2016 US Presidential Elections

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Eagle Minded
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MrMessiah wrote:
Guido wrote:Nothing insidious about the alt-right. The alt-right is actually the only portion of the population that hasn't lost their sanity. Take a look at what has been going down in Sweden. With the consent of "feminists" and "progressives", one of the most developed nations in the world has turned into the rape capital of Europe in record speed and is poised to become Europe's first third-world country soon. I hope you are satisfied with the result because its downfall cannot be reversed. The left's smearing of the right, rife with Godwins, attempts at censorship and insults to their intelligence and morals, doesn't work anymore, as it has become evident that progressives' logic just doesn't compute and is in fact detrimental to everybody's wellbeing in the long run.


Just to not let this far right meme go unchallenged, no, Sweden is not the rape capital of Europe. In the mid 2000's it changed the way it recorded rape statistics which led to a bump in the numbers over the following years for its own historic trends and differences between it and other European countries make its stats look high in comparison there too. Naturally it's been siezed upon by the far right and blamed on immigration and then parroted across the Internet by people who should know better.

Edit: and while I'm at it, anyone putting feminists in scare-quotes as if the fight for equality AND equity for women is something to be derided can fucking do one.


yeah. i'm so sick of this anti-sjw crap. in many of the ways anti-sjws criticize sjws, they embody those very criticisms. the fight for equality is so much more important than this petty argument about free speech

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Sherbet Head
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Opinions can only be dangerous if they're suppressed. People should listen to the alt-right instead of dismissing it, because the latter is the best way of strengthening a political movement. Political thought is turning into a collection of different echo chambers that are driving each other more and more into extremism and that kind of situation makes everything dangerous.

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drillkicker wrote:Opinions can only be dangerous if they're suppressed. People should listen to the alt-right instead of dismissing it, because the latter is the best way of strengthening a political movement. Political thought is turning into a collection of different echo chambers that are driving each other more and more into extremism and that kind of situation makes everything dangerous.

That might be one of the most sane things you've ever posted here. It works both ways. The far right has to try to understand the left too. The political echo chamber, particularly on social media, is terribly divisive and is spilling over into real life interactions too. Both sides feel like they're arguing with an opposition that refuses to listen to anything the other has to say. Many alt-right people and Brexiters have opinions that I find abhorent but I still tried to understand why they thought that way. Some topics are still beyond discussion - outright racism, sexism, homophobia - but others are less entrenched, less polarised.

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Happy Cycler
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drillkicker wrote:Opinions can only be dangerous if they're suppressed. People should listen to the alt-right instead of dismissing it, because the latter is the best way of strengthening a political movement. Political thought is turning into a collection of different echo chambers that are driving each other more and more into extremism and that kind of situation makes everything dangerous.


Just to be absolutely clear, my original post was not a dismissal, far from it. Not quite sure I totally agree with the bolded part, true in some cases but certainly not always the case. However, I do agree that there is a massive danger with echo chamber politics. The whole 'post-truth' world we now live in scares the shit out of me, and this election has pushed that right to the forefront where people have lapped it up indiscriminately. I'm not even necessarily talking about the usual suspects either, i.e. Breitbart or Fox, but even supposedly balanced outlets like the BBC have been at it.
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I'm quite happy for people to have radically different ideas and opinions from me - it's inevitable - as long as they (and I) have based their opinions on some research and factual knowledge and are willing to talk with an open mind. In other words, what used to be a common or garden debate or discussion.
It seems most discussion now is the complete opposite of that - people on all sides absolutely spitting-with-rage certain of their rightness, not just factually, but morally, based, often, on nothing more than an internet meme or the media-curated view of the left or right tribe.
Confidence has collapsed both in politicians and in any sense that any media source is presenting an reasonably unbiased view. Millions of people getting most of their news from the cesspool of social media? It's fucking toxic, worse probably than anyone thought.
We need an educated, informed population engaged with how the world works and able to talk to each other like adults - unfortunately we're heading in the opposite direction with both feet on the accelerator.

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jcnporter wrote:I'm quite happy for people to have radically different ideas and opinions from me - it's inevitable - as long as they (and I) have based their opinions on some research and factual knowledge and are willing to talk with an open mind. In other words, what used to be a common or garden debate or discussion.
It seems most discussion now is the complete opposite of that - people on all sides absolutely spitting-with-rage certain of their rightness, not just factually, but morally, based, often, on nothing more than an internet meme or the media-curated view of the left or right tribe.
Confidence has collapsed both in politicians and in any sense that any media source is presenting an reasonably unbiased view. Millions of people getting most of their news from the cesspool of social media? It's fucking toxic, worse probably than anyone thought.
We need an educated, informed population engaged with how the world works and able to talk to each other like adults - unfortunately we're heading in the opposite direction with both feet on the accelerator.


I couldn't agree more, Porter. Maybe it is a result of the millennials being able to vote for the first time over in the states but this has been a vicious election. Violence on both sides and people delusional with fear and hatred.

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Amendment: My definition of 'millennials' is very different to most. I tend to use it to refer to people born in the five years approaching and the five years after 2000.

And yes, trump supporters have been viciously attacked for no reason on the streets as well as those opposing him.

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Eagle Minded
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Still thinking about this a bit; people don't really care about political statements in the US, but more about charisma.
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Cornel delivering some hard truths.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... presidency
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Eagle Minded
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drillkicker wrote:Opinions can only be dangerous if they're suppressed. People should listen to the alt-right instead of dismissing it, because the latter is the best way of strengthening a political movement. Political thought is turning into a collection of different echo chambers that are driving each other more and more into extremism and that kind of situation makes everything dangerous.

I completely agree with the echo chambers analogy. Listening to each other is something we have to do more.

However, I don't think many have chosen to dismiss the alt-right in the same way as the alt-right seems to dismiss people of other political stances. When I am debating with someone, I listen to his or her opinion, and highlight the misinformation in their arguments (which there always seems to be plenty of in alt-right arguments), and then back up my opinions with evidence. However, typically, instead of giving me a logical rebuttal, alt-righters almost always just ignore what I've said and dismiss me with some ad hominem attack. I only choose to dismiss the alt-right now that I think I have a clear picture of the what it is as a political stance: a stance without a leg to stand on.

Also the alt-right had exploded in size during the last year or so, which tells me a lot of people are listening to them, just not critically.

It is surprising to me how quickly the movement gained traction, but I think people really wanted change, and when the liberal governments didn't provide it, they turned away from them in a big way. It's comforting to think the opposite may have happened had Bush Jr. become president after Obama—but I don't think so. There is a strong undercurrent of prejudice in the alt-right, which leads me to believe the main reason it exploded is that bigoted people were tired of hiding who they really were in the face of the ever-growing liberal demographic and something (I don't know exactly what—possibly the liberal media gradually becoming just as blatantly partisan as the conservative media) made them think their values were threatened now more than ever before. Fear is definitely a driving force for the movement, that's why there's so much vehemence in the face of the hard evidence that undermines their position. Another thing that suggests fear is the illogicality and desperation in their arguments. There are so many claims of liberal conspiracy and propaganda from them, and yet they hypocritically ignore their own, rather conspicuous conspiring and propagandizing. If those aren't great examples of the argumentation tactics of people in great denial and desperation, I don't know what are. And we've all seen this before, of course—religion being the biggest example. People that are motivated by fear (in the case of religion, the fear of death) to believe something that has no base in reality or logic, must, when it is challenged, defend their belief in ways that avoid foregrounding the need for evidence or by fabricating evidence. The effectiveness of these alternative argumentation tactics rests in one's ability to divert attention from the whys—from the evidence (or lack thereof) that backs the beliefs. One of the main alternative argumentation tactics is one that Trump uses a lot: the I believe (/ you should believe) blank because others believe it tactic. Continually passing off the burden of proof to the next person serves two purposes: indefinitely delaying the need to prove something you know you cannot, and placing an emphasis on subjective credibility rather than objective truth. Religion used this tactic to great effect when it was on the defensive because they had amassed a large number of believers very early on by referencing selected history and myth during an age when great reverence was given to such things, guilt-tripping, promising eternal reward, and suggesting that not only can someone believe something without proof, but that doing so was somehow more pure than insisting on having proof. Now, alt-righters can't use those methods to as great an effect, so, mostly, they either fabricate proof (which works well is this post-truth world as people generally don't bother to fact check or don't care about facts, period) or merely attack and/or dismiss their political opponents, avoiding altogether the matter of defending their own views with evidence.

The patriarchy is in its death throes, and it's not going to go quietly. The only thing we can do is wait it out, as there is precious little intelligent debate to be had with them.

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I won't be debating this any further so as to not escalate it.

I want to say though that I've spent hundreds of hours researching my views by reading books and websites, and this isn't something I picked up from the MSM since my exposure to it is very very limited.

IF you are really open to hearing contrasting views, you may take a look at https://occidentinvicta.com/ . It's very a eloquent and rational blog.

But I'm not interested in defending its standpoints here so this will be my last post in this thread.
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Guido wrote:I won't be debating this any further so as to not escalate it.

I want to say though that I've spent hundreds of hours researching my views by reading books and websites, and this isn't something I picked up from the MSM since my exposure to it is very very limited.

IF you are really open to hearing contrasting views, you may take a look at https://occidentinvicta.com/ . It's very a eloquent and rational blog.

But I'm not interested in defending its standpoints here so this will be my last post in this thread.


What's important surely is the range of websites and books you've read. I have on my bookshelf stuff by Noam Chomsky and John Pilger, Friedrich Von Hayek and David Friedman, Karl Marx, William Morris, Adam Smith, John Ruskin. I've read books about atheism and creationism. I've read radical environmentalists, climate change deniers and everything in between. I've read feminist blogs, manosphere blogs. I regularly read on the web the Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Morning Star, Breitbart, Spiked and others. I don't think any of that is particularly unusual, or a big deal.
The blog you've posted has plenty of stuff on economics and politics (if not race and religion) that many on the left would agree with - is that agreement something you recognise? How many left-leaning blogs do you read?
However the problem with that blog, as with many on the left, is the polarisation, the bias. They see no common ground between themselves and who they seem to despise. Rather than just analyse, there's 'leftists' say this/'liberals' say that. It seems to be defined by what it's against, despite its stated aims and self-proclaimed rationality. It's the sort of stuff that seems like a breath of fresh air if you already see the world a certain way, but it's really a fixed ideology in search of evidence. That's fine as long as the bias and lack of balance is recognised and tempered.
What I've found fascinating over the years is actually the common ground between socialists, conservatives, libertarians, liberals, anarchists (using the non-politicised meaning of those terms). One of the main problems I see these days is the denial of that common ground and the entrenching of views.
It's regression, an anti-intellectual, childish approach to things. It goes hand in hand with the yearning for a 'strong leader'. How does an ideology of either individualism or collectivism fit with the cult of the 'strong leader'? How does patriotism or Christianity fit with individualism but not collectivism? Figure that out.
It seems sensible and adult to read plenty and widely, take everything with a pinch of salt and take what you can from it all, measure it alongside your experience and the experience of others. Why are we heading in the opposite direction?

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Also, ironically, one of the things that strikes me about the blog you've linked to is the lack of cultural confidence - it's the need to forefront and emphasise their pride in western culture - there's something lacking in self-esteem about it that leads to a lashing out against perceived 'threats'.
One of the defining traits of many self-proclaimed nationalists, of course, is that their pride is only in the aspects of culture that correspond with their world view.
In the UK, for example, the right-wing version of political correctness and virtue signalling allows unconditional pride in war and the war generation and yet the national achievements of that generation, such as the NHS and social housing, are fair game for attack and denigration.

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jcnporter wrote:However the problem with that blog, as with many on the left, is the polarisation, the bias. They see no common ground between themselves and who they seem to despise. Rather than just analyse, there's 'leftists' say this/'liberals' say that. It seems to be defined by what it's against, despite its stated aims and self-proclaimed rationality.
It's the sort of stuff that seems like a breath of fresh air if you already see the world a certain way, but it's really a fixed ideology in search of evidence. That's fine as long as the bias and lack of balance is recognised and tempered.

"Fine"? I'd say it's far from fine.
jcnporter wrote:What I've found fascinating over the years is actually the common ground between socialists, conservatives, libertarians, liberals, anarchists (using the non-politicised meaning of those terms). One of the main problems I see these days is the denial of that common ground and the entrenching of views.

And it goes far beyond that. Confirmation bias, dogmatism, and misinformation abounds. Bigotry and hatred go unchecked.
jcnporter wrote:It's regression, an anti-intellectual, childish approach to things. It goes hand in hand with the yearning for a 'strong leader'. How does an ideology of either individualism or collectivism fit with the cult of the 'strong leader'? How does patriotism or Christianity fit with individualism but not collectivism? Figure that out.
It seems sensible and adult to read plenty and widely, take everything with a pinch of salt and take what you can from it all, measure it alongside your experience and the experience of others. Why are we heading in the opposite direction?

I've been trying to figure that out, too. I have theories, but none of them hold much water.

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drillkicker wrote:I find it funny how upset people are about it. People wouldn't shut the fuck up about how much they don't like Trump, so this election was extremely enjoyable for me to watch. Sweet justice.

This sentiment is so, so common. It's eerie how many schadenfreudic Trump supporters/alt-righters there are. They absolutely revel in others' pain.

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jcnporter wrote:Actually I regret using the terms left and right in my posts - the terms are too loaded and polarising. In real life people's views don't fit into simple boxes. Unfortunately most internet debate ends up at this lowest common denominator, with people entrenching themselves in simplistic positions, using information from unverified sources that appeal to their egos, allowing themselves to believe that they are more logical or smarter than another group.

You're much more optimistic than me. I used to think people's political identities were formed by synthesizing elements from all sorts of political perspectives. I always wondered why people would permanently align themselves with a particular party/stance when it must mean feeling awkward (at the very least) about all of their opinions that didn't fit under the party/stance umbrella. I've come to realize now that people actually end up deluding themselves into believing everything (or almost everything) their party/stance believes. In real life, people do fit into boxes, but it's only because they've, rather unnaturally, crammed themselves in like Bonsai Kittens. I think people do this, because they naturally have an urge to fit in to a community. They want to feel a sense of togetherness and mutual support and rally against a common evil. This certainly makes evolutionary sense when you look at how early human tribes functioned.

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Behind the hysterical opinion pieces, the government spin and the bullshit around Trump and Brexit, a familiar, predictable and depressing story is unfolding.
Thank fuck there are still some decent journalists around. Essential reading.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/02/corporate-dark-money-power-atlantic-lobbyists-brexit

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people hate each other. they are just trying to mask it with political, national, religious or any other ideas. it's in our nature.

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There's been a bit of a discussion of the left's part in the rise of Trump. This analysis, by a left-winger, seems pretty accurate to me -

http://www.zwilo.com/who-predicted-the-rise-of-the-populists-populism-richard-rorty/

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arvy wrote:people hate each other. they are just trying to mask it with political, national, religious or any other ideas. it's in our nature.


Not really. People who come face to face with each other every day get along, in general, no matter what their background, religion, sexuality etc.
It's when people get behind a screen, or the wheel of a car, or are separated in some way, or feel separated due to media propaganda, they get all brave and take their own frustrations out on 'the other'.

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