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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Really? I had no idea.

    It's based on observation, though. I can expand on that idea if you like.
    Well, one of the hypothesis common to the Old Leftists was that race divisions were typically artificially instigated, superficial in nature, as a means of either distracting from, or furthering the goals of, what were in reality conflicting class interests.

    Racism was a front and tool for the great class conflict.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    there's a in inconsistency in regards of how to judge Christianity vs how to judge Islam, which could just as well be turned the other way. The flexibility is such that anything said of one I can throw at the other.
    Yeah, this is one of the gross mistakes which secularists and anti-theists generally make, the reality is that all theisms are not created equal, there are those that are the product of hard and short lived violent nomads and largely remain so and there are the others.

    I'm pretty sure that you'd not say that buddhism was in the same category as either Islam or Christianity, despite the fact that buddhist monks used to form up ranks at the time of the warring states in Japan and where crack infantry because of their fanaticism in the face of certain death.

    A lot of what I see is just modernist prejudice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Well, one of the hypothesis common to the Old Leftists was that race divisions were typically artificially instigated, superficial in nature, as a means of either distracting from, or furthering the goals of, what were in reality conflicting class interests.

    Racism was a front and tool for the great class conflict.
    If that's the old left position what is the "new" left one? Is racism just a front for and tool for the great intergenerational conflict?

    The suggestion that race is a factor because it is a cypher for ethno-cultural differences is an argument which would resonate with the new right, at least in the UK, who where prepared to politicise immigration precisely because they felt that multiculturalism or interculturalism was illusory and culture clashes a graver issue than any other sort of conflict.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Yeah, this is one of the gross mistakes which secularists and anti-theists generally make, the reality is that all theisms are not created equal, there are those that are the product of hard and short lived violent nomads and largely remain so and there are the others.
    I will measure a religion on the logical sense that its tenets make and then on the practical impact that it has throughout it's history. With that, I find Islam and Christianity hard to rank separately from one another.

    Never mind the fact that both religions get interpreted into so many smaller sects that it is hard to predict someone's position based on the religion they claim to have.

    Some hard and short lived violent nomads created a religion that for hundreds of years lead more culturally advanced and progressive empires than contemporary Christian kingdoms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm pretty sure that you'd not say that buddhism was in the same category as either Islam or Christianity, despite the fact that buddhist monks used to form up ranks at the time of the warring states in Japan and where crack infantry because of their fanaticism in the face of certain death.

    A lot of what I see is just modernist prejudice.
    You're right, I would not say Buddhism is in the same category. This is because Buddhism has a patently different history, derived from a patently different philosophical tradition, and does not have scripture in the sense that Christianity or Islam do, thus partially exempting it from one of my main points.

    You cannot deny that Christianity and Islam are far more like each other than either is like Buddhism.

    But obviously Buddhism is still open to a vast amount of interpretation, as are all religions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    If that's the old left position what is the "new" left one? Is racism just a front for and tool for the great intergenerational conflict?
    The expressions now seem quaint, since old left generally centered on the 1930s and the new left centered on the 1960s. The new left did not say racism was a front. The new left was all about making racism one of it's major issues. Sexism had been considered even by the old left, but the new left approached sexism in a different manner, and also made that one of it's main issues. The new left brought with it much identity politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The suggestion that race is a factor because it is a cypher for ethno-cultural differences is an argument which would resonate with the new right, at least in the UK, who where prepared to politicise immigration precisely because they felt that multiculturalism or interculturalism was illusory and culture clashes a graver issue than any other sort of conflict.
    That's quite a bit different. You left out the mention of class warfare, which was everything for the old left. The old left saw race issues as the product or extension of class conflict directly or sometimes through culture differences. But even the cultural differences were then brought back to a class analysis (see old left discussions of colonialism), so in some ways the conflict being related to culture is still just an indirect bond to class.

    What the nationalists and other far rightists in the UK are doing is putting cultural division at the very top, and giving class division almost no consideration at all (beyond the fleeting way that Fascists tended to do). The right seldom has any class concerns. It's practically a part of their definition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I will measure a religion on the logical sense that it's tenets make and then on the practical impact that it has throughout it's history. With that, I find Islam and Christianity hard to rank separately from one another.
    Which is the standard secularist response to the believers, all it really amounts to is a telling account of just how, with respect, ignorant the secularist perspective is as though history begins with the rennaisance, enlightenment and liberal revolutions. Ask yourself if those things just spontaneously materialised and why they happened in some societies or parts of the world but not others.

    Never mind the fact that both religions get interpreted into so many smaller sects that it is hard to predict someone's position based on the religion they claim to have.
    Do they? Now I'm only aware of the division of Islam into two faith communities which have more in common than divides them and the sufis, within the Christian world there is the division between the RCC and schismatic churches who have further proliferated, in part as a consequence that each new generation gives rise to individuals who would repeat their faith communities schismatic origins anew.

    Some hard and short lived violent nomads created a religion that for hundreds of years lead more culturally advanced and progressive empires than contemporary Christian kingdoms.
    That sounds pretty contrarian. What happened to all faiths being equal?

    You're right, I would not say Buddhism is in the same category. This is because Buddhism has a patently different history, derived from a patently different philosophical tradition, and does not have scripture in the sense that Christianity or Islam do, thus partially exempting it from one of my main points.

    You cannot deny that Christianity and Islam are far more like each other than either is like Buddhism.

    But obviously Buddhism is still open to a vast amount of interpretation, as are all religions.
    Its not a theistic creedo, it has a similar history in respect of its occasional co-option by violent or political and powerful groups or individuals.

    The expressions now seem quaint, since old left generally centered on the 1930s and the new left centered on the 1960s. The new left did not say racism was a front. The new left was all about making racism one of it's major issues. Sexism had been considered even by the old left, but the new left approached sexism in a different manner, and also made that one of it's main issues. The new left brought with it much identity politics.
    Perhaps we would disagree on the distinguishing features of old and new left, the new left rapidly fragmented and in so doing it did attempt to integrate a lot of disparite issues including sexism, racism etc.

    That's quite a bit different. You left out the mention of class warfare, which was everything for the old left. The old left saw race issues as the product or extension of class conflict directly or sometimes through culture differences. But even the cultural differences were then brought back to a class analysis (see old left discussions of colonialism), so in some ways the conflict being related to culture is still just an indirect bond to class.

    What the nationalists and other far rightists in the UK are doing is putting cultural division at the very top, and giving class division almost no consideration at all (beyond the fleeting way that Fascists tended to do). The right seldom has any class concerns. It's practically a part of their definition.
    Its not the far rightists that I'm discussing though but the new right, which where the Thatcherites, they where very waspish and some of their margins did scandalise their mainstream with suggestions that personalities such as Nelson Mandela should be executed as terrorists but they where not fascists in the historically accurate sense of the word, being capitalist libertarians and libertines in most respects besides ethno-cultural struggles.

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Which is the standard secularist response to the believers, all it really amounts to is a telling account of just how, with respect, ignorant the secularist perspective is as though history begins with the rennaisance, enlightenment and liberal revolutions. Ask yourself if those things just spontaneously materialised and why they happened in some societies or parts of the world but not others.
    And civilization existed long before Christianity, even before Abraham. I'm well aware of history as an ongoing process, way back.

    Why they happened in some places and not others is vastly complex and still somewhat uncertain. Guns, Germs, and Steel gives an interesting explanation. I don't believe it has much to do with Christianity or Islam, quite frankly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Do they? Now I'm only aware of the division of Islam into two faith communities which have more in common than divides them and the sufis, within the Christian world there is the division between the RCC and schismatic churches who have further proliferated, in part as a consequence that each new generation gives rise to individuals who would repeat their faith communities schismatic origins anew.
    A person may call themselves a protestant these days (or once upon a time, a Lutheran), but be dramatically different from another person that calls themselves the same. This is also true of Islam. From community to community, practitioners of faith vary greatly.

    And read this: Islamic schools and branches.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    That sounds pretty contrarian. What happened to all faiths being equal?
    Well, eventually, the Islamic nations ground to a halt, and the Christian ones happened to surpass them in most regards. If it can be said that I think the faiths are all equal (which I don't take to be a tenant in anyway) it's that they are equally superficial. I doubt either's period of superiority had a great deal to do with intrinsic qualities of Islam or Christianity. If you disagree, and think Christianity superior in some way, then you have to explain the slow start.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Its not a theistic creedo, it has a similar history in respect of its occasional co-option by violent or political and powerful groups or individuals.
    That sounds to me like a description of all religions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Perhaps we would disagree on the distinguishing features of old and new left, the new left rapidly fragmented and in so doing it did attempt to integrate a lot of disparite issues including sexism, racism etc.
    I don't know if the new left fragmented so much. It has been this way from the start. It has always had a cognitively dissonant mixture of cohesion and individualism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Its not the far rightists that I'm discussing though but the new right, which where the Thatcherites, they where very waspish and some of their margins did scandalise their mainstream with suggestions that personalities such as Nelson Mandela should be executed as terrorists but they where not fascists in the historically accurate sense of the word, being capitalist libertarians and libertines in most respects besides ethno-cultural struggles.
    I think the new right are far right. And I likened them to doing something that Fascists did, but I was not calling them Fascists.
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  7. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Well, one of the hypothesis common to the Old Leftists was that race divisions were typically artificially instigated, superficial in nature, as a means of either distracting from, or furthering the goals of, what were in reality conflicting class interests.

    Racism was a front and tool for the great class conflict.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    If that's the old left position what is the "new" left one? Is racism just a front for and tool for the great intergenerational conflict?

    The suggestion that race is a factor because it is a cypher for ethno-cultural differences is an argument which would resonate with the new right, at least in the UK, who where prepared to politicise immigration precisely because they felt that multiculturalism or interculturalism was illusory and culture clashes a graver issue than any other sort of conflict.
    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The expressions now seem quaint, since old left generally centered on the 1930s and the new left centered on the 1960s. The new left did not say racism was a front. The new left was all about making racism one of it's major issues. Sexism had been considered even by the old left, but the new left approached sexism in a different manner, and also made that one of it's main issues. The new left brought with it much identity politics.

    That's quite a bit different. You left out the mention of class warfare, which was everything for the old left. The old left saw race issues as the product or extension of class conflict directly or sometimes through culture differences. But even the cultural differences were then brought back to a class analysis (see old left discussions of colonialism), so in some ways the conflict being related to culture is still just an indirect bond to class.

    What the nationalists and other far rightists in the UK are doing is putting cultural division at the very top, and giving class division almost no consideration at all (beyond the fleeting way that Fascists tended to do). The right seldom has any class concerns. It's practically a part of their definition.
    I didn't know about "old left" class division being centered int he 1930's. But then, maybe you're talking about the UK? (I always got the sense you were from the UK, but then in the PA/Philly area thread, didn't you say you were from PA? Did you move from one to the other?)

    In the US, the major issue was race, but then in the late 60's, some Civil Rights leaders began realizing class was the bigger, more underlying issue. Even Malcolm X and King in their later years began realizing this, and changing their focus. I have always noted that this was then they became "dangerous" enough to the powers that be, to finally be eliminated.
    At the end of the whole Sherrod controversy, she reiterated the same thing, that it is really more about class, now.

    So today, I would say it still is class, and that the Right is the one trying to keep the focus on race to hide this, while ironically accusing the other side of doing all the "race-baiting". Hence, the continued blaming of "taxes spent by liberals on social programs for people who whine about discrimination and want to be given something they didn't work for" for all the economic problems. This is the underlying ideological motivation of movements such as the Tea Parties. They won't admit it up front, until you ask them who these people trying to get their money are, and then they'll cite statistics on which group has the most welfare and single parenthood, or point to the demands of NAACP, ACORN, Sharpton, Jackson, etc. (Who do not really represent the entire race anymore).

    The filthy rich, on the other hand, deseve every penny, and are seen as unfairly oppressed victims of the liberal policies just like the middle class. In the bailouts, they showed us clearly what they were about, but that's still Obama's fault, not theirs.

    This is how I believe the issue evolves:

    Think of it as a person who wants to be number 1 —at the top, in the world.
    First he uses nationality and skin color, especially since other groups were less advanced and easier to conquer. Then he builds a whole philosophy, political system and even religion to help convice those like him that they are better. This of course keeps him at the top.

    But times change, and there is a great outcry against such abuses of fellow humans for what they could not help being born as. So in order to maintain his esteem among others (important to keep his position in the world), he can no longer emphasize race. So he takes the power he has already amassed and builds on that a whole new direction, where he is still on the top. This now is money.
    The lines of class formed by money are for awhile still drawn across the old racial lines, but it is possible for people on both sides to cross over to the other group. So eventually, the race lines become blurred.

    But the main objective was for the person to keep himself at the top, and even changing the parameters still achieves this.
    And in the new world emerging, the key is money.

    Of course, in the real world, it is not a single person doing all this, but whoever can get power will use whatever means available to get into the exclusive club at the top.

    The root of the problem is the natural drive for self-advancement. The reason people make an "ism" out of their race (or class, religion, political ideology, etc) in the first place is because it is apart of their self. When you get down to the root of social inequities, it is just plain self-involvement, and race, class, or whatever other division we seize upon, is only a means to that end.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    I didn't know about "old left" class division being centered int he 1930's. But then, maybe you're talking about the UK? (I always got the sense you were from the UK, but then in the PA/Philly area thread, didn't you say you were from PA? Did you move from one to the other?)
    Because I am talking about the USA, and live in the USA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    In the US, the major issue was race, but then in the late 60's, some Civil Rights leaders began realizing class was the bigger, more underlying issue. Even Malcolm X and King in their later years began realizing this, and changing their focus. I have always noted that this was then they became "dangerous" enough to the powers that be, to finally be eliminated.
    At the end of the whole Sherrod controversy, she reiterated the same thing, that it is really more about class, now.
    You're right that eventually MLK and X had an increased consideration of class problems by the end of their lives, but that was not something new. I meant exactly what I said. The USA has never returned to the level of class-consciousness it had since the great depression. Even before the depression though, 1920, 1910, 1900, very socialist ideas were much more common in the USA than they are now. I personally blame the cold war. It made it a part of the American identity to rabidly hate anything that could be associated with socialism.

    Anyhow, with WWII distracting from domestic class issues in the 1940s, and then the cold war killing an ability to suggest such a thing in the 1950s, the subject practically disappeared. In the mean time, in the 50s, the issue of racial segregation really started kicking up again. Eventually, the new left, which emerged in the 1960s, did take up a lot of stuff about class, but they focused more on race and ethnicity, a lot, than the people of the early 20th century did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    So today, I would say it still is class, and that the Right is the one trying to keep the focus on race to hide this, while ironically accusing the other side of doing all the "race-baiting". Hence, the continued blaming of "taxes spent by liberals on social programs for people who whine about discrimination and want to be given something they didn't work for" for all the economic problems. This is the underlying ideological motivation of movements such as the Tea Parties. They won't admit it up front, until you ask them who these people trying to get their money are, and then they'll cite statistics on which group has the most welfare and signel parenthood, or point to the demands of NAACP, ACORN, Sharpton, Jackson, etc. (Who do not really represent the entire race anymore).

    The filthy rich, on the other hand, deseve every penny, and are seen as unfairly oppressed victims of the liberal policies just like the middle class. In the bailouts, they showed us clearly what they were about, but that's still Obama's fault, not theirs.
    I would say the real issue is always class. But what people perceive as the main issue goes up and down, and today, it's not as much about class nearly as much as it used to be. The way modern Americans rationalize being stepped on by the super-wealthy is amazing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    This is how I believe the issue evolves:

    Think of it as a person who wants to be number 1 —at the top, in the world.
    First he uses nationality and skin color, especially since other groups were less advanced and easier to conquer. Then he builds a whole philosophy, political system and even religion to help convice those like him that they are better. This of course keeps him at the top.

    But times change, and there is a great outcry against such abuses of fellow humans for what they could not help being born as. So in order to maintain his esteem among others (important to keep his position in the world), he can no longer emphasize race. So he takes the power he has already amassed and builds on that a whole new direction, where he is still on the top. This now is money.
    The lines of class formed by money are for awhile still drawn across the old racial lines, but it is possible for people on both sides to cross over to the other group. So eventually, the race lines become blurred.

    But the main objective was for the person to keep himself at the top, and even changing the parameters still achieves this.
    And in the new world emerging, the key is money.

    Of course, in the real world, it is not a single person doing all this, but whoever can get power will use whatever means available to get into the exclusive club at the top.

    The root of the problem is the natural drive for self-advancement. The reason people make an "ism" out of their race (or class, religion, political ideology, etc) in the first place is because it is apart of their self. When you get down to the root of social inequities, it is just plain self-involvement, and race, class, or whatever other division we seize upon, is only a means to that end.
    I believe in the basic idea that the individual's struggle for more power tends to facilitate prejudices. That those that want to improve their own standing find it advantageous to create excuse for violence and oppression towards people different from themselves.

    I do not think the whole cycle started with race, though. I'd dare say that class (even in its very primitive forms) and religion formed the basis for demographic conflict long before race became a major issue. Even a sort of nationality seemed to pre-date race.
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  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Because I am talking about the USA, and live in the USA.

    You're right that eventually MLK and X had an increased consideration of class problems by the end of their lives, but that was not something new. I meant exactly what I said. The USA has never returned to the level of class-consciousness it had since the great depression. Even before the depression though, 1920, 1910, 1900, very socialist ideas were much more common in the USA than they are now. I personally blame the cold war. It made it a part of the American identity to rabidly hate anything that could be associated with socialism.

    Anyhow, with WWII distracting from domestic class issues in the 1940s, and then the cold war killing an ability to suggest such a thing in the 1950s, the subject practically disappeared. In the mean time, in the 50s, the issue of racial segregation really started kicking up again. Eventually, the new left, which emerged in the 1960s, did take up a lot of stuff about class, but they focused more on race and ethnicity, a lot, than the people of the early 20th century did.

    I would say the real issue is always class. But what people perceive as the main issue goes up and down, and today, it's not as much about class nearly as much as it used to be.
    Yeah; I guess looking at it through the civil rights perspective, you only noticed that plight, thus the later class consciousness seemed like a totally "new" thing.

    I do not think the whole cycle started with race, though. I'd dare say that class (even in its very primitive forms) and religion formed the basis for demographic conflict long before race became a major issue. Even a sort of nationality seemed to pre-date race.
    That was just an example I was using, reflecting the US civil rights perspective. I wasn't saying it always stated with race; just in this particular evolution, that is how it appeared to go. They tried slavery and then segregation earlier on, yet those failed, so now it's economics.
    My whole point in that was that whatever means are used, the underlying issue is self-oriented power hunger.
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    Opposition to socialism is not new to America; I can dig up political cartoons from the 19th century warning about dangerous immigrants disrutping the American way of life by trying to import ideas of socialism, anarchism, etc. Then there was the Red Scare of the 1920's.

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