Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

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Simon_Jester
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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-22 10:36am

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-04-22 04:21am
...Does such a movement with such power exist right now?

Otherwise, this is tilting at windmills. Why should I chase ... not even a ghost, but so far yet, a fairy tale? Let's talk about the alt-left that Trump mentioned after Charlottesville I guess.

:banghead: Seriously, though, Simon? This is beyond out of left field. Like, I can't fathom how you thought this would be relevant to the context of ray and I's discussion other than "well, this discussion is missing a totally random devil's advocate opinion that doesn't actually provide any more definition to 'wider cultural trend', time to add one right here!"...

Anyway, the Left having "circular firing squad" as a bit of a meme at this point and there being massive infighting right now regarding figures like Farrakhan, I think we're fine for now. People like Farrakhan and the Women's March leaders who follow him would've been better to point at than ... this.
Ralin wrote:
2018-04-22 08:48am
I think you're missing the point. Groups and movements like that DO crop up and not having some degree of wariness about them is a great way to make them more likely.
More or less this. My objection isn't about the specific merits of Ray's opinions, it's that bad things happen when we start saying:

"No, it's wrong to even think thoughts like 'gee, this group of people on the left are doing this thing that is a problem in some way,' because our enemies will pick up on it and use it against us."

I mean, that shuts out a wide range of discussion not just about strategy, but about tactics. Because you can't say "this tactic is ineffective," or are only allowed to say it if you're very careful about how you say it. And it encourages the movement to bring into its ranks people who are on some fundamental level deeply hostile to both one another and to the long term goal of creating the desired 'golden future,' as opposed to creating dystopia in the name of revolution.

The far right will make up accusations whether it has material to seize on or not; the Protocols of the Elders of Zion come to mind. We cannot afford to let that fact turn "gee, this is maybe counterproductive" and "gee, we may have a problematic splinter faction emerging within our movement, let's keep an eye on that" into thoughtcrimes.
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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-04-22 04:30pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-22 10:36am
Ralin wrote:
2018-04-22 08:48am
I think you're missing the point. Groups and movements like that DO crop up and not having some degree of wariness about them is a great way to make them more likely.
More or less this. My objection isn't about the specific merits of Ray's opinions, it's that bad things happen when we start saying:

"No, it's wrong to even think thoughts like 'gee, this group of people on the left are doing this thing that is a problem in some way,' because our enemies will pick up on it and use it against us."

I mean, that shuts out a wide range of discussion not just about strategy, but about tactics. Because you can't say "this tactic is ineffective," or are only allowed to say it if you're very careful about how you say it. And it encourages the movement to bring into its ranks people who are on some fundamental level deeply hostile to both one another and to the long term goal of creating the desired 'golden future,' as opposed to creating dystopia in the name of revolution.

The far right will make up accusations whether it has material to seize on or not; the Protocols of the Elders of Zion come to mind. We cannot afford to let that fact turn "gee, this is maybe counterproductive" and "gee, we may have a problematic splinter faction emerging within our movement, let's keep an eye on that" into thoughtcrimes.
And both of you are missing my point, and Simon is stuffing words into my mouth.

Who in this thread is saying let's turn a blind eye toward problematic groups? What I'm saying is "let's not connect dots that are very far apart or in the process, we might as well worry about Demon Unicorns from Hell". Ray is trying to allude to some "wider cultural trend" that he keeps backing away from and never citing anything specific to define it, and all we can do is look at him in confusion because he may as well be connecting naive Tumblr teens, fringe Stalinists, and individuals like UPC (who, let's add some context, is the kind of woke guy who thinks Trump and Bernie are the same) to think of them as somehow representative of a greater whole when it's more than likely they all hate each other.

The Left is not some unified whole that will turn a blind eye like the Right in this country turns a blind eye toward Neoconfederates and Nazis. You only need to look at discourse around Farrakhan's cohort today to disprove that notion, and at least that example has the benefit of being a real example of some figures of progressivism turning a blind eye toward, in this case, rabid antisemitism. Instead, you bring up the most extreme example of authoritarian communism from history that is an absurd example in the context of this current conversation, and if you had been any random stranger in a random forum or comment section I would've thought you were at best listening to way too many conservative talk shows, or at worst attempting to derail the conversation and troll.
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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by ray245 » 2018-04-22 06:07pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-04-22 04:30pm
Who in this thread is saying let's turn a blind eye toward problematic groups? What I'm saying is "let's not connect dots that are very far apart or in the process, we might as well worry about Demon Unicorns from Hell". Ray is trying to allude to some "wider cultural trend" that he keeps backing away from and never citing anything specific to define it, and all we can do is look at him in confusion because he may as well be connecting naive Tumblr teens, fringe Stalinists, and individuals like UPC (who, let's add some context, is the kind of woke guy who thinks Trump and Bernie are the same) to think of them as somehow representative of a greater whole when it's more than likely they all hate each other.
Dragon Angel, you're misunderstanding my point. It's not about saying these minor or fringe groups are all somehow directly connected to each other, but saying they all exist within a similar eco-system, which draw upon many similar influences in how to engage in political discussions. In other ways, their debating styles are similar.

This does not mean they agree with each other politically on many of the same issues or are part of this collective, unified "left".
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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-04-22 07:20pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-04-22 06:07pm
Dragon Angel, you're misunderstanding my point. It's not about saying these minor or fringe groups are all somehow directly connected to each other, but saying they all exist within a similar eco-system, which draw upon many similar influences in how to engage in political discussions. In other ways, their debating styles are similar.

This does not mean they agree with each other politically on many of the same issues or are part of this collective, unified "left".
I'm only "misunderstanding" you because you're all over the place dude. You are vaguely pointing to some undefined section of leftists who apparently overuse the moral argument and when pressed for more definition by me and other people, you can't give that. You then sound like an alarmist who gives a PSA on the dangers of climbing into a dryer for fun.

If a moral argument is appropriate for debate, it will be used for debate. If it isn't appropriate or is misused, then you get what happened with UPC here. What's left then? Okay, we should be careful not to use the moral argument inappropriately, thanks for giving us a random lecture on debating 101. Maybe you should tell that on a situational basis to the random fools who misuse it like we did to good old UPC.
"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin', if I only had a brain!
I would not be just a nothin', my head all full of stuffin', my heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be would be a ding-a-derry, if I only had a brain!"

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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by ray245 » 2018-04-22 08:10pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-04-22 07:20pm
I'm only "misunderstanding" you because you're all over the place dude. You are vaguely pointing to some undefined section of leftists who apparently overuse the moral argument and when pressed for more definition by me and other people, you can't give that. You then sound like an alarmist who gives a PSA on the dangers of climbing into a dryer for fun.

If a moral argument is appropriate for debate, it will be used for debate. If it isn't appropriate or is misused, then you get what happened with UPC here. What's left then? Okay, we should be careful not to use the moral argument inappropriately, thanks for giving us a random lecture on debating 101. Maybe you should tell that on a situational basis to the random fools who misuse it like we did to good old UPC.
I'm pointing out that UPC's kind of post doesn't exist in a vacuum? More to the point, UPC's kind of behavior and such misuse is the kind that undermines the movement to adopt harsher gun-laws in the exist. Political opponents against stricter gun-laws aren't going to point out people who make reasonable arguments that "neutrals" can get behind. They are going to use UPC's kind of post to create a caricature of the entire progressive-wing/anti-gun movement. And it's these kinds of caricature painted by them that has the potential to swing the "moderates" into their camp/arguments.

If anything, the progressive movements, those who want harsher-gun laws are more vulnerable to such caricature than those who are in favour of protecting the 2nd Amendment.
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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-04-22 09:34pm

Well, I'm done. We're going back and forth ad infinitum and at this point I don't know how to convince you otherwise since now I'm up fighting against dishonest actors who caricature the Left, so I'm done.

The Left has its own problems, I will not deny that, but particularly significant ones when looking at the macro scale are not overuse of the moral argument or turning blind eyes to people who misuse it. In micro scales within factions of the Left, you could make those arguments, but then you're speaking of random dots in a balkanized political spectrum. Focus too much on those, and you have a classic problem of forests and trees. You lose everyone else because the rest of the spectrum has no clue what you're on about.

If some dishonest Sargon, Shapiro, Carlson, Hannity, or Jones cherry picks elements of the Left and paints the entire Left as being represented by them, then it's grossly unfair for you to then say we should WATCH OUT! because we have to avoid becoming just like the bad ones! Can't give those dishonest pundits any more fuel right?! But wait, it turns out most of the Left is made up of adults who already know what you're lecturing on. So what you come off as is a patronizing jackass who sits on an armchair from a distance and talks about situations he doesn't bother to study in more detail than a cursory glance.

I'm very tired of self-styled commentators who think they're aware of all the problems of the Left and, in a Dunning-Kruger display of arrogance, lectures every part of the Left about ghosts as if none of us know what we're doing. Please, spare me the "advice" if what you have to offer is "you're just making it easier for the people who literally make shit up about the Left to paint the Left as a caricature".

If what those actors are doing is spinning fiction, then there is nothing much we can do other than counter their lies as they come, since everything they say is invalid by default. Liars are gonna lie. I'm not wasting mental bandwidth on random factions of the Left that I just can't control since I'm not God.
"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin', if I only had a brain!
I would not be just a nothin', my head all full of stuffin', my heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be would be a ding-a-derry, if I only had a brain!"

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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-23 08:35am

I'm actually very happy with the argument "the problem-lefties you're talking about are scattered and irrelevant, not a coherent trend or wave that we need to be worrying about." There's a reason I didn't say anything about it. Maybe I should have, because now I want to point out that I do consider it to be a meritorious class of argument to advance.

What's a problem for me is the question "how would we even discuss, understand, or perceive what was happening if things went wrong?"

...

I've been using the example of the Russian Revolution (and by extension what came before and after it) for a reason. Namely, because it's accessible. We know what happened, there is at least some consensus about what it meant, and we can single out specific events and groups within the broader trends. As an example, it's helpful. As a precise analogy it obviously stinks, but if I tried to pitch the question I want to ask in terms of pure abstractions, I don't think I'd get very far.

...

How do we differentiate between a scattered and inane minority of babbling idiots with easy access to platforms, versus a troubling undercurrent of people hijacking a positive movement and taking it in the wrong direction? A hundred years ago, this was relatively easy, because there was no such thing as a radical group without a definite leadership, without a name. The people involved in any such troubling undercurrent had to meet physically and could only blend in so far with the general mainstream of the movement.

What would it even look like today, as such an undercurrent started to take over? Would we be seeing excessive veneration given to a few charismatic figures with vast Internet followings? Would there be a loosely connected cloud of hundreds of such people, individually with less influence? A fully decentralized network of tens of thousands, whose shared commitment to a very specific ideological version of the left's ideals gives them leverage to act as a sort of hive mind even when we can't point to any one person and say "this guy is the problem?"

If such a thing emerged, how would we discuss it? How would we even establish that it existed, if it didn't have a self-identified name or convenient hashtag label we could hang on it?

Is this kind of thing somehow now impossible by definition? Because it wasn't before. If it's not impossible, how would we even detect it? Do we need platoons of social scientists on payroll running social network analyses? Where are our blind spots, especially where are our self-imposed blind spots?

...

And if you want to dismiss this as irrelevant and hypothetical, I sympathize, except that a large fraction of all left-wing political movements throughout history have wound up getting subsumed by nastier versions of themselves. I'd argue that this has stretched to the point where backlash against such nastier versions is a significant part of why we don't already live in the Golden Future.

Without compelling reason to assume we're immune to the trend, rather than just not suffering from the trend at this very instant, I'm... reluctant to just not think about it as a possibility on the horizon.
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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-04-23 05:49pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-23 08:35am
I'm actually very happy with the argument "the problem-lefties you're talking about are scattered and irrelevant, not a coherent trend or wave that we need to be worrying about." There's a reason I didn't say anything about it. Maybe I should have, because now I want to point out that I do consider it to be a meritorious class of argument to advance.

What's a problem for me is the question "how would we even discuss, understand, or perceive what was happening if things went wrong?"
If you're uneasy about that, I really recommend taking a look at how the backlash against the Women's March leaders who have been silent about Farrakhan is progressing. It's a complicated issue so I don't recommend diving too deep into that rabbit hole if you're without much time, but that there is extensive discourse around this lingering antisemitism and seeming brushing it under the rug, should bring you some ease about measures the Left has to counter the ugly portions who would be destructive.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-23 08:35am
I've been using the example of the Russian Revolution (and by extension what came before and after it) for a reason. Namely, because it's accessible. We know what happened, there is at least some consensus about what it meant, and we can single out specific events and groups within the broader trends. As an example, it's helpful. As a precise analogy it obviously stinks, but if I tried to pitch the question I want to ask in terms of pure abstractions, I don't think I'd get very far.
Just for your future reference then since I don't think you know, it's a popular tactic among the Right (especially alt right) to inject the failures of authoritarian communist states into discussions where that ... doesn't really have relevance. Like citing the hundreds of millions of deaths apparently caused by all communist regimes around the world as a response to a discussion about Nazis, to use an extreme example.

Now, I'm not one to apologize for Stalin, Mao, et. al. but since they tend to get a tad overused as a whataboutism or a way to derail a conversation, it not only gets difficult to actually discuss things that are happening in the real world, but it desensitizes people to alerts about these kinds of problematic groups. For a while years ago, many leftists (including yours truly) were hesitant to embrace a label of communist or even socialist because it seemed tankies had overrun the spectrum. No one wanted to be associated with that group. Thankfully, there seems to be more of a balance entering that sphere of the Left.

So, just keep that in mind because you will be dealing with an automatic reaction if you bring something like this up in some discourse unrelated to the USSR and other such regimes.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-23 08:35am
How do we differentiate between a scattered and inane minority of babbling idiots with easy access to platforms, versus a troubling undercurrent of people hijacking a positive movement and taking it in the wrong direction? A hundred years ago, this was relatively easy, because there was no such thing as a radical group without a definite leadership, without a name. The people involved in any such troubling undercurrent had to meet physically and could only blend in so far with the general mainstream of the movement.

What would it even look like today, as such an undercurrent started to take over? Would we be seeing excessive veneration given to a few charismatic figures with vast Internet followings? Would there be a loosely connected cloud of hundreds of such people, individually with less influence? A fully decentralized network of tens of thousands, whose shared commitment to a very specific ideological version of the left's ideals gives them leverage to act as a sort of hive mind even when we can't point to any one person and say "this guy is the problem?"

If such a thing emerged, how would we discuss it? How would we even establish that it existed, if it didn't have a self-identified name or convenient hashtag label we could hang on it?

Is this kind of thing somehow now impossible by definition? Because it wasn't before. If it's not impossible, how would we even detect it? Do we need platoons of social scientists on payroll running social network analyses? Where are our blind spots, especially where are our self-imposed blind spots?
It's not. We'd detect it--we'd also label it--like we would any other phenomenon. It's not rocket science.

But we'd also try not to overreact and jump to conclusions, because we're already bombarded by the Right generalizing everyone as "SJWs" into meaninglessness. We're understandably reluctant to start characterizing our entire political spectrum with the strokes of dots within it because of this constant assault. We have to consider the intensity and frequency of these groups before we think about them as serious threats to worry about equal to the threats we face from our right wing opponents.

Nevertheless, there are some who do jump to conclusions. And overreact. And splinter themselves into their own new factions of the Left, calling themselves some form of "Good Left" and reject the rest of the Left as ignorant fools at best, useful idiots at worst.

Which then balkanizes the Left even further. Welp.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-23 08:35am
And if you want to dismiss this as irrelevant and hypothetical, I sympathize, except that a large fraction of all left-wing political movements throughout history have wound up getting subsumed by nastier versions of themselves. I'd argue that this has stretched to the point where backlash against such nastier versions is a significant part of why we don't already live in the Golden Future.

Without compelling reason to assume we're immune to the trend, rather than just not suffering from the trend at this very instant, I'm... reluctant to just not think about it as a possibility on the horizon.
I dismiss this as a pure hypothetical, and a pointless and possibly dangerous one at that, because the conditions for an autocratic, popular left wing movement in the United States are effectively nonexistent. We have trouble even convincing our ostensibly "left wing" party to actually be left wing, much less actually have federal power for the parties that are actively interested in leftist politics. Meanwhile, a real autocratic regime is slowly being attempted by Trumpolini and many obsequious fellows of his in Congress and red states--to varying degrees of success--and it's seeming that even our judicial branch might turn heavily conservative if more justices retire or die.

Pursuing an active worry about left wing authoritarians gaining power, consequently, seems more and more akin to worrying about the Illuminati tightening its grip. The moment actual authoritarians on the Left who declare themselves loyal followers of Stalin's legacy campaign, are actively supported, and/or gain power is when I will bother devoting thought cycles to that problem.
"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin', if I only had a brain!
I would not be just a nothin', my head all full of stuffin', my heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be would be a ding-a-derry, if I only had a brain!"

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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-24 11:31am

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-04-23 05:49pm
Just for your future reference then since I don't think you know, it's a popular tactic among the Right (especially alt right) to inject the failures of authoritarian communist states into discussions where that ... doesn't really have relevance. Like citing the hundreds of millions of deaths apparently caused by all communist regimes around the world as a response to a discussion about Nazis, to use an extreme example.
See, for me this isn't about "communist regimes govern disastrously," it's specifically about the dynamics of leftist political change, agitation, and revolution. It's about what happens before the revolution and in the immediate aftermath, not crap like "oh, if you listen to anyone left of Benito Mussolini the next thing you know you'll be starving in a gulag."

If I had infinity time to study history I could pick on the Spanish Civil War or other reference pools but ultimately a lot of it would loop back to communists, simply because a lot of the people trying to bring about left-wing political change have historically been socialists or outright communists.

And if you look at what I'm actually saying, I'm not using 'oh, that's communist!" as a fnord. What I'm getting at is the very specific process by which a left-wing movement of high political diversity and high ideals can be subverted from within and parasitized by a much less diverse, and much more aggressive and predatory, faction.
So, just keep that in mind because you will be dealing with an automatic reaction if you bring something like this up in some discourse unrelated to the USSR and other such regimes.
See, I get that. But at the same time, if we can't move past that we're eternally blinding ourselves to important parts of history, and that willful blindness is likely to cost us if/when we stop losing so damn much. So in part, I want to try to persuade people to be mindful of the history without treating 'communist' as a fnord. If we can't learn from what happened to Kerensky, we miss something important.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-23 08:35am
How do we differentiate between a scattered and inane minority of babbling idiots with easy access to platforms, versus a troubling undercurrent of people hijacking a positive movement and taking it in the wrong direction? A hundred years ago, this was relatively easy, because there was no such thing as a radical group without a definite leadership, without a name. The people involved in any such troubling undercurrent had to meet physically and could only blend in so far with the general mainstream of the movement.

What would it even look like today, as such an undercurrent started to take over? Would we be seeing excessive veneration given to a few charismatic figures with vast Internet followings? Would there be a loosely connected cloud of hundreds of such people, individually with less influence? A fully decentralized network of tens of thousands, whose shared commitment to a very specific ideological version of the left's ideals gives them leverage to act as a sort of hive mind even when we can't point to any one person and say "this guy is the problem?"

If such a thing emerged, how would we discuss it? How would we even establish that it existed, if it didn't have a self-identified name or convenient hashtag label we could hang on it?

Is this kind of thing somehow now impossible by definition? Because it wasn't before. If it's not impossible, how would we even detect it? Do we need platoons of social scientists on payroll running social network analyses? Where are our blind spots, especially where are our self-imposed blind spots?
It's not. We'd detect it--we'd also label it--like we would any other phenomenon. It's not rocket science.
What concerns me is that we're seeing an undercurrent (and this is found on the right as well as the left) of denialism about labeling movements, if having a label would be contrary to the interests of the movement.

#Blacklivesmatter has a label because its label expresses its idea and is, in itself, fairly positive. Occupy Wall Street had a label, likewise. Libertarians have a label, because (to them) their label says something good about them. The Tea Party has a label, likewise.

But "the alt-right" tends to resist being labeled, with both prominent alt-right leaders and mainstream conservatives explaining to us all why we shouldn't use that term because it's vague and is used by enemies of conservatism to slander large numbers of conservatives. It is to the advantage of the alt-right NOT to be labeled, to be able to blend in seamlessly with mainstream conservatism, or to present themselves as "just like normal conservatives, only a little bit further right." It would not be to their advantage if we called them all neo-Nazis, even if in truth they are neo-Nazis.

Me, I like being able to describe and subdivide and analyze things, which means I want to at least have vocabulary, even if I consider the idea of [subdivision #42 of the political left] being as big a problem as [racism] laughable. I'd like to be able to talk about small problems and large problems. And to communicate clearly when trying to discuss small problems so that I can clearly differentiate them from big problems.
Nevertheless, there are some who do jump to conclusions. And overreact. And splinter themselves into their own new factions of the Left, calling themselves some form of "Good Left" and reject the rest of the Left as ignorant fools at best, useful idiots at worst.

Which then balkanizes the Left even further. Welp.
Sure, but is the problem here "you went and created vocabulary for sub-factions within the left that disagreed with you, you shouldn't have done that?" Or is it something more like "gee, turns out intolerance for people whose positions disagree with you on a few specific points is a bad thing if you want to win, who knew?"
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-23 08:35am
And if you want to dismiss this as irrelevant and hypothetical, I sympathize, except that a large fraction of all left-wing political movements throughout history have wound up getting subsumed by nastier versions of themselves. I'd argue that this has stretched to the point where backlash against such nastier versions is a significant part of why we don't already live in the Golden Future.

Without compelling reason to assume we're immune to the trend, rather than just not suffering from the trend at this very instant, I'm... reluctant to just not think about it as a possibility on the horizon.
I dismiss this as a pure hypothetical, and a pointless and possibly dangerous one at that, because the conditions for an autocratic, popular left wing movement in the United States are effectively nonexistent...[/quote]If I were only worried about autocratic movements that are literal Bolshevik clones, I'd be less worried. But I don't think that's the only possible failure mode, especially in a social-media society.
Pursuing an active worry about left wing authoritarians gaining power, consequently, seems more and more akin to worrying about the Illuminati tightening its grip. The moment actual authoritarians on the Left who declare themselves loyal followers of Stalin's legacy campaign, are actively supported, and/or gain power is when I will bother devoting thought cycles to that problem.
I don't devote a lot of thought cycles to the prospect of my house burning down- but I also don't actively campaign against the idea of having smoke detectors.

Remember, the thing I'm talking up here is purely and simply "I think it should be considered allowable to try to have discussions that mention subfactions within the left, without the automatic suppression reflex of "no no, don't talk about subfactions!" Preserving what is in effect a fiction of a united front does not strike me as a good choice.
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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-04-25 02:26am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-24 11:31am
See, I get that. But at the same time, if we can't move past that we're eternally blinding ourselves to important parts of history, and that willful blindness is likely to cost us if/when we stop losing so damn much. So in part, I want to try to persuade people to be mindful of the history without treating 'communist' as a fnord. If we can't learn from what happened to Kerensky, we miss something important.
I mean ... one of the examples I cited literally involves people who would do exactly what you're afraid of. It's not like people were afraid of bringing up the subject. Tankies expressed no disgust at and spouted apologia for Stalin's purges, Tiananmen, you name it, and people did not let that pass.

Who is campaigning against smoke detectors?
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-24 11:31am
What concerns me is that we're seeing an undercurrent (and this is found on the right as well as the left) of denialism about labeling movements, if having a label would be contrary to the interests of the movement.

#Blacklivesmatter has a label because its label expresses its idea and is, in itself, fairly positive. Occupy Wall Street had a label, likewise. Libertarians have a label, because (to them) their label says something good about them. The Tea Party has a label, likewise.

But "the alt-right" tends to resist being labeled, with both prominent alt-right leaders and mainstream conservatives explaining to us all why we shouldn't use that term because it's vague and is used by enemies of conservatism to slander large numbers of conservatives. It is to the advantage of the alt-right NOT to be labeled, to be able to blend in seamlessly with mainstream conservatism, or to present themselves as "just like normal conservatives, only a little bit further right." It would not be to their advantage if we called them all neo-Nazis, even if in truth they are neo-Nazis.

Me, I like being able to describe and subdivide and analyze things, which means I want to at least have vocabulary, even if I consider the idea of [subdivision #42 of the political left] being as big a problem as [racism] laughable. I'd like to be able to talk about small problems and large problems. And to communicate clearly when trying to discuss small problems so that I can clearly differentiate them from big problems.
Okay...

I mean...

No one is stopping you?

Is the Leftist Collective Consciousness going to smite you if you mention tankies? Or Tumblr teens? Or the Nation of Islam?
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-24 11:31am
Sure, but is the problem here "you went and created vocabulary for sub-factions within the left that disagreed with you, you shouldn't have done that?" Or is it something more like "gee, turns out intolerance for people whose positions disagree with you on a few specific points is a bad thing if you want to win, who knew?"
Depends on those points but yeah, sure, the latter. I'm honestly gobsmacked that I'm here trying to assure you that giving factions labels isn't a problem when obviously in the examples I cited people gave them labels.

I could go into an extensive 50 page history on the Saga of the Stalinists but I'd rather not, really.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-24 11:31am
I don't devote a lot of thought cycles to the prospect of my house burning down- but I also don't actively campaign against the idea of having smoke detectors.

Remember, the thing I'm talking up here is purely and simply "I think it should be considered allowable to try to have discussions that mention subfactions within the left, without the automatic suppression reflex of "no no, don't talk about subfactions!" Preserving what is in effect a fiction of a united front does not strike me as a good choice.
You see, when Ray and I were discussing the problem I'd rather not bring up again because that means I'll have to deal with Ray's bullheadedness, it was about vague definitions. Wide sweeping definitions that have undefined or poorly defined limits. What you're talking about are groups that have definition. Groups that are defined and have limits and have citable points that would at least paint a decent image.

I have extensive objections to the former, but I have no objections to the latter. The Stalinists might have objections to the latter, but I suspect it's for the issue of advantages that you brought up. Tankies are gonna tankie though, and I don't consider them relevant to the sections of the Left that you and I would fondly have hopes for.

If you have objections to my objections about the former ... well, I'm not sure what to say other than I hope you avoid managing to piss other leftists off in the process.
"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin', if I only had a brain!
I would not be just a nothin', my head all full of stuffin', my heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be would be a ding-a-derry, if I only had a brain!"

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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-25 03:53pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-04-25 02:26am
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-24 11:31am
See, I get that. But at the same time, if we can't move past that we're eternally blinding ourselves to important parts of history, and that willful blindness is likely to cost us if/when we stop losing so damn much. So in part, I want to try to persuade people to be mindful of the history without treating 'communist' as a fnord. If we can't learn from what happened to Kerensky, we miss something important.
I mean ... one of the examples I cited literally involves people who would do exactly what you're afraid of. It's not like people were afraid of bringing up the subject. Tankies expressed no disgust at and spouted apologia for Stalin's purges, Tiananmen, you name it, and people did not let that pass.

Who is campaigning against smoke detectors?
From my point of view, being comfortable talking about Stalin's atrocities* isn't the issue.

Talking about Stalin's atrocities is like pointing to the smoldering ashes of a building and saying "welp, that building sure burned down." To which I can only reply "it sure did." But that's not the end of things. That's first-order thinking: we know the building burned down.

From there we go to second order: saying "okay, let's not burn down our building." And this is good. This is the equivalent of leftists telling each other "okay, don't literally form death squads, don't infiltrate a coalition leftist government and betray it to set up a left-wing autocracy, and so on." So far, so good. But it's only enough if everyone consistently follows the rules, and the reason this is tricky is that the rules themselves evolve over time. There are ways to be an unholy terror today that simply didn't exist in 1978, and there will likely be ways to do so in 2058 that don't exist today.

So we go to third order: "if someone else tries to burn down our building, how do we detect and counteract that? If an accident ignites our building, likewise? How do we identify fire hazards and remove them?

To address that we need to be able to study the history and dynamics of left-wing movements of the past, with an eye to examining what they did right, what they did wrong, how to improve on them, and what analogies and lessons-learned we can extract.

And that's where analogies about smoke detectors come in. Now, I can answer your question, but do you feel okay with what I'm saying so far?
_________________________________

*(I hadn't actually heard the phrase 'tankies' until now but it's a straightforward word for something like 'neo-Stalinists' or 'Stalinism-apologists' or whatever)
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-24 11:31am
What concerns me is that we're seeing an undercurrent (and this is found on the right as well as the left) of denialism about labeling movements, if having a label would be contrary to the interests of the movement.

#Blacklivesmatter has a label because its label expresses its idea and is, in itself, fairly positive. Occupy Wall Street had a label, likewise. Libertarians have a label, because (to them) their label says something good about them. The Tea Party has a label, likewise.

But "the alt-right" tends to resist being labeled, with both prominent alt-right leaders and mainstream conservatives explaining to us all why we shouldn't use that term because it's vague and is used by enemies of conservatism to slander large numbers of conservatives. It is to the advantage of the alt-right NOT to be labeled, to be able to blend in seamlessly with mainstream conservatism, or to present themselves as "just like normal conservatives, only a little bit further right." It would not be to their advantage if we called them all neo-Nazis, even if in truth they are neo-Nazis.

Me, I like being able to describe and subdivide and analyze things, which means I want to at least have vocabulary, even if I consider the idea of [subdivision #42 of the political left] being as big a problem as [racism] laughable. I'd like to be able to talk about small problems and large problems. And to communicate clearly when trying to discuss small problems so that I can clearly differentiate them from big problems.
Okay...

I mean...

No one is stopping you?

Is the Leftist Collective Consciousness going to smite you if you mention tankies? Or Tumblr teens? Or the Nation of Islam?
Well, I can't use "tankies" if I don't know what it means, but "Stalin apologists" works just as well, so that's cool. And "the Nation of Islam" works great as long as I'm talking about stuff the Nation of Islam actually did... notably the Nation of Islam dates back to the '30s, so it's very much a 20th century kind of political movement, the kind with well defined leaders, membership, a name, and a platform.

But "Tumblr teens?" If I try to use that, then screwups are predictable. On the one hand, if my category is 'the set of all people who behave in a toxic manner while pursuing left-wing agendas on social media,' a phrase like "Tumblr teens" is clearly inaccurate. They're not all on Tumblr and they're not all teens. On the other hand, it's relatively easy to dismiss such a group by over-focusing on the meaning of the name: "I am neither a Tumblr poster nor a teenager so clearly you don't mean me, and clearly you don't mean anyone capable of getting thinkpieces published in Vox or the like, because teenagers can't normally do that."

To wax Sesame Street here, one of these things is not like the others.

"The Nation of Islam" is a discrete group with a self-defined name. "Tankies" is a slang word, but it's a slang word that refers to a clearly defined thing: "people who do Stalin apologism."

But there's no such convenient phrase for "people who engage in a defined set of self-righteous toxic behaviors, either online or in real life, in pursuit of left-wing political agendas, but in such a way as to cause disruption within the cause and to smear the image of the cause to society at large." Because that is a group which resists definition. They don't have a compact name like 'tankies.' Or rather, the closest thing the contemporary English language seems to have to a name for that is 'SJW,' and OBVIOUSLY we can't use that.

You can't define such a group by demographics because it crosses national, class, racial, age, and platform boundary lines (like "Tumblr teens"). You can't define them by a specific belief they all hold (like BLM). You can't define them by their participation in a single activity (like OWS) or a single group (like the Nation of Islam).

It's hard to define it at all.

This leads to the problem.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-24 11:31am
Sure, but is the problem here "you went and created vocabulary for sub-factions within the left that disagreed with you, you shouldn't have done that?" Or is it something more like "gee, turns out intolerance for people whose positions disagree with you on a few specific points is a bad thing if you want to win, who knew?"
Depends on those points but yeah, sure, the latter. I'm honestly gobsmacked that I'm here trying to assure you that giving factions labels isn't a problem when obviously in the examples I cited people gave them labels.

I could go into an extensive 50 page history on the Saga of the Stalinists but I'd rather not, really.
Okay, so the problem isn't "the left is starting to resist ALL names for subfactions." The problem is merely "the left is starting to resist having names for new subfactions that are difficult to define precisely in demographic terms... which are exactly the ones that are new and likely to pose unprecedented problems if not kept in check.
You see, when Ray and I were discussing the problem I'd rather not bring up again because that means I'll have to deal with Ray's bullheadedness, it was about vague definitions. Wide sweeping definitions that have undefined or poorly defined limits. What you're talking about are groups that have definition. Groups that are defined and have limits and have citable points that would at least paint a decent image.

I have extensive objections to the former, but I have no objections to the latter. The Stalinists might have objections to the latter, but I suspect it's for the issue of advantages that you brought up. Tankies are gonna tankie though, and I don't consider them relevant to the sections of the Left that you and I would fondly have hopes for.

If you have objections to my objections about the former ... well, I'm not sure what to say other than I hope you avoid managing to piss other leftists off in the process.
Okay, well do you begin to understand why there's a problem on my end?

If I genuinely have a concern about a group of people who don't share common demographic traits*, don't share any specific singular belief**, don't all do the same things at the same time***, and aren't all members of a self-named group... Well, what do I do?

*As in, they're not all-female or all over thirty or all left-handed or anything...
**Because they're following a collective behavior pattern, not a recipe...
***The way a typical 20th century organized protest would...
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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-04-25 08:25pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-25 03:53pm
From my point of view, being comfortable talking about Stalin's atrocities* isn't the issue.

Talking about Stalin's atrocities is like pointing to the smoldering ashes of a building and saying "welp, that building sure burned down." To which I can only reply "it sure did." But that's not the end of things. That's first-order thinking: we know the building burned down.

From there we go to second order: saying "okay, let's not burn down our building." And this is good. This is the equivalent of leftists telling each other "okay, don't literally form death squads, don't infiltrate a coalition leftist government and betray it to set up a left-wing autocracy, and so on." So far, so good. But it's only enough if everyone consistently follows the rules, and the reason this is tricky is that the rules themselves evolve over time. There are ways to be an unholy terror today that simply didn't exist in 1978, and there will likely be ways to do so in 2058 that don't exist today.

So we go to third order: "if someone else tries to burn down our building, how do we detect and counteract that? If an accident ignites our building, likewise? How do we identify fire hazards and remove them?

To address that we need to be able to study the history and dynamics of left-wing movements of the past, with an eye to examining what they did right, what they did wrong, how to improve on them, and what analogies and lessons-learned we can extract.

And that's where analogies about smoke detectors come in. Now, I can answer your question, but do you feel okay with what I'm saying so far?
_________________________________

*(I hadn't actually heard the phrase 'tankies' until now but it's a straightforward word for something like 'neo-Stalinists' or 'Stalinism-apologists' or whatever)
...I don't have an objection, go on.

Though I think I know where this is going, and in case it does go there: If you mean to apply Ray's argument about morality being valid as part of these studies, I would not disagree with that except Ray's first post was not something that could be rationally considered academic. It makes a claim that morality is overused over facts and discussion as a shibboleth, when not only is morality an inherent part of political discourse that sits equally alongside facts (otherwise we would all be robots without emotions or politics), but there was no substantial basis for his claim. You can only counter anecdotes and subjective experiences like that with other anecdotes unless there is a methodological study about the Left which addresses him that I'm not aware of.

If you're going to try to claim Ray's statement and subsequent backpedaling was remotely academic, then that would be very odd because SDN is not exactly a centerpiece of academia, and rapid backpedaling is not exactly the sign of a good academic. If not that, do answer the question, but with the condition of remembering I have no objection to this work being conducted properly, i.e. without the ostensible academics dodging the point. Otherwise, we might as well just have a discussion made of memes like Ben Shapiro's pompous "facts don't care about your feelings".
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-25 03:53pm
Well, I can't use "tankies" if I don't know what it means, but "Stalin apologists" works just as well, so that's cool. And "the Nation of Islam" works great as long as I'm talking about stuff the Nation of Islam actually did... notably the Nation of Islam dates back to the '30s, so it's very much a 20th century kind of political movement, the kind with well defined leaders, membership, a name, and a platform.

But "Tumblr teens?" If I try to use that, then screwups are predictable. On the one hand, if my category is 'the set of all people who behave in a toxic manner while pursuing left-wing agendas on social media,' a phrase like "Tumblr teens" is clearly inaccurate. They're not all on Tumblr and they're not all teens. On the other hand, it's relatively easy to dismiss such a group by over-focusing on the meaning of the name: "I am neither a Tumblr poster nor a teenager so clearly you don't mean me, and clearly you don't mean anyone capable of getting thinkpieces published in Vox or the like, because teenagers can't normally do that."

To wax Sesame Street here, one of these things is not like the others.

"The Nation of Islam" is a discrete group with a self-defined name. "Tankies" is a slang word, but it's a slang word that refers to a clearly defined thing: "people who do Stalin apologism."

But there's no such convenient phrase for "people who engage in a defined set of self-righteous toxic behaviors, either online or in real life, in pursuit of left-wing political agendas, but in such a way as to cause disruption within the cause and to smear the image of the cause to society at large." Because that is a group which resists definition. They don't have a compact name like 'tankies.' Or rather, the closest thing the contemporary English language seems to have to a name for that is 'SJW,' and OBVIOUSLY we can't use that.

You can't define such a group by demographics because it crosses national, class, racial, age, and platform boundary lines (like "Tumblr teens"). You can't define them by a specific belief they all hold (like BLM). You can't define them by their participation in a single activity (like OWS) or a single group (like the Nation of Islam).

It's hard to define it at all.

This leads to the problem.
To be honest, I intentionally reached when I mentioned that because two instances of internal leftist pushback seemed apparently not enough to convince you, and I struggled to come up with something else someone would commonly think leftists would deny or consider a fnord. Because ... that isn't something that actually happens often with the real Modern Left. It's not like the Modern Right where "alternative facts" is something that is taken as a core belief. Coming up with examples slowly becomes like a problem of coming up with breathable air from deep space.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-25 03:53pm
Okay, so the problem isn't "the left is starting to resist ALL names for subfactions." The problem is merely "the left is starting to resist having names for new subfactions that are difficult to define precisely in demographic terms... which are exactly the ones that are new and likely to pose unprecedented problems if not kept in check.
If there is resistance, that is mostly because we're under constant barrages from the Right about any progressive politics we may have no matter how little sense it would make to resist against them. Given enough time, there will be better and better definitions.

The "Tumblr teens" demographic is relatively recent in the time scale, which became more known to the Left as incidents like Zamii070's harassment happened. Before these events, citing Tumblr was mostly used as a catchphrase by the Right to beat down the Left like SJW, which is why I can understand your confusion over it. It's still used in that way by them but, it has a different meaning to the Right as the word "liberal" has a different meaning if you say it to a right winger versus a leftist. Of course, it's not quite universal among the Left yet, but I have faith that we will get something to name them.

Like I said earlier, you need to first get around a series of automatic responses that have been put in place because of constant and unending bad faith tactics.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-25 03:53pm
Okay, well do you begin to understand why there's a problem on my end?

If I genuinely have a concern about a group of people who don't share common demographic traits*, don't share any specific singular belief**, don't all do the same things at the same time***, and aren't all members of a self-named group... Well, what do I do?

*As in, they're not all-female or all over thirty or all left-handed or anything...
**Because they're following a collective behavior pattern, not a recipe...
***The way a typical 20th century organized protest would...
I'll await your answer to the first quote before I continue with this.
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And my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin', if I only had a brain!
I would not be just a nothin', my head all full of stuffin', my heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be would be a ding-a-derry, if I only had a brain!"

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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by ray245 » 2018-04-25 11:31pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-04-25 08:25pm
Though I think I know where this is going, and in case it does go there: If you mean to apply Ray's argument about morality being valid as part of these studies, I would not disagree with that except Ray's first post was not something that could be rationally considered academic. It makes a claim that morality is overused over facts and discussion as a shibboleth, when not only is morality an inherent part of political discourse that sits equally alongside facts (otherwise we would all be robots without emotions or politics), but there was no substantial basis for his claim. You can only counter anecdotes and subjective experiences like that with other anecdotes unless there is a methodological study about the Left which addresses him that I'm not aware of.

If you're going to try to claim Ray's statement and subsequent backpedaling was remotely academic, then that would be very odd because SDN is not exactly a centerpiece of academia, and rapid backpedaling is not exactly the sign of a good academic. If not that, do answer the question, but with the condition of remembering I have no objection to this work being conducted properly, i.e. without the ostensible academics dodging the point. Otherwise, we might as well just have a discussion made of memes like Ben Shapiro's pompous "facts don't care about your feelings".

Are you saying I should hunker down and not reconsider my points?
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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-04-26 12:32am

ray245 wrote:
2018-04-25 11:31pm
Are you saying I should hunker down and not reconsider my points?
...no. SDN not being a centerpiece of academia doesn't imply academic discussion cannot be had here; it does imply, though, that we're not going to remotely change any sphere of the Left with the contents of a forum thread from a place that is by now almost unknown to the greater Internet in general, much more political spheres that are significant. We are still having a discussion after all, but let's be real, this is a completely casual discussion, plus if there is truly an exchange of ideas there has to be some sign that ideas are being exchanged.

Though you have been kinda doing what you said already so it's not like it would make a difference if you changed now. I tried.
"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin', if I only had a brain!
I would not be just a nothin', my head all full of stuffin', my heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be would be a ding-a-derry, if I only had a brain!"

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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by ray245 » 2018-04-26 05:29am

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-04-26 12:32am
ray245 wrote:
2018-04-25 11:31pm
Are you saying I should hunker down and not reconsider my points?
...no. SDN not being a centerpiece of academia doesn't imply academic discussion cannot be had here; it does imply, though, that we're not going to remotely change any sphere of the Left with the contents of a forum thread from a place that is by now almost unknown to the greater Internet in general, much more political spheres that are significant. We are still having a discussion after all, but let's be real, this is a completely casual discussion, plus if there is truly an exchange of ideas there has to be some sign that ideas are being exchanged.

Though you have been kinda doing what you said already so it's not like it would make a difference if you changed now. I tried.
Either I am backpedaling, or I am bunkering down on my points. Because it feels like you are accusing me of doing both at the same time.
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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-04-26 01:00pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-04-26 05:29am
Either I am backpedaling, or I am bunkering down on my points. Because it feels like you are accusing me of doing both at the same time.
You were retreating to even more ridiculous vagueness while our discussion was going nowhere, if you want something closer to what I'm thinking. Then you closed off with a tired phrase that is mostly said by people who have no clue and need to get one.

Anyway, didn't I stop talking to you earlier? Right, I did. I'm going to continue that policy now before this conversation becomes more nonconstructive.
"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin', if I only had a brain!
I would not be just a nothin', my head all full of stuffin', my heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be would be a ding-a-derry, if I only had a brain!"

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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-26 03:01pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-04-25 08:25pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-25 03:53pm
From my point of view, being comfortable talking about Stalin's atrocities* isn't the issue.

Talking about Stalin's atrocities is like pointing to the smoldering ashes of a building and saying "welp, that building sure burned down." To which I can only reply "it sure did." But that's not the end of things. That's first-order thinking: we know the building burned down.

From there we go to second order: saying "okay, let's not burn down our building." And this is good. This is the equivalent of leftists telling each other "okay, don't literally form death squads, don't infiltrate a coalition leftist government and betray it to set up a left-wing autocracy, and so on." So far, so good. But it's only enough if everyone consistently follows the rules, and the reason this is tricky is that the rules themselves evolve over time. There are ways to be an unholy terror today that simply didn't exist in 1978, and there will likely be ways to do so in 2058 that don't exist today.

So we go to third order: "if someone else tries to burn down our building, how do we detect and counteract that? If an accident ignites our building, likewise? How do we identify fire hazards and remove them?

To address that we need to be able to study the history and dynamics of left-wing movements of the past, with an eye to examining what they did right, what they did wrong, how to improve on them, and what analogies and lessons-learned we can extract.

And that's where analogies about smoke detectors come in. Now, I can answer your question, but do you feel okay with what I'm saying so far?
_________________________________

*(I hadn't actually heard the phrase 'tankies' until now but it's a straightforward word for something like 'neo-Stalinists' or 'Stalinism-apologists' or whatever)
...I don't have an objection, go on.

Though I think I know where this is going, and in case it does go there: If you mean to apply Ray's argument about morality being valid as part of these studies, I would not disagree with that except Ray's first post was not something that could be rationally considered academic. It makes a claim that morality is overused over facts and discussion as a shibboleth, when not only is morality an inherent part of political discourse that sits equally alongside facts (otherwise we would all be robots without emotions or politics), but there was no substantial basis for his claim. You can only counter anecdotes and subjective experiences like that with other anecdotes unless there is a methodological study about the Left which addresses him that I'm not aware of.

If you're going to try to claim Ray's statement and subsequent backpedaling was remotely academic, then that would be very odd because SDN is not exactly a centerpiece of academia, and rapid backpedaling is not exactly the sign of a good academic. If not that, do answer the question, but with the condition of remembering I have no objection to this work being conducted properly, i.e. without the ostensible academics dodging the point. Otherwise, we might as well just have a discussion made of memes like Ben Shapiro's pompous "facts don't care about your feelings".
The issue for me is more that it's hard for us to informally discuss potential problems cropping up

Again, to use an analogy from Russian history, consider my position if I'm trying to say the equivalent of "gee, I'm worried that if those clannish guys who like making booms [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander ... assination]assassinate the relatively liberal czar[/url], things might get a lot worse instead of better."

Now, I can do that if I have a name for 'those clannish guys who like making booms;' in the event, the group in question had a name and cell-structured leadership, calling itself "People's Will." But I can't do that if it takes years for my movement to get around to admitting that such a group exists.

Historically this was pretty easy. Groups had to organize in physical space and name themselves. Even ten years ago, a political faction pretty much needed at least some specific website it could frequent, that was not used for other purposes, letting us say things like "Stormfront posters" as a substitute for "people with disturbing white-nationalist/supremacist political views who are prrrrobably neo-Nazis."

Today, this is no longer necessary. Political factions can emerge and gain considerable influence without having any "fixed address," while being nothing more or less than a loosely-affiliated network of like-minded individuals on a website like Tumblr or Facebook.

This means that it is entirely possible for a problematic faction to arise within the a larger political movement, one that threatens very bad results or desires bad things, without even having a name. And the harder we resist attempts to name or define such a group, the harder it is to discuss such a group.

There has to be an increased measure of openness to attempts to name and designate problematic groups, to compensate for the increased difficulty of identifying the groups and the increased ease of creating them.

That is what I'm getting at. Obviously there's a limit to this; "one should keep an open mind, but not so open that one's brains fall out." All I object to is when we get categorical and definitive about rejecting people purely because they say "I don't know how to precisely delineate this group or prove that my definition exactly captures the problem demographic, but the group is a problem and I know it."
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-25 03:53pm
...To wax Sesame Street here, one of these things is not like the others.

"The Nation of Islam" is a discrete group with a self-defined name. "Tankies" is a slang word, but it's a slang word that refers to a clearly defined thing: "people who do Stalin apologism."

But there's no such convenient phrase for "people who engage in a defined set of self-righteous toxic behaviors, either online or in real life, in pursuit of left-wing political agendas, but in such a way as to cause disruption within the cause and to smear the image of the cause to society at large." Because that is a group which resists definition. They don't have a compact name like 'tankies.' Or rather, the closest thing the contemporary English language seems to have to a name for that is 'SJW,' and OBVIOUSLY we can't use that.

You can't define such a group by demographics because it crosses national, class, racial, age, and platform boundary lines (like "Tumblr teens"). You can't define them by a specific belief they all hold (like BLM). You can't define them by their participation in a single activity (like OWS) or a single group (like the Nation of Islam).

It's hard to define it at all.

This leads to the problem.
To be honest, I intentionally reached when I mentioned that because two instances of internal leftist pushback seemed apparently not enough to convince you, and I struggled to come up with something else someone would commonly think leftists would deny or consider a fnord. Because ... that isn't something that actually happens often with the real Modern Left. It's not like the Modern Right where "alternative facts" is something that is taken as a core belief. Coming up with examples slowly becomes like a problem of coming up with breathable air from deep space.
Just to be sure I'm interpreting you correctly, you're saying that it is vanishingly unlikely for any faction within the modern left to become objectively problematic without being named, labeled, and called out by their fellow leftists?
The "Tumblr teens" demographic is relatively recent in the time scale, which became more known to the Left as incidents like Zamii070's harassment happened. Before these events, citing Tumblr was mostly used as a catchphrase by the Right to beat down the Left like SJW, which is why I can understand your confusion over it. It's still used in that way by them but, it has a different meaning to the Right as the word "liberal" has a different meaning if you say it to a right winger versus a leftist. Of course, it's not quite universal among the Left yet, but I have faith that we will get something to name them.
The thing is, how the hell did they home in on Tumblr so much faster than we did? If they were just making shit up entirely without ANY correlation to reality, you'd expect them to have identified something that wasn't the problem at all. How long did a problem go on that we were in denial about, because we were busy saying that "Tumblr radicals," like "SJWs," are Simply Not A Thing?

It sounds like the answer was "rather longer than I might like."
Like I said earlier, you need to first get around a series of automatic responses that have been put in place because of constant and unending bad faith tactics.
I accept this but I also think we need a better defense mechanism, because the current mechanism consists of building huge walls and throwing rocks down at anyone who approaches the fortress from the outside. This tends to artificially and unnecessarily "radicalize" people who would otherwise be well content to associate with the movement. It's the equivalent of shouting "I'M NOT CRAZY, YOU'RE CRAZY!" at the top of one's lungs; even if strictly true it is rarely a sign of good mental health in the shouter.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-04-25 03:53pm
Okay, well do you begin to understand why there's a problem on my end?

If I genuinely have a concern about a group of people who don't share common demographic traits*, don't share any specific singular belief**, don't all do the same things at the same time***, and aren't all members of a self-named group... Well, what do I do?

*As in, they're not all-female or all over thirty or all left-handed or anything...
**Because they're following a collective behavior pattern, not a recipe...
***The way a typical 20th century organized protest would...
I'll await your answer to the first quote before I continue with this.
Go ahead.
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TheFeniX
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Re: Gun Lovers Stage Peaceful Protests At State Capitals Nationwide

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-04-26 04:29pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-04-25 08:25pm
The "Tumblr teens" demographic is relatively recent in the time scale, which became more known to the Left as incidents like Zamii070's harassment happened. Before these events, citing Tumblr was mostly used as a catchphrase by the Right to beat down the Left like SJW, which is why I can understand your confusion over it. It's still used in that way by them but, it has a different meaning to the Right as the word "liberal" has a different meaning if you say it to a right winger versus a leftist. Of course, it's not quite universal among the Left yet, but I have faith that we will get something to name them.
Reading shit like this really makes me hate the Internet. But also laugh because, much like Little Pony, people take shit way too seriously. I heard Steven Universe is pretty good, but its fanbase makes me not want to associate with it in any form. Same with Adventure Time. I'm usually immune to that. But it's like all the creepy fanshit that cropped up around 5 Nights at Freddie.

And, as much as some of this shit doesn't amuse me, I always find it laughable (and I've had to make this comment twice now in the last few days) that Art should be defended to the death, until it offends what MY group doesn't like. I've seen white and male character gender and race bended to all sorts of shit (Link from Legend of Zelda and Cloud from FFVII are popular for this I think because there's crossdressing scenes in the games). But have fanart of a minority character white and THERE'S HELL TO PAY!

Thankfully, I played Undertale before all the.... everything came up around that.

Funny (more boring than funny) story there. My wife's side of the family came over and the niece was watching some fanmovie with Sans in it. And I'm like "Oh hey, Undertale." And she responds with "You know about Undertale?" "Yea, pretty decent little game?" "It's a game?"

Then I just died a little inside.

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