Ideology

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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:31 pm

beardmcdoug wrote:
Zarniwoop wrote:so the question is what form of government should we use if the unemployment rate is 50%....am I reading that correctly?


yeah, basically

The hurdle is separating economic competition from economic necessity. We all need meaningful work or life becomes pretty dire, but not all work that must be done is work that yields a short term economic benefit.

Homemaker is probably one of the most critical functions in a society, but its only product is a well raised child. Every so often journalists like to calculate what a housewife would make performing similar tasks in the economy. This is done to give housewives a little shot in the arm and feel appreciated for once, but it also quantifies how important having parents around is important to any society. I don't want to derail by going any further than that, but this is one example of how not every job that needs done is a job that is profitable to do, and every home needs to bring home the bacon.

Look to wealth. Our society covets wealth a great deal and ask any American what they will do if they win the lottery, the answer tends to be pretty standard. Quit the job, pay off debt, get nicer ****, travel a bit, make sure the family is set, and see where we go from there.

Based on this, I disagree with Zarni that humans are hard wired to compete with each other. Competition is indeed a part of our collective psyche, but again, the first thing most people will do with near limitless resources is remove themselves from competition and the struggle that goes with it. What humans really crave is autonomy. The freedom to do as they wish within their own set of boundaries, not boundaries set for them by government or economics.

Well, we can't make everyone a billionaire and we can't all go fishing, so I think the next logical step is to make participation in the market completely voluntary. We already grant exemption for children, the physically and mentally disabled, and the elderly. Automation making 50% of the workforce unnecessary should be seen as a blessing moreso than a curse. The professions that remain will be the most important to society. Educators, Scientists, and the like. The very best people for those professions will voluntarily go out and do the work that must be done, and the rest of us will go out and find the work that we find meaningful and make economic consideration a much lesser driver of who does what.

It'll take decades to get there.
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Re: Ideology

Postby uscbucsfan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:38 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
beardmcdoug wrote:
yeah, basically

The hurdle is separating economic competition from economic necessity. We all need meaningful work or life becomes pretty dire, but not all work that must be done is work that yields a short term economic benefit.

Homemaker is probably one of the most critical functions in a society, but its only product is a well raised child. Every so often journalists like to calculate what a housewife would make performing similar tasks in the economy. This is done to give housewives a little shot in the arm and feel appreciated for once, but it also quantifies how important having parents around is important to any society. I don't want to derail by going any further than that, but this is one example of how not every job that needs done is a job that is profitable to do, and every home needs to bring home the bacon.

Look to wealth. Our society covets wealth a great deal and ask any American what they will do if they win the lottery, the answer tends to be pretty standard. Quit the job, pay off debt, get nicer ****, travel a bit, make sure the family is set, and see where we go from there.

Based on this, I disagree with Zarni that humans are hard wired to compete with each other. Competition is indeed a part of our collective psyche, but again, the first thing most people will do with near limitless resources is remove themselves from competition and the struggle that goes with it. What humans really crave is autonomy. The freedom to do as they wish within their own set of boundaries, not boundaries set for them by government or economics.

Well, we can't make everyone a billionaire and we can't all go fishing, so I think the next logical step is to make participation in the market completely voluntary. We already grant exemption for children, the physically and mentally disabled, and the elderly. Automation making 50% of the workforce unnecessary should be seen as a blessing moreso than a curse. The professions that remain will be the most important to society. Educators, Scientists, and the like. The very best people for those professions will voluntarily go out and do the work that must be done, and the rest of us will go out and find the work that we find meaningful and make economic consideration a much lesser driver of who does what.

It'll take decades to get there.


So based off what people say they will do with lottery winnings you dismiss a natural propensity for competition?

Don't you see that as being ridiculous? How about look at lottery winners and the wealthy alike, what do they actually end up doing? Buying bigger and bigger **** until they lose money (a means of competition to have more/better than others) or turn that winning into more money(also competition). Unless an absolutely beta person acquires wealth and disappears, most people remain competitive to their detriment or advancement.

The rest is just made up reality. What would happen is that the individuals who own the technology would own the rest of the world, the rest would struggle and have to be forced to work certain jobs. No one would want to work without the incentive for advancement if the government were to promise a living standard.

I could pick at this more, but in the end it's just fantasy for fun.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:47 pm

uscbucsfan wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:The hurdle is separating economic competition from economic necessity. We all need meaningful work or life becomes pretty dire, but not all work that must be done is work that yields a short term economic benefit.

Homemaker is probably one of the most critical functions in a society, but its only product is a well raised child. Every so often journalists like to calculate what a housewife would make performing similar tasks in the economy. This is done to give housewives a little shot in the arm and feel appreciated for once, but it also quantifies how important having parents around is important to any society. I don't want to derail by going any further than that, but this is one example of how not every job that needs done is a job that is profitable to do, and every home needs to bring home the bacon.

Look to wealth. Our society covets wealth a great deal and ask any American what they will do if they win the lottery, the answer tends to be pretty standard. Quit the job, pay off debt, get nicer ****, travel a bit, make sure the family is set, and see where we go from there.

Based on this, I disagree with Zarni that humans are hard wired to compete with each other. Competition is indeed a part of our collective psyche, but again, the first thing most people will do with near limitless resources is remove themselves from competition and the struggle that goes with it. What humans really crave is autonomy. The freedom to do as they wish within their own set of boundaries, not boundaries set for them by government or economics.

Well, we can't make everyone a billionaire and we can't all go fishing, so I think the next logical step is to make participation in the market completely voluntary. We already grant exemption for children, the physically and mentally disabled, and the elderly. Automation making 50% of the workforce unnecessary should be seen as a blessing moreso than a curse. The professions that remain will be the most important to society. Educators, Scientists, and the like. The very best people for those professions will voluntarily go out and do the work that must be done, and the rest of us will go out and find the work that we find meaningful and make economic consideration a much lesser driver of who does what.

It'll take decades to get there.


So based off what people say they will do with lottery winnings you dismiss a natural propensity for competition?

Don't you see that as being ridiculous? How about look at lottery winners and the wealthy alike, what do they actually end up doing? Buying bigger and bigger **** until they lose money (a means of competition to have more/better than others) or turn that winning into more money(also competition). Unless an absolutely beta person acquires wealth and disappears, most people remain competitive to their detriment or advancement.

The rest is just made up reality. What would happen is that the individuals who own the technology would own the rest of the world, the rest would struggle and have to be forced to work certain jobs. No one would want to work without the incentive for advancement if the government were to promise a living standard.

I could pick at this more, but in the end it's just fantasy for fun.

So what would you do with $100 billion, usc? If your answer is a variation of "whatever the hell I want" then you're just like the rest of us. You would indulge yourself until you got sufficiently bored and had an existential crisis. Then you would go out and find meaningful things to do. If they make you more money, more power to you. So long as its meaningful to you and not to the detriment of anyone else, why would anyone stop you?

Go build a better mousetrap. Master chainsaw art. IDGAF.
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Re: Ideology

Postby uscbucsfan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:52 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
uscbucsfan wrote:
So based off what people say they will do with lottery winnings you dismiss a natural propensity for competition?

Don't you see that as being ridiculous? How about look at lottery winners and the wealthy alike, what do they actually end up doing? Buying bigger and bigger **** until they lose money (a means of competition to have more/better than others) or turn that winning into more money(also competition). Unless an absolutely beta person acquires wealth and disappears, most people remain competitive to their detriment or advancement.

The rest is just made up reality. What would happen is that the individuals who own the technology would own the rest of the world, the rest would struggle and have to be forced to work certain jobs. No one would want to work without the incentive for advancement if the government were to promise a living standard.

I could pick at this more, but in the end it's just fantasy for fun.

So what would you do with $100 billion, usc? If your answer is a variation of "whatever the hell I want" then you're just like the rest of us. You would indulge yourself until you got sufficiently bored and had an existential crisis. Then you would go out and find meaningful things to do. If they make you more money, more power to you. So long as its meaningful to you and not to the detriment of anyone else, why would anyone stop you?

Go build a better mousetrap. Master chainsaw art. IDGAF.


So now it's 100 billion? An unreasonable amount of money that not even the richest man in the world is able to access?

In your crazy example we have 1 or 2 people who we can show have close to that wealth and they are still out there working in varying aspects.

When people win the lottery or become millionaires they don't lose their competitiveness is my point. It's not a mousetrap, your jump was just absurd based of "what people say they will do when they win the lottery".

I understand it kills your whole dream scenario, but it's the reason that a society like that will never succeed.

edit: I'm a bad example. I'm a workaholic. I could have 100 trillion dollars and I'd be out working as hard as if I had nothing.
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Re: Ideology

Postby uscbucsfan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:56 pm

MB, in your society do the "very best" that become teachers, scientist, etc. get rewarded with higher income? By higher, meaning high enough to justify the years of education and honing their practice compared to the rest of society?
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:58 pm

uscbucsfan wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:So what would you do with $100 billion, usc? If your answer is a variation of "whatever the hell I want" then you're just like the rest of us. You would indulge yourself until you got sufficiently bored and had an existential crisis. Then you would go out and find meaningful things to do. If they make you more money, more power to you. So long as its meaningful to you and not to the detriment of anyone else, why would anyone stop you?

Go build a better mousetrap. Master chainsaw art. IDGAF.


So now it's 100 billion? An unreasonable amount of money that not even the richest man in the world is able to access?

In your crazy example we have 1 or 2 people who we can show have close to that wealth and they are still out there working in varying aspects.

When people win the lottery or become millionaires they don't lose their competitiveness is my point. It's not a mousetrap, your jump was just absurd based of "what people say they will do when they win the lottery".

I understand it kills your whole dream scenario, but it's the reason that a society like that will never succeed.

It's not about a dollar amount, man. I'm talking about autonomy.

But since you want to bring it up, what are Bill Gates and Warren Buffett up to these days? What did Andrew Carnegie do with his latter years after he sold US Steel?
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:59 pm

uscbucsfan wrote:MB, in your society do the "very best" that become teachers, scientist, etc. get rewarded with higher income? By higher, meaning high enough to justify the years of education and honing their practice compared to the rest of society?

You're still talking about money.
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Re: Ideology

Postby uscbucsfan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:01 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
uscbucsfan wrote:
So now it's 100 billion? An unreasonable amount of money that not even the richest man in the world is able to access?

In your crazy example we have 1 or 2 people who we can show have close to that wealth and they are still out there working in varying aspects.

When people win the lottery or become millionaires they don't lose their competitiveness is my point. It's not a mousetrap, your jump was just absurd based of "what people say they will do when they win the lottery".

I understand it kills your whole dream scenario, but it's the reason that a society like that will never succeed.

It's not about a dollar amount, man. I'm talking about autonomy.

But since you want to bring it up, what are Bill Gates and Warren Buffett up to these days? What did Andrew Carnegie do with his latter years after he sold US Steel?


Bill Gates is out trying to set records as a philanthropist and help people (kind of a joke). He's still making money, still working at Microsoft and various other companies.

Warren Buffett is 87 and goes into the office everyday.
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Re: Ideology

Postby uscbucsfan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:04 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
uscbucsfan wrote:MB, in your society do the "very best" that become teachers, scientist, etc. get rewarded with higher income? By higher, meaning high enough to justify the years of education and honing their practice compared to the rest of society?

You're still talking about money.

Fine, change money to "commodities" . What are people receiving in your society to incentivize work?
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:06 pm

uscbucsfan wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:It's not about a dollar amount, man. I'm talking about autonomy.

But since you want to bring it up, what are Bill Gates and Warren Buffett up to these days? What did Andrew Carnegie do with his latter years after he sold US Steel?


Bill Gates is out trying to set records as a philanthropist and help people (kind of a joke). He's still making money, still working at Microsoft and various other companies.

Warren Buffett is 87 and goes into the office everyday.

And both do these things despite not having to.

And my whole thing when beard asked the question about 50% unemployment in the future was rather than have half the population living under a bridge, we enable them to do whatever they find meaningful.

At no time did I make any mention of government, UBI, helicopter money or any other way to make it happen.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:06 pm

uscbucsfan wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:You're still talking about money.

Fine, change money to "commodities" . What are people receiving in your society to incentivize work?

Why does work need to be incentivized?
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Re: Ideology

Postby DreadNaught » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:13 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
uscbucsfan wrote:Fine, change money to "commodities" . What are people receiving in your society to incentivize work?

Why does work need to be incentivized?


Is this a serious question?
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:15 pm

DreadNaught wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:Why does work need to be incentivized?


Is this a serious question?

Serious in the context of abundance. Remember that we're discussing what could or should happen if the need for about 50% of the labor force is replaced.
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Re: Ideology

Postby uscbucsfan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:19 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
DreadNaught wrote:
Is this a serious question?

Serious in the context of abundance. Remember that we're discussing what could or should happen if the need for about 50% of the labor force is replaced.


Why would anyone work if there is no incentive?

People will always want more, bigger. If there's no way to get this by working, people will take it. Then you have every Dystopian movie/book ever.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:32 pm

uscbucsfan wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:Serious in the context of abundance. Remember that we're discussing what could or should happen if the need for about 50% of the labor force is replaced.


Why would anyone work if there is no incentive?

People will always want more, bigger. If there's no way to get this by working, people will take it. Then you have every Dystopian movie/book ever.


Because there's always something to do. something to read, something to build, some activity to enjoy. People spend entire weekends doing things they enjoy that have zero economic impact.

As for your second sentence, lets put a Star Trek replicator in the hands of a 14 year old girl (arguably the greediest creature of all humans)

The replicator makes her a 4 course meal, and it makes her a phone, and it makes enough outfits to stagger Emelda Marcos and fill her entire room with stuff. Then what? She gets bored with it because all that stuff will have ZERO value. And because of that, she will not value all that stuff. Nor will she walk around coveting all sorts of **** she hasn't replicated yet because she can do it at any time.

Greed will only make sense for things that are NOT in abundance and as such have value.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Zarniwoop » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:34 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
Greed will only make sense for things that are NOT in abundance and as such have value.



What you call "greed" has NEVER gone away even for the wealthiest people and institutions on the planet. People always want more.

And God bless them for it.
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Re: Ideology

Postby uscbucsfan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:36 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
uscbucsfan wrote:
Why would anyone work if there is no incentive?

People will always want more, bigger. If there's no way to get this by working, people will take it. Then you have every Dystopian movie/book ever.


Because there's always something to do. something to read, something to build, some activity to enjoy. People spend entire weekends doing things they enjoy that have zero economic impact.

As for your second sentence, lets put a Star Trek replicator in the hands of a 14 year old girl (arguably the greediest creature of all humans)

The replicator makes her a 4 course meal, and it makes her a phone, and it makes enough outfits to stagger Emelda Marcos and fill her entire room with stuff. Then what? She gets bored with it because all that stuff will have ZERO value. And because of that, she will not value all that stuff. Nor will she walk around coveting all sorts of **** she hasn't replicated yet because she can do it at any time.

Greed will only make sense for things that are NOT in abundance and as such have value.


Oh sweet naive MB.

If there's always something to do and no incentive to work, people won't work...Why would they work? Under the threat of prosecution from the government/police?

and Zarni is right, people will always want...maybe not in a Star Trek episode, but in real life they will.

I just don't know how this scenario makes sense in your head unless people are being replaced until robot people (Spoiler for WW)
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Re: Ideology

Postby beardmcdoug » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:37 pm

me watching this conversation

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Re: Ideology

Postby Zarniwoop » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:39 pm

If I won $100B or had a replicator that could make anything, I sure as hell wouldn't work.

But you can bet your butt I'd be finding some outlet for my competitive drive. And I'd find plenty of things to do that were meaningful but it wouldn't be going into the office very often...I promise you that.
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Re: Ideology

Postby uscbucsfan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:44 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:If I won $100B or had a replicator that could make anything, I sure as hell wouldn't work.

But you can bet your butt I'd be finding some outlet for my competitive drive. And I'd find plenty of things to do that were meaningful but it wouldn't be going into the office very often...I promise you that.


Ok, what if we have jobs that don't pay, but you need to train, go to school, can be help accountable if something happens. You'd do that right?

Of course you would, because Star Trek...
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:45 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:If I won $100B or had a replicator that could make anything, I sure as hell wouldn't work.

But you can bet your butt I'd be finding some outlet for my competitive drive. And I'd find plenty of things to do that were meaningful but it wouldn't be going into the office very often...I promise you that.

Of course.

I'd be gardening with the Mrs., trying to make my yard look as awesome as humanly possible, and looking for things to do that feed my soul rather than my bank account.

After all, don't we try to fill the bank account as much as possible to fund the ability to do all those things in the first place?
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Re: Ideology

Postby Zarniwoop » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:47 pm

uscbucsfan wrote:
Zarniwoop wrote:If I won $100B or had a replicator that could make anything, I sure as hell wouldn't work.

But you can bet your butt I'd be finding some outlet for my competitive drive. And I'd find plenty of things to do that were meaningful but it wouldn't be going into the office very often...I promise you that.


Ok, what we have jobs that don't pay, but you need to train, go to school, can be help accountable if something happens. You'd do that right?

Of course you would, because Star Trek...


I barely work now for money -- LOL
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Re: Ideology

Postby uscbucsfan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:51 pm

I'm not sure of the disconnect.

I'll ditch the smart responses and try to listen, MB.

How does your society work? An abundance of resources, like TVs, cars, houses, land, food, sex, video games, drugs? How are we eliminated man's desire for more? How are we quelling the thirst for betting themselves, to compete with others, to improve? How are we rewarding anyone to do anything without providing something in return? How is having nothing the same as having the ability to buy everything? How does someone having everything equate to people not being inherently competitive or desire more if not for themselves, for others?

A lot of questions to get on this crazy train...
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:35 pm

uscbucsfan wrote:I'm not sure of the disconnect.

I'll ditch the smart responses and try to listen, MB.

How does your society work? An abundance of resources, like TVs, cars, houses, land, food, sex, video games, drugs? How are we eliminated man's desire for more? How are we quelling the thirst for betting themselves, to compete with others, to improve? How are we rewarding anyone to do anything without providing something in return? How is having nothing the same as having the ability to buy everything? How does someone having everything equate to people not being inherently competitive or desire more if not for themselves, for others?

A lot of questions to get on this crazy train...

Okay, let's back this up from the 24th century and back into right now.

What we know is that with the rate of acceleration of technology, repetitive motion and low cognition jobs....and even some high cognition jobs like law and medicine and finance are susceptible to being replaced with automation or AI. The people that do these things will have their skillsets rendered obsolete. What do we do about it?

We can brace for the coming dystopia, bury our heads in the sand and assume it'll fix itself, or we can begin to reinvent life as we know it. Obviously, I'm in favor of option 3.

I did not write the following, but this guy says it better than I can. This is in the context of a reddit debate between r/futurology and r/collapse. I left out the part where he starts talking about interplanetary ****. Yes, it's pie in the sky, but we're talking about the future here and there is reason for optimism.

The TL;DR is that all evidence points to a technological revolution that will make want for basic needs obsolete and improve the lives of all mankind. More comments after the quoted text.
Hollywood loves dystopias and in the news we’re fed “If it bleeds, it leads”. Drama is what gets attention, but it’s a false view of the real world. The reality is our world has been getting gradually better on most counts and is soon to enter a period of unprecedented material abundance.

Swedish charity The Gapminder Foundation measures this. They collect and collate global data and statistics that chart these broad global improvements. They also carry out regular “Ignorance Surveys” where they poll people on these issues. Time and time again, they find most people have overwhelmingly false and pessimistic views and are surprised when they are shown the reality presented by data. Global poverty is falling rapidly, life expectancy is rising equally rapidly and especially contrary to what many people think, we are living in a vastly safer, more peaceful and less violent time than any other period in human history.

In his book, Abundance, Peter Diamandis makes an almost incontrovertible case for techno-optimism. “Over the last hundred years,” he reminds us “the average human lifespan has more than doubled, average per capita income adjusted for inflation around the world has tripled. Childhood mortality has come down a factor of 10. Add to that the cost of food, electricity, transportation, communication have dropped 10 to 1,000-fold.

Of course we have serious problems. Most people accept Climate Change and environmental degradation are two huge challenges facing humanity. The best news for energy and the environment is that solar power is tending towards near zero cost. Solar energy is only six doublings — or less than 14 years — away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs, using only one part in 10,000 of the sunlight that falls on the Earth. We need to adapt our energy infrastructure to its intermittency with solutions like the one The Netherlands is currently testing, an inexpensive kinetic system using underground MagLev trains that can store 10% of the country’s energy needs at any one time. The Fossil Fuel Age that gave us Climate Change will soon be over, all we have to do is adapt to the abundance of cheap, clean green energy soon ahead of us.

Economics and Politics are two areas where many people feel very despondent when they look to the future, yet when we look at facts, the future of Economics and Politics will be very different from the past or present. We are on the cusp of a revolution in human affairs on the scale of the discovery of Agriculture or the Industrial Revolution. Not only is energy about to become clean, cheap and abundant - AI and Robotics will soon be able to do all work needed to provide us with goods and services.

Most people feel fear when they think about this and wonder about a world with steadily and ever growing unemployment. How can humans compete economically with workers who toil 24/7/365, never need social security or health contributions & are always doubling in power and halving in cost? We are used to a global financial system, that uses debt and inflation to grow. How can all of today’s wealth denominated in stock markets, pensions funds and property prices survive a world in a world where deflation and falling incomes are the norm? How can our financial system stay solvent and functional in this world?

Everything that becomes digitized tends towards a zero marginal cost of reproduction. If you have made one mp3, then copying it a million times is trivially costless. The infant AI Medical Expert systems today, that are beginning to diagnose cancer better than human doctors, will be the same. Future fully capable AI Doctors will be trivially costless to reproduce for anyone who needs them. That goes the same for any other AI Expert systems in Education or any field of knowledge. Further along, matter itself will begin to act under the same Economic laws of abundance, robots powered by cheap renewables will build further copies of themselves and ever more cheaply do everything we need.

There are undoubtedly challenging times ahead adapting to this and in the birth of this new age, much of the old will be lost. But if you’ve been living in relative poverty and won the lottery, is mourning for the death of your old poor lifestyle the right reaction? Paleolithic hunter gatherers could not imagine the world of Agriculture or the Medieval world that of Industrialization, so it’s hard for us now to see how all this will work out.

The one thing we can be sure about is that it is coming, and very soon. Our biggest problem is we don't know how lucky we are with what is just ahead & we haven't even begun to plan for a world with this good fortune and abundance - as understandably we feel fear in the face of such radical change. The only "collapse" will be in old ideas and institutions, as new better ones evolve to take their place in our new reality.

This most profound of revolutions will start by enabling the age old dream of easily providing for everyone's material wants and needs and as revolutionary as that seems now, it will probably just be the start. If it is our destiny for us to create intelligence greater than ourselves, it may well be our destiny to merge with it.

This debate asks me to argue that the trajectory of history is not only upwards, but is heading for a planetary civilization.


Now, I'm not exactly fond of the one world government conclusion, but I think the greater point here is that perhaps within a generation, humanity will have the ability to cheaply provide for the basic necessities of mankind. If we elect to do so, that will reshape the existential questions you're asking as it pertains to "what will we do with ourselves" and the need for people to grow and succeed.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Selmon Rules » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:42 pm

DreadNaught wrote:
Selmon Rules wrote:In a perfect world, communism could be the perfect economic model


Nah, I like individual liberty and personal property rights. My "perfect world" doesn't permit the state to have that much power.

People that think communism can be achieved as an ideal solution/system are naive to human nature in addition to missing the key principal (individual self-determination) in which western society was built imo. I'd call it un-American, but it's much more than that.

Never said communism could/would create a perfect world.... It can never work in the real world as it relies on people to be intrinsically motivated rather than rely on extrinsic motivation and history has shown that if there is no gain to be made from working harder, people won't do it.

That is the only reason for the success of capitalism over communism, innovation leading to increased profits and productivity here while the Soviet Union couldn't even produce enough toilet paper to satisfy demand....

Edit: Y'all have moved on from this but it does kind of apply to the motivation factor you have moved on to so I don't feel so bad...

If people are not motivated intrinsically to go and do, what do they do when there is no extrinsic motivation in the form of money or commodities?? Yard work?????

The vast majority of us aren't Bill Gates types who can go out and do great things when we no longer have to work or can't work because our jobs have been taken by automation so what then?
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Re: Ideology

Postby Buc2 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:47 am

Mountaineer Buc wrote:As for your second sentence, lets put a Star Trek replicator in the hands of a 14 year old girl (arguably the greediest creature of all humans)

This made me snort laughter. Well done. Very well done.
Last edited by Buc2 on Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:51 am

Buc2 wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:As for your second sentence, lets put a Star Trek replicator in the hands of a 14 year old girl (arguably the greediest creature of all humans)

This made me snort laughter. Well done. Very well done.

Was trying to keep it lighthearted.

I ordered this book on amazon yesterday due to the conversation in here.

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apparently it's a college textbook somewhere (sociology?) so there were oodles of copies lying around. Got mine for $6 I guess it came out in 2012 and updated in 2014 so it might be a little dated.

Of course, given enough time any book about the future tends to not hold up real well.
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Re: Ideology

Postby DreadNaught » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:46 pm

Pretty good article here.

No, Liberal Lefties are Not Right-Wing

by Helen Pluckrose

Left-wing liberals who are opposed to the identity politics developments on the left increasingly find ourselves accused of being right wing, referred to as “right wing” and scornfully urged to admit that we are right wing by identitarian lefties.

No. Because that is not true.

Of course, there are some individuals who insist they are left-wing while supporting economic and social policies fundamentally associated with conservatism and those individuals are either confused or dishonest, but far more often, this claim is made about typically left-wing liberals who support progressive taxes, a strong social security net, universal healthcare, gender, racial and LGBT equality and reproductive freedom.

Leftism

To understand this, it is probably necessary to have a quick look at divisions on the left right now. While all lefties support economic policies which seek to redistribute wealth, reduce inequalities and support the most socially disadvantaged in society, the largest and longest split is between the socialists who advocate social ownership of the means of production—thereby putting control in the hands of the workers—and the social democrats who seek to redistribute wealth within a regulated capitalist system within a liberal democracy. These have loosely been understood as the “radical Left” and the “liberal Left” and this is also loosely connected to differing principles around social issues such as feminism (radical feminism vs liberal feminism).

There has been much animosity between these groups with the radicals accusing the liberals of being half-measure sell-outs and the liberals accusing the radicals of being delusional Utopians. Nevertheless, these have been straightforward disagreements on comprehensible issues and civil and reasonable conversation and compromise have also been possible because both groups believe that objective truth exists, that evidence and reason are the way to access it and that language is a tool for conveying these.

More recently, we have seen a rise of the identitarian lefties who hold very different ideas about objective truth, evidence, reason and language and who view society as structured by discourse (ways of talking about things) which perpetuates systems of power and privilege. As they often fit the definition of “radical” but have little in common with the older radical leftism and seldom address economics or class issues coherently, preferring to focus on identity groups like race, gender and sexuality, things have become much more messy, and communication and compromise much more difficult. These are the individuals who frequently insist that the liberal lefties are actually right-wing. As the liberal lefties make up the majority of lefties and as they are the most moderate and reasonable element of the left—and therefore the most likely to win the support of the political middle ground—this is an accusation we cannot allow to stand. We are the left and we cannot let the identitarians define us any longer.

Liberalism

Liberalism is a broad concept which holds to certain values of freedom (both of markets and individuals), humanitarianism in the sense of assistance for those unable to support themselves and equal opportunity in relation to removing any barriers that prevent certain groups in society from accessing all the opportunities it offers. Liberals believe in social progress and that it can be achieved by refining all of the above.

Some liberals, particularly classical liberals, can share some values with conservatives (and so also define themselves as conservatives), but their liberalism tends to emphasize the freedom of markets and individuals. As such, they often seek to minimize the state provision of such things as financial assistance for the unemployed, elderly and disabled and single-parent or poor families as well as being opposed to nationalized healthcare and schemes intended to increase the representation of underrepresented groups within profitable areas of work. This is because they believe this to limit freedom, autonomy and individual responsibility and be ultimately unproductive of social progress. They may also oppose attempts to strengthen gun control (in the US) and support home-schooling for these reasons. They are likely to support a smaller government, less government regulation on businesses, and consequently lower taxes.

Left-wing liberals typically disagree with them about this because we are motivated by values which are left-wing. Being liberal rather than socialist, we largely support the freedom of markets but there is also a strong focus on supporting the most vulnerable in society. For this reason, we also want some regulation in there to prevent exploitation of the poorest people with the fewest options. This focus on supporting the most vulnerable in society is a primary one and has historically been for the benefit of the working class but also, when warranted, for women and for racial and sexual minorities.

Liberal lefties support the freedom of the individual but may believe this requires some extra support in the case of those who are hindered by social or cultural issues. This usually falls short of affirmative action or positive discrimination in the case of hiring which is widely held to be illiberal but may include extra initiatives to improve boys’ literacy, girls’ engagement with STEM, the provision of English-language courses for immigrants and positive role models and schemes to raise interest and education in underprivileged and single-ethnicity areas. It also includes monitoring hiring practices for (solid) evidence of racial or gender discrimination and faith schools (in the UK) for inadequate education which limits the prospects of children from minority religions.

Left-wing liberals support higher taxes for the highest earners in order to provide universal healthcare and welfare provision for the unemployed, elderly and disabled and single-parent or poor families. We point out to the socialist left who condemn our acceptance of a blended economy with a robust capitalist engine driving it that allowing people to get very rich enables us to fund such things much more successfully. We point out to the right who accuse us of encouraging dependence that we are not tolerant of abuses of such systems but would prefer to refine ways to make free-riding harder and detect offenders than making it harder for those who need help to obtain it in the first place. If forced on the choice, left-liberals would rather that some people cheated the system than that anyone fell through gaps in it. We are not very sympathetic to arguments for poor regulation of firearms or for parents’ rights’ to deny their children an adequate education or medical care because of the cost of this to human life and wellbeing. In short, we function on the care/harm moral foundation of the liberal and on the economic/social foundation of the left. We are left-wing. We are liberal lefties. And being liberal, we’ll be happy to discuss these points with you and consider other perspectives.

The Identitarian Lefties

The kind of leftist who keeps insisting that we are right-wing (apart from some on the radical left who have always said we might as well be if we’re not going to be socialists) are the relatively new identitarian lefties. They are not liberal. They are a product of an intellectual shift which occurred in the sixties when leftist intellectuals became disillusioned with Marxism and developed the concept of postmodernism. This mode of thought saw society as a system of hierarchical power structures and argued that knowledge was actually a construct of power perpetuated by speech (discourse) which served the interests of dominant groups in society. By the nineties, this had been incorporated into several fields of scholarship like feminism, postcolonialism, queer theory and critical race theory. It had also been made more explicitly political and actionable. Concepts like “intersectionality,” “toxic masculinity” and “white fragility” became a part of social justice activism.

Consequently, these left-wing academics and activists saw identity politics as politically empowering and were critical of liberal leftism which sought to make identity categories socially irrelevant. They tended to see liberalism as part of an outdated and inadequate modernist system which was created by straight, white, rich, western men and therefore can be understood to support the interests of straight, white, rich, western men. They still do.

They believe this despite the fact that the Civil Rights Movement, Second-Wave liberal feminism and Gay Pride were all part of that liberalism and public support of them was such that the 60s and 70s saw huge leaps forward in anti-discrimination legislation, the decriminalization of male homosexuality and the advent of effective and legal birth control and reproductive freedom. Despite such legal equality and much social progress in the reduction of prejudice, the dramatic increase of women and racial and sexual minorities into professions and positions of power and the promise of continuing progress, they see racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia everywhere because of their intense focus on language which they read through an ideologically problematizing lens. Think of the focus on “microaggressions,” “mansplaining,” and “verbal violence.”

These lefties share some core tenets of leftism in that they want to support the most vulnerable in society, but they tend to neglect the poorest people if they lack other identity characteristics associated with disadvantage—being female, of ethnic minority or LGBT. There is little support for white, working class men and they frequently deny that straight, white men can face any disadvantages at all or speak in ways which assume this. This has almost certainly assisted the present reactionary surge to the right.

Identitarian lefties also share the care/harm foundation of liberalism with this drive to end inequality and prioritize groups seen as marginalized, but this is accompanied by a rage at groups seen as privileged. The result is a highly illiberal practice of evaluating the worth of individuals by their gender, race or sexuality. Because of the belief that power in society is constructed by language, they are also prone to authoritarian censoriousness about what language can and cannot be used and which ideas may or may not be discussed.

This bent to control is in profound contrast to the traditionally liberal support of the “marketplace of ideas.” The concept of the marketplace also placed a high value on the power of language in the sense that ideas could be presented by all, discussed by all and, in this way, the best ones would be revealed and this has been remarkably successful. This cannot work in a postmodern worldview because the latter assumes a standpoint epistemology, which holds that different groups have different knowledge and all are equally valid but that the ideas of dominant groups are falsely given more credibility than those of marginalized groups, necessitating dominant groups to be quiet and listen (See feminist epistemology).

The New Conflict

We are now in a situation in which the three parts of the left—radical, liberal and identitarian—are locked in an unproductive deadlock. The radicals oppose the identitarians whom they see as bourgeois elitists rooted in the academy who have completely abandoned the working class and the meaning of leftism. They remain at odds with the liberals for their lack of support for socialism. The liberals oppose the identitarians whom they regard as profoundly illiberal and threatening to undo decades of progress towards individual freedom and equality of opportunity regardless of race, gender and sexuality. They find the radicals of little help in supporting liberalism. The identitarians largely ignore the radicals except in the form of radical feminist rejection of trans identity which they condemn as transmisogynistic hatred but pay some confused lip-service to anti-capitalism (which does not mollify the radicals). They reserve most of their ire for the liberals who are addressing the same social and ethical issues that they are.

Liberal lefties receive most of the identitarian rage because we cannot support the postmodern rejection of an objective truth nor their science-denying cultural constructivism. More than this, however, we cannot support the idea that it is virtuous to see people as members of collectives arranged within a hierarchy that determines who may speak about what in some kind of grotesque recreation of a caste system or medieval feudalism. We cannot accept that the liberalism which has produced so much social progress for previously marginalized groups in society is part of a white, western, patriarchal, cis/heteronormative system of oppression due to its principle that we don’t evaluate people by race, gender or sexuality. We tend to be rather skeptical that we live in a white-supremacist, homophobic patriarchy at all and this is understood (somehow) to be an endorsement of it, although we nearly always accept that racism, sexism and homophobia still exist and have the principles and the will to counter them. For this, we are seen as right wing.

Even more damning, liberal lefties might not regard liberal righties as inveterate enemies but ally themselves against illiberal extremism with those who support liberal principles of freedom and equal opportunity consistently wherever they fall on the political spectrum. We still want left-wing parties to win and left-wing policies to be implemented and right-wing ones not to, but this does not require regarding everyone on the right as immoral bad actors with nothing of worth to contribute. For this, we are seen as right wing.

We are not right wing.

The Solution

Some liberal lefties have denied that identitarian lefties are lefties at all, but an understanding of their origins and development reveals this to be wishful thinking. Although they share some views about gender and racial segregation and an authoritarian, censorious nature with those on the far-right, leading many to argue for horseshoe theory, these two groups come from very different places and work in very different ways. Identitarian lefties come from an intellectual development which took place on the left and the left must take responsibility for that and fix it.

The only way for the liberal left to fix this problem is to engage with it. For too long, too many of us have minimized the problem due to a perceived need to maintain solidarity against the rise of the populist right, alt-right and far right. Others have not addressed the problem, simply because they do not understand the counterintuitive ideological core of it and feel that anyone who seeks racial, gender and LGBT equality is an ally, even if some of them go too far in their zeal. Others are afraid of being called racist, sexist or homophobic and associated with the right which is, in fact, what is happening. Some have become so alienated from the left due to being called racist, sexist or homophobic that they have genuinely gone right, feeling that there, at least, they will be welcome. There has been much condemnation of this last group and some self-righteous crowing that they could never have been that committed to leftist principles in the first place. That could be true. Even if it is, we need to win them back if we want to win any elections and actually enact the policies which will help the most vulnerable people. This is far more important than gloating about one’s own supposed political purity.

There is also that problem inherent to liberalism: an excess of tolerance, a willingness to compromise and a desire not to impose on other people. Because the liberal left is the least radical, least authoritarian branch of the left, it is vulnerable to being shouted over by more radical voices who come to define the left for waverers. These louder voices undermine the left, however. Because the liberal left is the most open to other ideas, it is prone to appearing inconsistent. Because it is tolerant of ideas it does not agree with, provided they do not impose on others, it can be mistaken for a pushover. This is a mistake. The principles of liberalism, while diffuse, are strong enough and consistent enough to have become dominant throughout the whole of the western world. They are so widely held that the majority perceive them as sufficiently natural and self-evident that they neglect the need to defend them. (James Lindsay and I wrote about this here).

The liberal left has been hindered in its aims to oppose the identitarian left by misguided loyalty, by incomprehension, by denial, by fear, by despair, by complacency and by excessive tolerance. This gives the impression that there are few of us left and that the left is now defined by the identitarian, authoritarian ideologues. This gives strength to the right. We need to get more visible, more unified and braver. We need to accept that the problem exists, understand how it works and speak out against it calmly, civilly and reasonably at the risk of being called racist, sexist and homophobic—despite being the ones who reject the evaluation of individuals by their race, gender and sexuality. We need to remember how to argue our case and not assume it is obvious. The more of us who do this, the easier it will be for more to join. This is the way to win back the left, win back public confidence, win elections and bring about the policies we want to see made. We are not right wing. We are liberal lefties, we are the majority and we can fix this.

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Re: Ideology

Postby real bucs fan » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:06 pm

New Center FTW
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Re: Ideology

Postby beardmcdoug » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:22 pm

DreadNaught wrote:Pretty good article here.

No, Liberal Lefties are Not Right-Wing

by Helen Pluckrose

Left-wing liberals who are opposed to the identity politics developments on the left increasingly find ourselves accused of being right wing, referred to as “right wing” and scornfully urged to admit that we are right wing by identitarian lefties.

No. Because that is not true.

Of course, there are some individuals who insist they are left-wing while supporting economic and social policies fundamentally associated with conservatism and those individuals are either confused or dishonest, but far more often, this claim is made about typically left-wing liberals who support progressive taxes, a strong social security net, universal healthcare, gender, racial and LGBT equality and reproductive freedom.

Leftism

To understand this, it is probably necessary to have a quick look at divisions on the left right now. While all lefties support economic policies which seek to redistribute wealth, reduce inequalities and support the most socially disadvantaged in society, the largest and longest split is between the socialists who advocate social ownership of the means of production—thereby putting control in the hands of the workers—and the social democrats who seek to redistribute wealth within a regulated capitalist system within a liberal democracy. These have loosely been understood as the “radical Left” and the “liberal Left” and this is also loosely connected to differing principles around social issues such as feminism (radical feminism vs liberal feminism).

There has been much animosity between these groups with the radicals accusing the liberals of being half-measure sell-outs and the liberals accusing the radicals of being delusional Utopians. Nevertheless, these have been straightforward disagreements on comprehensible issues and civil and reasonable conversation and compromise have also been possible because both groups believe that objective truth exists, that evidence and reason are the way to access it and that language is a tool for conveying these.

More recently, we have seen a rise of the identitarian lefties who hold very different ideas about objective truth, evidence, reason and language and who view society as structured by discourse (ways of talking about things) which perpetuates systems of power and privilege. As they often fit the definition of “radical” but have little in common with the older radical leftism and seldom address economics or class issues coherently, preferring to focus on identity groups like race, gender and sexuality, things have become much more messy, and communication and compromise much more difficult. These are the individuals who frequently insist that the liberal lefties are actually right-wing. As the liberal lefties make up the majority of lefties and as they are the most moderate and reasonable element of the left—and therefore the most likely to win the support of the political middle ground—this is an accusation we cannot allow to stand. We are the left and we cannot let the identitarians define us any longer.

Liberalism

Liberalism is a broad concept which holds to certain values of freedom (both of markets and individuals), humanitarianism in the sense of assistance for those unable to support themselves and equal opportunity in relation to removing any barriers that prevent certain groups in society from accessing all the opportunities it offers. Liberals believe in social progress and that it can be achieved by refining all of the above.

Some liberals, particularly classical liberals, can share some values with conservatives (and so also define themselves as conservatives), but their liberalism tends to emphasize the freedom of markets and individuals. As such, they often seek to minimize the state provision of such things as financial assistance for the unemployed, elderly and disabled and single-parent or poor families as well as being opposed to nationalized healthcare and schemes intended to increase the representation of underrepresented groups within profitable areas of work. This is because they believe this to limit freedom, autonomy and individual responsibility and be ultimately unproductive of social progress. They may also oppose attempts to strengthen gun control (in the US) and support home-schooling for these reasons. They are likely to support a smaller government, less government regulation on businesses, and consequently lower taxes.

Left-wing liberals typically disagree with them about this because we are motivated by values which are left-wing. Being liberal rather than socialist, we largely support the freedom of markets but there is also a strong focus on supporting the most vulnerable in society. For this reason, we also want some regulation in there to prevent exploitation of the poorest people with the fewest options. This focus on supporting the most vulnerable in society is a primary one and has historically been for the benefit of the working class but also, when warranted, for women and for racial and sexual minorities.

Liberal lefties support the freedom of the individual but may believe this requires some extra support in the case of those who are hindered by social or cultural issues. This usually falls short of affirmative action or positive discrimination in the case of hiring which is widely held to be illiberal but may include extra initiatives to improve boys’ literacy, girls’ engagement with STEM, the provision of English-language courses for immigrants and positive role models and schemes to raise interest and education in underprivileged and single-ethnicity areas. It also includes monitoring hiring practices for (solid) evidence of racial or gender discrimination and faith schools (in the UK) for inadequate education which limits the prospects of children from minority religions.

Left-wing liberals support higher taxes for the highest earners in order to provide universal healthcare and welfare provision for the unemployed, elderly and disabled and single-parent or poor families. We point out to the socialist left who condemn our acceptance of a blended economy with a robust capitalist engine driving it that allowing people to get very rich enables us to fund such things much more successfully. We point out to the right who accuse us of encouraging dependence that we are not tolerant of abuses of such systems but would prefer to refine ways to make free-riding harder and detect offenders than making it harder for those who need help to obtain it in the first place. If forced on the choice, left-liberals would rather that some people cheated the system than that anyone fell through gaps in it. We are not very sympathetic to arguments for poor regulation of firearms or for parents’ rights’ to deny their children an adequate education or medical care because of the cost of this to human life and wellbeing. In short, we function on the care/harm moral foundation of the liberal and on the economic/social foundation of the left. We are left-wing. We are liberal lefties. And being liberal, we’ll be happy to discuss these points with you and consider other perspectives.

The Identitarian Lefties

The kind of leftist who keeps insisting that we are right-wing (apart from some on the radical left who have always said we might as well be if we’re not going to be socialists) are the relatively new identitarian lefties. They are not liberal. They are a product of an intellectual shift which occurred in the sixties when leftist intellectuals became disillusioned with Marxism and developed the concept of postmodernism. This mode of thought saw society as a system of hierarchical power structures and argued that knowledge was actually a construct of power perpetuated by speech (discourse) which served the interests of dominant groups in society. By the nineties, this had been incorporated into several fields of scholarship like feminism, postcolonialism, queer theory and critical race theory. It had also been made more explicitly political and actionable. Concepts like “intersectionality,” “toxic masculinity” and “white fragility” became a part of social justice activism.

Consequently, these left-wing academics and activists saw identity politics as politically empowering and were critical of liberal leftism which sought to make identity categories socially irrelevant. They tended to see liberalism as part of an outdated and inadequate modernist system which was created by straight, white, rich, western men and therefore can be understood to support the interests of straight, white, rich, western men. They still do.

They believe this despite the fact that the Civil Rights Movement, Second-Wave liberal feminism and Gay Pride were all part of that liberalism and public support of them was such that the 60s and 70s saw huge leaps forward in anti-discrimination legislation, the decriminalization of male homosexuality and the advent of effective and legal birth control and reproductive freedom. Despite such legal equality and much social progress in the reduction of prejudice, the dramatic increase of women and racial and sexual minorities into professions and positions of power and the promise of continuing progress, they see racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia everywhere because of their intense focus on language which they read through an ideologically problematizing lens. Think of the focus on “microaggressions,” “mansplaining,” and “verbal violence.”

These lefties share some core tenets of leftism in that they want to support the most vulnerable in society, but they tend to neglect the poorest people if they lack other identity characteristics associated with disadvantage—being female, of ethnic minority or LGBT. There is little support for white, working class men and they frequently deny that straight, white men can face any disadvantages at all or speak in ways which assume this. This has almost certainly assisted the present reactionary surge to the right.

Identitarian lefties also share the care/harm foundation of liberalism with this drive to end inequality and prioritize groups seen as marginalized, but this is accompanied by a rage at groups seen as privileged. The result is a highly illiberal practice of evaluating the worth of individuals by their gender, race or sexuality. Because of the belief that power in society is constructed by language, they are also prone to authoritarian censoriousness about what language can and cannot be used and which ideas may or may not be discussed.

This bent to control is in profound contrast to the traditionally liberal support of the “marketplace of ideas.” The concept of the marketplace also placed a high value on the power of language in the sense that ideas could be presented by all, discussed by all and, in this way, the best ones would be revealed and this has been remarkably successful. This cannot work in a postmodern worldview because the latter assumes a standpoint epistemology, which holds that different groups have different knowledge and all are equally valid but that the ideas of dominant groups are falsely given more credibility than those of marginalized groups, necessitating dominant groups to be quiet and listen (See feminist epistemology).

The New Conflict

We are now in a situation in which the three parts of the left—radical, liberal and identitarian—are locked in an unproductive deadlock. The radicals oppose the identitarians whom they see as bourgeois elitists rooted in the academy who have completely abandoned the working class and the meaning of leftism. They remain at odds with the liberals for their lack of support for socialism. The liberals oppose the identitarians whom they regard as profoundly illiberal and threatening to undo decades of progress towards individual freedom and equality of opportunity regardless of race, gender and sexuality. They find the radicals of little help in supporting liberalism. The identitarians largely ignore the radicals except in the form of radical feminist rejection of trans identity which they condemn as transmisogynistic hatred but pay some confused lip-service to anti-capitalism (which does not mollify the radicals). They reserve most of their ire for the liberals who are addressing the same social and ethical issues that they are.

Liberal lefties receive most of the identitarian rage because we cannot support the postmodern rejection of an objective truth nor their science-denying cultural constructivism. More than this, however, we cannot support the idea that it is virtuous to see people as members of collectives arranged within a hierarchy that determines who may speak about what in some kind of grotesque recreation of a caste system or medieval feudalism. We cannot accept that the liberalism which has produced so much social progress for previously marginalized groups in society is part of a white, western, patriarchal, cis/heteronormative system of oppression due to its principle that we don’t evaluate people by race, gender or sexuality. We tend to be rather skeptical that we live in a white-supremacist, homophobic patriarchy at all and this is understood (somehow) to be an endorsement of it, although we nearly always accept that racism, sexism and homophobia still exist and have the principles and the will to counter them. For this, we are seen as right wing.

Even more damning, liberal lefties might not regard liberal righties as inveterate enemies but ally themselves against illiberal extremism with those who support liberal principles of freedom and equal opportunity consistently wherever they fall on the political spectrum. We still want left-wing parties to win and left-wing policies to be implemented and right-wing ones not to, but this does not require regarding everyone on the right as immoral bad actors with nothing of worth to contribute. For this, we are seen as right wing.

We are not right wing.

The Solution

Some liberal lefties have denied that identitarian lefties are lefties at all, but an understanding of their origins and development reveals this to be wishful thinking. Although they share some views about gender and racial segregation and an authoritarian, censorious nature with those on the far-right, leading many to argue for horseshoe theory, these two groups come from very different places and work in very different ways. Identitarian lefties come from an intellectual development which took place on the left and the left must take responsibility for that and fix it.

The only way for the liberal left to fix this problem is to engage with it. For too long, too many of us have minimized the problem due to a perceived need to maintain solidarity against the rise of the populist right, alt-right and far right. Others have not addressed the problem, simply because they do not understand the counterintuitive ideological core of it and feel that anyone who seeks racial, gender and LGBT equality is an ally, even if some of them go too far in their zeal. Others are afraid of being called racist, sexist or homophobic and associated with the right which is, in fact, what is happening. Some have become so alienated from the left due to being called racist, sexist or homophobic that they have genuinely gone right, feeling that there, at least, they will be welcome. There has been much condemnation of this last group and some self-righteous crowing that they could never have been that committed to leftist principles in the first place. That could be true. Even if it is, we need to win them back if we want to win any elections and actually enact the policies which will help the most vulnerable people. This is far more important than gloating about one’s own supposed political purity.

There is also that problem inherent to liberalism: an excess of tolerance, a willingness to compromise and a desire not to impose on other people. Because the liberal left is the least radical, least authoritarian branch of the left, it is vulnerable to being shouted over by more radical voices who come to define the left for waverers. These louder voices undermine the left, however. Because the liberal left is the most open to other ideas, it is prone to appearing inconsistent. Because it is tolerant of ideas it does not agree with, provided they do not impose on others, it can be mistaken for a pushover. This is a mistake. The principles of liberalism, while diffuse, are strong enough and consistent enough to have become dominant throughout the whole of the western world. They are so widely held that the majority perceive them as sufficiently natural and self-evident that they neglect the need to defend them. (James Lindsay and I wrote about this here).

The liberal left has been hindered in its aims to oppose the identitarian left by misguided loyalty, by incomprehension, by denial, by fear, by despair, by complacency and by excessive tolerance. This gives the impression that there are few of us left and that the left is now defined by the identitarian, authoritarian ideologues. This gives strength to the right. We need to get more visible, more unified and braver. We need to accept that the problem exists, understand how it works and speak out against it calmly, civilly and reasonably at the risk of being called racist, sexist and homophobic—despite being the ones who reject the evaluation of individuals by their race, gender and sexuality. We need to remember how to argue our case and not assume it is obvious. The more of us who do this, the easier it will be for more to join. This is the way to win back the left, win back public confidence, win elections and bring about the policies we want to see made. We are not right wing. We are liberal lefties, we are the majority and we can fix this.



Freaking fantastic article, DN, thanks for posting
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