On the Other Side

Daisy Deadhead responded to my previous post, calling me out for my liberal use of the term “leftist.”  She doesn’t agree with me a whole lot, but she disagrees respectfully.  I therefore elect to return the favor.  She brings up some important points that demonstrate my larger thesis, and she therefore merits a response.

This post isn’t exactly succinct, but sometimes I like to ramble, and this is one of those times.

There IS a difference between a leftist and a liberal.  However, I draw the distinction differently than Daisy.  I will also assert that the distinction is one that eventually will lose its importance, hence my use of “leftist,” or more commonly “leftie” to describe them both.

Marx may have stated that “the vanguard party could not come from the privileged,” and he may have even meant it, but it’s a point on which the left has expressed consistent ambivalence.  On one hand, there is the overt derision towards the upper classes.  On the other hand, the lower classes have typically failed to buy into the program sufficiently and have required significant nudging from the “privileged” (including Marx himself; he mooched off of Engels quite a bit, but he wasn’t exactly a coal miner).  There have been multiple movements from the “proletariat”, but all too often these movements have either faded away or been coopted by Lenin’s “vanguard”, which I would argue has become the more operative paradigm than that of Marx.

(I’m not accusing the modern left of even liking Lenin, much less adhering to his program.  Nevertheless, he advocated an elite vanguard, and the left has its elite vanguard.)

Hence, the leaders on the left who champion a class below their own but who nevertheless portray themselves as being similarly underprivileged.  Woody Guthrie, Fred Hampton, Michael Moore, and Che Guevarra all acted as though they had more in common with those they championed than they actually did.  To say that no radicals come from the lower classes would be fallacious, but their leaders are usually middle-class kids who dress down.

Bernardine Dohrn grew up in Whitefish Bay, but she wasn’t exactly a moderate.

If we are to preclude Al Gore from being a leftist solely because of his father, would we not also have to preclude the son of a doctor whose face appears on the tee-shirts as the ULTIMATE radical from even being a radical at all?

Nevertheless, there are a couple of differences between a liberal and a leftist.  One was more important fifty years ago, the other more important today.

Until LBJ’s downfall, prominent in American politics was the liberal hawk.  JFK, Truman, and others believed in a relatively strong social welfare state but drew a sharp distinction between programs like Social Security and Communism; their programs were to be a bullwark against socialism, not a step towards it (I’m aware that there were factions who felt differently).  LBJ most decidedly did NOT want the Great Society to make us more like the Soviets, and he wasn’t exactly popular among the radicals.

So who are the leftists and who are the liberals today?  Daisy argues that which is what depends primarily on background.  I readily concede that many of the Ivy League types haven’t the slightest clue regarding what concerns actual working people (Seen any mechanics at that last cocktail party?  Me neither.).

However, if we’re to preclude anyone born into privilege from being a leftist, we have to preclude almost the entire political left, or at least damn near every leader with any influence whatsoever.  Those who aren’t privileged who remain on the left almost invariably follow those who are.  Yes, there are exceptions, but not a lot of them.  The Occupy Wall Street Movement, the labor movement, and the environmental movement are led almost exclusively by the affluent.  Are there exceptions?  Yes, but you’re far more likely to find a rich hippie leading around the working-classes than vice-versa.

Instead, I believe that today the biggest difference between a liberal and a leftist is less one of ideology and more one of tactics.  (I can almost see Daisy leaping out of her seat and trying not to punch her computer.)

Many of the radicals of the sixties retained both their radical politics and tactics; others retained the politics but altered their tactics.  Most members of the Weather Underground admit that they were mistaken in how they set off all those bombs, but they retained their fealty to leftist ideals.  They declined direct revolution in favor of Gramsci’s “long march through the institutions.”  Instead of blowing building up they decided to run them, and they’ve done a good job pulling it off.

Academia, pop culture, the educational establishment (often guided by Bill Ayers himself) are today largely run by folks who hope to see American capitalism overthrown, who wish to institute a new and more communitarian system.  They don’t push too far too fast, but they do whatever they can that they think they can get away with.  There are others with far less patience (who are wrong) and those who decry that these folks intend to retain their own privilege (who are right).  Still, the culture is sliding in a leftward direction, as are our politics.

Daisy obviously believes that Obama is merely a liberal.  I disagree.  He’s clearly stated that he would introduce a single payer healthcare system if he could get away with it, and he’s well on his way.  Obamacare is a financial boon for the insurance industry in the short-term but may eventually leave it bankrupt.  At the very least, it will be entirely dependent on government largesse and require armies of lobbyists to pay homage to their benefactors who could bankrupt them with the stroke of a pen.

To radicals this isn’t good enough, but unless things change dramatically, they will get much of what they want.  Usually, today’s liberal wants the same thing, he’s just more strategic, patient, and interested in saving his own ass.

A radical opposes bank bailouts because they benefit the rich; a liberal supports them because he knows that bailouts make the banks beholden to the government.  Radicals despise the revolving door between government, lobbying and big business; liberals love it because it blurs the lines between them–harmful in the short term because money corrupts politics, but beneficial in the long term because eventually Washington may be so powerful that no business will have a prayer of opposing it.  Radicals oppose corporate power because they don’t like elites running things; liberals instead hope to leverage that power to institute future programs.  Radicals despise Obama’s love of drones because it violates fundamental principles of justice; liberals like it because they know they’ll need power like that to keep the reactionary forces at bay.

These definitions are only for this post to demonstrate a point, that point being the distinctions among lefties I drew earlier.  Liberals are often more moderate in their politics, but if they’re Anointed, they’re only sheep in wolves’ clothing.  Radicals are often more extreme in their politics, but if they’re Benighted, they’re adhering to principle, and principle is an ally.

Among the things the Benighted need to realize is that any transition to egalitarianism requires an elite to guide it.  The more expansive the transition, the more power that elite will need to have.  The purely voluntary communes of the 1840’s and 1960’s may have worked for a while, but eventually everybody left all of them.  Somebody has to keep that from happening, and whoever does that will invariably have a lot of power.

Somebody’s going to have to decide how many tires to produce in such as way as to maximize the benefits to society, balancing the interests of the workers producing them and the farmers who need them, and it won’t be a farmer making that decision.  It’s going to be some guy with a doctorate in economics from Duke.  The Revolution requires an elite, and that elite’s going to be even more powerful than the one we’ve got today.

But maybe that elite will be more moral than the one we’ve got today.  If we’re to consider Lord Acton’s maxim about absolute power, I don’t think we should count on it.

And even if they were more noble, would they be more capable?

This is why I conflate “liberals” and “leftists.”  I see them as favoring different means to similar ends.  “Liberals” may be more consciously aware of the need for an elite, but even if “leftists” have their way, we’ll end up with the same thing.

I therefore categorize the Left according to a different paradigm, and they’re free to disagree.  I’m sure that many of them consider Bush to be a hardcore conservative when I know he’s not.

However, as staunchly as I disagree with Daisy on where we need to go, I respect her.  I’ve seen no evidence that she’s some dumbass who thinks she can run my life for me better than I can.  She wants my freedom.  Unfortunately, she defines freedom in such a way that it can only lead to slavery.

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25 Responses to On the Other Side

  1. YOHAMI says:

    What kind of freedom does she support?

    • Martel says:

      Generally, the left defines “freedom” as the “freedom to” (power, but not just in the “I can make you do shit” sense), whereas the right defines it as “fredom from” (liberty). Many of our freedoms incorporate both. “Freedom of speech” is the freedom to speak your mind, but also the freedom from others shutting you up. Each acknowledges both, but emphasizes one or the other. For example, to a conservative or libertarian or conservative, Rupert Murdoch and his secretary have an equal measure of “freedom of speech” in that both are equally free from the government shutting them up. The left sees Murdoch as having more “freedom of speech” because he has armies of employees and wads of cash to back up his speech that his secretary doesn’t have.

      In this case, I think Daisy is emphasizing the more Rousseauian aspect of freedom, the freedom from the constraints of the limiting aspects of our culture. To Rousseau, you may think you’re free because you can do what you want, but you’re actually not free because so much of what you want has been programmed into you and defies the desires of your true self. But I could be wrong.

  2. 60gunner says:

    I find your agruments well founded, though the amount of information made my head hurt. I understand it and the references gives me something to study.But in my everyday life trying to explain all of that to someone who is apathetic about voting will only leave me with a cross-eyed audience. Then again maybe I try to hard to simplify things.

    • Martel says:

      This post wasn’t as much a guide to how to make a point as some of my others. It’s therefore less concise. However, if you have any questions as to the specifics or how to break it down to make it useful, either leave a comment or drop me an email and I’ll gladly elaborate, perhaps with a quick chart or outline.

    • Ulf Elfvin says:

      The left would much less dishonest if they dropped that “freedom to”-nonsense. Who talks like that, except the left? Freedom is freedom-from force. What they want to say could be perfectly expressed by the word “possibility”. RM and his sec both have freedom of speech; but of course RM have far more possibilities to get his opinion out on a large scale than she does.

      Good post as always, Martel.

      • Martel says:

        But they don’t consider it dishonest because it’s so interwoven with how they think about everything. Besides, if we’re all already “free” in that we’re not under threat of force, then we wouldn’t need an ever-expanding activist government.

        This is a strong leverage point when you’re talking to a lefty. If freedom=power, then we’ll always be free to different degrees and will always need to government to makes things “fair”.

        There are such freedom conflicts if we define it as liberty, but they’re far less frequent or significant, and the standards don’t need to perpetually change. Your freedom from the cops banging on your door telling you to turn it down may interfere with my freedom from having to hear Ludacris pounding through my entire house.

        But it’s going to be hard for them to be honest about this because they usually don’t know they’re doing it. That’s why I recommend pointing it out.

  3. You so nice! Thanks for disagreeing respectfully and like a smart fella. Increasingly, I find “the right” can be respectful with their critics, but “the left” gets defensive and shrill, but thats another story. (I have fussed endlessly about this on my blog.)

    I am one of those leftists who is ready to submit myself to collective discipline, which is to say, populism. Marx said we should… then the Marxists don’t do it. (This has been as aggravating to me as the Christians who quote Jesus endlessly and then don’t do that either.) Marx said the answers would come from the workers, so why aren’t we listening to their answers? The problem, as I see it, is that they have not had adequate representation and their voices are not heard; they are co-opted by the powerful (of all political persuasions).

    The Occupy Wall Street Movement, the labor movement, and the environmental movement are led almost exclusively by the affluent.

    Here in the south, Occupy has been overwhelmingly working class. I’ve take part in local OCCUPY and I am familiar with folks in the bigger cities like Atlanta, Charlotte and Charleston. Thus, the question I have is: is this a coastal thing? Why would it be? We need analysis! Unfortunately, they won’t admit this situation is true in the first place, much analyze the whys and wherefores of it.

    The labor movement that I know (from my Midwestern upbringing; I was born in 57), was the one my parents were deeply involved in, and they were GM (UAW 977 was my father’s license plate for decades) and postal worker, respectively. They were both union stewards and when I think of the labor movement, I think of them. As for the environmental movement, I am a Green Party member and class-wise, it is honestly all over the lot. There are physics and science guys (scaring the hell out of us with facts and figures on climate change) and regular poor hippie-vegetarians like your humble narrator. However, I do admit that when I go to the various veggie potlucks, I am one of the few people with an apartment complex address (yes I’m afraid I do notice those kindsa things), and this divide seems to be growing rather than narrowing. (Aside: I wrote HERE how pissed I was about white liberal yankees pointing their snooty fingers at the south for being racist, when the majority of these liberals live in all-white neighborhoods, something pretty rare in the deep south unless you are loaded.)

    Gramsci had his points, but ultimately he was wrong.

    Academia, pop culture, the educational establishment

    I will give you academia, but popular culture? Huh? Anti-capitalist or progressive at ALL? I just did a radio-rant about Seth MacFarlane hosting the Oscars, and then everyone is shocked at the Onion calling a 9 year old the c-word? Seriously? Why did you ask this man to be the host, in that case. (I expected the Twitter free-for-all to be lots worse, actually.) I see MacFarlane as a rich, privileged white guy from Connecticut, who revels in potshots at every minority group he can think of. (Why is everyone so shocked at his boob song? Wasn’t he HIRED to sing a boob song?) Aside from his atheist noises (and even those are classist; he repeatedly portrays religious believers as working class redneck yahoos) — I see nothing remotely leftist or liberal about this man. And the Oscars are saying he brought back the 18-34 age demographic they were looking for! So I just have to disagree; I see things getting far worse in the fragmentation of entertainment (i.e. Fox News can be much more right wing than any news organization in the past, could EVER hope to be). If people don’t like a political perspective, now they have the option of not looking at it or reading it. When I was growing up (and don’t know how old you are), we did NOT have any such option to only associate with the people who already agree with us. I am grateful for that, since I now see a whole generation of kids who just squeeeeeeal when they interact with their ideological opposition, on both the left and the right, and seem patently unable to argue point-by-point.

    This brings me to the third arm you mention, the educational establishment. Increasingly, working class education is just glorified job training, not genuine education at all. The actual studying and thinking about the big concepts, is left to the affluent. And yet, these kids are not *supposed* to be (pardon antiquated lefty terms) ‘leading the revolution’ and they know it… so you have this odd sort of paralysis of intention… and this leads to them indulging in meaningless activities like policing language on the internet and playing ‘gotcha’ with the uneducated because you didn’t use the newest hip words for some minority group. (That is not activism or politics, and they get REAL MAD when you tellem that, too.)

    A radical opposes bank bailouts because they benefit the rich; a liberal supports them because he knows that bailouts make the banks beholden to the government. Radicals despise the revolving door between government, lobbying and big business; liberals love it because it blurs the lines between them–harmful in the short term because money corrupts politics, but beneficial in the long term because eventually Washington may be so powerful that no business will have a prayer of opposing it. Radicals oppose corporate power because they don’t like elites running things; liberals instead hope to leverage that power to institute future programs. Radicals despise Obama’s love of drones because it violates fundamental principles of justice; liberals like it because they know they’ll need power like that to keep the reactionary forces at bay.

    A brilliant and accurate paragraph. 🙂 Not for nothing did the Yippies call them “shit liberals”…
    and counsel me never to trust them.

    Liberals also use radicals for cred, in the same way the Republicans used the Tea Party.

    But as I said, I would like the real thing Marx described. When I wrote about Ron Paul in Greenville and the people I saw there, I got defriended en masse.:P But every single one of my detractors ignored my questions: what is his draw to the working classes? This was a much more working class crowd than I have seen in many places/rallies, so WHATS UP? (When I hoisted my “I can’t afford a lobbyist” sign at the Ron Paul rally, I got more applause than I ever get from Democrats!) It used to be the job of the left to KNOW THAT SHIT or try to figure it out. And now, they don’t want to know, and that is what increasingly concerns me. You cannot write off the workers as deluded and call yourself a real leftist, and maybe that is the bottom line… since I am one.

    Bush was not a right winger but a corporate puppet, as I believe Obama has become also. I am very much in favor of Obamacare, and I admit, at this point its personal: as I said, I am 55, and I have been recently been given the “take statins or else” ultimatum by my doctor. Old age looms, and I am worried I can’t afford it. Although I also wonder why they *can* afford it in Canada and Taiwan, as I said in my other comment.

    Thank you for your incisive reply. I like arguing with NICE PEOPLE, a dying breed on the net I’m afraid.

    • YOHAMI says:

      Daisy, but Marx thesis is “wrong”. Or maybe you have an implementation that is better than his thesis. What do you propose?

      BTW a system based on “representation” is still elitist and is going to be won over with charisma and power plays, benefiting a few over many.

      • Ulf Elfvin says:

        The fundamental trouble with marxism may be summed up in one simple point:

        That which it claims to be the moral ideal – “from each accordning to ability, to each according to need” – isn’t, in fact, moral at all. It’s the opposite: it means the forcible and/or volontary enslavement of the people who have the ability to produce more than they themselves consume; and since slavery in any form isn’t practical it means that marxism threatens the lives of the very people it claims to represent (and everyone else).

        With friends like that the poor don’t need any enemies.

        The truly moral principle is the following: To each according according to his ability. That’s why, in a free society, even the poor’s living standard continually rises.

        When you analyse political ideologies, always ask yourself the question: what kind of behaviour gets rewarded and what kind of behaviour gets penalized? It will tell you everything that’s important about how that ideology will have to work in practice.

      • Martel says:

        “When you analyse political ideologies, always ask yourself the question: what kind of behaviour gets rewarded and what kind of behaviour gets penalized? It will tell you everything that’s important about how that ideology will have to work in practice.”

        That’s one of the two most important questions. A correct understanding of human nature is essential to understanding whether or not any given policy will work.

        I also recommend analyzing it on an even deeper level. (This may sound like I’m asking “If squares were round…” but bear with me.) If socialism could actually work, would you support it? My answer is “no” because it requires the “enslavement” you cite. It’s not nearly as intense as that of a Korean sex slave during WWII, but I am under no external obligation to surrender the fruits of my labor to another.

        You can make the case that I should help out the poor, but that’s not socialism. In one case you’re trying to get me to do what you think I should do, but you acknowledge it’s MY choice. In the other, you’re taking my choice away from me, suggesting it should never have been mine to begin with.

        Lefties have a VERY hard time grasping this, that government IS force, even if it’s using force for good. Social programs aren’t cooperation, they’re coerscion.

        If you get a lefty to understand this, they still might support socialistic policies, but they’ll have to be honest about wanting more force and control in society. When we let them get away with conflating government programs and charity, we make it easier for them to trick other people, but more importantly we make it easier for them to trick themselves.

    • Martel says:

      In regards to my respectful tone, I only practice what I preach. There are times I’m not nearly as respectful to some of your political allies because I calibrate according to the respect they give me. Sometimes I get it wrong, but I pay close attention to whether or not I merely disagree with somebody expressing genuine belief, or if they’re out to defame me. You strike me as the latter, so I responded accordingly.

      “Marx said we should… then the Marxists don’t do it. (This has been as aggravating to me as the Christians who quote Jesus endlessly and then don’t do that either.) Marx said the answers would come from the workers, so why aren’t we listening to their answers? The problem, as I see it, is that they have not had adequate representation and their voices are not heard; they are co-opted by the powerful (of all political persuasions).”

      The “Marxists don’t do it” because they can’t. His theory of value falls apart under the lightest scrutiny, and the rest of what he supports disintegrates without it. Also, he was extremely vague as to how to make the Revolution happen (or was it just going to appear somehow?). His adherents therefore had many blanks to fill in, and that’s what Lenin, Mao, and others have done. Elites are the only folks who have the time or interest in studying this stuff, and they’re naturally more capable of political strategizing than the average farmer or laborer. The average guy’s knowledge is also far more limited. He knows how to grow grain but has little idea how much of it’s needed, how to get it to where it needs to go, what his value is relative to the trucker who drives it to the bakeries, etc. If we’re going to “work together”, brainy folks with advanced degrees are going to have to make these decisions.

      Also, part of why the elites ignore the voice of the workers is that often the workers themselves don’t agree. They’re often so stupid that they vote Republican and therefore obviously don’t know what’s best for them. This leaves the elites to either accept that they’re not wanted or needed (intolerable) or to cling even more fiercely to their belief that they need to save us from ourselves.

      There are aspects of your post on the South with which I disagree, but you’re spot on regarding the hypocrisy of northern white libs.

      Yes, pop culture is largely progressive. Seth was an exception, and he got a LOT of pushback from Hollywood itself, far more than he ever would have gotten if he stuck to ripping on Sarah Palin the whole show.

      In the vast majority of sitcoms and movies, the nuclear family is denigrated, the villians are corporate monsters, Christians are hypocrites, casual sex is celebrated, environmentalism is praised.

      In terms of fractionalization, you’re correct in regards to news (we used to all have to get our news from the center-left networks or not at all), but in terms of culture–either you stick to the horribly boring Christian entertainment industry (not exactly a monolith), or you’re subtly being persuaded that corporations are evil (ironically by big corporations).

      “The actual studying and thinking about the big concepts, is left to the affluent.” Not quite. Only the affluent are tricked into thinking they are able to think about the big concepts.

      Regarding the right often being more civil than the left, you won’t like my answer. The reason we’re (somewhat) more likely to use more civil forms of debate is that during such debates we’re more likely to win. Conservative speakers are routinely shouted down on campus, and the reason for this is that the best way to keep somebody from agreeing with the right is to make sure they never hear what it has to say.

      When I turn a shouting match with a leftie into a reasoned debate, I win. I visit your blogs frequently, and I don’t find my actual beliefs even addressed, much less refuted. My beliefs are twisted into a caricature, and my allies are routinely mocked as racist reactionaries when I know they’re not (yes, there are exceptions). Reasonably point out that you think I’m wrong, we can be friends.

      When I disarm an ideological opponent from using ad hominem or other BS rhetorical techniques, I find that they rarely have even heard what I actually think. When they hear it, they’re shocked and surprisingly likely to agree with me. The elites can’t let this happen, and they don’t.

      I may strike you as “nice”, but I assure you I’m anything but. I merely respect you and act accordingly. But I can assure you I’ve ripped many an obnoxious college kid to shreds. Call me a racist and I fucking destroy.

      • In term of Marx and how to do it, I am a Michael Harrington-style Democratic socialist; its why I belong to the Green Party. I would like a parliamentary system of more than two parties running the joint, this two-party monopoly/monolith is intolerable and does not allow for meaningful horse-trading or representation at ALL. I would be satisfied with, say, the addition of Tea Party and Green Party, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom, (etc) having a real place in the debates. I don’t know if you are aware that Jill Stein was arrested at one of the debates for trying to insist on inclusion, but she was… as Gary Johnson filed a lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates, and good for him. The two-party monopoly has been a nice way to institute and solidify oligarchy.

        I would be happy with the opportunity to get ideas out there and allow people to choose real alternatives… and at this point, I think that is as crucial as what those alternatives turn out to be.

        YOHAMI, I am a Herbert Marcusian sort of socialist… I think we have basically lost the ‘war against capitalism’, but I am currently undecided about whether capitalism can be our friend, used for “good” and alla that progressive-moneymaker stuff… this is the subject of a loooong, in depth, ongoing discussion with my radio co-host Gregg, who blogs at SCGreenParty.org. As a Green Party guru, he is convinced environmentalism can be capitalist (wind/solar power can be marketable, etc etc)… and I have to say, at this point: I just don’t know.

        Below, you comment: If Washington had only the power the Founders intended, far fewer rich kids would dream of being senators because being a senator wouldn’t matter a whole heck of a lot.

        In December, I heard David Cobb’s MOVE TO AMEND presentation; libertarians and Republicans were present and regularly attend his presentations. Afterwards, he does a ‘mini-presentation’ about the different points in his talk that get applause from left groups and then from right groups… and then, from both groups. And you just hit on one of those applause lines that both left and right agree on. 🙂

        Have a listen, I’m sure you’ll find him interesting. (He ran for president in 2004 on the Green Party ticket.) He does not regard MOVE TO AMEND as left or right and has support from all over the political spectrum.

  4. Martel says:

    Representative forms of government will always be elitist, but the more big and powerful the government, the more elist they’ll be. If Washington had only the power the Founders intended, far fewer rich kids would dream of being senators because being a senator wouldn’t matter a whole heck of a lot.

    The Constitution was designed to protect us from this aspect of human nature, but it won’t do us much good if it means what we want it to mean instead of what it actually means.

    Marx was wrong about most things, but not in how he wanted to implement his program. In that he couldn’t be wrong because he had no prescription regarding how to implement it. It was just going to happen or something.

    • YOHAMI says:

      Yeah, but still, if he’s thesis is basically wrong, what kind of freedom and a better world are the left people aspiring to? what kind of implementation do they dream about. Maybe the implementation can fix the rotten premises, I doubt it, but Im interested on what exactly is Daisy rooting for, other than getting “free” stuff from the state.

    • Regarding the right often being more civil than the left, you won’t like my answer. The reason we’re (somewhat) more likely to use more civil forms of debate is that during such debates we’re more likely to win.

      I disagree, I actually think it is because many are Christians and therefore try not to tip over into very GROSS and morally unbecoming speech. I have long been embarrassed by leftists posting (example) gross, sexist things about Ann Coulter. I am shocked they think they are progressive, posting that disgusting shit. I have seen racist stuff posted about Michelle Malkin and other conservative POC, supposedly from liberals and progressives. Most devout Christians won’t sign their names to gross stuff. Fact.

      Many of the atheists in the ‘new atheist’ movement seem to specialize in showing us they ain’t skeered of nobody, no Gods, no Masters, etc etc and this manifests as being just plain gross and deliberately rude and ‘irreverent’ (see reference to MacFarlane, and you probably know some of the others I refer to)… they do not seem to understand that this is one of the things that worry many of us about the ‘new atheism’ in the first place. Dan Fincke recently proposed a ‘civility pledge’ on his atheist blog, Camels with Hammers, and I was stunned at how many people read him the riot act over it. WE AIN’T GONNA BE NICE TO DUMB PEOPLE, they crowed, as virtually one voice. (And we should therefore respect you why?!?)

      Being so educated, they seem unaware that somewhere, somebody thinks *they* are dumb too.

      • YOHAMI says:

        I´ll check it. Still, let’s say we add Green and any other party there is. What changes? what comes next. In Venezuela (where I was raised) there are 4-10 parties at any time. How does slicing power in tinier pieces change society for good?

  5. Yohami, hope I answered your question above.

    You might also want to check out the Move to Amend presentation; good place to start.

    • Yohami, more parties will mean people will vote for what they really believe, not “lesser of two evils” and other compromises that leave them disrespecting the democratic process more than believing in it.

      Also, more possibilities to make alliances on various single issues, with the attendant possibility of things actually getting done (or not)…

      • YOHAMI says:

        But Daisy, that’s not how humans behave, at all. Check other countries with multiple parties. People vote for the lesser of two evils, and elections are about charisma and the usual charade. No one is solving or talking about the real issues, which usually put the masses to sleep. The masses dont care, simple. Give more power to the masses, and the lowest denominator wins. Check mainstream.

      • JG_htown says:

        Systems with more than two parties give undue influence to minority and fringe elements as the larger parties grant them concessions in order to form the coalitions necessary to govern. The two-party system sucks but it is better than any of the alternatives.

      • YOHAMI says:

        When there are a lot of parties, they form alliances and concessions and you end up with a two or three power parties again.

        Two party systems are not better than the alternatives, they are just as bad.

  6. YOHAMI says:

    Ulf, yes. Marx got everything wrong. His system requires a very organized, mechanical structure where everyone can perform the same and get the same kind of rewards. It would work if the world was an ant farm, and we were all plugged to a Ford style factory and each of us were perfectly replaceable, and if happiness for humans was only about belonging to a family.

    Still, get 100 lawyers with the same grades out of school. Are they all equally good? if a carpenter does an excellent job in half a day, and another does a terrible job and it takes a week, do they deserve the same kind of compensation? if we have ten singers and two are amazingly good and the rest are utter crap, do we love them all equally? how do you motivate the lesser performers, how do you push for high quality, how do you incentive the talent?

    Marx obviously didnt run a factory, didnt manage groups of people, didnt understand women, or men, didnt have kids, probably didnt have friends, he didnt understood people, humans, he didnt launch business, the didnt fail nor succeeded. His theory sounds good in a vacuum. It would work for a different species. One of lonely men and their books.

  7. YOHAMI says:

    edited and improved – I dont like capitalism or democracy either. HHonestly, seems like nobody has ever tried to fix this thing.

    http://yohami.com/blog/2013/03/07/marx-got-everything-wrong-or-he-got-human-nature-wrong-which-is-everything/

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