More on the Left/Right Lines -and why we are where we are

American Thinker on “what the Angry Left is all about.”

and a quote from the other side of the pond:

The task of democratic politics is not to assuage emotional pain; it is to set disinterestedly the rules we live by. It is good politics and right in principle for the Conservatives to emphasise their belief in the State’s distributional role in providing public goods and relieving poverty. But that is not compassion: it is equity (enabling people to exercise autonomous choices) and efficiency (providing services where private markets would be inefficient or non-existent).
-Oliver Kamm: Compassion, conservatism, contradiction

8 thoughts on “More on the Left/Right Lines -and why we are where we are”

  1. Ilona, to be honest American Thinker’s statement here is what rang true to me:
    “It makes sense that Kos and his lefty friends should believe in ruthlessness. It’s been a feature of the anti-capitalist movement ever since Marx and Engels spent their days ruthlessly purging and repurging the nascent soci*alist movement back in the Nineteenth Century.”

    What I was thinking when I read the recent threads about banning public religious expression on DU was exactly this – that it was a Communist way of thinking.

    (I had to use * in the middle of a world to avoid your spam filter)

  2. That word’s in the filter? What is the world coming to? And why’s that on filter when Communist isn’t? *scratching head*

    IIRC Marx, though obviously an atheist, wasn’t in favour of banning public religious expression. You know the quote “opium of the masses” and that’s usually interpreted as “so let’s make it illegal like we do heroin because it’s really bad for you”. In fact, he also describes it as “the heart of a heartless world”. In his way of thinking, religion is an attempt to get something you can’t get any other way in capitalist society – reassurance, brotherhood, solidarity, a feeling of worth. Sort of like people taking drugs to feel a warmth and togetherness they can’t feel in the cold drab place they find themselves in day to day (which can be summed up as “if you’re happy you don’t tend to become a crack addict”. )

    Marx reckoned religion would cease to become necessary, just as the state “withers away” in Marxist thinking, when we are able to manage without it. Nasty kids who dress all in black are fond of saying “Religion is a crutch” which is a dumbed down way of putting it, but ties in all the same. There’d be no point putting out an edict banning crutches in a country where everyone’s ablebodied.

    Obviously, you’re both going to disagree with that.

  3. I’m afraid I have nothing to do with the filter- you can always stick an odd symbol in to try to bypass?!

    See, you study the classical work, reading Marx himself, but much of the discussion tends to center around how its morphed in American culture. I had read once that Marxism is simply a type of Christian heresy- but that is very far from how the Left see themselves here.

    The point of the article is that both sides have fairly strict forms of thinking and values. The Left do not see themselves that way here….

  4. “I’m afraid I have nothing to do with the filter- you can always stick an odd symbol in to try to bypass?!”

    *raising eyebrow* An oddly ideological filter, that. Is there something you’re not telling us about your provider? 😉

    “See, you study the classical work, reading Marx himself, but much of the discussion tends to center around how its morphed in American culture.”

    Well, I attempt to! 😉

    “I had read once that Marxism is simply a type of Christian heresy- but that is very far from how the Left see themselves here.”

    That’s certainly an interesting argument. In some ways I see it, but in other ways, definitely not! Again, big topic, small comment box.

    “The point of the article is that both sides have fairly strict forms of thinking and values. The Left do not see themselves that way here….”

    It’s one of my problems with sections of the American Left, as I see it. Not all – it’s a broad church and has many different types of people and politics within it, and I am certainly no expert on it. I don’t like the emphasis sometimes on identity rather than class, as I perceive it. We should be careful that we’re not cunningly being diverted into a sidetrack over such issues as the naming of rooms, what student newspapers cover or whether it’s better to say “chair” or “chairperson”.

  5. It is strange. I suppose whether from MT or th eweblogs, but I don’t know why. It’s free.

    “big topic, small comment box.” Yes, besides which I am at a disadvantage having never read Marx that I can remember.

    The diversions you name are those to be found in all sectors of power. And perhaps this is why the Left here is not concerned with “class”, it is more about building and maintaining its powerbase. Just another little kingdom in the universe of kingdoms. There is a definite elitest mentality that is contrary to ideas of leveling class. The Shell Game of Social Class, you might term it. but you have to remember that America has strong components of meritocracy. We are not completely without class;)

    But as I wrote to you ( read my email) I am out of touch with today’s Left. What I know I have read in their media…I’ve been politically conservative for many years, now. You are my voice of the left, Vash. And you are UK, so I am not sure of where the Left is headed here, or what I would personally deem its agenda. They seem pretty directionless, actually.

  6. Interesting. I haven’t visited No Oil..etc properly so I will go and take a look.

    “Yes, besides which I am at a disadvantage having never read Marx that I can remember”

    See my email 😉

    ” The Shell Game of Social Class, you might term it. but you have to remember that America has strong components of meritocracy. We are not completely without class;)”

    You are very far from being a classless society!

    “You are my voice of the left, Vash.”

    *worried* You need to…well, I’d say get out more, but I don’t think you have a problem with that! Maybe visit different places 😉

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