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How to avoid confusion with political terms?

Msyru
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7/19/2013 11:04:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This being as someone from the UK it's only something I've really encountered in the USA, but having a few American friends and planning to return there at some point I just wanted some ideas.

Two words: "Libertarian" for starters. I first encountered this in a bar about a year ago. I got involved in a drunken conversation on politics with an American in a bar and our own views came up. And his eyes lit up when I said I was libertarian, said he was too. Then it devolved into the usual yay-we-both-have-the-same-opinions-circlejerk throughout several topics, until it got to things like employment, private property, role of government.
We both ended up getting kind of annoyed at the other one for misusing the word -we get on now-

Saying you're libertarian here pretty much means anarchist. The terms are used synonymously a lot.
Which is the other one. "Anarchist"
I've yet to meet an ancap in real life, but I still don't get that one at all.

So yeah :S the two ways I use to describe myself can now mean the opposite.
In the spirit of being a sick leftie I guess I'm willing to share the lib word, ours first or not
but ancaps? By definition anarchism opposes the state and hierarchy...I don't think drastic changes to what words mean will help the dark, murky world of politics much.
I.e. calling myself a conservative isn't helpful even though I generally want to conserve trees and wildlife.

Your thoughts?
"If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself."
Mikhail Bakunin
DetectableNinja
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7/19/2013 11:10:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Judging from what i've heard from British people I know (and from this post), the whole libertarianism philosophy is more nuanced in the US from the sound of it.

Technically, you can call an anarchist a libertarian if they're anarchism stems from holding liberty as the ultimate value. However, in the US we have all sorts of libertarianism, none of it extremely popular though. Right libertarianism is what you see with parties like the Libertarian Party, fully embracing of private property. whereas left libertarianism tends to be more about the rejection of private property.

Of course, with anarchism, we can get into a whole argument. I guess I'm on the opposite side from you: I don't really see how stuff like ancom or ansyn are consistent. But ancap usually will maintain that anarchism is strictly opposition to the state (a centralized/monocentric entity with a monopoly on violence), not necessarily hierarchy or government.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Noumena
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7/19/2013 11:51:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Words take on different meanings in different contexts. It's highly annoying when anarchists (whether Ancom, Ancap, or Ansyn) and libertarians (American and European) forget or fail to understand this. There's no 'true' definition of anarchism or 'legitimate' meaning of libertarianism. The in-group whining from both sides is more indicative of trying to definitionally delegitimize perceived opposition than any genuine defense of some ultimately true legacy.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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7/20/2013 12:05:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hmm, what shall we say about American "libertarians"? American libertarians are among the pied pipers of plutocratic perdition, the doctrinaire deceivers who use free-market ideology to lure their fellow citizens onto the path of socioeconomic and ecological damnation being prepared for us all by the dictatorship of the capitalist elite. There is, however, still hope for America's and humanity's earthly salvation. It lies in rejecting the false message of the capitalist elite's apologists in favor of the much-maligned and marginalized evangel of egalitarianism and democracy, the gospel of genuine, communitarian, humanist "socialism", i.e. the ethical vision of a society authentically established upon values and categorical imperatives such as equality, solidarism, mutual caring and assistance, and the economic and political enfranchisement and liberation of all human beings.

If we instead fall for the commonplace and facile falsehood that any form of "socialism" must inevitably lead down a sociopolitical slippery slope to the sort of totalitarian faux socialism, the mock Marxism of the former Soviet Union; if we fail to realize the socially and spiritually suicidal error of our embrace of capitalism as a dogmatism; then one day our damned-to-hell-on-earth descendants (a posterity condemned to live with a legacy of corporate tyranny, a virtually nonexistent social safety net, crumbling infrastructures, and global warming) will most certainly and contemptuously look back upon us as blind fools, who couldn't see any better than the German voters who opted for Nazism or the true believers in Stalinism. We will deservedly be objects of disbelief and anger. Or, in the small amount of time that's still left for us to collectively and radically change course we can each begin to think more critically and conscientiously about what rampant capitalism is doing to our society and ecosphere, and begin to take stances that will cause us to be remembered more favorably.

Well, these are my thoughts, at any rate.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Msyru
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7/20/2013 12:11:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Words take on different meanings in different contexts. It's highly annoying when anarchists (whether Ancom, Ancap, or Ansyn) and libertarians (American and European) forget or fail to understand this. There's no 'true' definition of anarchism or 'legitimate' meaning of libertarianism. The in-group whining from both sides is more indicative of trying to definitionally delegitimize perceived opposition than any genuine defense of some ultimately true legacy.

Sorry to have annoyed you D:
I suppose if you explain your beliefs clearly enough to people they'll get it regardless of the label.
"If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself."
Mikhail Bakunin
YYW
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7/20/2013 12:32:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/19/2013 11:04:40 PM, Msyru wrote:
This being as someone from the UK it's only something I've really encountered in the USA, but having a few American friends and planning to return there at some point I just wanted some ideas.

Two words: "Libertarian" for starters. I first encountered this in a bar about a year ago. I got involved in a drunken conversation on politics with an American in a bar and our own views came up. And his eyes lit up when I said I was libertarian, said he was too. Then it devolved into the usual yay-we-both-have-the-same-opinions-circlejerk throughout several topics, until it got to things like employment, private property, role of government.
We both ended up getting kind of annoyed at the other one for misusing the word -we get on now-

Saying you're libertarian here pretty much means anarchist. The terms are used synonymously a lot.
Which is the other one. "Anarchist"
I've yet to meet an ancap in real life, but I still don't get that one at all.

So yeah :S the two ways I use to describe myself can now mean the opposite.
In the spirit of being a sick leftie I guess I'm willing to share the lib word, ours first or not
but ancaps? By definition anarchism opposes the state and hierarchy...I don't think drastic changes to what words mean will help the dark, murky world of politics much.
I.e. calling myself a conservative isn't helpful even though I generally want to conserve trees and wildlife.

Your thoughts?

I think that the best way to avoid confusion with political terms is to learn their meaning... a radical idea, I know.
Tsar of DDO
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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7/20/2013 1:00:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/19/2013 11:51:12 PM, Noumena wrote:
Words take on different meanings in different contexts. It's highly annoying when anarchists (whether Ancom, Ancap, or Ansyn) and libertarians (American and European) forget or fail to understand this. There's no 'true' definition of anarchism or 'legitimate' meaning of libertarianism. The in-group whining from both sides is more indicative of trying to definitionally delegitimize perceived opposition than any genuine defense of some ultimately true legacy.

Actually, there is: the academic definition. As with all words, the meanings are arbitrary and change over time - they represent shifting ideas. However, they still represent ideas. The laymen understanding is worst, because of the numerous conflicting ideas and sources, and mass of pejoratives associated with each term - anarchist being a clear example. A dictionary, then, is the step up, as it is an agreed upon authority. However, dictionaries are laymen still: a dictionary that specialises in a subject (like Oxford Dictionary of Medicine) is better. General dictionaries, as any higher student in a subject will tell you, will give awkward definitions which do not adequately represent an idea - or just flat out get it wrong, in order to keep things simple. After all, the nuances of what "freedom" in the philosophical sense of free will and determinism, as well as the political meaning, as well as the common definition, is difficult to sum up in a single sentence as dictionaries attempt to do.

However, each dictionary takes its ideas from where? The scholars. We look to the well accepted higher scholarly sources - undergraduate textbooks and higher, or lecturers and their key lectures, etc. - for our justifications for definitions here. We take our political definition of freedom from Isaiah Berlin's two lectures on liberty, after all, due to its perfect exposition on their meanings. Sure, the lectures total hours of time each to define the ideas, making it difficult to put in a dictionary, but is the most thorough and authoritative piece on the subject.

The same goes for libertarianism, anarchism, and others. Again, these are difficult to put in one word philosophies to be made accurate, but they are well known and agreed upon for their meaning. Among the non-academic community (i.e. those using sophistry, and laymen and those not keyed into the subject) their definitions are different. However, the more accurate and pure definitions come from the academic community who understand these issues and the direction these ideologies are moving.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Stephen_Hawkins
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7/20/2013 1:01:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Also, how is liberalism "leftie"? This is an example of political ignorance, and political sophistry, not political knowledge.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
charleslb
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7/20/2013 3:53:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/20/2013 1:01:12 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
Also, how is liberalism "leftie"? This is an example of political ignorance, and political sophistry, not political knowledge.

Yes, as a "leftist" I certainly wish that more people were sufficiently politically literate, so to speak, as to not casually conflate leftism and liberalism and thus force me to clarify that although my positions on issues such as abortion and capital punishment are what might be termed "liberal", nonetheless I'm a leftist not a liberal.

What's the distinction with a difference? Well, modern American liberalism is merely what I'll term a soft version of our capitalist society's dominant ideology. That is, unlike its more tough-minded and strident conservative counterpart, liberalism acknowledges certain social injustices and feels the pain of the capitalist status quo's victims. However, liberalism is an ideology perpetually in bad faith, conscious of the flaws of capitalism but falling short of being critical of it in a fundamental or "radical" way. Rather, liberalism signs on to a conventional positive view of capitalism with minor reservations, which are assuaged by advocating relatively minor reforms.

Leftists (such as myself), on the other hand, take a decidedly and deservedly more harsh view of the capitalist system, power structure, and ethos. That is, in our analysis capitalism is inherently and irreformably pernicious and pathological. It imperatively needs to be abolished in favor of a more egalitarian and humanistic form of society, not tweaked by progressive legislation into something barely tolerable.

In short, leftists are radical, we go to the root of what ails our polity and its increasingly immiserated populace and recommend a socially revolutionary response. Liberals are nothing more than nonthreatening and conventional-minded reformists; subscribers to a worldview that accepts, and proponents of merely palliating the harm and pain inflicted by, the capitalist way of life.

Yes, there's indeed a significant difference between liberals and leftists, and I would ask anyone interested in politics to do his/her due diligence or homework and get sufficiently educated about this difference so as to cease and desist from ignorantly lumping two profoundly disparate viewpoints together. Thank you.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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7/20/2013 5:44:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/20/2013 3:53:43 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 7/20/2013 1:01:12 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
Also, how is liberalism "leftie"? This is an example of political ignorance, and political sophistry, not political knowledge.

Yes, as a "leftist" I certainly wish that more people were sufficiently politically literate, so to speak, as to not casually conflate leftism and liberalism and thus force me to clarify that although my positions on issues such as abortion and capital punishment are what might be termed "liberal", nonetheless I'm a leftist not a liberal.

What's the distinction with a difference? Well, modern American liberalism is merely what I'll term a soft version of our capitalist society's dominant ideology. That is, unlike its more tough-minded and strident conservative counterpart, liberalism acknowledges certain social injustices and feels the pain of the capitalist status quo's victims.

However, liberalism is an ideology perpetually in bad faith, conscious of the flaws of capitalism but falling short of being critical of it in a fundamental or "radical" way.

This has committed the sin of confusing liberalism as a single narrow ideology. There's a reason why many argue currently that liberalism has evolved into a meta-ideology. To point out how some liberals, the classical liberals namely, do not believe capitalism is flawed - at all - I'll quote Cobden, a founder of Manchesterite Capitalism, or Manchesterism:

"I see in the Free-trade principle that which shall act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe,"drawing men together, thrusting aside the antagonism of race, and creed, and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace."

Classical liberals don't see Capitalism as flawed.

Rather, liberalism signs on to a conventional positive view of capitalism with minor reservations, which are assuaged by advocating relatively minor reforms.

See above.

Leftists (such as myself), on the other hand, take a decidedly and deservedly more harsh view of the capitalist system, power structure, and ethos. That is, in our analysis capitalism is inherently and irreformably pernicious and pathological. It imperatively needs to be abolished in favor of a more egalitarian and humanistic form of society, not tweaked by progressive legislation into something barely tolerable.

Not all. When I classed myself a leftist, I agreed with the position of Crosland. Undoubtedly a left-wing thinker, he supported capitalism. Macmillan and Compassionate Conservatives were also against Capitalism in the commanding hieghts of industry, which ought to be nationalised. Yet they are Tories.

In short, leftists are radical, we go to the root of what ails our polity and its increasingly immiserated populace and recommend a socially revolutionary response. Liberals are nothing more than nonthreatening and conventional-minded reformists; subscribers to a worldview that accepts, and proponents of merely palliating the harm and pain inflicted by, the capitalist way of life.

I applaud the effort you went to to avoid the Marxist terminology, but "immiseration", referring to the immiseration of the proletariat which has empirical problems - empirical problems I am sure Marx himself would have conceded on. This is less of a criticism of the major point being discussed - the one above - but it still goes to be said. It's a lot more fun to discuss the expropriation of surplus value by the bourgeoisie of the proletariat which causes the emiseration of the proletariat leading to the class consciousness and social revolution when we use the jargon.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...