The Romulan Republic wrote: ↑
loomer wrote: ↑
The Romulan Republic wrote: ↑
Don't play dense. Its not about votes. Its about contributing to a culture which normalizes Trump's actions.
You'll have to excuse me, but having a former centre-leftist who was still condemning anti-fascist violence just last year try and tell me that people with a much longer history of continued opposition to corruption, statism, and general neo-liberal, reactionary, and fascist shitfuckery are the ones normalizing Trump is incredibly
funny to me. The reality is that Trump is not
an exceptional evil in the Western political landscape, but rather just a particularly visibly
abhorrent example of the kind of political deterioration and explosion of predatory reactionary populism that those of us on the actual left have been warning of for decades.
So we're going for yet another round of "smear TRR's character to distract from the actual topic". Because of course we fucking are.
It ain't a smear if it's true, and I think you'll find it actually is
the topic you decided to raise. Namely, former center-leftists like you declaring that actual leftists are normalizing Trump. It's weird that you think that calling you a former centre-leftist is a smear, though!
First of all, I haven't been a Centrist by the standards of anyone but the most fringe extremists for a very long time. Not champing at the bit to spill blood does not equal being a Centrist.
You were a centrist by any actual leftist model, dude. Hate to break it to ya. 'Progressive left' in the American context really just means 'liberal, but with some soul left', since it doesn't view the underlying liberal model of organization as the problem. I call you a former centre-leftist because you're at least willing to move slightly beyond a wholehearted embrace of liberalism and capitalism, but in most respects, you actually still fit pretty squarely in the center. Now, there's nothing necessarily wrong with progressive leftists, even if I think they're propping up a system inherently inimical to their goals, because at least the heart's in the right place - but the heart being in the right place does not an actual leftist make.
Secondly, my position on violence is more or less what it has been for years: that it may sometimes be necessary to defend oneself or others, but that it must be used only as a last resort, not preemptively, for revenge, as a means of imposing an ideology, or because some frustrated and angry people want to See It All Burn. The only thing that's changed is that we've inched closer to the line where it becomes necessary.
The line was crossed years ago when the fascists started expanding and returning to the mainstream again. Fascism as an ideology is one of such inherent violence that renders pre-emptive self-defence morally permissible.
But yeah, tell me how I'm not a real leftist/a fascist collaborator because I'm not eager to see the streets run red with the blood of innocents (oh, sorry, did you think only the Bad Men would die in your Glorious Revolution, or are the poor and marginalized who would inevitably be the bulk of the casualties simply Acceptable Losses for the Greater Good?).
You're a progressive leftist, TRR, which means you're still aligned with centrism because you don't view liberalism and capitalism as the problems in and of themselves, which is, you know, kinda the divergence point for actual leftists. But speaking of smears, which you so gleefully invoked, perhaps you can point me to where I said anything about staging a glorious revolution as a preferable option? If you wish to characterize me as eager to see blood run in the streets, I certainly hope you can back that up. I also wonder if you can show me where I've called you a fascist collaborator - or do you feel that if you aren't a true leftist, you must necessarily be a collaborator, and so by declaring you a former centre-leftist, I have thus dubbed you a fascist collaborator? (In which case, you're more than welcome to jump ship and actually join us.)
The attempt to paint him as some kind of 'outside' problem to Western politics is far more dangerous than the alternative, which is recognizing him as just one more cancerous outgrowth of the same underlying problems. The former assumes that Trump is the disease, not the symptom - the latter realizes that without systemic reform, getting rid of Trump at best just forces the disease back beneath the surface to fester again until it resurfaces. What you call 'normalizing' Trump is nothing more and nothing less than being unwilling to buy into the party line that actually, no, American democracy is functional and healthy most of the time.
Third option: Trump is an outgrowth of existing systemic problems that will still have to be confronted once he is gone, but he represents a dramatic escalation of those tendencies, and pretending he is no different than the norm numbs people to the urgency of the crisis, and wastes the chance to use the blatant tyranny of Trump to wake people up to the systemic problems that created him.
Except Trump really isn't a dramatic escalation of those tendencies, but rather, the result of a prior escalation - one that rapidly unfolded during the Bush and Obama years. That's what you don't seem to grasp: Trump didn't just 'happen' by surprise (even though yes, it blindsided even most of us on the left because we got complacent) but was a product of the erosion of democratic norms and values beginning in the early late 70s/early 80s, escalating in the early 2000s, and reaching feverish pitch during the Obama years, which allowed fascism to openly
re-enter the political mainstream. That's why those of us pointing to the antecedents are so frustrated - from our perspective, Trump is an outcome of processes long in the making, and viewing him as any kind of sudden exceptional evil both gives him too much credit and gives the false hope that dealing with him in isolation could have any meaningful impact on the underlying problem.
Further, if you want to 'use the blatant tyranny of Trump to wake people up to the systemic problems', you need to actually discuss those systemic problems. Pointing to the history of poisonous leadership and the perversion of democracy by various factions in the West is actually how you do that - it's not normalizing Trump, but pointing to the underlying problems that allowed the system to fester until the point that a no longer deniable abhorrent failure of democracy erupted.
Oh, wait, that position involves actual nuance, and as we all know, that makes me Not A Real Leftist.
Or, and this just might be possible, we don't think your 'nuanced' position is actually all that nuanced and that it covers a generalized liberal tendency that you aren't able to perceive. But you're probably right, and anarchists just hate nuance. I mean, I know that's why I
read Habermas and Agamben, because I hate nuance.
You know what I think? I think people like you sent people like me to the gulags and the firing squads and the guilotine for being Traitors to the Revolution because we didn't have a hard enough murder boner, and you probably will again if you get the chance. So forgive me if I give your opinion little more weight than the fascists'.
Fun fact: It's actually us masons and anarchists who were the ones sent to the gulags and firing squads and guillotines as 'traitors to the revolution' far more frequently than any centre-leftist or socdem like you. We historically have some of the worst odds of surviving any revolution, since anarchists represent a fundamental threat to any and all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, whether openly permanent or 'temporarily necessary', in a way that liberals and socialists don't. Here's another fun fact for you: I'm a pretty strict pacifist, even while I recognize the validity of anti-fascist violence and the possible existence of the Just War.
So no, TRR. I don't think it's people like me who send people like you to the Gulags. I think it's people like you who send people like me, because the gulag, the firing squad, and the guillotine are fundamentally incompatible with my political philosophy and personal morality on every level as instruments of statist violence and terror. If it ever comes to it, I'm more likely to help you hide and die for you than hand you over.
But hey. I'm a far leftist, so I must be thirsty for your blood, right?
What was that about nuance again?
"Doctors keep their scalpels and other instruments handy, for emergencies. Keep your philosophy ready too—ready to understand heaven and earth. In everything you do, even the smallest thing, remember the chain that links them. Nothing earthly succeeds by ignoring heaven, nothing heavenly by ignoring the earth." M.A.A.A