My parents taught me never to discuss sex, religion or politics and look what we’re all doing today, even falling out.
What makes it worse is that two people can be arguing over two completely different aspects of the same question, both right by their lights and yet falling out, whilst the truth is they’re arguing at cross-purposes.
They’re just coming at something from two entirely different angles, with a different set of inputs, e.g. Guardian v Spectator.
Sackerson asked me some hard questions at OoL and there are answers to those questions though not simple ones, which brings up the first continuum:
Those who prefer Occam’s Razor would accuse the other end of being abstruse, esoteric, even academic and to many, academic is a bad word. To engineers for example.
Complex is a bad word too, e.g. the myriad fragments the left is split into and the exceedingly complex language by which they judge each other, e.g. neo-pseudo-post-Marxist, to invent a new one, which causes them to reject the neo-pseudo-pre-Marxist. There’ve been many comedy sketches:
Those still with this post obviously have a brain and are not up near that “simple” end, as are the Colonel Blimps with their all-encompassing harrumphing and “I don’t do conspiracy theories” catch-all philosophy of life, then quoting Occam’s Razor as their defence.
The terms “subtlety”, “shades of meaning”, “a number of truths” have no meaning in Blimp’s mind. Nor does the term “metaphysical” and the possibility of verities outside of the physical and immediately observable.
Blimp likes to think of himself as a Rationalist, a “practical” man, offering simple catch-alls for what have a whole host of different explanations and reasons why they exist. He despises relativism when something is not complex at all but is an eternal truth, e.g. The Ten Commandments and I’d agree with him there. He calls a spade a spade.
On the negative side, he can also be into Denial bigtime. He calls it “healthy scepticism”, you might call it that long river in North Africa.
Clearly, I’m both, maybe you are. This post is complex but my view of the world is often simple, e.g. employing the word “Left”, considering it quite valid, easily defined. And where there’s Left, there is also Right:
And James, this Left/Right thing: it’s a label you throw around far too easily. I struggle to understand how you, as a Christian, have any leanings to the American Right, who seem to me to be at the vicious end of the eighteenth-century Tory spectrum. I think that if you lived among them you would be appalled; “Conservative” has far different meanings on either side of the Atlantic.
Sackers himself goes Blimp by saying “a label you throw around far too easily.” As for different sides of the pond, well yes, historically.
Flung around? How about applied, using examples to explain what I mean?
I charge that Sackers has gone Blimp himself and vastly oversimplified its usage, which at least Voice of Reason tried to come to terms with, he being from a more complex end of politics [which naturally he would dispute in some ways, if not all].
Before we get lost, best to define Left/Right in political terms, for the purpose of this post.
Mindset do-gooder, compassionate, does not see the ramifications of simple, statist solutions to social problems, e.g. smoking lungs are solved by banning smoking in pubs. Don’t like something – ban it! That’s left.
Where is the libertarian on this left/right scale?
These divisions get worse.
The left is fond of saying the right lacks compassion, the right accuses the left of impracticality, naivety, not seeing ramifications of policies and enabling the bad people at the top, e.g. Obama, Blair, Cameron. Them.
Such a model as this a bit further down, without axis arms, I’d submit covers the reality that there are very many compassionate rightwing people and quite vicious leftwing, plus vice-versa. Compassionate does not have to mean rushing to support every single person portraying him or herself as a victim. A certain discernment is necessary.
The right is forever saying that these Calais boat people are NOT victims at all, with their mobile phones and the ability to pay thugs thousands to be spirited into the UK. They are economic migrants and should be subject to all the strictures everyone else is subject to.
That is a very rightist position.
And it is out of compassion – compassion for the indigenous population, the heritage of the nation which is the nation’s lifeblood, for the poor sods who fought and died in wars, conned by Them into slaughtering one another. Surely the deeds of those people must not be allowed to be forgotten, not trampled into the dust of history?
The left says that’s just jingoism. The right believe in those things fervently.
And it is a form of compassion but not one the left relates to. The left jumps onto anything presented by Them, by a narrative, as being worthy of compassion. Here is an example from the Guardian, trying to whip up hysteria at Brexit:
Will I be “deported” after almost 40 years? I am Belgian, have lived in the UK for 37 years, married a British man in the UK and was then given leave to remain in the UK. I have 2 British born children. I am now divorced. I have worked here, paid NI and tax, never requested any financial support from the state.
Belgium never allowed dual nationality until very recently, and I didn’t want to lose my Belgian nationality by becoming British. I could now apply for British nationality. I have tried to do the online tests. I did four of them and failed them all, despite a reasonable knowledge of the UK. I know I could study for it, but my memory for learning is not as good as it used to be, so it’s not something I’m desperate to do.
[Anne, Belgian. Lives in the UK]
Irrational fear, stirred up by agents-provocateurs. The answer to Anne is that UKIP would never kick her out because she has married the Brit and has contributed to the society all these years. The Guardian should be ashamed.
However, I can’t vouch for Osborne, clearly a member of Them, lacking all compassion, the hypocritical worst face possible of so-called conservatism.
Contrast them. Farage, for all his faults, goes over to eat and sup with Romanians, Osborne would never do that, he’s not interested, only in screwing people over through this entirely unnecessary austerity, in accordance with his EU masters’ wishes.
There’s compassion on both sides, there is vicious bastardry on both sides. So a quadrant is a fair model:
You can place your cross anywhere within the quadrant, unless you feel you are none of those. I’d like to thing I’m slightly into the upper right quadrant.
But it depends on each issue, one by one, does it not? We can be uncaring about the rights of wrongdoers but caring about the rights of rightdoers.
And there are other continuums to take into account too, for example the sliding scale of wrongdoing or more fancifully – the Edmund Burke or Niemoeller scale, the degrees of evil facilitation:
Those who see only as far as themselves and say that as long as they themselves love everyone, no matter what other destructive things they support – they are on one end of a continuum. Those who see outwards, further than themselves, are the type of people reading such blogs as this.
Some of us see that some things really must be stopped, a la Burke and Niemoeller. Such people are likely to quote Ephesians 6:12.
Ecclesiastes covers it nicely:
The do-gooders say we should love everything and everyone, even the evil, and happily assist evildoers just as much as dogooders in what they do.
Naturally, they would not see it in those terms – yet another division between us.
I struggle to understand how you, as a Christian, have any leanings to the American Right
As a Christian, I follow the Turn, Turn, Turn model. Jesus of Nazareth said love thy neighbour but he also overturned the moneylenders’ tables in the outer temple and was outspoken to the Pharisees and Sadducees. There is a place for all things at the right time and applied to the right people.
If The Left is a misnomer in Sackers’ eyes, then surely The Right is also a misnomer? What Sackers is referring to is the neocon, the Kissinger, the Osborne, the KKK [Southern Democrat] and clearly both he and I reject those people. There’s no question of that.
I go further and also reject the Corbyns and Blairs and Obamas, the Planned Parenthood murderers. The Lucis Trust, the Theosophists, the UN, Bilderberg, the global socialists.
We’re arguing at cross-purposes here. We both oppose what we see as evil.
He’s shooting at GOP RINOs and I’m shooting at HIllary crime family High Democrats. Neither of us is shooting at the common man and yet it seems to me that he takes on board criticism of the evil muvvers as criticism of himself, which is not intended at all.
And it DOES matter because I’ve lost friends many times through a failure to define terms, hence this post now. The people I’m down on are those at certain points on all those models above, not just on the straight left/right scale.
That I apply the word Left to the whole package could well be my failure to use lower case and CAPITALS. For example, Science, to me, is the Royal Society and all the other evil muvvers who have been pushing a line in schools. The word science, to me, means just categorizing nature, doing experiments. The latter is necessary for the world to survive. The former is Political.
And that’s why we have all this confusion. Plus people are always kind to themselves, describing themselves in soft terms:
… but the harsh terms come out when describing the other side:
The lady in the top bubble quote would in no way recognize herself in the last man’s bubble quote – and yet both epithets do apply because they are both based on observation.
Most people accept the nicer description of themselves and reject the not-nice. All have elements of truth to them.
There is also this:
Just because I am not concerned about something like gay marriage, because I wish to see the idea destroyed, it is too easy to conclude that I am callous or even cruel.
This is a mixing of different models. On the Burkean model, it’s a fine thing I’m doing. To someone sucked in by Them’s narrative, it is only callous on this last model.
And this explains why do-gooding is so destructive, a seemingly incongruous oxymoron. Taken across all the models, it is indeed possible for do-gooding to be destructive, whereas the person thinks he is doing good, according to the word itself. Similar thing to East Germany calling itself the “Democratic” people’s republic.
And that’s why I can say: “Bloody left,” thinking of the wrong the fanatics are doing, whilst the person who would call himself of the left, a left-liberal for example, does not recognize himself at all in the outburst. Conclusion? The utterer must be a horrible, cruel person?
The utterer thinks he has to put a stop to this rubbish once and for all, hit it on the head, strangle it at birth. And that’s a compassionate act in the interests of society not being dragged down this sociological path to destruction, which a grasp of history would show is always going to happen once societies get to this sick stage.
We’re hung-up on definitions.
Whither friendship when people are at different points on the various models at an given time? And when I write a post and then someone comes in, sees a word like “left” and bridles, then yes, the utterer does need to define what he means but equally, the hearer needs to realize it might not be the ordinary person like himself referred to but the miscreants on the wrongdoing scale.
Or people unthinkingly and unknowingly facilitating evil without even knowing that which they do.
And if this doesn’t answer the questions from Sackers and Voice of Reason, that’s because this thing is way too complex to do so.