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MrMacMan
Aug 19, 2003, 10:51 AM
I've seen many Stereotypes, many generalizations and much name calling.

Sooo... What makes up a Liberal, what are their philosophies?

I've heard that conservatives control news media, but yes conservatives say Liberals control the 'media'... your thought?

I've seen profiles and signatures one after the other saying this or that, I wanted a thread to talk about it.

There has been much side discussion on many other threads about it, just post what you get when you hear 'liberal'

I'm not gonna state my views untill I get a few people before me.

Thanks again!

--MrMacMan

IJ Reilly
Aug 19, 2003, 11:09 AM
Go ahead, throw a few hunks of red meat into the cage and see what happens. :)

Let's start with some dictionary definitions:
liberal

n. One who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters; an opponent of the established systems; a reformer; in English politics, a member of the Liberal party, so called. Cf. Whig.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

liberal

adj 1: showing or characterized by broad-mindedness; "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions" [syn: broad, tolerant] 2: having political or social views favoring reform and progress 3: tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition [ant: conservative]

Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University


But my favorite non-dictionary definition is from Robert Frost: "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."

Desertrat
Aug 19, 2003, 11:19 AM
In today's world of U.S. politics, I'd have to say a Liberal is one who mostly looks to government for solutions of societal problems. He not only believes government can solve them; he believes it should.

I think there are many other smaller points, but the use of government seems to be the primary one.

'Rat

mactastic
Aug 19, 2003, 11:57 AM
Communist

MrMacMan
Aug 19, 2003, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Communist

There are many varying differences.

check it out yourself (http://thomasash.hypermart.net/politicsandsociety/kangas-differentleftwings.html)

A Liberal economy supports capitalism, as does communism supports a a totally public enterprises.

Also many other differences.

Chose to accept these differences if your own choice.

IJ Reilly
Aug 19, 2003, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
In today's world of U.S. politics, I'd have to say a Liberal is one who mostly looks to government for solutions of societal problems. He not only believes government can solve them; he believes it should.

As defined by whom? The word as it is used today is little more than a contrivance used by politicians and radio talk show hosts as shorthand for whatever they want it to mean. These words have actual definitions, though.

jadariv
Aug 19, 2003, 12:57 PM
I see it took three posts to bring out the 'Communist' card. Apparently this is the new dirty word from the Conservative right. I hear it on Crossfire all the time. Please explain to me what is wrong with a communism without bringing up any cold war propaganda (the Soviet Union was never a true communism).

Now, on another note. The conservative right in the United States seems to back business and capitalism. Low taxes, government services would be something you would buy from companies, and a strong military. You have more money in your pocket because of lower taxes but will be giving that money to companies to provide you services.

This is the flaw in capitalism. The businesses become all powerful and dictate our lives. I will say this, that in theory, capitalism, in its true form, is supposed to be a way for people to be free (Democracy), and give individuals the right to attain anything they want. But what inevitably will happen is that a few will become super rich while everyone else becomes slaves to the industry. Labor Unions would lose power and the middle class would disappear.


The Liberal left seems to be more concerned with social reform, keeping big business in check, and utilizing government to help people as individuals.

This inevitably leads to bloated bureacracy that can stagnate and waste resources. But in effect stabilizes the extremes of big business and the individual. Thereby saving the middle class. The government is, in a sense, a communism, in that it is a group of citizens working for the common good of the country. Nobody gets super rich, but nobody is super poor, and everybody pitches in. Of course, a communism based on Marxist theory is just wishfull thinking.

But this is what makes the United States a great financial power. Because we are a communism inside a capitalism. We have the ability to reach Bill Gates stature or live on the street, but have a strong middle class that keeps the economy strong. Tax cuts to the wealthy only make them more wealthy. Tax cuts to the middle class will stimulate the economy.

I know this was a very bloated post. But I get fed up with people who have to reduce everything to a catchphrase or word. Liberal or Conservative, neither is completely right. But together, they have created the strongest country ever in the history of mankind.

Desertrat
Aug 19, 2003, 01:35 PM
Sorry, IJ; I don't quite follow your question, "As defined by whom?"

I was merely trying to point out what to me seems to be a defining characteristic of most of those who label themselves liberals or who are called liberals by others.

"Reformer"? Well, yeah. "Broad-minded" or "Tolerant"? Boy, does that vary! :D

Like all people, liberals and conservative vary all over the place as to their views of "how things oughta be", as touched on by jadariv. To stay with this thread, then, I note there seem to common traits in those who style themselves as liberals, which I could touch upon...

'Rat

mactastic
Aug 19, 2003, 02:22 PM
Ha, I was just kidding about the communist thing, it's just what I've been called more times than I care to remember. Red baiting seems to be a common tactic again.

IJ Reilly
Aug 19, 2003, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Sorry, IJ; I don't quite follow your question, "As defined by whom?"

The conventional definition of liberalism and the one you offered are so dissimilar that they can hardly be the same concept. I take this as strong evidence that the popular definition of liberalism has been successfully altered to suit a political agenda.

mactastic
Aug 19, 2003, 03:34 PM
I don't think you can necessarily define liberal. It is easier to say someone is a liberal, but you can't really say "All liberals believe X". It's pretty useless to try to lump them all together, unless you are using the debating tactic of associating your opponent with the most extreme faction of his/her side and then debate against that position.

I am surely on the liberal side, but that doesn't translate in automatic support for the massively corrupt democratic party. I get into it with my democratic parents and republican in-laws, they all think I'm the devil. :D

patrick0brien
Aug 19, 2003, 03:44 PM
-All

Using the word "Communist" to describe a liberal is just as tilted thinking as using "Idiot" to describe a conservative.

Let's be honest, both are blanket statements, neither are accurate, and the use of them isn't productive.

I can see reasons behind applying these terms to individuals, but I find it useless in the long run.

Dont Hurt Me
Aug 19, 2003, 04:21 PM
Liberal is letting anyone do anything, conservative is letting no one do nothing!:)

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 19, 2003, 04:31 PM
did anyone here ever read bloom county? one storyline had opus, vp candidate, get labeled as a liberal, which signalled the end of his political career. he said something like, "i believe in puppies, and long walks along the water, and big sloppy wet kisses..if you want to slap a label on that, go ahead!" then he got "liberal" stickered all over him. heh.

i guess i define it not so much as having gov't do everything, but certainly not believing that the market is our saviour. i believe in a lot of market failure...

zimv20
Aug 19, 2003, 04:43 PM
here's my oversimplification:

how much should the gov't help out those in need?

IJ Reilly
Aug 19, 2003, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
here's my oversimplification:

how much should the gov't help out those in need?

Just enough, but no more! :D

Desertrat
Aug 19, 2003, 06:46 PM
Is it reasonably accurate for me to claim that the Demo Party platforms of the last several campaigns can be labelled "Liberal"? At least in today's usage? The ideas are not the same as the "Classical Liberalism" of the 18th Century...And I'm not thinking of any allegations of corruption or hypocrisy; just the ideas of the planks of the platforms.

Separately, it seems to me that "how much" help comes from government is less the question than, "Who's eligible, and why?

'Rat

zimv20
Aug 19, 2003, 09:14 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
it seems to me that "how much" help comes from government is less the question than, "Who's eligible, and why?


yeah, that's pretty much what i meant.

communism = treat everyone absolutely equally
pure capitalism = for each his own

i don't think anyone here is at either extreme, it's all a matter of where we each fall w/in the spectrum.

IJ Reilly
Aug 19, 2003, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Is it reasonably accurate for me to claim that the Demo Party platforms of the last several campaigns can be labelled "Liberal"? At least in today's usage? The ideas are not the same as the "Classical Liberalism" of the 18th Century...And I'm not thinking of any allegations of corruption or hypocrisy; just the ideas of the planks of the platforms.

I don't see why it's so important to assign a label, especially a totally synthetic one that you'll find actually means something quite different when you look it up. The dictionary is not 18th century, it's current. I'd be happy to call myself a liberal in terms of the actual definition of liberal and don't why that definition has to be entangled with somebody's idea of what ideology a party platform represents.

pseudobrit
Aug 19, 2003, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Is it reasonably accurate for me to claim that the Demo Party platforms of the last several campaigns can be labelled "Liberal"? At least in today's usage? The ideas are not the same as the "Classical Liberalism" of the 18th Century...And I'm not thinking of any allegations of corruption or hypocrisy; just the ideas of the planks of the platforms.\

I don't think they were "liberal." I think they were platforms of the party, not any ideology, and many "platforms" from either party are simply feel-good BS.

Ideologies keep their ideals; it's the definition of them.
Parties change their ideals to win.
Which in turn, points out the paradox of party ideologies -- there aren't any.

tazo
Aug 20, 2003, 12:14 AM
Liberal: n.

1. An individual or group of individuals that embrace all views...unless you disagree with them.

2. Most of the media.

3. One who would rather take away your constitutional right to bear arms, then to take away bin Laden's or Saddam's weapons.

Usage:
Today's liberals want to make the world a better place...as long as they don't have to make the big sacrifices, and someone else does.

shadowfax
Aug 20, 2003, 03:08 AM
Originally posted by jadariv
I see it took three posts to bring out the 'Communist' card. Apparently this is the new dirty word from the Conservative right. I hear it on Crossfire all the time. Please explain to me what is wrong with a communism without bringing up any cold war propaganda (the Soviet Union was never a true communism). it's not a new dirty word, it's like.... 50 years old? seriously, my history teacher tells us a story of when she was a little girl in kindergarten in the 60s and a substitute teacher tried to get her in trouble because the drew a tree with purple leaves. the woman called the tree a "communist tree!" heh. people have thrown that word around, usually to destroy political enemines, for years. i haven't heard it used in current politics, though. except as a joke, if even then.

as far as why communism doesn't work, that's simple enough. you operate a country on the principle that the government (as established by the "working class" [obviously, anyone who makes more than $400,000 a year doesn't work]) is to pool the production of everyone and distribute it, usually not evenly, but according to need. but either way, the government "of the people" claims ownership of all production, and metes it out as it (or idealistically, "the people") sees fit. people who are able to work hard and long are expected to do so, without the reward of getting more than the people who cannot or do not work as long or hard. a scientist who comes up with an idea that saves thousands of lives and increases production is only given what he needs. the product of his mind is meted out to the people that the government decided needed it more than him.

before you go nitpicking, you must understand that this is extremely general; there are many, many strains of communism identifying varying problems with the system and attempting to adjust them.

my point is, the operating principle of communism is inherently counterproductive. in communism, the american dream is dead. there is no hope of becoming wealthy on your own. you can work as hard as you want, and you'll still get just as much as someone else thinks you need, or just as much as everyone else. this fact of existence causes even the most able to spend as little time and as little effort working as possible. if you could get the same thing for working 4 hours as 8, do you really think you would work 8? most people don't buy the idealism that your work is for the good of mankind, or "the people." and even if they did, there would be few that think a government could decide what is for "the good of mankind," or "the people." in such a system, the moocher and the loafer profit the most, for the short time that such a system lasts. after awhile the productive people become loafers and moochers, being intelligent people who realize that their position is most profitable.

the basic question at stake with communism, though, is, does a man own what he produces? and if the answer is yes, who can take it from him against his will? the answer is no one. looking at a nation where the rich horde money and the poor starve is frustrating to any human being with the faintest remnant of a heart. but to commit the logical error of thinking that you can take that money without consent to enrich the lives of the poor is foolish. such a system shows the wealthy that gaining wealth is bad, shows the poor that they have a right to get money from others (without doing anything for it). should people of means use them to help those who don't have means? yes, absolutely. if they don't want to, should you make them? no. no. no. do you have a right to take something you need from someone who has more than he does? the basic philosophy of communism says yes, and i can't help but feel really unnerved by that.

in my personal opinion, the governmental contract with its people should follow these terms: the people give money based on how much of its protection they use (as measured by their commercial activity; what do i mean? a sales tax!); the government uses this money to protect its citizens from attacks, foreign and internal, to uphold contracts in a court of law, and to enforce the law of the land.

of course, i have oversimplified the system that i envision for the simple reason that i am not thoroughly sure of the details, but i operate on the principle that anyone who thinks they can redistribute wealth without the wilful permission of everyone from whom money is taken: you can't use the principle of "majority rules" in the discussion of stealing from people any more than in the discussion of murdering them.

shadowfax
Aug 20, 2003, 03:17 AM
Originally posted by tazo
Liberal: n.
Usage:
Today's liberals want to make the world a better place...as long as they don't have to make the big sacrifices, and someone else does. most of that commentary was prejudiced and overgeneralized, i must say, tazo. you sound like you've been listening to rush a lot lately. you're also confusing the liberals with fascists on 1 and 2. seriously, that's a discussion i wish to avoid, and the comment i have quoted is pretty inflammatory too, but the principle you've expressed is a very eloquent explanation of the problem of the principle of communism. you make the world a better place at the expense of the rich, till the rich get wise and become part of the poor who are getting from the richer ones, and eventually everyone is impoverished.

by the way, my interpretation of communism is based a lot on ayn rand, who i realize is a controversial character, and a philosopher with whom i must admit i have many disagreements, but i do think she understands the idea of communism very well, and has expressed why it doesn't work very well in atlas shrugged. and no, i'm not talking about the US as it is in the book, but rather the twentieth century motor company experiment.

amnesiac1984
Aug 20, 2003, 06:32 AM
I find it very interesting the way right wing americans think of liberals. Its also a little worrying. The US's centre is probably a lot further right than Europes centre so whats liberal for you guys is probably seen as quite neutral for us. Whereas the right wingers over there that we read about are hard to take seriously and our laughable. Comments like tazo's about liberals are jsut ridiculous and are the typical result of the sort of talk show host kind of attitude that right wingers sometimes have. You hear arguments equating liberals to some kind of evil satan force that must be destroyed. Just all seems to have gotten a bit ridiculous to me.

The point that jadarv made was brilliant though. You have to have a balance, and throughout history America has swung between dems and republicans. The problem is that the pendulum seems to have kept swinging further right and less left, even with the dems in power, in order to please the inherently conservative masses of voters. I may be generalizing and of course the population is much more diverse than that but it jsut worries me.

Desertrat
Aug 20, 2003, 08:25 AM
IJ, MrMacman asked, "What is a liberal?" All I'm trying to do is find some commonality of word meanings, without being stuck in a dictionary. "Liberal" as an adjective is not the same thing as a political liberal. And it seems to me helpful to point out that the traits of Classical Liberalism are different from what today is called Liberalism in U.S. politics.

amnesiac, as a bit of perspective, today's U.S. center is much farther left than that of sixty years ago. As a comparative "for instance", Reagan essentially ran on JFK's platform: "Reduce taxes, and get the government off the back of business." Further, Dubya grew up and reached voting age under the ideas of LBJ's "Great Society". GHW Bush was a government employee for much of his adult life; I have no doubt that the idea of governmental power as a solution to problems was an influencing factor on Dubya's worldview.

The point that "The US's centre is probably a lot further right than Europes centre..." is correct, but Europe is more socialistic than the U.S., which gets back to my original point about opinions of government's importance in problem solving. (I know a bit more about Germany than other European countries, as my son lives there. However, there are enough articles in the media which infer various socio-economic indicators to allow some judgement.)

:), 'Rat

mactastic
Aug 20, 2003, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by shadowfax
most of that commentary was prejudiced and overgeneralized, i must say, tazo. you sound like you've been listening to rush a lot lately.

AFAIK, Geddy Lee would never have said something like that!:D

J/K, I know you meant Limbaugh.

IJ Reilly
Aug 20, 2003, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by amnesiac1984
I find it very interesting the way right wing americans think of liberals. Its also a little worrying. The US's centre is probably a lot further right than Europes centre so whats liberal for you guys is probably seen as quite neutral for us. Whereas the right wingers over there that we read about are hard to take seriously and our laughable. Comments like tazo's about liberals are jsut ridiculous and are the typical result of the sort of talk show host kind of attitude that right wingers sometimes have. You hear arguments equating liberals to some kind of evil satan force that must be destroyed. Just all seems to have gotten a bit ridiculous to me.

To control language is to control the debate. It's a cynical strategy, but it works. This is why during the Newt Gingrich reign, the Republicans decided to rename the Democratic Party the "Democrat Party." Even though Gingrich is long gone, a great many Republicans still refuse to refer to the opposition party by its correct name. It may be nonsense, but it's powerful nonsense.

3rdpath
Aug 20, 2003, 12:51 PM
what's a liberal?

how long is a piece of rope?

how deep is a well?



lotsa luck compadres.

mactastic
Aug 20, 2003, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
To control language is to control the debate. It's a cynical strategy, but it works. This is why during the Newt Gingrich reign, the Republicans decided to rename the Democratic Party the "Democrat Party." Even though Gingrich is long gone, a great many Republicans still refuse to refer to the opposition party by its correct name. It may be nonsense, but it's powerful nonsense.

As witnessed by the success of the so-called death tax. Originally it was the "Estate Tax" but repealing an estate tax (estate being a word associated with wealth) wasn't getting much support. Supporters of this form of tax repeal then renamed it the "Inheritance Tax". This got it a little more support, since people associate inheritance more with the common man, but it still wasn't really drawing enough support to pass. Finally it was renamed the "Death Tax" and people went wild. Everyone dies, so everyone can identify with a tax on death.

Recent GOP internal strategy documents have stressed that Republicans should identify themselves as "conservationists" instead of "environmentalist" when they discuss those issues to avoid the poisoned taint that the word has in conservative circles. The word "liberal" is used as an insult, when you want to co-opt one of their issues, call it "progressive" instead. It just goes to show the power of the language used to frame the debate.

In accordance, I have been refering to myself as a "progressive conservationist" lately when I talk to conservatives.:D

tazo
Aug 20, 2003, 02:40 PM
It is absolutely true that liberals believe deeply in freedom of speech, as long your speakingwhat they want to hear.

I will give you an example. At my school you are allowed to express and anti-war political position, however should you feel war is a good thing, you are relegated to suspension for disparaging comments.

I don't do well in forums where the match is already lit, so I leave you with this:

I am a moderate politically and what this enables me to do is see many issues from both sides. As an individual who sways to the left on some issues, and to the right on others, I find it ironic that in this thread, any badmouthing of liberals is considered nonsense and inflammatory discussion only fueled by the incessant verbal gangrape of Rush Limbaugh, while statements complementing liberals are taken as words from god. Or allah.

Seems at best, a double standard.
Not that liberals have had a hard time dealing with those if they are in their best interest.

And one more thing:
For the record I do not listen to Rush Limbaugh, as many individuals have seemed to conclude, as no one on their own apparently can make their own vague political statements without having listened to RL or MS.

-tazo

mactastic
Aug 20, 2003, 02:44 PM
I can see why you don't do well in these forums. You claim neutrality, but your sig insulted liberals. Anyway, regardless of that, I have a perfect example of a teacher who expressed anti-war sentiments and was threatened with termination for it. I don't know if you want to call it freedom of speech as long as you are saying what the (conservative) school board/parents want to hear or not. Whatever you want to call it, it happened.

tazo
Aug 20, 2003, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
I can see why you don't do well in these forums. You claim neutrality, but your sig insulted liberals. Anyway, regardless of that, I have a perfect example of a teacher who expressed anti-war sentiments and was threatened with termination for it. I don't know if you want to call it freedom of speech as long as you are saying what the (conservative) school board/parents want to hear or not. Whatever you want to call it, it happened.

I wasn't aware that I did poorly on these forums...

I never claimed neutrality, I said I was a moderate politically, which is something entirely different.

Had I posted a joking definition of conservative would you have cared, laughed, cried, been enraged? I highly doubt it.

And its going to take a lot more than a few usages of the word liberal for me to claim that I am insulting them :rolleyes:

mactastic
Aug 20, 2003, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by tazo
I don't do well in forums where the match is already lit, so I leave you with this:

I wasn't aware that I did poorly on these forums...

Sorry if I misunderstood you. I wasn't saying it first, just commenting on what you said.

I never claimed neutrality, I said I was a moderate politically, which is something entirely different.

Ok, you are a political moderate.

Had I posted a joking definition of conservative would you have cared, laughed, cried, been enraged? I highly doubt it.

Nope. I wouldn't have. I would have left it to the conservatives. And even then I might pile on just because those kinds of statements just don't help advance meaningful debate.

And its going to take a lot more than a few usages of the word liberal for me to claim that I am insulting them :rolleyes:

I doubt you'll ever claim you are insulting a liberal.

shadowfax
Aug 20, 2003, 02:59 PM
you did claim neutrality, tazo. that's the implicit meaning of saying "i can see both sides of the issue."

and those comments you made were just the kind of thing that rush limbaugh would say about liberals, for the record. they were prejudiced and short-sighted. you're reasoning from limited personal and anecdotal evidence. so your school's administration is "oppressively liberal." is it entirely inconceivable that there might be one that is oppressively conservative? does the fact that the jerks who run your school are liberals mean that all liberals are jerks? no. of course not. so you don't do well in discussions like this, because you make statements that are very insulting, apparently without even realizing it.

patrick0brien
Aug 20, 2003, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
you did claim neutrality, tazo. that's the implicit meaning of saying "i can see both sides of the issue."

-shadowfax

I must disagree with your definition of neutral here.

Tazo is indeed a moderate according to his definition as he tries to see all sides of an issue, then offers an opinion.

Neutrality is as defined by the The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
"1. The state or quality of being neutral; the condition of being unengaged in contests between others; state of taking no part on either side; indifference."

Though Tazo's use of language may foster disagreement and sometimes offense, noone can accuse him of being indifferent - e.g. neutral.

mactastic
Aug 20, 2003, 03:31 PM
Don't even the most conservative and liberal thinkers try to see all sides of an issue first and then offer an opinion? One does not necessarily have to be a moderate to see all sides of an issue IMHO.

shadowfax
Aug 20, 2003, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
-shadowfax

I must disagree with your definition of neutral here.

Tazo is indeed a moderate according to his definition as he tries to see all sides of an issue, then offers an opinion.

Neutrality is as defined by the The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
"1. The state or quality of being neutral; the condition of being unengaged in contests between others; state of taking no part on either side; indifference."

Though Tazo's use of language may foster disagreement and sometimes offense, noone can accuse him of being indifferent - e.g. neutral. ohhh, i didn't mean that level of neutrality. i mean that he seems to think that because he is a moderate, his attacks on liberals aren't really attacks a la rush (limbaugh). i mean that he was implying a certain level of neutrality by saying that he was a moderate and "can see both sides of the issue." there are people much further on the right who can see both issues. that statement is an illogical attempt at placation.

patrick0brien
Aug 20, 2003, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Don't even the most conservative and liberal thinkers try to see all sides of an issue first and then offer an opinion? One does not necessarily have to be a moderate to see all sides of an issue IMHO.

-mactastic

Well, there you get into the psychology of the deluded.

The mind is a funny thing, you might consider yourself a moderate, but actually not be. What determines it or not is several factors, one being do you truly consider all sides of an issue.

The first requirement is that one receives an issue with an open mind - no prejudice. Without that, you're already in a bucket.

What I do to keep me sane is I remind myself, no matter what my initial reaction to an issue, that due to the mere existence of that issue - somebody believes in it, and therefore, the issue is valid. From there, I put myself in that person's shoes, and actually try to see it that way. Then I look at it from as many perspectives as I can - including my own beliefs. I then never put an issue into a nice little box, the situation might change around the issue, thus changing the relevance of it. If I put it in a box, I've effectively closed my mind to that fact.

The problem is, if ones thinking becomes too tilted, one thinks that others who think similarly are normal, whereas everybody who doesn't is abnormally the opposite - even moderates. It's a slippery slope, Conservative or Liberal - the farther you go, the blinder you get, and therfore the farther you go.

A very dear friend of mine has a 32-year old sister who used to be quite moderate, but has fallen so far into ultraliberal-land I cannot have a conversation with her. She forms an opinion immediately - mark of a closed mind. Her own father bought an SUV - she immediately started calling him Usama due to "supporting foreign oil". She stops her course of thinking before she must remember that he runs a steel plant! And actually needs the thing for work. She hates her job because it "Feeds the machine", nevermind herself. She accuses anybody who buys an expensive thing new (Car, TV, Stereo, Computer, Home) of being "Ultra Conservative Republican Overlords (Pigs) that Have To Buy Everything New All the Time".

In her mind, she's thought the thing through all the way, but in reality, she's only applied several versions of her own perspective. She's never asked herself why her father might might buy such a vehicle, or why others buy stuff new..

One can get quite good at identifying the leaning of a person - starting of course with a persons wording - but again, always open mind :D. mactastic, your very question above shows that your mind is open, please keep it that way.

mactastic
Aug 20, 2003, 04:17 PM
Yeah there are definetly people out there who have made up their mind already about issues. But then there are people like W. Safire, a very conservative thinker who's positions are always well thought out and logically conclusive. Thats the kind of person who views all sides and has a conservative take on things. Thats all I was tryin to say. Plus I'd like to think I'm pretty open minded even though I'm definetly not a political moderate, so I had my own best interests at heart!:p

patrick0brien
Aug 20, 2003, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Yeah there are definetly people out there who have made up their mind already about issues. But then there are people like W. Safire, a very conservative thinker who's positions are always well thought out and logically conclusive.

-mactastic

An I respect anyone who can support their position with true objective thoughts. Thus this person is not an ultraconservative ready to pounce at a moments notice.

Personally, I try to avoid even approaching the terms of "Conservative" , and "Liberal" as that's just a cesspool of unproductive labeling.

shadowfax
Aug 20, 2003, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
Personally, I try to avoid even approaching the terms of "Conservative" , and "Liberal" as that's just a cesspool of unproductive labeling. you definitely have to be careful with labels. they can be useful though, sometimes. i have to say, though, they are one of the most dangerous things in the political arena. they require a great deal of discernment to be used properly.

Desertrat
Aug 20, 2003, 07:39 PM
I took one of these Web Quizzes about one's political views. The result is that apparently I'm a "Paleo-Libertarian", whatever that is. On one board, meant in a kindly fashion, I was teased as a "Grumpy Libertarian". :)

One thing I see that is more of a factor for me than for most folks is that I'm always looking for potential unintended consequences of "doing good". An example of this is AFDC. All agree that providing money for food for little kids is a Good Thing. Problem is, the requirements of the law precude a male presence in the home, meaning no male parenting, no male role model.

So, when I point out that some legislative goal is good, but the results may include side effects that are harmful, I'm accused of "not caring" or some such rot.

I've always been strong on personal responsibility for the cosnequences of decisions and actions. When I point out that the cumulative effect of poor decisions over a period of time can result in someone's being (for instance) unemployable but it's their own fault, I'm accused of being hard-hearted. Go figure.

And civil rights include civil responsibilities...

This is more along the lines of "what I believe" than it is an effort to describe liberals--or conservatives--but it's part of what I believe.

:), 'Rat

patrick0brien
Aug 20, 2003, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat This is more along the lines of "what I believe" than it is an effort to describe liberals--or conservatives--but it's part of what I believe.

-Rat

Well hold on there a sec, there is a big difference between Liberal and Libertarian as much as Conservative.

Libertarian is defined as one who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.

Liberal is one who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters, an opponent of the established systems, a reformer.

And for giggles, a Conservative is one who desires to maintain existing institutions and customs and one who holds moderate opinions in politics, opposed to revolutionary or radical.

Source: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


So you see, it's not quite the same thing as the media and politicos say it is. There are libertarian, liberal, and conservative streaks in all of us.

shadowfax
Aug 20, 2003, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
Liberal is one who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters, an opponent of the established systems, a reformer. wait, so a liberal would be against something like social security and welfare, as they are established systems? so then a conservative would advocate these established systems? hmmm, that's a bit confusing :p.

i think it's much more complicated than advocating greater freedom or opposing established systems. by the logic of the latter, a liberal would cease to be one once his goals were in place. in this day and age and country, a liberal is almost always on the left (almost? hah), and hence has socialist leanings. i don't think i have ever seen someone who would label themselves as liberal who didn't advocate the legacies of the new deal and great society. i've also found that most of the people behind the PC movements would classify themselves as liberal. this movement appeared to fiercely guard political and religious freedom, but i think it's now growing to the extent that it curtails them more than anything else. at any rate, i think that particular definition is at the least very misleading.

IJ Reilly
Aug 21, 2003, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by shadowfax
i've also found that most of the people behind the PC movements would classify themselves as liberal.

Assuming there is such a thing as the "PC movement," then people on the right are just as prone to PC as the left. They are just PC about different things. This is my experience, at any rate.

zimv20
Aug 21, 2003, 12:18 AM
conservative: i hate fags.
liberal: please, that word is offensive. use "homosexual".
conservative: i hate homosexuals.
liberal: that's better. wait -- no, that's horrible. why can't you be more tolerant?
conservative: why can't you read the bible and know that god hates homosexuals?
liberal: because if that's how god made them, then i think that's how they should live their lives.
conservative: fag.

tazo
Aug 21, 2003, 12:54 AM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Assuming there is such a thing as the "PC movement," then people on the right are just as prone to PC as the left. They are just PC about different things. This is my experience, at any rate.

There is definitely a pc movement. I would have to think incredibly hard of a single aspect of life that has not been affected by political correctness. its even spread to third world countries, err developing nations :o :)

zimv20
Aug 21, 2003, 01:03 AM
Originally posted by tazo
I would have to think incredibly hard of a single aspect of life that has not been affected by political correctness.

pizza

tazo
Aug 21, 2003, 01:14 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
pizza

I beg to differ.

There are no longer 'pizza guys', rather they are now Mobile Food Delivery Salespersons ;)

MrMacMan
Aug 21, 2003, 01:55 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
conservative: i hate fags.
liberal: please, that word is offensive. use "homosexual".
conservative: i hate homosexuals.
liberal: that's better. wait -- no, that's horrible. why can't you be more tolerant?
conservative: why can't you read the bible and know that god hates homosexuals?
liberal: because if that's how god made them, then i think that's how they should live their lives.
conservative: fag.

Yeah seriously stop waving the bible in my face, the bible is great, the bible is good.

Now stop waiving it in front of me and saying I am against god.

You think if I was against god, wouldn't god stop me?

:rolleyes:

Anywhoo I'm glad this hasn't turned into a fight fight or a blood bath...

yay?

Originally posted by tazo
I beg to differ.

There are no longer 'pizza guys', rather they are now Mobile Food Delivery Salespersons ;)
Nah, Pizza Delivery Guy's.

I haven't had 1 girl deliver my Pizza, if one comes I will change my wording to Person, but I haven't seen ONE...

:eek:

Tazo is not a Moderate, whatever you tell me, he is not.

Sorry if a person looks at both sides of an argument that just means they aren't Stupid.

If Tazo was Moderate he wouldn't take the generic Liberals own _____ stance or would only support half of what rush is saying, not all of it.

shadowfax
Aug 21, 2003, 02:10 AM
Originally posted by MrMacman
Sorry, if a person looks at both sides of an argument that just means they aren't stupid. true dat, hah! good stuff, man.

off this subject completely, it's interesting to see how often you change the wording of my accreditation in your sig for making your 'tar... so far, i rule, and i've got props... what else was there?

tazo
Aug 21, 2003, 02:32 AM
Originally posted by MrMacman
If Tazo was Moderate he wouldn't take the generic Liberals own _____ stance or would only support half of what rush is saying, not all of it. [/B]

I only support half of what he says. If I wasnt a moderate I sway to either side equally on political issues.

amnesiac1984
Aug 21, 2003, 03:06 AM
I don't think you can easily say you are moderate, you may be within your own perspective, but from others perspectives you are not. It is not something that one can judge by oneself.

MrMacMan
Aug 21, 2003, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by shadowfax
true dat, hah! good stuff, man.

off this subject completely, it's interesting to see how often you change the wording of my accreditation in your sig for making your 'tar... so far, i rule, and i've got props... what else was there?

I think I might have had' thanks shadowfax for making it' before 'shadowfax rules'

Dunno, I just changed the Sig up and moved you to the bottom position.

Most people read the top and bottom and skip over the middle anyway.


I gotta go with amnesiac1984 on this one too.

You really can't state what you our without someone else saying you are it.

If you belive it or not, I haven't heard one non-rush stance yet.

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 08:48 AM
If Tazo was a moderate, half those insults in his sig would have been aimed at conservatives.:D How about it Tazo... you should have no problem giving us a few of your liberal positions if you swing that way 50% of the time?

Backtothemac
Aug 21, 2003, 09:25 AM
Well, I am a fiscal conservative, and social moderate. Yep, I am Arnold. ;)

patrick0brien
Aug 21, 2003, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by zimv20

conservative: why can't you read the bible and know that god hates homosexuals?

-zimv20

It's too bad that to be a conservative anymore, one must be a Christian Fundamentalist who is trying to get others to conform to their belief system.

Hmmm.

Not really, and I find such insinuations counterproductive and inaccurate. True, Chrisian Fundamentalists do tend to be conservative, but the reverse is in no way true. And there are many in each school of thought, Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian, Green, etc who are trying to get others to conform to their belief system.

Remember, we all think like conservatives in certain subjects, liberals in others. It's not like if one developes a conservative opinion - one is infected and is a conservative through-and-through. For example - I'm conservative as hell on the traffic light system, and I will defend Green being Go, Red being Stop tooth and nail. It works well enough now - let's keep it the way it is (conserving it).

If you agree with me on this - you're having a conservative opinion.

Are you now a "conservative"?

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 09:53 AM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
-zimv20

It's too bad that to be a conservative anymore, one must be a Christian Fundamentalist who is trying to get others to conform to their belief system.

Hmmm.

Not really, and I find such insinuations counterproductive and inaccurate. True, Chrisian Fundamentalists do tend to be conservative, but the reverse is in no way true. And there are many in each school of thought, Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian, Green, etc who are trying to get others to conform to their belief system.

Remember, we all think like conservatives in certain subjects, liberals in others. It's not like if one developes a conservative opinion - one is infected and is a conservative through-and-through. For example - I'm conservative as hell on the traffic light system, and I will defend Green being Go, Red being Stop tooth and nail. It works well enough now - let's keep it the way it is (conserving it).

If you agree with me on this - you're having a conservative opinion.

Are you now a "conservative"?

Sheesh, by that logic, an environmentalist from the most radical fringe would be a conservative for wanting the environment to remain untouched. And the developer who wants to "change" things by putting houses up is a liberal! Yeah right! I don't think we are talking about the literal definition of liberal/conservative, rather I think the goal was to try to tease out the beliefs of today's liberal. Which is impossible IMHO. To quote an earlier poster, how deep is a well? You can't say, unless I give you the specific well to go measure. That's why you can evaluate a specific individual as liberal or conservative, but it's useless to try to say what all liberal believe.

patrick0brien
Aug 21, 2003, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
Sheesh, by that logic, an environmentalist from the most radical fringe would be a conservative for wanting the environment to remain untouched. And the developer who wants to "change" things by putting houses up is a liberal! Yeah right! I don't think we are talking about the literal definition of liberal/conservative, rather I think the goal was to try to tease out the beliefs of today's liberal. Which is impossible IMHO. To quote an earlier poster, how deep is a well? You can't say, unless I give you the specific well to go measure. That's why you can evaluate a specific individual as liberal or conservative, but it's useless to try to say what all liberal believe.

-mactastic

Thank you. Someone who gets it.

Someone who knows it's not simple.

To address your concerns, would an environmentalist from the most radical fringe be a considered a conservative for wanting the environment to remain untouched? Well, conservatism more relates to a 'way of doing things' more than an actual 'thing' like a forest, but I'd say yes as it still applies. It's conservation. If he does it by being radical though, say by strapping himself to a tree, with explosives and Phyllis Diller, that is serving a conservative agenta through liberal means. And if he is defending the forest from a law passed by the state government, he's defending his conservative agenda with liberal means with libertatian motivations.

Unfortunately, we only have the literal definition of Liberal and Conservative. These other discussions, as an attorney would tell you is conjecture, as they have not been defined as such - in a literal definition.

So to deviate from the official definition, automatically means that one is no longer talking about Conservatism, Liberalism, or Libertarianism.

IJ Reilly
Aug 21, 2003, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by tazo
There is definitely a pc movement. I would have to think incredibly hard of a single aspect of life that has not been affected by political correctness. its even spread to third world countries, err developing nations :o :)

You ignored the second part of my question. If PC really exists, it is clearly an equal-opportunity movement. I don't see anything less PC about a "God is Pro Life" bumper sticker then I do about a "Save the Whales" bumper sticker, an or AIDS awareness lapel ribbon versus an American flag lapel pin. Both are in their own ways efforts to appear "politically correct."

mactastic
Aug 21, 2003, 12:15 PM
I wonder how he'd fell about being called "pizza delivery gal" if most bringers of the golden cheese treat were women.

jefhatfield
Aug 21, 2003, 12:27 PM
Originally posted by MrMacman
I've seen many Stereotypes, many generalizations and much name calling.

Sooo... What makes up a Liberal, what are their philosophies?

I've heard that conservatives control news media, but yes conservatives say Liberals control the 'media'... your thought?

I've seen profiles and signatures one after the other saying this or that, I wanted a thread to talk about it.

There has been much side discussion on many other threads about it, just post what you get when you hear 'liberal'

I'm not gonna state my views untill I get a few people before me.

Thanks again!

--MrMacMan

in orange county, i am a liberal

in santa cruz or berkeley, i am a republican

....sorry for you non-californians out there....this post won't make too much sense

tazo
Aug 21, 2003, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
If Tazo was a moderate, half those insults in his sig would have been aimed at conservatives.:D How about it Tazo... you should have no problem giving us a few of your liberal positions if you swing that way 50% of the time?

I am very strong about freedom of speech rights, I feel they are paramount to many other social rights we enjoy; I also vehemently disagree with the Patriot act.
I am also anti-death penalty.

There are 3 :) I have more political positions I sway to the left on but, why ruin post them all here right?

;)

As for the comments about the signature, the point of it was 'my' definition of the word liberal; I wasn't defining conservative ;)

And btw, you would be hard pressed to find someone who IRL makes more jokes about Bush AND Liberals than me.

Newtopia
Aug 23, 2003, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
amnesiac, as a bit of perspective, today's U.S. center is much farther left than that of sixty years ago. As a comparative "for instance", Reagan essentially ran on JFK's platform: "Reduce taxes, and get the government off the back of business." Further, Dubya grew up and reached voting age under the ideas of LBJ's "Great Society". GHW Bush was a government employee for much of his adult life; I have no doubt that the idea of governmental power as a solution to problems was an influencing factor on Dubya's worldview.

Rat, that is categorically, embarrasingly untrue. Today's US Center are basically Moderate Republicans dressed up, for whatever reason, in Democratic clothing. Today's Centrist Democrats were essentially created in 1992 by Bill Clinton. But that was achieved by strongly shifting Democrats to the Right.

Whereas the GOP is united under one message, one party-line, and a platform that supports the rich, the corporate, and the Evangelical Christian, the Democratic Party is divided into three separate, warring factions, the Liberals, the Progressives, and the Moderates.

Ironically, there is very little to differentiate Liberals from Progressives, despite however much either would argue against that notion. Both stand for relatively the same things: a populist or quasi-populist argument and ideology stemming from the desire to protect the average working man and woman against the excesses of the priviliged elite. Their self-imposed identities sprang largely from the socio-economic backgrounds of the adherents. Progressives claim their etiology from the rich tradition of Workers uniting against exploitative Capitalism, the movement that began in Chicago in the late 1800's with the Haymarket riots, and expanded across the nation, gathering the most steam during the Great Depression when it was feared that Capitalism was a failed system. THere were plenty of Communists and Socialists in America then, and they were respected and elected. The Cold War propaganda machine hadn't yet taken off.

Liberals, on the other hand, derive their lineage from the long legacy of so-called "elites", largely East Coast and European intellectuals and artists with a significantly higher socio-economic standing and level of influence.

So it could be said that Progressives fought for the rights of their fellows, and Liberals fought for the rights of the disadvantaged, who didn't have the same level of import as they.


Moderates are an entirely different story. Perhaps the best example of the disconnect between the Moderates and the Liberals occurred in 1968 at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where former Mayor Richard J. Daley stated "This is Chicago, this is America" while denouncing the demonstrators and sicking his police force on those gathered in Grant Park, protesting the Vietnam War, summarized by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor in American Pharaoh:

"Daley emerged on the national scene in 1968 as an icon of working-class resentment toward the anti-war movement and the youth-oriented counterculture. Daley's opposition was in large part political. The anti-authoritarian spirit behind the movement was a threat to machine politics, which was built on the foundation of blind obedience. Daley understood that when power shifted to the grassroots level and to the streets, political bosses like him would suffer. In fact, his fears about the direction the anti-war activists were leading the Democratic Party would be borne out in the aftermath of the 1968 convention. Daley and his delegates were not seated in the 1972 convention: the party voted instead to recognize a ragtag group of liberals and blacks as the official Illinois."

This legacy, and the resentment contained therein, did not dissipate, and in fact served to keep the Democratic Party split, causing them to lose in 1972 by a disgusting landslide margin to incumbent Richard Nixon, probably the only other modern President as criminal in his inherent nature as GW Bush. The election of Jimmy Carter was an anomaly in American politics, and for many of us those four years were four we'd all like to forget, not so much because of Carter but because of the general state of affairs in the nation, which were abysmal. Then came 12 years of Reagan and Bush, 12 years of almost irreparable damage to the Liberal and Progressive traditions that were the lifeblood of our political process, and it took someone as widely hated as GHW Bush (and a pre-Nader foil in Ross Perot, who split the Conservative vote) to get Americans to vote Democrat again in 1992. But they didn't vote for your traditional Democrat, they elected a socially and fiscally conservative, pro-business, pro-Bible, pro-gun President, a description that fits most of those Moderate Democrats co-opted by the DLC.

jefhatfield
Aug 23, 2003, 11:18 AM
hey newtopia, welcome to these forums..you sound like a historian...backtothemac, the conservative poster here longer than any other, is also a historian and it will be interesting to see what you and him have to say on different issues:D

but is everything that desertrat said that wrong? hasn't society moved to the left? or the gop in general? (how about at least socially?)

Newtopia
Aug 23, 2003, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by jefhatfield
hey newtopia, welcome to these forums..you sound like a historian...backtothemac, the conservative poster here longer than any other, is also a historian and it will be interesting to see what you and him have to say on different issues:D

but is everything that desertrat said that wrong? hasn't society moved to the left? or the gop in general? (how about at least socially?)

Not even close my friend. America is a very conservative nation, and if anything, since 1980, we have stepped (ne, leaped) far to the Right. Don't be fooled just because we have things like "Affirmative Action" and "Same Sex Partner Benefits" that we have suddenly "gone Liberal". Those initiatives were made because it's bad for business not to have them, not because America suddenly became socially progressive. We still thump the Bible everywhere, and conservatives pay lip service to minorities and immigrants, but in truth would prefer to oust them at their earliest connvenience. Conservative America identifies itself with "patriotic, Christian" values, which are just code words for rabid Nationalism, and homogeneity of people and culture (you know, kinda like the Nazis).

It would take me a day to explain it all to you here, but the easiest thing to do is wait less than a week until the Sept issue of Newtopia is posted. Among dozens of excellent articles on this topic, there is in particular an excellent article on "The Culture Wars" by Joseph Lyles. I highly recommend everyone read it.

jefhatfield
Aug 23, 2003, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by Newtopia
Not even close my friend. America is a very conservative nation, and if anything, since 1980, we have stepped (ne, leaped) far to the Right. Don't be fooled just because we have things like "Affirmative Action" and "Same Sex Partner Benefits" that we have suddenly "gone Liberal". Those initiatives were made because it's bad for business not to have them, not because America suddenly became socially progressive. We still thump the Bible everywhere, and conservatives pay lip service to minorities and immigrants, but in truth would prefer to oust them at their earliest connvenience. Conservative America identifies itself with "patriotic, Christian" values, which are just code words for rabid Nationalism, and homogeneity of people and culture (you know, kinda like the Nazis).

It would take me a day to explain it all to you here, but the easiest thing to do is wait less than a week until the Sept issue of Newtopia is posted. Among dozens of excellent articles on this topic, there is in particular an excellent article on "The Culture Wars" by Joseph Lyles. I highly recommend everyone read it.

interesting...i will check it out

i started a thread concerning the draft and the huge amount of poor people, white and black who hold up the services and get low pay to boot

besides the president and vice president worrying about the poor making up the armed services...and maybe using that for a draft later on...

...i also heard a great liberal/progressive guest on kgo/abc radio who mentioned how minorities and poor are so targeted to the military while in a rich white area in LA, there are no recruiters...east los angeles, very heavily minority, is full of recruiters

i am a minority and a democrat and i have been very concerned about this for a long time...the liberal radio guest called for a draft so more college people and upper middle class white people would be in the armed services

like said...rich man's war, poor man's fight

IJ Reilly
Aug 23, 2003, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by Newtopia
Not even close my friend. America is a very conservative nation, and if anything, since 1980, we have stepped (ne, leaped) far to the Right. Don't be fooled just because we have things like "Affirmative Action" and "Same Sex Partner Benefits" that we have suddenly "gone Liberal". Those initiatives were made because it's bad for business not to have them, not because America suddenly became socially progressive. We still thump the Bible everywhere, and conservatives pay lip service to minorities and immigrants, but in truth would prefer to oust them at their earliest connvenience. Conservative America identifies itself with "patriotic, Christian" values, which are just code words for rabid Nationalism, and homogeneity of people and culture (you know, kinda like the Nazis).

It would take me a day to explain it all to you here, but the easiest thing to do is wait less than a week until the Sept issue of Newtopia is posted. Among dozens of excellent articles on this topic, there is in particular an excellent article on "The Culture Wars" by Joseph Lyles. I highly recommend everyone read it.

Nice posts. I have one question, and that is in regards to your description/definition of Progressives, which is different from the one I know. The way I understand it, the Progressive movement was largely Republican-led starting in the 1890s, and centered around the issues of trust busting, social reform and conservationism. It peaked with Theodore Roosevelt's presidency and wound down with Taft (and put down finally by Coolidge and Hoover, when the Republicans became the party of big business). Most of the progressives were well-to-do northeastern industrialists (and even more often, their wives). During that time, the Democratic party's stronghold was Southern populism.

Newtopia
Aug 23, 2003, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Nice posts. I have one question, and that is in regards to your description/definition of Progressives, which is different from the one I know. The way I understand it, the Progressive movement was largely Republican-led starting in the 1890s, and centered around the issues of trust busting, social reform and conservationism. It peaked with Theodore Roosevelt's presidency and wound down with Taft (and put down finally by Coolidge and Hoover, when the Republicans became the party of big business). Most of the progressives were well-to-do northeastern industrialists (and even more often, their wives). During that time, the Democratic party's stronghold was Southern populism.

No, I believe the Progressive movement arose to protect workers rights and to lift the miserable poor from their squalor, in the work of Jane Addams, for instance. It was born in Chicago as a resistance to unbridled Capitalism. Read about the Haymarket Riots, and the four men (Progressive organizers) who were wrongly hanged for the incident.

Newtopia
Aug 23, 2003, 12:09 PM
In reality, we have two nations within America. Here is something I published in June, which in a very general sense describes the factioning of our nation. The main split is between Urban and Suburban/rural, and the separate halves of our culture are migrating like no other time in our history to like-minded enclaves. It's a very complex issue, I recommend you read Richard Florida's "The Rise of the Creative Class".

********
TWO AMERICAS (http://www.newtopiamagazine.net/n0306v2i2/news/LetterfromEditorfrm.htm)

Around the world people are denouncing Americans, labouring under the same misconception most Americans do that they live in a Democracy and somehow have a say in shaping their Nations foreign policy. But our foreign friends fail to realize that there is a division in America so profound people are beginning to say there are two Americas.


There is Urban America: global, diverse, creative, multicultural, progressive, tolerant. Very much like their European and Asian peers. And then there is Suburban/Heartland America: Corporate Brand/Bland America, a largely homogeneous, stultifying collection of white Christian Republican consumers who gobble up material goods and popular culture.


The present-day division in our nation directly parallels the social chasm of the 1930s, and these chasms arose as a result of the go-go decades that preceded them. During the 1920s & 1990s America grew at an ungodly rate, and the bulk of the growth took place in private corporations that gave a very small group of people virtually all the wealth and control. The current building booms in the major financial centers of New York and Chicago were almost identical to the Art Deco booms of the Roaring 20s that first gave us the skyscraper, and by proxy, a symbol of American commercial ambition. During both periods billions were being invested in metropolitan development, and the demographics of the nation were changing into a new type of world cosmopolitanism.


By comparison, in both the 1930s and the 2000s we have isolationism, market collapses, perpetual recession, war and militarism brought about by realignment of world order, and massive Domestic reorganization of government and society. And the gap between rich and poor continues to race towards opposite poles. But much like in Europe, the division in America into cosmopolitan and provincial is quite simple to explain.


Politics.


Urban America has a much greater division of income, and as such, is not a reliable tax base. The poor pay too little, and the urban haves have substantially more than the Suburban haves and shelter their money. Urban areas have very different economies, cultures, and political structures than the hinterlands. NYC, LA, San Francisco, and Chicago have more in common with Paris, London, Singapore, and Hong Kong than they do with Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, or Phoenix.


Suburban America, on the other hand, is the tax base that feeds the multinational conglomerates and funds the American Empire. Because of this, they are the ones targeted with the most propaganda, and the least real choices. Consume! Obey! Show Patriotism! Shun dissent! The NeoCons know they cant get Urban America to pay for perpetual war, but they know Suburban America will fork over their last farthing for National Security.


The irony: Has there ever been a wide-scale terrorist attack in the Burbs?


Thus, Americans Urbanites find themselves in a kind of neoquandary where they realize, like Athens and Troy and Alexandria, that they exist as separate city-state civilizations within the borders of a vast and ambitious Empire attempting a form of homogeneity. This is particularly vital for our Euro friends to understand. A million people protesting in London, a million people protesting in New York, and a million people protesting in Karachi are the same bloody thing.


To explain the confusion in America, look no further than the Dixie Chicks. Texas is an undeniably redneck state, chompin at the bit for war and executions. Look at its finest export, currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC. However, talk to people in Laredo or Austin, and youll think youre in another country. The Chicks were from Austin, a fancy, liberal and left cultural University enclave surrounded on all sides by redneckery, the second highest scoring creative centre in the nation behind San Francisco (how funny is it that it is also the state capitol?).


People automatically assume Country Music means Redneck, and all of them are feeble minded, flag toting, God-and-mom loving campy patriot Americans. As a broad stereotype, this is probably true. The Chicks, passionate about country music, willingly chose a fan base naturally hostile to progressive thinking. It was all wine and roses as long as the relationship was musical, provided the Chicks conform to the Country Music lyrical format. At its most cynical, it said more about American pop-culture greed than the division of our people along political lines.


But the minute the relationship became personal, which is to say political, their fans turned on them. It was as if the Chicks had been found out, because their fans naturally expected their pop-culture heroes to echo their own moral and political convictions. In the aftermath both sides felt equal betrayal. There is something about the ironic, through-the-Lookingglass nature of this dynamic that resonates so much deeper, and disturbs so much more.


But the very fact that Austin, which bred these paradoxical Dixie Chicks, developed as a progressive refuge from the Texan status quo underscores what has happened in our cities. The young, the creative, the different, the political, the alternative, sought out cities to live in communities free from the institutionalized abuse of the conformity of Suburban provincialism. They created vibrant cultural neighbourhoods, which drew in the Cosmopolitan and priced out the rest. Now we have cities that the poor cant afford to live in, and the meek refuse to live in. And the media reinforces the paradigm of the big, dangerous, crime-ridden city to keep the Suburbanites scared, away, and voting Republican.


Is it because the truth is always found in the city?


Charles Shaw
Chicago, June 2003

Desertrat
Aug 23, 2003, 12:29 PM
Newtopia, our disagreement stems mostly from my view that a defining difference between what I see as Liberal and what I see as Conservative has to do with the amount of use of government as a means of solving social problems. (I don't pretend to believe that all Conservatives totally shun such use.)

I believe the 1930s offer a good example of this, given the arguments between FDR's views and those of his opponents.

With today's Conservatives supporting many governmental social programs, I have to believe this illustrates what I referred to before as a liberalization.

Otherwise, I'm in accord with your analyses...

FWIW, I was in the middle of the Austin music scene from 1963-1983. I've returned quite often to Austintatious for visits with friends and family, and have maintained contact with a fair number of the "aging folk-hippies" there. Austin has always had a turbulent dynamic, from J. Frank Dobie and John Henry Faulk on through Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower...

:), 'Rat

IJ Reilly
Aug 23, 2003, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by Newtopia
No, I believe the Progressive movement arose to protect workers rights and to lift the miserable poor from their squalor, in the work of Jane Addams, for instance. It was born in Chicago as a resistance to unbridled Capitalism. Read about the Haymarket Riots, and the four men (Progressive organizers) who were wrongly hanged for the incident.

All of these things touch and mix, but certainly the progressive movement was also taken up by wealthy and influential families who felt a duty to do something about poverty and living conditions in the cities. Quite a bit of this sort of social work and reform was going on in places like New York City (I'm thinking of the tenement acts for one).

Well, all this is in my dim memory. I trained and practiced as a city planner many odd years ago, so you're inducing me to pull some very dusty volumes off of my book shelves.

RobVanDam
Aug 23, 2003, 12:50 PM
MrMacMan, liberals have a very strong influence in news media. Conservatives have a very strong influence in opinion media.

IJ Reilly
Aug 23, 2003, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
What is a Liberal? Good target practice.

You're new to these boards, so a friendly warning seems in order: this is the kind of pointlessly inflammatory remarks that gets people banned. It also gets discussion restarted among the "board gods" about closing this forum down entirely. So please, think before posting.

RobVanDam
Aug 23, 2003, 01:03 PM

mactastic
Aug 23, 2003, 01:10 PM
You're not getting it, are you?

There... gone.

RobVanDam
Aug 23, 2003, 01:58 PM
Well deleting a post doesn't do much good when someone quotes it.

Sorry if I offended anyone, wasn't meant as an insult, just poking fun.

Durandal7
Aug 23, 2003, 04:44 PM
There are three types of liberals who exist in America at the moment:

Actual Liberal:
Someone who is tolerant of other ideas and cultures and sees validity in opposing viewpoints. They tend to believe that humans are at their core good and that government can do a great deal of good if given the chance. They have strong beliefs and will not compromise them and often are opposed to war in any form and wish to help the environment.

Elitist/Idiot Liberals:
Someone who claims to be tolerant of other ideas and cultures but really means they are tolerant as long as it fits with their view of reality. They have very few principles except for "do the opposite of the Republicans" and they tend to border on Communism or Anarchism. They will always come out and support the agendas of the "Actual Liberals" such as the anti-war movement, but they will always kill the credibility of such legitimate movements by using them as an excuse to get attention for quasi-communist or quasi-anarchist causes.

Party-Line Liberals:
Moderates who have been indoctrinated by party propoganda. They follow the Democrat party blindly no matter what it is doing. They claim to support liberal agendas but in truth really couldn't care less since they don't know about the conservative or the liberal viewpoints. Their blind loyalty tends to hurt the agendas of the Actual Liberals since they come out and make ridiculously uninformed statements that hurt Liberal credibility as much as the Idiot Liberals do.

Those are your three strains of Liberals in America at the moment.

Newtopia
Aug 23, 2003, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by Durandal7
There are three types of liberals who exist in America at the moment:

Actual Liberal:
Someone who is tolerant of other ideas and cultures and sees validity in opposing viewpoints. They tend to believe that humans are at their core good and that government can do a great deal of good if given the chance. They have strong beliefs and will not compromise them and often are opposed to war in any form and wish to help the environment.

Elitist/Idiot Liberals:
Someone who claims to be tolerant of other ideas and cultures but really means they are tolerant as long as it fits with their view of reality. They have very few principles except for "do the opposite of the Republicans" and they tend to border on Communism or Anarchism. They will always come out and support the agendas of the "Actual Liberals" such as the anti-war movement, but they will always kill the credibility of such legitimate movements by using them as an excuse to get attention for quasi-communist or quasi-anarchist causes.

Party-Line Liberals:
Moderates who have been indoctrinated by party propoganda. They follow the Democrat party blindly no matter what it is doing. They claim to support liberal agendas but in truth really couldn't care less since they don't know about the conservative or the liberal viewpoints. Their blind loyalty tends to hurt the agendas of the Actual Liberals since they come out and make ridiculously uninformed statements that hurt Liberal credibility as much as the Idiot Liberals do.

Those are your three strains of Liberals in America at the moment.


Sounds more like your very biased opinion and made-up names than any actual distinction of political ideology. Wearing our politics on our sleeve, are we?

Durandal7
Aug 23, 2003, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by Newtopia
Sounds more like your very biased opinion and made-up names than any actual distinction of political ideology. Wearing our politics on our sleeve, are we?

Indeed, it is my extremely biased opinion and the names are in fact made-up. And yes, seeing as how this is a political discussion, I may as well make my views known.

It does not take a genius to see that legitimate liberal agendas are being shot out of the water by ELF types and extremist fools.

Desertrat
Aug 23, 2003, 06:47 PM
Newtopia, Durandal7's threesome speak reasonably accurately to the behavior which seems common in today's political arena.

Whether "liberal" or "conservative", each has a certain core of thought. People being people, many will adopt either label but take only part of that core or add to it. To me, that's why any tight definition is, if not impossible, at least a bit slippery to get hold of.

'Rat

IJ Reilly
Aug 23, 2003, 08:00 PM
Originally posted by Newtopia
Sounds more like your very biased opinion and made-up names than any actual distinction of political ideology. Wearing our politics on our sleeve, are we?

A while back I pointed out the technique of trying to control language in order to control the debate. It's a rather cynical approach, but it's become quite common lately. The aim is to delegitimize the entire concept of alternative viewpoints. The left did this during the 1960s and 1970s, in the long run much to its detriment, and the right took it up during the 1990s -- to the same end ultimately, I predict. I suppose in the United States, once you're ahead, it's become accepted political practice to claim title to ball, and attempt to declare the game over.

tazo
Aug 24, 2003, 02:53 AM
Elitist/Idiot Liberals:
Someone who claims to be tolerant of other ideas and cultures but really means they are tolerant as long as it fits with their view of reality. They have very few principles except for "do the opposite of the Republicans" and they tend to border on Communism or Anarchism. They will always come out and support the agendas of the "Actual Liberals" such as the anti-war movement, but they will always kill the credibility of such legitimate movements by using them as an excuse to get attention for quasi-communist or quasi-anarchist causes.

Party-Line Liberals:
Moderates who have been indoctrinated by party propoganda. They follow the Democrat party blindly no matter what it is doing. They claim to support liberal agendas but in truth really couldn't care less since they don't know about the conservative or the liberal viewpoints. Their blind loyalty tends to hurt the agendas of the Actual Liberals since they come out and make ridiculously uninformed statements that hurt Liberal credibility as much as the Idiot Liberals do.

The majority of liberals [I say liberals as a species, rather than any one individual] are the above two "types" of liberals I have had experience with.

This does not mean I believe all liberals are treehuggers, or baby-killers, it simply means the two aforementioned liberal species give conservatives a good name. Albeit a blood stained one.

-tazo

jefhatfield
Aug 24, 2003, 06:38 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Newtopia, Durandal7's threesome speak reasonably accurately to the behavior which seems common in today's political arena.

Whether "liberal" or "conservative", each has a certain core of thought. People being people, many will adopt either label but take only part of that core or add to it. To me, that's why any tight definition is, if not impossible, at least a bit slippery to get hold of.

'Rat

so true...i hate labels and for my first couple of elections, i registered independent and voted mostly democrat but voted for reagan in 84, but left the ballot blank for prez slot in 88

for some reason when i was a kid, i heavily sided with the nixon-ford legacy and hated jimmy carter, and my parents had a small business so i didn't see a bigger picture outside of my own family and how each party affected how much we paid in taxes

but then after i left home and went to college, as is the case with many kids who think conservative, i opened my mind to a lot of different ideas and started becoming a democrat more and more

but now that i have been in the working world for too many years, i have become more conservative for many of the same reasons i was in the first place, but i still retain some of the socially liberal aspects of my beliefs i got from college

in northern california, for older folk like me, and the generation before, there were fewer educational choices out there so many people, like it or not, went to the extremely liberal cal berkeley...and for obvious reasons, many of my family and friends once held far left viewpoints of the world

what is really funny is that, in most of the cases i know, life has made most of these people rebulicans in later life and they had a very wide swing from their 20s to 40s...more than alums i know from any other school

i really know of only two cal alums where i live that still hold onto the traditional far left the school is most famous for

today, cal seems to just be a shadow of what it once was in the radical 60s, but the area around the school is still pretty radical...but the philosophy of liberalism still permeates the curriculum and while this plays in very well to the law school, it is very counterproductive to the business school

i had a friend who got his mba there, and while he was an entrepreneur, he was still a solid democrat...but he found his ambitiousness and pro business ideals very out of step with the mba program...my friend, like many entrepreneurs, like to have connections and network casually...that type of belief is the biggest no no on the berkeley campus and he must have gone through hell there the two years he did his mba studies:p :p :p

Desertrat
Aug 24, 2003, 09:22 AM
"If at 20 you're not a Socialist, you have no heart. If at 30 you're still a Socialist, you have no brain." :D

'Rat

shadowfax
Aug 24, 2003, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
"If at 20 you're not a Socialist, you have no heart. If at 30 you're still a Socialist, you have no brain." :D

'Rat wasn't it "if at 20 you're not a liberal, you have no heart; if at 30 you're not conservative, you have no brain"?

the winston churchill quote, yes?

mactastic
Aug 24, 2003, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by tazo
Damn I thought 3-4 bullets was enough for this thread. *Puts on gloves*



The majority of liberals [I say liberals as a species, rather than any one individual] are the above two "types" of liberals I have had experience with.

This does not mean I believe all liberals are treehuggers, or baby-killers, it simply means the two aforementioned liberal species give conservatives a good name. Albeit a blood stained one.

*Removes gloves, wipes forehead*

-tazo

Ha! You're warped sense of humor is rubbing off. I know you meant that as another of your hilarious "jokes". It did remind me that most of the conservatives I have met fall into those very same catagories:
A: Conservative Elitist Idiot
B: Party Line Conservative

job
Aug 24, 2003, 10:48 AM
Originally posted by mactastic

A: Conservative Elitist Idiot
B: Party Line Conservative

You forgot the Libertarians. :p

There are also less rigid (read: less dogmatic) conservatives out there.

tazo
Aug 24, 2003, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Ha! You're warped sense of humor is rubbing off. I know you meant that as another of your hilarious "jokes". It did remind me that most of the conservatives I have met fall into those very same catagories:
A: Conservative Elitist Idiot
B: Party Line Conservative

Where did I joke? :confused:

mactastic
Aug 24, 2003, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by tazo
Where did I joke? :confused:

Oh you meant those insulting things you said this time? I wasn't sure. Nice to see what a "moderate" thinks of liberals.:rolleyes:

tazo
Aug 24, 2003, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Oh you meant those insulting things you said this time? I wasn't sure. Nice to see what a "moderate" thinks of liberals.:rolleyes:

How did I insult liberals?

And its nice to see what a liberal thinks of a moderate. :rolleyes:

zimv20
Aug 24, 2003, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by tazo

And its nice to see what a liberal thinks of a moderate. :rolleyes:

to illustrate how meaningful self-applied terms are -- i consider myself a moderate.

mactastic
Aug 24, 2003, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by tazo
How did I insult liberals?

And its nice to see what a liberal thinks of a moderate. :rolleyes:

I think it was the word idiot.

tazo
Aug 24, 2003, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
to illustrate how meaningful self-applied terms are -- i consider myself a moderate.

Therein lies the difference; I am a moderate, while you are joking.

zimv20
Aug 24, 2003, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by tazo
Therein lies the difference; I am a moderate, while you are joking.

i'm not kidding. i'm fiscally conservative and socially progressive. i advocate personal responsibility, support a strong military, favor reasonable taxes, want a balanced budget, while being pro-choice, anti-death penalty and pro-environment.

Durandal7
Aug 24, 2003, 02:25 PM
To futher elaborate you may replace liberal with whatever political idea you feel like.

Here are some things indicitave of statements that the Idiot/Elitist and Party-Line categories might say, I am including all schools of thought in these. If you see someone making a statement along these line then there is a good chance they belong to one of these classes.

Idiot/Elitist Statements:
George Bush is Hitler.
Let's burn a SUV dealership.
Let's riot in support of globalization then riot in protest of it next week.
Conservatives are evil.
Liberals are sinners.
Let's burn an abortion clinic.
Let's shoot at a government official to make the government smaller.
Bill Clinton is a traitor.

Party-Line Statements:
I like affirmative action because it is affirmative.
Bill Clinton was the best president ever.
Taxes are always good.
Taxes are always bad.
Ronald Reagan was the best president ever.
The government is responsible enough to handle the Patriot Act.
A fee based tax system won't bloat the federal government.

RobVanDam
Aug 24, 2003, 03:04 PM
I'm sorry, but whoever says that Clinton or Reagan was the best president in our history seriously needs a kick in the head.

Desertrat
Aug 24, 2003, 07:02 PM
shadowfax, I wouldn't begin to argue that it's a twist of a Churchillian quote. I really don't know for sure; it's just one of those "bits" that have been in circulation for eons...

'Rat

jefhatfield
Aug 24, 2003, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
shadowfax, I wouldn't begin to argue that it's a twist of a Churchillian quote. I really don't know for sure; it's just one of those "bits" that have been in circulation for eons...

'Rat

puhleese folks...i think the ages were 20 and 40...one doesn't make that type of a change in just one decade...there are too many immature things to get off of one's chest between 20 and 30

like finding out who the girls on macrumors are...OK!!;) :D

vniow
Aug 24, 2003, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by jefhatfield


like finding out who the girls on macrumors are...OK!!;) :D

*looks around*

Where?

Oh wait....

*giggles*

mactastic
Aug 25, 2003, 11:10 AM
Hey Miss V, did you end up going to Cabrillo this term?

vniow
Aug 25, 2003, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Hey Miss V, did you end up going to Cabrillo this term?

Yep, I start this September, yay!

mactastic
Aug 26, 2003, 08:20 AM
Cool! Wow, September? I remember having to start in August! Hope you have fun:D

patrick0brien
Aug 26, 2003, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
I'm sorry, but whoever says that Clinton or Reagan was the best president in our history seriously needs a kick in the head.

-RobVanDam

Those are some strong words to not have a supporting position - Care to enlighten us?

jefhatfield
Aug 26, 2003, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
-RobVanDam

Those are some strong words to not have a supporting position - Care to enlighten us?

one thing i can say about both presidents is that they presided over strong growth economies that ended up being mostly on paper...they disintegrated as soon as both left office and left many to question if either were as good economically as some have said during "good times"

my choices, in the 20th century for great presidents would be fdr for the dems and nixon for the republicans...fdr being the right man during the depression and war and nixon getting us out of vietnam and forming an alliance with china which i believe split the communist party and eventually led to the breakdown of communism in the decade following...somehow i don't credit the fall fo communism in europe to george bush:p

Sayhey
Aug 26, 2003, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by jefhatfield
one thing i can say about both presidents is that they presided over strong growth economies that ended up being mostly on paper...they disintegrated as soon as both left office and left many to question if either were as good economically as some have said during "good times"

my choices, in the 20th century for great presidents would be fdr for the dems and nixon for the republicans...fdr being the right man during the depression and war and nixon getting us out of vietnam and forming an alliance with china which i believe split the communist party and eventually led to the breakdown of communism in the decade following...somehow i don't credit the fall fo communism in europe to george bush:p

I know this stuff is off topic but I can't resist giving my two cents. I agree with FDR, but Nixon? How about TR as the greatest 20th century Republican President? Nixon was clever at exploiting the weaknesses of others in foriegn policy, but whatever his accomplishments they were overshadowed by Watergate. The split within the international communist movement predates Nixon's presidenancy, he, as I said, only exploited the already existing split. Around Vietnam, he expanded and deepened the war before he was finally forced to get us out. His greatest accomplishment was, IMHO, around arms control.

As to Clinton and Reagan, the major difference in the expansions that took place under their terms was that Reagan's was financed through record deficits. Under Clinton we had both tremendous growth and the elimination of the deficit. Billy Boy may not have been able to control his personal demons, but he sure knew something about economic policy.

IJ Reilly
Aug 26, 2003, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
As to Clinton and Reagan, the major difference in the expansions that took place under their terms was that Reagan's was financed through record deficits. Under Clinton we had both tremendous growth and the elimination of the deficit. Billy Boy may not have been able to control his personal demons, but he sure knew something about economic policy.

When the history is written, I'd predict historians will say that Clinton's greatest political gift was his pragmatism -- and it was also his biggest political liability (well, second biggest after the obvious). He struck so many deals, it was difficult to know where he actually stood much of the time. Case in point: As soon as he took office in 1993 he tried to move an "economic recovery package" through Congress, but when the economy showed signs of recovering on its own, that idea was essentially scraped. Contrast this with the Bush tax cuts -- as conditions changed from surplus to deficit, the plan remained the same and the rationale altered to fit. These are very different styles of governance.

Desertrat
Aug 26, 2003, 01:26 PM
Aw, let's don't forget Nixon supported and then signed the Nationa Env. Policy Act.

As I've looked at the 1960-ish to 1975-ish "era", I've thought we need a dual-Presidency. One guy for internal affairs; one for foreign policy. LBJ and Nixon insofar as skill levels, regardless of agreement with their policies.

At external affairs, LBJ was inept. At internal affairs, Nixon was inept. (Obviously generalizing...)

:), 'Rat

Sayhey
Aug 26, 2003, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
When the history is written, I'd predict historians will say that Clinton's greatest political gift was his pragmatism -- and it was also his biggest political liability (well, second biggest after the obvious)...

IJ, I agree completely. It was fascinating to watch the skill of the man in his positioning on issues, but infuriating to see him compromise on issues that should have been principled ones. Somehow he never got it that it pays to fight even if you lose sometimes. Maybe his core principle was winning. In the end he left office with the country in much better shape than when he took over, don't think there's much chance of that happening with the current administration.

jefhatfield
Aug 26, 2003, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
I know this stuff is off topic but I can't resist giving my two cents. I agree with FDR, but Nixon? How about TR as the greatest 20th century Republican President? Nixon was clever at exploiting the weaknesses of others in foriegn policy, but whatever his accomplishments they were overshadowed by Watergate. The split within the international communist movement predates Nixon's presidenancy, he, as I said, only exploited the already existing split. Around Vietnam, he expanded and deepened the war before he was finally forced to get us out. His greatest accomplishment was, IMHO, around arms control.

As to Clinton and Reagan, the major difference in the expansions that took place under their terms was that Reagan's was financed through record deficits. Under Clinton we had both tremendous growth and the elimination of the deficit. Billy Boy may not have been able to control his personal demons, but he sure knew something about economic policy.

i have to admit, i may be old but the only recollection i have of teddy roosevelt is from books and what not...watergate sucked and nixon deserved to be driven from office...no doubt about that...he committed a crime

but did watergate overshadow his great accomplishments with an alliance with the largest standing army in the world from a country that happened to be communist?

did clinton having sex or some form of sex overshadow his great accomplishments?

in the balance, nixon was greater than ford, reagan, or either bush

the most influential republican, pro foreign policy, and pro business, of the last fifty years was actually barry goldwater (the founder of the modern gop before they got taken over by the religious right)...and some non president democrats who made a big splash were sam rayburn and tip oneill

and i hate to admit this being a democrat, but newt gingrich was effective in handcuffing clinton so much that if historians say clinton was good, but not great, it may have been newt's contract with america which made clinton lose a lot of momentum...this is politics and if america goes down, but it makes the other party look bad, then so be it

the politicians are not there for america in general...after their own personal gain, the politician works for the party and to make the opposite party look bad...and both parties are equally at fault

Desertrat
Aug 26, 2003, 02:34 PM
"In the end he left office with the country in much better shape than when he took over..."

But the "better shape" reminds me of an aging courtesan who relies on heavy makeup and dim light in order to appear beautiful. We had a stock market bubble and a loss of jobs to overseas manufacturing which has left us in an incredible condition of indebtedness and a potential for some truly severe economic hard times. And our actions in the Balkans sewed the seeds, set a precedent for Iraq.

"...don't think there's much chance of that happening with the current administration."

Agreed. Nor could a third-term Clinton have avoided it. The country was in a far more solid condition, economically, in 1992.

'Rat

IJ Reilly
Aug 26, 2003, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Aw, let's don't forget Nixon supported and then signed the Nationa Env. Policy Act.

As I've looked at the 1960-ish to 1975-ish "era", I've thought we need a dual-Presidency. One guy for internal affairs; one for foreign policy. LBJ and Nixon insofar as skill levels, regardless of agreement with their policies.

A prime minister and a president -- isn't that how France and Canada do it?

Yes, Nixon signed NEPA and he also advanced a single-payer health plan. If he ran on those policies today, he'd be called a flaming socialist.

jefhatfield
Aug 26, 2003, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
A prime minister and a president -- isn't that how France and Canada do it?

Yes, Nixon signed NEPA and he also advanced a single-payer health plan. If he ran on those policies today, he'd be called a flaming socialist.

i love it..nixon the flaming left wing socialist!!

he wanted to expouse some really left wing progressive views in his final years...so much that maybe he wanted to borrow some of the democrat's latest views...and that's why he broke into the democratic headquarters;)

Sayhey
Aug 26, 2003, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by jefhatfield
i have to admit, i may be old but the only recollection i have of teddy roosevelt is from books and what not...watergate sucked and nixon deserved to be driven from office...no doubt about that...he committed a crime

but did watergate overshadow his great accomplishments with an alliance with the largest standing army in the world from a country that happened to be communist?

did clinton having sex or some form of sex overshadow his great accomplishments?

in the balance, nixon was greater than ford, reagan, or either bush

the most influential republican, pro foreign policy, and pro business, of the last fifty years was actually barry goldwater (the founder of the modern gop before they got taken over by the religious right)...and some non president democrats who made a big splash were sam rayburn and tip oneill

and i hate to admit this being a democrat, but newt gingrich was effective in handcuffing clinton so much that if historians say clinton was good, but not great, it may have been newt's contract with america which made clinton lose a lot of momentum...this is politics and if america goes down, but it makes the other party look bad, then so be it

the politicians are not there for america in general...after their own personal gain, the politician works for the party and to make the opposite party look bad...and both parties are equally at fault

I have to admit I'm not old enough to remember TR either. What I've read of him describes him as the forerunner of the modern presidency. His policies on the environment, anti-trust, and the projection of American power are certainly worth noting.

As to Nixon, you make very valid points. I would agree with you about his impact in foreign policy, for both good and bad reasons. Unfortunately, Nixon's abuse of power will forever taint whatever positive things he accomplished. At least enough that I'd give TR the nod over him in our all important evaluation of 20th Century Republican Presidents.

Now if I'd just known at the time that Tricky Dick was a closet left-wing socialist...

rueyeet
Aug 26, 2003, 03:27 PM
So, if it's generalizations we're looking for, here's my potentially offensive two--or twenty--cents.

Conservative: A person who throws the term "liberal" around as if it's an epithet that encompasses every evil and human failing, and uses the term "conservative" to covey positive concepts such as family values and patriotism.

Liberal: Someone who uses the terms "liberal" and "conservative" to describe another person's political views.

This generalization is based on my personal observation that when conservatives use the word "liberal", it's always used as an insult--sometimes outright, sometimes veiled in mean-spirited semi-humor. Strangely, I never hear the people so labeled as "liberal" using the word "conservative" that way.

If I were to define what the two represent to me in a political sense, since I think it's perception that was at the core of the original question, I'd say that conservatives endorse traditional values and social views, and absolutist morality; whereas liberals tend to embrace new and changing social values and mores, as well as a relativistic morality. Neither of these is inherently right or wrong, so much as simply a point of view. They also shouldn't be confused with political affiliations, since the basic philosophy of the Democratic and Republican parties are not really either conservative or liberal.

Democrats essentially favor the application of the federal government to provide social order and solve social problems. Going along with the view that these problems can be solved by government, as noted earlier in the thread, is the view that they should. This leads to the primacy of the federal government over the states, and more governmental regulations. Republicans, on the other hand, favor the limitation of the role of federal government in favor of states' rights, and dispute the notion that government can or should solve the social ills of a nation. This also results in a hands-off attitude towards corporations and other large and powerful organizations. Again, neither of these is inherently right or wrong, just two ends of a spectrum with infinite shades of variation of point of view between two extremes.

Over time, the concentration of these divergent points of view in each of the two currently predominant political parties has led to the association of the liberal viewpoint with the Democratic Party and the association of the conservative viewpoint with the Republican Party. How did that happen?

The Republican party lends itself to big business, because of its hands-off, less regulatory approach to politics. Eventually, this led to a concentration of wealthy business owners in the upper echelons of the party, who founded think tanks to consider how best to widen their power base and garner voters. And those think tanks basically came up with the whole "family values" and "compassionate conservative" taglines. You've all seen the quotes in the news media from establishments with warm and fuzzy names like "The American Family Foundation" and such--sometimes they're even identified as conservative-leaning think tanks after the quotes, too. They're selling those wholesome American values to the voters so they can keep the government's hands out of their business. This is why the Republican party is against so many environmental initiatives, why they favor privatizing so many goverment functions, and why they cater so much to the fundamentalist Christian voting base.

And so the liberals have flocked to the Democratic banner. The problem is, that's created a situation where there's no single agenda on the Democratic side, no focus. Any leader has to balance all the factions who are trying to advance their own causes. And so there's also no coherent message to give the American people, in fact no concerted effort in the Democratic party to do a whole lot of anything, and the Republicans are free to manipulate the language until there's no perceived difference between a "liberal" and an "un-American, Saddam/Osama lovin', communist fag" in the minds of much of Middle America.

What gets me is how that's been so successfull, and yet the cry of the "liberal media" still gets thrown around, when 99% of the media is owned by about five to seven corporations--which are NOT owned by liberals, or even by Democrats. And the perfectly legitimate ideas once represented by "liberal" and "conservative" become lost in the smear campaigns and are just a couple more names for people to call each other. Doesn't seem much like progress toward either of those ideals to me.

In my own opinionated view of things, both parties pretty much suck for different reasons, but the Republicans do more stuff that pisses me off.

So there you go--that's what I think. If you disagree, good for you--that's what choice, debate, and freedom of speech is all about. :)

tazo
Aug 26, 2003, 04:09 PM
This generalization is based on my personal observation that when conservatives use the word "liberal", it's always used as an insult--sometimes outright, sometimes veiled in mean-spirited semi-humor. Strangely, I never hear the people so labeled as "liberal" using the word "conservative" that way.

Of course you dont; they much prefer the term nazi to describe someone without "liberal" views.

And ironically, all my friends laugh at me for being a somewhat conservative person; "but because your a conservative daniel i dont get any rights..."

etc.

And may I make a guess and assume [possibly erroneously] that you yourself are in fact liberal?

May I be the first the say that you sir, Rueyeet have too much time on your hands if you can write the introduction to your spiel-manifesto online.


What gets me is how that's been so successfull, and yet the cry of the "liberal media" still gets thrown around, when 99% of the media is owned by about five to seven corporations--which are NOT owned by liberals, or even by Democrats. And the perfectly legitimate ideas once represented by "liberal" and "conservative" become lost in the smear campaigns and are just a couple more names for people to call each other. Doesn't seem much like progress toward either of those ideals to me.

You show me a news station [besides fox :rolleyes: ] that doesnt throw around a liberal bias, and I'll show you an extremely surprised tazo.

-tazo

IJ Reilly
Aug 26, 2003, 04:37 PM
It's at times like these when it helps to have a little gray around the edges.

I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating. When liberalism was in its ascendancy during the 1960s and into the 1970s, it was commonplace for liberals to treat conservatives with distain, as though they had no ideas even worth contributing to a debate. By the early 1980s this arrogant assumption of pure right-thinking caught up with American liberalism, and produced the Reagan Revolution. Which only goes to show, dogmatism is its own reward.

So to all of you "Reagan Babies" out there, try to keep this in mind. Drop the ideological inflexibility if you don't to become the next endangered specie.

jefhatfield
Aug 26, 2003, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
It's at times like these when it helps to have a little gray around the edges.

I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating. When liberalism was in its ascendancy during the 1960s and into the 1970s, it was commonplace for liberals to treat conservatives with distain, as though they had no ideas even worth contributing to a debate. By the early 1980s this arrogant assumption of pure right-thinking caught up with American liberalism, and produced the Reagan Revolution. Which only goes to show, dogmatism is its own reward.

So to all of you "Reagan Babies" out there, try to keep this in mind. Drop the ideological inflexibility if you don't to become the next endangered specie.

i remember the years growing up as a kid when things looked up, vietnam had just ended, and gerald ford, though not doing anything of any great distinction, was made GREAT by saturday night live and chevy chase...when i see the 70s show, it does bring me back to those "happy" times

...or actually i wasn't old enough to realize that actually the state of the economy wasn't really so great, and my classmate's older brothers were strung out on drugs and committing suicide after they came back from vietnam and society in general wanted to sweep them under the rug

and in the reagan 80s a decade later, guess what??...not all was well with america

RobVanDam
Aug 26, 2003, 05:41 PM
Have any of you guys heard of FDR by any chance?

shadowfax
Aug 26, 2003, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
Have any of you guys heard of FDR by any chance? down with the socialist monarchy! ;)

Sayhey
Aug 26, 2003, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
down with the socialist monarchy! ;)

Erin Go Bragh! ... oops wrong thread! Thought we were exchanging slogans or something. ;)

Hey, what history are they teaching in Norman these days? Is Alf Landon teaching there by any chance? I think the old Kansan ideas must have survived at OU. :D

shadowfax
Aug 27, 2003, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by Sayhey
Erin Go Bragh! ... oops wrong thread! Thought we were exchanging slogans or something. ;)

Hey, what history are they teaching in Norman these days? Is Alf Landon teaching there by any chance? I think the old Kansan ideas must have survived at OU. :D i dunno much about our history department here, except that it's still apparently really good, and they have a bunch of endowed chairs or something here, which is why they have the AP conferences here... other than that, i haven't been around, and probably won't be around the history dept. much.

Sayhey
Aug 27, 2003, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by shadowfax
i dunno much about our history department here, except that it's still apparently really good, and they have a bunch of endowed chairs or something here, which is why they have the AP conferences here... other than that, i haven't been around, and probably won't be around the history dept. much.

Shadowfax,

I was just pulling your leg - Landon is long dead. He ran against FDR in '36 and was extremely conservative. He would have liked your "socialist monarchy" comment. Enjoy OU - I'm sure the history dept. is just fine.

shadowfax
Aug 27, 2003, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by Sayhey
Shadowfax,

I was just pulling your leg - Landon is long dead. He ran against FDR in '36 and was extremely conservative. He would have liked your "socialist monarchy" comment. Enjoy OU - I'm sure the history dept. is just fine. whooo, ok. i'm going to go work on my calculus homework now with my tail between my legs...

Zion Grail
Aug 27, 2003, 11:05 AM
tazo:

Try MSNBC. Seriously. They fired Donahue in favor of Michael Savage, then later added Scarborough (sp). They only fired Savage after he made comments that would likely have even gotten him fired at Fox (maybe). He's that bad.

MSNBC is the second most conservative news source I've found from major networks. Even CNN is better. The only redeeming bit MSNBC has for them (IMO) is the fact that report on some of the odd yet cool stuff. Like the military developing an "indestructible sandwich" that won't go soggy for years. Hilarious. :D

RobVanDam
Aug 27, 2003, 11:52 AM
Yea, Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman are conservatives.

Scarbourough is about as conservative as MSNBC gets.

patrick0brien
Aug 27, 2003, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by Zion Grail
Try MSNBC. Seriously.

-Zion Grail

I agree that MSNBC does appear to do decent reporting, however, the biggest problem I have with it is the "MS" in the name.

I can't trust a news delivery that has a parent so motivated to force-change opinions of others by any means necessary.

In fact, I can't remember them ever mentioning anything about the trial until MS walked away with the wet-noodle slap a year ago. Then it was not only mentioned, but flogged.

I need as fair reporting as I can get. CNN Headline news is a good first stop for me because they don't have the time to report anything but facts - and we all know how much I like facts ;)

mactastic
Aug 27, 2003, 12:24 PM
Well, there are only 3 major cable news networks in this country; CNN, MSNBC, and FOX. CNN's anchors tend to be left of center, FOX is definetly right, and MSNBC seems to be heading right to "outFOX" FOX. Doesn't sound like a left wing bias in the media to me.

rueyeet
Aug 27, 2003, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by tazo
Of course you dont; they much prefer the term nazi to describe someone without "liberal" views.

Not in the mass media, they don't. Perhaps your friends do that to you, and shame on them; but somehow whenever listening to avowed, proud conservatives talk on news shows, the word "liberal" is always used in a tone that can only be interpreted as derogatory. It's also used as a dismissal--"oh, you're just a LIBERAL, nothing you say counts." In contrast, the opponents of these same conservatives try to debate the ideas that they disagree with. This is all in regards to public media.

And may I make a guess and assume [possibly erroneously] that you yourself are in fact liberal? May I be the first the say that you sir, Rueyeet have too much time on your hands if you can write the introduction to your spiel-manifesto online.

Would your calling it a "manifesto" have anything to do with your assumption that I'm a liberal? ;) Truthfully, I haven't heard any definitions of the word that I'd consider applicable, and I'd never really thought about the whole liberal/conservative thing much until a conservative friend of mine brought up the term, again in that derogatory fashion. Tell you what: give me some issues, and I'll tell you where I stand on them, and you can apply whatever labels you like. Except "sir"--I'm a ma'am, actually.

You show me a news station that doesnt throw around a liberal bias, and I'll show you an extremely surprised tazo.

Depends which bits you watch, really. Fox did a great job during the Iraq invasion actually just showing what was going on, even if their commentary was slanted. From my perspective, I'd say that most of the media is at center, or a wee bit to the right of center, with stuff like Fox, the Washington Times, and most political talk shows being far to the right. I think that the Daily Show and Bill Maher would qualify as more on the liberal side.

Most of it really just is a factor of one's own perspective: If you're looking from the right, everything's going to look left by comparison, and vice versa. Long live the debate, because it's dangerous for the nation to lean too far in either direction, as a whole. We need the liberals to fuel social progress, and conservatives to give us a foundation. We need at least two, and possibly more, parties to prevent any group from having too much power. I don't mind that your views and mine don't mesh--that's why America is great, because we can both come and discuss them freely.

And--I write long posts because I'm verbose. Sorry 'bout that. :o

amnesiac1984
Aug 27, 2003, 05:50 PM
Nice one Rueyeet, way to make him feel small! :D

I always find the American Media interesting in that i don't get how anyone could stand watching most of it.

David letterman is played over here quite a lot on ITV2 and, regardless of its political leanings it is possibly the lamest attempt at a comedy talk show I think I've ever seen. I know you americans can be funny, just not on a talk show I guess.

Back on topic though, umm yeah, whatever!

Desertrat
Aug 27, 2003, 07:04 PM
amnesiac, while some call the news programs "Infotainment", I prefer to think of them as "News Lite". "If it bleeds, it leads," and even moreso if there's an overpaid entertainer or sports star involved.

One of the ways I judge a "liberal slant" has to do with reporting that if some new tax is not added, it costs the government. 'Scuse me. Q: How is money not yet received a "cost"? "Cost" is when you take money out of your pocket and pay for something. I realize this a totally unconcious slant; it's not at all spin. It's a built-in mindset. It represents a way of thinking, wherein somehow government has some right--as opposed to some publicly agreed-upon need--to keep enacting new taxes.

'Rat

RobVanDam
Aug 27, 2003, 08:22 PM
Major news media is slightly liberal slanted.

News talk shows are virtually dominated by conservatives.

End result, middle media.

IJ Reilly
Aug 27, 2003, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by RobVanDam
Major news media is slightly liberal slanted.

News talk shows are virtually dominated by conservatives.

End result, middle media.

Left, right, middle -- what ever you want to call any single source, in the end, it's all corporate media.

Zion Grail
Aug 27, 2003, 11:49 PM
I can't believe I forgot this bit.

Try Clear Channel. HUGE Radio and advertising company. HUGE! They are also extremely conservative. So much so that they started pro-war protests on the ramp-up to and during the Iraq war, then reported on those protests more than the anti-war protests, as well as obviously using wording giving them favor.

Definite conservative slant.

CNN is about at middle with a slight conservative slant. Slight.

BBC News is probably the best way to go, IMO, at least for the nation/world news.

MrMacMan
Aug 28, 2003, 12:34 AM
I have heard some ccrrazzy stuff, but Saying Cable News Organizations are Mostly Liberal is like saying: Because I have the slightest style sense ~ I am gay. No.

:rolleyes:

You get the most 'out there' ideas possible.

CNN - Mostly Fair, I find during their normal coverage to have a slight left tendency, but not much.
On their debates I find the Right more fierce and always get more time to talk.

Fox News -- What can I say? They tell the news, as the white house wants it. To the right. If you want left bashing, you have come to the right place. 'Fair and Balanced' Fox News in not. (:Notices law suit being handed to him:)

MSNBC -- They used to be 'fair' (can I use fair without being sued by fox?) but they are moving to the right with their new lineup. They had decent views, respectable, but because of the ratings fight, they have tried to out 'fox' fox.
Meaning -- Move to the right to try to get viewers by being more aggressive. (Note: Savage was in this pos. but he got fired GJ savage!)

Note these first 3 have been 24/7 Coverage with shows and programs.

The Daily Show -- A 30 Minute program (Weekdays), okay how much can you get through in 30 minutes?
Not enough. The Daily show is not a news organization, it is all for a laugh. Yes, the Daily Show is a show for the left, they don't bash Conservatives, they don't yell at them, they have 'articles' and viewpoints, but some of the stuff aint even political, like Ad-Nauseam.
Let me ask you this: Can a 30 Minute, Weekday program combat 24/7 New Channels?:
Hell no.

Real Time with Bill Maher - Once a Week
Are they Liberal? Yes.
But he alienates some of his biggest supporters... I mean if the view is changes slightly... gone.
Look at the 3ed rule down (http://www.hbo.com/billmaher/new_rules/20030822.html) He even bashes Flash Mobs, using words I wouldn't post on this board for fear of banishment!

Then we have:

The BBC - For those of you who get it Hooray! [Side Note: Welcome to people who aren't blinded by america only stuff, we live on earth, sometimes, it looks like I live on america and the other nations are getting in the way, trying to take over or something and the U.S will not give them a share!]
If you get the BBC you know we live on a planet with different views, standards and problems. This shows a diffent view then even a 'liberal' news source will give you.
The BBC could be put under liberal, but... its totally different, its like the 3ed dimension for people living in a 2d world. The BBC has so many people working in the field and covers everywhere... it really is a global station.

Personally I thanks PBS for all of the stuff I know about the BBC, I don't have satellite so I can't be 100% on BBC.


Those are the major (albeit american) New Organizations/Shows.

--MrMacMan (A.K.A The Guy who posts alot when he wants to)

tazo
Aug 28, 2003, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by rueyeet
Would your calling it a "manifesto" have anything to do with your assumption that I'm a liberal? ;)
no.

Tell you what: give me some issues, and I'll tell you where I stand on them, and you can apply whatever labels you like.

Abortion. :)
quote]
[Except "sir"--I'm a ma'am, actually.[/quote]

I would not even consider my usage of 'sir' to carry a gender connotation with it; its as generic as guy. Now whether you want to debate on that is another story ;)

I think that the Daily Show and Bill Maher would qualify as more on the liberal side.

I agree; I may be a moderate-conservative person, but i really like Bill Maher's show. he has a lot of enthusiasm that I like, and i agree with him on a lot of topics, such as his opinions on 'no child left behind'.

And--I write long posts because I'm verbose. Sorry 'bout that. :o

Most people feel I am a good writer online and off, and several times I have gotten essays back stating "you write well, but don't let your excess verbosity get in the way of the comprehension of your paper'. Nothing wrong with being verbose ;)

Originally posted by Zion Grail
tazo:

Try MSNBC. Seriously. They fired Donahue in favor of Michael Savage, then later added Scarborough (sp). They only fired Savage after he made comments that would likely have even gotten him fired at Fox (maybe). He's that bad.

Its not that he was *that* bad or whatnot, it was that a caller harassed him PERSONALLY on the phone, and his screeners didnt catch him. If some guy is telling you your every four letter word in the book, would you not get upset and respond irrationally? I don't blame savage for his being fired from MSNBC, i blame peoples intolerance of other's opinions.

pseudobrit
Aug 28, 2003, 01:45 AM
Originally posted by tazo
I would not even consider my usage of 'sir' to carry a gender connotation with it; its as generic as guy. Now whether you want to debate on that is another story

So I'll just call you ma'am or lady from now on. Is that okay?

"Guy" and "sir" are most certainly not neutral gender words.

pseudobrit
Aug 28, 2003, 01:48 AM
Originally posted by tazo
If some guy is telling you your every four letter word in the book,

The caller (who pranks TV shows for sport -- he's been on Larry King's show quite a bit) said, "you need to get Don & Mike to take over your show so you can go to a dentist, 'cause your teeth are really bad."

For some reason, Wiener immediately launched into an anti-homosexual tirade.

I don't blame savage for his being fired from MSNBC

I do. He's an excitable bigot and doesn't deserve a national audience.

Sayhey
Aug 28, 2003, 02:09 AM
Tazo,

Savage may well be the most intolerant person around today who is granted a national stage. He was just stupid enough to show his homophobia in all its glory once to often. I'm all for a full national airing of views, but his bigotry doesn't need the support of a network like MSNBC.

tazo
Aug 28, 2003, 02:44 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
So I'll just call you ma'am or lady from now on. Is that okay?

"Guy" and "sir" are most certainly not neutral gender words.

I said my usage of it; go look at the context and the wording i used 'sir' in. that was my point.

and call me what ever you want ;)

shadowfax
Aug 28, 2003, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
"Guy" and "sir" are most certainly not neutral gender words. i hate to take his side (i'm not, really), but "guy" has the potential to be a very gender-neutral word. as in, "what's up, guys?" "what are you guys doing?" though i can't think of a usage of the singular that's not specific. but certainly, historically, the male gender has been used to address the human unknown gender. sir, though, is a very assured gesture; you certainly can't call a woman "sir." tazo, what's the big deal? why not just say, "oh, i'm sorry! my bad." i mean, sheesh, it's happened to me, on both ends.

if you can't admit you're wrong when you're wrong, if you can't admit you made a mistake, get out of this forum, at the very least.

mactastic
Aug 28, 2003, 09:07 AM
Savage insults people all the time. It's his style. He likes to get people so pissed off they rant and act like idiots. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

amnesiac1984
Aug 28, 2003, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
Savage insults people all the time. It's his style. He likes to get people so pissed off they rant and act like idiots. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Are you defending him? It certainly isn't a constructive way to debate if he does.

mactastic
Aug 28, 2003, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by amnesiac1984
Are you defending him? It certainly isn't a constructive way to debate if he does.

Lord no!

[QUOTE]Originally posted by tazo
Its not that he was *that* bad or whatnot, it was that a caller harassed him PERSONALLY on the phone, and his screeners didnt catch him. If some guy is telling you your every four letter word in the book, would you not get upset and respond irrationally? I don't blame savage for his being fired from MSNBC, i blame peoples intolerance of other's opinions.

I was thinking of this post when I wrote that. I can't stand people who argue by trying to piss you off to the point that you look like an idiot. Apparently Savage got a taste of his own medicine.

amnesiac1984
Aug 28, 2003, 07:57 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Lord no!

[QUOTE]Originally posted by tazo
Its not that he was *that* bad or whatnot, it was that a caller harassed him PERSONALLY on the phone, and his screeners didnt catch him. If some guy is telling you your every four letter word in the book, would you not get upset and respond irrationally? I don't blame savage for his being fired from MSNBC, i blame peoples intolerance of other's opinions.

I was thinking of this post when I wrote that. I can't stand people who argue by trying to piss you off to the point that you look like an idiot. Apparently Savage got a taste of his own medicine.

Good point, I did mean are you defending savage? Or is that what you meant too? O well, I dunno, I'd better go dig up that ever been drunk thread.

mactastic
Aug 28, 2003, 10:08 PM
:p I am in no way, shape, or form, defending Michael Savage. Just amused that he lost it to some caller, since that's his bread and butter.

I actually found this article (http://msnbc.com/news/958166.asp?0si=-) talking about this low in the art of debate that pervades our major networks.

OVER THE PAST decade, conservative TV and radio personalitiesRush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, et al.have used variations on the liar-liar-pants-on-fire technique whenever they run into trouble or out of imagination to unhinge their ideological opponents. So, too, has fellow-traveler Bill OReilly, who dodges the conservative label. Liar-liar works magnificently against the TV rookie, the minor-league humanities professor blinking into the camera from a remote studio in the Midwest. But it can also give an emotional seizure to the media-savvy third-term congressman sitting in the studio with the host.

_ _ _ _As televisions conservative performers know, if liar-liar fails, your next fallback is to call your foe depraved, unpatriotic, or immoral. Wrapped between hard covers, these blustery allegations can become best-selling books: See Hannitys Let Freedom Ring, Savages Savage Nation, Coulters Slander, and also-rans by Mona Charen (Useful Idiots) and Tammy Bruce (The Death of Right and Wrong). Coulters latest best seller, Treason, charts virgin rhetorical territory by accusing Democrats of assisting foreign enemies in overthrowing the United States.


and

The unspoken premise of the liar-liar booksno matter who writes themis that the other side lies and mine doesnt. Of course, neither wing has ever told it straight, a fact all liar-liar books neglect. The rise of the liar-liar book coincides with the proliferation of political talk on TV and radioespecially TVwhere the liar-liar dynamic rules. When Crossfire, Hannity & Colmes, Buchanan and Press, and the other shows recruit on-air guests, they approach the task like casting directors. They pre-interview potential guests to make sure theyll fulfill the binary requirements of the dramaleft-right, pro-anti, skins-shirts. Those without an ax to grind need not apply.

and fianlly this

Liberal scriveners may improve their teams political lot by matching the conservative investment in liar-liar stock, but it will come at the expense of their credibility. I suppose that when consuming liar-liar books in pairs, say Sean Hannitys versus Joe Conasons, the average reader might come within spitting distance of political reality. But having read too many of these books for my own good, Ive concluded that if youre interested in which wing lies more, youre probably not very interested in the truth.

Sad but true.

tazo
Aug 29, 2003, 08:30 PM
Some how I am guessing that was not written by a nonpartisan individual :rolleyes: ;)

mactastic
Aug 29, 2003, 10:04 PM
Regardless of who wrote it, it comes to a pretty non-partisan conclusion don't you think?

RCLefty
Sep 3, 2003, 05:40 AM
I would say this about that....


Certain figures in media have, for years, been touting the idea that the media is "Liberal," to the extent that some self-proclaimed liberals believe it. Ann Coulter, for examples, even labels such political non-participants as Katie Couric , of all people, as Liberals. (I believe Coulter at one point called her some kind of Liberal equivalent to Eva Braunn, whatever the heck that means.)

Naturally, you get a media full of figures so terrified of losing precious credability by appearing Liberal, that they dive to the right like Greg Louganis with an artificial leg.

The entire media is being dragged (not exactly kicking-and-screaming, I might add,) to the right because of this.

modyouup
Sep 3, 2003, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
In today's world of U.S. politics, I'd have to say a Liberal is one who mostly looks to government for solutions of societal problems. He not only believes government can solve them; he believes it should.

I think there are many other smaller points, but the use of government seems to be the primary one.

'Rat

Ohhhh no. You are wrong there. I don't know where people get this stuff. Go look on any "liberal" website. It's filled with anti-governmental things and certainly anti-bush things. The dictionary definitions are EXACTLY what a liberal is.

In short, conservatives are the government slaves and the liberals are the ones firing at the captors. :)

shadowfax
Sep 3, 2003, 09:09 PM
Originally posted by modyouup
Ohhhh no. You are wrong there. I don't know where people get this stuff. Go look on any "liberal" website. It's filled with anti-governmental things and certainly anti-bush things. The dictionary definitions are EXACTLY what a liberal is.

In short, conservatives are the government slaves and the liberals are the ones firing at the captors. :) on these sites, are they truly anti-government elements? that would be anarchism... i think what you mean is anti-republican--or if you prefer, anti-bush. the republicans have the upper hand in the government right now, and as such the liberals are unhappy with it, which is, granted, only natural.

desertrat is exactly right. what he means by looking to the government in this connotation is not "looking to whoever is in power," but rather, expecting the government to provide extensive social services, e.g. welfare, state-supplied medical care, social security, and so on.

your comment about conservatives being government slaves is completely unfounded and really fails to possess meaning as such.

party-liners are government slaves. neither conservatives nor liberals who actively reflect on their views can truly be called government slaves.

modyouup
Sep 3, 2003, 09:22 PM
Conservatives who support the war, support the troops, sleep under amerikkkan flag comforters, look strangely at the middle eastern neighbors, believe every word that bu$h says, thinks that there are actually WMD in Iraq and we never gave them any, are GOVERNMENT SLAVES. I think I decribed the average conservative right there. How can you say these people are not government slaves? Read 1984 by George Orwell. If they were to give a name to the Oceania citizens, it would be conservative.

To conservatives, DOUBLETHINK ROCKS!

shadowfax
Sep 3, 2003, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by modyouup
Conservatives who support the war, support the troops, sleep under amerikkkan flag comforters, look strangely at the middle eastern neighbors, believe every word that bu$h says, thinks that there are actually WMD in Iraq and we never gave them any, are GOVERNMENT SLAVES. I think I decribed the average conservative right there. How can you say these people are not government slaves? Read 1984 by George Orwell. If they were to give a name to the Oceania citizens, it would be conservative.

To conservatives, DOUBLETHINK ROCKS! in other words, anyone who does stuff that you wouldn't do must be a government slave? i read 1984. it's about communism, which is really an extension of extreme liberalism (which, on the political circle, meets with reactionary conservatism). that has nothing to do with conservatives intrinsically. it's not about political alignments, it's about thinking that you can control the minds of people. conservatives do not think this by definition, and i don't think such thoughts are common in either liberalism or conservatism.

if i were to give a name to oceania citizens, it would be slaves... victims... how can you possibly make the comparison to people like that and, for instance, William F. Buckley and Colin Powell? it makes you look very foolish in the eyes of anyone who processes information logically.

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
it's about communism, which is really an extension of extreme liberalism

i'd say it was about totalitarianism.

shadowfax
Sep 3, 2003, 09:43 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i'd say it was about totalitarianism. yes; i'm sorry--from orwell's perspective, it IS about communism. he hated it. that said, his interpretation of the logical end of communism is totalitarianism, as witnessed in the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, and so on. sorry to offend anyone who's actually a communist, but i do agree that this is what happens to communism by its nature. but for all practical purposes, we would be better off saying totalitarianism, yes.

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
his interpretation of the logical end of communism is totalitarianism

i've always felt there was a fundamental difference in the nature of communism and fascism/authoritarianism/totalitarianism.

that is, communism is, imo, an economic system. thus, it should be contrasted to capitalism.

Rezet
Sep 3, 2003, 10:01 PM
Liberals are people who think forward. Conservatives try to preserve what liberals achieved basically. :p

The easiest way to find out your stance is to ask yourself hot quiestions that rise today... abortion, gun control, immigration, war, environment. I'm proud to be a liberal... I usually can defend my point of view on this well, but i hate typing...

And no, I don't think liberalism is form of communism. I think many people think it's far left extremists- that are communists. But no.
If anything, in extreme form, liberalism is anarchy, but communism is oppression. Those 2 never go together.
Democrats who are liberals often relied on power of people to achieve goals, thats why they call em lefties.

But the real defenition on left and right is forgotten now. They think that left = liberal relying on people's support. Right - conservative relying on big businesses and other major powers for support.

BUt traditionally, LEFT = PEOPLE who hate current state and want to change it by mass protests, appealing to simple working people. RIGHT = People who hate current government but are part of it (in the government itself). They want to undermine it from the inside gaining the power...

I dont understand why is it LIBERAL is a bad word now. If anyone it is liberals that get things done now...
Cheers...

tazo
Sep 3, 2003, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
in other words, anyone who does stuff that you wouldn't do must be a government slave? i read 1984. it's about communism, which is really an extension of extreme liberalism (which, on the political circle, meets with reactionary conservatism).

I read 1984....how was the plot based on communism?? I am confused by that... :confused:

Rezet
Sep 3, 2003, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i've always felt there was a fundamental difference in the nature of communism and fascism/authoritarianism/totalitarianism.

that is, communism is, imo, an economic system. thus, it should be contrasted to capitalism.

Communism isn't bad. We just haven't seen a real form of one yet. It has major flaws in it. And with all the maniacs who tried it already, I think it is a failing idea.
P.S I can talk I lived in USSR and russia from 1982 - 1996. So i know a thing or 2 about it.

shadowfax
Sep 3, 2003, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i've always felt there was a fundamental difference in the nature of communism and fascism/authoritarianism/totalitarianism.

that is, communism is, imo, an economic system. thus, it should be contrasted to capitalism. i think you're confusing socialism and communism. communism is not just an economic system. it's very political. see the "revolution and rule of the proletariat" as a functional element of its structure. there are many different theories of communism, but they are all political as well as economic systems. usually, the economic system of communism is a variant of socialism.

it's no coincidence that marx called it a "dictatorship of the proletariat..." he was talking about total control, because he thought it was necessary to "transition" people from capitalist thinkers to true communists. somehow, all the communisms we have seen get stuck in this transition.

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 10:15 PM
Originally posted by Rezet
So i know a thing or 2 about it.

<monty python>
tell us! tell us both of them!
</monty python>

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
i think you're confusing socialism and communism. communism is not just an economic system. it's very political. [...] marx called it a "dictatorship of the proletariat..."

yes, marx and lenin co-opted the term communism to mean their own special kind of totalitarianism.

but communism in the strictest sense, imo, is an economic system. a kibbutz operates on a communist system, and i feel those are largely free of authoritarianism.

socialism, by definition, involves government, since that is the entity which collects and distributes goods.

incidentally, my personal views of communism are that it can work, so long as everyone knows everyone else. once it gets larger, i believe it is destined to break down.

Rezet
Sep 3, 2003, 10:31 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
<monty python>
tell us! tell us both of them!
</monty python>

Your mockery is unnecessary. If you think you are gonan know the truth by watching History channel, stay with your opinions. I'm not trying to make you change your mind about any of that.

Cheers.

shadowfax
Sep 3, 2003, 10:32 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
incidentally, my personal views of communism are that it can work, so long as everyone knows everyone else. once it gets larger, i believe it is destined to break down. i agree heartily. but that is a small-arse commune we are talking about there... i would say probably in the under 1000 range... when it becomes impersonal, and even if it doesn't, sometimes, it ends in disaster. have you read Atlas Shrugged? the scene where the guy, i forget his name, tells Dagny Taggart about the communal business of Twentieth Century Motor Company, is a very good look at just why communism is usually doomed to failure.

but at least it has a chance when everyone knows each other. after all, what's a family? especially in cultures where more than the nuclear family resides together.

shadowfax
Sep 3, 2003, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by Rezet
Your mockery is unnecessary. If you think you are gonan know the truth by watching History channel, stay with your opinions. I'm not trying to make you change your mind about any of that.

Cheers. are you suggesting that your personal experience is more valid than the conclusions of historians who have studied extensively multiple firsthand accounts? do you presume to tell us the truth about communism, having lived there for around a decade? it was hardly even the same as it was for most of the soviet regime, when you are talking about. what do you know about the purges of Stalin, "War Communism," and 5-year plans from firsthand experience in Russia? what do you think about Ayn Rand, who grew up in a much younger Communist Russia? does she have the answers? seriously, you may not like his sarcasm, but don't react by deifying your own experience.

Rezet
Sep 3, 2003, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
i agree heartily. but that is a small-arse commune we are talking about there... i would say probably in the under 1000 range... when it becomes impersonal, and even if it doesn't, sometimes, it ends in disaster. have you read Atlas Shrugged? the scene where the guy, i forget his name, tells Dagny Taggart about the communal business of Twentieth Century Motor Company, is a very good look at just why communism is usually doomed to failure.

but at least it has a chance when everyone knows each other. after all, what's a family? especially in cultures where more than the nuclear family resides together.

Ahh jeez. There many books out there that preach Democracy is doomed. One thing for sure that is American LAW system is going into a dead end. Where every will have to be a lawyer in order to exist. Where people will find a flaw and a door to squeeze and get rich off somebody else no matter how ridicuolus case is.

A woman here microwaved her dog after the wash hoping to dry it quicker. Well the dog's dead, but she is suing a mocrowave company because they didnt' put a label on the box saying you can't put dogs in it...
TRUE LOCAL STORY.

shadowfax
Sep 3, 2003, 10:39 PM
Originally posted by Rezet
Ahh jeez. There many books out there that preach Democracy is doomed. One thing for sure that is American LAW system is going into a dead end. Where every will have to be a lawyer in order to exist. Where people will find a flaw and a door to squeeze and get rich off somebody else no matter how ridicuolus case is. what does that have to do with the book i mentioned? what are you talking about/responding to?

Rezet
Sep 3, 2003, 10:39 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
are you suggesting that your personal experience is more valid than the conclusions of historians who have studied extensively multiple firsthand accounts? do you presume to tell us the truth about communism, having lived there for around a decade? it was hardly even the same as it was for most of the soviet regime, when you are talking about. what do you know about the purges of Stalin, "War Communism," and 5-year plans from firsthand experience in Russia? what do you think about Ayn Rand, who grew up in a much younger Communist Russia? does she have the answers? seriously, you may not like his sarcasm, but don't react by deifying your own experience.

I know more than you think. History channrel is not exactly known as NO BIAS channel. My parents lived there and my grandparents fought in WWII if that helps. I got stories. I just don't like to type this stuff if people will argue something anyways.

shadowfax
Sep 3, 2003, 10:44 PM
Originally posted by Rezet
I know more than you think. History channrel is not exactly known as NO BIAS channel. My parents lived there and my grandparents fought in WWII if that helps. I got stories. I just don't like to type this stuff if people will argue something anyways. i am sure the history channel is biased. i don't watch it much, myself, not having cable or anything. i read good old textbooks--by which i mean college textbooks--as well as various and sundry essays/theses by various historians.

i am not attacking your firsthand experience at all, mind you. i am jealous of you, in many ways. i am sure you have a lot to offer from that. but to compare it to scholarly history is to compare apples and oranges--your experience is not any more valid or less biased than the history channel. or any less--well, it may be more biased, but it's certainly not any less valid, for its own purpose.

Rezet
Sep 3, 2003, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
i am sure the history channel is biased. i don't watch it much, myself, not having cable or anything. i read good old textbooks--by which i mean college textbooks--as well as various and sundry essays/theses by various historians.

i am not attacking your firsthand experience at all, mind you. i am jealous of you, in many ways. i am sure you have a lot to offer from that. but to compare it to scholarly history is to compare apples and oranges--your experience is not any more valid or less biased than the history channel. or any less--well, it may be more biased, but it's certainly not any less valid, for its own purpose.

I'd tell you some interesting stuff with many examples about soviet life and "perestroyka" and how it woked. Besides, now in russia you can find more books bashing RUSSIA than praising it. ridiculous but true.

My question only is: "how did we get from "what is a liberal" topic to "how much does communism suck?""

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by Rezet
Your mockery is unnecessary.

i wasn't mocking you. i thought we'd all enjoy a python reference.

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
i agree heartily. but that is a small-arse commune we are talking about there... i would say probably in the under 1000 range...


i'd be shocked if it scaled that large. shocked, i tell ya!

have you read Atlas Shrugged?

have not.

after all, what's a family? especially in cultures where more than the nuclear family resides together.

yes, an excellent example.

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 11:02 PM
Originally posted by Rezet

A woman here microwaved her dog after the wash hoping to dry it quicker. Well the dog's dead, but she is suing a mocrowave company because they didnt' put a label on the box saying you can't put dogs in it...
TRUE LOCAL STORY.

do you have a link?

shadowfax
Sep 3, 2003, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i wasn't mocking you. i thought we'd all enjoy a python reference. i have to say, i sure did.

we're an anarcho-sydicalist commune! we take it in turn, to act as a sort of, "executive officer" for the week--but all of his decisions must be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting...
....
now we see the violence inherent in the system! help! help! i'm being repressed! you saw it, didn't you?

Rezet
Sep 3, 2003, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
do you have a link?

Afraid don't. That's what my friend's father told me.
I'm not 100% positive it's true, but i don't know why would he lie to me.

shadowfax
Sep 3, 2003, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by Rezet
Afraid don't. That's what my friend's father told me.
I'm not 100% positive it's true, but i don't know why would he lie to me. i heard the same story on the radio a few days. it was appalling.

zimv20
Sep 3, 2003, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by Rezet
Afraid don't. That's what my friend's father told me.
I'm not 100% positive it's true, but i don't know why would he lie to me.

it has the marks of an urban legend. if anyone has a link to a real story about it, i'd love to see it.

shadowfax
Sep 4, 2003, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
it has the marks of an urban legend. if anyone has a link to a real story about it, i'd love to see it. yeah, you're right, after a short flip through google...

The Microwaved Pet (http://home.planet.nl/~meder/map15/law.html)
you'll have to scroll down to said title.... it's in red.

Sayhey
Sep 4, 2003, 01:24 AM
Originally posted by shadowfax
yes; i'm sorry--from orwell's perspective, it IS about communism. he hated it. that said, his interpretation of the logical end of communism is totalitarianism, as witnessed in the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, and so on. sorry to offend anyone who's actually a communist, but i do agree that this is what happens to communism by its nature. but for all practical purposes, we would be better off saying totalitarianism, yes.

Orwell was a socialist. He supported the Trotskyists in Spain. His book, 1984, is a condemnation of both the Nazis and the Stalinists. zimv20 is right when he says its about totalitarianism.

shadowfax
Sep 4, 2003, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by Sayhey
Orwell was a socialist. He supported the Trotskyists in Spain. His book, 1984, is a condemnation of both the Nazis and the Stalinists. zimv20 is right when he says its about totalitarianism. FYI, Stalin was a communist--at least he claimed to be. do you remember that? Orwell hated communism. did you not read Animal Farm? come on, i know it's the totalitarian aspect of it that he hates, but he hated communism.

Sayhey
Sep 4, 2003, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by shadowfax
FYI, Stalin was a communist--at least he claimed to be. do you remember that? Orwell hated communism. did you not read Animal Farm? come on, i know it's the totalitarian aspect of it that he hates, but he hated communism.

Stalin indeed was a communist. My feeble mind has not yet lost sight of that fact.;)
The point is that Orwell did not hate communism, he hated what was going on in the Soviet Union, ie Stalinism. Yes, 1984 is a pointed commentary on Stalinism - it is just not limited to that. It also is a commentary on the Nazis and the Italian facists.

Animal Farm, is another kettle of fish. It is specific in its commentary and is obviously directed at Stalin. Even there Orwell's pro-Trotskyist views shine through (ie not anti-communist, but anti-Stalinist.)

modyouup
Sep 4, 2003, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by shadowfax
in other words, anyone who does stuff that you wouldn't do must be a government slave? i read 1984. it's about communism, which is really an extension of extreme liberalism (which, on the political circle, meets with reactionary conservatism). that has nothing to do with conservatives intrinsically. it's not about political alignments, it's about thinking that you can control the minds of people. conservatives do not think this by definition, and i don't think such thoughts are common in either liberalism or conservatism.

if i were to give a name to oceania citizens, it would be slaves... victims... how can you possibly make the comparison to people like that and, for instance, William F. Buckley and Colin Powell? it makes you look very foolish in the eyes of anyone who processes information logically.

1984 is NOT about socialism or communism at all! If you read the book and got up to Emmanuel Goldstein's part where they show excerpts from his book, he explains that socialism was no longer even about socialism and they had just taken fascism and called it socialism to make it look like the people had some freedom. This is what happens around the world today. There are NO communist countries ANYWHERE! There are only fascist states like China and Cuba that call themselves communism since communism is about the people, not about the leader.

modyouup
Sep 4, 2003, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by shadowfax
FYI, Stalin was a communist--at least he claimed to be. do you remember that? Orwell hated communism. did you not read Animal Farm? come on, i know it's the totalitarian aspect of it that he hates, but he hated communism.

He didn't hate communism. He hated the countries that called themselves communist when in fact they were just fascist totalitarian states.

Sayhey
Sep 4, 2003, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by modyouup
Calling people communists when they simply aren't like the republic you're used to won't get you anywhere either.

Communism means a lot of different things to different people. Your point that states that have said they are guided by principles of Communism have not lived up to them is, IMHO, valid. I would make very large distinctions between some of them. I would not call them fascist, because that is a whole different ideology driven by different forces. Doesn't mean that for the individual who was locked up by the Gestapo or the NKVD there was a lot of difference. Such a individual could have been a dedicated communist in both cases.

shadowfax
Sep 4, 2003, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by modyouup
1984 is NOT about socialism or communism at all! If you read the book and got up to Emmanuel Goldstein's part where they show excerpts from his book, he explains that socialism was no longer even about socialism and they had just taken fascism and called it socialism to make it look like the people had some freedom. This is what happens around the world today. There are NO communist countries ANYWHERE! There are only fascist states like China and Cuba that call themselves communism since communism is about the people, not about the leader. we cannot debate on this subject, because i have an axiom about communism i refuse to let go of, and you may never accept it. all of my derivations about its philosophy stem from this axiom:

the "dictatorship of the proletariat" will never end, because it is power, and people that have the power not to let go of power will not let go of it. the way that communism works at this level leads to something like a cult of personality or cult of leadership, whether collective or singular.

so, while it's not what marx or others expected to happen in the final result of communism, and what you think is supposed to, obviously, communism as practiced by the USSR, Cuba, and so on is ultimately how it will always happen.

Sayhey
Sep 4, 2003, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
we cannot debate on this subject, because i have an axiom about communism i refuse to let go of, and you may never accept it. all of my derivations about its philosophy stem from this axiom:

the "dictatorship of the proletariat" will never end, because it is power, and people that have the power not to let go of power will not let go of it. the way that communism works at this level leads to something like a cult of personality or cult of leadership, whether collective or singular.

so, while it's not what marx or others expected to happen in the final result of communism, and what you think is supposed to, obviously, communism as practiced by the USSR, Cuba, and so on is ultimately how it will always happen.

While I'd agree that the phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" became an ideological excuse, after the Bolsheviks became the only party in Soviet Russia, to justify an utter lack of democracy, I would not agree that that was what Marx and Engels meant by the phrase. It was meant as a contrast with the dictatorship of Capitalists that they saw in every capitalist society. It was not a recipe for one party rule or cults of personalities. Old Fred and Charley had many faults, but advocating for the types of anti-democratic governments that have been constructed in their names isn't one of them.

Shadowfax, I'm interested in how you see communism as a form of "extreme liberalism," to me they are very different ideologies.

shadowfax
Sep 4, 2003, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
shadowfax, I'm interested in how you see communism as a form of "extreme liberalism," to me they are very different ideologies. on the scale of politics, it's usually where you find communism--"extreme liberalism" was the term i conjured up out of my lack of ability to remember the right word--left-wing.

so you get something like

:::::::::: radical :::::::::::: liberal :::: moderate :::: conservative :::: reactionary,
which correspond to
[totalitarian]communist ::::: socialist ::::::::: ? :::::::::: capitalist :::::::: fascist

[hope i got that lined up reasonably]
obviously, there are a lot of ways of looking at that, but i've been taught, and firmly believe that this is more or less a circle that meets at the left and right ends--that functionally, while not philosophically, a fascist state and all historical communist states are the same thing--totalitarian.

fascism is total control "to restore the old values," or some ideal that was supposedly achieved in the past (like the third reich in Germany, or the Roman Empire in Italy)... this is right-wing, at a reactionary level.

Communism, as a practical matter--as it has been practised, that is--assumes total control to bring forth something new, something different from anything in the history of what would be "capitalist empires," or what have you. as such, it's left-wing, it's radical... liberal is not quite the word, of course, but liberalism tends in the same direction, just not as far--like socialism, or america's socialist-capitalist economy (which i would probably categorize as just left of moderate, though less so in the last 3 years).

zimv20
Sep 4, 2003, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax

:::::::::: radical :::::::::::: liberal :::: moderate :::: conservative :::: reactionary,
which correspond to
[totalitarian]communist ::::: socialist ::::::::: ? :::::::::: capitalist :::::::: fascist


i understand where you're going w/ it, but it's hard for me to agree. in your graphs, you've social policy and economic policy co-mingled. i'll refer to my previous statement that i see communism as an economic system.

here's an example of something i don't think works: i don't see fascism as a heightened form of capitalism. market anarchy would be a heightened form of capitalism.

IJ Reilly
Sep 4, 2003, 04:11 PM
I find it helps to start with a dictionary definition:

fas·cism
n.

1. often Fascism
a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

Sayhey
Sep 4, 2003, 06:53 PM
I've certainly heard the idea before that a political spectrum is a circle where the extremes meet, but I've never really bought into it. While it is true very different political philosophies can do very similar things, this is, IMHO, a very simplified view of complex ideas. After all the French revolutionaries who maybe could be described as extreme liberals or democrats had their own reign of terror, but have little or nothing to do with the philosophical ideas of fascism (perhaps remotely something to do with Marxism.) Marxism has its roots in Hegalian dialectics and German materialism (Ludwig Fuerbach etc.) it would seem the thing to look at is the similar ideas of these philosophies to others to get an idea if communism is the extreme of anything or something new all together. I'm no expert on this stuff, but it seems that the Left/Right spectrum as a model just doesn't cut it.

shadowfax
Sep 4, 2003, 06:55 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i understand where you're going w/ it, but it's hard for me to agree. in your graphs, you've social policy and economic policy co-mingled. i'll refer to my previous statement that i see communism as an economic system.

here's an example of something i don't think works: i don't see fascism as a heightened form of capitalism. market anarchy would be a heightened form of capitalism. well... not at this point, i don't think. conservatives are conserving capitalism and opposing increases in social/government institutions. fascism is not, then, an extreme form of capitalism, but an extreme form of conservatism, which capitalism is a more measured form of. and i am not so much talking about these economically as politically/socially. we're talking about control, here, for the most part. so by capitalism, i mean having the government not participate, or not participate very much, in things like health care, retirement, inner city programs, what have you, thus leaving the citizens more responsible to look to their own care... much like early 19th century US. hence it is conservative.

in 50 years, conservatism may well be just another form, or level, of socialism. it's heading that direction--it's really already there in Britain and a lot of other European nations, i believe.

shadowfax
Sep 4, 2003, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
While it is true very different political philosophies can do very similar things, this is, IMHO, a very simplified view of complex ideas. After all the French revolutionaries who maybe could be described as extreme liberals...had their own reign of terror, but have little or nothing to do with the philosophical ideas of fascism (perhaps remotely something to do with Marxism.) Marxism has its roots in Hegelian dialectics and German materialism (Ludwig Fuerbach etc.) it would seem the thing to look at is the similar ideas of these philosophies to others to get an idea if communism is the extreme of anything or something new all together. I'm no expert on this stuff, but it seems that the Left/Right spectrum as a model just doesn't cut it. you have to understand, this is not a philosophical circle, as i very explicitly said. these ideologies meet functionally--in France you have the Reign of Terror, in Russia the Gulag, the purges, and a lot of other goodies, and in Nazi Germany you have the Holocaust. but not just that--you also have elaborate systems of accountability, if you want to call it that, involving citizens turning eachother in to secret police, stuff like that... all very dark, violent, and deathly. no one ever said they are philosophically the same. they're each skewed manipulations of the philosophies that they quite literally dash to pieces--The Robespierre government is a perversion of republicanism, fascism is a perversion of imperialism, and communism (once again, think not "your particular brand of communism that you think might not turn into totalitarianism," but rather, historical communism) is a perversion of socialism.
but again, you end up with just as many people killed, with the same extensive suppression and oppression...

much like the other place the political spectrum meets. the idea of the "moderate" is an intermingling of political philosophies that clash in some very fundamental ways. like the conflicting ideas of a partially controlled free-market economy. you can see the contradiction in the oxymoron itself.

Sayhey
Sep 4, 2003, 07:21 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
you have to understand, this is not a philosophical circle, as i very explicitly said. these ideologies meet functionally--in France you have the Reign of Terror, in Russia the Gulag, the purges, and a lot of other goodies, and in Nazi Germany you have the Holocaust. but not just that--you also have elaborate systems of accountability, if you want to call it that, involving citizens turning eachother in to secret police, stuff like that... all very dark, violent, and deathly. no one ever said they are philosophically the same. they're each skewed manipulations of the philosophies that they quite literally dash to pieces--The Robespierre government is a perversion of republicanism, fascism is a perversion of imperialism, and communism (once again, think not "your particular brand of communism that you think might not turn into totalitarianism," but rather, historical communism) is a perversion of socialism.
but again, you end up with just as many people killed, with the same extensive suppression and oppression...

much like the other place the political spectrum meets. the idea of the "moderate" is an intermingling of political philosophies that clash in some very fundamental ways. like the conflicting ideas of a partially controlled free-market economy. you can see the contradiction in the oxymoron itself.

Ok, let me try it this way and we might agree. ANY political movement taken to its extreme in exclusion of others can and often does lead to the functionally same types of abuses of the movement's opponents. What do you think? As I write this, I can't figure out how a movement dedicated to non-violence could do so (maybe "any" should be replaced by "most"), but other than that I think it works.

shadowfax
Sep 4, 2003, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
Ok, let me try it this way and we might agree. ANY political movement taken to its extreme in exclusion of others can and often does lead to the functionally same types of abuses of the movement's opponents. What do you think? As I write this, I can't figure out how a movement dedicated to non-violence could do so (maybe "any" should be replaced by "most"), but other than that I think it works. right. the extremes generally denote an extreme failure of any faith that a citizen is a competent or trustworthy person. thus, a political ideal dedicated to freedom, like the french revolution, turns awry as the leaders grow frustrated with the "abuse" of freedom, or perhaps its betrayal by monarchists and other conspirators, and take on "emergency" powers, a "temporary" curtailment of the freedom to which the political philosophy is dedicated in the interest of making the country "safe" for freedom. it's stuff like that that scares me. and you can do it from anywhere. truly, a one dimensional political spectrum that meets at both ends is far, far to simple for comprehensive purposes... it's just a tool for understanding extremism, IMO.

edit: in that same vein, a political movement specifically dedicated to nonviolence could, in the face of citizens who are rioting, resort to violence to quell them in order to make the world "safe for peace-lovers," or something like that. it's a fundamentally illogical step, in the case of the freedom ideal as well as this one, but you can see how people fall for it, i think... and that's really why it's called extremism--something that is extreme is excessive, unnecessary, and often dangerous.

Sayhey
Sep 4, 2003, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by shadowfax
right. the extremes generally denote an extreme failure of any faith that a citizen is a competent or trustworthy person. thus, a political ideal dedicated to freedom, like the french revolution, turns awry as the leaders grow frustrated with the "abuse" of freedom, or perhaps its betrayal by monarchists and other conspirators, and take on "emergency" powers, a "temporary" curtailment of the freedom to which the political philosophy is dedicated in the interest of making the country "safe" for freedom. it's stuff like that that scares me. and you can do it from anywhere. truly, a one dimensional political spectrum that meets at both ends is far, far to simple for comprehensive purposes... it's just a tool for understanding extremism, IMO.

edit: in that same vein, a political movement specifically dedicated to nonviolence could, in the face of citizens who are rioting, resort to violence to quell them in order to make the world "safe for peace-lovers," or something like that. it's a fundamentally illogical step, in the case of the freedom ideal as well as this one, but you can see how people fall for it, i think... and that's really why it's called extremism--something that is extreme is excessive, unnecessary, and often dangerous.

OK, I think we're on the same page.

pseudobrit
Sep 4, 2003, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i understand where you're going w/ it, but it's hard for me to agree. in your graphs, you've social policy and economic policy co-mingled.

The main problem is that most people would like to see it laid out that way, as his graph is shown -- it's simple and one-dimensional.

Others trying to pigeonhole people or groups have a grid or graph laid out two-dimensionally.

In reality, if you want to graph it, it's more of a three-dimensional (or higher) concept, something that's harder to slap together and show people on a forum or a website.

So it's easier just to stop trying to work from simple visual representations and use your brain to make real distinctions.

shadowfax
Sep 4, 2003, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
So it's easier just to stop trying to work from simple visual representations and use your brain to make real distinctions. only if your goal is to exclude everyone who cannot immediately think on such esoteric levels. of course, when you look at such graphs, you have to accept that life is much more complicated than that, but it still can help tremendously in understanding general viewpoints and how they relate to one another.

i see your point about how people can use stuff like this to pigeonhole people. but that doesn't make this stuff intrinsically bad. it makes those people asses.