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ag_NO_stic

Radical SJW Ideology the beginnings of Cult-like Behavior?

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2 hours ago, disillusioned said:

I'm with @wellnamed on this.  I've never met anyone who actively identified as an SJW. In my experience,  it's usually used as a pejorative. And not, necessarily, an unwarranted one, in my opinion. But I think you should be cautious here. You critique the SJWs on the grounds that they presuppose oppression, and are hence prone to radicalization and assholery. And you assert that they display an undeniable pattern of behaviour in this regard. But this is a presupposition on your part. Plenty of people would disagree, and would deny this pattern of behaviour. They might counter by saying that you presuppose radicalization, and that this is undeniable. They might even call this oppression ;).

 

 

Be cautious of what specifically? We all presuppose things, I agree completely. The problem revolves around the severity of presupposition, they aren't all equal. If a radical jihadist presupposed that a suicide bombing would reap eternal reward, and bombs a bunch of people, I think we can all agree that has far more severe repercussions than someone just being an asshole because of their presupposition. Lest you call me on false equivalency, let me establish that my point here falls on a bit of spectrum. I'm not just accusing SJWS of assholery, I'm accusing them of fascism. I believe what goes from there is far more serious than being an asshole, at least historically. Oppression is prolonged unjust and cruel punishment, believing someone else is presupposing oppression is not the same as being an oppressor, but that just further proves my point.

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2 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

I think you are asking why I say the right is eating itself? I didn't. I said "A problem with denouncing those on 'your side' is that the 'other side' will then say - ah ha, the left is eating itself... and vice versa for the right"

 

I was making a point about what you said about why don't people of x persuasion denounce others of x persuasion when they have radical views. My point is that they do, and when people on the left and the right have internal arguments the 'other side' says "ah ha... the left (right) is eating itself". The point here as Wellnamed expresses below, is that internal disagreements is not a sign of eating itself, but a person, or group opposed to that other group will say it is for various reasons. The same happens in science discussions when there is disagreement and people go "ah ha, even the scientists don't know anything". Which of course is a load of baloney.

 

Did I explain my point clearer there? Kinda reads rambling like but I don't have time to polish it so if you understand we are good! :3:

 

 

Exactly. Somebody get this man a chest to pin his medal on!

 

I saw your point, I just had never heard the "vice versa" on that and was curious what your ultimate point was.  I do see the ultimate point everyone is discussing here and acknowledge it, I should not assume the left is eating itself. Some radical anecdote is not the majority of the left. Got it! :)

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31 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

Be cautious of what specifically? We all presuppose things, I agree completely. The problem revolves around the severity of presupposition, they aren't all equal.

 

I don't think there is a problem with presuppositions at all, severe or otherwise. They are fundamentally necessary to reason. But some presuppositions are more useful than others. And, generally,  I think we do better if we can keep our presuppositions as basic as possible.  That way, we avoid running into contradictions. I agree that the presupposition of oppression is (in general) a bad one. I also think that the presupposition that SJWs are particularly prone to radicalization is a bad one. Hence my caution. As far as I can tell, it isn't particularly clear what exactly an SJW is supposed to be. Unless and until it is, I can't see how this presupposition works at all.

 

Quote

 

If a radical jihadist presupposed that a suicide bombing would reap eternal reward, and bombs a bunch of people, I think we can all agree that has far more severe repercussions than someone just being an asshole because of their presupposition.

 

No argument here. 

 

Quote

 

Lest you call me on false equivalency, let me establish that my point here falls on a bit of spectrum. I'm not just accusing SJWS of assholery, I'm accusing them of fascism.

 

Really? Fascism? The extreme right-wing political ideology? I thought we were talking about the left?

 

This fascism? Sorry, I don't see it. Unless I'm missing something...

 

Even if you're only talking about that original video, that wasn't fascism. Yes, it was a bit radical, and somewhat disturbing. But not fascist by a long shot.

 

Quote

I believe what goes from there is far more serious than being an asshole, at least historically. Oppression is prolonged unjust and cruel punishment, believing someone else is presupposing oppression is not the same as being an oppressor, but that just further proves my point.

 

Yes, fascism is more serious than being an asshole. It's also more serious than being somewhat radicalized, and behaving in a way which bears some similarity to a cult. As far as I can see, that's all that has been actually considered in concrete terms so far. 

 

Yes, presupposing the presuppositions of a dubiously defined social group is not the same as being an oppressor. That part of my previous post was a poor attempt at a joke at the expense of the SJWs, whoever they might actually be. 

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@ag_NO_stic thanks for the very thoughtful reply. I know I'm long-winded, so before I write yet another tome (not tonight!) I just wanted to say I appreciate having someone as engaging and patient as you to discuss this stuff with.

 

Also, just a general note: I think politics (and er, religion?) is a tricky topic to converse about, especially when there are disagreements and very different points of view. I also know that I'm neither the most clear nor most concise communicator. You probably know that too. And IIRC (I could be wrong) I think in the past you may have expressed to me that you thought I came across as condescending. From skimming your post it seems you may feel that way a bit about the exchange about "left-splaining". I just want to say that I certainly don't intend to come across that way, nor to insult you or your point of view, nor to suggest absolutely that I'm right and your wrong. You might even think this paragraph comes off that way, but please bear with me. :P

 

Basically I expect it's somewhat inevitable that I will accidentally misunderstand what you mean sometimes, and I will also probably fail to articulate myself clearly to you sometimes. I enjoy discussing these subjects with you though, and it seems worth it to me to beg your forgiveness for that ahead time, in the hopes you'll give me opportunities to clarify or correct myself if I say something stupid. We will probably also continue to have disagreements, no matter how long we talk about any of this. Just to be clear that's also quite alright with me. It wouldn't be as interesting to me if we agreed about everything!

 

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I was recently unfriended on FB by a black lady singer I knew somewhat from her gigs. She has adopted a really aggressive attitude along with the terminology of the new SJW folks (where blacks can't be racist because they don't hold power, etc). I brought up a couple of recent whites who are or were being attacked for things they had done 30 years ago, but hadn't done since. I asked if there was no room allowed for people to change (especially since she sings gospel songs). BOOM! According to her, they are getting their "come-uppance" and deserve to be unemployed now and unemployable in the future, essentially homeless because 30 years ago they posed for blackface pics in college, or posed for a pic with his hands ready to grab a sleeping woman's breasts. She railed on and on, and questions from me were met with a snarky "It isn't my job to educate you", so she essentially wanted me to just agree and parrot everything she said. Some other people chimed in and she blew up at them instead of answering, then unfriended me.

 

I noted that I had respect for her as a singer, but her new views were very polarizing and exclusionary. Most of the others who had commented were rather shocked at her behavior. I have wondered at the things I've been hearing from the SJW types, but hadn't correlated it to cult behaviors before. I do see similarities. Dang, gotta go to work...

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1 hour ago, Fuego said:

She has adopted a really aggressive attitude along with the terminology of the new SJW folks (where blacks can't be racist because they don't hold power, etc).

 

This is one of my pet peeves for sure: where an academic idea with some more or less coherent underlying argument finds its way into pop culture by what I now feel simply must be called a game of SJW telephone :P

 

The underlying idea is to distinguish between individual prejudice/bias and institutional/systemic discrimination. The problem is we use the word "racist" to refer to both of those things, and they too often get conflated. Clearly anyone can be prejudiced, and people can be prejudiced against all kinds of different groups for all kinds of different reasons. Anyone can be racist in this sense. But it's also a reasonable idea that it's much harder for groups without much political/institutional power to shape institutions so as to create widespread discrimination. Black people in the US have rarely if ever held enough political power to translate any potential individual biases into institutional discrimination.

 

But too often people -- probably like this person on Facebook -- argue that the importance of power to questions about institutional racism mean that individuals can't be prejudiced, which is obviously silly. I think similar problems exist around all sorts of other "SJW" concepts which are otherwise useful if understood more carefully, for example privilege and intersectionality.

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13 hours ago, disillusioned said:

And, generally,  I think we do better if we can keep our presuppositions as basic as possible.  That way, we avoid running into contradictions. I agree that the presupposition of oppression is (in general) a bad one. I also think that the presupposition that SJWs are particularly prone to radicalization is a bad one. Hence my caution. As far as I can tell, it isn't particularly clear what exactly an SJW is supposed to be. Unless and until it is, I can't see how this presupposition works at all.

 

To clarify here, you and I are tracking. I'm not trying to make an argument for "proneness" or really even trying to make an argument for anything at all so much as an observation based on my understanding of radical behavior, there is correlation between the two. These activists say so. I do believe I was referring to "activists" in saying "SJWs," so I apologize for not being more clear. They do exceedingly similar to me personally, but I do digress. I do try to avoid pejoratives and did not intend it as such. I want to stress, again, that I do see a vast difference between these self-described activists and those who are "concerned with social justice." I myself am concerned with it as well, hence not necessarily agreeing with republicans, I just firmly believe we should respond to the problems with a different approach. I could not agree more with keeping assumptions simple, I feel I am doing this to be candid with you. I find it fascinating that you see otherwise.

 

Google defines "radical" as (noun) "a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social reform; a member of a political party or part of a party pursuing such aims" or (adjective) "especially of change or action, relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough." 

 

Based on this definition, I stick by my perception and assertions. These activists, which is what an activist is anyway, are certainly radical and I believe those assumptions should be challenged. Let me know if I didn't address your point.

 

13 hours ago, disillusioned said:

Really? Fascism? The extreme right-wing political ideology? I thought we were talking about the left? This fascism? Sorry, I don't see it. Unless I'm missing something...Even if you're only talking about that original video, that wasn't fascism. Yes, it was a bit radical, and somewhat disturbing. But not fascist by a long shot.

 

To answer in short, yes that fascism. Of course I could be more informed than I am, I continue to research as much as time allows, but I do have a LOT of thoughts on this. I don't want to write you another book, so I'm sorry if you believe I'm completely off base here, I'm not sure by your response that you see it the way I do. I disagree that it's "not fascism by a long short," you're of course welcome to your opinion. 

 

In all honesty, on this topic and assertion, I should have taken more care to draw some parallels and suggest that the parallels are their own issue. (Many call them SJWs :P) I was tired last night, wanted to cook dinner, and ran with the term. I'm also trying not to write these long posts all the time, but every time I assume someone will understand my meaning, I'm completely wrong lol. It is my opinion that throwing around words/labels like that don't help much and I am happy to not use that word, honestly, but I do implore you to consider my point behind the word use as opposed to dismissing it as a long shot. The sentiments behind my assertion still stand. There has been enough speculation and comparison, at least that I feel I've seen (I think there was even a funny one on this site awhile back talking about driving lanes lol) between the radical left and being "the new right" and its own religion. We are already seeing suppression of speech/thought, dismissal of opinion if you're not "the oppressed," or if someone does speak out they are labeled as an outlier of some kind, dismissal of fact, etc. This is how it starts, it's not immediately genocide and force. Now is a good time to mention that article I included earlier, it really explained it better than I do. There are, at least in my opinion, undeniable and highly arguable similarities that should not be dismissed. The reason I should likely not have called it "fascism" though, is because the "nationalism" is showing up in a different way. 

From my view, radical leftists (not most of the general left) such as Evergreen are "nationalist" in their "nation of oppressed, intersectional minorities" in their quest for "power" over the "oppressive bigots." They reject the other "nation" of "bigots." They engage in radical, mob rule, and dictatorial shut down of dialogue. Evergreen was exceedingly radical, but all you have to do is look at tons of other college campuses in general to see this shift. Again, I'm using Google's definition here. I'm younger than some of you, so it's highly possible that I just need to live some more and get older. Iif "radical activism" like this is normal in college and then real life sets in, fine I won't argue with you over it. It's these college campuses that I have a problem with, not those contributing to and seeking what's best for society who disagree with me on how to get there.

 

I'll mention this again, where I live I don't see this oppression "narrative" anywhere.  That doesn't mean my personal anecdote is more "real" than another person's personal anecdote of oppression, but all I have is my own perspective at the end of the day. So, to challenge my beliefs, I look to other sources and articles. The videos that have been captured on college campuses are terrifying to me and are absolutely sticking with group identity similar to fascism. Are you familiar with these videos? Because that's what I'm addressing here, nothing else. I'm not that off base though, more likely I am guilty of attributing the radical few to the non radical majority on the left. My concern is that, with time, it might not be only a few who are radical.

Sorry for the length of the post, I always feel like I need to clarify myself further so as to avoid clarifying myself next time.

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14 hours ago, wellnamed said:

@ag_NO_stic thanks for the very thoughtful reply. I know I'm long-winded, so before I write yet another tome (not tonight!) I just wanted to say I appreciate having someone as engaging and patient as you to discuss this stuff with.

 

Also, just a general note: I think politics (and er, religion?) is a tricky topic to converse about, especially when there are disagreements and very different points of view. I also know that I'm neither the most clear nor most concise communicator. You probably know that too. And IIRC (I could be wrong) I think in the past you may have expressed to me that you thought I came across as condescending. From skimming your post it seems you may feel that way a bit about the exchange about "left-splaining". I just want to say that I certainly don't intend to come across that way, nor to insult you or your point of view, nor to suggest absolutely that I'm right and your wrong. You might even think this paragraph comes off that way, but please bear with me. :P

 

Basically I expect it's somewhat inevitable that I will accidentally misunderstand what you mean sometimes, and I will also probably fail to articulate myself clearly to you sometimes. I enjoy discussing these subjects with you though, and it seems worth it to me to beg your forgiveness for that ahead time, in the hopes you'll give me opportunities to clarify or correct myself if I say something stupid. We will probably also continue to have disagreements, no matter how long we talk about any of this. Just to be clear that's also quite alright with me. It wouldn't be as interesting to me if we agreed about everything!

 

 

I'm also long-winded, so we can be verbose friends hahaha. :D I'm actually ever so slightly self-conscious about it, I can't speak for you, but I'm longwinded because I just don't want to be misunderstood. I try to explain myself, not why the other person is "wrong." I wasn't necessarily accusing you of "left splaining", btw, I was just curious what your thoughts on the concept were. I always consider and chew on the thoughts of others, even if we disagree, I wasn't sure if were doing the same or if you felt the need to "teach me your knowledge" which doesn't always make for the best dialogue. That doesn't mean that was your goal that I don't need to learn! I just think both parties in a dialogue can learn.

 

I'm sure we're misunderstanding each other and we each have a whole life of learned material that is impossible to express in a forum post. We also both have life truths that perhaps the other has not experienced to the same degree, it's that way for every single person on earth. That doesn't change my personal urge to throw in all my life lessons, so I'm likely guilty of over-explaining too lol. I don't, generally, feel that way about people on this board. Since I tend to discuss personal responsibility, I probably come across as insensitive or harsh sometimes. I think you have the best of intentions, I really do, which is why I tried to express how it can feel not what your intention was. At the same time, I do think it's necessary to say "You could be wrong too" and give each person in a dialogue the opportunity to acknowledge this.

 

(I love how I basically just said the same thing twice but.....I can't bring myself to delete it lol. Sorry)

 

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1 hour ago, Fuego said:

I was recently unfriended on FB by a black lady singer I knew somewhat from her gigs. She has adopted a really aggressive attitude along with the terminology of the new SJW folks (where blacks can't be racist because they don't hold power, etc). I brought up a couple of recent whites who are or were being attacked for things they had done 30 years ago, but hadn't done since. I asked if there was no room allowed for people to change (especially since she sings gospel songs). BOOM! According to her, they are getting their "come-uppance" and deserve to be unemployed now and unemployable in the future, essentially homeless because 30 years ago they posed for blackface pics in college, or posed for a pic with his hands ready to grab a sleeping woman's breasts. She railed on and on, and questions from me were met with a snarky "It isn't my job to educate you", so she essentially wanted me to just agree and parrot everything she said. Some other people chimed in and she blew up at them instead of answering, then unfriended me.

 

I noted that I had respect for her as a singer, but her new views were very polarizing and exclusionary. Most of the others who had commented were rather shocked at her behavior. I have wondered at the things I've been hearing from the SJW types, but hadn't correlated it to cult behaviors before. I do see similarities. Dang, gotta go to work...

 

And it is THIS behavior that I am addressing, not "the generic left." It is my fault for not clarifying this, but it's more common to deal with this type of leftist intolerance than some on the left seem to think. It reminds me of the left's accusations of all these racist hate crime perpetrating, MAGA hat wearers whom I don't really see or witness. I allowed a bias to seep through in that way, I didn't even THINK that I was doing the same thing that the left appears to do to the right in overgeneralizing.  This is the similarity I see with religion, not opposing viewpoints. Shutting down dissent, valuing emotion, black and white morality, us vs. them, if you're not a believer than you just don't understand yet, etc etc. It's not NOT nationalist in an arguable sense!

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47 minutes ago, wellnamed said:

 

This is one of my pet peeves for sure: where an academic idea with some more or less coherent underlying argument finds its way into pop culture by what I now feel simply must be called a game of SJW telephone :P

 

The underlying idea is to distinguish between individual prejudice/bias and institutional/systemic discrimination. The problem is we use the word "racist" to refer to both of those things, and they too often get conflated. Clearly anyone can be prejudiced, and people can be prejudiced against all kinds of different groups for all kinds of different reasons. Anyone can be racist in this sense. But it's also a reasonable idea that it's much harder for groups without much political/institutional power to shape institutions so as to create widespread discrimination. Black people in the US have rarely if ever held enough political power to translate any potential individual biases into institutional discrimination.

 

But too often people -- probably like this person on Facebook -- argue that the importance of power to questions about institutional racism mean that individuals can't be prejudiced, which is obviously silly. I think similar problems exist around all sorts of other "SJW" concepts which are otherwise useful if understood more carefully, for example privilege and intersectionality.

 

Yes, it's this pet peeve I've been arguing for and I made the mistake of assuming it's more widespread than it is. It's there enough to be a pain though!

 

I wish EVERYONE would acknowledge that we have #firstworldcountryprivilege and only have time to bitch about "injustice" from our iphones while sipping a Starbucks iced coffee, because we have not endured any actual suffering in awhile. But that's just my two cents. 

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5 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

To clarify here, you and I are tracking. I'm not trying to make an argument for "proneness" or really even trying to make an argument for anything at all so much as an observation based on my understanding of radical behavior, there is correlation between the two. These activists say so. I do believe I was referring to "activists" in saying "SJWs," so I apologize for not being more clear. They do exceedingly similar to me personally, but I do digress. I do try to avoid pejoratives and did not intend it as such. I want to stress, again, that I do see a vast difference between these self-described activists and those who are "concerned with social justice." I myself am concerned with it as well, hence not necessarily agreeing with republicans, I just firmly believe we should respond to the problems with a different approach. I could not agree more with keeping assumptions simple, I feel I am doing this to be candid with you. I find it fascinating that you see otherwise.

 

Google defines "radical" as (noun) "a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social reform; a member of a political party or part of a party pursuing such aims" or (adjective) "especially of change or action, relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough." 

 

Based on this definition, I stick by my perception and assertions. These activists, which is what an activist is anyway, are certainly radical and I believe those assumptions should be challenged. Let me know if I didn't address your point.

 

Oh I see. Yes, I'd agree that there is probably a correlation be activism and radicalization. My objection was based in the fact that the "SJW" group was not particularly well-defined. That's all.

 

5 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

To answer in short, yes that fascism. Of course I could be more informed than I am, I continue to research as much as time allows, but I do have a LOT of thoughts on this. I don't want to write you another book, so I'm sorry if you believe I'm completely off base here, I'm not sure by your response that you see it the way I do. I disagree that it's "not fascism by a long short," you're of course welcome to your opinion. 

 

In all honesty, on this topic and assertion, I should have taken more care to draw some parallels and suggest that the parallels are their own issue. (Many call them SJWs :P) I was tired last night, wanted to cook dinner, and ran with the term. I'm also trying not to write these long posts all the time, but every time I assume someone will understand my meaning, I'm completely wrong lol. It is my opinion that throwing around words/labels like that don't help much and I am happy to not use that word, honestly, but I do implore you to consider my point behind the word use as opposed to dismissing it as a long shot. The sentiments behind my assertion still stand. There has been enough speculation and comparison, at least that I feel I've seen (I think there was even a funny one on this site awhile back talking about driving lanes lol) between the radical left and being "the new right" and its own religion. We are already seeing suppression of speech/thought, dismissal of opinion if you're not "the oppressed," or if someone does speak out they are labeled as an outlier of some kind, dismissal of fact, etc. This is how it starts, it's not immediately genocide and force. Now is a good time to mention that article I included earlier, it really explained it better than I do. There are, at least in my opinion, undeniable and highly arguable similarities that should not be dismissed. The reason I should likely not have called it "fascism" though, is because the "nationalism" is showing up in a different way. 

From my view, radical leftists (not most of the general left) such as Evergreen are "nationalist" in their "nation of oppressed, intersectional minorities" in their quest for "power" over the "oppressive bigots." They reject the other "nation" of "bigots." They engage in radical, mob rule, and dictatorial shut down of dialogue. Evergreen was exceedingly radical, but all you have to do is look at tons of other college campuses in general to see this shift. Again, I'm using Google's definition here. I'm younger than some of you, so it's highly possible that I just need to live some more and get older. Iif "radical activism" like this is normal in college and then real life sets in, fine I won't argue with you over it. It's these college campuses that I have a problem with, not those contributing to and seeking what's best for society who disagree with me on how to get there.

 

This is clarifying. Thanks.

 

My objection is not to the sentiment expressed. I agree that there are concerning aspects to this kind of activism. To be honest, I think these people are being kind of silly. But I stand by what I said before. It's not fascism. Here's a handy fascism checklist to illustrate why I think this: https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html

 

Of the 14 points on that list, the Evergreen kids have maybe.... two? That's hardly enough to be considered fascist. Yes, I agree, it doesn't start with genocide. Just like religiously motivated terrorism doesn't start with flipping the kill switch. But I'm sure you'd agree that not everyone who holds fundamentalist religious views is a terrorist. Similarly, not every activist, and even not every radical activist, is a fascist.

 

Is it concerning? Yes. But it's concerning because these are people who are getting a little carried away. And jumping immediately to fascism is, in my opinion, also getting a little carried away.

 

Having said that, I want to reiterate that I do agree, largely, with the sentiment that underlies your assertion. I tend to agree, in a way, that some of the radical left blends into the radical right. Maybe we don't so much need a political spectrum as a Mobius strip??

 

5 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

I'll mention this again, where I live I don't see this oppression "narrative" anywhere.  That doesn't mean my personal anecdote is more "real" than another person's personal anecdote of oppression, but all I have is my own perspective at the end of the day. So, to challenge my beliefs, I look to other sources and articles. The videos that have been captured on college campuses are terrifying to me and are absolutely sticking with group identity similar to fascism. Are you familiar with these videos? Because that's what I'm addressing here, nothing else. I'm not that off base though, more likely I am guilty of attributing the radical few to the non radical majority on the left. My concern is that, with time, it might not be only a few who are radical.

Sorry for the length of the post, I always feel like I need to clarify myself further so as to avoid clarifying myself next time.

 

I can't speak to your experiences, but I've seen plenty of oppression. Not of me, but of others. There is a legitimate issue there. Now, that doesn't mean we should all go to extremes, but nevertheless...

 

I have seen those videos, and I agree they are disturbing. There's lots of disturbing stuff in the world today though, and honestly, this is pretty low on my list. That has much to do with my particular experiences and opinions though. It doesn't mean there's not an actual problem there.

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Hmm this point is interesting

 

Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .

 

I find it interesting because in contrast to fascism every time there is some news article about some labor union or the other doing some action my parents first response is they are communist. :D 

 

I'm like really? A bunch of people grouping together to provide strong bargaining power against corporations who don't want to pay them what they are worth is communist?

 

Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

 

Interestingly on the first point - much patriotism and flag waving. One thing I notice about America is that flags are everywhere. Like everywhere - on peoples boats, houses, buildings etc. The president hugs the flag.

 

Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

 

Hmm... I'll just leave that one there, and a few others.

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On one of WebDave's links to Valerie Tarico, she herself links to this article in which a self-described liberal dissociates himself from the toxic SJW doctrines and leftist politics that he describes as not social justice interested in color-blindness and equality, but revenge and dominance very like other extreme left political movements that resulted in terrible bloodshed in the name of "the people". This is what the left will have to dissociate from if it is going to see any victory. ("The Left" is too broad of a term, really. Kind of like "Christian" and all that could mean from the new age Jesus-is-my-spirit-guide to Westboro.) If someone else already linked to this, sorry for not noticing.

 

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/2019/01/i-stand-with-liberalism-against-the-critical-theory-domination-of-the-social-justice-movement/

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15 hours ago, disillusioned said:

-cut-

 

I'll chew on what you said. There appears to be some conflation in what I'm saying a little, but I don't want to quibble on terms too much, I see your point. If the term is your concern, I won't use it. Perception, in general, absolutely fascinates me because I had a very different feel when I read that checklist. Of course, your opinion is yours to keep, as is mine. I am not arguing for just Evergreen, I'm arguing for the ideology of radical "social justice activism" which I believe, as an ideology, is the "beginnings" of fascism.  The checklist addresses full-blown fascism, so if you read the checklist, you're not going to be able to compare that with these fringe activists and their controlling behavior. I can see far more than "maybe 2" "beginnings" and I think that's reason enough to want to redirect things before it gets worse. Just as all kinds of behaviors and beliefs fall under "Christian," I think the fascist concepts can culminate in different behaviors that have similar roots. Again, happy to not use the term and focus on the harmful ideology. But I'm not calling every activist a fascist, I'm referring to the ideology. Just as I would describe "Christianity" in certain terms, knowing that each individual Christian might not fall under my descriptors. I think current feminism, not first wave suffrage, is misandrist but I don't think every feminist is. 

 

We always wonder how things happened in history and we're staring it in the face. That's not intended to be all dramatic either! That being said, I am happy to once again acknowledge that these activists are a much smaller portion of "the left" than I was thinking. Similar to all the racist nationalists on the right, which I don't see. That being said, I will watch my terminology to make sure discussions are clear. I also wanted to mention here that I don't think there is no bad treatment of people or individual racists, of course there are, I just don't see "systemic oppression" unless we're pointing our fingers at democrats who need poverty to have something to fight against and whose policies reflect that. I see consequences of choices, which none of us can avoid. The reform I'd like to see take place is in either incentivizing personal responsibility or not bailing out irresponsibility so we can get more on track with other reforms we need. If the entire government wasn't paid so well or would take their trips and dinners out of their own smaller pay, but they want the left and right to fight and not notice their bullshit.

 

15 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

Hmm this point is interesting

 

Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .

 

I find it interesting because in contrast to fascism every time there is some news article about some labor union or the other doing some action my parents first response is they are communist. :D 

 

I'm like really? A bunch of people grouping together to provide strong bargaining power against corporations who don't want to pay them what they are worth is communist?

 

Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

 

Interestingly on the first point - much patriotism and flag waving. One thing I notice about America is that flags are everywhere. Like everywhere - on peoples boats, houses, buildings etc. The president hugs the flag.

 

Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

 

Hmm... I'll just leave that one there, and a few others.

 

Interesting thoughts. I wonder what it's like in different parts of the US, where I live people don't worship the flag. Than again, maybe I'm blind to it compared to other countries lol.  Like there might be a flag at a school or something. Is there a line between being happy to be where you live and nationalism? I think there is. In my view, some of it appears to be in response to people who completely bash the country, which is also completely nationalist. Trashing whole groups of people in favor of your own is EXACTLY what these activists are doing, it's totally nationalist.

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re: Evergreen and fascism -- I'd suggest authoritarian as an alternative

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On 3/19/2019 at 5:22 PM, ag_NO_stic said:

I understood his point, I had just never considered that point or heard of "both sides doing it" ie, the left accusing the right of it. Does this make sense? I see the objectivity of his statement, but I was kinda "calling for more specificity" as vague comments like that don't really clarify the discussion unless there is a specific point hidden there. Anyone can drop in and say "both sides can do ____" so it makes perfect logical sense to say, "oh okay, how?" I hope I'm explaining this well because I understand the difference between what you think I meant and what I actually mean and I hope to communicate that. 

 

Yeah, I think we may have just read his post pretty differently?

 

On 3/19/2019 at 5:22 PM, ag_NO_stic said:

I frankly don't know which "critiques" you are referring to in what I said or why it's important to label them as conservative. Like, okay, so you think they are, now what? Is that supposed to be a good or bad thing?

 

I didn't mean to say it was either good or bad, I just thought it was relevant to the question you were asking, as I understood it. So, you wrote that "identity politics on the left is causing issues within the party." I related that back to LF's statement about parties "eating themselves." In other words I took your question to be about what issues are causing divisions internal to each party. You mentioned a number of issues that you believe to be causing issues on the left:

 

On 3/19/2019 at 9:51 AM, ag_NO_stic said:

Do women make $0.77 to the dollar (no) or is gender a social construct? Is there a "gender pay gap" for all millions of genders? Can you be "trans" or is gender non-binary? So did their child "act like a girl" aka trans or can "a girl do anything a man can do," feminism.

 

My response was to say that -- IMO -- these are not issues causing large internal divisions on the left (though they are certainly subject to some debate). Rather, these are issues that divide left from right in the US. Basically what I mean is that I don't see disagreements about the wage gap fracturing the Democratic party. I don't think I've ever met anyone on the left who thinks its even important to say there are "a million genders", and I don't think the idea of legislating the number of genders is an issue of much importance to the vast majority of people on the left. But, the idea that people on the left think there are "a million genders" is a pretty common complaint I've heard from conservatives. Does this make sense? Perhaps it would have been clearer if I said I thought your phrasing implied a lot of standard conservative critiques of stereotypical leftist views on those topics. That's why I mentioned those issues as conservative critiques of liberals. But the main point is I think those are mostly points of disagreement between right and left rather than being causes of internal divisions on the left. I would say the largest and most pressing issues causing divisions on the left are probably around economic populism and whether to pursue incremental/moderate economic policies or more radical ones. If I was being glib I'd say the biggest division is basically "how much socialism is too much?"

 

 

 

 

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On 3/19/2019 at 5:22 PM, ag_NO_stic said:

I don't mean this rude, but I didn't really ask to be "educated" on this particular topic.

 

I did say to skip it if you don't care! FWIW it's not clear to me what the difference is between "someone trying to educate you" (which apparently you find obnoxious) and someone just elaborating their disagreement as part of a discussion. But, it's also a tangential part of this discussion, so we can move on from it too. That's why I suggested you ignore it if you weren't interested in that particular topic. There are other statements you made in this section of your post that I could also disagree with and which I also think are interesting to talk about, but I won't reply to them unless you are interested as well.

 

On 3/19/2019 at 5:22 PM, ag_NO_stic said:

Leaving Christianity devastated that aspect of my assumptions and I am never certain I am correct. It can be frustrating if the other party doesn't acknowledge tthat they too could have it all wrong, That's why I was asking you lol. I was curious if you felt the same way.

 

I think I understand you better now, thanks. I think it's fair to say I don't have the same feeling about the possibility of being wrong that you seem to have. We had different experiences as Christians and it affected us differently. My response was dealing more with how I think about the possibility of being wrong, and how I try to account for it intellectually. I think you were speaking more about a kind of emotional reaction to the possibility of being wrong, or a sense of anxiety? I think I probably don't feel the same way as you do, and that probably does just reflect the differences in our background.

 

That said, it's not that I don't worry about being wrong. It's just not a particularly intense worry? But intellectually I try to approach topics in a way that will allow me to correct myself when I am wrong, and I'm wrong all the time so this is pretty important in my view. Earlier in this thread I mentioned that debate was a useful way to challenge myself, and that's an example. There's an idea I picked up some years ago, I forget from where, but it involved the maxim that you should approach intellectual issues by having "strong positions, weakly held." Both parts are useful. One way people shield themselves from being wrong is to avoid taking positions that can be falsified, even though they do actually have some beliefs. If you never take a position you can't easily be challenged. I think it's valuable to take strong positions and argue for them as best you can, to clarify your own reasons for believing the things you believe. So for example where you read me as trying to educate you, in my mind I'm trying to prove to myself that my beliefs on this topic are correct by demonstrating their correctness via argument and subjecting them to counter-argument. The second part is also important: "weakly held." That's the part where you acknowledge that you can always be wrong and try to avoid being too stubbornly attached to your own ideas. For me, one thing I try to do in that regard is that I try to expose myself to arguments from smart people who disagree with me. Like yourself, for example.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, wellnamed said:

I didn't mean to say it was either good or bad, I just thought it was relevant to the question you were asking, as I understood it. So, you wrote that "identity politics on the left is causing issues within the party." I related that back to LF's statement about parties "eating themselves." In other words I took your question to be about what issues are causing divisions internal to each party. You mentioned a number of issues that you believe to be causing issues on the left:

 

My response was to say that -- IMO -- these are not issues causing large internal divisions on the left (though they are certainly subject to some debate). Rather, these are issues that divide left from right in the US. Basically what I mean is that I don't see disagreements about the wage gap fracturing the Democratic party. I don't think I've ever met anyone on the left who thinks its even important to say there are "a million genders", and I don't think the idea of legislating the number of genders is an issue of much importance to the vast majority of people on the left. But, the idea that people on the left think there are "a million genders" is a pretty common complaint I've heard from conservatives. Does this make sense? Perhaps it would have been clearer if I said I thought your phrasing implied a lot of standard conservative critiques of stereotypical leftist views on those topics. That's why I mentioned those issues as conservative critiques of liberals. But the main point is I think those are mostly points of disagreement between right and left rather than being causes of internal divisions on the left. I would say the largest and most pressing issues causing divisions on the left are probably around economic populism and whether to pursue incremental/moderate economic policies or more radical ones. If I was being glib I'd say the biggest division is basically "how much socialism is too much?"

 

I need to apologize right now for not making clear distinctions between my various "critiques" of....well....everything lolol. My thoughts and opinions are clear in my mind, of course, but I "switch topics" or move around a lot within things that I find correlated and don't make that clear. My fault. 

 

I see what you mean now about the right's criticisms of the left which include opinions on trans people or the wage gap, but my examples were still rooted in disagreement between the left. A feminist on the left and a trans person on the left are disagreeing. A feminist might take issue with a trans person saying "I just always walked and talked like a girl, always loved pink" does this make sense? Where I went wrong, as I mentioned to disillusioned, is that I assumed the fringe left who do say these things were far more widespread within the left. I see your point though and am happy to amend my comment about the left eating itself. Perhaps I should have been more specific about the nature of extreme identity politics not "the left?" I agree with you that what is fracturing the actual "left" is not identity politics, again, so sorry for being unclear. I think we're tracking, I see your distinction.

 

1 hour ago, wellnamed said:

 

I did say to skip it if you don't care! FWIW it's not clear to me what the difference is between "someone trying to educate you" (which apparently you find obnoxious) and someone just elaborating their disagreement as part of a discussion. But, it's also a tangential part of this discussion, so we can move on from it too. That's why I suggested you ignore it if you weren't interested in that particular topic. There are other statements you made in this section of your post that I could also disagree with and which I also think are interesting to talk about, but I won't reply to them unless you are interested as well.

 

 

Ah, now I regret discussing this education thing. I love to learn, I don't think I know everything for goodness' sakes. :D I don't generally like to just skip over things, I prefer to address ideas, I was trying to communicate to you how it feels when people who focus a lot on education and academia come off to people who focus more on real world application. We both have kernels of truth mixed up in some bullshit, I'm sure. Disagreeing and elaborating on how you disagree, zero problem at all. Dispute of statistics or facts or assertions, no problem. I just want it to be clear that they are your opinions, they are your interpretations, your parroting of other people, not "the truth" or "how it is" and I just need to come around to seeing "the truth." Christians and the non-religious argue a lot, but Christians are far less likely to say "by the way, I could be wrong, it's possible there's not a God" which was my point. I hope this makes sense, disagree with me all you like but that doesn't mean you're right and I'm wrong. We're probably both likely wrong lol.

 

1 hour ago, wellnamed said:

I think I understand you better now, thanks. I think it's fair to say I don't have the same feeling about the possibility of being wrong that you seem to have. We had different experiences as Christians and it affected us differently. My response was dealing more with how I think about the possibility of being wrong, and how I try to account for it intellectually. I think you were speaking more about a kind of emotional reaction to the possibility of being wrong, or a sense of anxiety? I think I probably don't feel the same way as you do, and that probably does just reflect the differences in our background.

 

That said, it's not that I don't worry about being wrong. It's just not a particularly intense worry? But intellectually I try to approach topics in a way that will allow me to correct myself when I am wrong, and I'm wrong all the time so this is pretty important in my view. Earlier in this thread I mentioned that debate was a useful way to challenge myself, and that's an example. There's an idea I picked up some years ago, I forget from where, but it involved the maxim that you should approach intellectual issues by having "strong positions, weakly held." Both parts are useful. One way people shield themselves from being wrong is to avoid taking positions that can be falsified, even though they do actually have some beliefs. If you never take a position you can't easily be challenged. I think it's valuable to take strong positions and argue for them as best you can, to clarify your own reasons for believing the things you believe. So for example where you read me as trying to educate you, in my mind I'm trying to prove to myself that my beliefs on this topic are correct by demonstrating their correctness via argument and subjecting them to counter-argument. The second part is also important: "weakly held." That's the part where you acknowledge that you can always be wrong and try to avoid being too stubbornly attached to your own ideas. For me, one thing I try to do in that regard is that I try to expose myself to arguments from smart people who disagree with me. Like yourself, for example.

 

I think you have clarified yourself better here too, I think I understand you better. From my perspective, the "weakly held" part just wasn't translating well, that's all. There is absolutely an element of my  perception that is more unsure and cautious than you that I'll acknowledge, but I was actually arguing more for the "strong positions, weakly held" concept. They seemed more strongly held and "correct" as opposed to opinion. But, again, I think we're tracking. So sorry for communicating to you that I find learning from others obnoxious or anything like that. I hope I'm communicating well, I'm not accusing you of anything bad, I'm just talking through my perception and submitting it for clarification. 

 

To show you a strong opinion, moderately held (:P) - I do not believe that wage gaps in our society have anything to do with active discrimination or "the patriarchy" or "oppression." I think there are many factors that disproportionately affect the poor, a lot having to do with personal decisions, that have a history in oppression. But, in my view, democratic institutions like Clinton's war on drugs which broke up the family or continued welfare which reward these single parent homes have further crippled the impoverished by not empowering them. I think the left would gain intense traction and support from the right if they pushed for measures that encouraged personal responsibility. I think the right would be more willing to address left's concerns if there was a basic acknowledgement that the improverished are disadvantages AND making poor life decisions that keep them poor. Thoughts? 

 

Sociology and psychology is the field that I am most comfortable in, as opposed to some of the names you mentioned earlier politically, so I am very familiar with all the different ways a a research project can go wrong. I have been asked about being anti-science before, because of my intense skepticism of statistical research methods and the history of us "knowing things" until we don't. The whole "we-re monkeys trying to figure the world around us out" thing is not lost on me. That being said, I have enjoyed dialoguing with you thus far and hope I have not made an ass of myself too badly. :D

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No need to apologize for anything. Like I said before, I think it's inevitable that there will be misunderstandings and miscommunications, and just as much on my part as anyone else's. Talking (or writing :P) is easy, but communicating is always delightfully difficult. I appreciate your willingness to plow through all the ambiguities and I do think we probably understand each other a little bit better now, and that's really useful. More later on...

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4 hours ago, wellnamed said:

re: Evergreen and fascism -- I'd suggest authoritarian as an alternative

 

Acknowledge. :)

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Late to the thread, please forgive me for not reading through all of it considering how many postings there are in here...

 

...but to the original statement: My opinion is a definite yes. Of course not all in what you could call the SJW crowd are insane fanatics but there's definitely a significant part of nutjobs in there, and they dominate the public perception of their entire movements. That is partly because the moderates aren't even trying to fight that impression, and partly because the journaille care 0 % for facts and 143 % for their own profit, hence "news" with maximal shock value. Feminism is a prime example of that (though certainly not the only one), with the hate and bigotry of their most insane nutjobs totally dominating their public image, and (usually) no resistance to that at all from the moderates.

 

Sidenote on the infamous fascism checklist: Seems quite legit to me. Of course one can argue about the exact definition of "fascism", so yes, substituting "authoritarian" (or maybe "autocratic", to a degree) might be a good idea here.

 

I guess the main problem in this age is that there's no even halfway neutral authority anymore that all the sides and factions feel they can respect. Politicians, scientists, media... we've learned the hard way there are liars and idiots among all of them, and as our insane species always focuses on the bad ones, it creates the impression that Mulder was right. Trust no one (besides yourself, only that the human potential for self-deception is also near-unlimited... life sucks).

Welcome to the era of filter bubbles everywhere. Quite possibly the most insane era in human history.

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22 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

I hope this makes sense, disagree with me all you like but that doesn't mean you're right and I'm wrong. We're probably both likely wrong lol.

 

It did, and I agree 100% with both of your last two statements. With that in mind, I'll go back to a couple things very quickly, just out of interest.

 

On 3/19/2019 at 5:22 PM, ag_NO_stic said:

Well, I basically just typed what you said in different words above, so there's that. I guess my curiosity is, if it's not discriminatory, than what is there to protest? Why is it a talking point at the women's march? Please clarify where I might be misunderstanding you here

 

Yes, I think our disagreement was smaller than it appeared at first. In the earlier post you wrote "Do women make $0.77 to the dollar (no)", and I responded to that, which I read to be making the claim that there is, in fact, no wage gap at all. Your second post clarified your intent: "There is clearly a difference in earnings, I'm not arguing that doesn't exist, but I don't think it's discriminatory so I don't see the point of arguing about it or claiming that it is discrimination."

 

So the brief set of points I posted in response to your first statement was mostly about establishing the existence of the gap, and I think with your clarification we have no disagreement on that point. We probably disagree somewhat on whether or not discrimination plays any role whatsoever in the the existence of the wage gap, and I linked to an NBER article that discusses a lot of research about causes of the gap, including evidence for some level of discrimination. On that, you wrote:

 

On 3/19/2019 at 5:22 PM, ag_NO_stic said:

The equal pay act of 1963 made it illegal for an employer to actively discriminate on a person's pay purely because of their sex. If a woman decides to work fewer hours or a lower paying job, or even is more agreeable and  agrees to work the same job for a lower wage, that is not some kind of conspiracy. Women are perfectly capable of demanding higher pay, like men do, they just don't or they do and they're just as successful as men.

 

The first part, to me, sounds a little bit like arguing that there must not be any crime because crime is illegal. The fact that the law exists is not a proof that there is no discrimination, just like the existence of laws is not a proof that there is no crime. I think there is some validity in the rest of your statements there, but I'd say its too simplistic and I think it under-appreciates the role of social factors constraining individual choices. It's also perhaps misconstruing me: I wouldn't call the wage gap a conspiracy at all. I also wouldn't characterize it as something where legitimate individual choices play no role. I think the interplay between individual choice and social constraint is really complicated (cf. the article I linked on career choices).

 

But, to back up a second, I think I should clarify that my interest in this subject is mostly academic, rather than political. If I were making a list of political issues that I think are very important right now, the wage gap wouldn't be too near the top of the list. My list would be something more like { climate change, healthcare, immigration, criminal justice reform, economic inequality, education, ... }. So I'm probably not the person to ask about why it's a topic for political activists. I'm generally not an activist. I also said previously I thought the "Women make $.77 on the dollar" activist framing is misleading, just like "there is no wage gap" is misleading.

 

That said, I think it is a part of those marches because some women are concerned with their ability to earn a living independently as well as men can. I don't think people's concern for that is entirely misguided; I think it's a complicated topic. I do think it gets oversimplified. When I say my interest is mostly academic, I mean that I think the topic is connected to really interesting changes going on in society and that I like to try to understand them.  I don't necessarily mean that I think all such "problems" require political solutions. But to reiterate the pace of change: it's pretty amazing how much things have changed since WWII. Look at women's labor force participation. Think about women being unable to independently open credit accounts until the mid-70s (or other similar examples). Think about norms related to marriage and divorce, or related to sexual consent. A lot has changed and is changing still. If I refer to "social problems" I don't necessarily mean that there are heroes and villains, and I don't necessarily mean that the "problem" is "oppression". I just mean that there are things happening that seem problematic or less than ideal to various people, and that makes sense to me given the pace of change. I wouldn't even limit the "social problems" related to this topic to women. I think it's reasonably likely that the entrance of women into the workforce (just by means of increasing labor supply) played some (maybe small) role in wage stagnation for men in recent decades, although there are other factors from research I've read. When I look at current trends in educational attainment by gender I wonder if, in the future, we may instead have a problem with men lacking economic opportunity relative to women because they are underachieving academically. I think all of it is pretty interesting, but I'll cut myself off here :P

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On 3/21/2019 at 10:04 AM, ag_NO_stic said:

 

I'll chew on what you said. There appears to be some conflation in what I'm saying a little, but I don't want to quibble on terms too much, I see your point. If the term is your concern, I won't use it. Perception, in general, absolutely fascinates me because I had a very different feel when I read that checklist. Of course, your opinion is yours to keep, as is mine. 

 

Yes, perception is interesting. I'm fascinated by this too. Especially when someone like you, whose opinion I respect profoundly, disagrees with me on something like this. It's intriguing. Might lead us down a rabbit hole to explore it too much here, but still. It's interesting.

 

On 3/21/2019 at 10:04 AM, ag_NO_stic said:

 

I am not arguing for just Evergreen, I'm arguing for the ideology of radical "social justice activism" which I believe, as an ideology, is the "beginnings" of fascism.  The checklist addresses full-blown fascism, so if you read the checklist, you're not going to be able to compare that with these fringe activists and their controlling behavior. I can see far more than "maybe 2" "beginnings" and I think that's reason enough to want to redirect things before it gets worse. Just as all kinds of behaviors and beliefs fall under "Christian," I think the fascist concepts can culminate in different behaviors that have similar roots. Again, happy to not use the term and focus on the harmful ideology. But I'm not calling every activist a fascist, I'm referring to the ideology. Just as I would describe "Christianity" in certain terms, knowing that each individual Christian might not fall under my descriptors. I think current feminism, not first wave suffrage, is misandrist but I don't think every feminist is. 

 

I'm pretty happy to grant the point here. Yes, fascism is the end of a long process. I can see how there are similarities between Evergreen (for example) and "the beginnings" of fascism. I'd be more comfortable with WN's rephrasing as "authoritarianism", but whatever. Let's not be too pedantic. If you see more than two, then that's fine. I can see that an argument could be made for that.

 

On 3/21/2019 at 10:04 AM, ag_NO_stic said:

We always wonder how things happened in history and we're staring it in the face. That's not intended to be all dramatic either! That being said, I am happy to once again acknowledge that these activists are a much smaller portion of "the left" than I was thinking. Similar to all the racist nationalists on the right, which I don't see. That being said, I will watch my terminology to make sure discussions are clear. I also wanted to mention here that I don't think there is no bad treatment of people or individual racists, of course there are, I just don't see "systemic oppression" unless we're pointing our fingers at democrats who need poverty to have something to fight against and whose policies reflect that. I see consequences of choices, which none of us can avoid. The reform I'd like to see take place is in either incentivizing personal responsibility or not bailing out irresponsibility so we can get more on track with other reforms we need. If the entire government wasn't paid so well or would take their trips and dinners out of their own smaller pay, but they want the left and right to fight and not notice their bullshit.

 

I'll let this stand as it is. Anything I might say here would probably distract from the topic of the thread.

 

Just a general note: a major reason that I've objected here, which I haven't, thus far, been able to effectively elucidate, is that I think the group which has heretofore been referred to as "SJWs" is really not very large, or very coherent. The latter is more important. Don't get me wrong. I know a few people who would probably classify as "SJWs". I don't mean to say that they can't be found. But if you got a few of them together, and put them in a room, and asked them to come up with a coherent ideology, I don't think they'd be able to do it. Someone in that room would end up offended, and someone else in the room would be labelled as "an oppressor". This is why the "movement" doesn't really trouble me that much: there is no coherent rhetoric. One person's oppression is another person's free speech. That's the major reason why I don't think it can properly be labelled as even the beginnings of fascism. Fascism, at minimum, has a coherent, unifying cause. I don't see anything unifying about this.

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20 hours ago, disillusioned said:

Just a general note: a major reason that I've objected here, which I haven't, thus far, been able to effectively elucidate, is that I think the group which has heretofore been referred to as "SJWs" is really not very large, or very coherent. The latter is more important. Don't get me wrong. I know a few people who would probably classify as "SJWs". I don't mean to say that they can't be found. But if you got a few of them together, and put them in a room, and asked them to come up with a coherent ideology, I don't think they'd be able to do it. Someone in that room would end up offended, and someone else in the room would be labelled as "an oppressor". This is why the "movement" doesn't really trouble me that much: there is no coherent rhetoric. One person's oppression is another person's free speech. That's the major reason why I don't think it can properly be labelled as even the beginnings of fascism. Fascism, at minimum, has a coherent, unifying cause. I don't see anything unifying about this.

 

FYI, you communicated much more eloquently what I was trying to by saying the left was "eating itself." I did not communicate clearly that I was under the impression there were a lot more of these activists on the left than it seems there actually are. I agree on for the most part on forming a coherent ideology, but I disagree that they don't have a unifying cause. I think the unifying cause is "Fight the Oppression" (whatever that may be.) 

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On 3/22/2019 at 11:28 AM, wellnamed said:

 

It did, and I agree 100% with both of your last two statements. With that in mind, I'll go back to a couple things very quickly, just out of interest.

 

 

Yes, I think our disagreement was smaller than it appeared at first. In the earlier post you wrote "Do women make $0.77 to the dollar (no)", and I responded to that, which I read to be making the claim that there is, in fact, no wage gap at all. Your second post clarified your intent: "There is clearly a difference in earnings, I'm not arguing that doesn't exist, but I don't think it's discriminatory so I don't see the point of arguing about it or claiming that it is discrimination."

 

So the brief set of points I posted in response to your first statement was mostly about establishing the existence of the gap, and I think with your clarification we have no disagreement on that point. We probably disagree somewhat on whether or not discrimination plays any role whatsoever in the the existence of the wage gap, and I linked to an NBER article that discusses a lot of research about causes of the gap, including evidence for some level of discrimination. On that, you wrote:

 

 

The first part, to me, sounds a little bit like arguing that there must not be any crime because crime is illegal. The fact that the law exists is not a proof that there is no discrimination, just like the existence of laws is not a proof that there is no crime. I think there is some validity in the rest of your statements there, but I'd say its too simplistic and I think it under-appreciates the role of social factors constraining individual choices. It's also perhaps misconstruing me: I wouldn't call the wage gap a conspiracy at all. I also wouldn't characterize it as something where legitimate individual choices play no role. I think the interplay between individual choice and social constraint is really complicated (cf. the article I linked on career choices).

 

But, to back up a second, I think I should clarify that my interest in this subject is mostly academic, rather than political. If I were making a list of political issues that I think are very important right now, the wage gap wouldn't be too near the top of the list. My list would be something more like { climate change, healthcare, immigration, criminal justice reform, economic inequality, education, ... }. So I'm probably not the person to ask about why it's a topic for political activists. I'm generally not an activist. I also said previously I thought the "Women make $.77 on the dollar" activist framing is misleading, just like "there is no wage gap" is misleading.

 

That said, I think it is a part of those marches because some women are concerned with their ability to earn a living independently as well as men can. I don't think people's concern for that is entirely misguided; I think it's a complicated topic. I do think it gets oversimplified. When I say my interest is mostly academic, I mean that I think the topic is connected to really interesting changes going on in society and that I like to try to understand them.  I don't necessarily mean that I think all such "problems" require political solutions. But to reiterate the pace of change: it's pretty amazing how much things have changed since WWII. Look at women's labor force participation. Think about women being unable to independently open credit accounts until the mid-70s (or other similar examples). Think about norms related to marriage and divorce, or related to sexual consent. A lot has changed and is changing still. If I refer to "social problems" I don't necessarily mean that there are heroes and villains, and I don't necessarily mean that the "problem" is "oppression". I just mean that there are things happening that seem problematic or less than ideal to various people, and that makes sense to me given the pace of change. I wouldn't even limit the "social problems" related to this topic to women. I think it's reasonably likely that the entrance of women into the workforce (just by means of increasing labor supply) played some (maybe small) role in wage stagnation for men in recent decades, although there are other factors from research I've read. When I look at current trends in educational attainment by gender I wonder if, in the future, we may instead have a problem with men lacking economic opportunity relative to women because they are underachieving academically. I think all of it is pretty interesting, but I'll cut myself off here :P

 

I'm getting there lol :)

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