Question for leftists: Do you find it hard to be a leftist?

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Redd_Kross
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17 Jul 2020, 6:42 pm

Define "leftist".

I'm left wing by US standards but centrist / social democrat by European standards.

And I favour Scandinavian style politics which don't conform to those neat (and false) left and right wing classifications.



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17 Jul 2020, 7:45 pm

Bradleigh wrote:
Those are the radical wokescolds, somehow mistaking Natalie as a truscum (anti-non-binary), it is rather unfortunate that they did seem to have affect on her mental health. She is not immune to criticism, but the criticism mostly levied at her is unjustified and I don't think she should be deified either. Best not to give too much power to the ones who would try and cancel one of the online Left's best content creators.


Would you say they are in the minority? It doesn't feel like it, the only places on leftbook that aren't critical of Contrapoints are the Contrapoints groups themselves. But again that's the internet. I don't think she should be deified but I really like her, she's just really good at what she does, and as a fan it's frustrating when she gets attacked. Vaush gets criticism too but I get why people don't like him, he's "edgy", but you would think Contrapoints and other public figures were as bad as him.

Bradleigh wrote:
I know you said that you did not want to get into such debates, but I still can't figure out or wrap my head around the difference of bi and pan, I will just have to accept that pan people have a different experience. I am mostly only hearing about the split attraction model right now from you, but it seems to be regards to how one's sexuality and romanticism can be separate, like ace people can still have romantic feelings, which I have heard people talk about existing, so I will believe it. And of course Ace people are part of the LGBT community.


I don't know the difference between bi and pan either, but the flame wars between the two groups are intense. It reminds me of the Judean People's Front vs People's Front of Judea skit from Monty Python. I have noticed that people who adopt the pansexual label are more likely to be gender non-conforming, so there's that.

I don't know if the split attraction model came from the ace community or the bi community, when I look it up the context is about ace people, but it's very controversial in bi spaces, it's super common to hear "I'm bi but heteromantic" and that person gets accused of having internalized homophobia. In my case, I used to think I was a heteromantic bi until I caught feelings for a guy and realized something new about myself. It's such a touchy subject though.

Bradleigh wrote:
Things have moved quite a bit, and makes me wonder how I might have been in school if I did not have all this repression. Like, I was curious in high school about gender being a spectrum, but only fairly recently realized that I am non-binary, and was only after watching ContraPoints that I started to realize that there was a space for how I felt. God forbid if I actually know where on that spectrum I am other than pointing to the middle. Really weird having gone from anti-traditional gender roles, to thinking maybe someone's preferences can be evidence of someone's gender, but also not always.


I'm not gonna lie, I'm super jealous of kids today. If I was born in the 2000s I could have been diagnosed in elementary and come out in high school and I would have been accepted, maybe I wouldn't be a mess today. Maybe I'm wrong and kids are still brutal, but it doesn't seem that way, I'm really proud of Gen Z. Congratulations on coming closer to understanding yourself, I'm still on that journey.

Bradleigh wrote:
Maybe I have avoided the saying the wrong thing due to be so much of a reclusive introvert. I still don't understand the proper way of bringing up things like pronouns.


Yep. I have a friend who is dating a non-binary person. Whenever he brings them up he refers to them as them/they and I still get confused, because it sounds plural to me, and it takes a second for me to register he's talking about his SO. I haven't met them yet, I want to but I'm terrified of screwing up and accidentally saying she, I will say she in my head first and then correct myself before opening my mouth, although if I'm talking to them directly there's no reason for me to refer to them in the 3rd person, lol.

Redd_Kross wrote:
Define "leftist".

I'm left wing by US standards but centrist / social democrat by European standards.

And I favour Scandinavian style politics which don't conform to those neat (and false) left and right wing classifications.


By leftist I just mean on the left or having progressive politics, in retrospect I should have said progressive because leftist can imply Marxist or left of liberal. Labels are hard. To me it means being concerned about equality and equal representation, bringing awareness to and improving the quality of life of people who have gotten the short end of the stick by society, whether due to class, prejudice or disability. Hence movements like LGBT Pride, BLM, #MeToo, etc. It also means skepticism toward tradition, nationalism, and being against unjust hierarchies and instead favoring more horizontal and democratic forms of government and diplomatic foreign policy.

Do Scandanavian politics really eschew the left-right model? I've heard the European political spectrum is more broad and less polarized, but when researching parties it seems like they still use terms like left and right of center.



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17 Jul 2020, 8:50 pm

usagibryan wrote:
Would you say they are in the minority? It doesn't feel like it, the only places on leftbook that aren't critical of Contrapoints are the Contrapoints groups themselves. But again that's the internet. I don't think she should be deified but I really like her, she's just really good at what she does, and as a fan it's frustrating when she gets attacked. Vaush gets criticism too but I get why people don't like him, he's "edgy", but you would think Contrapoints and other public figures were as bad as him.


I don't know how useful for discourse Facebook is. There is a spectrum of voices I like to hear from the Left. But I am confused how people could still mistake Natalie's rhetoric as anti-NB, one of my favourite videos of hers was "transtrenders", which on the face looked like it would be against gender nonconforming people NBs, but I think might even be a criticism of her own biases she has to deal with, that everyone is a little messed up and some of the NB may actually have their things together. One of the main things I might not be too in agreement with Natalie is on being a bit apologetic for Blaire White, and I think that comes from how she might see the allure for Blaire to be what she is and is not beyond redemption. I think that even the parts of Natalie that contradict what a "good Leftist" should be like, are important to be inclusive instead of tear ourselves apart.


usagibryan wrote:
I don't know the difference between bi and pan either, but the flame wars between the two groups are intense. It reminds me of the Judean People's Front vs People's Front of Judea skit from Monty Python. I have noticed that people who adopt the pansexual label are more likely to be gender non-conforming, so there's that.

I don't know if the split attraction model came from the ace community or the bi community, when I look it up the context is about ace people, but it's very controversial in bi spaces, it's super common to hear "I'm bi but heteromantic" and that person gets accused of having internalized homophobia. In my case, I used to think I was a heteromantic bi until I caught feelings for a guy and realized something new about myself. It's such a touchy subject though.


And I used to think I was straight, until more recently recognising that despite identifying as NB I had some internalized homophobia for why gender androgy could simultaneous make me feel uncomfortable and relatable, because I spent so much mental effort to look for birth gender. Realised that I put so much effort in because I was afraid of feeling attracted to males, and once I tore down that mental block I recognised that I am probably bisexual. Not going to push things on others or prescribe things, I have mostly been reevaluating my preconceived notions that I could be either attracted to males too, and am processing my thoughts to take not of what internalized homophobia I had. I think that others might be told that this can be a thing.

On pansexual, I have heard that Vaush is pan, so I don't think the defining factor is just nonconforming. My theory of a difference of pan, in seeing if that is me, is maybe it is less about the body that they are attracted to, or at least an emotional bond made, while a bi person can like gender signifiers. But I don't really know.


usagibryan wrote:
I'm not gonna lie, I'm super jealous of kids today. If I was born in the 2000s I could have been diagnosed in elementary and come out in high school and I would have been accepted, maybe I wouldn't be a mess today. Maybe I'm wrong and kids are still brutal, but it doesn't seem that way, I'm really proud of Gen Z. Congratulations on coming closer to understanding yourself, I'm still on that journey.


I wonder if things like non-binary were a known thing and things like being called gay was treated as the worst insult ever, that I would have grown into myself back then. Unpacking being bisexual has gone a way to explain what some of my preferences could be, and gone a long way to feeling comfortable with myself, along with some of my disconnect with masculinity and stuff that caused me some problems as a teenager.


usagibryan wrote:
Yep. I have a friend who is dating a non-binary person. Whenever he brings them up he refers to them as them/they and I still get confused, because it sounds plural to me, and it takes a second for me to register he's talking about his SO. I haven't met them yet, I want to but I'm terrified of screwing up and accidentally saying she, I will say she in my head first and then correct myself before opening my mouth, although if I'm talking to them directly there's no reason for me to refer to them in the 3rd person, lol.


I think that for a long time I was familiar with they/them being used when you are unsure of someone's gender, I think that I have been a little confused myself when someone refers to a person that they have not seen and thus don't know their gender that they would still prescribe a gender onto them. And I also admit to noting also a confusion when there is a person that you could maybe guess their gender from looks, that they/them be used, although I am considering to ask for it myself. I think it takes some practice, to take the idea of using the ambiguous they/them when you might talk about a hypothetical person, and it be used on a person that also wants to go by the ambiguous assumptions that come through when someone uses pronouns.

Pronouns are more about what other people think of you, so I think it is important to build up an understanding that enbies are their own distinct thing other than man and woman, and try to understand that they/them is its own thing. Which can be difficult if you spend a lot of your time categorizing people into two groups of male and female.


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18 Jul 2020, 4:54 am

usagibryan wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
I know what you mean.

I personally consider myself:

- centre-right economically (I.e. generally preferring market-based solutions)

- socially progressive, and above all

- socially liberal


Would you consider yourself a libertarian? Do you think you'd be at home in a European liberal party?


I think libertarians tend do be more deontological than I am. Libertarians might believe that we should cut taxes because taxation is morally wrong. I think we should cut specific taxes in specific situations because of the benefits to society.

I am European :wink: I have at various times been a member of the UK’s Liberal Democrats, France’s LREM, and the Canadian Liberal Party, but I am currently not a member of any political party as I have a politically-restricted job.

ContraPoints is brilliant even though I don’t always agree with her. Any deeper into “BreadTube” people start to get seriously obnoxious.



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18 Jul 2020, 5:23 am

Well...instead of continuing dissertating on one's own political beliefs lets return to the subject of the thread.

"Is it hard to be an American style 'leftist'?" By that I understand him to mean "does being a green party voter or a far left Dem -like AOC or Sanders- exact a toll on you for having to speak politically correct all of the time?" And the implication in his question is "does being autistic effect how well you follow the rules of political correctness?".

For me the answer is "no, it's not hard, and no being autistic if anything helps- because my aspie intellect tends to go toward helping rather than interfering with that". At least when it comes to issues like ethnicity and environment. With LBGT however I do find it taxing to have to worry about things like pronouns.

I am sure that American style far right folks have equivalent land mines. Like you cant talk about evolution, and discuss things like how they find oil in the ground- without talking about how layers of rock got laid down millions of years ago (implying that the earth is more the 6 thousand years old) without offending your fellow members of the tribe.



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18 Jul 2020, 6:12 am

It's frustrating. Maybe even more frustrating to be a working class leftie, which is an endangered species these days. In my job, I'm surrounded by working class people who routinely vote for right-wing governments and for incredibly posh politicians who make no secret of despising them. The government then slashes funding for all the public services that are heavily relied on by the working class. My colleagues respond with dark mutterings about how "immigrants are destroying the NHS," falling for the propaganda hook line and sinker. Say anything about all this and you're just viewed as a nutter.

In my workplace there are virtually no other blue-collar union members- it's the white-collar workers who join unions and go on strike for better pay and to protect their pensions. In Britain, left-wing views are far more common in the middle class- nearly all of my friends in "better" jobs than mine are left-wing. Trouble is, most white-collar lefties express their views by sneering at poorly-educated right-wingers, which just makes the gap between the Left and the working class even worse.

The Labour Party's behaviour in the past decade really hasn't helped. First, Labour spent 5 years doing absolutely nothing in opposition. Seriously. Their reaction to Tory austerity policies was "Well, we'd probably do that too." The Green Party's single MP did more than the whole Labour Party put together to fight the Tories. The party membership then chose a hard-left leader. He promptly got mired in 5 years of brutal infighting with his primarily centrist MPs, all in the public eye. There was also a huge antisemitism scandal- I still can't work out whether it was a real problem or a smear campaign. As a result of all this, they lost 3 General Elections in a row, each time against a weak, divided Conservative government that would have been easy prey for a competant Opposition.


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18 Jul 2020, 10:49 am

usagibryan wrote:
greenmm37 wrote:
Regarding the rest of your post, I do agree with the concern that 'keeping up' is very difficult. I'm not very old (as my descriptor should betray) but even in my lifetime social and cultural conscious has shifted so dramatically that it's almost dizzying; what was once considered popular and funny is now extremely offensive (I don't personally mind the re-evaluation of comedy, only saying I do find it baffling that something that people liked when I was a child is now remarked on with 'how did they every get by with this???').


Right, I think this is what they call cancel culture. I think it's important to acknowledge that in retrospect certain movies for example are problematic (like the transphobic scene from Ace Ventura) but it's like now I have to pretend I never liked the movie.

greenmm37 wrote:
If I listened to what everyone in leftist spaces says, I'm being a horrible person by not constantly fighting them and cutting them right out of my life. The fact is, I just can't. But because I internalized how frequently people would insist on this (cutting off 'problematic' family members) I had intense, debilitating anxiety for an entire week where I couldn't function.


Yes! This is baffling to me, I can't just "cut people out of my life" because they are Trump supporters, they are still family. It's an unrealistic expectation of people. I just choose not to talk politics with them.

greenmm37 wrote:
I guess I just wanted to express that, yes, I too am a left-leaning person (not quite sure if I deserve to call myself a 'leftist' since I'm more prone to considering things from multiple sides, which is also a 'no-no' in current left online culture). But - sorry for veering off track - I am also a 'progressive' who has difficulty feeling like I 'fit into' the movement.


IMO the very idea that considering multiple sides of an idea makes you a "bad leftist" or bad progressive is a problem. I think Trump has made everyone angry and polarized and we're at the point now where people are ready to tar and feather you for even the slightest hint of playing devil's advocate.

Drake wrote:
I see your problem for what language to use. I would describe TNG as both liberal and progressive. But both words have been corrupted, especially in an American sense. A new ideology has swept in, and labels itself as these things, but it really, really isn't. These words, and many others, like racism, fascism and diversity have all been twisted by them. Leftist I would say is like the word islamist vs muslim. The islamist seeks to spread their ideology by any means necessary, so does the leftist. They're both extremists. You should run away from these people, not run after them.


Are you trying to differentiate from the more aggressive incarnation of the left that has become more popular over the years from traditional liberals? It seems like there is a growing split in the Democratic party between the socialist Bernie camp and the moderate Biden camp, but I don't think it's so clear cut, and I've noticed there is now a tenancy to use the word liberal in contrast to leftist, like liberals are right-wing or something. Perhaps I shouldn't have used leftist, I like pragmatism and I'm not looking to end capitalism tomorrow, but I'm more of a Bernie guy and my views and the spaces I gravitate toward are that of what you might call an SJW, my problem really is with the unforgiving pitchfork mentality.

Drake wrote:
TNG, and for that matter the World your avatar lives in, I think are morally very strong. I've never seen any show come close to the understanding MHA has of what the essence of heroism is. Think about how would these characters behave and then look at these leftists. You'll see the truth.


I prefer to judge people by their ideal society, how to get there is another matter. I like MHA because it's incredibly positive and wholesome, and I like TNG because it's a culture that values scientific discovery, diplomacy, and diversity, which IMO are leftist values, it's just these online spaces have been vitriolic and purist lately. If a character in Star Trek came on the bridge and was uncomfortable with Worf there because they had the mistaken idea Klingons were all violent, I imagine the other characters on the show would try to show them the error of their ways. If the Enterprise has the culture of leftbook that approach would be considered naive, you'd be ruthlessly roasted for suggesting it, if you have outdated or ignorant views on Klingons you are considered irredeemable and it's no one's job to educate you, etc.

I'm interested to talk a bit about some of the other stuff from other people too, so I left them in as well. Could have added more, but this'll do for now, piece by piece.

Yes, that is cancel culture, and it is a terrible scourge that must be staunchly resisted. It would seek to have the movie erased. Off TV, off store shelves, off the digital marketplace. Just gone. Like the book burnings of old, all done by tyrants, and cancel culture is no less tyrannical.

That too is a form of cancel culture. If you don't follow the "one true way" of doing things then you must be removed out of society. Those old tyrants would simply make you disappear. Or parade your head through the streets. Cancel culture doesn't have that power, so this is the next best thing. It's all about tyrannical power.

Agreed. You see, they want you to just follow the dogma uncritically. Once you're doing that, then you'll do anything they want you to do, like a dog that's been trained to know to obey or be beaten. You are thinking for yourself, and they don't want you doing that. Keep doing that.

Yes, that's what I'm trying to differentiate. If you have a problem with the pitchfork mentality, then you're not an SJW yourself even if you have views that SJWs share, because being an SJW is about behaviour. Overwhelmingly that behaviour and those hard left views seem to come hand in hand, but there's no reason why someone couldn't hold different views and behave in the same way as the SJWs do, they'd just be victimising different people.

TNG would tell you that personal freedoms, freedom of speech and expression are bedrock liberal principles, and now these are considered right wing positions by the new left. Now we have concepts like "hate speech", "speech is violence", and "wrongthink". You're not free to think, speak and express yourself now, and you will be destroyed if you stray from the path. I also don't think TNG values diversity. The new left would tell you a room full of all black women is diverse. I'd say TNG follows the MLK judge not by colour but by content of character way of thinking. Race just simply isn't a consideration. That's what people mean when they say they don't see race, something the new left will castigate you for. I recently saw something on TV that I hadn't seen in many years and was surprised that a certain character was black. Which I'm sure would invite a frenzied attack, you're racist, you thought only a white person could play that role!This isn't because I remembered them as white, it's because it simply wasn't relevant information. Of course I can see the guy is black, but there was no reason for me to retain the information, the man's race was completely irrelevant. I remembered his character. But now everyone is jamming it down your throat. You can't even voice a role if you're not the same race as the character you're voicing now. Of course that only applies to keeping whites away from roles that aren't white, not the other way around. You will remember the character's race now. I agree with the other values, they have the advanced weaponry but go far out of their way to avoid using it and find a different solution if they can. And it's amazing how much Trek predicted the future of scientific progress. The hypothetical character you talk about would probably have been gently taken aside and politely and calmly told about Worf in a way to allay their fears with no shaming or castigating at all, and if that didn't work, I imagine the show would have had Worf win the character around by his deeds, with no one being judgemental, confident that they'd imparted the information, and the character would see the truth given time and space.



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18 Jul 2020, 5:42 pm

Drake wrote:
Yes, that is cancel culture, and it is a terrible scourge that must be staunchly resisted. It would seek to have the movie erased. Off TV, off store shelves, off the digital marketplace. Just gone. Like the book burnings of old, all done by tyrants, and cancel culture is no less tyrannical.

That too is a form of cancel culture. If you don't follow the "one true way" of doing things then you must be removed out of society. Those old tyrants would simply make you disappear. Or parade your head through the streets. Cancel culture doesn't have that power, so this is the next best thing. It's all about tyrannical power.

Agreed. You see, they want you to just follow the dogma uncritically. Once you're doing that, then you'll do anything they want you to do, like a dog that's been trained to know to obey or be beaten. You are thinking for yourself, and they don't want you doing that. Keep doing that.

Yes, that's what I'm trying to differentiate. If you have a problem with the pitchfork mentality, then you're not an SJW yourself even if you have views that SJWs share, because being an SJW is about behaviour. Overwhelmingly that behaviour and those hard left views seem to come hand in hand, but there's no reason why someone couldn't hold different views and behave in the same way as the SJWs do, they'd just be victimising different people.


What movies are being canceled via cancel culture until they are erased? Saying something is a book burning is a pretty serious accusation.

I watch a lot of Left film and pop culture analysis that encourages critical thinking, and I really don't think that there is the type of cancel culture that has the power you think over things like movies.


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18 Jul 2020, 7:34 pm

Bradleigh wrote:
Drake wrote:
Yes, that is cancel culture, and it is a terrible scourge that must be staunchly resisted. It would seek to have the movie erased. Off TV, off store shelves, off the digital marketplace. Just gone. Like the book burnings of old, all done by tyrants, and cancel culture is no less tyrannical.

That too is a form of cancel culture. If you don't follow the "one true way" of doing things then you must be removed out of society. Those old tyrants would simply make you disappear. Or parade your head through the streets. Cancel culture doesn't have that power, so this is the next best thing. It's all about tyrannical power.

Agreed. You see, they want you to just follow the dogma uncritically. Once you're doing that, then you'll do anything they want you to do, like a dog that's been trained to know to obey or be beaten. You are thinking for yourself, and they don't want you doing that. Keep doing that.

Yes, that's what I'm trying to differentiate. If you have a problem with the pitchfork mentality, then you're not an SJW yourself even if you have views that SJWs share, because being an SJW is about behaviour. Overwhelmingly that behaviour and those hard left views seem to come hand in hand, but there's no reason why someone couldn't hold different views and behave in the same way as the SJWs do, they'd just be victimising different people.


What movies are being canceled via cancel culture until they are erased? Saying something is a book burning is a pretty serious accusation.

I watch a lot of Left film and pop culture analysis that encourages critical thinking, and I really don't think that there is the type of cancel culture that has the power you think over things like movies.

It doesn't have that power yet afaik. To totally wipe something out like that. Doesn't mean they wouldn't if they could. Certain movies have been purged from certain platforms, like Gone With the Wind from HBO Max. If they manage to purge from one, they would purge from all if they could.



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18 Jul 2020, 7:57 pm

Drake wrote:
It doesn't have that power yet afaik. To totally wipe something out like that. Doesn't mean they wouldn't if they could. Certain movies have been purged from certain platforms, like Gone With the Wind from HBO Max. If they manage to purge from one, they would purge from all if they could.


Pretty sure that Gone With the Wind was removed due to companies, not some coordinated effort by cancel culture. HBO Max just decided that they did not want to platform a movie with a controversial element. I watched some pretty good videos recently that went over the GWtW maybe had some value in the past, but became more controversial as elements of portraying slavery as a not awful thing looked more problematic. I watched an interesting video that more went over the book and provided some useful context.



Might provide some ideas why moving away from holding up as the reputation it had might be something a responsible platform might choose to do.


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19 Jul 2020, 7:04 am

'Cancel culture' is just the latest bogeyman to frighten the easily frightened



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20 Jul 2020, 8:26 am

Biscuitman wrote:
'Cancel culture' is just the latest bogeyman to frighten the easily frightened

...who are very, very easily frightened indeed. I mean, come on. In most places nowadays, the Right have the Government, 80% of the press, a hefty fifth column within the opposition parties, the military, the judiciary, law enforcement, industry, the business world and the opinion of those who bother to vote on their side. Yet they go around snivelling in fear of the Left's mighty... er... Twitter mob? When they have a perfectly fine Twitter mob of their own, too.


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21 Jul 2020, 5:56 am

Biscuitman wrote:
'Cancel culture' is just the latest bogeyman to frighten the easily frightened

It's just a re-branding of "politically correct", the term lost it's "oomph" so they invented another. Fact is boycotts and refusing to buy products from people you don't agree with has been going on in the U.S. since before the American Revolution. If anyone is interested in learning more look up the Continental Association.



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21 Jul 2020, 6:35 am

Hey Aristophanes, welcome back! :D



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21 Jul 2020, 6:39 am

smudge wrote:
Hey Aristophanes, welcome back! :D

Lol, thanks Smudge. How you doing, still opinionated and slightly curmudgeonany I hope? :wink:



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21 Jul 2020, 6:47 am

Aristophanes wrote:
smudge wrote:
Hey Aristophanes, welcome back! :D

Lol, thanks Smudge. How you doing, still opinionated and slightly curmudgeonany I hope? :wink:


:P Opinionated and slightly bad-tempered maybe, not sure about curmudgeonany.

I'm doing well thanks, have had a break from everything, including a little travelling. How are you doing?