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Leftist vs. Liberalism *WARNING: POLITICS!*

Discussion in 'Coffee House' started by Feldon, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Zynt

    Zynt Active Member

    Speaking of John Brown - If you have Showtime then, "Good Lord Bird" is absolutely amazing so far. It's a pet project series of Ethan Hawke based on the novel by the same name.
  2. Miauler

    Miauler New Member

    Just to chuck my tuppence into the ring:
    The politicians you get are not the cause of the woes you get, they're a symptom. Neither "Right" not "Left" have the answer to what the world needs; both have key components which need to be brought to bear in differing balanced, depending on the problem at hand.
    The "Conservative" approach is to go slow, stay with what works, hone, refine and perfect. It has strong rules and rigor.
    The "Progressive" approach is to disrupt, advance, go with what's new and craves change. It has arbitrary rules and flexibility.
    There are a lot more traits than that (thousands), but they're just some highlights and 'big picture' markers.

    If you have too much of the Conservative, you stagnate, which eventually leads to collapse, or at the very least irrelevance.
    If you have too much of the Progressive, you have chaos, which eventually leads to collapse, or at the very least irrelevance.

    The "Right" leaning focus more on the ability of individuals to compete to be able to obtain roles to change the global rules.
    Unchecked, this leads to success of the most aggressive and vicious.
    The "Left" leaning focus more on controlling the global rules to mould the inviduals.
    Unchecked, this leads to success of the most manipulative and scheming.

    I've got loads more comparisons like that, but that'd just bore you all, so I'll leave it at that. My point being that both have their pros and both have their cons.

    What is needed is people to put the adult pants on, and discuss this rationally. However, over the last few decades, I've seen this ability atrophy to an unsustainable level in some countries. There are "Feeders" to this (such as fostering the belief that regardless of factual grounding, your statement is worthy of consideration to the same degree as a well researched and factual view), this, I suspect has been fostered and fanned by both internal factions wishing to make financial and political capital from the zealotry this produces, as well as external principals who wish to disrupt and impair the system to their own benefit.
    The result is you have the most entrenched implementation of "Bread and circuses" that I've seen in my lifetime.

    In discussions, what I tend to find (at scale, individuals may vary) is that the "Right leaning" are frustrated. They see so many things that are political cause celebres based on incorrect assumptions masquerading as solid findings that they do exactly the same thing; cherry pick findings and articles to support what they believe. They are irritated by the politicisation of actual science to the point that it's indistinguishable from pseudoscience unless you're actually a researcher. This is not scientific or rational, and as such just devolves into a shouting match, rather than an informed discussion.
    The left leaning are frustrated. They see many things that they think should be better, so start changing things based on cherry picked information or often plain belief that supports their world view. They see resistance to progress on most of this from a polar conservative faction, which irritates them greatly, so they double down on the political angle. This is not scientific, or rational, and as such often just leasds to a shouting match, rather than an informed discussion.

    Much of this comes from individual's insistence on "being right" as paramount. In cases, it almost seems that the self worth of many is predicated on "being right". "being right" in this context isn't about having the best evidence, the most rational logical progression, the most cross checked and robust take. It's what they can shout, accuse, subvert, deny, ignore or any other of very counterproductive behaviours to achieve a mental frame of "My opponent is an idiot that I can discard what they say without consequence".
    This leads to a large amount of being completely incorrect, and refusing to accept that. And the times you are actually correct, it's based on exactly the same language as used to promote the incorrect cause celebres, and with the expectation that your opponent should take all the time to disprove your assertion for each assertion.
    The burden of proof lies, always, with the proposer. This means a trail of evidence leading back to axioms for which there is no other explaination. Most people do not have that trail of evidence for proposals, yet deliver their beliefs with all the force as if they did (this is usually because they trust a source that has used sophistry to present philosophy or dogma as fact).

    Both sides of the political spectrum are equally as aggressive. The right tends to a more physical and visual representation of this, the left tends to the psychological and covert. The more extreme the polarisation, the worse it gets. The end result is you want neither to have sway over you.

    So all this behaviour happens at scale. And the politicians they choose are the ones that are best able to weather the opposition. So the now highly polarised left will select the person best able to accuse, subvert and manipulate to follow an agenda which includes unfounded and quite extreme paths at times, and the right will select for someone who can ignore accusations, stand static against any attempt to dissuade them from what they believe to be right and be adept at intimidation to achieve change.

    So, changing that. First thing is to educate for critical thinking, and also educating that uncertainty is not a weakness, it's a strength. If you're uncertain you know an answer, you're receptive to information, and also from the critical thinking, have the tools to spot falsehoods better, and to know what evidence and logic are. This leads to better understanding. And in most cases, when you get close to an understanding, it's actually pretty mundane.
    Etiquette is another. I hear so much about free speech and people's rights to be heard, in whatever way they wish to speak, without restraint. But hear precious little about other people's rights to completely discard what they say because of inaccuracies, falsehoods, or because they're plain abusive and get people off side to the point that they can't actually stomach absorbing the information. Etiquette is quite important to a healthy discussion.
    Acceptance of cognitive dissonance. This one's a tough one. It's uncomfortable, but in many situations, there many possible answers, and really, nobody knows. Rather than choosing one and doubling down, entertaining the possibility that any of them, or a mix, could be the answer, and that you just need to keep an open mind while things are looked at with the hope that it'll be resolved on an absolute evidence for which there is no other answer.
    Understanding of subjective vs objective. A huge amount of very vicious spats I see are all based on someone asserting X, and someone asserting Y. When questioned about X and Y and the metrics and evidence, it transpires that they come back to something that can only be measured from a viewpoint, not from an external, measurable metric. This is analogous to a full fledged argument with someone over "Chocolate Ice Cream is the best taste" vs "Rum and Raisin Ice Cream is the best taste" and trying to force your opponent to agree. This is clearly nonsensical, and should not be anywhere near politics let alone legislation.
    Now, when you have a green rubber ball of a 5cm diameter, and one person says "That's a green rubber ball of 5cm diameter" and the other person says "No, that's an orange cube of 3m edge", you can observe, and objectively say to the incorrect person "You're provably wrong". If they carry on disagreeing, then it's clear they are woefully ill equipped to be in the discussion.

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