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The paradox of tolerance

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David Libra

to wish impossible things


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2024 9:14 pm
Post subject: The paradox of toleranceReply with quote

Most people who've been on social media in the last ten years or so and been involved in debates about free speech are probably at least passingly familiar with 20th century philosopher Karl Popper's "paradox of tolerance". In short, per Wikipedia, it's the concept that:

Quote:
If a society's practice of tolerance is inclusive of the intolerant, intolerance will ultimately dominate, eliminating the tolerant and the practice of tolerance with them.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

The point being made here is that we can't tolerate (say) Nazis' free speech or freedom of association because they'll take over and, in doing so, eventually turn society into a much less tolerant place, particularly for vulnerable minority groups. So, in contrast to libertarian approaches to universal rights " such as those that motivated left-wing civil rights groups like the ACLU to support the right of Neo-Nazis to march in the streets on civil liberties grounds " Popper's argument is that, in order to protect the liberties of certain groups, we need to be actively intolerant of the intolerant. And while that is indeed an obvious paradox (must we then be intolerant of ourselves?), it's not necessarily an easy one to resolve.

Personally, I've never been particularly impressed by this, and tend to lean more towards the old liberal or libertarian approach to this stuff. For me, the most obviously contentious aspect of the formulation in the quoted section above is the bit that's buried in the middle: that tolerating the intolerant increases their power. Of course, the word "tolerate" is doing a lot of work here; there's obviously a wide spectrum between assassinating your political opponents and giving them a nod and a smile, but the way I interpret this is mostly regarding legal rights: the right to free speech, to not be imprisoned for your beliefs and so on.

My view has always been that illiberal and extremist movements benefit from being suppressed as opposed to having their views confronted and vigorously argued against, because simply clamping down on them helps to prosecute their own message: that they are the purveyors of the dangerous truth that those in power don't want you to hear. History doesn't seem to offer much support for the notion that tolerance allows the intolerant to thrive, as far as I can tell: Hitler was, after all, imprisoned for his early political activities; Lenin's elder brother was executed; and on a slightly different note, we see today how violent groups like Hamas thrive in contexts of violent repression, and how a broader siege mentality of various kinds helps elect extreme figures like Trump in the US and Netanyahu in Israel. So in my view, the real paradox here is not that intolerance is needed to combat intolerance; it's that mutual intolerance actually tends to benefit the intolerant.

Again, though, tolerance in this sense isn't the same thing as enabling or passively accepting extremist political activities. For me, the more universal free speech guaranteed by a legislated tolerance is worthless if not used: just as we should oppose people being locked up for having the wrong opinions, we should also exercise our right to tell them how wrong their opinions are, as vigorously and demonstratively as is necessary. Real free speech is an unsparing clash of ideas, not some kind of above-it-all bipartisan civility.

I can't help but wonder if this whole idea of "tolerance" is wrongheaded to begin with, and perhaps something of a red herring. The term suggests that we're graciously giving someone something, and it's an extremely low bar " we should certainly be doing a lot better than merely tolerating people of differing ethnicities and sexualities, for instance. I'd rather look at this from the other side and address all of this in terms of rights; after all, it's usually people who are (or aren't) tolerated, but actions that we do or do not have rights over, and this is obviously a pretty important distinction. To be intolerant of someone, even someone as objectionable as a Nazi, is exclusionary " to essentially say that they as a person have no place in society. But of course law and ethics at their best aren't about sorting good people from bad but about sorting good actions from bad, and responding accordingly. This gets blurred in all sorts of ways nowadays, but I think it's an important point to keep front of mind when this subject arises.

I've recently seen a meme going around " getting shared approvingly by the good progressives on my Facebook friends list " that attempts to improve Popper's formulation (it looks like it was borrowed from a PowerPoint slide, which may be one reason why it pisses me off so much!). It reads as follows:

https://www.facebook.com/Tyrannowhale/posts/pfbid034XYsVngnGTWg9bVRvUzYs8gMve6tZvoPR7f8b3vth9iZfWo8gSvP8xgSoesmEovkl

Quote:
The Paradox of Tolerance disappears if you look at tolerance not as a moral standard, but as a social contract.

If someone does not abide by the terms of the contract, they are not covered by it.

In other words: the intolerant are not following the rules of the social contract of mutual tolerance.

Since they have broken the terms of the contract, they are no longer covered by the contract, and their intolerance should NOT be tolerated.


For me, this approach is even worse. It might actually please some on the right, though, because such a formulation can easily be applied to, say, the question of capital punishment we were discussing in the other thread: murderers have breached the social contract not to kill and thus are no longer protected by the principle that killing is wrong. So I really do think that this concept of necessary intolerance, and the various iterations of it that people come up with, are trying to jam a square peg into a round hole: they're taking an argument that's conservative in principle (i.e. that rights are conditional and can be forfeited) and trying to use it to advocate for progressive ends (i.e. disempowering right-wing extremists).

I remain convinced that progressives need to let go of this fantasy of control (a level of power that they don't even really have to begin with, as Trump's 2016 election victory showed) and get back to doing actual politics, i.e. actually believing in what you're fighting for, convincing people of the value of it and effectively communicating how it benefits them. If, on the other hand, you see the other side as so dangerous that merely allowing them to speak will cast some kind of magic spell and cause you to lose, then you've already lost, because you can only suppress and bully so much until you get backlash. It just doesn't work.

For their part, Nazis and other extremists prey on fear, unhappiness and feelings of disenfranchisement that can then be twisted and blamed on powerless scapegoats. It's pretty obvious what the problem is there, and it's not tolerance.

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What'sinaname Libra



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2024 5:33 am
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Apples can be red too
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David Libra

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2024 6:56 am
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Well, I can’t disagree with that! QED
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What'sinaname Libra



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2024 7:14 am
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^ It's an excellent OP by the way. It's just that reading and thinking about it is quite exhausting, hence by post.
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stui magpie Gemini

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2024 7:54 am
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I'm going to need to reflect on the OP and come back later, I'm about to drive to NSW.

First comment though is the supposed definition of "Tolerance"

Yes, Tolerate can mean to put up with something unpleasant, but it can also mean being accepting of difference. In the second context, being tolerant of different religions and sexualities is a higher bar than in the first and that's the definition I prefer to use when looking at this question. In this context, progressives could rarely be described as Tolerant, despite that being how they see themselves. They tend to pick a position on a topic, then be totally intolerant of any different views. You could say the same about those on the extreme right.

Second, and this is only from a quick initial read, the answer isn't black and white, it's not as simple as cause and effect. Being tolerane or intolerant of intolerance doesn't necessarily foster it or quash it, it's only one factor of many combined which act in concert.

Anyway, I'll come back later.

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LaurieHolden Aquarius

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2024 8:06 am
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Just for fun I stuck your OP into ChatGPT and asked for a counterbalance using academic sources -

Engaging critically with the paradox of tolerance, particularly in the context of extremist ideologies, necessitates a nuanced exploration grounded in academic discourse.

The Efficacy of Suppression vs. Engagement
Counter to the perspective that suppression inadvertently empowers extremist movements, scholars like Sunstein (2018) argue for the necessity of a robust legal framework that can differentiate between protected speech and actions that directly incite violence. Sunstein posits that the marketplace of ideas alone is insufficient to combat dangerous ideologies without such legal boundaries (Sunstein, 2018). This view suggests that legal measures against incitement are not antithetical to free speech but essential to its preservation.

The Role of Free Speech
The importance of free speech, and its role in democracies, is widely discussed in academic literature. Gelber and McNamara (2016) highlight that counter-speech is an effective tool in combating hate speech, underscoring the value of engagement over suppression. However, they also acknowledge that the effectiveness of counter-speech depends on the platform, audience, and context, suggesting that there are limits to its applicability (Gelber & McNamara, 2016).

The Concept of Tolerance as a Social Contract
Rachels (1999) provides a perspective on tolerance as a foundational aspect of moral philosophy, arguing that tolerance is rooted in the recognition of the inherent worth and dignity of every person. From this viewpoint, the social contract interpretation of tolerance could risk undermining this fundamental ethical principle by making tolerance conditional (Rachels, 1999).

Progressive Politics and the Fantasy of Control
Mudde (2019) explores the challenge that progressive movements face in addressing right-wing extremism without resorting to undemocratic measures. He suggests that a transparent, principled approach to political engagement, emphasizing democratic norms and human rights, is crucial in resisting authoritarian tendencies (Mudde, 2019). This aligns with the argument that political convictions and dialogue should take precedence over attempts to suppress dissenting voices.

Confronting the Root Causes of Extremism
Economists like Piketty (2014) delve into the socioeconomic underpinnings of political extremism, arguing that inequality and disenfranchisement play significant roles in fueling radical ideologies. Addressing these root causes through inclusive economic policies and social justice initiatives is proposed as a more effective strategy for diminishing the appeal of extremist groups (Piketty, 2014).

In sum, while the debate around the paradox of tolerance is complex, academic discourse offers valuable insights into the efficacy of legal measures, the role of free speech and engagement, the ethical underpinnings of tolerance, and the importance of addressing socioeconomic factors contributing to extremism. This scholarly perspective emphasizes a multifaceted approach that upholds democratic values and human rights while actively confronting the challenges posed by intolerant ideologies.

References
Gelber, K., & McNamara, L. (2016). The effects of civil hate speech laws: Lessons from Australia. Law & Society Review, 50(4), 1042-1074.
Mudde, C. (2019). The Far Right Today. Polity.
Piketty, T. (2014). Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Harvard University Press.
Rachels, J. (1999). The Elements of Moral Philosophy. McGraw-Hill Education.
Sunstein, C.R. (2018). #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media. Princeton University Press.

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David Libra

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2024 8:37 am
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Interesting, thanks Laurie! Rachels, Mudde and particularly Piketty seem to have their heads screwed on right.

stui magpie wrote:
I'm going to need to reflect on the OP and come back later, I'm about to drive to NSW.

First comment though is the supposed definition of "Tolerance"

Yes, Tolerate can mean to put up with something unpleasant, but it can also mean being accepting of difference. In the second context, being tolerant of different religions and sexualities is a higher bar than in the first and that's the definition I prefer to use when looking at this question. In this context, progressives could rarely be described as Tolerant, despite that being how they see themselves. They tend to pick a position on a topic, then be totally intolerant of any different views. You could say the same about those on the extreme right.

Second, and this is only from a quick initial read, the answer isn't black and white, it's not as simple as cause and effect. Being tolerane or intolerant of intolerance doesn't necessarily foster it or quash it, it's only one factor of many combined which act in concert.

Anyway, I'll come back later.


I think you’re definitely right about tolerance only being a factor. I guess we should be careful about being too reductive with this stuff.

And yeah, tbh I do think there’s some irony in progressives wielding this standard when it’s so easy to turn it around: "well, you’re intolerant of conservatives by your own admission, so why should we tolerate you?"

When I think about it further, this concept only really works if there’s a group that the vast majority of society can agree to dislike " say, Nazis " and enforce a calculated "intolerance" against them while agreeing to continue tolerating everyone else, conservative and progressive alike. And we do see a bit of that in action in, say, bipartisan bills to ban the swastika. But spend enough time in left-wing spaces and you’ll quickly realise that this approach can’t hold, because the definition of who is beyond the pale quickly shifts from Nazis to Trump supporters to trans-exclusionary radical feminists to Liberal Party politicians to anyone who might have conceivably been subject to a university campus speech boycott. And if the ultimate goal there is a showdown between left and right where enlightenment principles no longer apply, then it feels like we’re taking a big step backwards " not least from democracy and any concept of a cohesive society. This is why I think a return to structural politics is urgently needed.

What'sinaname wrote:
^ It's an excellent OP by the way. It's just that reading and thinking about it is quite exhausting, hence by post.


Haha, I get that " cheers.

I posted a similarly lengthy response to the "social contract" meme I quoted here when I saw it on FB last night, and got a much terser "tl;dr" response (to be specific, this guy wrote "I think expecting nuance from an infographic is a bit silly.") I find it hard to understand that attitude, tbh " when people post this stuff, aren’t they seeking engagement and discussion? Is the way I go about it specifically annoying? Or is the point of posting these memes more to collect likes and approving comments from likeminded people and leave it at that? I genuinely have no idea what is the correct social media etiquette nowadays.

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LaurieHolden Aquarius

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2024 10:07 am
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^I'm finding ChatGPT4 is giving me some engaging content to consider in discussions like these.
Prior to this, I used to attend public speaking forums in Brisbane, which unfortunately aren't run anymore.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Brisbane_Institute
They used to invite a range of speakers to orate on a diverse range of subjects. It was my Church of sorts.

While a controversial view, I reckon that's where Churches have failed to evolve. Ditch the book and become community hubs for progressive discussion on topical issues of the day.
If public access forums like the Brisbane Institute cease, we're left to the biases of the media to guide opinion on paradox of tolerance or what we should tolerate.
As (Piketty, 2014) theorised, addressing these root causes through inclusive economic policies and social justice initiatives is proposed as a more effective strategy for diminishing the appeal of extremist groups.
In order to do this, forums of information should be encouraged to encourage informed debate and as you put it move on from the fantasy of control.

I'm not sure if I even articulated that correctly, but I'm intrigued by the discussion. Good OP.

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stui magpie Gemini

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2024 3:21 pm
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OK, I've had another read and I think I'm on a similar page to David, albeit I stand by my earlier comments.

David's 2nd last para I completely agree with, you don't change opinions by bullying and castigating people. If anything you're more likely to harden their resolve.

The other important thing to remember in all of this is that humans are essentially emotional creatures. We like to think that we make rational and logical decisions but in fact we usually make emotional decisions then rationalise them afterwards. This is why emotive appeals work better than logical ones.

Similarly people form views based on emotion and personal experience. In cases of extreme views, when they find themselves isolated, they seek out others with similar views. Whether their old circle of friends or people they know are Tolerant (or intolerant) of their views, they aren't giving them the affirmation of actively agreeing with them.

Someone being tolerant may say to them that they disagree with them and try to have constructive discussion but that's not what they want. They want someone to tell them they're correct so they seek out others with the same or similar views.

Neither tolerance nor intolerance is going to make those views proliferate and take over unless circumstances exist that make those views palatable to enough people.

Using Trump as an example, he tapped into a vein of anger in blue collar middle america, people who felt they'd been ignored and taken for granted. It was an emotive message, not logical or rational, and it worked. Clinton calling those people a basket full of deplorables certainly didn't make them all suddenly feel cowed and go back home, it incited many of them.

Similar to what David said about how progressives need to stop being snarky and dismissive to get traction, the first step in those situations starts with listening and understanding. Don't just dismiss the MAGA accolytes as collectively stupid, seek to understand where the anger that Trump tapped into came from. What are/were the collective circumstances and is there something the Democrats can do, practically, to start winning them back. When you can tell people that you've listened to them, you understand them, and this is what you're going to do about it, you're on the right path.

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think positive Libra

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2024 3:38 pm
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I practiced tolerance recently for 12 days and 15 hours - and karma then smacked the bitch with covid!! thankyou lord!
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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2024 4:43 am
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My first reaction is a bit like Stui, in that it depends how the term is being used given it's so malleable. But the reaction to your post shows that it's definitely on people's minds, so it's worth pondering.
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LaurieHolden Aquarius

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2024 11:22 am
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I've gone back to this thread a few times, it makes for compelling and considered reading from the OP to the responses.
It's given me plenty to consider and delve into the subject further. As Stui pointed out, balancing emotive responses and logical ones isn't easy.
Good discussion al sollĭcĭtus.

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Magpietothemax Taurus

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2024 9:20 pm
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"Tolerance" by whom, and of what? Internationally we see the rise of fascist, neo-nazi parties, under the most benevolent of tolerance from governments everywhere in Europe, the US. The AfD now helps formulate policy in the German government, Macron is implementing the policies of Le Pen, Biden seeks compromise with Republican fascists...

What is NOT tolearated by these same governments is opposition to genocide, expressed in the global mass pro-Palestine protests. Governments everywhere, (Great Britain, France, Germany, the US, here in Australia) have sought to criminalise protests against the US-Israeli genocide in Gaza as "anti-Semitic".

Democratic rights are a class question. The capitalist class will always tolerate fascists, especially in times of intense class polarisation as we are living through today. They might crack down on one or two extreme right wing outfits to cover their tracks. But in the next breath, they arm and train neo-Nazis (ex: Ukraine), they welcome open fascists into Parliament, etc etc.

The only social force that has a class interest in refusing to tolerate fascists is the working class.

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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2024 5:21 am
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stui magpie wrote:
Similar to what David said about how progressives need to stop being snarky and dismissive to get traction, the first step in those situations starts with listening and understanding. Don't just dismiss the MAGA accolytes as collectively stupid, seek to understand where the anger that Trump tapped into came from. What are/were the collective circumstances and is there something the Democrats can do, practically, to start winning them back. When you can tell people that you've listened to them, you understand them, and this is what you're going to do about it, you're on the right path.

I'm happy to accept that in part, hence I endure the old, young and well-meaning, despite their views. I'm just happy if they're decent enough and doing well enough with the opportunities at their disposal, as I am when engaging anyone. And I always make major concessions for immediate context, whether be mental health, familial context, bad luck, etc.

To be clear, though, the far right is the biggest problem this century by a country mile because they are weaponised by destructive media and freeloading capital. Voted for parties that drove down their own wages? Check. Voted for Afghanistan and Iraq? Check. Voted to underfund healthcare and education? Check. Vote at every chance to damage their own environment? Check. Supported policy that drove up housing prices, increased costly sprawl and decreased housing supply? Check. Supported climate denial and the scuppering of green energy? Check. Deregulated natural monopolies and handed out grifting, unaccountable contracts in unsuccessful privatisation contracts? Check. Voted for the financial deregulation that caused the GFC? Check. Voted for a costly and destabilising Brexit and Trump? Check. Voted for inflationary market barriers to punish China? Check. Made entire elections about hysterical minor issues sufh as children overboard and boats, distracting from major policy areas? Check. Elected grifters and incompetents with severe conflicts of interest? Check. Underfunded national risk management and removed pandemic early warning systems? Check. Encouraged mask protests and anti-vaxx hysteria? Check.

On I could go. How the ill effects of those choices can be placed at someone else's door is beyond me; they were all loud and proud choices.

Sure, in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge it was the fasco-left that was the dangerous menace. And in some case certain unions were little different from organised crime gangs. So, I'm not saying the far right is always the more menacing and costly, but that in our era the far right is wrecking everything in sight.

From the 1990s decline in real wages, to costly wars and Brexits, to refusing to cost environmental wreckage, the underfunding of universities, the extendjng of outdated industry, urban sprawl and housing unaffordability, and a lack of planning for the future generally, that rests heavily on the right.

Not to mention crazies like Trump control an entire side of politics in the super power, which is way beyond any influence the far left may have.

You simply won't get greens, queers and feminists taking over entire parties and governments; hence, the US far-right has to invent satirical conspiracies to make things seem 'even' ('good people on both sides, I tell yer!'). But the far left doesn't have capital, isn't popular, and won't be in the near future.

For now, the far left is mostly just annoying and eye rolling, but can cause grief in limited contexts, such as in universities and community groups, but even then they are paid a pittance, can barely sustain a quarter of the media power of the right, and have an aversion to hierarchical organisation, hence have a very low ceiling in terms of power.

Another challenge with that view is the far right votes against its own interests time and again, contradicting its own claims of being hard done by. Brexit has absolutely smashed spending and opportunity here, while Biden has propped up the economy over there despite the far right vote for bad economics. So, people " and especially those who claim that personal responsibility is central to their beliefs " need to be held accountable for their own decisions. We can't accept at face value that they've been hard done by when they voted for everything they complain about except the occasional transgender toilet, which affects a teeny, tiny fraction of life.

In some ways I don't think they can do much about their own bad choices because they have inherited a lost culture based on a rural Anglo-American idyll that never really existed and definitely no longer exists, and makes no sense on a crowded urban planet. And I don't think anyone anywhere thinks any amount of generosity or listening will change those deeply embedded self-destructive viewd. So, yes, I feel sorry for them for something culturally beyond their control. The best I can do is to keep supporting better education, healthcare, wages, work conditions, family support, social care, and access and opportunities to cover everyone.

If anything a good portion of the blame lies with the parasitic media that makes money off this group by keeping them enraged 24-7, and a brand of religion that similarly encourages paranoia and maladaptation. Annoying feminists, queers or tools glued to the Mona Lisa at a museum in protest have caused 2.87% of these problems at best.

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Magpietothemax Taurus

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:41 pm
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I find this contribution of yours very helpful, because it helps me explain clearly what I believe to be the fundamental differences between yourself and me.
I appreciate that you have decided to speak in a more measured way towards me, and I likewise agree to do the same.
pietillidie wrote:


To be clear, though, the far right is the biggest problem this century by a country mile because they are weaponised by destructive media and freeloading capital.

From the 1990s decline in real wages, to costly wars and Brexits, to refusing to cost environmental wreckage, the underfunding of universities, the extendjng of outdated industry, urban sprawl and housing unaffordability, and a lack of planning for the future generally, that rests heavily on the right.


This is a fundamental point of disagreement between you and me. The biggest problem this century, and right now, is actually not the far right, but the so called "leftish" mainstream Social Democratic parties (ALP in Australia, Democrats in the US, Labour in UK, etc). The far right is only able to gain traction because of the role of the Social Democratic parties. In Australia, it was the Hawke/Keating government that carried out the program of thatcherism in Australia, and the policies of Albanese today are indistinguishable from those of a Coalition government. (labor, just as much as the liberals, has continued to stoke speculation in the housing market, imposed cuts to health care and education, committed billions to the military... Biden's program of militarism, real wage cuts and anti-immigrant policies to appease Trump offers no alternative to the working class. A government led by Starmer in Britain would be no alternative to the Tories for the workign class. A political vacuum has opened up because what, in the post war period, seemed to be an alternative, is no longer. Therefore hard right demagogues, pretending to be against the "corrupt establishment" can tap into the social misery that the Social Democrats are just as much responsible for as the so called Conservatives.
The likes of Biden, Albanese, Starmer, Melenchon, the German "Left", Syrizia.... pave the way for fascist demagogues like Trump, Le Pen, the AfD, Golden Dawn etc.
Moreover, the pseudo-left political tendencies (in the US, the DSA, in Australia the likes of Socialist Alliance, in Spain PODEMOS), Melenchon's France Insoumise, are likewise responsible for opening the door to tbe fascists. These political tendencies promote the illusion that Labor, the Democrats, the unions, can be pressured to carry out left wing policies. By doing this, they play a crucial role in disorienting the working class and stopping it from reaching the necessary political conclusions. By promoting lies, they also drag the name of socialism through the mud.

pietillidie wrote:

So, people " and especially those who claim that personal responsibility is central to their beliefs " need to be held accountable for their own decisions.

It is true that sections of the population are voting for the likes of Trump, but it is out of desperation. As I explained above, the Democrats (Labor, Greens, etc) offer absolutely no alternative. They hear one sound byte from Trump (that he is against the “establishment”, even that he opposes war (yes, such is the war mongering nature of the Democrats that Trump can even pretend he is to the left of them on the issue of the war in Ukraine!!) It is not the people who have to be held responsible, but instead it is the entire framework of capitalist politics that must be held responsible, because it literally offers no viable choice to the vast majority of the population.
pietillidie wrote:

Sure, in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge it was the fasco-left that was the dangerous menace. And in some case certain unions were little different from organised crime gangs. So, I'm not saying the far right is always the more menacing and costly, but that in our era the far right is wrecking everything in sight.


I completely disagree with you on the use of the term “fasco-left”. This is a total oxymoron. Fascism is a political tendency associated with extreme nationalism and is purely right wing. The Khmer Rouge was an extreme right wing tendency based on Maoism, and held a radical nationalist and agrarian ideology, in which the peasantry was viewed as the leading class in society within the nation state of Cambodia. . This is utterly antithetical to genuine internationalist socialism, which views the international working class as the revolutionary class in society.
Its claims to be “Marxist” and/or “Communist”” were criminal lies, designed to disorient the population both in Cambodia and throughout the world
Finally, the unions have absolutely nothing to do with genuine left wing politics. The unions today, as you alluded to, are criminal gangs which operate in collusion with the corporate bosses to drive down the income and working conditions of the working class, in exchange for a pay off. We have the phenonomen today of certain union bureaucrats in the US cosying up to Trump. The trajectory of the unions today is towards fascism. They completely defend every right wing policy of whatever government is in power, and work to confuse, demoralise and suppress workers from undertaking a struggle in defence of their living conditions.
I think these points go to the heart of what are the very profound differences that we have.
pietillidie wrote:

The best I can do is to keep supporting better education, healthcare, wages, work conditions, family support, social care, and access and opportunities to cover everyone.

Yes, we are both fighting for these principles. However, what I would say to you in good faith is that in the contemporary era of global capitalist breakdown, it is impossible to achieve these through parliamentary politics. An alternative perspective is required.

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