30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world

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John
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30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world

Post by John »

30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world


** The rise of left-wing violence around the world
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi ... 30#e100530



Contents:
"Leftist violence is rising around the world"
"The Fascists versus the Communists"
"Excusing left-wing violence"
"Breaking a few eggs"
"The future of left-wing and right-wing violence"

OLD1953
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Re: 30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world

Post by OLD1953 »

If I recall my history correctly, the terms "left wing" and "right wing" actually began in reference to the government formed immediately after the French Revolution, where for a time the supporters of the old monarchists sat on the right side of the room and the supporters of the revolutionaries sat on the left. This lasted a fairly short time, then as new alliances formed the seating arrangements changed, and they sat in a new formation called "The Mountain".

My point here is that left and right are very elastic terms when they refer even to political alignments in the US, speaking of left and right across the world gives peculiar results to say the least. In Britain, for example, even the most "far right" do not attack the British medical setup, which is of course a "far left" arrangement when considered by US standards.

There are a number of better systems for displaying political alignments, most are two dimensional such as the "Pournelle Axes" which separate them by the level of rationalization of the governing system vs the belief in the state as good or necessary evil.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pournelle_chart

Others include the politcal compass, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_compass and the Nolan chart http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_Chart .

The Anarchists do not show up well as 'left wing" or "right wing" in that one dimensional measure. Anarchists believe in no government, and get tossed into either pile by convienence or association, not by any logical process. Anarchists are not associated with either Democrats or Republicans in the US, they consider the entire government structure evil and want it all torn down. Similar objections can be made for most groups that follow extreme beliefs.

Personally, I prefer the Pournelle chart. It seems to give a fairly rational basis for separation of political alignments on a basic level, though a complete breakdown would doubtless involve three dimensions or more.

anon-guest

Re: 30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world

Post by anon-guest »

Another exceptional critique of the on going global crises.

I find disagreement with you on your definitions of left wing and right wing. Since you describe these definitions as originating in the middle of the 20th century and from the mind of government teachers (the teacher bit is certainly a guess on my part) certainly excusable.

I'm currently reading Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg which provides plenty of evidence that American views of Communism, Socialism, Totalitarian, and Fascism had originated from very similar ideas. Those ideas were opposed to the Classical Liberalism of Hume, Locke, A. Smith, and The Federalist Papers.

In the US, a compliant left-leaning media has helped to ingrain the idea that Fascism=Right Wing=Republicans=Conservatives in our daily political conversations. Even worse, in my conversations this thinking is a basic belief on which most other ideas are built. It is quite difficult to address these basic ideas (ie: freedom of personal property) before addressing the larger ones (ie: abortion, drug wars, gay marriage).

PS: the gay marriage argument could be solved by ending state marriage licenses. all they do is allow the state to define what "marriage" is and making it a political issue.....this idea is probably more US libertarian than conservative...

OLD1953
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Re: 30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world

Post by OLD1953 »

If you want to get technical/legalistic about it, homosexuals can't be married in most states no matter what the laws are, because marriages are required to be "consummated" and that brings up the legal definition of sex. The legal definition of sex is that it has to have the potential to lead to procreation. Everything else is sodomy. You can't consummate a marriage with sodomy.

It's WAY more than just one law to be changed to actually allow homosexual marriages on the same legal footing as heterosexual marriages. This becomes obvious if you contemplate marriage from it's origins, which is to raise and provide for children.

That issue won't be settled soon, if ever. I can imagine thousands of angry gay lovers storming a courtroom after hearing their marriages can be annulled at any time as they've never been legally consummated. Just FYI, I find life to be very amusing. Art Linkletter was perfectly correct when he said "people are funny".

Ah, the compliant left leaning media statement, which I see fairly often. Lets see now, if I discounted Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Savage, Mancow (Erich Muller), Alex Jones, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Bennett, Medved, Laura Ingraham, Janet Prahall, Sean Hannity, Laura Schlessinger, Neil Boortz, Mike Gallagher, G. Gordon Liddy, Larry Elder, Michael Reagan, The Wall Street Journal editorial pages, Fox News Channel, New York Post, Tony Snow, Eric Breindel, Brit Hume, Gary Anderson, Lee Smith (Ogden Newspaper editorialists, far right, chains everywhere), Bob Novak, John Podhoretz, John Leo, William F. Buckley, Larry Miller, Andrew Sullivan, David Warren, David Horowitz, James Lileks, Ann Coulter, Christopher Hitchens, Victor Davis Hanson, Walter Williams, Michelle Malkin, George Will, Jonah Goldberg, Thomas Sowell, Charles Krauthammer and Mark Steyn, well, then I'd have to agree with you. Since I don't discount any of the above, I'd say you've got a long road to walk to make that point. And those aren't all by any stretch of the imagination, just the most obvious. A few of those may be dead or retired by now, I don't keep up with editorials, I generally prefer facts. And editorials ignore facts pretty regularly. (Yes, I keep a list handy. Want the left wing list too?)

Left and Right doesn't fit the facts, which is why I object to it. The views of Ron Paul are not similar to the views of either Bush or Reagan for that matter. Yet both are "right wing". Contrast Hillary Clinton to Obama to Mike Gravel - they don't share many ideas, but are "left wing". The Pournelle Axes separate them and make it fairly easy to deal with the differences without confusion.

If it makes you feel any better about it, Pournelle is a classic conservative, with some libertarian bent.

As for the left wing violence, I'd have to say the Islamic groups beat the quasi communist groups in Europe to it by several years. And it's pretty hard to put them on the left, IMHO, any way you slice it. But I haven't seen any lack of violence on any side in my lifetime, and don't expect to see a sudden stoppage of violence now.

Tom Acre
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Re: 30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world

Post by Tom Acre »

The Left-Right dichotomy is a very subtle distinction between two quite similar forms of centralized governance. There is precisely no place on that small ideological map for the American Constitutional form. The tragedy is that universities, colleges, schools, the media, and virtually all institutions in the United States are led by Lenin's "Useful Idiots", progressives, neo-Marxists, alinskites, and your garden variety mushy-headed liberals. These "leaders" and two-thirds of everyone else are too 'demoralized' (in the Bezmenov sense) to recognize facts and intelligently interpret information. This allows so much opportunity for the scoundrels and knaves who would centralize and seize power that it is difficult to see how Our Constitutional Republic can survive without a Divine Miracle.

John
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Re: 30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world

Post by John »

The point I think I was trying to make is that "left-wing" and
"right-wing" are only self-identified terms, and have no intrinsic
meaning.

That is, if a violent group calls itself "left-wing" or "communist" or
"socialist," then that label is accepted. Nobody, to my knowledge,
ever does an analysis of their stated political doctrines, comparing
them to the political positions of the various parties during the
French revolution. You're left-wing if you say you're left-wing, and
you're right-wing if you say you're right-wing, and nothing else
matters, including your doctrines.

Today I heard a commentator on the BBC say, "Germany's parliament has
large left of center wing, pacifist to the core."

This illustrates the point that "pacifist" generally implies
"left-wing." In other words, in today's world, a pacifist is
left-wing. Is it possible for a right-winger to be a pacifist? I
don't see why not. For example, I could imagine a social conservative
in the US say something like, "I'm pacifist and I'm against violence,
especially violence against unborn babies." But in practice, I can't
imagine that sentence being uttered.

As for the word "anarchist," whenever I see that word, it's almost
always in the context of a phrase something like "communists and
anarchists" or "socialists and anarchists." So the word "anarchist"
also implies left-wing in today's world.

I could imagine a German group that wants to bring down the German
government as calling themselves "anarchist and right-wing" or
"anarchist and left-wing." The former might be an exception to what
I'm saying, except that I don't believe I've ever seen it happen.

One more point: Words like communist and socialist IMPLY left-wing,
but not vice-versa. Similarly, Nazi and Fascist imply right-wing, but
not vice-versa.

John

Oakwood
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Re: 30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world

Post by Oakwood »

John wrote: And yet, right-wing violence is almost non-existent today, and shows no sign of growing. How is that possible?
Are you serious? That statement, along with the rest of your article, again makes me conclude that you have a far-right bias, IMHO. (To say nothing of the fact that you frequently babble on about the loony left, never mentioning the rabid right). Yes, the left do get violent sometimes in America, but most of the time their rioting involves property crimes, as did that incident in Santa Cruz. In the U.S. when there's a riot involving leftists and somebody dies, it's usually because the cops killed them. And despite their frequent attachment to Christianity, right-wingers are much more interested in hurting other people than leftists are. The article below comes from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a (politically neutral) highly respected organization which studies hate crimes in the U.S. (The article doesn't even address the threats toward and murders of abortionists and bombings of abortion clinics which originate from "devout" right-wing Christians). If you've ever been in a prison, you'd know you'd rather be in a cell with a left-wing loony instead of a right-wing skinhead, even you John. Now tell me where the real violence is coming from and try to get your facts straight and keep your biases out.


Rage on the Right
The Year in Hate and Extremism
By Mark Potok

The radical right caught fire last year, as broad-based populist anger at political, demographic and economic changes in America ignited an explosion of new extremist groups and activism across the nation.

Hate groups stayed at record levels — almost 1,000 — despite the total collapse of the second largest neo-Nazi group in America. Furious anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80%, adding some 136 new groups during 2009. And, most remarkably of all, so-called "Patriot" groups — militias and other organizations that see the federal government as part of a plot to impose “one-world government” on liberty-loving Americans — came roaring back after years out of the limelight.

The anger seething across the American political landscape — over racial changes in the population, soaring public debt and the terrible economy, the bailouts of bankers and other elites, and an array of initiatives by the relatively liberal Obama Administration that are seen as "socialist" or even "fascist" — goes beyond the radical right. The "tea parties" and similar groups that have sprung up in recent months cannot fairly be considered extremist groups, but they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism.

“We are in the midst of one of the most significant right-wing populist rebellions in United States history,” Chip Berlet, a veteran analyst of the American radical right, wrote earlier this year. "We see around us a series of overlapping social and political movements populated by people [who are] angry, resentful, and full of anxiety. They are raging against the machinery of the federal bureaucracy and liberal government programs and policies including health care, reform of immigration and labor laws, abortion, and gay marriage."

Sixty-one percent of Americans believe the country is in decline, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Just a quarter think the government can be trusted. And the anti-tax tea party movement is viewed in much more positive terms than either the Democratic or Republican parties, the poll found.

The signs of growing radicalization are everywhere. Armed men have come to Obama speeches bearing signs suggesting that the "tree of liberty" needs to be "watered" with "the blood of tyrants." The Conservative Political Action Conference held this February was co-sponsored by groups like the John Birch Society, which believes President Eisenhower was a Communist agent, and Oath Keepers, a Patriot outfit formed last year that suggests, in thinly veiled language, that the government has secret plans to declare martial law and intern patriotic Americans in concentration camps. Politicians pandering to the antigovernment right in 37 states have introduced "Tenth Amendment Resolutions," based on the constitutional provision keeping all powers not explicitly given to the federal government with the states. And, at the "A Well Regulated Militia" website, a recent discussion of how to build "clandestine safe houses" to stay clear of the federal government included a conversation about how mass murderers like Timothy McVeigh and Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph were supposedly betrayed at such houses.

Doing the Numbers
The number of hate groups in America has been going up for years, rising 54% between 2000 and 2008 and driven largely by an angry backlash against non-white immigration and, starting in the last year of that period, the economic meltdown and the climb to power of an African American president.

According to the latest annual count by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), these groups rose again slightly in 2009 — from 926 in 2008 to 932 last year — despite the demise of a key neo-Nazi group. The American National Socialist Workers Party, which had 35 chapters in 28 states, imploded shortly after the October 2008 arrest of founder Bill White for making threats against his enemies.

At the same time, the number of what the SPLC designates as "nativist extremist" groups — organizations that go beyond mere advocacy of restrictive immigration policy to actually confront or harass suspected immigrants — jumped from 173 groups in 2008 to 309 last year. Virtually all of these vigilante groups have appeared since the spring of 2005.

But the most dramatic story by far has been with the antigovernment Patriots.

The militias and the larger Patriot movement first came to Americans’ attention in the mid-1990s, when they appeared as an angry reaction to what was seen as a tyrannical government bent on crushing all dissent. Sparked most dramatically by the death of 76 Branch Davidians during a 1993 law enforcement siege in Waco, Texas, those who joined the militias also railed against the Democratic Clinton Administration and initiatives like gun control and environmental regulation. Although the Patriot movement included people formerly associated with racially based hate groups, it was above all animated by a view of the federal government as the primary enemy, along with a fondness for antigovernment conspiracy theories. By early this decade, the groups had largely disappeared from public view.

But last year, as noted in the SPLC’s August report, "The Second Wave: Return of the Militias," a dramatic resurgence in the Patriot movement and its paramilitary wing, the militias, began. Now, the latest SPLC count finds that an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) — a 244% jump.

That is cause for grave concern. Individuals associated with the Patriot movement during its 1990s heyday produced an enormous amount of violence, most dramatically the Oklahoma City bombing that left 168 people dead.

Already there are signs of similar violence emanating from the radical right. Since the installation of Barack Obama, right-wing extremists have murdered six law enforcement officers. Racist skinheads and others have been arrested in alleged plots to assassinate the nation’s first black president. One man from Brockton, Mass. — who told police he had learned on white supremacist websites that a genocide was under way against whites — is charged with murdering two black people and planning to kill as many Jews as possible on the day after Obama’s inauguration. Most recently, a rash of individuals with antigovernment, survivalist or racist views have been arrested in a series of bomb cases.

As the movement has exploded, so has the reach of its ideas, aided and abetted by commentators and politicians in the ostensible mainstream. While in the 1990s, the movement got good reviews from a few lawmakers and talk-radio hosts, some of its central ideas today are being plugged by people with far larger audiences like FOX News’ Glenn Beck and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn). Beck, for instance, re-popularized a key Patriot conspiracy theory — the charge that FEMA is secretly running concentration camps — before finally “debunking” it.

Last year also experienced levels of cross-pollination between different sectors of the radical right not seen in years. Nativist activists increasingly adopted the ideas of the Patriots; racist rants against Obama and others coursed through the Patriot movement; and conspiracy theories involving the government appeared in all kinds of right-wing venues. A good example is the upcoming Second Amendment March in Washington, D.C. The website promoting the march is topped by a picture of a colonial militiaman, and key supporters include Larry Pratt, a long-time militia enthusiast with connections to white supremacists, and Richard Mack, a conspiracy-mongering former sheriff associated with the Patriot group Oath Keepers.

What may be most noteworthy about the march, however, is its date — April 19. That is the date of the first shots fired at Lexington in the Revolutionary War. And it is also the anniversary of the fiery end of the government siege in Waco and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/i ... -the-right
Last edited by Oakwood on Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:10 am, edited 5 times in total.

Tom Acre
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Re: 30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world

Post by Tom Acre »

John wrote:The point I think I was trying to make is that "left-wing" and
"right-wing" are only self-identified terms, and have no intrinsic
meaning...

One more point: Words like communist and socialist IMPLY left-wing,
but not vice-versa. Similarly, Nazi and Fascist imply right-wing, but
not vice-versa.
Yes, left/right wing are subsets of the same type of political groups. The "right/left" meme is a non sequitur, a red herring, a smoke screen thrown in to confuse the political conversation as both right and left wing groups are after essentially the same thing, namely a large powerful centralized gov't which they control. The battle in American is not between right and left, but between those who want a powerful centralized gov't (right and left wings) and those who want freedom and demand that gov't respect its Constitutional limits.

OLD1953
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Re: 30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world

Post by OLD1953 »

And that rolls right back to why I prefer exactitude rather than nebulous language when discussing anything. If you can't quantify exactly what you are talking about, then you begin to deal in signal reactions and you evoke emotional responses rather than logical analysis. Exactly locating a political preference or political group allows you to deal with who and what they are without feelings of "ugh, a lefty" or "facist righty". Feelings are the antithesis of rational discourse.

anon-guest

Re: 30-May-10 The rise of left-wing violence around the world

Post by anon-guest »

As to gay marriage, I just object to "the state" taking money from me to issue a certificate that says I'm married. Otherwise, I just to see current state issued marriages as nothing more than glorified contracts between to people....sorry, between an man and a woman.

Old1953, I couldn't agree more. Nowadays, I find myself trying to construct questions for family and friends to evoke their core principles, values, philosophy, etc.... Most all the arguments in the political world today seem only to polarize the parties in the discussion.

Tom Acre, your dead on. By obfuscating who the two sides in the argument are, the media is creating another symptom of the coming crisis between the "between those who want a powerful centralized gov't (right and left wings) and those who want freedom and demand that gov't respect its Constitutional limits." Its certainly too early to tell how the crises will be resolved its at least sooner in my lifetime rather than later.

Oakwood, I would take the time give your a lengthy rebuttal but its just not in me at the moment so I'll keep it short as frustrating as that might be for you. Basically, your argument falls apart immediately when you go straight to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). At this point in their existence the SPLC is little more than a mouthpiece for the American left. sorry, your gonna need more than that. Personally, I would have gone to this story http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37293723/ns ... nd_courts/. Though you may want to stay away from the the recent FBI raid in Michigan. Looks like the even the judge thinks the feds case is weak to put it nicely....

John, your blog is fast becoming my go to place to help me analyze the big picture that current headlines fall into. thank-you As a historian, generational dynamics is giving me that home in academia that fills my interest in history, political science, anthropology, and sociology....with a little psychology thrown in for good measure.

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