900
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:58 pm
Location: North Atlantic.
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:51 pm

Wombaticus Rex » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:14 am wrote:
JackRiddler » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:26 am wrote:
- Many good people on this board have been captured ideologically by this manner of bullshit. You should get offline and go join groups like DSA and do some fucking good in the world.

.


Agreed. DSA desperately needs non-date-rapist males these days -- a real drought so far.


You working for Pepe now? I guess Krugman (the most soft-spoken pundit-demagogue you'll ever run into) might say the same kind of shit, given how shamelessly he boosted the Clintonian "Bernie Bros" campaign. But how totally constructive of you. Good thing you're here to warn about it, since insofar as it might be so, it would be a truly exceptional environment. Our society is otherwise so civil and respectful, especially in the treatment of women.

Maybe you're thinking of some incident or other, or some actual DSA chapter. I don't know about your corner, but DSA people in my neighborhood and city and many other places are mostly young women who are doing things like getting Ocasio elected, and the fellows I've met are totally okay. Hey, as far as I can see. Are you sure you're not confusing which group meeting you were at? Was it the incel support group?

(OH! BURN!!!)

.
Last edited by JackRiddler on Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
I am by virtue of its might divine,
The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

Top Secret Wall St. Iraq? & more
User avatar
JackRiddler
 
Posts: 13276
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:59 pm
Location: New York City
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:58 pm

Belligerent Savant » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:31 am wrote:Quite right. A recurring theme inherent to many of my comments here. Power attracts assholes. The higher profile the position, the greater the concentration/caliber of ahole(s). Humans have yet to get over that hump. Non-aholes tend to lack the aholery required to insert themselves into positions that require ahole tactics and unethical behavior to succeed/maintain power/influence, due largely to the flaws inherent to modern human mindsets. Catch 22.


We're all familiar with this but it's also too simple. Leaving it as a rule (as your joke with the graph implies) can breed hopelessness about it. Stealing from Foucault among others (OMG! CULTURAL MARXIST POSTMODERN MAOIST GENOCIDE ALERT!!! ACTIVATE PETERSON SOFTWARE!), power is not a static structure or a simple flow from top to bottom. Power is expressed through a circuit, it is a verb not a noun, resulting structures change over time, revolutions of all kinds can happen on a much smaller scale than aliens or a global evolutionary jump. Power attracts sociopaths and institutions encourage sociopathy, but not everyone who ends up in an ostensible position of power (or who accumulates a lot of wealth) had to have been an asshole to get there, or acts equally as an asshole. (Some must act like assholes or lose the power; but how powerful is that, actually?) Power is also mobilizable from below, or from the sides. Etc.

.
To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
I am by virtue of its might divine,
The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

Top Secret Wall St. Iraq? & more
User avatar
JackRiddler
 
Posts: 13276
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:59 pm
Location: New York City
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

Postby Rory » Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:35 pm

JackRiddler » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:51 am wrote:
Wombaticus Rex » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:14 am wrote:
JackRiddler » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:26 am wrote:
- Many good people on this board have been captured ideologically by this manner of bullshit. You should get offline and go join groups like DSA and do some fucking good in the world.

.


Agreed. DSA desperately needs non-date-rapist males these days -- a real drought so far.


You working for Pepe now? I guess Krugman (the most soft-spoken pundit-demagogue you'll ever run into) might say the same kind of shit, given how shamelessly he boosted the Clintonian "Bernie Bros" campaign. But how totally constructive of you. Good thing you're here to warn about it, since insofar as it might be so, it would be a truly exceptional environment. Our society is otherwise so civil and respectful, especially in the treatment of women.

Maybe you're thinking of some incident or other, or some actual DSA chapter. I don't know about your corner, but DSA people in my neighborhood and city and many other places are mostly young women who are doing things like getting Ocasio elected, and the fellows I've met are totally okay. Hey, as far as I can see. Are you sure you're not confusing which group meeting you were at? Was it the incel support group?

(OH! BURN!!!)

.


You're wrong about John Michael Greer, fwiw

And the young woman, DSA member who designed the brilliant graphics and campaign posters for Ocasio, quit due to harassment by DSA men of upstanding repute
Rory
 
Posts: 1495
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:08 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Next

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 14 guests