Lead

Apr 24 17 11:26 PM

Tags : :

Ulrich Baer makes some very important points regarding free speech in the New York Times. The university protests against right wing extremists speaking on campus is not an attack on free speech. They represent a defense of free speech.

 Free speech rests on respect for some common rules of engagement. When one group argues that it is in some way superior to another, the other group cannot take part in the debate on equal terms. 

 If a fascist requires proof for the Holocaust, there is no point for a Holocaust surviver to provide such proof, as the fascist will dismiss all proof as lies. The fascist has already defined the survivor as a liar. The fascist is  invalidating the very life and existence of the Holocaust victim by denying the truth and value of his or her life. That is an act of violence, not an argument in a debate.

 Indeed, as Jean Paul Sartre pointed out, the fascist will knowingly break the rules, because he is not searching for the truth, he is searching for power:
“Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play.”


The concept of free speech and an open discussion requires a minimum of trust and a common understanding of what truth entails.
 Bear uses transgender people as an example:
“The rights of transgender people for legal equality and protection against discrimination are a current example in a long history of such redefinitions. It is only when trans people are recognized as fully human, rather than as men and women in disguise, as Ben Carson, the current secretary of housing and urban development claims, that their rights can be fully recognized in policy decisions.

The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community. Free-speech protections — not only but especially in universities, which aim to educate students in how to belong to various communities — should not mean that someone’s humanity, or their right to participate in political speech as political agents, can be freely attacked, demeaned or questioned.”

Read the whole article here. 
 
Quote    Reply   

#1 [url]

Apr 25 17 1:12 AM

This is all nonsense. You cannot condition free speech on a set of values.

It all boils down to one thing. PC is for free speech as long as you don't disagree with PC. In other words, you can have a Model T in any colour you want as long as it's black.

That's not free speech.

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran


If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Quote    Reply   

#2 [url]

Apr 25 17 2:25 AM

Nope. The very concept of free speech is one of the pillars of an open and democratic society, others being -- for instance -- the right to vote and the right to an independent and fair trial.

Democracy has always been a balancing act between the rights of the individuals, their freedom to do what they want, and the needs of others. Democracy is not a licence to do whatever you want. It is also designed to protect the weak and the vulnerable. In the same way democracy does not give the majority to do what it wants with the minority. The balance of powers set up by the Enlgihtenment philosophers and the founding fathers of the American republic was actually set up to stop majority rule to become a tyranny where minorities where persecuted and suppressed.

You cannot take "free speech" out of this system and pretend it is a carte blanche to say whatever you want. It never has been and never will be. Indeed, all democratic jurisdictions I know of agree that speech is an act, in the same way hitting someone or helping someone are acts that have repercussions for those who are involved. This is why you might sue someone for slander. False accusations may ruin your life, and the community has made laws to protect people from that kind of aggression.

Modern democracies are based on a tacit social contract that requires that all participants understand and adhere to these principles. This is also democracy's weakness. Because totalitarian extremists, being those communists, fascists,  or Islamic militants, do not believe in this kind of a "commons" for open debate and the protection of minorities. They believe they only have the truth, or -- as is the case in the current right wing extremism -- they do not care about the truth, only about power, and they are therefore turning free speech into a weapon that will ultimately be used to abolish it.

This is why Sartre's observation is so important. It tells us that there comes a point where the supporters of democracy have to draw a line against those who threaten the  very foundation of free speech and the protection of the weak and vulnerable. This is where the German democrats failed when facing Hitler, and the Mencheviks failed when facing Lenin. They tried to play by the rules of an open and democratic society, while their opponents did not care about any of this.

This is why universities and others who value true democracy have every right to stop fascists and extremists from spreading their gospels of hate on their property. This also applies to the fanatical transphobes who currently try to force transgender people back into the closet. 


 

Quote    Reply   

#3 [url]

Apr 25 17 9:53 AM

There are limits to free speech and always have been

For example you are not allowed too slander (or Libel, the version for the written word) an individual - that is make a claim that can be shown to be untrue.

Neither can you advocate violence against a particular group or person, or say something that would appear to condone violence against a group or person....

But on 'Political Correctness' - I rarely hear this term spoken by people on the left or liberals - In the UK at least. Its nearly always used as a term of abuse... and most often by people who claim to self censure but don't really.....

"I think gays are evil, but I'm not allowed to say because of the PC brigade! " says someone who clearly has said what they want to anyway, so no one has stopped them.

What some people who complain about Political Correctness don't seem to get is that if you say something, other people are going to react in disagreement. They are just exercising their free speech too... Typical conversation

a: "Gays are taking over, its terrible"
b: "What crap, where's your evidence? Get back to dark ages!
a: "Hey people are complaining. Bloody PC, denying my right to say what I think"


What I do agree with is that the 'no platforming' in some universities has been taken a bit to far. Universities are places where all views should be challenged.. That said, some 'no platform' stories are nothing of the kind. I sometimes read that Mr X has been 'no platformed' at the university of Y, but when you did a little deeper you find that Mr X just wasn't invited to speak. Well neither was I..

Quote    Reply   

#4 [url]

Apr 25 17 12:55 PM

Jack wrote: "Democracy has always been a balancing act between the rights of the individuals, their freedom to do what they want, and the needs of others. Democracy is not a licence to do whatever you want. It is also designed to protect the weak and the vulnerable. In the same way democracy does not give the majority to do what it wants with the minority. The balance of powers set up by the Enlgihtenment philosophers and the founding fathers of the American republic was actually set up to stop majority rule to become a tyranny where minorities where persecuted and suppressed."

Free speech is conceptually seperate from democracy. It is simply a right granted by a certain constitution. As such, free speech is a prerequisite of the fully constitutional state - der Rechtstaat of rights and obligations of the citizenry and the rule of law. It will quickly degrade into tyranny without it. Such a state, however, does not need to be a democracy (i.e, extend an equal vote to all citizens).


Jack wrote: "The very concept of free speech is one of the pillars of an open and democratic society, others being -- for instance -- the right to vote and the right to an independent and fair trial."

It is true a democrary cannot function properly without being an open society, that is, allowing free speech (for instance, our western democracies are no longer functioning properly for this very reason), but free speech is not a function of democracy. In other words, free speech was not invented in order to sustain or serve democracy, and for instance, ought to jettisoned if that would "save" democracy. On the contrary, democracy can be tolerated, even become the superior political system, as long as it upholds and serves free speech.


The rest of your post is simply rubbish. I might argue against several of the points you make, but it would serve no purpose. You either have free speech or you don't, and that means an equal right to free speech for all citizens, whether you like their opinions, values or behaviour or not.

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran


If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Last Edited By: Monique Apr 25 17 2:46 PM. Edited 10 times.

Quote    Reply   

#5 [url]

Apr 25 17 1:07 PM

PipX wrote:
But on 'Political Correctness' - I rarely hear this term spoken by people on the left or liberals - In the UK at least. Its nearly always used as a term of abuse... and most often by people who claim to self censure but don't really.....

It's rarely uttered by liberals or people on the left for the simple reason that apparently only liberals and people on the left are interested in shutting people up and deny them the right to their opinions. Right wingers would never dream of banning some commie pinky leftie to come and speak at a university. On the contrary. Some of them would probably welcome the opportunity to create a verbal brawl.

Someone here is afraid of open debate. Why? What are they hiding? What are they afraid of? Maybe the truth?

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran


If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Quote    Reply   

#6 [url]

Apr 25 17 2:42 PM

Once again your answer one of my posts by answering a post I didn't make.

Here is what I did say

1. Right-winger are forever claiming that Liberals use the term 'political correctness' to shut people up.. I pointed up out that Liberals hardly ever use the term.
2. My point was that Right-wingers are forever denying other the right to criticise their views. This is in fact a form of denying free speech

In addition - I did agree that on some universities people do try and close down debate.. but those people are by definition NOT Liberals because Liberalism is a philosophy with free speech at its heart... whereas right wing politic philosophies.. well just look around the world and through history, from Germany to Spain to Chile to Turkey, wherever right-winger have got absolute power they have LOCKED UP people who dare speak against the,. No Liberal regime has ever done that. Communist ones have, or course, but they are not Liberal.

Quote    Reply   

#7 [url]

Apr 25 17 3:27 PM

"1. Right-winger are forever claiming that Liberals use the term 'political correctness' to shut people up.. I pointed up out that Liberals hardly ever use the term."

Correct.

"2. My point was that Right-wingers are forever denying other the right to criticise their views. This is in fact a form of denying free speech."

This simply isn't true. Rightists almost never are even allowed a discussion. There are tonnes of rightist viewpoints that never make it into mainstream media or other parts of intellectual life due to it being tightly controlled by the ideological hegemony. Thus the net based alternative media sphere. Since they are never heard it is easy for the ideological hegemony gatekeepers to brush them aside as some kind of loud mouthed inarticulate anti-intellectualism. Or for instance claim that they supposedly "never let anyone criticise their views". Jack has given several examples above of this idea of the right winger as being uninterested in honest discussion. Here is one: “Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play.”

Obviously Jack (or Sartre) knows everything about this imagined "anti-Semite" (for instance). Never mind that this creature doesn't exist. I've never experienced a supposed anti-Semite, say Kevin MacDonald or David Duke, who had that kind of psychology. They might be wrong, but that's another matter. Don't you see, it's a phantom image! And because their actual reasoning is never heard the phantom is easy to create and reproduce. It's the original strawman. And then you take it down.

If by chance this kind of gatekeeping isn't enough and some sort of direct confrontation becomes necessary, a standard tactic used by the self appointed goodies against the powers of evil almost always contains some kind of ad hominem to render their arguments moot. Consequently, a critic of islamization becomes an "islamophobe", a critic of immigration a "racist", an anti-feminist a "misogynist" etc, etc. And such people you do not wish to engage, beacuse the very act of taking them seriously will rub off on you, making you a suspected "racist" etc.

It's absolutely silly, but it works.

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran


If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Last Edited By: Monique Apr 25 17 3:47 PM. Edited 6 times.

Quote    Reply   

#8 [url]

Apr 25 17 5:08 PM

PipX wrote:

1. Right-winger are forever claiming that Liberals use the term 'political correctness' to shut people up.

Actually, no they aren't.  Although I'm not a right-winger myself I do keep an eye on many of their blogs and news sites.  I've never seen them say that liberals are using the term itself as a tool to shut people up.  What they do say is that liberals are frequently trying to shut people up who are contradicting a set of ideas which are usefully summarized as 'political correctness'.

The phrase 'politically correct' actually originated on the Left, as a description of views in accord with the current (and often changing) views of the Communist Party.  But it's not the only word or phrase that has fallen out of favor on the Left, whether it be because party dogma has moved on or because opponents on the Right have succeeded in giving the word or phrase a pejorative twist.  (For a while, even "liberal" was disavowed.  But it seems to be coming back.  Same for "socialism".)
In addition - I did agree that on some universities people do try and close down debate.. but those people are by definition NOT Liberals because Liberalism is a philosophy with free speech at its heart... whereas right wing politic philosophies.. well just look around the world and through history, from Germany to Spain to Chile to Turkey, wherever right-winger have got absolute power they have LOCKED UP people who dare speak against the,. No Liberal regime has ever done that. Communist ones have, or course, but they are not Liberal.

Yes, censorship has always been part of the right-wing playbook.  They justify it as being for the good of society as a whole, like any other law forbidding acts which undermine the supposed health of that society.  (Individualism and individual rights like free speech aren't rightist ideas!  Libertarianism is a form of liberalism, and isn't properly right-wing.  The true Right has its origin in the defense of aristocracy, royal authority, and the Church -- ie, Throne and Altar -- against the democratic rule by the masses.  The Right is not egalitarian, it's hierarchical.)

FWIW, I agree with your distinction between liberal and communist regimes.  But totalitarian or authoritarian communism is still not the same thing as rightism, despite their agreement re some of the powers of the State.

The upshot is that the Right really has no business talking about "free speech" since it isn't part of their philosophy.  But as a rhetorical tactic, it makes sense for them to throw liberals' belief in it back in their faces and accuse them of hypocrisy.  (The Left also likes to make these claims of hypocrisy against the Right.  For example, when talking to Christians they'll often accuse them of unChristian behavior or attitudes.)

The scary thing is that we seem to be entering a period when the debate is moving into the streets, where the argument will be conducted not with words but with fists, clubs, knives and eventually guns.

Quote    Reply   

#9 [url]

Apr 26 17 2:04 AM

Pip wrote: "1. Right-winger are forever claiming that Liberals use the term 'political correctness' to shut people up.. I pointed up out that Liberals hardly ever use the term."

Oh man, did I completely misread Pip's question? No, naturally, rightists never accuse "Liberals" (for want of a better term) of using the very term "political correctness". Where the hell did you get that idea? (If indeed, that's what you meant?) They accuse Liberals for being politically correct. Either because they are so completely hypnotized by the powers that be that they don't even know they are inside the box, or, because political correctness is a strategy used to stifle the free exchange of ideas and discussion, and replace an objective search for reality with the terroristic fear of intimidation. Both of which are true.

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran


If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Last Edited By: Monique Apr 26 17 2:09 AM. Edited 3 times.

Quote    Reply   

#10 [url]

Apr 26 17 4:53 AM

Some quotes from Vladimir Lenin:

"The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses."

"There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel."

"To rely upon conviction, devotion, and other excellent spiritual qualities; that is not to be taken seriously in politics."


Quotes from Hitler's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.” 

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” 

"There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be `the man in the street.' Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology."


Adolf Hitler on how to seduce the masses by lying:
"The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood."

And another from Mein Kampf:

" (...) All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. 

It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.

For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying."

 


Note how both Goebbels and Hitler understood that there is more to politics than a rational discourse. People are ruled more by feelings (and fundamental values, I would add) than by rational arguments. You can use free speech to appeal to these feelings, ignoring the truth completely and gain power.

All good politicians will make use of psychology to strenghten their case, but only the extremists will belive that it is OK to say anything, completely disconnected from facts, as long as it leads you to power.

You do not argue with people like this. You do not give them access to your fora or your stages. They are out to take your freedom away and are willing to use any means to do so. If you want to protect them, you pull the mask of them and show people the hideousness that lies under it; you do not give them room to spread their poison.

But let me make one thing absolutely clear: This is not a fight between liberals and conservatives. True liberals and true conservatives, and -- in Europe -- social democrats,  Christian democrats, social liberals and moderates are all democrats. The real conflict right now is between all these democrats and the new wave of totalitarianism, whether it is right wing (Putin and Le Pen) or left wing (the governments of Venezuela and China).

What's happening in the US is still unclear. Bannon is clearly a fascist (with a great admiration for the totalitarianism of Lenin), Trump is a confused and incompetent old man who wouldn't know truth if it came up to and hit him in the head (and he clearly does not understood the basic rules of democratic governance). But there are other right wingers in the US that remains firmly on the democratic side. 

Last Edited By: jackmolay Apr 26 17 5:41 AM. Edited 3 times.

Quote    Reply   

#11 [url]

Apr 26 17 5:30 AM

Someone here is afraid of open debate. Why? What are they hiding? What are they afraid of? Maybe the truth?


No, they are afraid of fascism, of violence, of hatred and of persecution. And for very good reasons. Some nine black trans women have been killed in the US so far, to give you one example of what happens when you let hate reign free.
This simply isn't true. Rightists almost never are even allowed a discussion. There are tonnes of rightist viewpoints that never make it into mainstream media or other parts of intellectual life due to it being tightly controlled by the ideological hegemony. 


Nonsense. All of the right-wing extremism reaches mainstream media these days.

Fox has become is now a dominant player in the US, and sites like  Breitbart have great influence. Trump was given full access to all media during the election campagin, as were UKIP in Britain during the Brexit campaign and National Front in France right now. In Europe we have tabloids preaching the extremist gospel.

The extremists right to speak is not under threat. Thats' for sure.
Obviously Jack (or Sartre) knows everything about this imagined "anti-Semite" (for instance). Never mind that this creature doesn't exist. I've never experienced a supposed anti-Semite, say Kevin MacDonald or David Duke, who had that kind of psychology. They might be wrong, but that's another matter. Don't you see, it's a phantom image! And because their actual reasoning is never heard the phantom is easy to create and reproduce. It's the original strawman. And then you take it down.


You clearly haven't followed the transgender debate that closely (which was the reason I referred to this article in the first place).

Currently right wing extremists and TERFs are trolling both regular media and social media with no respect for facts or the need for compassion whatsoever. We see a replay of arguments used previously against people of color and homosexuals. They use a mix of arguments, picking the one that communicates best the need to force transgender people back into the closet and out of the social sphere.

1. Made up charges about trans women harassing cis women and children in bath rooms.

2. When that argument is refuted, they argue that trans women's access will open the door to male perverts (which is also nonsense and beside the point, as cis perverts will attack women and children anyway.)

3. Insinuating og claiming that all trans women are sexual perverts (in spite of the fact that the great majority of researchers are refuting this assertion)

4. Over at Breitbart I have repeatedly met the argument that trans people are mentally ill because of... you know .. "science". (Which is also not true, if you follow the American Psychiatric Association)

5. And yes, not to forget, we are all possessed by the demon Baphomet (this was an argument I met over at The Federalist, I believe)

In the end, of course you see that none of the extremists make these arguments because they seek the truth. They already know their truth and are just picking the arguments they find online. I see right-wing extremists quoting TERF blogs which again refers to right-wing sites, and around and around it goes. This is all about protecting the traditional view of gender and sexuality. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is pure science compared to some of the "facts" these people are spreading.

Does this mean that all people who argue against full legal acceptance of trans women are extremists and should be denied access to conferences and safe spaces? 

No, I have met reasonable people who make reasonable arguments that derve to to be heard. I may not agree with them, but I am listening and they are listening to me. My wife has followed the local feminist discussions and there is learning in on both sides. Trans women came, for instance, much closer to understanding the fear some cis women feel as result of previous sexual abuse. On the other hand, these women developed a more nuanced view of this logic of denying trans women access to women's rest room when trans women told stories about violence in men's bathrooms. One cis woman explained that she had been abused by women, so where should she go. There was no total agreement, but there was respect.

I am repeating myself, I know, but the reason the Norwegian Conservative Party became a champion of transgender right is not because they have always been so, but because they took part in an open public debate and realized that it made sense to protect trans people, not because the Social Democrats said so (because they did not), but because it fit with an ideology  based on personal freedom and responsibility. 



 

Quote    Reply   

#12 [url]

Apr 26 17 11:44 AM

jackmolay wrote:
What's happening in the US is still unclear. Bannon is clearly a fascist (with a great admiration for the totalitarianism of Lenin), Trump is a confused and incompetent old man who wouldn't know truth if it came up to and hit him in the head (and he clearly does not understood the basic rules of democratic governance). But there are other right wingers in the US that remains firmly on the democratic side.


You can relax about Hillary Trump being firmly domesticated and harmless to the "democratic" side. The missile attack on Syria, if not before, was the final nail in the coffin to settle that guy as just another war president who was put there by the banks and the neocons, who is going to continue outsourcing America while cheerfully keep on maiming kids in the Mideast. The Washington war party, their mass media minions, The New York Post and Tel Aviv are pleased. In other words, Trump's betrayal of Trumpism has demasked him as anything but an American nationalist.
http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/04/06/trump-versus-trumpism-syria-in-the-crosshairs/

As The Who would have it, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss": :(





"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran


If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Last Edited By: Monique Apr 26 17 12:13 PM. Edited 3 times.

Quote    Reply   

#13 [url]

Apr 26 17 1:33 PM

Monique wrote, " Right wingers would never dream of banning some commie pinky leftie"
- Fox does not ban - but they do use bully tactics to trivialize opinion from the left

Quote    Reply   

#15 [url]

Apr 26 17 3:00 PM

Bobbi Dare wrote:
Monique wrote, " Right wingers would never dream of banning some commie pinky leftie"
- Fox does not ban - but they do use bully tactics to trivialize opinion from the left

smiley: laugh

Look... I'm not American and I never watch Fox News. That said, and even though I don't know exactly that is, I wouldn't regard Fox as bona fide radical right or nationalist right, neither conservative in a proper sense, more like establishment hawkish, and especially so during the Bush years. In other words, a waste of time. But alright, "right-wing" is a very wide label, so I guess it could apply here to describe a kind of rightism that isn't very nice at all. And certainly not as nice as me. Cute
(For example, I belong to the crowd who wanted an unbiased investigation into the 9/11 events, for instance before invading Afghanistan, and I was vehemently opposed to the second Iraq war from the moment I heard the ridiculous acronym "WMD's". If I had ventured into the Fox studio sofa during that time, I would be the one who'd been the target of abuse by Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly had yelled at to "shut up!".)

Even so, and you state it yourself, even these bullies would not have ganged up on campus in order the chase away speakers they don't approve of politically, like they were some weird kind of self-appointed Sturmabteilung. Only lefties do that sort of thing, and what's even worse, they look at this form of silencing of perceived enemies not as political expedience, but as some kind of moral and sacred duty to... something. Damn, those guys are insane, man...

 

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran


If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Last Edited By: Monique Apr 26 17 3:38 PM. Edited 9 times.

Quote    Reply   

#16 [url]

Apr 26 17 3:02 PM

lal2828 wrote:
(There's a lot of space in the recent replies.  Are things being deleted/banned here?)
Not that I have noticed. I also trust Jack to be a man of honour.

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran


If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Last Edited By: Monique Apr 26 17 3:23 PM. Edited 2 times.

Quote    Reply   

#18 [url]

Apr 27 17 6:30 AM

Monique my point was that there are cowards on both the political left and political right who will use position to dominate discourse. It is happening in the White House right now as Spicey tries to favor some "news" outlets and exclude some others (NYT, Washington Post). I do not support the banning of speakers, no matter what garbage they have to say - this is why we have free speech! If you do not agree with a point of view then express your own!

Jack wrote, "Modern democracies are based on a tacit social contract that requires that all participants understand and adhere to these principles."
Using a position of power to control discourse does not change opinion. Also we do not have democracies in the west Jack - we all live under republics. A republic is a representational form of government - meaning that you have one vote as a citizen every 4-5 years, someone is sent to office who likely does not represent your views, but close enough. That person speaks for you and you may or may not like what they do. They spend most of their time listening to all sorts of people who can then get them re-elected. Politicians get elected for all sorts of issues and they can favour laws that offer specific protections. But- using that power for whatever reason (to offer protection to one group for example) will cause a backlash against that very group. We are not helping forward Trans issues by creating a protective bubble - forces gather at the edges and look into the bubble with hatred/ disgust.

My experience with the democratic system that we have is that it generally favors the majority. The laws that our representatives pass in an attempt to preserve rights for the majority generally get used by marginalized groups to demand equal treatment - thus pissing off the far right/ left. Fortunately the majority of people are interested in living in peace and could care less about Trans issues - so as long as most do not see a threat we are fine. Unfortunately we have become a convenient political target due to a backlash of too much Political Correctness.

Quote    Reply   

#19 [url]

Apr 27 17 7:09 AM

(There's a lot of space in the recent replies.  Are things being deleted/banned here?)


No. Free speech and all that ;)
Also we do not have democracies in the west Jack - we all live under republics. 

I am a proud citizen of a monarchy, thank you. But I must admit Harald is more democratic than most. Here's what he recently said about LGBT people:

 image

King Harald is actually a reminder that what seems to be self-evident in one country is not in another. Out king is by American and Russian standards a left-wing, wishy-washy, "feminine", liberal, but by being so he reflects what the majority of Norwegians feel and want. I like him, as I liked his father and his grand father before him, two giants in Norwegian history who played an active role in the resistance against Nazi Germany.

I take your point of politicians not being perfect, Bobbi, but my point is that real democracies (as opposed to totalitarian quasi-democracies like Russia and Turkey) are based on much more than free elections. The are based on a stable, fair and predictable judiciary and a free press. Moreover, they require some kind of social trust, in the sense that the citizens must believe that the system as a whole is there for their benefit, even if it is not perfect. That is the case in Norway, but no longer in the US, and that worries me.

Extremists will accentuate social conflicts in order to instill fear in people. In other words: They try to destroy the trust so that they can present themselves as the saviors of the common man. Lenin did so, Hitler did so, Mussolini did so, and what do you know: Trump, Putin and Le Pen do the same. 

With the execption of Trump (who clearly has no clear understanding about LGBT issues) they also use gay and transgender people as scapegoats and symbols of the imagined threat to the safety of regular folks.
We are not helping forward Trans issues by creating a protective bubble - forces gather at the edges and look into the bubble with hatred/ disgust. 

We most definitely need protection, as do all marginalized people, and to tell you the truth, I do not think the average extremist (right wing or left wing) will change their opinion of trans people because of an open, democratic, discourse. So yes, I am definitely in favor of using politics and laws to protect LGBT people. And I am not going to fake respect for bigots who clearly are out to destroy us.

But a significant percentage of the population of at least "Western" countires will be persuaded when they see that transgender people are just people, like themselves. This is why the American and European reactionaries find it so hard to gain support for the persecution of gay people these days. Too many of the regular people have gay and lesbian friends. They know that these friends represent no threat to their well being. They know that their friends will not stalk their children in bath rooms. They know that they will not try to convert them to "their evil ways". They know that gay and lesbian people are not creepy fetishist. They know this, because they have met them.

I believe that the current backlash against trans people was partly caused by the fact that we was reaching what Time called "a transgender tipping point". American and European traditionalists knew that they had lost the struggle against homosexuals, but they could reestablish their ground (protection of the binary and traditional gender roles) by using transgender women and children as scapegoats. 

I know that some think that the lesson from this is that transgender activist should have been more diplomatic, making less noise. I do not think so, again because the extremists cannot be changed, but those in the middle can, and what the trans activists (and the so-called "liberal" media) have done is to give trans people a human face.
 

Quote    Reply   

#20 [url]

Apr 27 17 7:32 AM

What Bobbi calls a 'republic' I would call a representative democracy .. That is to say we elect people to make decisions on our behalf. The UK, and a few other countries are representative democracies but are not 'Republics' .. according to the definition I have found a republic is a government where the head of state is not a monarch - Most republics call this person a 'President.

In some countries like the USA and France that President wields a lot of power and is also the head of the government.

In some countries like Germany and Ireland there is a job split between head of state and head of government. They are still 'republics' because the head of state is called a President. The president is elected, has the job or representing the country abroad and in ceremonies but doesn't have direct political power. They have the constitutional right to sack the government but this would be used only in very special circumstances. The head of government is a different position and has a different name in different countries, often 'prime minister' but in Germany Chancellor, in Ireland often known by the word in Irish, Tsioaseach (who might get his power from having all those vowels).

The UK, Norway and Netherlands (for example) have a monarch, who isn't elected but is an inherited position. This means they can't be called a 'republic'. The correct term is 'constitutional Monarchy' The monarch performs a similar role to the president in Ireland and Germany. We also have a Prime Minister in the UK who is voted for and is head of government.

So what would a democracy mean under Bobbi's definition? A direct democracy as in ancient Greece? This where you don't elect representative. Everyone gets a direct vote on all issues. There are a couple of problems with this in the modern complex world.

1. Most if us don't have the time or the inclination to find out all about the issues, just like we don't all have the time to know everything about how our bodies work so we rely on doctors to study the issues
2. Lots of direct votes would ignore the fact that many issues are connected. The public might all want to double health and defence spending but have taxes. This would get us in a financial mess very soon

So we get people to persuade every x years that they have made the requisite study and have a co-herent plan, and after those x years we hold them, or the group they are pat of (a party) accountable for how well they have done.

And that's what I would call a representative democracy, though to work best there need to be safeguards to protect smaller groups. I claim this is the best form of government , and given that direct democracies require the mass of people to become experts to get really good decisions, its justified to abbreviate 'Representative democracy' to 'Democracy'

Its still not perfect, as it does still depend on the people making a reasoned choice every x years. They can still elect a sun-bleached misogynist with limited grasp of what truth is and who only has $Billion because he inherited $2billion from his dad and lost half of it.

Of course the question now is, what's all this got to do with Crossdreaming?

Not a lot really, Its just me showing off my knowledge


The other thing that can be lost across Oceans is the word ‘Liberal’ which is a word adopted or foistered on political groups in different ways.
In Japan and Austrailia, the ‘Liberal Party’ is the right wing group equivevelent to the USA Republicans

In the UK the Liberal Party is a smaller group, economically centrist but also with a big call on human rights and Green policies which gives them a aspect of the left – complicated firther by being junior partmers for 5 years with our right wing party, that saw a lot of the support lost.

And in the USA, Liberals is used, either positively or negatively, to describe more left wing groups.
And yet the term neo-liberal is used to descibe the right wing economic opinions of people like Reagan, the Bush family and in the UK, Thatcher…
So when blasting Liberals or saying they don’t support free speech you need to be clear who you are talking about.

‘Political Correctness’ as said, is a term of abuse levelld at people who oppose aal sort of things, including Racism, Feminism, anti-transism. So when anyone here claimed there is ‘too much political correctness’ I have to ask them what they mean, because the term ‘too much PC’ is sometimes used by people who want to defend Racism – or prejudice against gays and trans people. .. without making it clear that’s what they ae defending

I’m sure that’s not the case here

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help