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pudge (1)

pudge
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I run this joint, see?

Journal of pudge (1)

Monday May 06, 2002
03:16 PM

This World Ain't Big Enough For Two

[ #4702 ]

A far-right leader in the Netherlands was shot. Maybe it's just me, but I have seen recently a lot of rabid intolerance for people who have unpopular viewpoints, especially of those on the far right. Hating the ideas is translated to hating the individual who has those ideas. It's fairly sickening, far moreso than the ideas that are the object of the conflict in the first place. My primary hypocrisy is that I am intolerant of intolerance and hypocrisy, and killing those who are intolerant is the ultimate of both.

"If it was politically motivated, this criminal act shows to what extent certain hysterical positions like those shown by the French left over the past 15 days can incite hatred," Bruno Megret, head of France's right-wing National Republican Movement (MNR), told French news agency AFP.

He's right, you know. Except for the "left" part. It's a danger with any group that gets "hysterical" over the viewpoints of others, and this certainly is no limited to the left. Democracy is supposed to be about the free exchange of ideas. It's supposed to be a good thing when such bad, illogical, and evil viewpoints are brought to the fore, only to be defeated by popular opinion. That's a wonderful thing. Even better is when there is no clear viewpoint that's right or wrong, and the people get to hear both sides, and make informed choices. That's democracy. It's good. Silence is not. It's bad.

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  • I for one am tired of having racism identified with the right. I'm tired of hearing people tell me I should change parties because my party is right wing and so was Hitler, as if there were any similarities between the two.

    I don't think "left" and "right" is adequate to describe the spectrum anymore.

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • That's a somewhat different issue, though perhaps no less important. Labels are important for our understanding of the world, but we must recognize that they are only the beginning of understanding. I can say that beer and cognac are both alcoholic beverages, but that is only meaningful at a certain level, and even then not very meaningful.
    • Where I used to work one of my coworkers would say that a graph of political thoughts is more like a circle. Moderates on both sides are very similar and as you go to the extremes the extreme righ and the extreme left thinking individuals have more in common with each other than anyone else.

      I thought it was a very interesting way to illustrate political thinking. :-)
      • Well, and in many respects, it's true. A good example are the World Bank protestors, which are mostly far-left and far-right activists. Even in the U.S. Congress, it's not uncommon to see the far-left and far-right come to agreement on certain bills, against the moderates.
      • :) The original second paragraph to my post (which I deleted before posting) mentioned how a high school teacher drew that circle for our class and I never bought it. While there are people shooting each other on both ends (and actually all up and down) the spectrum, I can never see someone becoming so anti-gun-control that they become pro-gun-control, for example.

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
          • Yeah, I do see what everyone's saying here, and it's shedding some light on that circle (which has bothered me for seven or eight years). Always before I've felt like people were using it to say, "Viewpoints don't matter, as long as you don't take them strongly. When you take them strongly, you become just like the other side. See? That proves viewpoints don't matter. So since your viewpoints don't matter, you should just drop your point and accept mine."

            Seriously, until today, that's how I've heard

            --
            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • There is a Non Sequitur strip which represents exactly this. (p111 of Beastly Things)

        Political identification process in the ninteies

        Step 1:
        Evaluate your life and choose a direction everyone should follow

        Step 2:
        Emphasize your direction

        Step 3:
        Exaggerate your position to clarify differences.
        (I must admit I am occasionally guilty of this particular conceit, in any realm)

        Step 4:
        Entrench yourself in the dogma of your chosen side and eliminate the bothersome task of thinking for yourself.

        Step 5:
        See Step 1
        --
        Were that I say, pancakes?
    • I disagree that "left" and "right" are inadequate. They are of course insufficient, and of course there are points of agreement between the two, but the facts show (at least here in France) that those two sides have different agendas and different methods, and that the distinction is mostly consistent. I also think that the circle metaphore is only punctually correct and generally useless, and that the positioning on a square/map is about as relevant as psychological tests in lousy magazines.

      Howeve

      --

      -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

      • Well, the problem to me is that in general, there is a standard understanding of which position on an issue is "left" and which is "right." Now, in general I'd be "right," but unfortunately some of the points of view that are called right not only don't describe me, but don't describe most conservatives I know. Racism is identified with the "right," but I know very few right-wing American racists. The libertarian site with the quiz I took yesterday said most people on the right were in favor of censorshi

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
        • I think that there may be historical reasons for this inadequacy, ie that maybe it is adequate here but not over there.

          In France, before the Dreyfus affair, it was possible (and in fact not uncommon) to be on the left and racist. After the Dreyfus affair, it became completely impossible and thus racism became a right thing. That habit hasn't changed since.

          In the US there was no Dreyfus affair, and that may have had an influence.

          --

          -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

      • Hmmm. It says I'm a libertarian. No surprise.

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
        • Now that I've glanced through the quiz FAQ, I should clarify that remark. One of the FAQ's was, "Isn't this a trick to tell everyone they're libertarian?" I wasn't suggesting anything of the sort; I'm not surprised to hear myself identified as libertarian because I've long been sympathetic to that philosophy.

          --
          J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • Pudge you don't know what you are talking about.
    Megret is a bona fide neo-nazi. His ideas are abject and should be fought relentlessly. And yes they make him a slimy bastard. And yes I hate him.
    These people do not participate in Democracy, they just spread hatred and madness.
    BTW there were anti-national front demonstrations every day for 2 weeks in every major city in France, more than a million people marched on May 1rst, and there were virtually no incidents, contrary to what happen a few years ago when n
    --
    mirod
    • It's quite true, I think, that we Americans literally cannot comprehend some of the racism of Europe's "far right." (Although our minority citizens probably have a better idea than white guys like me.) I made a post under davorg's journal entry about the BNP, asking for help in understanding because we just don't see that kind of attitude taken to that kind of extreme succeeding in politics over here. We have the attitudes, but people who express them are almost never politically successful (haven't been

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • I've had your comments on the BNP open in another window for a little while, I'll answer there when I get more time.

        But to give a first idea, FN (Le Pen) and MNR (Mégret) ideologists can be roughly categorized in two sections, both of which are racists.

        One section is for genocide. It comprises very few intellectuals, mostly old nazis or collaborators, or some people that were involved in dirty operations in Algeria.

        The other section can be called racialist. What they believe is t

        --

        -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

        • You know those stories you read about the young person who lived the sheltered life and when he finally gets out can't believe how terrible the world is? That's how I feel right now. While we have people like that here in the States, they are almost universally vilified by the public. They would never succeed in politics. Half of the time when there's a charge of racism, it's because someone thinks we shouldn't have affirmative action programs with quotas to guarantee a certain percentage of minorities

          --
          J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
          • They were fought strongly (and efficiently) here too for a while. But when the MNR split itself out of the FN, we made the mistake of thinking that we'd won. Unfortunately, Le Pen is a political killer. Since 1998 he softened his public speeches, and pretended to be dead. He made a blitz presidential campaign and that's how he went so far.

            I've made the comment for the past few years or so that I don't believe in using the term "race." We're all humans made by God.

            Indeed, I very much doubt tha

            --

            -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

      • My point is that megret's quote should be put in context: it comes from a neo-nazi, after 2 weeks of incredibly pacific demonstrations in the street against what he represents. There were no calls for violence against the national front in France, just calls for people to vote. Hence what he says is just not true. What happened in The Netherlands has no relation to the French situation. This is just the usual rethoric of a paranoid mind that likes to appear as a victim and is quick to use any opportunity to
        --
        mirod
          • Actually the anti-le pen demonstrations before the second round of the elections were quite interesting: the right kinda laid low, some of its leaders even said that they thought the demonstrations were counter-productive, making le pen look like a victim. The left embraced the demonstrations but did not overplay its hand. It was mostly people demonstrating as individuals.
            The demonstrations were of course about beating le pen but also about being proud to be French, about apologizing for the stupidity of so
            --
            mirod
            • It's no more than Pat Buchanan would have had to take if he ever found himself in a similar position.

              I think Buchanan advocates closed borders and protective tarrifs, but I don't think he advocates racism like Le Pen. If my understanding is correct, then I would hope Buchanan wouldn't face what Le Pen did if he were in a runoff.

              --
              J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
              • I agree with you on a number of points here (and elsewhere), but I think there are a number of nuances to be made.

                To begin with, keep in mind that in Europe the WWII trauma is still very much alive. Even a young guy like me (25) knows first hand accounts from the war. My family is not part of any minority that was specifically targetted by nazism, but nevertheless many of my family members were killed or tortured by the nazis. My grandparents and my great-grandparents were part of the first wave of

                --

                -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

              • I felt literally sick going out this morning and knowing that 1 personne out 8 I would see in the street voted for a fascist ... amongst which most likely half of the people I buy my bread, groceries, etc...

                Well, that attitude, which I've seen a lot in recent weeks, sickens me. It is closed-minded, it is not representative of properly working democracy, it is not a love of freedom of ideas. It is villification of people who may have different ideas. It is hatred.

                It's not hatred, it's just that I fel

                --
                mirod
                  • we need to get along with people who think differently than we do.

                    I have no problem getting along with people who actually think. Too bad this does not include people who voted for le pen.

                    OK, that was a joke. And I'll stop here. I think our difference boils down to the fact that you always want to convince people of your ideas, or at least discuss them (then convince them ;--), while I really prefer to live and let live. The result is that when something like neo-nazi vote comes along you are still re

                    --
                    mirod
              • Maybe I am especially sensitive to this because in the US, I am villified because I want to end federal welfare, make abortion illegal, increase military spending, etc. Many people think I am evil scum for my beliefs, and it is sickening. Most of these people purport to love diversity and different ideas, but they lie.

                Welcome to the club, pudge! :)

                They hate what is different, and it is disgusting to me. The rare person I meet who completely disagrees with me but still respects me and accepts that I

                --
                J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • Democracy is supposed to be about the free exchange of ideas. It's supposed to be a good thing when such bad, illogical, and evil viewpoints are brought to the fore, only to be defeated by popular opinion.

    Even in its ideal form (i.e., before corporations start pulling the strings), democracy has little in the way of safeguards to stop the majority from oppressing minorities. Maybe that's the problem that things like assassination mean to fix.