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Happy Caterpillar created a thread asking whether combining pony art with politics was bad. And I got to thinking, perhaps the issue is not pony, but more politics. So a companion thread might ask, are politics cancer?
Consider the incivility, messy protests, awkward family events, endless angry online back-and-forth. Most of us just want to get through the day.
While bickering is prehistoric, I would date modern politics to the French Revolution and the idea that any given citizen had the right to opinions on matters of state. Politics also requires a capacity to mistrust the state -- each party tends to mistrust parts of the state the other trusts, which fuels the conflict, but nobody campaigns with: "Everything is awesome [in government]!" Or especially not with, "Government is divine."
Now I'm no historian, but the French revolution was a mess. Not that the monarchical centuries before were a cakewalk, but the new belief in individual rights lead to an outbreak of violence. Fortunately in many areas, physical violence over politics has simmered to keyboard battles and sign-holding. But maybe still, the whole project was a misstep.
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As Churchill said, “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried”. >awkward family events
Having political arguments at family get-togethers is generally a mistake.
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If poor Churchill were instead under a regime that could not be questioned, he would have said his government was the best [if he knew what was good for him]. Would that put him in a better mood, do you think?>Having political arguments at family get-togethers is generally a mistake.
Would you go a small bit further and agree such arguments are inappropriate anywhere?
I can't help but think that a major reason why political talk is so horrid in the United States is because there's a general social acceptance (or, at least, a general social blind eye given) when it comes to political violence in this country.
If Steve is at a bar sharing drinks with Bob only for Bob to admit to being a Chicago Cubs fan, with Steve bashing Bob's head in as a result? We as a society consider Steve to be some kind of an overinflated gasbag unlike decent people and put him in jail.
But if Steve is an ideological extremist who's a member of a milita group or internet troll clique or whatever, and Bob is a transgender man, and the same thing happens... that's just "politics as usual". Steve will get a wrist-slap if anything and be right back on the street. Bob will be demonized as having deserved such actions somehow. Etc.
Or as the Joker from The Dark Knight would put it, "Everything is going according to plan."
It's not really "left" versus "right" anymore, it feels like a lot of the time, but "I have empathy" versus "I don't have empathy because other people are just meat with eyes". The latter population is, yes, a minority but scarily too big.
What if we could remove the "fight or flight" aspect to political discussions in all contexts and make it as calm as debating, say, who's the best living chess champion or something?
>>9434>What if we could remove the "fight or flight" aspect to political discussions
You bring up an interesting idea. I think whatever causes groups of people to want to fight or flee will become a subject of politics, so you could only have dispassionate politics where people generally feel secure that the political opinions of another can not somehow cause them harm.
You see a tolerance for violence when aligned with right-wing objectives or expression. (The other side will say the opposite, of course.) I mentioned in the OP that the ideas of individual rights sparked violence as people in the New and Old world attempted to assert themselves against authorities. I'd guess you think politics and violence can be separated, but America is doing a bad job of it.
>>9436>You see a tolerance for violence when aligned with right-wing objectives or expression.
That's a incredibly poor way of thinking about it.
I'm not afraid of walking down a lonely street at night discovering that Mike Pence or Mitt Romney or Ben Shapiro is following me. I'm concerned about an actual Nazi shadowing some steps behind. Or somebody who's a Nazi in all but name.
If anything, I'd say that the devoutly Jewish Ben Shapiro and the mixed-race family patriarch Mitt Romney would be equally in danger from the Nazis or wannabe Nazis as I am.
Is your argument that people are better off under authoritarian systems of power? >>9438
Then let us define nazisms so we can know what Cheetah means in modern times.
Groups such as Patriot Front fit this definition.
>>9430>Would that put him in a better mood, do you think?
No. People in top important positions are generally smart and competent enough to know the truth, and being forced betray the truth in public does not put one in a good mood.>>9430>Would you go a small bit further and agree such arguments are inappropriate anywhere?
No. Rational discussion of political matters is vital to the proper functioning of a republic.
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I see. You see it proper that some portion of the population who can be trusted with rationality may engage in politics.>>9439>Is your argument that people are better off under authoritarian systems of power?
I don't know if you're talking to me. I don't know of many other kinds of political order that would free people from the trouble of politics. But whether politics is too much trouble generally -- we'll see what people think.>>9441
Politics motivating Neo-Nazi's is intolerable. What (or who) must be removed from politics to fix this problem?
"Nazis" in the very technical sense no longer exist because the original Party doesn't exist. But this is absurd nitpicking. A disturbingly large number of modern political and social organizations deliberately model aspects of themselves after that original Party and advocate for its twisted ideals. This presents a genuine threat to both "normal" people and particularly marginalized minorities such as the disabled, mixed-race families, transgender individuals, et cetera.
I should say that I also deliberately said "ideological extremist" and "Nazi in all but name" in my posts to make it clear that, well, at least to me: I don't really see a moral distinction between those who deliberately try to bring Nazi thought back and those who maybe do so non-deliberately because they don't technically want Nazism, just near-Nazism (sheet-wearing Klansmen and associated groups such as the National Association For the Advancement of White People come to mind here). As long as 'white power' ultra-nationalists commit the same kind of widespread violence under the same sloganeering as technical Nazis, well, the distinction is minor to me.
Hmm...yes, if politics is permeable to Nazi-themed ideas, that's certainly a problem and must be fixed. If I remember my history, Nazi's were popular because they would fight war reparations and the party would combat their communist competitors. (And of course they encouraged belief in genetic superiority.) Now, I know many Americans despise communism, but I would hope they have equal hate for Nazism, or similar ideas.
If not, does politics have a causal connection to enabling Nazi ideas? If you answer yes, I believe this thread is complete; QED.
Thinking about it a bit more, maybe I overstated things. Politics is probably more like a highway, someone might be driving away from a bank robbery on the road, but that might not mean you need to tear it up to prevent another crime. Suppose you'd only want to remove the road if it were a main thoroughfare for thieves, and otherwise did little good. Or if the taint of the crime were simply so bad, everything connected must go.
So I suppose that begins a slightly fairer question about politics and Nazism.