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June 07, 2018

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Donald, speaking for myself, thank you for your perceptive and interesting comments.

in my experience, your radical arm-chair revolutionaries might not be into leftist politics for the social justice and equality aspects. they might be in it for the Marxist revolutionary Bern-it-down-ism. they don't find any use for mainstream liberalism because mainstream liberalism isn't helping them destroy the state, or whatever. all that stuff is small-ball. they want the revolution.

they're really of a different breed than your everyday lefty.

What I have long ("long" as in in the half century starting in college) found fascinating is just how often those most ideological on the far left manage to be even more just as misogynic, and racist, than those on the far right.

I might go along with this with the editorial fix I made, but I don't pay enough attention to the extremes to judge if one is worse than the other. In the abstract, it's not that surprising that people at the extremes would be...extreme...in more ways than one.

Misogyny comes naturally to a misanthrope. But enough about mcmanus.

Is wj correct that misogyny, race bigotry, and other manifestations of misanthropy are to be found on the extreme left as much as on the extreme right? I figure yes -- for properly chosen values of "extreme", "left", and "right" of course.

--TP

I am not going to take the bait here for a number of reasons. First, I just got caught displaying my own male privilege and I would rather spend more time thinking about that. But second, it just makes me angry. Yes, there is some racism and misogyny and antisemitism on the far left, but outside of say Pol Pot or Stalin it doesn’t come close to the far right, certainly not in America.

Donald, no offense intended. And FYI you don't come close to my definition of far left. (Sorry) Bob does; you don't.

At the risk of dragging "what about bob?" out even further beyond its expiration date, I'd say that sapient, GFTNC, and JanieM are like Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Supergirl (not necessarily respectively) being faced with a villain of some sort, and I may as well be Elmer Fudd.

They used to say that one of the things that made Seinfeld so special was "No hugging, no learning."

It wasn't something I watched, but I got the drift, and liked the motto, often finding "heartwarming" or "uplifting" stuff a bit icky and offputting. But, at the risk of breaching the terms, on learning at least, I'd just like to say that being believed is great, but having one's comrades see it for themselves before it's pointed out is even better. Onward and upward!

Misogyny comes naturally to a misanthrope.
ding ding ding

hsh: Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Supergirl

My son brought me a present from the Portland Pride parade on Saturday, which he participated in as a contra dancer:

Badge

As culturally challenged as I am, I had to have it explained to me. But now that I've got it, I'll put it on the shelf with my Davy Crockett hat. ;-)

(JK, I didn't keep the hat for 63 years. Even my mother isn't that much of a pack rat.)

And speaking of culture, how many Pride parades do we suppose have contra dance contingents?!?

Oh,that reminds me. The Stonewall Riot came up a few days ago. I was drinking this from our local brew pub:

https://untappd.com/b/eight-and-sand-beer-co-stonewall-uprising/2691434/photos

From hsh's link: Stonewall Uprising is a Bavarian style Hefeweizen infused with organic hibiscus, imparting a tart berry note.

It's almost worth trying it, just to find out what organic hibiscus with a tart berry note tastes like. :-)

mods: sapient informs me that she has been unable to post comments, even after trying other names.

could someone look into this?

http://ok-cleek.com/blogs/?p=28089#comments

All this time, all our lives until recently, we have had some men being shits to women, and people saying, out loud or quietly, oh, nothing can be done about that, and anyhow, we need the great movies he makes, or the great books he writes, or the great (?) laws he passes, or the great ideas he brings to the blog, and furthermore we might ruin his life if we name what's really happening (Brock Turner, e.g.), so we'll just shrug and let it go. ("Reserve judgment" was your phrase, "let it go" was mine. I mean by it: not challenge it; praise him for other things while ignoring the poison; ...)

MeeToo certainly opened my eyes a little further than hitherto, but what really drove the lesson home was the pushback against it.

On the topic of Clinton hatred and double standards, this is another very interesting Emptywheel post:
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/06/17/the-most-irresponsible-thing-michael-horowitz-has-done-as-doj-ig/

sapient informs me that she has been unable to post comments, even after trying other names.

could someone look into this?

Considering how Sapient and Bob M were going on earlier, maybe they're having a timeout.

Even people who don't like beer much liked it. It's a pleasantly refreshing but still flavorful beer. I was skeptical of the brewery having much success in the area where I live, but it's really popular, and community oriented to boot.

I think I've been underestimating the potential of my local surroundings. I'm coming to find a surprisingly cosmopolitan contingent. Not just because we have a good brew pub, of course. That's just one part of it. Anyway,
it helps me keep my sanity when the national climate seems so dysfunctional.

Just to restate what I did over at cleek's (thank you, cleek), I appreciate people backing me up. I'm going to take my own time-out from ObWi, because the situation at the border deserves my total attention. There's a lot more on my mind, but you probably can guess after all these years what that is.

Anyway, thanks so much, especially GftNC and JanieM.

Later.

I'd say that sapient, GFTNC, and JanieM are like Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Supergirl (not necessarily respectively) being faced with a villain of some sort, and I may as well be Elmer Fudd.

I feel you.

being believed is great, but having one's comrades see it for themselves before it's pointed out is even better.

we all do our best.

fail better is my motto.

It's almost worth trying it, just to find out what organic hibiscus with a tart berry note tastes like.

From a restaurant menu description of a sauvignon blanc:

"flavors of lemon gummy bears and pressed linen"

??

I just dropped in before I head off to real life, and saw this

I'd say that sapient, GFTNC, and JanieM are like Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Supergirl (not necessarily respectively) being faced with a villain of some sort, and I may as well be Elmer Fudd.

I've pictured myself as a cross between Pepe Le Pew and Foghorn Leghorn...

hsh, russell: thank you.

sapient: may the force be with you.

my comment crossed with lj's, about whom I need only say:

the force is strong with this one

All this food and beer talk is making me remember Calvin Trillin's caution against eating in a restaurant called La Maison de la Casa House.

He also does a great imitation of menus that describe food the way we now (thirty or so years later) describe beer and wine. There's some kind of a cautionary tale there, too.

I need to dig out my Calvin Trillin for when I need some laughs and a reminder to lighten up.

hsh, russell: thank you.

sapient: may the force be with you.

Seconded.

Cheryl Rofer at BJ has a post up that lists ways to contribute to or participate in the fight against what's going on at the border. It probably overlaps with outfits mentioned in sapient's link(s) recently, but I thought I'd flag it anyhow, especially because, since it's so recent, it may have new info about protests. Those BJ people keep up a pace of commenting and information flow that I can't hope to keep up with, but it's all the more useful as a resource for that reason.

I need to dig out my Calvin Trillin for when I need some laughs and a reminder to lighten up.

I have a complete set. If you have trouble finding an item let me know. The man is a genius.

I can list dozens of strong women I admire and even love.

The "some of my best friends are..." argument doesn't work. Do we need to explain why not?

"I need to dig out my Calvin Trillin for when I need some laughs and a reminder to lighten up."

Tepper Isn't Going Out helped me tremendously in that regard. It isn't great, but it's a constant stream of Trillin-speak that didn't require much brain. Hit the spot.

The "some of my best friends are..." argument doesn't work. Do we need to explain why not?

I thought it was because the "best friends" were actually household servants in the context in which that particular argument came to be (or at least came to be noteworthy as a bad argument).

Tepper Isn't Going Out

I had almost forgotten about Tepper and was thinking of the tummy trilogy when I wrote the comment. I looked forward to Tepper when I heard Trillin was writing a novel, but when it finally came out I found it exactly as you said: not that great, but funny and satisfying.

Interestingly, I am right now sitting at my desk and almost laughing out loud at the memory of Tepper and his parking space....

Trillin's non-fiction is great too; I have a collection of his New Yorker pieces somewhere. But they are not comic relief for difficult times, to say the least.

Misanthropy:

I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.

Samuel Johnson

Misogyny:

Marry an outdoors woman. That way, if you have to throw her into the yard at night at night, she can still survive.

W.C. Fields

The federal government under mp is just now processing grants to train doctors in a new medical field: Gynomisogyny

I'll have to get Tepper, funny and satisfying is just what the doctor ordered at the moment, and I adored the Tummy Trilogy, (and, on a totally different note, About Alice).

hsh: The "some of my best friends are..." construction has a much older and more notorious lineage than the recent Mrs Roy Moore or Rick Santorum cases. Although, come to think of it, in those cases household servants weren't involved. I wonder which case you are thinking of? Some of its history is referred to here:

https://newrepublic.com/article/90059/gop-rick-santorum-best-friend-defense

This might be a classic case:

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/588363/As-end-nears-3-blacks-attend-Wallace.html

Former Alabama governor George Wallace, whose opposition to racial desegregation helped galvanize a generation, is spending the last days of his life in the company of three black men.

Two of them have been assigned to care for him under a prison work-release program. A third is his caretaker of 25 years, Eddie Holcey. "My best friend is a black man," Wallace notes, with only a slight hint of irony.

And so many years after this, from the very same man:

https://pastdaily.com/2014/07/21/best-friends-negroes-july-21-1963/

Notorious Alabama Governor George Wallace came to Capitol Hill to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on pending Civil Rights legislation. After railing against passage of such legislation, engaging in verbal fisticuffs with Senators, and claiming to have proof Martin Luther King was a Communist agent, Wallace remarked “some of my best friends are Negroes”, bringing a roar of laughter from the chamber.

I just lost an argument with myself and, over my own violent objections, find myself drawn back in with two related questions

Preface to both questions: Communism/socialism have a historical and ongoing body count(PRC, USSR, Cambodia, N Korea) at least as high, if not considerably higher, than fascism, depending on how one keeps score (pre-emptively, I expect some degree of quibbling over score-keeping, which misses the main point), and provides us with ongoing examples of its evil every day (PRC, N Korea, Cuba and Venezuela), so:

1. Why is it that Bob M gets called out for his misogyny, but not his communism?

2. Why is being a communist or a socialist seemly socially acceptable--or at least tolerated--on much of the lefty side, yet fascism is such an anathema?

Oops. Left one out: Nicargua, yet another Worker's Paradise.

Why is being a communist or a socialist seemly socially acceptable--or at least tolerated--on much of the lefty side, yet fascism is such an anathema?

I have a speculation -- I admit it is no more than that.

It is possible to believe in the ideal embodied in communism or socialism, while abhorring the behavior of those who claim (inaccurately in most cases) to be implementing those ideals. The same cannot be said for fascism (or misogyny).

As a result, someone who espouses those ideals may get the benefit of the doubt. I, for one, regard anyone espousing either as utterly blind to the way real human beings behave. But that's (possibly willful) ignorance/stupidity; not necessarily evil.

let us know when bob kills anyone.

It is possible to believe in the ideal embodied in communism or socialism, while abhorring the behavior of those who claim (inaccurately in most cases) to be implementing those ideals. The same cannot be said for fascism (or misogyny).

So if we had a kinder, gentler fascism, say we leave out the racism and declare the goal to be good jobs, education and healthcare, fascists would be received as civilly as communists and socialists on the left?

let us know when bob kills anyone.

Well there you go, again, completely disarming my point with a simple but brilliant riposte. So, fascists who have not yet murdered anyone are welcome here, just another point of view? Good to know.

oh let go your of pearls. bob's an internet crackpot, not the reincarnation of Stalin.

It is possible to believe in the ideal embodied in communism or socialism, while abhorring the behavior of those who claim (inaccurately in most cases) to be implementing those ideals

communism as implemented is not much like communism as defined in the spec.

likewise, religion has piled-up a pretty good sized mound of corpses over the centuries, despite the fact that they all contain explicit instructions to not kill other people.

but, people are gonna people. and tyrants will use whatever rationale they can get their hands on.

It is possible to believe in the ideal embodied in communism or socialism, while abhorring the behavior of those who claim (inaccurately in most cases) to be implementing those ideals

I once put exactly this argument to you, McKinney, and you admitted that the ideal was an essentially benevolent one.

FWIW, on the other hand, I just googled "What exactly is the fascist ideology?", and the answer was:

Fascism is a political ideology characterized by strong nationalism, an extreme level of authoritarianism, corporatism, militarization and hostility towards democracy, liberalism and Marxism

If we accept this definition, or one very like it, it's rather hard to see how you could have, in your words, "a kinder gentler fascism".

oh let go your of pearls. bob's an internet crackpot, not the reincarnation of Stalin.

I got that part. So was Brett. So are most extremists--they are full of shit but don't act on it. What I don't get is why communists/socialists get the pass they get here and elsewhere on the left. Why not address that? It's a fair question.

Does Pol Pot get a pass? Does Stalin get a pass? Does Mao get a pass? Do people on the left glorify them? Or do some of them look to places like, say, modern-day Sweden as an example of democratic socialism? Do others, even further left, look to the writings of Marx?

Give me an admirable fascist to discuss.

Also, good point about religion cleek.

ObWi's basic MO is tolerance of viewpoints. that's how i see it at least. i've never thought anyone who was arguing in good faith needed banning.

and i don't think communism gets as much of a pass on the left. certainly communism as-practiced has very very few defenders. some people find the ideals interesting, but there aren't a lot of people seriously interested in actually implementing it (or if there are, they do a good job of hiding).

I once put exactly this argument to you, McKinney, and you admitted that the ideal was an essentially benevolent one.

I concede that elements of socialism give the impression of altruism. If communism stands for anything beneficial, that is in the eyes of the beholder. But, all of that is theoretical. It overlooks the reality of the body count, not to mention all of the other horrors. At what point do lefties say, "you know, that's been tried, repeatedly, and it's awful. Just as bad as anything else, so no more of that and no more enabling assholes who espouse it."

Fascism is a political ideology characterized by strong nationalism, an extreme level of authoritarianism, corporatism, militarization and hostility towards democracy, liberalism and Marxism.

I reject this definition because that is not how it was pitched in the 1930's. That wasn't the "draw." Fascism pitched to the common person's desire to be a part of something larger and better. It was a suck-ass concept, but that didn't mean it wasn't attractive to a hell of a lot of people. Like communism.

Both had their enemies: Jews, capitalists, and so on.

"Wallace notes, with only a slight hint of irony."

What is the slight hint? Does he have a facial tic ..a tell? Or does he leap from his convalescence and start blocking the entrances, because as we know, so many of our problems in this country could be solved by getting rid of entrances.

"Why is it that Bob M. gets called out .....?"

When McManus consigns Janie, sapient, and GFTNC to the Gulag, or looses the Red Guard on them, or sends them fleeing northward to our southern border to have their children kidnapped from them, I suspect the moderators will step in on that as well.

There are all sorts of "How Comes? And "What the Hecks?" to be directed at our universally hypocritical selves.

One day, the fascists will catch up in the genocide sweepstakes, like the Cubbies and the Red Sox in baseball. To paraphrase mp, they'll get tired of winning there'll be so much of it. This always finishing second just won't do.

The fascists have built a formidable farm system, while the communists are resting on their laurels.

In fact, some of the communists have changed teams and leagues out of sheer admiration for the grass-roots work the fascists have accomplished over the past few decades.

There is a player to be named later somewhere in there. I'm wagering his name is mp.

Anyway, I'm personally against banking.

That was spellcheck gone awry, yet another scourge.

Banning was the intended word, because in this instance I think sapient, Janie, and GNFNC can give it right back at whatever McManus is dishing.

certainly communism as-practiced has very very few defenders...

The current leader of the Labour party remains an admirer of Hugo Chavez, and the Venezuelan experiment....

sometimes i forget the rest of the world exists.

i'm an American, you see.

Does Pol Pot get a pass? Does Stalin get a pass? Does Mao get a pass? Do people on the left glorify them?

No. They virtually never talk about them. They talk about McCarthyism. They talk about Marx, overlooking the ongoing havoc he wreaks. And, they do give a pass to people who adopt the same ideological banner.

Or do some of them look to places like, say, modern-day Sweden as an example of democratic socialism?

Yes, but that has nothing to do with my questions: why does the left seem to have lockjaw when it comes to calling out modern day communists, socialists and, for that matter, any advocate of central economic planning, i.e. the core of socialism?


Do others, even further left, look to the writings of Marx?

Yes, including some who comment regularly here. They abhor the past--when asked--but seem to think the idea is still the future. Despite multiple examples to the contrary.

Give me an admirable fascist to discuss.

Not the question, not the proposition and not the issue.

ObWi's basic MO is tolerance of viewpoints. that's how i see it at least. i've never thought anyone who was arguing in good faith needed banning.

and i don't think communism gets as much of a pass on the left. certainly communism as-practiced has very very few defenders. some people find the ideals interesting, but there aren't a lot of people seriously interested in actually implementing it (or if there are, they do a good job of hiding).

Ok. I would agree that the community here--excepting me and a few others--is tolerant of other points of view, including communism, but I disagree it's a matter of general tolerance. There is no tolerance for Trump or his supporters. None. There is virtually no tolerance for Republicans. Conservatism generally is a pejorative here.

But thanks for answering the question.

I don’t actually draw much distinction between communist and fascist dictatorships.
There is perhaps a more pertinent one to be drawn between authoritarian and totalitarian dictatorial regimes.

1. Why is it that Bob M gets called out for his misogyny, but not his communism?

2. Why is being a communist or a socialist seemly socially acceptable--or at least tolerated--on much of the lefty side, yet fascism is such an anathema?

I'll give you my personal answer for (2), which will also answer (1). It's my personal answer, because there is no official policy about any of this at ObWi.

I'll tolerate a communist or a socialist before a fascist because fascism is fundamentally about the domination of some people, by other people, as a matter of principle. That's what it is. Absent that, you don't have fascism.

Lots of communist and socialist regimes have ended up being about the domination of some people by other people. Others have not.

There are also lots of non-communist and -socialist regimes that have ended up being about the domination of some people by other people, while others have not.

To my knowledge, there are no, zero, not one fascist regime that was not about some identifiable group of people dominating people who were not in that group, where that domination *was the point* of the regime. Because that is what fascism is.

So, I'll listen to communists and will absolutely listen to socialists, but not to fascists. Fascists can kiss my keister.

Bob was banned less for his misogyny, and more for being a distracting PITA and making rude and demeaning comments. You will note that sapient, who is only a misogynist in Bizzaro world, was asked to stand down as well, mainly because bob was getting inside her head and she was unable to let it be.

both are welcome to return at some point. I don't know exactly when, LJ has the skinny on that.

Hope that answers your questions.

There is no tolerance for Trump or his supporters. None.

Generally, not much, because he's a fncking train wreck. But there were recently some tepidly positive comments here about his summit with Kim Jong Un.

I'm not even sure what tolerance is supposed to mean when I live in the country he presides over.

We just had a bit of discussion over the "some of my best friends are..." argument. While it might not work with regard to things like race, religion, sexuality, etc., I'd say the fact that Trump supporters are at least a very significant minority if not an outright majority of my close friends and family means I (just speaking for myself here) am doing a damned good job of tolerating them, even if I think they're deeply and mind-bogglingly wrong.

Fascism pitched to the common person's desire to be a part of something larger and better

You could say this of almost any political ideology. And it's hard to see how extreme authoritarianism and militarism wasn't part of the Nazi "offering". I leave out opposition to democracy and liberalism, because communism and fascism share these, and fascism's opposition to Marxism is rather mirrored by communism's opposition to fascism.

Count, an ability to give it right back does not address the issue of why mocking and poisonous ad feminam abuse would produce an atmosphere where women felt tempted to participate.

There is no tolerance for Trump or his supporters. None.

right. because he's a pile of wet garbage. if you can find some salvageable scraps underneath the corruption (both political and personal), you're welcome to it. but you're going to end up smelling like a landfill for quite a long time afterwards.

How would you characterise the dictatorship of Park Chung-hee in South Korea, russell ?

I reject this definition because that is not how it was pitched in the 1930's.

As you wish.

The word, however, does actually have a meaning, and the rest of us will probably continue to proceed based on that.

There is no tolerance for Trump or his supporters. None.

If a Trump supporter wants to participate here, they are welcome.

There is virtually no tolerance for Republicans. Conservatism generally is a pejorative here.

And yet, here you are. And Marty, and wj. And, when he isn't splitting hogs and has an interest in putting up with us, so is slarti.

Maybe we need a better definition of "tolerance". It isn't the same as "agreement".

For a second, I thought McKinney's question might be the initiation of an interesting discussion. To the extent that it has let to such, it's only because of the people who comment here. None the less, I'm coming to think it's more of a rabbit hole, perhaps intentionally so.

How would you characterise the dictatorship of Park Chung-hee in South Korea, russell ?

I don't, remotely, know enough about Park Chung-hee to have an opinion.

If it's important to you, I can go find some stuff out and let you know. If it was more of a theoretical question, maybe we'll let it pass.

Oh, and this, in response to my request for an admirable fascist to discuss:

Not the question, not the proposition and not the issue.

No? I thought you wrote this (emphasis mine):

2. Why is being a communist or a socialist seemly socially acceptable--or at least tolerated--on much of the lefty side, yet fascism is such an anathema?

Meanwhile, our president said there were good people on both sides of the Nazi/anti-Nazi conflict in Charlottesville.

Why is it okay to be openly fascist but socialism and communism are anathema?

Hope that answers your questions.

I does, in a way. I think fascism has a current meaning different from its past meaning, and the current meaning is used to differentiate between why C/S is more socially acceptable than F.

As for the general level of tolerance here, cleek pretty much makes my case at 2:59. Trump is a dumpster fire--I've said this from the get-go--but how one can tolerate communism/socialism as acceptable concepts in principle--I assume it's only in principal--but find every single aspect of Trump and his supporters to be beyond the pale is beyond me.

But, that's just me and thanks for tolerating my thread-jack. Back to it.

For a second, I thought McKinney's question might be the initiation of an interesting discussion.

Look, this isn't the first time McK has taken exception to mcmanus being allowed to comment here.

First, if you actually read almost any comment thread where mcmanus posts, it will be almost immediately obvious that most people here - right, left, and otherwise - find him annoying and generally just about put up with him. I find him interesting until he gets either really obscure or really ad hominem (or both), hairshirt I think has a greater appetite for the obscurities. Maybe the count enjoys his stuff. Most folks here either pie filter him or just skip his stuff.

So, that's the level of reception that a genuine Marxist receives here.

Trump supporters do occasionally pop up for a drive by, and generally contribute at the "why do you hate America" level. So they don't get a lot of play. Marty claims he's not a Trump supporter, he just plays one on TV sort of, and nobody kicks him out. If an honest-to-god Trump supporter shows up and wants to actually get into it at a level other than throwing turds, I'm sure nobody will kick them out.

That's what "tolerance for other viewpoints" means.

ObWi at this point is definitely majority liberal, and I'm sure that is frustrating for conservative folks here. Some of us lefties have likewise spent time in conservative blogs, and understand what a royal PITA it can be to try to get even the most basic points across without feeling like a punching bag.

If you're up for it, you're welcome to jump in. If being outnumbered is just going to harsh your day more than you feel like dealing with, maybe this ain't your place. All of that is your call. Rhetorical "you", McK please do not receive this as my inviting you to leave, because I most definition am not.

Hope that's helpful.

Trump is a dumpster fire--I've said this from the get-go--but how one can tolerate communism/socialism as acceptable concepts in principle--I assume it's only in principal--but find every single aspect of Trump and his supporters to be beyond the pale is beyond me.

Setting aside the hyperbole, you have heard that Trump is the President of the United States, right? We've never had a communist or socialist president, let along a really bad one right now.

People didn't spend a lot of time here talking about him before he ran for and became president.

It’s an interesting question to me, at least.
Obviously not a communist, but fascist ? If not, then what ?

It’s possible to consider non-totalitarian communists; is the same true of fascists, or do non-totalitarian, non-communist dictators belong in a different category ?

I think fascism has a current meaning different from its past meaning, and the current meaning is used to differentiate between why C/S is more socially acceptable than F.

IMO "fascism" is generally used nowadays to mean authoritarian right-wing nationalism. Which it is, but it is also something simultaneously more specific, and broader in scope, than that.

Mussolini's manifesto is kind of heavy going, but is probably the most specific articulation of what it is.

But, that's just me and thanks for tolerating my thread-jack.

I think I speak for everyone when I say you're always welcome here.

All the best.

Trump is an active, on-going disaster.

communism (in the US at least) is entirely hypothetical. there's an official communist party in the US, there are something like 5000 members. they're nothing. what's the point in getting worked up over that ?

63M people voted for a guy who can't go 20 minutes with telling a verifiable lie.

Maybe we need a better definition of "tolerance". It isn't the same as "agreement".

Good point along with my lack of clarity. ObWi welcomes pretty much anyone, although it was a stretch with Brett. I'm speaking in terms of tolerating advocates of C/S or C/S themselves. It may be a distinction that exists mostly in my mind.

When Marty comments, forex, he is constantly challenged not just for his specific view but also as a Trump apologist. No one dings Bob or anyone else around here for being a communist or a socialist, and the exception they take to his views--as I noted in the beginning--seems off center: being a misogynist is worse than being a communist? Really?

No? I thought you wrote this (emphasis mine):

2. Why is being a communist or a socialist seemly socially acceptable--or at least tolerated--on much of the lefty side, yet fascism is such an anathema?

To paraphrase my point immediately above: a common formulation here and elsewhere on the left is to respond to someone like Marty or whoever as a Trumpist or something similar as if that answers the question. Or, to identify someone as a Trumpist as a preamble to declaring their idea to be idiotic if not worse. That is, the mere state of being a Trumpist is, in and of itself, an argument refuting the speaker's position. Not so with the very much more discredited histories of socialism and communism.

But, that's just how I see it.

It’s an interesting question to me, at least.

Apologies, when I said "maybe let it pass", I just mean me.

I'm sure it is a topic worth discussing. If you would like to raise some of the particular points that make it of interest to you (which I see you have already done to some degree) maybe that will spur discussion.

Thanks Nigel!

That is, the mere state of being a Trumpist is, in and of itself, an argument refuting the speaker's position

IMO, a valid point, and a deserved criticism.

McKinney, perhaps I am just oblivious. But I haven't noticed anyone denouncing either of us as "Trump apologists". Disagree with us, sure. But not that.

Jesus was a communist. Stalin was an apparatchik.

Religious bigots outnumber "communists" in the US by such a wide margin that it ill-behooves the faithful to talk as if "communism" is a serious menace to The American Way of Life.

Jesus cannot be held responsible for the obscene cruelty perpetrated by his purported followers like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and that paragon of biblical scholarship He, Trump. So "christian" is not a dirty word like "communist" has become. Yet.

Anyway, to answer McKinney's questions:

1. Why is it that Bob M gets called out for his misogyny, but not his communism?

You can be a misogynist individually; you can't be a communist all by yourself. However serious a communist you are, you can't hurt particular individuals with your commie opinions. Throwing insults at particular women may or may not be proof of a generalized misogyny, but it is deplorable -- and actionable.

2. Why is being a communist or a socialist seemly socially acceptable--or at least tolerated--on much of the lefty side, yet fascism is such an anathema?

When somebody pipes up to champion fascism in these pages, we can find out what's anathema and what's just laughable.

--TP

Look, this isn't the first time McK has taken exception to mcmanus being allowed to comment here.

I'm pretty sure I've never called for anyone to be banned in any way, shape or form. I'm also fairly sure that, if I've engaged with Bob M, it was on a minor point. I've always thought he was a just a loud mouth with minimal social skills who could just as easily been a life long Ross Perot fan (he often sounds like the Perot supporters I would run into from time to time).

I've never been a fan of the far left and I've never understood why the middling left tolerates it. But it does. Or seems to, mostly by silence.

Trump as an asshole for not calling out the White Supremacists and Nazis. There is no moral relativism there. Nor is there between western liberal capitalism and anything on the C/S side that doesn't include free elections.

Trump is an active, on-going disaster.

communism (in the US at least) is entirely hypothetical. there's an official communist party in the US, there are something like 5000 members. they're nothing. what's the point in getting worked up over that ?

63M people voted for a guy who can't go 20 minutes with telling a verifiable lie.

Communism is not hypothetical for over a quarter of the world's population and it is not hypothetical historically. A good portion of the left has been 'quiet/tolerant' about C/S for decades. Trump happened two years ago.

You wrote initially, on the why of not calling out communists/socialists, about tolerance. It then unfolded that your tolerance does not extend to Trumpists/Trumpism. Ok, I get that but I think it makes my point.

That is, the mere state of being a Trumpist is, in and of itself, an argument refuting the speaker's position.

I'm more than happy to take the speaker's position on in its own right, myself.

I guess I don't understand why you equate a the political philosophies of socialism and communism with the dictators who espoused, perhaps even exploited, them - such that anyone who is a socialist or communist should be treated as the equivalent of someone who admires, say Stalin. Gulags aren't inherent to communism.

People who support Trump aren't supporting an abstract philosophy. They're supporting a person - someone who had said and done things in real life. And they haven't been good.

He's a boorish, ignorant, egotistical, bigoted bully. That's just what he is. Why should I like him (since I have no choice but to tolerate him)?

I don't see the equivalency here.

In cleek''s defense, when McKinney is not here to go after McManus (sounds like a Scots/Irish law firm)', cleek does just that.

Obsidian Wings is more demolition derby at times, than salon.

I certainly wouldn't step in if McKinney took on McManus directly right here for the latter's Marxist theorizing, instead of expecting us to.

It would be kind of fun for the sheer argumentative spectacle of it.

I'd doubly enjoy it if the two of them, who are interestingly articulate in their own ways, as everyone is here, found some common ground going after the shortcomings of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton and it's the rest of us who the two of them can barely tolerate, not personally, but politically.

It would be like fierce opponents John Wayne and Victor McLaughlin (in a couple of their movies together) heading off arm in arm drunkenly to have a final nightcap after cleaning our clocks and each others' at Pub Obsidian.

Come to think of it, I've seem plenty of condemnation of the "Bernie Bros" on this blog, as an example of the moderate left taking on the, well, less-moderate (though not extreme) left.

We generally discuss American politics here. Communism doesn't figure into that much. And bob mcmanus isn't the president.

McKinney, perhaps I am just oblivious. But I haven't noticed anyone denouncing either of us as "Trump apologists". Disagree with us, sure. But not that.

I think that's because both of us have been clear in our anti-Trump views. I commented here about the 25th amendment within days of the elections.

You can be a misogynist individually; you can't be a communist all by yourself. However serious a communist you are, you can't hurt particular individuals with your commie opinions. Throwing insults at particular women may or may not be proof of a generalized misogyny, but it is deplorable -- and actionable.

Ok, my take away from this is that communism is a state of mind that is, for all practical purposes, harmless inside the US whereas misogyny is actively, to some degree and maybe to a very harmful degree, an immediate threat to woman in the misogynist's path. My response is: why not call out the MF for both: for supporting a view that has millions in their graves AND being a shit to women?

I certainly agree that misogyny is shitty. Is it as shitty as being a communist? I suppose if you have family in Venezuela, you'd go with No. 2. If not, maybe No. 1.

That doesn't mean I'm not getting at least part of your point. For example, I'd fire a misogynist just for popping off after being given a warning. Assuming I had a commie in my office, if he/she was doing his/her job and not setting my office on fire because of my revanchist ways, I'd leave him/her alone.

GftNC:

I get fully the poisoning of the atmosphere when Bob has a misogynist conniption.

I just have a thing about banning, which is not a thing at all, nor absolute, since I am not in charge of moderating.

I've been banned several times and deserved it every time, even the times I wasn't banned.


In cleek''s defense, when McKinney is not here to go after McManus (sounds like a Scots/Irish law firm)', cleek does just that.

I have noticed that on a number of occasions, probably as much or more than anyone else here. And not just when Bob M is venting about HRC.

I certainly agree that misogyny is shitty. Is it as shitty as being a communist? I suppose if you have family in Venezuela, you'd go with No. 2. If not, maybe No. 1.

But you can be a communist and oppose what the Venezuelan government is doing. You don't like Trump, even though he's a Republican, right?

You wrote initially, on the why of not calling out communists/socialists, about tolerance. It then unfolded that your tolerance does not extend to Trumpists/Trumpism. Ok, I get that but I think it makes my point.

tolerance doesn't mean you won't have to work to prove your point. and it doesn't mean that people here don't already have opinions about Trump that might make you have to work even harder. it means you're welcome to have your say and that people here will generally discuss it with you in good faith.

and for the record, i have never defended communism, here or anywhere. i think it's hokum. i've even gone a few rounds with bob about it. i have him pied now because i don't think he argues in good faith and i'm not interested in talking about political philosophy with him any more.

But you can be a communist and oppose what the Venezuelan government is doing. You don't like Trump, even though he's a Republican, right?

I don't know about being a communist and opposing what is happening in Venezuela. I'm not a Republican. Just a conservative. Mostly conservative. When Bill White ran against Rick Perry, I give White 2K, which is the most I've ever given a candidate for any office.

My problem with conservatives is that when they use the hyphenated Communist-Socialist lingo, all of a sudden I'm expected to argue in favor of both Stalin's Gulag and Medicare.

And if folks don't believe those two things, and many others, are not mistaken for each other in the conservative orthodoxy, then have fun reviewing the past 60 years of conservative scholarship, so-called journalism, and political platforms.

when they use the hyphenated Communist-Socialist lingo

the conservative-fascist brain is a fascinating device.

I don't know about being a communist and opposing what is happening in Venezuela.

I guess that's the problem we're having in understanding each other.

So substitute conservative for Republican, unless you think Trump's a liberal.

I'm pretty sure I've never called for anyone to be banned

not what I meant by "take exception to". I just meant that every now and then, when bob is around, you ask us all why we find a communist to be an acceptable commenter, while some other kind of -ist is not.

you can't be a communist all by yourself.

i suspect that many communists feel like they are doing exactly that.

at least here in the US.

Just one example of how communists are not a single, undifferentiated mass, from the Wikipedia entry on Trotsky:

After leading a failed struggle of the Left Opposition against the policies and rise of Joseph Stalin in the 1920s and against the increasing role of bureaucracy in the Soviet Union, Trotsky was removed as Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs (January 1925), removed from the Politburo (October 1926), removed from the Central Committee (October 1927), expelled from the Communist Party (November 1927), exiled to Alma–Ata (January 1928), and exiled from the Soviet Union (February 1929). As the head of the Fourth International, Trotsky continued to oppose the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union while in exile.

Trotsky was assassinated by Ramón Mercader, a Spanish-born NKVD agent. On 20 August 1940, Mercader attacked Trotsky with an ice axe and Trotsky died the next day in a hospital. Mercader acted upon instruction from Stalin and was nearly beaten to death by Trotsky's bodyguards, and spent the next 20 years in a Mexican prison for the murder. Stalin presented Mercader with an Order of Lenin in absentia.[4]

Trotsky's ideas formed the basis of Trotskyism, a major school of Marxist thought that opposes the theories of Stalinism. He was written out of the history books under Stalin, and was one of the few Soviet political figures who was not rehabilitated by the government under Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s.

I'm glad to see that everyone is not discussing this, it indicates the earth-shattering power that comes with having the keys to the blog.

In short, bob mcmanus was given a 1 week cooling off period because I felt that he was making it ObWi inhospitable to women. McT, all of your attempted equivalencies between misygony and communism fail to acknowledge that the former was serving to cut off this blog from the participation of women, the latter never stopped anyone from participating.

If this becomes a concern that we are stopping Trump supporters from participating here, I don't believe we have any here, nor have we ever had any here. You and Marty being the closest to that, and both of you profess to not like the man. So any harm to the ObWi commentariat is purely theoretical. On the other hand, if the place is made inhospitable to women, there is an actual harm.

Again, sorry for doing a drop in, and I'm away again this weekend, so carry on. Perhaps someone can explain why Trump's opening to North Korea is a good thing?

Perhaps someone can explain why Trump's opening to North Korea is a good thing?

OK, here it is: At the rate he was going, Trump was going to kick off (blunder into?) a shooting war with North Korea. Which some of his advisors (specifically Bolton) have been calling for for some time. And, since the Korean War is technically not over, he wouldn't have even needed permission from Congress for it, even on the strictest interpretation of the law.

Thanks to his "opening", that looks substantially less likely. At least for the moment -- when it becomes obvious that North Korea has played him big-time, that could change. If Trump can admit it to himself.

Sorry, that's the best I can come up with. But compared to the alternative, I'll take it.

Hyphenation run amok: "Judeo-Christian".

If "communism" and "socialism" have a common ideology, it is this: a few oligarchs running everything because they own all the wealth is A Bad Thing. That's a "value judgement" of course. Shame on us libruls for being so judgemental.

If McKinney has a valid point when he pounds on the "body count" business, it is the old (and valid) one: "it was tried and it didn't work". That point can be made about many things, including unregulated capitalism and every-man-for-himself social policy. We tried not having child labor laws, Social Security, and so forth, and it didn't work. Well, by my definition of "work" anyway. McKinney may have a different definition.

--TP

Perhaps someone can explain why Trump's opening to North Korea is a good thing?

Because now, finally, we will be able to find vacation condo rentals on scenic Korea Bay.

Or, what wj said.

We'll see what happens!

Count: got it.

My problem with conservatives is that when they use the hyphenated Communist-Socialist lingo, all of a sudden I'm expected to argue in favor of both Stalin's Gulag and Medicare.

Fair point, undefined terms and all that. Socialism, traditionally, calls for the state to own and control the means of production. Here is some language I just lifted out of Merriam's online:

any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

And then there is communism, also lifted from online Merriam's:

a : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed
b : a theory advocating elimination of private property
2 capitalized
a : a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the U.S.S.R.
b : a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production
c : a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably
d : communist systems collectively

I don't see one as any less malignant than the other since, in order to exist, it is implicit that anyone who does not agree to surrender everything they own has it taken away by force.

So whether someone is a Marxist, a socialist or a communist, they are either wrong about what they stand for or they stand, ultimately, for the use of force to deprive everyone of their property.

But, to your point: it is conservative hyperbole to equate Medicare with socialism. Less so 'single payer', but still a fairly severe over-statement. So, in reality, defending social welfare spending is not the same as defending socialism as formally defined and understood. I grant that, the farther to the right you go, the more any kind of gov't program gets shot down as socialism, but that is no different that committed lefties equating any effort to control or reform social spending with ending it altogether.

the conservative-fascist brain is a fascinating device.

Good one. However, on the merits, there is considerable overlap between socialism and communism as defined formally compared to fascism/conservatism for which there is virtually no overlap, assuming you can find a useful, value-neutral definition of consveratism.

I guess that's the problem we're having in understanding each other.

So substitute conservative for Republican, unless you think Trump's a liberal.

We are misunderstanding each other. I'm not aware of any avowed communists opposing what is happening in Venezuela. There may be some who superficially are unhappy with the current state of affairs there, but vanishingly few who were unhappy when Chavez took over the country or when Maduro succeeded him. So, to my point: communists tend to be perfectly fine with all manner of totalitarian activities so long as it serves the dialectic. There are many conservatives who can't stand Trump. There are also some conservatives who are not Republicans even if there is more overlap with main-stream--or what was once main-stream--Republicanism and conservatism in general than with Democrats/liberalism.

Perhaps someone can explain why Trump's opening to North Korea is a good thing?


I'm not sure that it is, but time will tell. For sure, his incredibly self-centered tweets were over-the-top stupid. His affinity for dictators is in the top five of why I can't watch the news anymore.

Alright now. I like to get my labels straight for purposes of generalization and demonization.

I am a liberal, as are most others here by matters of degree. McTX is a conservative, as are the remaining conservatives here, also by matters of degree.

wj, seems to be in transition, but hasn't undergone the re
assignment surgery yet.. But I kid.

McManus, who can very well defend himself, is a Communist, though I'd rather hear that from his mouth.

Bernie Sanders is a Socialist, but he has the money to disprove it.

That leaves mp, Ryan, Rick Perry, and a host of confederate others who now infest the Republican Party.

What to call them? God knows they have plenty of names to call us. Me, I'm a socialist and outside agitator. Wj is a downright traitor to the cause. McKinney, sad to say, is a RINO, what with his Democratic Houston Mayor fetish, his favorable leanings toward gay marriage and that multi-bracketed tax scheme he unleashed some weeks ago, which had the entire Forbes family, Grover Norquist, mp, and Mitch Mulvaney turning over in Trotsky's grave, where I stowed them until I can move the bodies.

All of the other labels are taken except for fascist (sapient's chosen label and mine too) and republican, and that last one, as with conservative, can't mean what they think it means, unless we really hate Abraham Lincoln.

I say these ilk are something new and something terrible, some amalgamation of giddily sadistic bastardization, in American history.

We need a new label. Something suitably gutteral.

Nazi doesn't do it for me. Those hopeless romantics had better uniforms and the funny walk.

These new ones, they are like vicious reptiles in badly tailored suits.

Viruses in shoes, as a late misanthropic comedian summed up the human race.

That point can be made about many things, including unregulated capitalism and every-man-for-himself social policy. We tried not having child labor laws, Social Security, and so forth, and it didn't work. Well, by my definition of "work" anyway. McKinney may have a different definition.

I'm okay having a historical relativism discussion: at what point in time and in what country did free market capitalism produce a body count AND the level of dictatorship of any of the communist societies of the 20th and 21st centuries?

why does the left seem to have lockjaw when it comes to calling out modern day communists, socialists and, for that matter, any advocate of central economic planning, i.e. the core of socialism?

It strikes me as somewhat non-productive to get all hysterical about "the left" and start invoking the ghosts of Stalin and Mao without first defining your terms.

Some democrats call themselves "leftists". Take cleek, for just one example. Beyond some basic stuff such as, you know, public services, universal health care, and public utilities, I am hard pressed to find a single "left" (in the classical late 19th century use of the term) bone in his writings. I have yet to see him renounce the system of private property, or call for the adoption of 5 year economic plans.

Yet you apparently demand that he join you in your lust to pile the hate on the "body count".

My question to you would be: When does the straw man burning cease?

There are many kinds of leftists. Ask them. They denounce each other with extreme vehemence.

I think fascism has a current meaning different from its past meaning, and the current meaning is used to differentiate between why C/S is more socially acceptable than F.

The characteristics of fascism in practice are right there in their writings from the early 20th century. The "meaning" has remained pretty constant. Ask any WWII vet.

Socialism/communism is a bit more complex. In the olden days, Socialists were marxists. Not so much any more. Bernie sanders is not a marxist, but you demand we who espouse similar ideas join you in heaping scorn on Communism in practice (Mao, Stalin) vs. hybrid market (yes, I did say "market") systems such as found in the Nordic countries.

That you do not wish to have the awareness of the historical differences as between marxism/socialism as an intellectual construct vs. some kind of reality you associate it with is understandable. I'm not at all that fond of Mao or Stalin. Nasty folks. But I'm sure Cromwell could be nasty at times, and Washington was a slaveholder. Perhaps you have forgotten this.

You might also bone up on the history of capitalism: The rape and exploitation of the Americas; Slavery (yes, that was capitalism); The social havoc and costs of the enclosure movement; the stink and oppression of the early days of the factory system; the Belgian Congo; India.(funny-defenders of capitalism NEVER BRING THIS UP!!!!!!!) That system as actually existed is quite different from the quiet economic humming of the neo-classical theory of the firm.

So there you go. I could go on.

It is striking that none of the "leftists" here start their conversations with you or Marty asking you first denounce the system of private property and the manifest shortcomings of corporate capitalism.

Maybe we should, eh?

i suspect that many communists feel like they are doing exactly that.

LOL. I can understand.

-the other bob

There are many conservatives who can't stand Trump.

How many is many? By the tens of millions, they went into the voting booth and pulled the lever for this authoritarian piece of shit. I guess a Supreme Court pick and "shaking things up" was enough for them!

Roll out the tumbrils.

But as leftists, we are somehow not allowed to claim this is the inevitable outcome of capitalism....mostly because it is most likely not the case. Similarly, the rule of Hugo Chavez (who by the way did a good deal of good for his people when he could) is simply another tool to besmirch the mere idea of socialism.

Got it. Heads I win. Tails you lose. Typical capitalism exploitation if you ask me!

:)

-the other bob

Funny that.

You might also bone up on the history of capitalism: The rape and exploitation of the Americas; Slavery (yes, that was capitalism); The social havoc and costs of the enclosure movement; the stink and oppression of the early days of the factory system; the Belgian Congo; India.(funny-defenders of capitalism NEVER BRING THIS UP!!!!!!!) That system as actually existed is quite different from the quiet economic humming of the neo-classical theory of the firm.

You might be missing my point or I might not be making it to your satisfaction. Regardless, I will try to address your critique of capitalism:

1. Your best points ended in the 19th century, in part due to the Civil War.
2. Communism/Socialism remain active and horrific today.
3. Lefties don't call out communists/socialists notwithstanding the clear past and presence of what a train wreck it has all been.
4. That people like Sanders call themselves Socialists but really are just social spenders on steroids with no math skills doesn't in any way excuse the unwillingness to hold C/S to account for the past and present sins of those ideologies.
5. As a bipartisan matter, the inexcusable enabling of Trump by many on the right who found fault with everything the Clintons or Obama did is of the same odor as lefty silence in the presence of C/S people.

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