How to Reform the Modern Left - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Modern liberalism. Civil rights and liberties, State responsibility to the people (welfare).
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#14622372
Ambroise wrote: I think the first leftist that I saw on PoFo making the point that socialists have to think very carefully about immigration was Vera Politica

Damn I miss Vera.

I remember making really dumb arguments against him back when he used ro actually post, I regret the tone of those arguments.
#14625802
Potemkin wrote:I repeat: Keynesianism is not socialism. It is, in fact, a form of state-directed capitalism. I realise that to your average American voter the two things are synonymous, but your average American voter knows nothing about Keynesianism and even less about socialism.
Keynesianism has had an influential impact upon modern day social democracy however https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Democratic_Party_of_Germany#Internal_groupings , http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/2014/09/what-was-keynes-political-philosophy.html?m=1
. So in the sense of bourgeois socialism , Keynes was a socialist .
#14625818
So in the sense of bourgeois socialism , Keynes was a socialist .

Keynes was a member of the haute-bourgeoisie, and in his private life he was a crashing snob. He was quite open and explicit about his desire to preserve the existing class relations in British society, and often spoke of his hatred and contempt of socialism.
John Maynard Keynes wrote:How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values.
#14625950
I certainly think it's time to move on from Marx. There is absolutely no doubt around the incomparable contribution that Marx made to the epistemological arena, but he and Engles were writing at a time when the rapid rise of industrialisation was seeking to turn human beings into unthinking cogs in the capitalist factory machine. We have moved on, but hardcore leftists have elevated Marx into a pseudo-deity, whose veracity and omniscience may not be questioned. This is not helpful.

Mind you, I'm not sure Keynes deserves a place in post-Marxian socialism.
#14625996
I think this deification that Cart speaks of is an entirely overblown phenomenon. Sure you have you new converts who walk around demanding people listen while they quote the Communist Manifesto, and jaw on about how the Soviet Union totally wasn't even anything kinda like what they want, and literally replace Jesus with Marx as a kind of conduit to enlightenment. But these are either very dumb people, or they are just phoneys, or they are just noobs who haven't really understood what they read yet.

I have never met a well read Marxist (without a severe social/emotional impairment) who acts like Marx is divine, or inerrant.

EDIT:
How would we "move on"?
#14644576
(1) end the absurd attachment that many people on the extreme left still have to Marxism and Communism. These were, and are, totalitarian ideologies, and any attachment to them is just a disgrace and embarrassment.


I totally agree with this point, but the leftist revolutions of the 20th century cast a very long shadow. People tend to look to the past for a source of legitimacy. You'd be hard pressed to detach any political movement from that.

(2)the mainstream left needs to abandon neoliberalism. Return to strong Keynesian and social democratic economic policies. Post Keynesian economics is the foundation of left-wing economic thought – not Marxism, not neoliberalism, and not watered-down neoclassical Keynesianism.


Haven't read that much into Keynesian economics, but sure why not.

(3) the academic left needs to abandon Poststructuralism and Postmodernism, and all the ridiculous related ideas such as truth relativism, moral relativism and even cultural relativism.


My brief dabbling in postmodern thought makes me wary of doing away with it. I believe you can have relative truths and still have a functioning movement and/or state. Beliving in hardline absolute truth seems to lead to an irreproachable party that operates without any sort of boundaries.

(4) end the climate of political correctness and even hostility to free speech that some left-wing people have. Free speech is sacred in a free society, and you will achieve nothing by demanding that governments silence people whose opinions you don’t like – except to dismantle more of our freedoms and set yourself up for having your own free speech taken away, especially if right-wing governments start imposing their own restrictions on free speech. Hate speech laws, while they are well intentioned, simply go down a dangerous route. There is a real part of the left that is better called the regressive left. It is often intolerant of free speech, is strongly connected with Postmodernism, and obsesses over divisive identity politics.p


Totally agree with this. I would like to see how hate speech laws are connected to Postmodernism, not that I agree with them.

(5) following on from (4), end the obsessing over extreme identity politics, as it tends to divide people and draw attention from the far more serious issues of economic management and economic justice.


I agree with this to a point, but I don't mind discussing identity politics. It's not good to look at those in need of economic justice as the monolithic "masses" of Soviet and Chinese rhetoric.

(6) the mainstream left needs to radically rethink foreign policy and even bring Western war criminals to justice. We have just been through the most bizarre periods where even some mainstream left-wing parties (e.g., Britain’s New Labour) have supported the most outrageously immoral and disastrous wars. Even more disgusting, they never been held to account for it. Just look recently at Tony Blair’s “apology” for the Iraq war. Apology, my eye. Any decent mainstream left in Britain would be demanding that Blair – and his New Labour charlatans who planned the war – face charges for war criminality.


I want basically every president and cabinet member, from the Nixon administration till today, who are still alive brought up on war crime charges. Foreign policy is one of the only times that I'd reach across the aisle to stand with libertarians. The less forceful intervention we do, the better.

(7) the left should strongly defend modern science and secularism, and end the truly bizarre hostility to rationality and science that has emerged from Postmodernism. Related to this, the left should seriously rethink the role of religion in society. Secularism does not necessarily mean hostility to religion, but removing the harmful role of religion from politics, law and society. E.g., there should only be one system of law in a Western secular society, not parallel legal systems for different communities.


Part of that hostility (although I've never seen true hostility towards it) against rationality and science, is because an individual can never be completely rational, nor can science be detached from rhetoric in the way it is presented. That does not mean science should be discredited, and it does not mean behaving as rationally as possible is a good thing. What it does mean is that human shortcomings, and the rhetoric in which information is presented, should be discredited either. I don't agree with parallel legal systems, if a nation is to subscribe to Western secularism. I will always support the religious rights of individuals and communities, provided what they do does not harm society.

(8) the mainstream European left needs to vigorously oppose the Eurozone and European Union, and stand up for national democracy and economic sovereignty. The EU is one of the most outrageously regressive forces in the world today, and it probably should be dismantled.


No comment.

(9) finally, the most painful and controversial issue for most left-wing people: the left needs to rethink whether mass immigration is a good thing, especially in Europe, on economic and social grounds. The public hostility to mass immigration in Europe is rising. If it really gets to the point where a solid majority wants an end to mass immigration and open-doors borders throughout the EU in each nation, shouldn’t a democratically-elected government – even a left-wing one – respect what most people want?


The problem with immigration, at least in the United States, is in the way it is conducted, not in the volume of immigrants. The EU is doing the right thing by helping Syrian refugees. They have an obligation to help the refugees, and to protect their own national interests. To that end, I feel that they should monitor and prevent any potential terrorist actives.

I don't agree with the last point in 9. If the government is a republic, then the people's whims are limited by a constitution. If the people wanted to exterminate or deport an entire race of people, should the government respect that wish? No. If the people are against mass immigration because of security or economic concerns, then those specific concerns should be addressed.
#14644608
Contrapunctus wrote:I don't agree with the last point in 9. If the government is a republic, then the people's whims are limited by a constitution.

So you are against democracy in favor of what? A holy text written two centuries ago by your prophets and defended by a Supreme Court conducting neutral interpretations of the law under divine inspiration? Or the benevolent ruling of pseudo-aristocrats you adopted ideas from after they have been presented to you throughout all your life by your teachers and your medias? I would like to see yourself try to formulate sound arguments against democracy.

Also I would like you to point me the part of your constitution that says that all immigrants must be welcomed. Or maybe it never had anything with your constitution and your argument was simply "fuck democracy anyway, we will impose whatever we want to those retards"?

You advocated against the majority's tyranny. Fine, but then you hope to counter it with the tyranny or a few old geezers who proved their partiality countless times?


The highest authority must be the people, period. It's fine to exceptionally refuse to abide or defer it (if the stakes are too unequal for a too large side, or if you want to wait a few years to see if the opinion fluctuates), but aside of those exceptions refusing to submit is tyranny.
Last edited by Harmattan on 21 Jan 2016 21:50, edited 1 time in total.
#14644612
Harmattan wrote:So you are against democracy in favor of what? A holy text written two centuries ago by your prophets and defended by a Supreme Court conducting neutral interpretations of the law under divine inspiration?


I'm in favor of democracy, but not mob rule, especially if everybody wants to do something batshit crazy. Constitutions are not irreproachable, and they are subject to change. The Supreme Court certainly isn't infallible either. I'm fine with all of that.

Or the benevolent ruling of pseudo-aristocrats you adopted ideas from after they have been presented to you throughout all your life by your teachers and your medias? I would like to see yourself try to formulate sound arguments against democracy.


Bless my poor little sheep heart, you shattered all my perceptions of reality.

Also I would like you to point me the part of your constitution that says that all immigrants must be welcomed. Or maybe it never had anything with your constitution and your argument was simply "fuck democracy anyway, we will impose whatever we want to those retards."


It's not in my constitution, and I'm not the US Constitution as an example.

My point is, that democracy is good, but pure unadulterated mob rule will step on the rights of individuals. All rights have stipulations, and all governments require that a certain amount of liberty is given up for them to function. Personally, I feel that the less social and political liberty given up is better.
#14644615
Contrapunctus wrote:My point is, that democracy is good, but pure unadulterated mob rule will step on the rights of individuals.

I edited my message to address the concerns related to the majority's tyranny while you were answering, I invite you to read my comment.

Also my point is not that we should demise the current system, but that you are using excuses to legitimate what is, in this case, nothing more than a coup d'état.
#14644617
You advocated against the majority's tyranny. Fine, but then you hope to counter it with the tyranny or a few old geezers who proved their partiality countless times?


An elite, powerful, political aristocracy are two things that is rampant in America, and in the rest of the western world I'd wager. I find it just as dangerous as mob rule. The only way you can counter it is by having a constituent population who is educated and empowered. An alternative solution would be political revolution, which is sometimes a necessary ordeal. However, revolution as a course of action should never be taken lightly.
#14644624
I accept all the criticisms made against democracy. I have been persuaded, democracy is crap. I am willing to assume absolute power over the world. I trust all those who criticise, carp and whinge against democracy will join together to overthrow democracy and put me in charge.
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