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Open Thread

October 25, 2009

right leftClick here to enlarge

Hat tip Andrew Sullivan who writes,

But this dumb and lazy-ass “right-left” rubric really does have to stop some time.

As long as there are those who seek to radically transform this country and this world with the power of government there will need to be those who need to stand up and challenge them. That said, everyone doesn’t need to fit into the Right-Left fight, and those of us who do don’t always need to be in combat mode.

  1. P-Diddle permalink
    October 25, 2009 4:33 pm

    At first, I thought this would be interesting, but this rubric is built on tired stereotypes meant to only divide and separate the people. I agree with Andrew that the typical left-right analysis is lazy and just tired.

  2. October 25, 2009 5:27 pm

    The stereotypes are the point of the David’s commentary.

    I find this graphic very interesting as it is about what it says: Left vs. Right

    it is NOT about Conservatives vs. Liberals. Those are styles of thought that are not incompatible.

    As a Leftist/Right-wing observation I think it is brilliant. Someone needs to create graphic in the middle that is just as detailed to define intelligent thought.

    {The Heretic looks around.}

    I guess I just elected myself. I think I have a date with CorelDraw next week.

    • Jonathan permalink
      October 26, 2009 12:10 pm

      They probably used this chart to make the movie “Pleasantville.”

      But whatever, this one employs the typical “cool people versus geeks” approach of leftists to define the untouchable class. Being a target would most intimidate those who are image conscious and fearful of being shunned. Sort of the “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” version of Maoist group criticism.

      This is why the left relies on celebrities to do the pit bull attacks on American values. Psychologically, it is the equivalent of the most popular football player or cheerleader ridiculing the pocket protector nerd in full view of the whole school. This is the WORST nightmare a liberal could imagine. Being denounced. So naturally, they think the conservative feels that way as well.

      The Nazis used this sort of psuedo science against the Jews and… the Jews are still here.

      Incidentally, I hope this poster doesn’t provoke leftist rank and filers to look down on Muslims. They tend to be way more conservative than most folks.

  3. Cas Balicki permalink
    October 25, 2009 7:19 pm

    Since this is an open thread let’s talk Ayn Rand:

    “The only people who hate Ayn Rand, are the leftists because she stands for freedom, liberty AND responsibility for one’s actions… And fanatical religious extremists, who are unable to understand her philosophy, because her atheism makes them hate her so much…..

    “You don’t know how much you’re missing..”

    I‘ve read all of Ayn Rand’s stuff except Anthem, I may yet get around to it but I’m not sure. What you get from Rand is classic argument by caricature. Before I go on, however, the important themes of her oeuvre, especially the theme of personal responsibility, are fundamental to a healthy society, but that doesn’t make her a great or even a good writer. The problem with Rand is that her characters are all two dimensional in that they are either leeches or producers. Her novels can best be best described as the classic beehive divided neatly between workers bees and drones.

    What is interesting about the drones is that they are limned as useless except that they seem to have a genius for political organization. Wheat really gets Rand’s drones/villains motivated is some other guy’s production. So here’s the caricature as far as the drones are concerned: They’re all useless at anything they do while at the same time they are organizational geniuses in that they can organize political resources to achieve their ambitions which are to steal from the producers. The producers are–now I know most of you are way ahead of me here—great at organizing the means of production, but, you guessed it, absolutely useless at organizing political power. This is to say the least a very blunt metaphor doubtless aimed at Democrats and one which serves as Rand’s leitmotif.

    Now, before conservatives of every stripe start jumping up and down shouting that these are truly the facts of political life, let’s step back for a sec and think about man as a political animal. We can argue that certain factions in our society are better or worse than others at political organization, but what can’t be argued is the fact that we all are involved in what can only be described as organizing for political gain. Indeed, if the proliferation of lobbyists in Washington is anything to go by it might even be argued that we are all, left and right, doing way too much political organizing. Sadly, there is so much of this organizing and lobbying going on today that economists have christened it “rent seeking.”

    ** Spoiler alert! ** When it comes to resolution of these worker bee drone tensions, Ayn Rand’s denouements invariably have the producers withdraw their production to the great lamentations of the drones. Does any of this strike anyone as even remotely realistic in today’s day and age? This is like saying we shouldn’t piss Bill Gates off because he might stop selling us Windows Vista. All I have to say to that is that at about two hundred bucks a pop, not bloody likely, especially given his payroll and yacht club fees.

  4. J Hampton permalink
    October 26, 2009 3:58 am

    Mr. Swindle
    I am sorry to bring this up again but I have unsubscribed and subscribed as you instructed and I am still not getting my email alerts ref comments. I have also checked my junk email folder and they are not going there. Is there any other suggestion or help I can get. Thank you.

    • October 26, 2009 6:52 am

      You’re talking about getting alerts to new comments? I’m sorry Jack, I really don’t know. I’m not wordpress technical support. You can get answers to wordpress problems here:

  5. The Inquisitor permalink
    October 27, 2009 6:06 am

    The only problem with the left-right paradigm is that it has collected so much nonessential baggage. That baggage, like barnacles on a ship, has become so encrusted that it’s probably impossible to chip off.

    There are only two basic political philosophies:

    Force: advocates force as society’s organizing principle.

    Voluntary Exchange: advocates voluntary exchange as society’s organizing principle.

    Force means the initiation of the use of force. As the state has a monopoly on the use of force it falls on the state, according to Forcers, to organize society by the initiation of the use of force.

    Changers, those who subscribe to Voluntary Exchange, rule out the initiation of the use of force by anyone, including the state — perhaps especially the state. The state may use force only in retaliation against those who initiate the use of force.

    Those who are Forcers on some issues and Changers on others are either ignorant or unprincipled, literally unprincipled.

    • Jonathan permalink
      October 29, 2009 11:01 am

      And that’s precisely why the Founding Fathers set this country up the way they did. And they warned us what to watch out for.

      We ignored them.

      During the Vietnam/Counter-Culture Era, the left was all about free speech and free expression. When was the last time we heard the left talk about free speech?

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