Author Topic: The Labels We Use In Politics  (Read 405 times)

Offline JasonTarmon

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The Labels We Use In Politics
« on: August 29, 2017, 05:00:48 PM »
I am constantly tortured by these labels we use in politics. At times they are seemingly universally misrepresentative of the groups they purport to describe. One might forgive the US political parties for using the pointlessly generic names that they do but some of the other terms we use might truly drive me insane at some point. Is it too much to ask for some truth in advertising? If someone were to ask me what my views are politically, I could not truly respond in anything less than a paragraph. There is seemingly no umbrella term I can trust to describe myself. Perhaps y'all can help me, here are some of my problems with the conventional language for all sides:

Let's start with the word "conservative". It is generally defined by the right as wanting to conserve the liberties assured to us by the constitution of the United States and/or the Judeo-Christian values that use to be predominant in the United States. I'm sure many will argue, but I would say that we are really past "conserving" these things now. The bill of rights has been severally eroded and is on the cusp of being lost entirely. Our current political situation would be best described in my opinion as a semi-fascist state. (Fascism meaning socialist welfare systems and national control of industry). It's time to move the country back in the right direction. No more conserving. The left on the other hand (is that a pun?) often describes conservatives as simply, 'people that don't like change' and liberals opposingly as creative people who like to find new ways of doing things. A laughable set of definitions as far as I'm concerned but the Republican establishment seems to have bought into it as their goal seems to be maintaining the status quo at all costs, no matter what the status quo may be. As far as I'm concerned we should let the left be the conservatives. Let them conserve this 'socialist utopia' they've created.

Concerning the word "liberal" one can't help but think of "liberty", as that is the root of the word, but the beliefs of America's liberals are quite the opposite of liberty making it completely inappropriate as it's normally applied to people.

Progressive is a term used by the left (lets just be honest and call them socialists) in the early 20th century, through their own actions they soiled the word, causing them to switch to "liberal". Some American socialists have reclaimed the term recently and it is (I think) the number one label used by conservative pundits to characterize the opposition. I have always found this to be an unwise use of words. What is actually meant by this, as I'm sure most of you know, is Progressive SOCIALIST. But by using the word "Progressive" it puts the impression in uninformed minds that they are for "progress" and as a consequence others are not. I am most definitely FOR progress. It's just not progress to the same place as the "progressives".

The Left/Right labels started in France in the late 18th century when supporters of the crown sat on the right during debates and supporters of reform (and later revolution) sat on the left. Later in Europe it was used with Fascists on the right and Communists on the left, in America today it is used with all socialists (fascists,socialists,communists) on the left and Judeo-Christian/Free Market people on the right. The difference between all of these categorizations is pretty extreme. The only thread between them is something of a conservative nature on the right, albeit conserving different things. The least obvious one might be Nazi Germany but the "third reich" was referring to the third German empire they were trying to build. Bringing the glory back to Germany as it were. Aside from this there really are no similarities. That being the case, these terms really serve no utility. All they do is allow people to pair their opposition with people they have nothing to do with. You really can't divide ideology into two parts with any type of accuracy. For instance, take the alt-right. If you listen to what their leadership believes(socialism, abortion, environmentalism), they are basically Democrats. And I have no doubt if one of the unofficial planks of the Democratic Party wasn't that all white people are evil the alt-right would also vote that way. There is truly no reason to categorize the alt-right as being on the right. Doing so puts us in a position where we have to defend ourselves where all reason would dictate this as an internal socialist issue that we have nothing to do with.

For all those reasons I shudder every time I come across the need to use one of these words in an argument. So often it provokes some kind of false equivalence I have to waste time debunking. It's infuriating. And not really that surprising considering all of these terms were originally applied by Democrats. Maybe it's time we used our own terms...whatever they may be.

Offline taxed

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Re: The Labels We Use In Politics
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 05:11:05 PM »
Great post Jason.  I've been trying to be more mindful of the labels.  I try not to use "liberals" as much and am trying to disassociate the mental imagery I have of some smelly hippie and trying to think about liberals in the classic sense.  I tend to use the correct assignment now, which is pretty much "Marxist".

Offline Solar

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Re: The Labels We Use In Politics
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 08:11:08 AM »
Interesting thread Jason. If I forget, someone bump this in a couple of days, I'd like to address a few points, not to correct, but expand upon them.
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Offline TboneAgain

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Re: The Labels We Use In Politics
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 05:17:21 PM »
Interesting stuff. Actually, "liberal" and "liberty" are rooted in the Latin liber, which means free. (Three years of high school Latin, and this is what I use it for. LOL)

I stopped using "liberal" to refer to the Left some years ago, mainly because it is so wildly, doublespeak-style, inaccurate. Rush still uses it most of the time, but even he has taken steps to get away from it, or at least to recognize what we're really up against. He recently released his 'upgraded' car magnet for what he used to call "The Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies." Now it reads "The Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Anti-Leftist Studies." I'm of two minds about that change. On the one hand, the new one lays it on the line better than the old version. On the other hand, it defines our cause in negative terms, and also in terms of who we're not, rather than who we are. (Also, I recognize that Rush is in it for the money, and 'upgrading' the magnet is kinda like redesigning the grille on next year's pickup truck.)

In the long view, the Left has used two terms for itself since the turn of the 20th century -- liberal and progressive. They have worn both of those terms to tatters. And of course, both are false, outright lies. The Left is neither liberal nor progressive, and in fact it is the opposite of both terms. But the old axiom holds true now as then -- if the Left didn't lie to your face you'd never vote for them.

When it comes to terminology, one of my favorite hobbies is referring to the "Democrat Party." If you really want to piss off a Leftist in this country, use that name for his organization. You'll get "it's DemocratIC!!!! It makes me wonder if the GOP should rename itself the "Republicanish Party."
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Offline Walter Josh

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Re: The Labels We Use In Politics
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 12:25:40 PM »
I am constantly tortured by these labels we use in politics. At times they are seemingly universally misrepresentative of the groups they purport to describe. One might forgive the US political parties for using the pointlessly generic names that they do but some of the other terms we use might truly drive me insane at some point. Is it too much to ask for some truth in advertising? If someone were to ask me what my views are politically, I could not truly respond in anything less than a paragraph. There is seemingly no umbrella term I can trust to describe myself. Perhaps y'all can help me, here are some of my problems with the conventional language for all sides:

Let's start with the word "conservative". It is generally defined by the right as wanting to conserve the liberties assured to us by the constitution of the United States and/or the Judeo-Christian values that use to be predominant in the United States. I'm sure many will argue, but I would say that we are really past "conserving" these things now. The bill of rights has been severally eroded and is on the cusp of being lost entirely. Our current political situation would be best described in my opinion as a semi-fascist state. (Fascism meaning socialist welfare systems and national control of industry). It's time to move the country back in the right direction. No more conserving. The left on the other hand (is that a pun?) often describes conservatives as simply, 'people that don't like change' and liberals opposingly as creative people who like to find new ways of doing things. A laughable set of definitions as far as I'm concerned but the Republican establishment seems to have bought into it as their goal seems to be maintaining the status quo at all costs, no matter what the status quo may be. As far as I'm concerned we should let the left be the conservatives. Let them conserve this 'socialist utopia' they've created.

Concerning the word "liberal" one can't help but think of "liberty", as that is the root of the word, but the beliefs of America's liberals are quite the opposite of liberty making it completely inappropriate as it's normally applied to people.

Progressive is a term used by the left (lets just be honest and call them socialists) in the early 20th century, through their own actions they soiled the word, causing them to switch to "liberal". Some American socialists have reclaimed the term recently and it is (I think) the number one label used by conservative pundits to characterize the opposition. I have always found this to be an unwise use of words. What is actually meant by this, as I'm sure most of you know, is Progressive SOCIALIST. But by using the word "Progressive" it puts the impression in uninformed minds that they are for "progress" and as a consequence others are not. I am most definitely FOR progress. It's just not progress to the same place as the "progressives".
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Russell Kirk articulated several Conservative Principles for Heritage, decades ago, among them:
* Man is ruled by an enduring Moral Order framed by the Natural Law, which governs culture, society and individual conscience.
* We are mere dwarfs who stand on the massive shoulders of the giants of antiquity, who founded our civilization.
* Prudence to measure the impact on the future of actions taken in the now, is the most vital attribute of leadership.
* Variety rather than sameness is the catalyst for creativity which is why Men are never equal, derivative of Plato.
* Man is not a perfectible creature in our material world.
* Custom and tradition are a natural check on the lust for power.
* Private property is a necessary constraint on the impulse of the State to control.
Conservatism being non-dogmatic and non-ideological, is a core of attitudes, behaviors and sentiments about human nature and life itself.
If you hear any of Kirk's premises discussed in either conversation or the media, you're definitely in a dream.


« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 04:41:55 PM by taxed »

 

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