‘The fundamental divide between left and right’

Food for thought (and comment);

It’s like we’ve forgotten a basic fact of leftwing politics. It’s built on solidarity.

That’s the fundamental divide between left and right.

We believe in community and cooperation. They believe in self-interest. We’re about the collective. They’re about the individual.

We know that the important question is not “how does this benefit me personally?” It’s “how does this benefit us all.”

Standing together, not because we’re all the same and we’re all after the same thing, but because we have the same enemy: capitalism, which takes many forms: patriarchy, white supremacy, social conservatism.

From The political prospects for 2017: living our values (in which there are some other interesting points).

It is common for those on the political left (and also on the political right) to see their own views and ideologies as close to ideal, and opposing views and ideologies as close to totally misguided at best, and despicable and evil at worst.

15 Comments

  1. David

     /  January 28, 2017

    Another 14yo has a go writing about politics.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  January 28, 2017

      and a 5yo responds with an ad hom attack….nice try David.

      —————

      Politics isn’t about Left or Right any more. Politics used to be like that. You were either Labour or National, Liberal or Conservative, Democrat or Republican, and there was always a nice tidy space between the two.

      Then there was a recentering of policies on both sides, because extreme ideologies never really work.

      Not any more. Farage and Gove came along and showed that politics could be overwhelmed by a single ideology. The pro-Brexit camp showed the world that there was no middle ground. You’re either Us or Them, Right or Wrong.

      Then Trump came along with an ideologically-driven platform and reinforced the Pro-Brexiters. Politics in the West is now all about what the “West” is. Do you stand for Western Liberalism or Nationalistic Protectionism? Democracy and freedom? Or fascism? Do you stand for ethical transparency, honesty and truth? Or do you challenge truth and democracy?

      The old Left-Right divides don’t exist any more, And playing the old political games don’t work.

      The new battlefield is democracy and truth and those who would undermine both.

  2. Concerning politics or ‘socio-economic governance’, what’s written there and almost everywhere else is essentially NOT about Left and Right …

    It is about “fundamental divide” …

    I cite David’s comment above as an example … along with many or most of my own …

    Fundamental divide is the thing both ‘sides’ actually wish to maintain …

    “The State models its life on the ‘State morality’ [be it self-interest or communal: polarised, either/or ideologies, which reality never matches] … This enables them [States] to commit wth impunity acts which no individual could do without retribution … Hence, the restoration of the world to a sound moral basis requires that the State shall be superceded” – Frank E Warner, ‘Future of Man’, 1944.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 28, 2017

    Dunno, PZ. If I could unravel what you are trying to say I might even agree with it.

    • We want division Alan … We want to fight … Doesn’t really matter what about …

      Personally I think some element of the so-called Left is where the real hope of bridging the divide lies. But nowadays its derisively labelled ‘social justice’ and other pet put-downs and summarily dismissed …

      If it could be clearly communicated so as not to ellicit an automatic, instant, disproportionate and highly defensive reaction from the so-called Right …

      But what hope of that Alan … when all we really want to do is fight … ?

      • PDB

         /  January 28, 2017

        Beat yourself up all you like and create problems that don’t actually exist PZ but our NZ democracy has spoken in the 3 past elections and it has been a stern ‘no’ to far left-wing nonsense.

        Rodgers: “I don’t even want to know what new fascist executive order Donald Trump has signed in the time it took me to walk here this evening”.

        When you start a post like that you’ve already lost the argument.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 28, 2017

        Much better, PZ. I gave you a tick for clarity and for not inventing any long woolly words.

        Fighting is the prime purpose of identity politics, isn’t it? And the unintended outcome in the US is that the deplorables gave the political elite an uppercut.

        But I think what is becoming evident is that Trump had a real political agenda and he is very focused on ticking off the achievements on his list. Fighting is only a means to that end. Whereas for the Democrats fighting is all they have.

        • I guess what you mean Alan is, “fighting is the prime purpose of YOUR (Parti’s) identity politics, not MY (Alan’s) ________ politics”? Write your own adjective _______ e.g. balanced, perfectly centre, libertarian, liberal …?

          We’re talking here about Left and Right generally IMO, so I’d rather not focus YET AGAIN on the Trump/Clinton, Republican/Democrat thing in the USA.

          IMHO the American situation lends great credence to Joe Bloggs’ assertion that “The old Left-Right divides don’t exist any more, And playing the old political games don’t work.”

          Over there its just a mixed-up potpouri web of muddle, invested influence, intrigue and deceipt [new word # 85 … sorry] “deceit thats paid for” …

  4. “but because we have the same enemy: capitalism, which takes many forms: patriarchy, white supremacy, social conservatism.”

    Patriarchy? Hmmm….certainly not in the Western Countries – maybe he means Islam?

    A woman can be anything and do anything in a Western Country, they have freedoms their great Grandmothers would be flabbergasted by. Female Leaders in a political sense are strewn around the Western Democracies. Senior government officials, senior bankers, lawyers & Judges, heads of major companies. The only limit is imposed by DNA – the call to bear children is hard thing for a woman to juggle with a career.

    White Supremacy? You having a laugh. Western Democracies are so much more liberal about race than virtual any other bloc of countries on the planet… interracial marriages and relationships are everywhere.

    Go have a look at India, China, Saudi for their attitudes towards people of other races. it will open your eyes…

    Social Conservatism? What does that even mean – its a nothing concept in the sense of something to fight against. In the West no one much cares if your a female rooting a female or a bloke rooting a bloke. No cares if you choose to raise a family on your own or with a same sex partner. No one cares if your an atheist or an agnostic or even a satanist…. The old taboos around sex, family structure, religion are goneburger.

    And the best part about “but because we have the same enemy: capitalism, which takes many forms: patriarchy, white supremacy, social conservatism.” is it attributes these problem characteristics with Capitalism as if they are outgrowths of Capitalism. What a complete crock. Nothing to do with capitalism – a business owner interested in pursuing profit doesn’t care about religion, sexual preference, how you run your family.

    Some of the biggest pushers of men first, effing the wogs and fags should die are to be found in the Unions rank and file memberships and core left wing parties deep support base, i.e. Working Class blokes and sheilas… and this explains the evaporation of a fair chunk of Labour in particulars base support. Its old working class support is dying out and what should be its modern support based is being waged war on by the Party pushing this bullshit line “but because we have the same enemy:…… patriarchy, white supremacy, social conservatism.”

    True working class issues like wages and conditions, workplace safety, access to quality Primary/Secondary education, access to quality healthcare [which we all have here in NZ] are just after thoughts for many on the Left these days. Those issues are given lip service while “social justice” is pursued. And “social justice” looks a lot like the politics of minority rights over others rights, rights with no corresponding responsibility and the politics of envy summed up in that old chestnut “Rich pricks, pay your share” etc etc.

    The lefts key battles were won, especially in NZ, a generation ago. Its no wonder they thrash about and exaggerate so much. The current crop have been cheated of their glory by their ideological forebears winning all the major battles…

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 28, 2017

    TDS sufferers try to have California exit the US. That would certainly stuff the Democrats’ chances of electing another President as well as losing them another two Senate votes.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11790598

    Maybe the next Republican President will have run on building a wall along the Californian border.

    • Yes … to keep vast numbers of non-Californians from illegally migrating … to keep them inside the other 49 states …