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  1. #141
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    Dec 2006
    East Lansing, MI
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    Re: Democrats are More Extreme than Republicans

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I guess you are going to keep moving the goal posts. You claim that the DSA never states a desire to eliminate democracy. I demonstrate why you are wrong by providing quotes from their website which state their intent. You counter with two rebuttals here. First, you don't agree that the mission statements from the DSA indicate a desire to eliminate capitalism (a point where we strongly disagree).
    Which is why I ask you to support your assertion that they do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Second, you claim that their current policy positions trump any actual long-term goals that the group may have.
    It's not an issue of short-term versus long-term goals. It's an issue of goals that the DO have (things they actually said they want to do) versus goals that MAY have (goals they have not stated that they have but you think they have by reading between the lines of what they've said).

    Show me any stated goal of theirs, long-term or short-term, and I will likely take them equally seriously. Show me goals that they have not directly stated they want to accomplish but you interpret something else that they said as indicating that that is what they want to do, I'm not likely to take it seriously and I definitely will hold that what they actually said they want to do trumps it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    You add a auxiliary argument to this by stating that their long term goals are highly unlikely to ever come to fruition, so we can ignore them.
    I didn't say that. My point is that if the Democratic party is never going to lead us to a certain place, then we should not worry about the Democratic party leading us to a certain place.

    Just like I don't worry about the Libertarian bent of the Republican party taking us to the furthest extremes of Libertarianism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    If a white supremacist group openly mixed with the Republican party, would it matter how unlikely their long-term objectives were? Suppose they supported the GOP stance on immigration while the group truly, as a long term goal, wanted to separate the races, would this be irrelevant? Would you not consider the GOP mixing with a WS group as being extreme and even dangerous? Perhaps as a matter of rhetoric, that is the argument you'd try to make. Or perhaps, you'd claim that the identitarian politics of the right or more dangerous than the identitarian politics of the left. In either case, your argument is spurious.
    Actually, my argument is that it's an invalid comparison and equating White Supremacists with Democratic Socialists is a false equivalency.

    If Democratic Socialists actually forwarded policies and philosophy as horrendous as White Supremacy, I would be significantly concerned if a political party was flirting with them. But I have yet to see much support that qualify as an extremist group so OF COURSE I have a different reaction between associating with White Supremacists as I see associating with Democratic Socialists. I mean I actually agree with DS policy proposals but find WS policy proposals alarming and extremist. There's nothing wrong with treating two things are clearly different differently.

    Again, I consider the closest valid counter-group to Democratic Socialists to be Libertarians. And while I disagree with Libertarians on many issues and do think that taking us all of the way to Libertarianism would be extreme, I don't consider them an extremist group because of that nor do I consider DS to be an extremist group because I don't want to go as far in that direction as they may want to go. You may disagree with this comparison but unless you can show me why I cannot make such a comparison if I so choose, I maintain this position and will not abandon it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I did quote one of the members of the DSA and you disregarded him. You claimed he didn't speak for the group. Perhaps, if I quote from Michael Harrington, one of the DSA founders, this would prove more persuasive? From his own essay he states, "Karl Marx (and Frederich Engels) was a democratic socialist in the most profound sense of the phrase."
    But in that moment, he's not speaking for the group either. Nothing in the article is presented as the general view of the DSA but just one person's view.

    Did he say "the DSA believes that...."? Nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Should you believe him? He is one of the DSA founding members. So, it seems if anyone could speak for the group, he is qualified.
    And if he says that the DSA wants to do a particular something, then I will likely accept his claim that that is one of their goals. But the article you linked (I read a bit of it) makes no mention of the DSA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    In fact, Harrington not only supports my claim that the group is a Socialist group, but that they are a Socialist group with a Marxist ideology.
    Show me where he said that the DSA is a socialist group with a Marxist ideology. I certainly did not see that quoted from him. I'm guessing you are reading between the lines again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    To rebut your confusion on whether they actually favor some form of capitalism, of course, they are looking to eliminate capitalism. They are Marxists.
    Unsupported claim. Show me here the DSA said they are looking to eliminate capitalism and self-identified as Marxist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    No, the reason the DSA is dangerous is because they are precisely to the left what any WS group is to the right.
    Not even close.

    If they are the same as the WS, then you should be able to point to specific policy positions of the DSA that are extremist (like we can do with White Supremacists).

    You have to get into slippery-slopism and worry about "where it will all lead to" before you can be alarmed about the DSA. I see nothing in the stated agenda that is at all worrisome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    They are a group based on identity politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Marxism is to the left what fascism is to the right. Both reduce human conflict to in-groups and out-groups and any ideology which presents human nature in this manner is bound to produce brutality.
    Interesting theory. But I will need to see some real evidence before I will even begin to take that claim seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    So, if the dangerous part isn't the elimination of capitalism, per se, but in the ideology, you are right to ask what makes Marxism so dangerous? Marxism is an ideology which defines two groups, the owners and workers. They present an in-group (the workers) and an out-group (the owners). In their view of society, democracy is a tool to level the playing field. And we have seen, wherever this has been tried, that, ultimately, the out-group gets slaughtered. It is no different than the in-groups and out-groups which exist under any fascist regime. There isn't usually an expressed intent to commit genocide on the out-group (the Nazis are an exception to this), however, based on their ideology, the out-group almost always suffers in an inhuman manner. These ideologies all lead to dehumanize the outgroup. This is a fairly basic psychological theory
    And has no apparent relevance to the DSA. I see nothing in the DSA website that indicates that the workers and owners are two different groups and one of them should be the out-group, etc.

    And besides that, while what you are describing on its face is indeed a bad thing, I don't see any support that it qualifies as Extremist. I would agree that actually slaughtering the owners would be extremist but then that's an ACTION, not a belief. Likewise believing the owners should be killed qualifies as extremist. But just not liking the owners because one thinks that they are taking advantage of the workers is not an extremist position. I agree that ANY philosophy taken to the extreme is extremist. But the fact is you haven't even supported that Marxism is extremist. I offered my opinion that it is on the premise that Marxism wants to eliminate all ownership of private property but you said that that is not actually part of the definition and since I am not going to challenge that, I have no basis to conclude that Marxism is inherently extremist. So at this point, no supported argument can use that as a premise. So I'm going to challenge you that Marxism is inherently extremist. This is mostly to get you to explain why it is inherently extremist but nonetheless, "Marxism is Extremist" cannot be used as a premise until it's supported.

    So SUPPORT OR RETRACT that Marxism, by definition, is extremist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Maybe the long-term goals of the DSA are just pipe dreams and you don't care cause you like their stance on health care. As I noted before, this is rationalization which does not hold up under any type of scrutiny. You make a false equivalency between local Republicans which I noted had been ostracized from the party for their associations and local Democrats who are being held up as national examples and have been welcomed openly into the national party.
    It would be false equivalency if I were trying to make a case about the national party but I've made it clear that I am not so you are attacking a straw man. I am not selecting who is and is not part of Republican party based on whether they are in the tiny minority of the GOP who hold office at a national level. I'm including ALL Republicans, most importantly THE VOTERS. When White Supremacist candidates win primaries it's because they received more vote from the local GOP base than their rivals. And there has recently been a HUGE upswing in such candidates gaining office in recent years so there is an increasing acceptance of WS candidates amongst the GOP base. If you do not address this, then you are not addressing my argument.

    RIGHT NOW, there are GOP candidates who espouse things that are extreme. You have to indulge unsupported slippery-slope theories and read between the lines before you can attribute anything extreme to a Democratic Socialist candidate. You talk about the leftist extremism of killing the owners but obviously no DS candidate has come close to saying that that should happen. But I can certainly point to GOP WS candidates who say extremist things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Again, I am not picking on some unknown local politician who happens to be a Democrat with Marxist views. I am discussing a someone who is a member of an extremist group (which I have supported above) and with whom the Democratic national party has openly associated with. Some Democrats may have openly disagreed with her, but none have condemned her for having an association with a Marxist organization. To me, this deserves scrutiny and is unsettling.
    Saying that the DSA is an extremist group is begging the question. When I concede the point is when it's established that they are. You just thinking that they are does not make it so.

    And if the DSA is a Marxist organization, I would think that it would say as much on their website. You say you take them at their word but you seem rather selective on that. If they don't self-identify as Marxist, I'm not inclined to agree that they are. And beyond that, I don't agree that Marxism is inherently extremist. That's not to say that there are not extremist Marxist groups and I would think that in the case of a Marxist extremist group, they will state extremist positions and if they don't do that, then the case is not made that they are an extremist group.

    So I don't actually care about your semantic arguments on whether a group is Marxist (especially since you will not provide a simple definition of Marxism). If the DSA is extremist, then they will have extremist policies. If they have no extremist policies or position than they are not extremist, regardless of whether you can successfully argue that they fit the definition of Marxism.
    Last edited by mican333; August 29th, 2018 at 08:43 AM.


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