Your political views?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by FFC24, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. FFC24

    FFC24 New Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    I thought this might be a fun thread to have. What is your view on the world and how did you come to have this kinda view? I'll start, of course.

    I'm an anarchist-communist. I started out as a center-left when I was about 14 and then gradually progressed to anarchism when I was about 19. I started to read alot of books by Kropotkin and Malatesta and then saw that pretty much what they said could still be applied to this world. After reading these kinds of books I read about Catalonia and how they had their society in the late 1930's. Everybody was happy and the society was doing quite well. They abolished authority and they provided the most modern example of an anarchist society. I was always told that this could never happened and for a brief period in the 30's, it DID happen. Ever since reading Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell, I decided that this was what I wanted.

    Anyways, this thread isn't meant to be a nasty thread at all. Nobody should ridicule anothers views. We should have debate, but keep the drama out of it.
  2. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    well, instead of replying in a 'nasty' way... I simply moved it from World News to Anything Goes... then I read up so as not to embarrass myself with the confusion I have had for almost 50 years about the Spanish Civil War.

    I read Orwell's Wiki, his Essay on the Spanish War and just to be sure I hadnt been carrying the wrong idea for decades, thewiki on For Whom the Bell Tolls.

    Turns out I wasnt all that confused in being confused, and Farewell to Arms DID leave the proper impression of disillusion and fatalism.

    Which is that, whatever one can say about International Socialism, Anarchism aligned with the former does not work. For it to work requires being left alone. And trusting those who are part of the anarchist community to 'do the right thing'... which in turn requires agreeing on what is the right thing.

    In the end you end up with those who possess the greater 'Credentials of Learnedness' running the show, all others who disagree being labeled 'enemies of the People.

    And another thing, from early in my observations which I'm more sure of is that political viewpoint is a circle, not a line. It is not a far jump from Fascism under the guise of National Socialism aligned with capital, to Stalinist Communism which creates its own capitalist class.

    In my early life, I was a social liberal, while still being somewhat a cynic. To me things were more black and white, right and wrong. I recall a long road trip to Ocean City with two other sailors from the midwest and one from Baltimore in which we decided unanimously that racial 'problems' would never cease until we were all intermarried.

    But I also read and observed enough to understand how idealism is like honey to the corruptors. To wit, labor unions, under which mantles I saw the crass ooportunists rise easily to the top, both on a national level and in the locals of the four different unions I was forced to join. Who runs the unions? Usually the one who promises everything he cant deliver, and, until the next election, uses his power and influence to stay in position.
    So much for the 'nobility of the working man', who nonetheless I appreciate to this day!

    In the world of work, words are cheap. Saying you're on the job is not meaning you're getting it done. The same is true in politics, words are cheap and to be taken back at the first sign that the job is harder than you thought, or that the winds are blowing the wrong direction.

    The right thing is the right thing. Freedom of speech and action is the right thing, and no matter how tiring or difficult must be defended,

    The problem is that we are now in a world where it is not good enough to be 'left alone' or leave others to their fate under a tyrant... same as being left alone, isnt that?

    So anarchy was dealt a death blow in the Spanish War. Thousands joined the Republicans to fight tyranny but it was the war machine they were up against that separated that effort from earlier centuries. In the end, as confusing as it was to determine who was for real freedom in the thirties, it is even more so today.
  3. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Pettyfog "there is no clapping hands emoticon so pretend this is one"
  4. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    interesting insight pfog.

    i am like the line from that (horrible) shaft remake: "too black for the badge, too blue for the bothers."

    depending on the issue, i'm either 'a communist that lenin would be proud of' or 'the offspring of karl rove and dick cheney.' personally, i view myself as someone who thinks critically on issues.
  5. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    24, first, the word is "anarchy" not "anarchism."

    Second, you can't be a communist AND an anarchist. There can be no more intrusive and controlling government than a communist one. One of the first things I said politically on this site that caused Pettyfog to admit I might actually know something was that there is a tissue-paper thin difference between communism and fascism. Most of the leading political scientists of the 80s and 90s referred to the creations of Lenin and Mao as "Red Fascism."

    There is, however, a world of difference between Socialism and Communism, and there's at least a continent or two of difference between Social Democracy and Socialism. People who say there's no difference between Liberalism and Socialism or between Conservatism and Fascism are trying to sell you something -- and something that's worthless into the bargain.

    Anarchy appeals to the young because it's so much easier to say "everything is shit; nothing has any value; I'm not having any of it" than it is to analyze weak and strong points, figure out where your place in society is, and how you can use your talents to improve OUR society. And it's got its own fashion line as well with that cool circle A thing.

    My politics were born in the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. and the deeds of Lyndon Johnson formed the basis of my social politics. I feel more comfortable with those who believe that the most critical duty of government is to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity," and that the best mode of securing that liberty -- extending it to the greatest number of people -- is through the national govenment, rather than through the several states, and certainly rather than through the marketplace. That makes me a social liberal. Unlike people who dabble in labels and change several times in their lives, I've been a social liberal since the early 1960s, and I won't change.

    I'm also a fiscal conservative. I believe that maintaining a balanced budget and attempting to control the runaway forces of waste and spending is a good idea. I think everything the government does should be paid for and that the price tag should be public. I don't approve of defecit spending except in short-term emergencies to kick start a stagnant economy. I think that the worst thing the current administration has done is not their all-out assault on the Bill of Rights nor the criminal waste of the needless war in Iraq. I think, rather, that the most dispicable act of this bunch is their profligate spending while simultaneously cutting revenue. This idiocy has guaranteed that the next two generations will suffer reduced opportunities in order to provide less than 5% of our current generation with wealth beyond compare. I think this is immoral and unforgiveable.

    How do I believe that the national government should be active in seeking equality and justice for all while maintaing fiscal responsiblilty? Simple. Set tax levels high enough to reduce poverty, provide adequate medical care, decent child care, and quality schooling while guaranteeing safety and security and maintaining the infrastructure. This will mean that wealthier people will pay more taxes and poorer people will pay less. That's fine. I'll be paying more, and that's because I benefit more and have done so my whole life. Now that I'm no longer in the military, voting and paying taxes are the only two ways I can participate. I treat both acts as a privilege and do both proudly and willingly.

    I also am a civil libertarian. I believe that the government that is tasked with protecting us is also the biggest danger to our individual freedoms. I'm not alone in that belief. Our founding fathers were social libertarians. I'm always on the guard against assaults on the Bill of Rights from both the left and the right. For instance, I'm against both the Flag Burning Amendment and Hate Crimes Legislation. Why? In the first instance, burning a flag is the only legal way to dispose of it. What you're criminalizing is WHAT SOMEONE IS THINKING while doing the act. In the second instance, someone committing a crime is committing a crime. Adding the "Hate Crime" label only criminalizes WHAT SOMEONE IS THINKING while doing the act.

    So, how does one become a social liberal, a fiscal conservative, and a civil libertarian all at the same time? By taking the time to examine the fabric of our government and our society, and then applying the morality and sense of duty one was raised with to his or her private and public life. The unifying characteristic of all three of these positions is an unshakable belief in the inherent value and worth of every person in our society, and the further belief that their dignity and opportunities should not take second place to individual greed, governmental ambition, scapegoating, or bigotry. I also believe that this inherent value and worth extends to political, social, and religious beliefs that I don't share. I feel it's my duty to listen respectfully and learn. I also feel it's my duty to disagree vigorously -- and with respect -- in an effort [however doomed] to get my "opponent" to listen as closely as I'm listening.

    Now, it's a lot easier and less tiring [and less tiresome] to say, "I'm a Liberal" or "I'm a Conservative" or "I'm a Libertarian" or "I'm an anarchist." It takes less investigation, less soul searching, less reading and discussing, less paying attention, certainly less commitment, and a LOT less effort. But if you want to go from 15 to 61 with your values and beliefs enhanced by what you have experienced during that time [rather than being disallusioned and being forced to change those values and beliefs], then it's worth the time and effort to begin learning as much as you can about what makes all of this tick, and keep on learning every day for the rest of your life.

    Several of you may have noticed that I show a lot of admiration for Spencer's insights on this board. I comment positively almost every time he posts a thoughtful observation whether I agree with it or not. I do it because he is already employed full-time in the life-long self-imposed task of trying to find out what this is all about, and because he's using the right tools. And he's not even old enough to drink yet!

    There's my answer, 24. Thanks for asking.
  6. FFCinPCB

    FFCinPCB New Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL
    Don, I'll match Mo's handclapping and raise a thumbs-up for that post.
  7. FFC24

    FFC24 New Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Communism is an economic system and that is what would be used in an anarchist society IMO. What communism is now is a totalitarian state-capitalist state where instead of having umteen million companies controlling you, you have 1-the state. Communism was an economic plan started by Marx and that turned into a Government type ideology which went to total shit after Lenin. I'm a communist economically and anarchist government wise.

    Anarchism does appeal to the young, but Ron Paul(I don't understand why, but whatever) seems to have brought out hundreds of thousands of anarchist-capitalists who are usually much older than I and usually in that 30-50 group. Anarchy is starting to appeal to a large number of people now the only problem is that these people want capitalism in place of Communism or Socialism.

    I should also add that one of the main reasons why I became an anarchist was the "DIY" type philosophy. I take the constitution literally. Goverment of the people by the people and for the people.
  8. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    okay, so I'm guessing that the anarchist version of that would be: "no government of the people; no government by the people, and no government for the people." AnarCHY means NO government. Are you sure you're not Libertarian? Sounds like you're closer to that.
  9. Spencer

    Spencer Active Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    How do you enforce such an economic system? An economic system that requires the common ownership of everything. You base your argument on the notion that "umteen million companies (are) controlling you". Presumably you'd have us controlling those companies or them not existing at all. Undertaking such an ambition will will obviously require quite a powerful monolithic central force(there gos anarchy). Or are we so oppressed that were all going to grab our baseball bats and do the work ourselves? And an initial surge of anger wouldn't be enough, it would have to be sustained. For something, someone would have to continue to enforce the communist economic system, to keep all traces of capitalism and those evil entrepreneurs at bay. So as I see it we'd all do our part.

    But will we have the time, will we have the energy? I mean our food distribution system for example, just one of the 101's of our society, will be shattered once were done riding the country of industry and weren't certainly not allowed to replace it with another food distribution system because well this is anarchy after all. So I personally for example am not sure I'll be up scouring the land for capitalists after I've just spent the day presumably hunting, gathering, and growing for my next meal. I mean I'm used to working eight hour days, and picking up a frozen pizza on the way home. We could go on but I'm sure any self described anarchist-communist has been through this before.

    So again its one or the other. Its impossible to be both but even if you could their both junk.
  10. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Walnut, CA
    Don; if there can be an anarchist/communist, it's 24 :wink:

    While I have a strong disdain for politicians (no matter the affiliation) in general, and a disillusionist attitude towards our 2-party system, it doesn't keep me away from the voting booth. Conservative economically and a humanist socially, I just try to look at each issue/candidate seperately.
  11. FFC24

    FFC24 New Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    It doesn't mean no government. That's the common mistake that is made when talking about this. It means no state and those things are totally different. The decisions would be made by the people themselves without parties and without the middle man(politicians). Decisions making is a form of government. Anarchism(It's the same thing) is not about people going off all on their own and doing their own thing. Unless, you're an individualist, of course.
  12. FFC24

    FFC24 New Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    The people are more than capable of providing food for themselves and others. Without company ownership telling the people what to do with the food they grow and where to send it etc, we could feed the world dozens of times over. Our food distribution right now has people starving in countries and has, even Americans, digging in dumpsters for food. It's quite obvious this is not working. However, when the people used to have control of the food distribution and such, people were better off and it was actually the invading imperialists who were the ones starving. Remember, we had thousands of years without states and politicians and we did quite good. Then came the Europeans,Mongolians,Chinese etc etc and everything went to shit. Of course in that type of society they had to work hard and had to distribute the work according to ability. If you do both, you can feed the people forever. It isn't that difficult.

    As for the central force taking over, that's not true. There can be hundreds or even thousands of autonomous groups with a non-hiearchical structure that can get things done. There is already this going on right now. There are hundreds of anarchist groups that network together and they are certainly anything but hiearchical. The Catalonians didn't have a central force and they did quite well until the communists came into the picture. Nobody was "major" "General" etc, everybody was a comrade.

    Listen, if the Europeans can transform society from a non-statist, non-hiearchy society into a powerful,capitalist,statist society, the people can transform it back to the way it used to be. It takes the will to fight for it.
  13. FFC24

    FFC24 New Member

    Jan 6, 2005
  14. jonbruns

    jonbruns New Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    Silver Spring, Maryland
    FFC24, Have you every read the writings of Daniel Quinn? He wrote Ishmael and the Story of B. If not you should check him out. Seems to be right up your alley.

    I have to give HatterDon a hand on his post. It was very well written and I happen to agree with a lot of his points. All the posts in this thread have been insightful and no one has gotten nasty, which is very important.

    As for me I would have to say I lean toward Social Democracy. I am actually a fan of higher taxes with many social programs. I am not a fan, however, of the way that our government allocates the budget.[/quote]
  15. FFC24

    FFC24 New Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    All of my friends are urging me to read his books. I haven't read anything yet, but it seems like his books would probably be a good read. I'll probably read them at some point, but I've been busy reading other things.
  16. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Jul 29, 2005
    The last couple of post got me thinking....How many people read books on politics or political theory that oppose their political beliefs. For example does Pettyfog read the Communist Manifesto before he goes to bed. Or does Hatterdon cozy up to the latest Sean Hannity book on the beach? Just curious.

    I find myself reading books from all sorts on political theory in the past; I've read almost everything I can get my hands on from the Communist Manifesto to "The Law," By Frederick Bastiat. Sadly , I don't have much time now to read books.

    Of course, one of my favorite classes in college was political theory. I loved it so much, I took it twice. For some reason I was allowed to do this when transferred schools, the class descriptions didn't match exactly so I got twice the credits for taking the essentially the same class. Oh well, made me happy. :banana:
  17. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    I think you can get too involved in political theory by reading too much original work. Getting too immersed leads to social planning pipe dreams, it all seems so simple when it's laid out. Yet it's what's NOT in there that ruins the barrel of fruit.

    Suggesting Anarchy 'works' in practice is a good example of that. Aside from the Amana and Shaker communities in the US, it never has worked. Read up on the Wild West to see why.
    Oh, I'd like to correct/expand my earlier statement on Stalinist creation of the 'capitalist class'. Right now that's what we are seeing in China, in 'Red Army, Inc'. Look at the central planning disasters under Maoism. It's working in China as it never did in Russia... in Russia the main result was the Russian Mafia.

    Look at Zimbabwe, look at Cuba.

    And dont tell me the Russian gangsters were outsider-outlaws. They were fringe, for sure, but they were used by the commisariats to 'get things done'.
    - - - - - - - -- - - - - - -
    I'd read Mein Kampf and excerpts of Marx and Lenin writings, early on. But my primary influences have come from reading much but not all of Nietsche and Machiavelli {The Prince}.

    Suffice to say if we had to ban ONE author, I'd suggest Nietsche. From that dross comes most of the doom and gloom conspiracy theories that infest the world today. And yet most casual remarks about Machiavelli assume he was the one who inspires conniving and plotting.
  18. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    Hey Senator, I read a lot of political theory when going for my degrees -- I have one in History/PoliSci and another in International Relations [Middle East studies]. Theory works well on two levels:

    1. It gives you a good yardstick to measure the distance between aspirations and achievements, or between lies and facts.

    2. It allows you to learn the constituent parts of a range of political philosophies, so that you don't confuse them when you discuss politics on, say, a soccer website. It is disdain for all things scholarly that cause some folks to post such self-contradictory and confused rants.

    I don't read a lot of politics any more. The main reason for that is historians are much better writers than political scientists. I certainly don't read "pop" politics along the lines of anything by Hannity or Seig Heil Barbie, or Keith Olbermann. There's no structure to their writing. They're not examining anything; they're advocating and, with the exception of Olbermann, there's no levity to break up the tedium.

    Glad you're reading, Senator.
  19. SteveM19

    SteveM19 New Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    Cleveland OH
    As one who has been on both sides of the political fence, yes, I do. The problem is that logical inconsistencies from both sides of the political fence tend to work my nerves. For example, why would I ever read anything Maureen Dowd has to say? I've slogged through enough of her columns. She has shown every card she has, apparently. Since 2002, Bush is a filthy president, incompetent, and she relies on her own previous work to push her point of view. Hey, she's an editorial writer, she's entitled; I just can't put any stock into what she says. Now, some on the left do have something illuminating to say, like Jonathan Kozol, who writes on disparities in education, or a local writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Regina Brett (sometimes -- she can be hit or miss but when she is on she is pretty good). She is writing a series on breast cancer that is worth a google or two.

    On the right, hoo-wee, who is off their rocker? Ann Coulter will say anything to sell a book that is all heat and no light. I had the opportunity to read some guy named Savage (a pen name I think) when I had some down time when my unit was getting ready to deploy overseas. That was time wasted. And there's more on both sides of the aisle.

    I recently purchased The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater, and reread it for the first time in 20 years. When I read it, I was a political science major with left leanings, and I thought it was a great piece of conservative philosophy, and my opinion hasn't changed in that time.

    Interesting what the 'fog has to say about Nietzsche. If any of you young bucks out there want to at least look over Zarathustra, (i. e. Spencer, you have political and philosophical inclinations), that is worth at least a peek, but there is a reason why he was the intellectual father of the Third Reich. I would still say Machiavelli was the more underhanded one, but Nietzsche was one who said it's basically OK to physically beat up on the underclass.

    Right now, I am reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism as a supplementary reading for a class. I would assert that fascism has been appropriated by the political left in America today more than the right, especially on universities and in education with the proliferation of speech codes and the politically correct nonsense that holds sway over academia. I am also writing a paper along that theme, if anyone has any related material, please PM me with the info or a link.

    Olbermann is funny?!? I beg to differ -- I find him to be in arrested development and still acts like a 17 year old smartass who says things to get a rise out of his authoritarian teacher.
  20. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Jul 29, 2005
    I agree political theory is good to get a good background in politics (espescially for historical purposes), but it's not very practical in everyday life. It's not how the world works nor legislative bodies. And I also, agree the Hannity and Olbermann books are just for sales and not much else. I do not even touch them at the bookstores or libraries.

    The best resource book I have on Congress is a the "Congressional Deskbook," published by (I always see a couple around senate offices).
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