Hong Wu wrote:It used to be that the left largely mainstreamed its harmless extremists while the right had to ostracize its' extremists.
Lately we are seeing a mainstreaming of some of the right's extremists and social apogee being increasingly applied to the left's extremists.
Is this because the left's extremists have become a bigger danger to society than the right's?
Full on communists on PoFo refuse to own things that mainstream SJWs in governments do. How long before those people are ostracized and will that have the left on the defensive, similar to how conservatism has been for awhile until recently?
Short answer: This isn't happening as you think.
Long answer: below.
I'm not entirely convinced this is happening in the exact manner you mention. I think the more extreme right-wing elements were able to grasp unexpected power by riding the Trump train into the station; whereas the more extreme left were tolerated because they were easily dismissed by establishment neo-liberals, but are now a concern because they have become more public and are an actual threat to the Neo-Liberal power-holders.
Lets look at the historical context.
2015-2016 was a major worldview shift in the west.
Prior to this point this was the conflict/trend: It was a battle between two groups, the Neo-Conservatives (in Flux) and The Neo-Liberals (in Flux).
The Neo-Conservative Right generated out of the Reagan-era was a big-government, pro-Christian (moral majority), pro-intervention party that was in flux and becoming increasingly Libertarian especially between 2000-2010 as they (1) realized they were losing the culture war, (2) realized that debt wasn't conservative, and (3) realized wars were unpopular. In this move, libertarianism was seen as the best alternative to the dominating left. the new conservatism, the "extermism" in 2012, were the Ron Pauls and Tea-Parties of the World, it was not the New-Right or Alt-Right.
Meanwhile, The Neo-Liberal Left in the same time-frame as above, had more or less "abandoned" communism post-soviet collapse but were becoming increasingly Frankfurt deconstructionist in their social outlook as they realized they were winning the culture war and the the dialectic of conflict (oppressor v. victim) was a winner on cultural issues.
This shift was easily justifiable in their own minds as it perpetuated many of the Marxist ideals of the old party hacks while winning new generations. Further, the avant garde
morality of these upper-class white folks (habitual drug-use, "open-marriages," and orgies after cocktail parties) became increasingly "Acceptable" in society with this moral shift generated via their support of the oppressor v. victim narrative. The pending ostracization they would have otherwise faced was increasingly becoming a thing of the past. the 1990s is history about a bunch of former woodstock hippy WASPs that got rich in the 80s, gecko-style, wanting to have their straight-up sodomite/uppper-pompey lifestyles become accepted among the masses of teleevangelist-watching-rednecks while still attempting to feel that they hadn't betrayed their "Beatles-worldview" of peace, equality, and soft-marxism.
However, what these rich wall-street white liberals did not realize in the attempt to feed radical post-colonial revolutionaries, race-war agitators, and gender-blender post-modern theorists, was that such a cumulative build-up would turn against them. The Clintons of the world only ever supported these groups to satisfy there own sense of guilt for becoming "The man" instead of recycling their own urine in a commune somewhere. This would come to a head in the same election that catapulted the almost nominal minority of nationalists in the Right to the center-stage.
Meanwhile, in the rustbelt......
Neo-Liberals were concerned in promoting social justice (hypocritically I might add given the above), and the Neo-Conservatives had given up on American exceptionalism and Christianity for what they felt was a winning shift towards libertarianism and constitutionalism.
None of this was appealing to this electorate. The right did make advances in these areas, but only because these folks, who were already being marginalized for their social values, preferred to be tolerated (as libertarians offered) rather than support the blatant wickedness of the Left's social agenda. The land of unions was jobless and becoming increasing marginalized on social matters with a sense that their nation was lost and their culture under siege without the power or money to do anything about it.
Then came Trump and with him came the traditionalist and alt.right alternatives of the blogosphere.
Many of these nationalist types (arguably most) were disenchanted former-libertarians. I myself, voted for Ron Paul in the Republican primary in 2012. The shift towards fascism, nationalism, etc among these libertarians came when they realized that libertarianism was not sufficient to solve the problem of cultural displacement. Indeed, these libertarians realized that the Constitution and the NAP did not have a consistent answer on a issue with serious implications (immigration), nor could it guarantee autarky in economics, fertility, or morality. This intellectual shift coincided with the the frustration towards all parties by the white working class, and the two groups (young millennial former libertarian bloggers and middle-aged white working class folks) ended up coinciding behind the Trump campaign which merely represented this zeitgeist.
Thus, to answer your post:
1. The Republicans (Conservative side)
The conservative side is pretty divided in all sorts of directions. Just four years ago guys like Rand Paul would have been considered super-heroes, not cucks. indeed, no one would have known what the fuck a cuck was in 2014 or only in very isolated places of the internet.
The right's "extreme wing" has changed so much, ideologically, that it does not have a cognizant sense of what they need to censor. There is no extremist element in the Right of any real significance. Before (2010-2013), libertarian-types were the target, but since many of these guys are currently never-trumpers, now they are thrown a bone by the media.
The Far-Right groups took everyone by surprise but did not represent any significant demographic and were not political (there are no alt.right senators for example) and were isolated to the Richard Spencers of the world and in 2015, this movement included the Milos and the Gavins of the world. The popularity of these guys was the central target by everyone and were more-or-less discredited or marginalized long before they ended up fighting with each other (as they continue to do today). The alt. right is looking more like a flash-in-the-pan than a long term movement even if it contributed to changing the topic of conversation in American politics (which is a legit accomplishment); whereas, the New Right (basically a nativist variey of paleo-conservatism) is looking to be a serious element in the future along with more lasiezz-faire libertarians and establishment centrists of the old neo-con variety (which will never go away completely as long as America has a huge international presence).
With the string of defeats for, and discrediting of, Steve Bannon, it seems the right is stabilizing back to its normal mode of Neo-Cons v. Libertarian types, while the growing New Right (which seems to have emerged the winner of the war against the alt. right) will likely be politically impotent for some years to come as it is just too young.
At this point, Republicans are supporting Trump because they feel his demographic is important and powerful, but are hoping that once he passes, everything will go back to normal. They want to isolate his work to his time in office and have even seemed to have convinced him that this is the way it should be. We'll see what happens, I would not be surprised that if Trump gets the major points of his campaign done in the first term that he will not run for reelection in 2020 and the Republican party will go back to its pre-2015 normal.
In Sum: There is no extreme faction in the Right that has any political power or voice anymore, Trump is the last man standing in a movement that could not keep up its momentum or unity in 2017. The shitty republican structures of 2013 will return with vengeance.
2. The Democrats (Liberal side)
The left is splitting at the seams into a more discernible dichotomy. Whereas the right has many splinters and factions, the left has two primary factions remaining and the remnants of a third (the pro-union old coal-miner types, of which only a handful remain).
Like what was said above, the rich white liberals in the Democrat party who sit overseeing their wallstreet executive boards have wanted legitimacy for their swinger sex-lives in the eyes of their neo-con neighbors and to placate their guilt for becoming "the man," and have done so by supporting radical ideologues that perpetuate conflict in the most extreme ways between every sub-category of human existence. This was the chained pit-bull they created; however, that dog was successfully teased into madness by that pesky kid outside the fence (the new right/alt. right trolls + Trump's election) and now the dog cannot be calmed down and has even bit its own master.
Whereas the right today is a story about isolating the Trump phenomena to the Trump presidency so that they can get back to business-as-usual and dismissing those naive young radicals on youtube who support groups like Europa Identitaria,.....The Left by contrast is a story about the white liberals who's politics were entirely self-serving creating a Cujo-esque monster that it has now lost control of and which has become a legit threat to everything and everyone in and out of the party.
3. Looking forward....
The future is grim. The Alt. Right is dead, Neo-Reactionaries (such as myself) are armchair intellectuals who will have no real influence in their lifetimes, the New Right is too young to have any real influence and has no political voice, the neo-cons and tea-party are in an uneasy alliance to isolate the trump presidency to an anamoly-event so they can return to their own in-fighting, and the left is in a real civil war between ex-hippy white liberals who only want to satisfy their own sense of guilt for becoming rich and powerful and the legit-believers in radical marxism and identity politics who want to seriously destroy every norm of western civilization at any cost. This is the current zeitgeist. Meanwhile, everyone is falling over themselves to cater to the white working class that they had intentionally ignored for 40 years that showed up as tour de force
in 2016 with no one except those who have no political power having any idea of how to address their plights.
The communists here on PoFo are interesting to me because they have entirely segregated themselves from this Zeitgeist but still, in condescending tones, act as if they are the ones really pulling the strings. They don't like Social Justice Warriors and act as if the right has just "made them up," and they don't like the rich white neo-libs that they often go to faculty meetings and cocktail parties with because they have yet to "give their life to communism as they have." It almost like a fundamentalist preacher being frustrated with his republican senator for not being "adamant enough" about his faith. Meanwhile, these self-avowed marxists come here to PoFo to post on TLTE about the quinoa and vegan friendly sausages that they are taking to their university dinner parties and still insist they are the true representatives of the proletariat.
Then, while trying to ostracize and doxx far-right voices on PoFo they try to claim that it is the right and not the left that has problems with their "feelings." Contrary to the perception of, basically, the entire American public.
Its all a sham. Forums are becoming the puss-filled pimples of the internet where bitter 40 + year old communist profs and hobos gather to make themselves feel relevant where they can snidely criticize the less cynical, but no less irrelevant, alt.right trolls that have spilled over from 4chan who are themselves doing nothing more than mimicking the tactics the left had employed in the 90s in its war against the stuffy speech-censoring religious right (through mockery). Indeed, it was the left that watched southpark in 1999 as it attacked religiosity and decency, but now right-wingers watch it with glee as makes fun of political correctness and taboo topics.
The white working class will be placated by economic benefits and return to their old a-political ways. the Trump era will end, Republicans will go back to normal, and the radical left will eventually take over the Democratic party and push America, culturally, towards looking like Scandinavia with only the legal system preventing the transition entirely (we'll be like Sweden only with better gun rights and conservative justices that prevent the flood-waters of censorship from drowning us all).
The New Right will grow and mature into a tangible political element in the Republican party in next 20 years (which will be 20 years too late) and all in opposition to this transition towards social democracy. American will be self-marginalized, China will be the #1 power in the world, and everything will get worse with immigration and demographic issues until the west collapses into poverty and war followed by the internal rise of legit far-right force that will take over and maintain hegemony for 200 years, known as the Imperium. You and I may live to see this, if we aren't executed for hate speech at age 80.