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Shelby Steele Deconstructs "Liberals" Options
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 12:07:27 PM

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This article is in a similar vein to the one I wrote On the Election of Donald Trump, and helps explain politics here in the US, particularly those of the Progressive Left, a.k.a., “Liberals”.

The author, Mr. Shelby Steele, explains why the political Left is not about ideas, but about the need to have an enemy for the purposes of keeping power. I said in my post that it was Whites that were the enemy, and while that is true, I did not include into that group, others who are also considered enemies.

Mr. Steele does just that by showing that it includes anyone who disagrees with the political Left. That’s why anyone who disagrees has to be attacked. For the Left, it is a personal attack, not just a disagreement on opinions or ideas. They take it personally because, for them, this is their identity.

The article is also an example of how excess is the downfall of a political movement.


From The Wall Street Journal:


The Exhaustion of American Liberalism

By
SHELBY STEELE
Updated March 5, 2017 6:20 p.m. ET

The recent flurry of marches, demonstrations and even riots, along with the Democratic Party’s spiteful reaction to the Trump presidency, exposes what modern liberalism has become: a politics shrouded in pathos. Unlike the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, when protesters wore their Sunday best and carried themselves with heroic dignity, today’s liberal marches are marked by incoherence and downright lunacy—hats designed to evoke sexual organs, poems that scream in anger yet have no point to make, and an hysterical anti-Americanism.

All this suggests lostness, the end of something rather than the beginning. What is ending?

America, since the ’60s, has lived through what might be called an age of white guilt. We may still be in this age, but the Trump election suggests an exhaustion with the idea of white guilt, and with the drama of culpability, innocence and correctness in which it mires us.


White guilt is not actual guilt. Surely most whites are not assailed in the night by feelings of responsibility for America’s historical mistreatment of minorities. Moreover, all the actual guilt in the world would never be enough to support the hegemonic power that the mere pretense of guilt has exercised in American life for the last half-century.

White guilt is not angst over injustices suffered by others; it is the terror of being stigmatized with America’s old bigotries—racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. To be stigmatized as a fellow traveler with any of these bigotries is to be utterly stripped of moral authority and made into a pariah. The terror of this, of having “no name in the street” as the Bible puts it, pressures whites to act guiltily even when they feel no actual guilt. White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret.

It is also the heart and soul of contemporary liberalism. This liberalism is the politics given to us by white guilt, and it shares white guilt’s central corruption. It is not real liberalism, in the classic sense. It is a mock liberalism. Freedom is not its raison d’être; moral authority is.

When America became stigmatized in the ’60s as racist, sexist and militaristic, it wanted moral authority above all else. Subsequently the American left reconstituted itself as the keeper of America’s moral legitimacy. (Conservatism, focused on freedom and wealth, had little moral clout.) From that followed today’s markers of white guilt—political correctness, identity politics, environmental orthodoxy, the diversity cult and so on.

This was the circumstance in which innocence of America’s bigotries and dissociation from the American past became a currency of hardcore political power. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, good liberals both, pursued power by offering their candidacies as opportunities for Americans to document their innocence of the nation’s past. “I had to vote for Obama,” a rock-ribbed Republican said to me. “I couldn’t tell my grandson that I didn’t vote for the first black president.”

For this man liberalism was a moral vaccine that immunized him against stigmatization. For Mr. Obama it was raw political power in the real world, enough to lift him—unknown and untested—into the presidency. But for Mrs. Clinton, liberalism was not enough. The white guilt that lifted Mr. Obama did not carry her into office—even though her opponent was soundly stigmatized as an iconic racist and sexist.

Perhaps the Obama presidency was the culmination of the age of white guilt, so that this guiltiness has entered its denouement. There are so many public moments now in which liberalism’s old weapon of stigmatization shoots blanks—Elizabeth Warren in the Senate reading a 30-year-old letter by Coretta Scott King, hoping to stop Jeff Sessions’s appointment as attorney general. There it was with deadly predictability: a white liberal stealing moral authority from a black heroine in order to stigmatize a white male as racist. When Ms. Warren was finally told to sit, there was real mortification behind her glaring eyes.

This liberalism evolved within a society shamed by its past. But that shame has weakened now. Our new conservative president rolls his eyes when he is called a racist, and we all—liberal and conservative alike—know that he isn’t one. The jig is up. Bigotry exists, but it is far down on the list of problems that minorities now face. I grew up black in segregated America, where it was hard to find an open door. It’s harder now for young blacks to find a closed one.

This is the reality that made Ms. Warren’s attack on Mr. Sessions so tiresome. And it is what caused so many Democrats at President Trump’s address to Congress to look a little mortified, defiantly proud but dark with doubt. The sight of them was a profound moment in American political history.

Today’s liberalism is an anachronism. It has no understanding, really, of what poverty is and how it has to be overcome. It has no grip whatever on what American exceptionalism is and what it means at home and especially abroad. Instead it remains defined by an America of 1965—an America newly opening itself to its sins, an America of genuine goodwill, yet lacking in self-knowledge.

This liberalism came into being not as an ideology but as an identity. It offered Americans moral esteem against the specter of American shame. This made for a liberalism devoted to the idea of American shamefulness. Without an ugly America to loathe, there is no automatic esteem to receive. Thus liberalism’s unrelenting current of anti-Americanism.

Let’s stipulate that, given our history, this liberalism is understandable. But American liberalism never acknowledged that it was about white esteem rather than minority accomplishment. Four thousand shootings in Chicago last year, and the mayor announces that his will be a sanctuary city. This is moral esteem over reality; the self-congratulation of idealism. Liberalism is exhausted because it has become a corruption.

Mr. Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is author of “Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country” (Basic Books, 2015).


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
redgriffin
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 1:14:57 PM

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Liberalism is not dead any more then Conservatism is taking over the country the last election was about the forgotten Americans the people who don't necessarily read the Wall Street Journal. Liberalism isn't dead because Hillary Clinton got more votes then Donald Trump they were just in places that have less electoral votes then the States that Trump won but this nation needs both political sides of the argument just as it has always had them Mr. Steele like Liberal Pundits are out of touch with most people but they can see the problem as long as the American Worker has to struggle at work and never seem to get ahead at the same time that the top 1% of the population get 99% of the money we will be in crisis. Until the Republicans see that Trickle Down Econ is a joke and the Democrats see that not everything can be solved by entitlement alone we will never See A Great America again.
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 4:51:15 PM

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Succinct and right on the mark Redgriffin, thank you.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Andrew Schultz
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 6:07:04 PM

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Funny, many on the Left feel the same way about the Right. And, I think, with good reason.

I remember the Trump voter who said "So what if Obamacare is repealed? It's nowhere near as good as the Affordable Care Act! That works really well!"

And I see Republican governors not signing off on Medicaid expansions from Obamacare which would help those who need it most.

There are loud annoying people on the Left who demand you are in 100% agreement with them. They're dangerous on a personal level. But I see powermongers on the right who do the same thing and play to win.

I particularly enjoy the idiom section of this fine website.
TL Hobs
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 6:08:29 PM

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redgriffin wrote:
Until the Republicans see that Trickle Down Econ is a joke and the Democrats see that not everything can be solved by entitlement alone we will never See A Great America again.


This is the most reasonable statement I have read in a long time.





"When you don't know where you are going, you have to stick together just in case someone gets there." - Ken Kesey
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 6:03:42 AM

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An amazing thread - FIVE posts on the Politics forum, and not a scream or attack anywhere to be seen!

FounDit wrote:
That’s why anyone who disagrees has to be attacked. For the Left, it is a personal attack, not just a disagreement on opinions or ideas. They take it personally because, for them, this is their identity.
This is what I see (in this forum and on the news and other places I have seen Americans talking about politics) on both sides.

Politics is not a matter of what is best for the country, or doing what's right, it seems to be "I'm a Republican/Democrat, so we all have to be Republican/Democrats and all Democrats/Republicans are stupid, evil, communist/fascist/liberal. So you're WRONG!!"

Saying what one government/party/politician has done or plans to do which is positive is hardly mentioned - the stress is on what's wrong with everyone else.



As the writer shows - "American Liberalism" is nothing to do with being liberal (willing to look at changes in law which might help the people of America).
I can understand the derision rained upon a "liberal" whose response to someone saying "My daughter's husband has red hair" is to scream "Discrimination!" and storm off the "find a safe space" and spend the next three weeks seeing a therapist to handle the shock.

However, the same is true on the other side - "American Republicanism" is nothing to do with forming a government in which the people possess the supreme power (through representatives or not). It seems to be some sort of dreamland "everything in America is great, there are no poor, no-one starving, no huge criminal population, no violence, America is the greatest country ever, and it should stay exactly the same as it was forty years ago when everyone (especially the poor and the non-Anglo-Saxons) knew their place" (even though these poor and non-Anglo-Saxons make up seventy percent of the population).

**************
As I said before the election - I could not see either Trump or Carter as being a President who would help the people in general.

The SYSTEM is flawed if these are the only possible candidates.

The SYSTEM which makes "I will not read or listen to anything which disagrees with my Demoraticness/Liberalism/Republicanness/Conservatism" the attitude to take cannot work as a democracy or republic. Both require the population to be educated, not indoctrinated.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Lotje1000
Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 6:12:50 AM

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FounDit wrote:
I said in my post that it was Whites that were the enemy, and while that is true, I did not include into that group, others who are also considered enemies.


What you're saying is very emblematic of a problematic way of thinking that does the entire debate no good. "Whites" aren't the "enemy". The problem people have is that white people are privileged. That doesn't mean they think of white people as the enemy. It means they want to show that there is such a thing as privilege and they want everyone (white people included) to realize what's going on and so we can improve life for everyone. Equal rights and all that.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, March 10, 2017 7:33:25 AM

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Lotje1000 wrote:
What you're saying is very emblematic of a problematic way of thinking that does the entire debate no good.

I'm afraid that your logic will fall on deaf ears, most likely.

The whole concept of "not being anti-American" means that everyone who does not agree totally and fully is at least an opponent, and more likely an enemy.

Look at any American sit-com or soap. The man's job is in an office (never a janitor or a factory-worker) and he is constantly in competition with everyone else, trying to gain some advantage over them in power, pay or position.
The 'normal' thing seems to be to be in constant fear of someone getting the better of you, and to have enemies all around.

As Romany said in another thread:
Quote:
To be fair, guys - if the only places one hears news from are continually spinning the same myths over and over again, 24/7, it's impossible to think otherwise.
. . .
I was truly distraught that anyone could go through their lives with such horrid, depressing, negative idea of their fellows and the entire human race.And, most importantly, devoid of HOPE. If one has no hope for humanity, nor any knowledge of the rich diversity of human thought, beliefs, ideas; then I understand, rationally, how one REALLY couldn't give a damn for it or all the millions one was condemning.


But this really IS what the whole propaganda machine (news, TV shows, articles, novels - everything) show.

Everyone has to constantly fight - everyone is an enemy.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Hope123
Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2017 12:14:03 AM

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Quote Dragon - "Everyone has to constantly fight - everyone is an enemy." " Saying what one government/party/politician has done or plans to do which is positive is hardly mentioned - the stress is on what's wrong with everyone else."

I guess that is what non-American posters need to really get our heads around - that that is what we are dealing with on the Political Sub Forum.

QUOTE FounDit who paraphrases from Mr. Steele's book - "For the Left, it is a personal attack, not just a disagreement on opinions or ideas. They take it personally because, for them, this is their identity." END QUOTE. This illustrates exactly the points Drago and Lotje were making.


I know of at least three Trump suporters, maybe more, on the forum who show they take their politics very personally. That is anecdotal but at least there is some basis for my claim. What is Mr. Steele's proof of this statement? I think that characteristic belongs to both sides and not just in the States. And if it is only part of their identity, then what is wrong with that?

Mr. Steele makes so many unproven claims in just this excerpt that I rolled my eyes as I read. White guilt? WTF is that? Canada has done a lot of nasty things to other cultures, but nobody feels guilty or was made to feel guilty for past deeds. Any person who does any present vandalism and violence does need to feel guilty - no matter their culture or color.


Liberalism is not real? Trump is not racist? The only race he likes is white males. Mr. Steele obviously has not heard about his tweets or his business practices. I love how Mr. Steele saw " real mortification" in Warren's eyes - as she went outside and continued reading. And as a man took up the reading of the same letter.

:::::

There was a similar book called the "Decline and Fall of American Conservatism"

https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2006-fall/decline-fall-american-conservatism/


QUOTE from above link - "1994...was the year known as the Republican Revolution, in which members of the Republican Party captured majorities in the House of Representatives, Senate, and governors' mansions...The election was said to mark the end of an era—the era of big government liberalism that had dominated American political life since the New Deal."

Then there was the decline and fall of American Conservatism in 2006 - 8. See link. Now it is the decline of American Liberalism.

According to this article, America seems to always be declining and falling and ending or revolutionizing something.

In Canada, we just want a change and move from Liberal to Conservative; the honeymoon wears off and we want change again and move back to Conservatives till they do something stupid.. usually some minor "scandal" by either party. Or because they didn't listen to us. Then we "kick the bums out" 😀 I guess we are just not philosophical enough. The government previous to the one in power now were not Conservatives - they were Reform Party who had hijacked the Conservative Party - a long story.

We don't worry about "big government". We worry about the deficit and debt and what the hell are they wasting our money on now.

Sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. Anon
Hope123
Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2017 12:24:53 AM

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Lotje, your pointing out about white privilege reminded me of a Trevor Noah clip i just saw. The video showed how a white kid was stopped for a taillight being out. The cop let him reach into the car and bring out three pins to juggle to prove he wasn't under the influence. Trevor said, "He didn't bring out three pins. What he brought out was his white privilege."

Can you imagine a black kid reaching into the car?

Sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. Anon
Romany
Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2017 6:57:54 AM
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I don't think that 'Democracy' can exist in a bi-partisan environment. If one turns not just one's own country, but the entire world, into 'Us' and 'Them' as was said above, then democracy cannot flourish.

It's the most simplistic way to divide a nation: if you don't agree with me you're the enemy. And because it's so simplistic people cling to it: which means at any given time in that nation one (approximate) half of that nation is 'the enemy within'. How could a country have peace, or unity, or tolerance under such a system?

It's been extremely difficult for me, as a foreigner, to get my head around this dynamic. But now I have done so, it indeed clarifies a lot that had always mystified me about the US. But once you simply attach your politics to every single being you encounter; and judge the entire world from that standpoint, life becomes very simple: - I'm a goodie, you're a baddy - and never the twain shall meet.

But hey, if that's the way a particular nation works, then that's their business and they must get on with it.

My beef is merely to keep on trying to explain that the rest of the world doesn't work like that. We don't disagree based on American politics. We disagree according to a myriad of different reasons: sociologically, culturally, humanistically, philosophically, from experience, from evidence, from conviction and, yes, of course, personally. Being all herded together in one huge bloc of 'baddies' no matter what our ideals, ethics or convictions are, makes it impossible for us to be seen or treated as individuals - because the goodie/baddy trope assigns to us, willy-nilly, all the values 'bad' people are assumed to have.

Yet our status as 'good' or 'bad' people changes each time one side swaps with another in the White House!
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2017 7:36:07 AM
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Thank you SOOOOOOO much for posting Mr. Steele's article.

Only the "Journal" among leading newspapers would have had the guts to publish such brutal truth.

FounDit
Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2017 2:22:20 PM

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TheParser wrote:
Thank you SOOOOOOO much for posting Mr. Steele's article.

Only the "Journal" among leading newspapers would have had the guts to publish such brutal truth.



You're welcome. I thought it was an interesting piece, and examines a form of political thinking that exists here in the US. And that brings to mind the idea of stating that by "Liberal" we here in the US are referring to a political philosophy that exists here and is practiced here that might not be what is thought of as "liberal" in other countries. It is an attitude, an ideology, and a viewpoint that doesn't necessarily conform to a book definition of the term. Each culture has its own influence on the political systems practiced that non-residents might not know of.

Since many of those who respond to the topic don't live here, and are perhaps unaware of many of the cultural influences existing here concerning that label, it isn't surprising that there would be a good deal of misunderstanding of our use of the term.

I posted it primarily for consumption of Americans here in the US, fully aware that there would be some push-back from both residents and non-residents, but believed resident citizens would understand it to a greater degree, especially those of us who are not members of that political group.

People who do conform to that belief system and ideology will, of course, feel the need to point out all of it as error, and will feel compelled to "correct" our thinking so that it conforms to theirs, so that is no surprise. It's part of the political process, so I don't take it personally; neither should you.

You have a right to your opinion, and are not required to justify it to anyone. It is yours, and you are free to express it -- just as they will express their opinions in opposition. If you feel certain posters are unfairly criticizing you, simply ignore them and do not respond. Post what you like and move on.




A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Romany
Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2017 5:05:40 PM
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Foundit -

I'm very glad that you have finally understood - and passed on - the fact that it's language - specifically of course, the English language, that has played such a large part both in the misunderstanding of each other; and in the complete ignorance of us foreigners, that there even WAS a difference in the way we understood certain terms and the way many Americans understand them.

The biggest of all these, and the one that turned MY world upside down, was what the word "humanism" means to the average American!

Even through all those years I spent in convents, the concept of being a humanist was put before us as that which we should aspire to: all through my academic career, the aim of both what we learnt and what we should be, in order to influence the coming generations, were all the things that Renaissance Humanism gave to the world: it stands, for us, as being tolerant; having responsibility for our fellow humans; not judging people because of their societal constructs; discovering beauty and goodness all around us - regardless of whether one was a deist or not; rejoicing in all that binds human beings; rejecting violence as a way to resolving conflict.

The fact that some Humanists were/are Deists, and some not, hardly registers. Being a Humanist isn't conditional upon whether one identifies with a particular theology or not. Because Humanism brought us the great advances of our world - without the Renaissance, we wouldn't be where we are today.

OK - I don't really expect you to completely understand the gravitas of the concept - as we see it - in a couple of paragraphs. No more than I could expect anyone to understand from Wiki. But, can you at least begin to see how differently the world looks to us?

The thing is - and I really have tried to say this before - the reason so many of the foreign contingent holds different views to yours isn't because of particular political affiliations. It's because we haven't encountered your worldview before. The America we saw through movies and books was a vastly different place. And the America I've learnt about from friends,colleagues and room-mates didn't hint at it either. So our differences are more cultural. Which is a huge subject for discussion.

And cultural differences, I believe, can be discussed much less heatedly than political ones?
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2017 8:34:59 PM

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Romany wrote:

Foundit -

I'm very glad that you have finally understood - and passed on - the fact that it's language - specifically of course, the English language, that has played such a large part both in the misunderstanding of each other; and in the complete ignorance of us foreigners, that there even WAS a difference in the way we understood certain terms and the way many Americans understand them.
I wouldn’t characterize “complete ignorance of us foreigners” as what is on display here, but I do think there are subtleties involved. In the same way, I don’t think most Americans, or anyone else who hasn’t made a deep study of the British system, would understand all the subtleties of your main political parties – Conservative and Labour (which, as I understand it, was once called the Liberal Party). Those labels would have completely different meanings here in the States, compared to what I believe they mean to you. I certainly don’t understand them, or the subtleties involved in their administration of your government.

The biggest of all these, and the one that turned MY world upside down, was what the word "humanism" means to the average American!

Even through all those years I spent in convents, the concept of being a humanist was put before us as that which we should aspire to: all through my academic career, the aim of both what we learnt and what we should be, in order to influence the coming generations, were all the things that Renaissance Humanism gave to the world: it stands, for us, as being tolerant; having responsibility for our fellow humans; not judging people because of their societal constructs; discovering beauty and goodness all around us - regardless of whether one was a deist or not; rejoicing in all that binds human beings; rejecting violence as a way to resolving conflict.

The fact that some Humanists were/are Deists, and some not, hardly registers. Being a Humanist isn't conditional upon whether one identifies with a particular theology or not. Because Humanism brought us the great advances of our world - without the Renaissance, we wouldn't be where we are today.
I really don’t think you’d have any argument but from a fringe few who would disagree with your definition of humanism. The differences would come in how those should be carried out.

It’s one thing to work on demonstrating that deeply held beliefs may be wrong, but quite another to demand those beliefs be abandoned in favor of a new paradigm. To do so is just as wrong as the original offense, and little progress can be made by name-calling on either side.

OK - I don't really expect you to completely understand the gravitas of the concept - as we see it - in a couple of paragraphs. No more than I could expect anyone to understand from Wiki. But, can you at least begin to see how differently the world looks to us?
I do see the gravitas of the concept, but it is also necessary for you to see the gravitas of those whose opinions you are trying to change. Persuasion is better than force, but too many are too eager for speed, and impatience rarely works in this area. We have had opinions and concepts that have been with us (all of us) from before pre-history. These are by no means easily altered, and to do so must include patience. Teaching, convincing, persuasion, these will work best, in my opinion. But there must be dialogue, not demagoguery, otherwise the backlash may retard the effort, if not reverse it.

The thing is - and I really have tried to say this before - the reason so many of the foreign contingent holds different views to yours isn't because of particular political affiliations. It's because we haven't encountered your worldview before. The America we saw through movies and books was a vastly different place. And the America I've learnt about from friends,colleagues and room-mates didn't hint at it either. So our differences are more cultural. Which is a huge subject for discussion.

And cultural differences, I believe, can be discussed much less heatedly than political ones?
Agreed.




A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Romany
Posted: Monday, March 13, 2017 7:35:57 PM
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Foundit -

Sorry - am on a 2 day seminar so can't respond to you until it's over. But I just saw one thing I absolutely can't let go until then.

" it is also necessary for you to see the gravitas of those whose opinions you are trying to change." Did you mean 'you' as in 'you, Romany' or to mean "all of you"?

Because no. I, Romany, am not trying to change anyone's opinion. The only person who can change one's mind is oneself.

All I keep trying to do, personally, is to try to get people to simply look at/ recognise / try to understand all the different view points around them. There's so many! I don't justify anyone telling anyone else just to let go of what they believe. But what I do try to persuade people rather, is to actually, sincerely, try to understand what it is individual people are saying. To try to get a handle on where it's coming from.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 7:16:38 PM

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Hi FounDit.

A single point - an attempt to give a 'pocket-sized' explanation of "Conservative" and "Labour".
It's quite possible that 'way back then', the Labour party was a split-off from the Liberals, but it's a long time ago if that happened.
In those early days, both Liberals and Conservatives were aristocrats only (people didn't have politics, only Aristocrats and Nobles did).
Liberals felt that the rule of Aristocracy should be a bit less harsh, Conservatives felt it should be as traditional - the ordinary people had almost no rights.

In the latter half of last century, there were (varying up and down a little) 48% Labour MPs, 48% Conservative, 3% Liberal and 1% "Odd" (Green, Independent, Silly Party and so on).

Basically - in the beginning - Labour were people pushing for human rights, and the rights of the 90% in Britain - labour, the workers.
The Conservative Party wanted to maintain the status-quo, to conserve the feudal system with Nobility, Aristocracy, Merchant Class and Serfs.

Remember, it's only 198 years ago that the Cavalry attacked with sabres and guns a demonstration in Manchester asking for a change in the voting system, killing unarmed men and women and injuring hundreds more.
At that time, only male land-owners and business-owners had the right to vote.

The progress toward full suffrage and more equal wealth was slow, but steady.

***************
Then - probably slowly between about 1955 and 1970 - militants crept into the Labour party and also took over many of the bigger unions in the UK.
In the mid-1970s, the Coal-miner's union tried to hold the country to ransom by striking just before winter.
Their demands were not just 'rights' and a good wage, but pay rises out of all proportion to those in any other industry.
As many homes were heated by coal, most industries run on coal, most of the electricity produced by burning coal, the military were sent in to 'keep the home fires burning'.
Many mines went bankrupt there and then, and virtually every coal mine in Britain has been shut down since.
The union destroyed their own living.

After that, Labour lost ground and the Liberal party gained.

Then the Labour party became more liberal, again working just for 'more equality' and gained many of the seats back. A few MPs shifted their views and the Liberal Party died, with a new "Liberal Democrat" party appearing. For most of this century, the Lib-Dems have been allied with the Conservatives against Labour.

Right now, it's in flux again, with the Conservatives in power.
Conservative 330
Labour 229
Nationalist parties 61 (54 Scottish, 4 Irish, 3 Welsh)
Liberal Democrat and Democratic Unionist Party 17
All the rest 23


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 4:39:37 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 7,674
Neurons: 40,269
Romany wrote:

Foundit -

Sorry - am on a 2 day seminar so can't respond to you until it's over. But I just saw one thing I absolutely can't let go until then.

" it is also necessary for you to see the gravitas of those whose opinions you are trying to change." Did you mean 'you' as in 'you, Romany' or to mean "all of you"?

Because no. I, Romany, am not trying to change anyone's opinion. The only person who can change one's mind is oneself.

All I keep trying to do, personally, is to try to get people to simply look at/ recognise / try to understand all the different view points around them. There's so many! I don't justify anyone telling anyone else just to let go of what they believe. But what I do try to persuade people rather, is to actually, sincerely, try to understand what it is individual people are saying. To try to get a handle on where it's coming from.



I meant it as you used it -- that "you all" try to understand the gravitas of how it's seen from the other perspective.

It can never be just one way -- on either side. That's why there must be some compromise. It's always trouble for everyone when it's "our way or no way".

The problem is: whenever any one group gains power and holds it for a length of time, their thinking becomes petrified into exactly that kind of opinion -- our way or no way.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 5:28:32 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 7,674
Neurons: 40,269
Drag0nspeaker

Thanks for the "pocket-sized" description. As I suspected, our labels are almost the reverse of one another.

I hesitate to attempt a "pocket-sized" description of the history of our parties because I'm sure many will object to my characterization, but I'm going to try anyway.

Beginning in the latter half of the last century, the Democrats took up the idealism of "Progressive Liberalism". This was the Socialism of the earlier part of the century under the International Workers of the World movement, but re-labeled for reasons mentioned below. It's focus was on the workers and sought better working hours and safer working conditions.

That was all fine and good, and the unions helped bring that about. But the power began to shift into the Federal Government, to the point that the Federal Government began to be seen as the dispenser of all that was necessary for a good life (especially during the Great Depression of the 1930's).

Republicans, on the other hand, focused more on business, and it was against their abuses that the Democrats (through their unions) pushed and were successful. At the same time, however, the focus of the Republicans became associated with fiscal, social conservatism. That is, they saw the marketplace as the engine of providing all that was necessary for a good life, and religion as the guide for morality and ethics. And this mindset took strong root after WWII. All the while, however, there was a growing symbiosis between large businesses (both Democrat and Republican) and the Federal Government (the so-called "military-industrial complex" President Eisenhower warned us about), while Socialism was linked with Communism as in the U.S.S.R. and China, and was labeled the "enemy", thus the cold war.

So over the last half century, both sides have grown attached to the Government, but for different reasons. In the 1960's the Democrats and their Progressive Liberalism took up the causes of blacks, Hispanics, women, gays and lesbians, and anyone of color, and defined all of these as "victims" of an "oppressor", aka, white people, and sought relief through the Federal Government.

This resulted in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but charges of "white privilege" are still leveled even though that Act totally obliterated that by giving people of color and women quotas in colleges, jobs, and benefits, resulting in reverse racism -- which the Supreme Court said was okay if it was to "make up for" past discrimination. So we've been "making up for it" for the last 60 years against people who didn't commit the crime. This is the root of the "race war" that still rages today.

So today, there is supposed to be NO discrimination based on race, color, creed, National origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, pregnancy, hair color, hangnails, psoriasis, dandruff, or anything else (I'm being just a tad facetious). So the charge of white privilege seems more than a bit specious today. At any rate, that's how it looks from this side of the stadium.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Romany
Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2017 6:18:07 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 11,600
Neurons: 34,972
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Foundit - I've looked back on my two previous posts to see where I've written 'you all' - or where what I've written could be assumed to mean that. Because, if I did, it would have been completely against every thought I hold in my head - so I really must be going do-lally!

The main thrust I've made all along is, in fact, AGAINST 'you all': - i.e. the simplistic dividing not just of a particular country...but of the whole world into 'Us' and 'Them'. Responding to a group instead of an individual. And not just any group but one which, under the 'Good' and 'bad' method, firmly positions 'Them' - from whichever side of the fence one sits - as The Enemy. If I direct a post/comment to a particular person then I'm talking to that person - not millions of faceless persons whom I've never met. The only time I've used 'you' as a plural here is when I'm referring to both you and The Parsar.

And all of that brings me back to the fact that, while the aim of language is to facilitate communication, it becomes almost impossible when words carry different meanings according to whether one is an 'us' and 'them'.

I saw also that you said "I wouldn’t characterise “complete ignorance of us foreigners” as what is on display here" - but that's EXACTLY what I and others have pointed out continuously: we ARE ignorant of the different nuances and meanings attached to words and concepts commonly used. We're ignorant of the fact that things we say, and the words we use, and the concepts we refer to, mean something completely different sometimes, to the people we're talking to. We're ignorant of the forces which impact upon sectors of American society; and we were totally and completely ignorant of the entire sector referred to as the alt-right until a few months ago. Once again, I've seen that the word 'ignorance' even has a different meaning: rather than meaning one doesn't know about something and being a neutral concept, it seems to have a pejorative meaning in some quarters and to be used as a synonym for 'stupid'!

I appreciate your giving background in the post to Drago. But then I read:

"... giving people of color and women quotas in colleges, jobs, and benefits, resulting in reverse racism -- which the Supreme Court said was okay... "

and have regretfully realised that you and I will probably never be able to discus our differences.

The 'reverse racism' trope is one that's been discussed here quite a few times, in depth. viz:

'Racism' is "Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior." (Oxford)

It follows, then, that the 'reverse' of racism is tolerance. Its the FAILURE of someone to direct prejudice, discrimination or antagonism against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. The aim of the whole world.

The only way 'reverse racism' could in any way be interpreted as a bad thing is if one believes that 'racism' is a concept which occurs only in one race. If 'racism' is 'owned' only by whites, then 'reverse racism' could refer to the racism that is directed towards white people.

But it doesn't. No-where is 'racism' defined as "the feelings of superiority by white Americans towards people of colour." Racism is racism whether one comes from America or India or Africa or France...it isn't something else (a reverse of something) when black people subscribe to it. Or brown people. Or yellow people. Or red people.

So, to say the Supreme Court of America is/was 'happy' to endorse racism - the preceding word 'reverse' having no meaning in this context - is to position the government of America as indeed 'instituting' racism. Which would go against the Constitution and all the advances in social development the USA has steadily been working towards from its inception!

But it seems that all these discussions have had no effect: you'll go on dismissing 'Them' and what they say, think, believe. And I'll go on refusing to accept that these 'alternative meanings' to words are globally accepted and understood by both 'Us' and 'Them' all over the world.

On your part its politics which divide us; while on my part it's the English language!









Lotje1000
Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2017 7:28:12 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2014
Posts: 706
Neurons: 315,925
Location: Gent, Flanders, Belgium
FounDit wrote:
For the Left, it is a personal attack, not just a disagreement on opinions or ideas. They take it personally because, for them, this is their identity.


While FounDit may claim this only applies to the left, I've pointed this out on other threads as being a common habit shared by a lot of people, regardless of political orientation. As such, I think this is an important part of the original posts because I feel it characterizes both FounDit's original introduction as well as Shelby's article. Both authors (of the post and of the article) betray in their language a strong sense of victimization. For FounDit it is the talk of how he is made an enemy of by the left, for Shelby it is the mention of white guilt.

As I have said in an earlier post, liberals as I know them do not consider white people the "enemy". They point out existing issues like white privilege and try to open up a debate, not accuse. (Accusations are never a solution; at best they're a starting point for change.) As such, it's strange to see the authors' automatic response of victimization, where they/white people are being bullied by this other team that makes an enemy of them and forces them to feel guilt. They feel that way because they identify so strongly with their 'side' of things and as such, any criticism automatically brands them as an enemy or a guilty party.
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2017 1:42:03 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 7,674
Neurons: 40,269
Romany wrote:

On your part its politics which divide us; while on my part it's the English language!

Well, that certainly appears to be true, at least on your part. I thought I understood your use of English just fine. As an example:

Romany wrote:

OK - I don't really expect you to completely understand the gravitas of the concept – as we see it ( Emphasis FD)
- in a couple of paragraphs.

Who are “we” in the phrase “as we see it”? Does the word “we” not include more than one person? Would I not be correct in assuming you were referring to folks who see the situation as you do, and that you are including yourself along with all of those others as “we”?

So when I say “I meant it as you used it -- that "you all" try to understand…”, does it not seem reasonable to understand that “you all” refers to the “we” that you used? It seems so to me. I don’t know how that could be misunderstood, but apparently your English is that different.

Another example of that is in your definition of “racism”. I see you chose one definition,
['Racism' is "Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior." (Oxford)]
but there are multiple definitions and examples of racism, and I was referring a particular kind, such as discrimination, or preference, as found in the examples below:


Racism
Discrimination or prejudice based on race.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Racism:
abusive or aggressive behaviour towards members of another race on the basis of such a belief
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

Racism:
hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc.

Racism and the term racist doesn’t have to include a sense of superiority, and is often used as a pejorative for anyone who simply disagrees with an opinion of the political Left when the subject relates to anyone of color.

Since you seem to have little to no knowledge of reverse racism, or reverse discrimination, perhaps you will find some of the information in this link helpful:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_discrimination




A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
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