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Author Topic: What makes one become "left" or right"?
al-Qa'bong
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posted 29 October 2003 11:47 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I started musing about this after going through some Middle East and pro-Capitalist threads a while back. Coincidence or not, many pro-Israelis seemed to be pro-business, pro-hardline military, anti- welfare, etc.

I found it odd that the "Right" supports Israel now, while a few years ago "the Right" was responsible for the worst manifestation of antisemitism the world has seen.

I thought about what had changed, and came up with this simplistic theory:

The people we call "Rightists" instinctively hate (or fear as well, perhaps) the weak. They killed the Jews when they were seen as weak, but support and admire Israel now that she is the toughest kid in the schoolyard. The Arabs are so weak as to be ridiculed, and so are despised.

Any disenfranchised or seemingly weak group in Canada, from Natives to Women to the unemployed is scorned by many rightists.

Conversely, "Leftists" often support those who they perceive as being weak - Palestinians, Natives (heck anybody of colour - which is nevertheless a racist position despite its aura of benevolence) the poor and downtrodden.

What do you think?

Are leftists motivated by sympathy (warranted or not) and rightists by admiration of strength and power?

As I said, mine is a simplistic analysis.

[ 02 November 2003: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 30 October 2003 12:20 AM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Pro-strength, militarism, anti-labour, anti-'liberal'...there's a word for that, I think.
From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
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posted 30 October 2003 01:02 AM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that "left" and "right" are inadequate labels.

Although in the sense that you are talking about, I think it boils down to fairness vs. equality.

Fair is not equal.

Those on the "right" favor fairness (whoever does the most work/the work of most value gets rewarded for it) and those on the "left" favor equality (it does not matter how much work YOU do, all rewards are shared among everyone).

However, both of those fall apart if the ideology is taken to the heaviest extreme. Examples are the Soviet Union, Red China, the great depression, and industrial revolution England.


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 30 October 2003 01:28 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Fair is not equal.

So Hitler, Musso, Franco, Pinochet, Nixon and J.P. Morgan were fair?


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DrConway
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posted 30 October 2003 02:26 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Left" can also be thought of as being fundamentally capable of understanding how to put oneself in the shoes of those less privileged than themselves and, armed with this knowledge, act in ways to correct that imbalance.

"Right" can be thought of as being fundamentally incapable of this lens-shifting process, and thus viewing all imbalances as a product of personal faults or traits rather than seeing the structural factors which can cancel out personal factors.

Also simplistic, but one that seems to fit what I've seen over the years, as fundamentally it seems that the assholes who never gave a damn about anyone have ended up being right-wing.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
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posted 30 October 2003 03:16 AM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Left - "the people"
Right - those in control
Don't we need to distinguish between economic, political and social fields?

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: Non-partisan partisan ]


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 30 October 2003 03:16 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Those on the "right" favor fairness (whoever does the most work/the work of most value gets rewarded for it)

That's why, when you look up the history, that the hard working coal miners of the 19th century, whose hard, dangerous work wresting the fuel that powered an Empire the sun never sat on found thier cause championed by the idle rich in the British Aristocracy, and why, to this day, the decendants of said coal miners are the richest people in the world.


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DrConway
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posted 30 October 2003 04:46 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Now, TPaine, you just don't get it. The CEO of the mining corporation did the most work by placing his ever-so-well-cushioned tushy in his fancy chair and puffing a cigar and declaring, "Why, old chaps, I think we ought to have a coal mine right here, don't you think?"

Never mind, of course, that geologists would have had to look for the stuff in the first place and a collective of workers could just as easily have hired a geologist as a President and CEO.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Steve N
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posted 30 October 2003 07:40 AM      Profile for Steve N     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When I try to keep my non-partisan hat on, it seems to me that the right believe in the responsibilty of the individual, while the left believe in the responsibility of the community.

So whether you get a paid a million dollars, or commit a crime, the right thinks you did it yourself and you deserve your just rewards. The left thinks everybody shares some responsibility for sucess/failure.

I don't think issues like Isreal break down easily into a left/right spectrum. But in the most simple terms, the right rarely speaks up for the downtrodden, so when the Jewish people were down it was easy to kick them. It's the individual's fault when they end up on the ground after all. Now that Isreal is in a position of relative strength, it's natural for the right to support them.

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: Steve N ]


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Mr. Magoo
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posted 30 October 2003 10:42 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"Right" can be thought of as being fundamentally incapable of this lens-shifting process, and thus viewing all imbalances as a product of personal faults or traits rather than seeing the structural factors which can cancel out personal factors.

Er, but you're viewing the "faults" of the "Right" as fundamental - a product of their personal traits. Does that mean that you're a right-winger?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 30 October 2003 10:51 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't know where the center is to be left or right of - it shifts.

Generally, you can see the distinction in the words 'socialist' and 'elitist'. It's a difference in how one imagines society: as a co-operative enterprise or a competitive one. On the extreme left, you have communism (which breaks down in practice, because the managers are of the competitive type personality); on the extreme right, the divine right of kings - or CEO's (which breaks down in practice, because it consumes its own power-base.)

How Israel fits in has nothing to do with Jews or underdogs; it's just a historical coincidence. Any nation in the region could be just as useful a tool for US interests. Israel could just as easily have developed as a co-operative, pacific nation, if the western powers had handled the region differently.


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Mimichekele2
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posted 30 October 2003 11:55 AM      Profile for Mimichekele2        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think centralist/decentralist and authoritarian/anti-authoritarian have gradually become more significant lines of demarcation than left/right in many areas.

Left/right still make some sense on economic issues but both sides have shown themselves historically to be about as destructive when it comes to many other topics. Often because they historically both believed in centralism or top-down politics in various forms.

Also, more and more in our "post-modern" age, individuals have no political loyalties and decide issue by issue so they may lean to what may have been considered "left" in the past on one issue and lean "right" on other issues. Left and right as coherent descriptors increasingly lack precision.

What do you call a member of the German Green left who supported going to war in Kosovo to save the Mslims from genocide? What do you call a CUPE activist in Saskatchewan who opposes the gun control registry boondoggle? What do I call my former pro-Maoist polisci prof who supported the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (who then proceeded to execute hundreds of thousands of "leftwing" Iraniansin 1979-1981)?

Or me: totally for public ownership of energy, for tolls on highways to cut down on car traffic, for legalizing dope and prostitution, for public daycare, for pay equity, against employment equity programs, against health sector strikes, and pro-Canadian military... Left, right? Meaningless words most times.

With age I find left and right have lost their qualities as useful words.

But I still "know it when I see it".

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: Mimichekele2 ]


From: More lawyers, fewer bricks! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sports Guy
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posted 30 October 2003 12:54 PM      Profile for Sports Guy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think policies can be labeled as left or right but it is much harder to acurately label people in that way. As well, social issues need to be seperated from economic issues. Someone's position on the role of the State in the economy has little or nothing to do with their views on same sex marriage or feminism.

This is something I constantly struggle with because my views on most economic issues puts me at odds with people whose views I share on social issues.

For example, where does one classify David Orchard, whose views on Free Trade have made him a darling of the left yet whose social policies are anything but progressive.

Left or Right is far to simplistic a categorization for the complex issues facing our society.


From: where the streets have no name | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
flotsom
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posted 30 October 2003 12:56 PM      Profile for flotsom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Now, TPaine, you just don't get it. The CEO of the mining corporation did the most work by placing his ever-so-well-cushioned tushy in his fancy chair and puffing a cigar and declaring, "Why, old chaps, I think we ought to have a coal mine right here, don't you think?"

I've got a few political cartoons on the cork board above the monitor here.

My favourite depicts a conversation between a factory owner and his peer:

"What did you just tell that man?" the fellow asks the boss. "I told him to work faster!" "How much do you pay him?" the man continues. "Fifteen dollars a day! Where do you get the money to pay him? I sell products! Who makes the products? He does! How many products does he make a day? Fifty dollars worth! Then instead of you paying him he pays you thirty five dollars a day to tell him to work faster! Huh?!...But I own the machines!! How did you get the machines? I sold products and bought them! And who made those products? @#! "Shut up...he might hear you!"

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: flotsom ]


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Stephen Gordon
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posted 30 October 2003 01:01 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We must both be of a certain age, because the left-right distinction means nothing to me, either. Trying to divide the world into 'us' vs 'them' has not proved overly fruitful in the past, and I doubt that it will be any more useful in the future.

More generally, I've lost patience with labels. Too many people are too quick to dismiss arguments by calling it 'right-wing propaganda' or 'left-wing claptrap'. More thought, less name-calling, please.

OC

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken"


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lagatta
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posted 30 October 2003 02:14 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't think age has much to do with it - though as skdadl says, belonging to a certain cohort might.

I think it depends more on this:
There is a war between the rich and poor,
A war between the man and the woman.
There is a war between the ones who say there is a war
And the ones who say there isnt.
(Leonard Cohen)

I'm one of those who thinks there is a war - between the powers-that-be and the exploited and oppressed for lack of a better expression in a few words, or the class struggle provided that expression is not used to consider the struggles of women, oppressed racial groups etc as "secondary" or "divisive". In other words, I think social progress has powerful enemies who must be defeated, through mass action.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 30 October 2003 02:27 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I guess I don't understand. How do you intend to 'defeat' them? Death? Exile?
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Stephen Gordon
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posted 30 October 2003 02:39 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not a fan of emoticons, so that last post looks harsher than I meant.

More seriously, people are more likely to change their minds if their original opinions are taken seriously. People don't mind being wrong - they just want to know why they should change their minds. I don't know anyone who has changed their political views because someone has given them a label.


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Smith
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posted 30 October 2003 02:44 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Those on the "right" favor fairness (whoever does the most work/the work of most value gets rewarded for it) and those on the "left" favor equality (it does not matter how much work YOU do, all rewards are shared among everyone).

No, those on the right favour what they THINK is fairness. It is my observation that most right-wingers believe the world is already fair.

I think the individual/community answer is better than this one.


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Mr. Magoo
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posted 30 October 2003 02:59 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
those on the "left" favor equality (it does not matter how much work YOU do, all rewards are shared among everyone).

Just like a group project in highschool, where 3 members of the group jerked off and played Atari, and one member went to the library, did the research, wrote the paper, and handed it in.

How can anyone who doesn't believe in collective punishment believe in collective reward?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 30 October 2003 03:09 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Just like a group project in highschool, where 3 members of the group jerked off and played Atari, and one member went to the library, did the research, wrote the paper, and handed it in.

That's why I don't like group projects.

As for collective reward, I don't believe in that as you describe it, but all of life is not like school. I believe everyone is equally entitled to the necessities of life. You need to make the distinction, even though most righties do not.


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nonsuch
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posted 30 October 2003 03:43 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
No, those on the right favour what they THINK is fairness. It is my observation that most right-wingers believe the world is already fair.

It's not about fairness; it's about winning. "Fairness" is a sop the big winners throw to their not-quite-ruthless-enough dupes and enforcers.


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Hinterland
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posted 30 October 2003 03:57 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For me, the left-right paradigm is tired and futile. I see the political/social division among people ranging on a scale between absolute faith and certainty and absolute disbelief and nihilism. Extreme right and extreme left are interested in and propose solutions that will "solve all problems for all time" whereas nihilists give up completely and retreat from even considering the questions. Somewhere in the middle lies healthy skepticism and doubt, for people like me, who are looking for and supporting actions that address particular problems taking into account their scope, timeliness and the public support they need to legitimise them.

As an example, the right seems to be re-casting Universal Health Care as a leftist issue, when in fact it was brought in more as a response to a particular problem; affordable health care for the majority of people in a not-traditonally prosperous place. When faced with the (arguable) communal affordability of Universal Health Care, their solution is to do away with it and let some fictional market decide. The right's approach to a lot of problems is equally simplistic and, in my view, wrong. I would try and come up with an equivalent example of a extreme leftist issue (...guaranteed jobs for everyone? proletarian paradise?) but the extreme left hardly exists in this country anymore, and what we are faced with is the radical right. Besides, I'm the laziest poster on Babble.


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jeff house
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posted 30 October 2003 04:14 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
When I try to keep my non-partisan hat on, it seems to me that the right believe in the responsibilty of the individual, while the left believe in the responsibility of the community.

There is something to that axis of difference, but it too breaks down. For example, racial profiling. Can the police legally and morally pay more attention to an individual because he or she belongs to a race with a higher crime rate?

The right generally says yes, the left no.

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: jeff house ]


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jacob Two-Two
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posted 30 October 2003 06:10 PM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think a lot of the stuff that's being said here is correct in its own fashion. The problem is thinking of "right-wingers" as a seamless monolith of thought and opinion.

Even if we can create a list of right-wing policies (and I would suggest that we couldn't, at least not very accurately), it still wouldn't explain WHY people believe in these policies.

For instance, the personal responsiblity/ communal responsibility thing is fairly accurate for a certain breed of right leaning thinker. Nobody (or hardly anyone) is entirely one or the other, but there is a certain tendency to lean more to a particular side when dealing with issues of blame or reward. This, however, is mostly applicable to those average, middle class right-wing people, who are generally not hypocrites.

They are to be distinguished from the real radical types. The ideolouges and hate-mongers. Rush Limbaugh, etc. As someone else said, these people just worship power and will always be on the side of the fascists regardless of what logistical knots they have to tie themselves into to justify their positions.

And then, of course, you have the law followers. People who have right-wing opinions and values just because they were the ones they were given by their culture and upbringing and they will never, ever stop thinking the way they do for fear of disturbing their entire sense of self.


From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 02 November 2003 02:19 AM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gir Draxon:

Those on the "right" favor fairness (whoever does the most work/the work of most value gets rewarded for it) and those on the "left" favor equality (it does not matter how much work YOU do, all rewards are shared among everyone).

More like, 'the right' are those who protect the current system of valuing labour (which tends to honour speculative and specialist 'intellectual' labour more than hands-on production) and 'the left' are those who seek a reevaluation of labour away from this privileging of the technocratic managerial class who they see as parasites.

Those are the traditional lines. This talk of 'fairness vs. equality' is a semantic morass.

[ 02 November 2003: Message edited by: Courage ]


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Willowdale Wizard
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posted 02 November 2003 12:23 PM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
the right seems to be re-casting Universal Health Care as a leftist issue

this is a very interesting point. ideas like popular democracy and equality have been systematically taken over by the right since thatcher/reagan.

employment equity: the right portrays this as "why do we need it, society is already equal," and that any rough justice to equal out employment opportunities is discrimination.

the idea of choice in public services (school vouchers, private schools, private healthcare with shorter waiting times) is not true choice, it's having the income to be able to choose.

there's a book called "a different kind of state," edited by greg albo, david langille and leo panitch, that deals with the progressive implications of what a reinvigorated public sector would mean for public democracy.

==

lens were mentioned earlier, and this is how i view left and right (or consumerist and anti-consumerist ... or authoritarian and anti-authoritarian), as lens through which people see issues.

i live in leicester in the UK, and it's a very multicultural (hindu, sikh, jain, white folks) city. and i've gone to two public events in the last week, a speech by jonathan porritt, the head of the UK's sustainable development commission, and a taping of bbc radio 4's programme, "any questions,"

i've been very aware that the audiences have been 98% white.

now, i didn't come out of the womb being able to notice this, but it partially came from being radicalized through non-profit media work during my undergrad at a radio station that primarily served the afro-caribbean community in north york in toronto.

lens are able to be changed throughout one's life, people become more left or more right, depending on their experiences, the ideas that they come into contact with.

a favourite quote of mine from ralph nader, not a socialist but someone dedicated to reinvigorating civil society is that "democracy is a daily practice: you can't have daily democracy without daily citizenship."

part of being active on the left or the right is this idea of proselytizing and pushing others towards new ways of seeing and new experiences.


From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
cynic
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posted 02 November 2003 01:03 PM      Profile for cynic     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
There is something to that axis of difference, but it too breaks down. For example, racial profiling. Can the police legally and morally pay more attention to an individual because he or she belongs to a race with a higher crime rate?

The right generally says yes, the left no.


This is because the right are usually not the ones being profiled. They see no problem in oppression as long as they are not being oppressed, hence their outrage at the gun registry, taxes, "welfare bums", etc.


From: Calgary, unfortunately | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 03 November 2003 05:03 AM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another quip - currently, the right are those who like to disconnect monetary power from political power (as though the two were unrelated or as though political enfranchisement were a sufficient supplement to wealth disparity in terms of equalising individual power in society) whereas the left are keenly aware of the political power of money.
From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 03 November 2003 10:19 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Seems Putin is going after (not all that legally, with son-of-KGB tacticts) Russians who became millionaires through a combination of 'insider' (before the collapse of communism) privilege and timely (during the headlong rush to capitalism) western investment. How muddy can left-right alignment get?
And how can anyone ever separate money from politics?

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 05 November 2003 05:49 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No left or right, just rich vs. poor. The smartest thing the rich did was to convince a lot of poor saps that they too are actually rich, and using them as the Hastati against the rest of us poor saps. Think "Alberta Advantage" bullshit.
From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 05 November 2003 06:16 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jingles:
No left or right, just rich vs. poor. The smartest thing the rich did was to convince a lot of poor saps that they too are actually rich, and using them as the Hastati against the rest of us poor saps. Think "Alberta Advantage" bullshit.

Ayup. It's no new thing - tell the bourgeoisie they really are aristocrats and give them a stake in the system. Sheer them like sheep and then offer a little of their wool back to them at a reduced rate to get them onside for massive tax cuts and other schemes which further impoverish the lowest classes, and will eventually put that same bourgeoisie at a disadvantage by concentrating more wealth into the hands of those that the bourgeoisie has mortgaged their lives and possession to...


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 05 November 2003 06:44 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's not even just the bourgeoisie (gawd how do you spell that word!) or the petty b-word-sie. It's also many of the working class that the rich have taught the fairy tale. When I worked for minimum wage at a bakery, several of my fellow minimum-wagers would have been what you'd call economically "right-wing" in that they hated "welfare bums" (probably because a person on mothers' allowance made more per month than we did with our 50-60 hour work weeks, and it's a mistaken yet understandable attitude, considering that a couple of them were mothers as well), and hated it that immigrants could come to Canada and "steal our jobs", etc. etc. The political right is very good at feeding into this kind of resentment, and they're very good at turning the working class against each other.

Anyone remember that horrid country song, "Workin' Man's Ph.D."? I hated it. It could have been a good song if it were about how the working class (or "workin' man") does all the work while the boss gets rich off the workin' man's labour. But that's not the impression you get from the song - it sounds more like the singer is castigating not the rich people who exploit their labour for low wages, but the people unlucky enough to not even be able to get a low-waged job. It was a big hit with the folks I worked with who were country fans.

And I will admit, back then it was hard NOT to be resentful of people like my cousin, who had a baby and was pulling in $1200 a month on mother's allowance back then (all medical, dental and drugs covered), when I was only earning a little over $800 for working like I never have before or since. I felt resentful too.

But I realize now - I was meant to feel resentful. That's the plan. If the government (particularly the Tories) really wanted to help the working poor who are working for minimum wage, then they would offer dental and drug plans to those under a low income cut off the way they do for people on welfare. But they know damn well that if they do that, then they will lose that whole edge they get by turning the working poor against the unemployed poor. If they can get the minimum wagers to focus their anger on the "lazy welfare bums", then they won't even think about the people who are responsible for minimum wagers living a hand-to-mouth existence.

[ 05 November 2003: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Courage
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3980

posted 05 November 2003 07:12 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Agreed, Michelle. That's the other prong of the attack - destroy any vestiges of working class pride and keep them divided through racism, classism (welfare bums), and more. The Toronto Sun is one of the chief weapons in this battle in Ontario.

A personal note - I worked in management in an operation that had a very strong union presence. The fulltime unionised staff were paid exceptionally well in comparison to others in their field, and the raising of the wage scale due to union involvement had made the part-timers (seasonal and non-union) very well paid.

Amazing that when temporary work came open at another unionised operation due to a work stoppage and strike that these young men were gung-ho about starting work there, with seemingly no consciousness that they were essentially undermining members of a union which was part of the reason that they had good oppurtunities available to them at the first operation. Beyond that, they seemed to have no inkling that f*cking with the negotiation position of an already beleagured union work force had any moral import. All they could see was personal profit - many even bashed the unions for being troublesome...

It was an interesting measure of how right-wing ideology concerning unions has become 'common sense' among even those who would benefit most from labour solidarity.


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
clersal
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 370

posted 05 November 2003 07:20 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"What did you just tell that man?" the fellow asks the boss. "I told him to work faster!" "How much do you pay him?" the man continues. "Fifteen dollars a day! Where do you get the money to pay him? I sell products! Who makes the products? He does! How many products does he make a day? Fifty dollars worth! Then instead of you paying him he pays you thirty five dollars a day to tell him to work faster! Huh?!...But I own the machines!! How did you get the machines? I sold products and bought them! And who made those products? @#! "Shut up...he might hear you!"

This is a good example. Social injustice might sum it up. Our society is based on social injustice. The haves and the have nots. We should all be able to have and not equate 'values' with having the most.
The bloody social system must change and it doesn't look like it will.


From: Canton Marchand, Qubec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
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posted 05 November 2003 07:42 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh it will. It always does. I can't guarantee the next one will be any better, but it will change.
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
clersal
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 370

posted 05 November 2003 09:07 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not sure that the system has changed very much. There are a few details but generally it seems pretty much the same.

When a system does change in a more equitable manner we always hear the same comparison. With us and them. We should compare 'them' as they were and not us as we are. If you have had one meal a day and then have three meals a day, that is a change.

[ 05 November 2003: Message edited by: clersal ]


From: Canton Marchand, Qubec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
gagme
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4606

posted 06 November 2003 01:55 AM      Profile for gagme        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
and hated it that immigrants could come to Canada and "steal our jobs", etc. etc.

of course white immigrants would have been okay. i guess its the racialized immigrants that were stealing jobs. funny i worked in a bakery too - we were all refugees or immigrants and not one white face in sight, and they (except one lapsed commie) said the same thing.

i've always thought right=bad guys and left=good gals, but now im not so sure. the left in this country is sure as hell confoooozed.


From: dontfuckinpatronizeme | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 06 November 2003 03:07 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Confoozed and at each other's throats is 'zac'ly how 'they' want us. It's easy: just get every marginal, downtrodden person to focus on hir own problems instead of ever seeing a big picture, then point them at somebody just as marginal and downtrodden as the reason. Hey, you're not losing your lousy job because we can make more profit by moving the factory to China and are paying a 10-year-old girl $0.12/hour and giving her cancer; you're losing it because the government allowed in a Pakistani immigrant. Xenophobia is a very effective blindfold. There are a dozen others, just as effective.
Right is might. Left is for schmucks.

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Courage
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3980

posted 06 November 2003 03:58 AM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nonesuch:
Confoozed and at each other's throats is 'zac'ly how 'they' want us. It's easy: just get every marginal, downtrodden person to focus on hir own problems instead of ever seeing a big picture, then point them at somebody just as marginal and downtrodden as the reason. Hey, you're not losing your lousy job because we can make more profit by moving the factory to China and are paying a 10-year-old girl $0.12/hour and giving her cancer; you're losing it because the government allowed in a Pakistani immigrant. Xenophobia is a very effective blindfold. There are a dozen others, just as effective.
Right is might. Left is for schmucks.

Historically the right always wins in the end. But every once in awhile we get to "hoist the black flag and start slitting throats." Oh those salad days.


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged

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