View Single Post
Old 04-20-2010, 11:19 PM
Alaric's Avatar
Alaric Alaric is offline
Veteran Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Midcoast Maine
Posts: 3,216
iTrader: 1 / 100%

I was hoping to just let this thread die the death it so richly deserved, but respond, I must.

Originally Posted by bigstick61 View Post
No, that is completely wrong. Statism is an entirely leftist concept. Nationalism, corporatism, and fascism are or are elements of leftist ideologies.
Just for backgrounds' sake, since you're dismissing my assertions wholesale, what's your background? Did you spend years studying government and political science in an academic setting or is this just one of your many internet hobbies? I have actually been a scholar of political philosophy and spent far too much time that I will never get back on this subject (much to my dismay). All I'm asking for is a little respect before you go and claim the sky is really pink and not blue at all.

Originally Posted by bigstick61 View Post
Also, leftism is generally opposed to freedom, especially in any broad sense. Some leftist ideologies, however, espouse freedom below the belt or even full-blown libertinism, while rejecting all other freedom. Those things by themselves do no demonstrate any real love for liberty. A rightist that supports those things being legal (even if morally opposed to them) generally will support very broad amounts of freedom. Ultimately, the driving idea behind leftism is equality; in order to achieve equality (or at least move heavily in that direction; true equality is impossible), there cannot be freedom in any real sense. Things like the couple of freedoms leftists might support tend not to in most cases have any impact on equality one way or another. Freedom sharply conflicts with any plans or designs to impose equality.
Leftism is not opposed to freedom. Before you make broad assertions on the basis of liberty you should really become more aware of the philosophical underpinnings of the term "liberalism". Not as liberalism is now known in the American political sphere (social liberalism), but as it was the basis for your entire political epistemology. From the first sentence of the Wiki entry on liberalism, "Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis, "of freedom"[1]) is the belief in the importance of liberty and equality.", What you are is a classical liberal, versus a social liberal, which you apparently despise. Now you know why the Democrats and Republicans are often referred to as the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of politics. Because philosophically, they are so closely related and undifferentiated as to be the wee-todd-did twins when they attempt any semblance of honest debate. This is why the bipolar party system you support is inherently flawed. It can't possibly represent anything but a gross generalization of the legitimate (not talking about communism, fascism, neo-nazi-ism, or any other extremism here) political viewpoints that Americans could want to put forward. Taken in league with the winner take all system -as opposed to a system of proportional representation - and the electoral college, any semblance of democracy is left wanting and bereft from our democratically inspired system of governance.

Originally Posted by bigstick61 View Post
Rightists tend to support a broad amount of freedom. It is one of the defining characteristics of the Right. When the question is asked, "Should we have liberty or equality?", the Right chooses liberty. Where there tends to be debate is on matters of virtue, but there is debate, not any sort of universal consensus against freedom in as deemed to be "social" in modern political parlance. Even among those on the Right supportive of some restrictions in areas regarding morality and virtue, the amount of liberty supported is far broader than in any leftist ideology. Ultimately, most proponents of such laws on the Right support them for individualist reasons, not statist or collectivist ones. Pretty much all rightists are mostly or entirely individualistic in their outlook and all are opposed to statism. These ideas are some of the basic criteria used to define placement on the standard political spectrum.
You seem to downplay the role of the moral majority (which is neither) in terms of American Realpolitik. Any honest debate on the merits of rightism in context must take into account the wholesale hijacking of the rightist agenda by moral absolutism. Fail that, and intellectual failure is yours. For good reason, for the so called progressive movement which has picked up so much in the past two decades is an absolute response to that development.

Look, you can sit there and debate about rightism in a vacuum devoid of real world application, or you can take the leap and look at it in context. The unfortunate reality is that the two sides are separated by a far greater gulf of culture, religion, shared values, recreational drugs of choice and sexual proclivities than they are by any really meaningful political differences. If you want to draw lines, use our modern parlance, not some cherished relic you keep tucked away in some safe unassailable place in your mind where it can't be challenged by the real and changing world.

Originally Posted by bigstick61 View Post
You are incorrect. Both sides of the spectrum don't like the Patriot Act or statism. The right is mostly opposed to laws like the Patriot Act. You can try to bring up neocons if you like, but ultimately their ideology is a derivative of that which dominates the Democratic Party, which is by no means a rightist one. What you seem to be referring to is really partisanship and vulgar politics, not the differences or likenesses between political ideologies and philosophies. The thing is, I was never talking about things from a partisan perspective. I am a staunch opponent of partisanship; I just recognize political parties as a necessary evil and also one of the only ways to really collectively promote commonly shared ideas. I also don't unwaveringly support Republicans (and I have voted against Republicans a number of times, although I have never voted for a Democrat).
I believe there are a fair number of people on both sides of the aisle (based upon their voting record) who are staunch believers in the Patriot Act. They seem to think it fairly trumps our Constitutional rights, and for that reason I will not ignore them. Frankly, I'm astonished that you could dismiss such a grievous act against liberty in the name of partisanship.

Originally Posted by bigstick61 View Post
Thing is, your conclusions are based upon false premises. You are also making blanket generalizations of the two parties. For example, in the GOP, individual members, candidates, etc. can be anything from moderate left (like neocons or even more common modern liberals) to far right (like hardcore libertarians).
All the more reason to incorporate a multiparty system with elements of proportional representation. Hell, just give us two more parties by themselves and we'll see a world of difference.

By the way, libertarianism is in no way right wing. Libertarianism is libertarianism, and also has little to do with the party that co-opted that name with a big "L". Ayn Rand is rolling in her grave as we speak.
Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense?

-Patrick Henry
Reply With Quote