Rightwing extremism & disillusionment with the left

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Dec 27 2018 11:04
Rightwing extremism & disillusionment with the left

What are your thoughts on this hypothesis?

A major cause of fascism, or rightwing extremism of any type, is disillusionment with the left, whether that disillusionment comes through a failed revolution, or the failure of "leftist" politicians to live up to their rhetoric, or something else.

I'm pretty sure I've heard/read others propose this idea, but I don't remember who. (Maybe someone here knows who has, or better yet can name the book or article or whatever where they discuss it.)

zugzwang
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Dec 27 2018 11:18

I suppose I could see that happening with impressionable people who maybe don't have good understanding of "leftist" ideas in the first place, lots of people like that on the internet.

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Dec 27 2018 12:07

I'm not all that well read on this argument but there's a historical argument that fascism comes in to being when a workers' revolt is able to stop the old society functioning but not strong enough to bring the new society into being. Like I said I don't know the argument too well.
That's clearly not what's happening at the moment though so I don't know if that helps.

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Dec 27 2018 13:31

This is currently being discussed here...

https://libcom.org/library/adam-smith-richard-spencer-why-libertarians-t...

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Dec 27 2018 13:35

Yeah, I think there's like 3 different things to unpack here - there's your classic 1930s fascism, as a response to revolutionary movements that couldn't overthrow the system altogether but still posed enough of a threat that capital needed to crush them with extreme measures - as Fingers says, not what's happening now, which is why the Tories aren't embracing Tommy Robinson, the altright may like the Republicans but (most) Republicans don't like the altright, etc.
Secondly, you have like nationalist populism as a response to the failures of the centre - I think this is a fair enough characterisation, but, while Lula, Clinton, pro-EU politicians or whoever else may use lefty rhetoric, there's definitely a huge gap between them and like the 1920s KPD, Italian factory occupations or whatever, so I guess you could call them both "failures of the left", but like very different failures of very different lefts.
Third, there's like the Nagle thesis, the one that an unkind person might summarise as like "sjws were rude to me so now I'm a nazi". Again, imo there is like a grain of truth in this, in that all far-right mobilisations show that "the left", or whatever your preferred term is, has failed to mobilise that same constituency more effectively*, but I think a lot of people who make this argument tend to make it in a kind of ahistorical way - like, "revolutionaries can't communicate with these audiences because young people nowadays are stupid and bad", rather than "the neoliberal offensive of the last few decades destroyed - and has to continually keep attacking - the structures that allowed people to get involved in collective direct action and so made socialist/anarchist ideas potentially relevant to their lives". Or in other words everything is actually all Thatcher's fault, even stuff in Brazil or wherever.

I can try and dig up reading suggestions if you want, but like I say I think that's at least three different lines of argument, so depends which one you're most interested in?

Eta: god, I say "like" waaaay too much.

*although I think that it's also possible to overstate the impact of what the right is doing - because we don't want nazis to be doing *anything*, I think it's possible to react as if them doing anything is a big deal, when judged by our own standards like "putting some stickers up" or "having a small march" would be like totally routine stuff, worth doing but definitely not proof of a growing mass movement or anything...

Scallywag
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Dec 30 2018 01:42

I think disillusionment with the left also comes from the fact that we have to start from the position of not being in a left wing society and so having to deal with the demands of capitalism and the values it encourages notably individualism, selfishness, greed and competition.

Those values encourage us to be concerned primarily with ourselves and the advancement of our own wealth/status/career/lifestyle the pursuit of which is generally seen to be one of the points of life. Collectively it is in our interest to abolish the capitalist system and all get a bigger piece of the pie, but it can be hard to get people to think this way when everyone is working on advancing individually and when capitalism promotes itself as a system which enables advancement/class mobility.

The same values also create collective feelings of disempowerment and fear to take action. People seek to avoid any trouble and think if they keep their head down, work hard and be a good citizen under capitalist democracy that they can mostly avoid trouble. Leftism however says that something is fundamentally and systemically wrong with society which can only be changed if people take action.

This leads on to my final point that is generally pretty hard to be a leftist. You are forced to acknowledge the many terrible things that are wrong with the world, and perhaps your own complicity or privilege in some of those things. Also when we consider how difficult some of these issues are to deal with like climate change and its cause the necessity of growth under capitalism then it can be very depressing to be regularly thinking about. The right on the other hand offers people pretty easy even if false answers like simply denying the problems of the world, scapegoating others or promoting nationalism (us first before everyone else) as a solution.

Please note though that I am only providing some ideas as to why I think people are disillusioned with the left, not why people are or turn to fascism, that I don't really know how to answer.

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Dec 30 2018 11:51

I've read and re-read the thread over the past few days but delayed my reply in the hopes I'd think of something intelligent to add, but looks like that ain't happening! I would love to settle for adding something unintelligent, but I'm afraid I don't even have that!

[Edit: Oh, looks like I did think of a few things to say! Nice.]

Some good insights here to think about (and another thread to read; thanks, Noah Fence!) I like how R Totale's post broke it down into the three categories, something which I had vaguely in mind in my OP but was too lazy to sort out the tangle of thoughts in my head.

Quote:
"sjws were rude to me so now I'm a nazi".

I agree there's a grain of truth in this, but it's more like anti-SJW sentiments are a gateway drug that might (depending on the type of person) eventually lead to nazism. Especially if you watch anti-SJW videos on youtube. The algorithm will then start recommending all kinds of rightwing extremist propaganda in your recommended videos. I suspect similar things can happen if you like enough anti-SJW memes on facebook or join an anti-SJW facebook page, you'd then be recommended groups that are rightwing extremist.

And Scallywag, you're right, it ain't easy having political views that make you see how deeply fucked up things are and how desperately the need for profound change through massive collective action and class struggle which seems so fucking remote and unlikely, plus the difficulties of trying to fight oppressions that you and your friends and comrades at times are guilty of perpetuating or fucking up on, and all the cluster fuck of hurt feelings that can kicked up when trying to address each other's shit, how can we build solidarity and feelings of camaraderie when we are in small ways also the enemy, how can we address this shit without being mean SJWs who alienate people, and fuck, even I want to hang up my hat just writing this!

You don't have to dig up sources, R Totale, I'm not really looking for something to read (well maybe in the future but not anytime soon) so much as to be able to say, "Hey, this other person said this, it's not just some idea I pulled directly out of my own ass." Also to give credit where it's due and all.

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Dec 30 2018 12:29

An excellent post LBC though I suspect there is some sort of extra stimulus inspiring what you write?
Anyways, like I say, a great post, just one little bit I didn’t like...

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Also to give credit where it's due and all.

What a boring and redundant notion!

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Dec 30 2018 17:10
Lucky Black Cat wrote:
And Scallywag, you're right, it ain't easy having political views that make you see how deeply fucked up things are and how desperately the need for profound change through massive collective action and class struggle which seems so fucking remote and unlikely,

I was trying to offer some ideas as to why some people are right wing rather than left wing or why they drift away from the left to the right, and I think part of that is basically because being left wing is harder.

I guess it doesn't really matter though because that is out of our control and it won't ultimately stop us from being leftists and anarchists, also when people have their conditions under attack then I think they would realise that being right wing isn't actually easier and that it is a dead end.

Some things I think we could do better though that are more in our control is that we need to reclaim freedom as a left wing idea not a right wing one, and people need to see the more positive and constructive side of left ideas rather than just the side which sometimes seems aggressive and destructive. I think it far more the fault of the authoritarian leftists that the left has come to be viewed this way though than it is anarchists.

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Dec 30 2018 18:51
Quote:
we need to reclaim freedom as a left wing idea not a right wing one

I think this is a very important idea. It’s covered in this booklet I just read...

https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Whither_Anarchism.html?id=_rEwtAE...

It seems to me that freedom and equality have become dirty words in certain sections of the left. The term ‘identity politics’ is slung around as a perjorative at the mereset mention of gender or whatever, with accusations of liberalism not far behind. It’s fucking ridiculous to conflate freedom and equality and the identification of particular modes of oppression with liberalism just because they are part of the liberal vocabulary.
Anyways, glad you bought that up.

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Dec 30 2018 19:19

I think there was some of this on the socialism of the fool thread. I think there have been some good points so far and I think I am just repeating things.

Right-wing populaism provides a scapegoat, revolution requires hard work, which is another reason why one is more immediately pleasing and one usually leads to disillusionment. I think to an extent the 'anti-SJW' ideas is as much about an ingrained sense of injustice or refusal to listen that is supported

There was this article about Bono and while I can't stand him and disagree with the article ist has something of a point. The argument here is that we despise Bono for trying to do things while not being perfect because it is easier than doing things. Obviously Bono is a hypocritical self-aggrandising person that we don't want to support but there is a grain of truth in it.

edit: I think this idea of reclaiming freedom is a good one. The idea that any attempt to improve things is an attack on freedom is transparently false but perhaps shows their real pre-occupation.

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Dec 30 2018 20:41

Jeff Costello wrote

Quote:
Bono

This entire thread is well worth a read but post #3 is particularly relevant. Also of note is Chilli Sauce’s reference to Bono as a “wank jar”.

https://libcom.org/forums/libcommunity/biggest-bunch-wankers-supergroup-...

What the fuck has happened to the great threads of old, eh? Sigh.

freemind
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Dec 31 2018 11:21

When I was involved in AFA my comrades in the DAM would often regale me with appropriate anecdotes;
No one who is working class would go near the Left!
If a Fascist says he will do something he will!
The Left is a Paper Tiger!
The Left was always overwhelmingly Middle Class and alienated from the struggle of Working Class communities and to a lesser extent this was also the case in Anarchist/Libertarian groups too.
It reflects the distortion of Marx’s basic theory and it’s underminig/alienation/control by Middle Class parasites of Working Class militancy.
Fascists understand this and use the mistrust of said groups as a gateway into our communities.
To me as an activist in the 80/90s the Left was a NeoStalinist apologist for the monstrosity and dystopia that was Bolshevism.Insteas of confronting its failure and being progressive it buried its head in the inertia and apology that came with so called Anti Imperialism,Front groups etc

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Dec 31 2018 17:39
Quote:
I agree there's a grain of truth in this, but it's more like anti-SJW sentiments are a gateway drug that might (depending on the type of person) eventually lead to nazism. Especially if you watch anti-SJW videos on youtube. The algorithm will then start recommending all kinds of rightwing extremist propaganda in your recommended videos. I suspect similar things can happen if you like enough anti-SJW memes on facebook or join an anti-SJW facebook page, you'd then be recommended groups that are rightwing extremist.

Not from an anarchist perspective but this is a pretty detailed analysis of this phenomenon...
https://youtu.be/69obN625Fjs

I think it’s pretty clear that we need some good quality YouTube channels that offer a straightforward class analysis rather than the reformist identity based narrative of the ‘SJWs.
Maybe there are some out there already(?) but I’m not aware of any, at least none that are suitable for grabbing the attention of those that don’t already have an interest in anarchism.
You have LSR which is good but a little too advanced for absolute beginners and lacks humour which I think can be very important for engaging people. Non Compete is more entertaining but is a bit iffy politics wise. Not too bad though. Still, if we could get someone as entertaining and amusing as Cult of Dusty a lot of ears may start to prick up.

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Dec 31 2018 17:41

Oops, DP.

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Jan 4 2019 18:28

I thought this was a quite neat summary:

Quote:
Those who support oppressive “left” governments in the name of anti-imperialism make it virtually certain that the next wave of social movements will adopt reactionary right-wing politics:

“Leftist statism has enabled Ortega, a one-time revolutionary, to accumulate power and push through neoliberal reforms, provoking the same kind of grassroots revolt that has broken out in many other economic and political contexts including Greece, Turkey, Bosnia, and Brazil. This is not a question of mere international intrigue, but of the legitimate grievances that capitalism and the state are producing on a global scale. If Ortega and the statists who support him are able to monopolize the discourse of the left, there will be no outlet for legitimate popular frustration except right-wing reactionary movements.”

If you find this hard to believe, look at the state of social movements in the former Eastern Bloc. Half a century of oppressive state socialism destroyed the most powerful socialist, communist, and anarchist movements in the world, leaving despair, apathy, and reactionary ferment that linger to this day.

bastarx
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Jan 5 2019 02:38

Pity they don't apply the same critique to their support of the Rojavan attempted state.

R Totale wrote:
I thought this was a quite neat summary:

Quote:
Those who support oppressive “left” governments in the name of anti-imperialism make it virtually certain that the next wave of social movements will adopt reactionary right-wing politics:

“Leftist statism has enabled Ortega, a one-time revolutionary, to accumulate power and push through neoliberal reforms, provoking the same kind of grassroots revolt that has broken out in many other economic and political contexts including Greece, Turkey, Bosnia, and Brazil. This is not a question of mere international intrigue, but of the legitimate grievances that capitalism and the state are producing on a global scale. If Ortega and the statists who support him are able to monopolize the discourse of the left, there will be no outlet for legitimate popular frustration except right-wing reactionary movements.”

If you find this hard to believe, look at the state of social movements in the former Eastern Bloc. Half a century of oppressive state socialism destroyed the most powerful socialist, communist, and anarchist movements in the world, leaving despair, apathy, and reactionary ferment that linger to this day.

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Jan 6 2019 01:42

Trying to figure out why I got a couple downvotes. I don't mind disagreement, and in fact disagreements can be very productive in that I learn things or maybe even change my view for the better. But knowing that people disliked what I said without knowing *why* they disliked it, kinda does my head in! Anyone want to share their opinions? I promise not to hold a grudge at your downvoting. grin

Scallywag wrote:
I was trying to offer some ideas as to why some people are right wing rather than left wing or why they drift away from the left to the right, and I think part of that is basically because being left wing is harder.

Yep, and I thought you made a good point! I hope my rant didn't seem sarcastic or something?

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Jan 6 2019 02:13
Lucky Black Cat wrote:
Trying to figure out why I got a couple downvotes. I don't mind disagreement, and in fact disagreements can be very productive in that I learn things or maybe even change my view for the better. But knowing that people disliked what I said without knowing *why* they disliked it, kinda does my head in! Anyone want to share their opinions? I promise not to hold a grudge at your downvoting. grin

I've no idea, but the downvotes on this site don't always make a lot of sense like I've seen threads before which only have like 5 or 6 posts and everyone of those posts got a single down vote and maybe a few up votes making it look like one person downed every single post probably just for the sake of it. I wouldn't worry about downvotes then unless a post you make gets a lot of them.

I didn't think you were being sarcastic at all. I realise it was a little odd to write a clarification when it was pretty clear what I had said in the previous post but I felt it made it easier to start writing the next post, also you had questioned things like how it is possible to build solidarity and not alienate people almost as if these things are impossible although I know you were just agreeing with me that those things are hard, but I also didn't want to give the impression that I was saying these things are impossible.

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Jan 6 2019 09:11

Hey LBC, you clearly don’t know how the voting system works around here - a down vote means that people love you. It’s great to know that at times I’ve been the most loved poster on Libcom!

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Jan 6 2019 09:23

Haha, you're right, Scallywag, I need to chill, and get my head out of my own ass. tongue

As for reclaiming freedom for the left, I wholeheartedly agree. Showing the constructive side of the left is a bit difficult to do since we need to have victories in order to show that... and victories are hard to come by these days.

Noah Fence wrote:
It seems to me that freedom and equality have become dirty words in certain sections of the left.

I've not noticed that with freedom, but I do notice a tendency to want to distance ourselves from "equality." I've seen several communists say that communism is not about equality, it's about abolishing class, or abolishing commodity production, or creating a society where the free development of each is a precondition for the free development of all. And I'm like, well, why can't it be about all those things, and equality, too? What's wrong with equality? I get it that it can be interpreted in some pretty ridiculous ways, but I don't see that as any reason to reject the idea, but just to argue for a better definition.

jef costello wrote:
Right-wing populaism provides a scapegoat, revolution requires hard work

Very true. Considering how lazy I am, it's a wonder I'm not a fascist!

jef costello wrote:
I think to an extent the 'anti-SJW' ideas is as much about an ingrained sense of injustice or refusal to listen that is supported

Can you explain this?

freemind wrote:
To me as an activist in the 80/90s the Left was a NeoStalinist apologist for the monstrosity and dystopia that was Bolshevism.Insteas of confronting its failure and being progressive it buried its head in the inertia and apology that came with so called Anti Imperialism,Front groups etc

I sometimes think that the Stalinist-left has done more to hinder revolution than the right.

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Jan 6 2019 09:28
Quote:
I sometimes think that the Stalinist-left has done more to hinder revolution than the right.

For sure, but nowhere near as much as the left wing of liberal democracy.

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Jan 8 2019 21:59
Lucky Black Cat wrote:
And I'm like, well, why can't it be about all those things, and equality, too? What's wrong with equality? I get it that it can be interpreted in some pretty ridiculous ways, but I don't see that as any reason to reject the idea, but just to argue for a better definition.

It boils down to Marx's observation that "[t]he ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas". More generally, it boils down to the materialist conception of history, which recognizes that moral, philosophical, and ideological categories like "freedom" and "equality" are not transhistorical, but rather determined by the economic relations of production prevalent in a given era. That's why Marx ridiculed Proudhon for appealing to things like "eternal justice" in his critique of capitalism: since our very conception of justice is rooted in commodity production, any critique that maintains that capitalism is "unjust" will always remain in the realm of impotent moralizing, since it can do no better than to contrast the "actually existing capitalism" with some idealized capitalism that only exists in the world of pure spirit. It will never take you outside of capitalism altogether.

For capitalism, freedom and equality are sacred principles: they were the watchwords of the prototypical bourgeois revolutions (We hold these truths to be self-evident and all that shit; Liberté, égalité, fraternité), and they are still codified in the constitutions of almost every State you can think of. Therefore, their meaning doesn't float in the air, and you can't just redefine them as you go and expect to be understood. What people are going to think of when freedom and equality are mentioned is exactly what capitalist society understands by these words, and that has nothing to do with communism.

The freedom that capitalism offers and that its apologists like to talk about so much is the freedom to either sell your labor power... or starve to death. It's tempting to start putting freedom in this sense into scare quotes and insist that it is nothing of the kind, until you remember that for large parts of the world, attaining this freedom was a great achievement that had to be paid for with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. The abolition of slavery in the US would be one example; the shift in the social status of women over the course of the 20th century (from the property of their fathers and husbands to independent wage laborers) is another. Capitalist freedom is not necessarily something to sneer at, but it's not what communism offers, either.

It's the same with equality. There is this famous quote from Anatole France about how "the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread". Again, it would be easy to interpret this as a sneer, as saying that the equality we have is a sham, an equality that is formal but not real. But it is real: the citizens of a capitalist society really are equal to one another as sellers and buyers of commodities, as owners of property (even if they own no property other than their labor power), and in the case of the democratic State, in the political sense as well ("one person, one vote"). In this last case in particular, equality was again only achieved as a result of hard-won struggles, and violations of this principle (gerrymandering, voter suppression) are often perceived and criticized as such even by the bourgeoisie. Once again, communism as a society without commodities, without property, and without the State will know nothing of this equality.

Now, it is possible that some features of communist society will still be best described by the word "freedom". Even Bordiga, who once unironically wrote "To the devil with freedom!", could not avoid talking about "liberation" or "emancipation" in certain contexts. That said, I have my doubts about "equality". In fact, the very passage from the Manifesto that you quote ("the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all") has always seemed to me to imply that communism would give human beings the chance to develop, and find self-actualization (to use a term from bourgeois psychology) in, their inequalities – meaning the full breadth of their different talents, abilities, inclinations. It is only because we live in capitalism that the word "inequality" instead carries the horrific connotations of slavery, Jim Crow, concentration camps, or people freezing to death on the streets of some of the richest cities in the world.

Noah Fence wrote:
For sure, but nowhere near as much as the left wing of liberal democracy.

This.

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Jan 8 2019 22:26
Lucky Black Cat wrote:
jef costello wrote:
I think to an extent the 'anti-SJW' ideas is as much about an ingrained sense of injustice or refusal to listen that is supported

Can you explain this?

I can try. (edit: by that I mean I can try to define more clearly what I meant and then try to express it more coherently, I forgot a smiley so I thought it would seem saracstic) smile red n black star

I was thinking that dissatisfaction,leads to a sense of injustice, and for some people criticism of the status quo is seen as an attack on them and feeds into their sense of injustice. The whole anti-SJW thing is basically "everyone who complains about inequality in society is only doing it to make me feel bad, or for some other ulterior motive" which is stunningly wrong and self-centred.

I have some sympathy, because I can see the path. I can remember having a pretty bad time and did not appreciate being told I was privileged. I was, and am, in some ways but the whole point of this society is that not only is it based on division and unfairness, it is also based on a sense of dissatisfaction. So even the privileged feel hard done by, and terrified of losing anything that is 'theirs'.

By refusal to listen I mean just shutting down and assuming that it is just SJWs acting in bad faith rather than thinking about what is being said. It is also a discourse that is almost omnipresent from the openly phobic, to the much more subtle.

Also downvotes don't mean that much, they are anonymous and anyone can sign up here with an email address. And ignore Noah on the subject, when he was busy turning this place into the noah show he got obsessed with them.

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Jan 9 2019 06:53
Quote:
Also downvotes don't mean that much, they are anonymous and anyone can sign up here with an email address. And ignore Noah on the subject, when he was busy turning this place into the noah show he got obsessed with them.

That’s a bit mean Jeff. I made a self deprecating joke in an attempt to make LBC, who is a good friend of mine IRL, feel better. That shit went down three years ago when I was living in very difficult circumstances.

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Jan 9 2019 11:16

Thanks, Jef, I get it now. I think you've really nailed it in identifying two huge causes of anti-SJW sentiments. (Not to say there are never any legitimate gripes with people who advocate social justice. But I'm talking about the true anti-SJWs, who have a disdain for any social justice stuff.)

jef costello wrote:
I was thinking that dissatisfaction,leads to a sense of injustice, and for some people criticism of the status quo is seen as an attack on them and feeds into their sense of injustice. The whole anti-SJW thing is basically "everyone who complains about inequality in society is only doing it to make me feel bad, or for some other ulterior motive" which is stunningly wrong and self-centred.

I have some sympathy, because I can see the path. I can remember having a pretty bad time and did not appreciate being told I was privileged. I was, and am, in some ways but the whole point of this society is that not only is it based on division and unfairness, it is also based on a sense of dissatisfaction. So even the privileged feel hard done by, and terrified of losing anything that is 'theirs'.

This point is something I think about a lot. Even (relatively) privileged people have it rough in this world. And when we talk about things like male privilege or white privilege or whatever, people can feel like we're saying that for people in these groups, their suffering is not legitimate, non-existent, that life for them is just great. This can feel very invalidating, unempathetic, even hurtful.

Noah Fence wrote:
That’s a bit mean Jeff. I made a self deprecating joke in an attempt to make LBC, who is a good friend of mine IRL, feel better. That shit went down three years ago when I was living in very difficult circumstances.

Thanks, comrade. I just added my downvote to your earlier post to show you some love!

AnythingForProximity, that's quite a post you made! You raise good points, for example in pointing out that the freedom and equality we have now is not complete bullshit, and is in many ways progress compare to, say, slavery or more severe forms of patriarchy. But ultimately I still believe that rather than reject freedom and equality, we should redefine them.

I also agree with your point that we'll never be equal because we all have different interests, talents, needs, and so on. And that this form of inequality is not a bad thing. But I'm not saying that in communism we'd have equality in all ways. I think equality in communism means equal access to socially produced wealth (goods and services).

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Jan 9 2019 20:45

I was going to write a post with the view that anti-SJW sentiment isn’t that big of a deal in terms of what makes people disillusioned with the left because it’s a sentiment which comes from people who are already right wing anyway. After thinking about it though I’d say that just because the sentiment comes from the right doesn’t make it any less concerning, because it is still a view that the right promotes, and its effect is to make people disillusioned with the left and drive them to the right.

I do think we have to be careful how we talk about anti-SJW sentiment though. It is not something that is the fault of the left or SJWs it’s a view promoted by the right. If people are anti-social justice it will be because they have racist, anti-feminist, sexist, transphobic or homophobic views which THEY have chosen to have. It’s not SJWs fault or the lefts that people have these views.

Similarly, with the thing about privilege where people perceive the empowerment of disadvantaged groups as a threat to themselves or an undermining of their values, that’s again coming from the right or it’s the right which promotes this view. Its unfortunate but its again not the fault of SJWs/the left.

I think there is also a more widespread centrist anti-SJW sentiment were SJWs are disliked because they are viewed as preachy, self-righteous people that police what people can and can’t say. I guess SJWs do sometimes act like that, but even so whether they did or didn’t its still a view that the right would promote, and in any case SJWs being mean or preachy is surely not a reason people become right wing or Nazis, people are Nazis because they choose to be.

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Jan 10 2019 20:00

Another thought, this possibly has some relevance to the youtube thread: I guess that fascist dominance in any area means that we've failed to act effectively in that area, but I suppose it's an open question as to where we should be trying to outcompete them and where we recognise that the forms of activity they're taking part in are inherently alienated and useless for our aims, and if so, how do we counter them if not by doing the same thing better?
Maybe that's really abstract and unclear, but: the antifascist response to your classic Mosley/NF-style "control the streets" strategy is fairly simple, you have bigger better mobilisations that take over the same physical space. Similarly, we know how to respond to fascists trying to take over (sub)cultural spaces. With the 90s BNP and the retreat from the streets, there was the IWCA argument that antifascists needed to be out-organising them in local communities, which a lot of people would agree with, and then that, with the fascists focusing on electoralism, an electoral reponse was needed, which I think most libertarians would disagree with, but I'm not sure we were ever really sure how to respond to the electoral BNP, and still less UKIP (at least UKIP in its pre-December 2018 form). Anyway, the contemporary far-right is something different again, and it makes me wonder: are we "failing" in terms of not having our own Tommy-style loudmouth egomaniacs livestreaming everything they do and asking for donations every few minutes? Would we be better off if David Graeber or someone was playing the cultural role that Jordan Peterson currently occupies? And if not, if we can't and shouldn't be trying to beat them at their own game, how do we beat them?

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Noah Fence
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Jan 10 2019 21:16

To have youtubers representing anarchist views in a simple and entertaining way is, I think, imperative. There is some good anarchist content available but it’s not really made for anyone but those who already have some knowledge and interest in the subject. A bit like a certain website! That’s absolutely fair enough too.
The last thing we want is cult like figures such as a commie JP or TR! Ugh. That said, if Dusty Smith of Cult of Dusty changed his politics and started making anarchist vids we would be onto a winner! https://youtu.be/-zeh2q9gke0
I guess Bad Mouse Productions is about the closest there is to the right stuff https://youtu.be/6YitdjMORoU. He’s an interesting case too - for those that don’t know, he had an ancap channel and got into a debate with LSC and was basically converted after having his position convincingly dismantled.

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Noah Fence
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Jan 10 2019 21:12

DP

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Noah Fence
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Jan 10 2019 21:11

DP