Lefties should hurt the bastard, not legitimate righties
Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-26
Skepticlawyer has a(nother) good post "Excusitis" (2011-07-25) talking of the "no true scotsman" fallacy – giving a wide range of examples across the political spectrum. This error is something many in the less-decent right have been, and will be, doing in the wake of the Breivik atrocities in Norway.
We in the left should acknowledge those on the right who are thinking logically, with decent motives, and help them clean up the fifth column of bastards and inflammatory voices within the right. It will give us on the left a chance to have a proper debate where we’ll have to keep on our toes – be protagonists not antagonists.
But those on the right who choose not to reflect, choose to dismiss Breivik as unrelated to the rhetoric of right-wing pundits, are fair game for derision and exposure by the left.
The decent righties can be troubled and reflective. We on the left need them, and need to help them reflect rather than attack the good with the bad, causing knee jerk defences, the debate about extremism turned merely into "two dogs barking"
Consider the predicament and honesty and basic decency of "Anonymous John" from Sweden, commenting on the sweep-Breivik-under-the-carpet post over at OzConservative – it’s something every lefty should read and reflect on to know what we should do next:
From John’s multiple comments to "More News on Breivik", OzConservative, 2011-07-24:
Personally I am deeply troubled that I have quite a lot ideologically in common with Breivik. Discussing what went wrong this friday is a serious challenge for the new radical right.
I do not have any coherent thoughts right now, so forgive the rambling.
Sharing ideological points with Breivik feels like making a political speech and getting applause from a bunch of thugs with swastikas tattooed on their foreheads.
We might share enemies, but if the options are a society degenerated into the islamic republic of Europe or being ruled by a bunch of mass murdering crypto-nazis I’m going with the slow descent into European irrelevancy.
There’s another example, again from Skepticlawyer, who, in a comment to her previously mentioned post, points to a good piece from the Adam Smith Institute, "Free Market Anti-Corporatism" (2011-07-25). We lefties point to the corruption in markets, and we are absolutely right. But… let’s help the decent righties who are actually trying to help society rather than themselves personally, aiming at utilitarianism, clean up the bastards who are a fifth column inside capitalism. From the Free Market Anti-Corporatism piece mentioned – and it’s my bolding:
Too many people think that supporting free markets is the same as supporting existing businesses. This is wrong. Capitalism is a system of profit and loss, and the latter is crucially important for it to work. I think this is Moore’s point. Take his critique of the banking system:
…when the banks that look after our money take it away, lose it and then, because of government guarantee, are not punished themselves, something much worse happens. It turns out – as the Left always claims – that a system purporting to advance the many has been perverted in order to enrich the few.
Politicians have an aversion to business loss, because losses are messy and, in the short term, disruptive to the economy. But loss is crucial for capitalism to work. Bailouts given to avoid losses now create a long-term moral hazard that will only encourage the recklessness that caused the last financial crisis. There’s no better recipe for irresponsible behaviour than the knowledge that someone else will pay for your mistakes.
To favour a genuine free market is to be directly opposed to the interests of big businesses. As a libertarian, I want a system where any firm, however big it is, can go bust, and where market entry is easy and cheap so new players can compete with the old ones.
Businesses that already exist don’t want this free system – they want protection from new entrants, to avoid being competed out of business. Businesses don’t want free markets, because in a free market, they’re vulnerable to competition.
Damn. This little lefty me has to give a big clap to the invisible hand faithful.
Can you imagine if the free-market philosophical types got their way? If we could show to all that the Laboral coalition are acting in a way that is anti-environment, anti-worker and anti-business all at the same time? That they are prostituting themselves to bastards?
Can you imagine how much we lefties would have to shape up ourselves? Avoid sloppy arguments? Can you imagine the improvement in the dialectic and the policy outcomes?
Now, the worst of the right deserve to be attacked with all non-violent means available. They are playing dirty. We must support the "loyal opposition", the decent righties (conservative and libertarian) who play hard and fair. Sure, we’ll fight with the good righties, we’ll cop and give unintended hockey sticks to the shins, the bruises from a clash going for a ball, the occasional cracked head – and there’ll be sincere apologies all around. Nothing better than a good game played hard and fair by both sides.
But the other righties? The hypocrites in it for the money as shock-jocks, the ones who bleat and twist the arms of politicians for their own gain knowing it is at the expense of the group? They need to be exposed, their pants pulled down, in front of their duped victims in the general public, their pox-ridden pudenda for all to see, and all to shun.
But please read Skepticlawyer’s post and her comments which include a series of links to howlers – a rightie prepared to take to task the likes of rightie shock-jock Beck comparing the dead teenagers to Hilter Youth … (and you won’t find an article on Beck’s outrageous statement anywhere on news.com.au). We on the left need the voice of the right to be people like Skepticlawyer, even though they’ll give us much tougher arguments to deal with and respond to. This would be good for the true right, the true left, the general public.
So how about we make sure our targets on the right are the ones that need targetting. How about we make it easy for the decent righties to muzzle the rabid dogs they’ve thought were loyal for too long?
Skepticlawyer is the name of the group blog, and Skepticlawyer is the screen-name of the founding author – a staunch libertarian, whereas the others are at different points on the political spectrum. It’s my favorite place for civil discourse with protagonists of different views. Play nice.