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Extremism - right and left

Posted by dockside (My Page) on
Fri, May 11, 12 at 14:20

I read, occasionally, someone stating that the right and the left have their extremists. To me, it's easy to see who is a right-wing extremist. I just compare what the Republican Party was 30 years ago to what it is now and it's easy to see that it has been taken over by extremists on the right.

Now, I can't say that for the left. What is left-wing extremism? How has it manifested itself in laws passed or even laws people are attempting to pass? I think there is very little left-wing extremism, especially conpared to the late 60's. The Democrats have moved, IMO, to the center and what was main-stream Democratic ideals 30 to 40 years ago is now seen as extreme?

So please enlighten me if you think I am wrong.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

I don't think you are wrong. I agree with all you said. The 60's were the left wing extremism, and they have gone more to the center now, whereas the right has gone off the deep end. My conservative father would never recognize his beloved GOP if he were alive.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

I wondered this myself the other day. I look forward to comments on what people consider current left wing extremists.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

There are thousands of extremist groups in the us the vast majority screw right.
They had a nice detailed map & count by state


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RE: Extremism - right and left

There are several issues that mark the divide between left and right and the more extreme the views (ie broach no compromise) the harder it is to find a middle way. Amongst those issues are immigration,abortion, religion guns and race. The further out from a central compromise you are in either direction establishes your extremism. In my opinion neither extremes is an ideological position.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

ink - but what, exactly do the left "extremists" say or do to try to get legislation passed to relfect their views? Forty years ago, the John Birch Society was extreme. Now it is an invited participant at CPAC. The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is an invited guest on Hannity and his "foundations" are the receipient of Hannity's largess (but no one on the right seems upset by his misogyny). Where are the equivalents on the left?

I would like examples of the extreme views of the extremists on the left. And of the people who espouse these views and the legislation that results from this extremisn.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Dockside: perhaps I could look for an answer to your question in those who want a complete revolution but they tend to be locked in an intellectual bubble with a few 'anarchists' more interested in mayhem then Bakunin. As you know politics and entertainment are ever more intimate bedfellows and (what a horrible connection) "if it bleeds it leads".

If there was no dissidence I think we in the west would move further to the right and work towards excluding anyone not us (yes there is a word for that) so I think any view that resists this is extreme.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Fri, May 11, 12 at 18:13

What's a left wing extremest? You know the type, tree hugger, anti US oil drilling, whale saver, etc...otherwise known as old fashioned conservatives. Something today's "conservatives" like Rush and Hannity don't want you to realize. They are quite good at confusing their base on these new age extremists terms. Conservative doesn't mean what it use to mean back in old days.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

According to Joe Klein

Joe Klein sez:

A left-wing extremist exhibits many, but not necessarily all, of the following attributes:

--believes the United States is a fundamentally negative force in the world.

--believes that American imperialism is the primary cause of Islamic radicalism.

--believes that the decision to go to war in Iraq was not an individual case of monumental stupidity, but a consequence of America�s fundamental imperialistic nature.

--tends to blame America for the failures of others�i.e. the failure of our NATO allies to fulfill their responsibilities in Afghanistan.

--doesn�t believe that capitalism, carefully regulated and progressively taxed, is the best liberal idea in human history.

--believes American society is fundamentally unfair (as opposed to having unfair aspects that need improvement).

--believes that eternal problems like crime and poverty are the primarily the fault of society.

--believes that America isn�t really a democracy.

--believes that corporations are fundamentally evil.

--believes in a corporate conspiracy that controls the world.

--is intolerant of good ideas when they come from conservative sources.

--dismissively mocks people of faith, especially those who are opposed to abortion and gay marriage.
--regularly uses harsh, vulgar, intolerant language to attack moderates or conservatives. . .

I pretty much agree with his assessment.


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RE: right and left

"I pretty much agree with his assessment."

Does that mean you are a right wing extremist mrs or do you think those at one extreme get to define their opposite?


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RE: Extremism - right and left

liberals define conservatives all the time ink, they tell us what we think on this forum every thread


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right

But this is about extremism in both directions Mrs. The screed you posted and said that you agreed with is one sided and extreme so if that is true you have defined yourself with no help.


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/////RE: Extremism - right and left

That is the definition of left wing extremism ink. If you want the definition of right wing extremism according to liberals, that would be any conservative.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Word for word, what Lily said... my parents were conservatives, Republicans, but they'd never recognize the party they belonged to if they were alive today. It's been taken over by every extremist, fundamentalist, and kook there is... and the more moderate, normal conservative seems not to have a voice any longer.

Those who wield the power have played the media game all too well, and those that follow the glitz and glamor, the shock and awe, well... people see what they want to see.

I don't know... when I think of the whole left vs. right thing, I think of loose and happy vs. uptight and miserable, for one thing...


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Not true Mrs. I guess if that is the way you see it there is not much way forward for you.

Surely those at the extreme carry that name precisely because they do not represent the mainstream? Conservatism is not an extreme right wing stance.

The notion that everything that is wrong can be attributed to a one particular political wing or another is just plain stupid and what is in question. Do you see any leverage in perpetuating that?


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RE: Extremism - right and left

I don't know who Joe Klein is, or why you find him so authoritative, MrsKjun, but his definition isn't a very politically coherent or good one.

Far right = fascism
Far left = anarchism

Here's classical leftist, from the current Socialist Party USA Statement of Principles:

THE SOCIALIST PARTY strives to establish a radical democracy that places people's lives under their own control - a non-racist, classless, feminist socialist society... where working people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically controlled public agencies; where full employment is realized for everyone who wants to work; where workers have the right to form unions freely, and to strike and engage in other forms of job actions; and where the production of society is used for the benefit of all humanity, not for the private profit of a few. We believe socialism and democracy are one and indivisible. The working class is in a key and central position to fight back against the ruling capitalist class and its power. The working class is the major force worldwide that can lead the way to a socialist future - to a real radical democracy from below.

The Socialist Party fights for progressive changes compatible with a socialist future. We support militant working class struggles and electoral action, independent of the capitalist controlled two-party system, to present socialist alternatives. We strive for democratic revolutions - radical and fundamental changes in the structure and quality of economic, political, and personal relations - to abolish the power now exercised by the few who control great wealth and the government. The Socialist Party is a democratic, multi-tendency organization, with structure and practices visible and accessible to all members.

Here's further left, from the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization:

USMLO is putting forward for discussion the following proposal for the program for an anti-war government:

1) Outlaw any and all U.S. involvement in wars of aggression and the use of force in settling conflicts between nations and peoples;

2) All U.S. Troops Home Now;

3) Cancel the Debts of all the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America;

4) Pay Reparations Now for all the crimes of slavery and all crimes of the U.S. government, present and past; and

5) End all support for Israel and act to end the occupation of Palestine now, beginning with withdrawal to the 1967 borders.

6) Stop the Raids and Deportations. Legalization for all now.

7) Stop Funding War, Stop Paying the Rich, Increase Funding for Social Programs

And more radically left, from the Crimethink Anarchist Collective:

The task of the revolutionary is not the task of the ally. We are not here to make the dreams of the proletariat come true. The proletariat is produced by capitalism, which we want to destroy. The task of the revolutionary is to shift our collective sense of the possible, so that our desires and the realities they drive us to create can shift in turn. We are here to transform reality beyond where our notions of consent can lead us. We need a different discourse to imagine the transformations that can open pathways out of consensus reality.

Again, we don't believe that we can persuade everyone to consent to our dreams of anarchist revolution; not only is the deck stacked against us, but the dealer, the table, and the whole house. We don't buy into the idea that our goals are what everybody "really" wants, nor do we assume that everyone would adopt our views if only they had access to all the right information. We don't claim to represent anyone beyond ourselves, nor to stand in for any silent majority; in that sense, anarchist revolution is not a democratic project. Nor do we, despairing of those things, decide that to be true to our principles we must give up on transforming society altogether and retreat into isolation among the few comrades with whom we can establish meaningful self-determined consensus. We don't think it's hopeless to resist in the face of the stranglehold of consensus reality. We want a different path forward, one that doesn't assume desire to be fixed, that doesn't rely on liberal consent.

We neither wish to impose our will on others by force, nor to disregard their desires. Instead, we want to perform a kind of magic, an alchemical operation. We want to induce desires, not simply fulfill them.

As anarchists, our greatest strength lies not in the coherence and reason of our ideology, but in the passionate actions we undertake and the ungovernable lives we lead. Let's not try to convert people to anarchism; let's set out, with mischievous glee, to infect everyone around us with the anarchy that flows in our veins. Let's produce situations in which anarchy is possible, even likely, even desirable to those who might not feel any inclination towards it today.

As you can probably see, the further left you go, the fewer stringent 'principles' are espoused until Alice falls into the Bakunian rabbit hole and everyone just sits around wanting coffee that nobody will ask anyone else to make. Seriously, though, it's all about the rejection of the state. Dockside, I'd posit that the reason you don't see radical leftists in government making laws is precisely because they wouldn't go near politics in the first place.

After a youth misspent amongst leftie groups, I had to smile at the Crimethink web site FAQ, in which is explained why they don't answer emails promptly:

"I'll let you in on a little secret: this isnt a big organization with an office, a budget, and a forty-hour work week for all the secretaries. Everyone who answers the CrimethInc. mail and email is involved in a hundred other projects. We're not interested in becoming more efficient, because we're all committed to living full, adventurous lives, without division of labor or acceptance of productivity as a value -- rather, we hope to empower others to be able to do everything themselves, so efficiency on our part will be unnecessary. The last thing we want is to have the work here divided up into official tasks for different posts, as if we were employees."


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Just take a look at the majority of OWS signage and you will see lots of left wing extremists. Anarchists included. Anarchy might be fun until people are hurt or die. I think of anarchists as two year olds who never grew up. They are the grasshoppers in the old story of the grasshopper and the ant, but grasshoppers who resort to force and destruction.

Ink. You are dead wrong. Please re-read the whole thread. Do you really want me to write another screed to explain?


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RE: Extremism - right and left

A 'screed' may not be required sleepy but can you tell me, briefly, what you are referring to?


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Excellent background, circuspeanut. Thank you. I had to laugh at this: everyone just sits around wanting coffee that nobody will ask anyone else to make.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Great info CP.

To me the political spectrum is a continuum. The centre right and centre left really aren't that far apart in their views. Certainly they favour certain policies one over another, giving different weight to each but they really are close in their views.

As we move further to the left or the right the chasm between the two gets larger and the views are more entrenched.

When you get to the far end of either you have anarchists on one end and radical supremacists the other end.

In my view there is no one on this forum that comes anywhere close to being on the extreme right or left....not a whole bunch in the centre either! LOL


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Just take a look at the majority of OWS signage and you will see lots of left wing extremists. Anarchists included. Anarchy might be fun until people are hurt or die.

Do you have some examples of what you're talking about? I look at OWS and see classical old-style left-wingers, but not much extremism. Zillions of folks wanting to reform the system, but not many who actually want to destroy it altogether. Granted, I certainly haven't seen all of the OWS signage out there.

The last really extremist left-wing movements I can personally think of are the Red Army Faction & Revolutionary Cells in Germany in the '70s, or the Greenpeace sabotage of whalers in the '80s. But Nancy will know other references from the Spanish speaking world.


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))))))Extremism - right and left

Anarchy is what you see demonstrated at the G8 / G20 summits. I've never have seen one of those idiots carrying a sign, it would interfere with their rock throwing and Molotov cocktails!


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RE: Extremism - right and left

I don't know... when I think of the whole left vs. right thing, I think of loose and happy vs. uptight and miserable, for one thing...

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Really?

Why?

I think people that constantly complain are probably miserable.

I've never met a negative thinking person that was truly happy. They may be happy with their immediate circumstances, but they aren't happy that other people are happy and find fault with just about everyone else that is not in their same situation.

In fact, I spent an hour talking with a very dear, but negative friend this week that couldn't see past her own problems (which are considerable, unnecessary and totally of her own making) and feeling sorry for herself, which she has been doing for years. By the time I got off the phone from trying to encourage her, listen to her, and point out all the things that were right about her life and her totally ignoring me (for the umteenth time) I was nervous, aggravated, and in an uncharacteristically bad mood until I worked in the garden
and calmed down by digging in the dirt and planting tomatoes, which always makes me closer to God, calm, and appreciative of the simple but wonderous pleasures of life.

I have found that Pity Parties enjoy an audience, and I'm never a willing member.

Liberals complain considerably more than conservatives in my opinion, particularly on this forum, about our country and others and capitalism and business owners and schools and nutrition and education and stupid people that don't think and....I get tuckered out thinking about it.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Maybe it makes some people happy to complain.

That must be it!

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I agree with Joe Klein's list about liberal extremists.

As to conservatives, a right wing extremist in my view is someone that believes that the US should have a military presence in just about every country in the world, that we are always right, that there should be no gun control, all illegal aliens should be deported, and that welfare payments to people that do not want to work and won't work should be stopped immediately or those people forced to work to receive welfare.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Sat, May 12, 12 at 9:30

....and don't forget the religious faction threading all those needles you listed Demi. That is much more entrenched on the right and comparatively absent on the left.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

The general Idea is always the same you us them! Last count I don't remember any of the local offices of the old leftists NY Groups being opened anymore they used to have spots all over th village handing out News papers. Haven't see that in years. Of Course there's email. They used to be all over the NYU campus down here in the late 60's & 70's (not this crew they all appear to be ardent capitalists even with all the liberal professors)

Leftists one poster described herself as having been a leftists for having been a Democrat once pffft!

I take it that this is an us & them post as the idea of extremism is (bad).

Extremism of thought without action is people with time on their hands, theorists who sit on talk shows and blather for hours.

Extremism in action is this map

These are active hate groups by state & by variety you can check out the link & see what your state has to offer usually pretty much the same things again & again.

anyone belong to a hate group?

Here is a link that might be useful: Join UP feel strong special better


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RE: Extremism - right and left

" Liberals complain considerably more than conservatiReves in my opinion, particularly on this forum, about our country and others and capitalism and business owners and schools and nutrition and education and stupid people that don't think and....I get tuckered out thinking about it."

Demi, to speak out against things you think are wrong our need changing is not complaining in my view. If it was then I think it would be fair to say that conservative here complain just as much as liberals, just about different things. Things like illegal immigration, legal foreign workers, the 47% who party no taxes, voter ID, universal healthcare, inheritance tax to.... name only a few.

When conservatives speak on these issues I don't consider them as complaining. I see it as a legitimate voicing of an opinion. I may disagree with the position but it does not occur to me they are complaining .


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Circus, what you posted was very helpful, in clarification. When I think about Extremists on the far Left, what comes to mind is from the 1970's, e.g. the Black Panthers, the Symbionese Army, Patty Hurst, and Malcolm X. Today, I cannot find their equivalent anywhere in the U.S.

To the European mind, American Democrats are Moderates, anything but extreme. And they cannot understand the religious underpinnings of American political life, in either party, with good reason.

I do not agree that Liberals are the complainers on this forum. I find just as much complaining from conservatives about lack of personal responsibility, taking advantage of the system, illegal immigrants, and agnosticism.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

the Red Army Faction & Revolutionary Cells in Germany in the '70s

Baader Meinhof in Germany and Brigate Rosse in Italy, but the Red Brigades were infiltrated by Italian intelligence agents (which translates to something close to fascists) and so the death of Aldo Moro. Anarchists are still in Italy, but not necessarily synonymous with bomb throwers, definitely anti-clerical in nature (in the belly of the beast, so to speak). There are still a number of communist parties in Italy, one of which, Rifondazione Comunista, has been part of a ruling coalition. iirc, there's also a radical Catholic organization that advocates for the poor and opposes reduction of social services.

As far as U.S. politics, I'd say the extreme left is Bob Avakian's Revolutionary Communist Party, maybe Ramsey Clark's International Action Center, and Workers World Party.

No experience wanting coffee and going without, just interminable organizing meetings trying to achieve consensus among persons who thought theirs were the only correct and true way to save __________ (fill in the blank).


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Oh, I agree that we ALL complain, chase.

But I know that in my case, I'm just sitting here thinking about it. I'm not mad about it.

SO many liberals come across as very angry and accusatory and needing someone to blame. That may or may not be the case with individuals, but with some that's what I perceive.
I certainly perceive it in liberals in the media.

I'm more matter of fact when noting what I think is wrong with this country, that's why I see it more as an observation than a complaint.

That's why I feel like I'm objective and don't understand the vitriol that I sometimes perceive here.

I DO understand that passion and emotions can be good things when it comes to relating what one cares about and seeking justice. I actually admire many of you for your passion and caring about other people. I think I care just as much, I am just less emotional about expressing myself.
I'm certainly most passionate about justice and personal responsibility, myself.

When people are capable of solving their problems and yet don't, I believe in either (a) education if they don't know or (b) tough love if they do and refuse to solve them themselves--but only if they are dependent on others.
If people have problems and don't solve them and aren't dependent on society or negatively affect society, that's their business.

Also, as much as "utopia" sounds nice, I am of the opinion that we are not meant to not have problems. Not that we aren't meant to help correct them, but since we will all never agree on HOW to solve problems, we're going to have them.
I find that emotions are not particularly helpful when interacting with other people unless you're giving a persuasive speech. And let's face it, very few people here have been persuaded by any thread! (I know, a few have).


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RE: Extremism - right and left

I second everything chase just said. When people talk about what they think is wrong, why is that considered complaining? I never looked at it that way.

Circuspeanut - Joe Klein is a writer for Time Magazine (and probably other stuff too). He's the main reason I cancelled my Time subscription several years ago.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Complaining about complainers is an odd approach to the question at hand, that being extremism.

At the centre of politics is always a tug of war between right and left, this is a healthy opposition. Outside of this centre are groups and individuals who influence the main players but are not themselves main players. Reform comes from the centre and revolution comes from the extremeties although this often amounts to a total breakaway from the mainstream. Extremist media stars are only in it for the money and notoriety who will go away when we learn not to slow down to getter a better view of a car crash.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

At the centre of politics is always a tug of war between right and left, this is a healthy opposition.

Perhaps the reason that U.S. politics is in such a mess is that the left has moved so far to the right that the tug of war results in only how far to the right we go.

Looking at Klein's list, I'm struck by his dodging the issue of imperialism. To criticize U.S. imperialism seems to be attribute of the 'extreme left' but what about support for that imperialism? Would that not be a feature of the extreme right? And he also dodges the issue of military adventurism, and bloated military spending supporting U.S. imperialism. I also have the impression that Klein thinks any structural analysis of the U.S. political system is 'exreme left' which in turn makes me question how far to the right is Joe Klein, or if he has ever seen comparison of military spending among industrialized countries.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

I think there are a few conservatives on this forum & a few liberals.
Or really fewer leftists I see & read a mixed bags of idiosyncratic positions some regional some religious & the some party driven & then a smattering of ankle biter including me. If I have no particular interest in a topic I'm liable to nibble at posters I just don't care for. Thats what I see & what I have experienced here for ages.

To define a thing & use it as a descriptor there must be an agreed upon definition for a thing.
Otherwise it's divination!


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RE: Extremism - right and left

I look forward to comments on what people consider current left wing extremists.

I really haven't given it much thought, but two that come to mind right off the bat are Bill Mahar and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Mahar, I don't think needs any explanation. Ginsberg has stated that if up to her the Constitution would be shredded and a new one drawn up, that our constitution is obsolete. This coming from someone sworn to support and defend the very instrument she wants destroyed.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

"Ginsberg has stated that if up to her the Constitution would be shredded and a new one drawn up, that our constitution is obsolete"

I would like to see that quote or site.


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Oh she said something to that affect regarding EGYPT and they drone on in t ever right wing web page about it.

See the local gun sites & love it or leave it sites like to angle it that shes just another lefty & they all site each others citations so tear up the Constitution has been printed at least thousandth times by the goony press.

Addressing Egyptians women & jurists about creating a constitution

Appearing on Egyptian television before concluding a four-day trip in Egypt, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg extolled the virtues of the U.S. Constitution but urged Egyptians to look to other countries' newer constitutions for guidance as they craft their own in the coming months.

Says she extolled the VIRTUES of the us constitution BILL but your site I'm sure say other wise as does the thousands of sites that have lots of right wing petitions don the right side of the page.

" given its original exclusion of women, slaves and Native Americans. She told them she wouldn't look to the US Constitution.

She told them to look to South Africa's Constitution or Canada's.

She said it was great that men met in Philadelphie & I think seh added it might have been better had there been women too.
lastly she said...

"If the people don't care, then the best constitution in the world won't make any difference," she said.

And if people only believe what the read & stick to that reading then were all as screwed as BILL unless Bill was aware of all the other things she said & is just being an ultra maroon about it which I doubt not usually his style.
But swallowing hook line & sinker of a gotcha quote araaaahharaghhhT!

Cognitive dissonance those who state they aren't angry generally are defended against of their rage full impulses. Instead they act it out in passive aggressive or masochistic blithely floating down the river of Denial pouting as the punt


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RE: Extremism - right and left

What Ginsberg said was reasonable and mature. Who could argue with her?


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Labrea-- actually you're not completely accurate, either. After reading your post, I went and looked. She "extolls" nothing about the Constitution, but rather drones on about how out of date it is, and how it should NOT be used as a model for ANY new constitution.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's the video


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RE: Extremism - right and left

Split the difference Bill shes spent most of her life interpreting & upholding the constitution & the stridency of the right in this regard has been nothing less than shameful.


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