• gurugeorge
    321
    Well it's pretty clear that there's a genetic connection between the Protestant sects - Puritans, Quakers, etc. - and early classical liberalism and proto-socialistic ideas in England, and (since the UK was the first country to have a serious, kingslaying revolution that inspired the rest of Europe) that ideological ferment was a major contributory strand leading to most European forms of socialism later (along with Jewish influence, also largely universalist), while at the same time being directly carried by the early English settlers to the northern USA.

    And then later on, as atheism became more fashionable among the intelligentsia (in Europe and the US), the religiously-based belief in equality was retained as a strong belief, only minus its theistic roots.

    It's a way of keeping the cake of (quasi-)religious fervour and eating it :)
  • Bitter Crank
    5.8k
    The biggest and best criticism of the US health care system is that it doesn't deliver one of the primary benefits people think it should deliver: Better health. Can hospitals and clinics improve the health of a nation? Only to a quite limited extent:

    Since 1876, the year Koch published his Postulates for determining what microorganism caused which disease, (just to pick an arbitrary date) people have been getting healthier and living longer. Who is responsible?

    Not doctors, hospitals, and clinics for the most part. Much of the better health and longevity we enjoy is due to the efforts of civil engineers who built sewers, sewage treatment plants, and drinking water systems; farmers who grew more food (thanks in part to the Haber Process for making ammonium fertilizers), transportation systems that moved the food to market, and researchers who developed vaccination protocols for a dozen or so diseases. Pubic Health programs, in other words. Cleaning things up.

    Heroic surgeries for cancers and heart disease may be a good thing, (maybe not in some cases) but they don't extend the average lifespan all that much. Good treatment for broken bones, knife wounds (like, in the kitchen), bullet wounds (like in gangs and hunting accidents), and war wounds preserves life, returns many people to productivity quicker, and relieves suffering, For the most part, it doesn't extend life a lot. It improves the quality of life.

    We spend a lot of money on cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. In many cases, the treatment is unsuccessful and the patient dies. Much of the medical care people receive is at the end of life. That is, they don't survive the disease or the treatment.

    Antibiotics are the last major development in the process of extending longevity. Infectious diseases (tuberculosis, pneumonia, staph and strep infections, etc.) used to be the major cause of death. A small wound would get infected, the infection would spread, turn into septicemia, and before long, one had turned into a corpse.
  • Bitter Crank
    5.8k
    Well it's pretty clear that there's a genetic connection between the Protestant sects - Puritans, Quakers, etc. - and early classical liberalism and proto-socialistic ideas in England, and (since the UK was the first country to have a serious, kingslaying revolution that inspired the rest of Europe) that ideological ferment was a major contributory strand leading to most European forms of socialism later (along with Jewish influence, also largely universalist), while at the same time being directly carried by the early English settlers to the northern USA.gurugeorge

    Had I my life to live over again and could customize it, I would like to be a securely tenured history professor at a fat, well-endowed university where they would leave me alone to pursue whatever I wanted to pursue. The skein of religious history you displayed is one of the topics I would pursue.

    In his book The Better Angels of our Nature, Pinker says that the Puritans, with their strong commitment to community (City on the Hill) fostered acceptance of a strong state. This preference spread across the northern tier of states (more or less, one wouldn't want to go overboard on the "northern tier" -- Idaho missed out on the puritan influence) as the country advanced westward. The inheritance of this Puritan community/state/individual responsibility to the community and to God are better outcomes for people in all of the social institutions.

    It is in these states that the Puritan influence (along with Lutherans in the Midwest and Catholics) that strong voluntary institutions like religiously founded colleges, hospitals, social service agencies, came to the fore and stayed there. In addition, these states tended to spend more on education, health, rural highways, and so forth.

    The south, on the other hand, was owned by members of the largely cavalier class of Englishmen who had a much different take on reality. They loathed the centralized state, weren't very hot on community, were not much for egalitarianism, had a do-it-yourself attitude towards justice, and subscribed to that damnable male honor code. The south was backward largely because of this class's values: before the civil war, they were reluctant to build regional railroads, because they didn't recognize any self interest in it. They wanted railroads from their plantation to the docks -- nothing more. They weren't much for public education, etc. etc. etc. The south couldn't get behind its confederacy all that effectively because "the government" (under Jefferson Davis, not Lincoln) just wasn't a good thing to them.

    So it is that places like Minnesota and Massachusetts are at the top of wellness and prosperity indexes, and Alabama and Mississippi are at the bottom.
  • gurugeorge
    321
    The skein of religious history you displayed is one of the topics I would pursue.Bitter Crank

    I think it's a mixed bag, as most things are. There were positive elements that you mention, but Puritan fanaticism wasn't too pleasant, and its descendant in the Puritan strain of the Left today isn't too pleasant either. Frankly I prefer the Quaker strain of Protestantism and the Left - more hippyish ;)

    Actually it just occurred to me that you could probably trace those two elements to the psychological factors that Jordan Peterson mentioned re. political affiliation (in his collaboration with a researcher on this - and I think Haidt has a similar breakdown): so the Left has two sides to it, there's the side where it's all kumbaya, let's all love each other and be nice to each other, etc., and there's the side where the "disgust" factor is high - where once you've identified what you think is evil (or in modern terms: "oppression") then you blindly hate those you believe are perpetrating it, with no redemption possible. So that's the Quaker strain and the Puritan strain right there (effectively I think, what happens is that these two cultures would have respectively "taken" more strongly with psychologies already predisposed to them, so Quaker upbringing would make an already hippyish person more hippyish, Puritan upbringing would make an instinctive social justice warrior even more social justice warriorey).

    As someone who's moved from the far Left to the Right in the course of a life, I think I'm just an instinctive hippy/Quaker who's been mugged :)
  • ssu
    453
    Main question: Is it wrong for me to see ultra-high-taxation with the intent to redistribute wealth in a way that ensures total equality of outcome as a form of communism?Sydasis

    Yes. Because it's not communism.

    When you think about communism, the transfer of wealth isn't what it's about because then you would start from the assumption or the situation that there would be rich people to tax and poor that you redistribute to.

    Besides, the word "communism", just as "capitalism", "socialism" or "fascism" are used today in public discourse just as adjectives, which usually mean something negative without much thought given to what the underlying term and it's ideology is about. Like when you hear someone utter the word "Cultural Marxism", I would be pretty sure that the issue isn't the Frankfurt School that they are talking about. Or communism for that matter.

    Just like many leftist use the term "fascist" quite casually in many instances where the subject has nothing to do with actual fascism. It's just a convenient way to express something negative from the political right and is a pseudo-intelligent way to describe your thoughts.
  • Bitter Crank
    5.8k
    I think I'm just an instinctive hippy/Quaker who's been mugged :)gurugeorge

    I like that.

    There is another skein: the Dionysian vs. the Apollonian drive. I think it was D. H. Lawrence who criticized Benjamin Franklin for being excessively Apollonian. One simplistic way of putting it is that Lawrence thought Franklin was a boring square. One would look in pagan/neopagan cultures for the Dionysian tendency. In the 1960s the best example of Dionysian would be you hippies. In the1970s it would be gay men reveling in sexuality.

    The American tradition -- North and South -- is much more Apollonian than Dionysian. Dionysian impulses don't fit well into capitalism, the well ordered society, productivity, propriety, Puritanism, and all that. Dionysians, unlike Apollonians, do not respect the borders between exuberance and propriety. They don't thrive in highly disciplined settings like the factory. They buck the rules and regs. Apollonians observe the rules, the boundaries, the discipline of factory, farm, and mine.
  • Sydasis
    44

    I can't say I am a scholar in this material at all, so I value your insights here. The french revolution seemed to have an atheist component to it, as did the soviet union, but my memory from past readings is hazy at best.

    In Canada and America, I recall there being a spike in anti-christian sentiment online about 10 years ago. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Atheism The four-horse-men, etc. I perceived it as a bit left-leaning, with attacks undermining the conservative-right being the goal. I really don't recall much in the way of identity politics at the time, although universal health care and gun control were topics of debates. I tended to be a bit patriotic in my views; I was defensive towards attacks on Canada's health care system and gun laws, but I had no idea what I was talking about really. Still probably don't.

    Some of those who would "fundie bash" by means of Youtube response videos and forums, in the last couple years have mentioned that they now regret doing so now. I sense that on reflection they now realize that religion and holy morals had a value and function, even if the beliefs themselves were unverifiable or just plain wrong.

    I would say these fundie-bashers considered themselves left-leaning at the time, but have since felt disenfranchised by the left; by identify politics, for example. They also didn't connect with the existing right-wing parties, and as a result felt rather lost. When I first heard the term alt-right a few years ago, I first thought it was defining those now felt disenfranchised by the left.

    I was wrong about what the alt-right stood for, but in my defense, I don't think it still has any solid definition. Regardless, someone like Dave Rubin on Youtube, is a person I believe who represents this disenfranchised-left. I find Dave Rubin a bit more right-leaning than myself, but I think him, his audience, and even myself, are trying to find themselves in this new political world -- post-Christianity.

    It may not be an increase in Atheism though: Obama indirectly introduced identity politics in 2008, as well as there being a market crash, bank bailouts, and the Occupy Wallstreet Protests. Terrorism and anti-Muslim sentiment was on the rise, and with it racism and nationalism. Shortly after that Obamacare was front and center. Things still seemed to be under control though, but around the GamerGate controversy, things just exploded.

    There were ANTIFA-type riots here in Canada just the other week: breaking store windows, etc -- I'm wondering if those young adults growing up in a post-2008 world have been raised with just a completely different mentality and set of needs. I've looked at videos of these North Shore ANTIFA groups and they say things like "comrade", so it gets me pretty confused by what's going on there. I've just largely assumed they are confused and unhappy, but I don't recall this happening when I was younger.

    Maybe it's Russian trolls and social media propaganda. Maybe its Trump's divisiveness.

    I saw this article a few months ago and it really reflects how I am seeing things:

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/10/05/takeaways-on-americans-growing-partisan-divide-over-political-values/

    Democrats have moved left on several issues. Over the past few years, some of the biggest changes in opinions among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have been on race and the role of government. There has been far less change in the views of Republicans and Republican leaners. As a result, the public’s views as a whole have moved in a more liberal direction.

    I suppose when you don't share the same views of the direction the democrats are moving, or are disenfranchised by it at the least, you're left a target as you are without an identity. At least, that is how I feel, and perhaps it has left me to open minded to propaganda.
  • Sydasis
    44
    Not doctors, hospitals, and clinics for the most part. Much of the better health and longevity we enjoy is due to the efforts of civil engineers who built sewers, sewage treatment plants, and drinking water systems; farmers who grew more food (thanks in part to the Haber Process for making ammonium fertilizers), transportation systems that moved the food to market, and researchers who developed vaccination protocols for a dozen or so diseases. Pubic Health programs, in other words. Cleaning things up.Bitter Crank

    I can't disagree too much with anything you said here. Sanitation, understanding germs, washing hands, etc, have been key to healthier living.

    I would say that quality of life as you age has improved with medication advancements though, such as Lipitor, which is a anti cholesterol drug that numerous people I know use; I believe Trump is on it as well. I don't think my father would still be alive today if it weren't for that drug. DNA and stem cell research is also a very exciting field, which will allow for better prevention, detection, and custom medication/treatments.

    Doctors I hope will be all near obsolete in the near future, replaced by machine learning , robots, drugs, researchers, and technicians. I suppose this is something Communists and I might share in common, where automation and technology will lead to the unshackling of humans from certain burdens, but I struggle to believe these capabilities would arise efficiently in non-capitalistic systems.
  • Sydasis
    44
    Besides, the word "communism", just as "capitalism", "socialism" or "fascism" are used today in public discourse just as adjectives, which usually mean something negative without much thought given to what the underlying term and it's ideology is about.ssu

    Thank you for the reply.

    I see nothing wrong with the term capitalism, personally. :) I acknowledge capitalism needs some regulation to ensure the well being and rights of others, but I am a big fan of it.

    Just like many leftist use the term "fascist" quite casually in many instances where the subject has nothing to do with actual fascism. It's just a convenient way to express something negative from the political right and is a pseudo-intelligent way to describe your thoughts.

    I appreciate you saying this. I hear the term fascist used a lot, particular since Trump, but also with the rise of neo-Nazism and ANTIFA. I don't really have a grasp on what a casually used meaning of fascism is these day. If you could explain this in more detail, you'd actually help me understand what these ANTIFA types are actually trying to say. I have no clue at times.

    I suppose I'm guilty of saying "communist", although I suppose I've been using it with a definition based by historical representations of its implementations, versus out-right strict definitions. For example, Cuba, 1980's China, North Korea, Soviet Union -- these have been largely defined as communist states in my head, although they don't always live up to the strict dictionary definitions.

    I think I may be a hypocrite with my usage of calling someone a socialist/communist, but I might do so if that person is anti-capitalist or does not see a problem with the more extreme principals of socialism/communism. When someone calls me a fascist though, I get confused: no aspect of that do I believe in. I could be called a greedy capitalist I suppose, although every action in my career has been with the goal of improving humankind, and I do believe in many social welfare programs.
  • Sydasis
    44
    Yes. Because it's not communism.

    When you think about communism, the transfer of wealth isn't what it's about because then you would start from the assumption or the situation that there would be rich people to tax and poor that you redistribute to.
    ssu

    If a person is taxed 100%, their income is irrelevant, no? it would be no different than having no salary at all. I suppose wealth could be defined as any existing wealth, but if taxed on death, it would only be 70 years or so before that initial wealth was depleted.

    From that point on in the system, and individual could technically than horde their 'equally distributed' income, and obtain wealth over time simply by means of savings. I can see this as a reason for why this system wouldn't be communism, as any wealth is a property, and that property is community controlled and owned -- hording wouldn't be legal with Communism I'd imagine. (unless redistribution was provided by means of services, rather than income)

    I'm not sure why someone would work in such a scenario, where not working may allow result in the same income as another. If working is a requirement, I look to the Soviet Union where my Russian friend stated that jobs that required the least amount of time and effort were pursued. In the case of 100% taxation, I'd imagine you could define and take any job you deem, but with Communism, you are assigned a role by the community -- this could perhaps lead to unfettered propaganda.

    I suppose one way to resolve these issues, to control production more closely, is to not pay people equally, but have the 'government/community' pay people to do the jobs most demanded. Those doing jobs that are unwanted would be paid less or nothing. This might work in communism, albeit I could be wrong about that, but when speaking of 100% taxation, the idea is that with taxation you still allow for freedom of venture, corporate structure, and self-determination of role. Once you begin to assign roles, the illusion that there is any income to even tax at 100% is fleeting -- and this becomes even more clear once you start assigning people and paying them differently. At least in an equal pay system there is given the illusion of a social welfare system, rather than payment that is taxable. Otherwise there might be a paradox where you are taxed 100% on an imaginary salary to only be given a new salary that is taxed 0%.

    Does Communism require that property and means of production be seized by overnight force? Or is that just a belief that it would be the only way to ensure it would happen. I don't see how the principals of communism couldn't be established over time, gradually, which seems to me personally like the more realistic way of a sustainable outcome. 100% taxation seems like a gradual way, despite initial conditions.
  • ssu
    453
    I appreciate you saying this. I hear the term fascist used a lot, particular since Trump, but also with the rise of neo-Nazism and ANTIFA. I don't really have a grasp on what a casually used meaning of fascism is these day. If you could explain this in more detail, you'd actually help me understand what these ANTIFA types are actually trying to say. I have no clue at times.Sydasis

    Some definitions on fascism, Likely you get the picture what fascism really is:

    a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
    (Merriam Webster)

    Then definitions from genuine fascists:

    The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State—a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values—interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people.

    ...everything in the state, nothing against the State, nothing outside the state.
    (Benito Mussolini)

    What in fact is Fascism? A socialism emancipated from democracy. A trade unionism free of the chains of the class struggle had imposed on Italian labour. A methodical and successful will to bring together in a same fascio all the human factors of national production ... A determination to approach, to threat, to resolve the worker question in itself ... and to unite unions in corporations, to coordinate them, to incorporate the proletariat into the hereditary and traditional activities of the historical State of the Fatherland.
    (Charles Maurras)

    And of course then the Marxist intrepretation of fascism:

    The historic function of fascism is to smash the working class, destroy its organizations, and stifle political liberties when the capitalists find themselves unable to govern and dominate with the help of democratic machinery
    (Leon Trotsky)

    * * *

    First thing to understand that there's no coherent ideology with "ANTIFA types" as there isn't surely with ardent Trump supporters (as Trump has no coherent ideology). In my view the ANTIFA a counter reaction and a rallying cry against percieved right-wing extremism (which is more focused on racial and xenophobic issues than classic politics) that has become more open or is followed more in the media today. There's no doubt that Trump's rhetoric starting from accusing "Mexico sending it's worst" and "mexicans being rapists" opened the floodgates on what is acceptable speech in the public domain and influence a lot the mood. But some can feel that there is the danger of a fascist state rising, hence they join something like ANTIFA.

    Basically the ANTIFA, just like before the "Occupy Movement" and other loose organizations before that is a way for the left to create a new youthful movement that a new generation of leftist people can join. If the movement is OK with violence, then people who thinks it's a necessity to fight it out with the cops or the "fascists" will join a new movement. This is because if a movement that perhaps has started as a grass roots movement is able to organize itself into a political movement, the organization of that movement is likely filled with one or another cabal and some generation of activists. Younger people will have problem to relate to this as time goes by, youngsters will be too young to remember what happened when they were still children. And of course, extremist groups usually flop when their supporters grow disillusioned about the possible success of their movements. Hence extremist groups typically recreat/reinvent themselves after sometime

    And note that this is similar with right wing extremism. A whimsically small proportion of racist bigots belong to the Ku Klux clan and likely many view the robes and the cross burnings as strange and basically aren't so keen to organize themselves collectively.
  • ssu
    453
    If a person is taxed 100%, their income is irrelevant, no? it would be no different than having no salary at all. I suppose wealth could be defined as any existing wealth, but if taxed on death, it would only be 70 years or so before that initial wealth was depleted.Sydasis
    Well, if everything is taken from you, then I guess things like food to survive you don't buy, but is given to you. Everybody needs food to survive.

    Secondly, wealth isn't in many occasion something that is depletable. It's only transferable. I myself own a few hectares of land and naturally the government can take it from me or I can sell it, but that land doesn't dissappear. Furthermore, wealth isn't something static (which Marxism gets a bit wrong), but can be created. This is why many leftist are so against capitalism as they think it's a zero some game: if someone gets rich, someone has to have gotten poorer or somehow those who have become rich have stolen the wealth from others.

    What I was saying that the objective of communism is to do away with various classes, hence wealth transfer from rich to poor is only a transitionary event.

    The question of wealth distribution on the other hand is a far older question than the time of Marx or even the utopian socialists like Charles Fourier. The story of the Gracchus brothers Tiberius and Gaius tell that the question of wealth distribution and wealth transfer were a political hot potatoe even in the ancient Republic of Rome. And of course, it is a genuinely important question for any society to solve.

    So nothing new under the sun.
  • Londoner
    54
    I think fascism can only be understood as a reaction to communism. It is not really an ideology. So a basic point in communism is that people are divided by their role in the economy; workers, small businesses, big businesses etc. So, your identity is essentially economic. Fascism seeks to present an alternative to this by saying your identity is essentially racial, or national, or religious.

    That is why it is hard to pin down fascism. It might consist of a deeply conservative religious culture, or it might be modernizing and atheist. The only thing in common is hostility to communism.

    But I think it does have to have that us-and-them element. If you are hostile to communism but avoid creating some substitute for the class-struggle, then you couldn't call that fascism. But all politicians are tempted to play that card, to find an enemy, because it is such an effective message. So there is always that tendency.
  • gurugeorge
    321
    There is another skein: the Dionysian vs. the Apollonian drive.Bitter Crank

    Yeah good call. I mean, I'm fairly Dionysian on a gut level, I've had mystical experiences, taken the full recommended course of drugs in my time, etc., etc. I'm actually a musician and I highly value pursuits that delve into the texture of present experience, and agree with the fundamental idea that the "point" of existence, if it's to be found anywhere, must be found in the present, in presence.

    But again, somehow I've managed to escape the full package deal (that would normally make me subscribe to the full "liberal" program) and come to terms with the societal, time-binding Apollonian element that my Boomer generation has very nearly dismantled.

    I flatter myself that it's the result of my dogged pursuit of truth, but who knows :)
  • gurugeorge
    321
    When I first heard the term alt-right a few years ago, I first thought it was defining those now felt disenfranchised by the left.Sydasis

    The waters were muddied by Hillary when she twitted the Trump Train and all who oppose her as "Alt Right." This was an attempted smear by her, but it was taken as something of a badge of pride by the broad anti-Hillary coalition at the time, mainly because (until she Streisand Effected it) most people hadn't really heard of the Alt Right.

    But there is in fact an Alt Right, which is a fairly coherent movement that developed (again) around the mid-Noughties, out of a confluence of blogs around Moldbuggery, neo-Reaction, paleo-conservatives, Dark Enlightenment, and some remnants of White nationalists/neo-Nazis who had been plugging away generally ignored for decades. (Originally the term was invented by a paleo-conservative in the mid-Noughties, Paul Gottfried.)

    And that's why Hillary was using the term as a smear, because the Alt Right proper (which considers the broader Trump Train/anti-Democrat coalition to be the "Alt Lite"), while it doesn't have any settled ideological praxis (i.e. although it does have some national socialists and neo-Nazis, it also has disaffected conservatives, ex-libertarians, neo-reactionaries, etc.), does have 3 very specific points of agreement/commitments that hang together and are of a piece: 1. Race realism, 2. The Jewish Question, and 3. White identitarianism - and I guess from Hillary's point of view these were the most evil things she could think of, so she tried to smear the whole movement against her with the term. ;)
  • ssu
    453
    1. Race realism, 2. The Jewish Question, and 3. White identitarianismgurugeorge
    Sound extremely delusional bullshit to me. But perhaps one should give credit for wrapping the age old bullshit of racism with new definitions like "race realism".

    All the alt-right had to achieve as to look as it would be important is for one of the most inept (or likely, the most inept) US Presidents to have, for a while, an advisor that promoted those whacky ideas.

    Democrats that don't admit that Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate live in denial. Why the US ended up with so bad candidates as mrs Clinton and tovarich Trump is an interesting question.
  • gurugeorge
    321
    new definitions like "race realism".ssu

    There's always been a difference between racism and racialism (which is more mild-mannered than racism), or race realism (which is even more mild-mannered than racialism). There are different possible attitudes you can take to the fact that race is a reality and that it's mostly genetic; hating other races and/or believing one's own race is superior in everything, isn't a mandatory part of some package deal. (And actually it isn't for most on the Alt Right.)

    All the alt-right had to achieve as to look as it would be important is for one of the most inept (or likely, the most inept) US Presidents to have, for a while, an advisor that promoted those whacky ideas.ssu

    Trump has nothing to do with the Alt Right, or its ideas, nor did Bannon or any of Trump's crew really - they're all "Alt Lite" from the Alt Right point of view - dirty, stinking civic nationalists ;) Trump is virtually an old school Democrat on many issues (he only became literally Hitler the moment he ran against Hillary) but he was better than the alternatives.

    As I said, the confusion around the term "Alt Right" has arisen simply because Hillary decided to smear the whole of the broad anti-Her/pro-Trump coalition with the name of one of its most extremist elements.
  • René Descartes
    554
    I apologize if I use terminology or phrases that are offensive or sounding hateful. I am here seeking your help for greater understanding and clarity. I am not consciously trying to be hateful if that comes off that way.Sydasis

    It's fine. You can use whatever language (except for swearing and racism) you like, provocation can be a good means to try and push forward an idea. Being hateful isn't completely terrible, i don't really mind as long as I can see the point you are trying to make. I just realised my post was also a bit hateful in some ways. Sorry about that. I'll try stay to a more civil tone.

    I can't disagree, as Trump and Brexit and some anti-migrant attitudes have surprised me in the last couple years. I suppose those groups are the "alt-right" that is so hated these days, while the left is perhaps growing more leftist. If this is true, I'd expect a growing political divide between political views and ideologies, which I've interpreted as an increase in socialist attitudes.Sydasis

    It really depends on how we define left and right. It's not a straight line, it's more like a cube i would say. I wouldn't say these "alt-right" are so hated, I think they have grown in popularity as people start taking leadership of them. They used to be disorganized groups but now they are more or less united under their own parties and movements. The left is not so much growing more left as it is becoming more active in response to the growing right wing movements.

    It seems that we share a different metric for where the center is in the spectrum of politics. I don't have an answer to this, and apologize if I upset you.Sydasis

    Well, as i said, I don't think it's a simple left centre and right. Politics has much more angles to it and dimensions. You've got to consider economics, authoritarianism and culturalisme within this structure which is politics.

    In the USA, certain crops are subsided I believe, which controls the means of production.Sydasis

    Subsidies are not the same thing as government control. Actually, subsidies are support from the government to private companies without anything really being given back to the government.

    I don't quite know why the term Fascism gets used frequently these days. I suppose for the same reason I spout anti-communism I suppose.Sydasis

    Yes. I don't really mean Fascist, but you calling left-wing people Communists imeddiatly was the reason I put that up. There are fascists definitely but I'm sure that they don't make up the great majority of right-wing supporters and I'm sure you are probably not a fascist yourself.[

    I most definitely don't agree with Fascism though: I am a strong believer in democracy and am open to civil dialogue. I am a strong supporter of immigration, although I believe a merit based system that also provides for a balanced Canadian *mosaic* keeps the system stable. I am an advocate of the family too though, yet I find myself in constant internal conflict on how best to support the family.Sydasis

    I don't see how those are specifically right wing things. I support democracy. I am open to immigration to a certain extent, I believe in free speech, etc.
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