Trying to understand liberals

Thoughts on socialism and leftism generally

Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Michael » 03 Jul 2013, 16:06

Does anyone know of an equivalent forum to ours, discussing the work of some great liberal writer or thinker, that covers a similarly broad range of topics? One where the discussions are broad ranging, respectful, and intellectually rigorous?

I refuse to believe one does not exist. Should we find one, I would like to propose that interested members join that forum and enter into (hopefully) constructive debates, as well as inviting them back here to ours. I don't want to assume that we understand liberals till we've talked to the best representatives of their cause.

As a side note: I'm so disgusted by that story from Haiti I can't comment on it. More correctly, I don't trust myself to comment on it in a public forum. I might say something politically incorrect!
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Gavin » 03 Jul 2013, 19:23

I wonder if liberals tend to think of themselves and their own opinions as so important that they would never make a site inspired by the work of one figure, as we have done. I wonder who it would be?! Karl Marx? Owen Jones? Polly Toynbee?

Nobody I know compares to TD in sheer quality of output, I think (though I am not saying he's perfect) - at least out of living writers of a conservative perspective.

Perhaps they could choose, from the deceased, Bertrand Russell. He did write a lot of sense, I think, but he was very liberal when it came to politics (supporting CND, feminism etc.). I used to be a big fan of Russell myself in my teens and early twenties, because I admired his cool hard logical positivism and empiricism, though I was never really ideologically a signed-up leftie. Maybe that's where we should head.

On Russell, by the way, Ray Monk took a very dim view of him in his biography (unlike Wittgenstein, whom he greatly admired). Mainly due to his personal life, I think. It would be interesting to read some more TD on Russell - I have seen him mention him just once or twice. He would be a worthy adversary to TD though, I think (thought TD would probably come out on top). Russell had a formidable intellect and was incredibly prolific. Let's say somewhat more suitable than young Owen Jones or Laurie Penny. They would not have been given any airtime even by the Left in more discerning times.
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Paul » 03 Aug 2013, 20:24

Quite amusing:

thingsthatneverhappened.jpg
thingsthatneverhappened.jpg (37.86 KiB) Viewed 7602 times
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Yessica » 04 Aug 2013, 05:57

I know a German forum that deals with the works of Karl-Marx though I do not read there but I have been told it is high brow and analytical. We could invite them and they probably would show up (being quite missonary about their cause) as well as be able to speak English well enough to contribute to the discussion.
Yet, to be honest, I would like to eschew them. If Marxists had their say we all would be lined up against a wall and shot in the head (or may be if they are being kind we'll only have to do forced labor or rot in prison). You really want to talk to them? You are their enemy. You might say "Well, but I do not have enemies"... but be assured they do.

...and there used to be one about French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (also in German language). I think it is gone. I do like the work of Bourdieu. He was also a empirical minded person... and while he was a leftist he was also a great observer and has a empirical approach. "La distinction. Critique sociale du jugement" to my mind is one of his books anybody should have red. It is about the realtionship between social class and taste. I also like "La misère du monde" which is a collection of Interviews with persons living in the Banlieue, the underclass suburbs of Paris. The interviewers just let the citizens do the talking, so that you get a first hand account of what living there is like. It is highly interesting to my mind.

Has any of you red Bourdieu?
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Elliott » 22 Aug 2013, 07:46

It might be a sign of the groups and individuals with whom I have chosen to associate myself on Facebook, but here are the first three items on my newsfeed this morning:



SHARED BY THE NEW DAILY PATRIOT (commenting "the price of mass immigration")

London has the highest rate of tuberculosis of any western European capital, according to figures released today from Public Health England (PHE).

The capital has a "worrying" rate of 42 per 100,000 people, compared with a national figure of 14 per 100,000.

In total there were 3,426 cases of the lung disease in the city in 2012, making up nearly 40% of the UK total.

The worst affected area was Newham in east London with a rate of 119 cases per 100,000 people.


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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Gavin » 24 Oct 2013, 01:25

I was recently reflecting again on the sheer intolerance (and arrogance) of liberals. I think we are happy to hear any point of view as long as it is put politely - we may even have some sympathy with left wing views on occasion. For liberals, the reverse is rarely true.

They continually tweet anything they want and it is considered by their peers to have even more impact and be even more "genuine" and admirable if it is said impolitely. But should you have the gall to reply with a right-leaning remark, this is simply unacceptable. That's how open-minded they are.

It is laughably poor intellectually, really, but there are so many of them that they can all simply congratulate each other and insult conservatives without ever being forced to reflect deeply upon their own views (and hypocrisy). Always a shame when wants to discussing anything except the art (or music) with artists, because they are in most cases going to left-wing (with the usual foul-mouthed expression that goes with the territory of "the gospel of envy").

One of the biggest problems, I think, is that "left" really is simply synonymous with "good" in their minds (and "right" with "bad"). The transition has been fully made. They believe that being left-wing is the same thing as being "good" and try to ignore any evidence to the contrary, lest it interfere with this comfortable idea. Thus it is difficult to have a calm and truly open-minded conversation with such people and they are often very unpleasant to be around.
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Elliott » 09 Dec 2013, 05:54

Here is a quite interesting (and short) article about extremist liberals.
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Gavin » 14 Dec 2013, 17:22

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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Paul » 14 Dec 2013, 23:13

What a very good essay that is.

But ha! As I read the thread title, but before I opened it to even see the link title, I thought - 'Sigh, I don't think you can understand liberals any more. They're mentally ill, seemingly almost all of them.'

Yes, that's what I think, so Mr Weston and his sources are correct in my view. I can scarcely be bothered even talking to them any more, let alone debating (I mean arguing) with them. They're a drain on your intelligence, your patience and your energy - and so ultimately on a part of your own sanity. You come away drained and exasperated, if not indeed angry. Leave them to it I say now. To use a nice, old English expression - they're not a full shilling!
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Nathan » 04 Aug 2014, 20:53

Apologies for posting while a bit drunk, but I'm currently at a translators' conference in Berlin. I've spent the evening at a 'meet and greet' session, where I was treated to a British woman (she was probably anything up to 30, but looked very young) passionately talking / ranting about how the EDL were EVIL, UKIP were EVIL, the Daily Mail was EVIL, if Britain leaves the EU it would be the worst day of her life, all sorts of things about how different aspects of various languages are sexist and must be changed, etc, etc.

I had never met her at all, but it clearly never occurred to her that I (the only other British person at the table) or anybody else for that matter might not share her opinions. What to do? Should I try the Sacha Baron-Cohen thing and try and lure her into saying the most outrageous things by pretending to agree with her, and suggesting the Daily Mail should be banned in the name of press freedom or UKIP banned in the name of tolerance, or should I tackle her head-on and say that unlike her I actually have been on an EDL march and have been an active member of UKIP as well?

Unfortunately I didn't dare do anything more than make a passing comment about how the Daily Mail outsold the Guardian by ten to one and think about how funny it would be to share the experience on here :(
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Gavin » 04 Aug 2014, 21:52

Apologies for posting while a bit drunk


Many a time I've had a real ale in front of me while posting, Nathan - you need it these days! ;)

This young woman seems to have been mind-washed with the usual liberal tripe. I think the best angle is probably to speak about democracy and the will of the people - falling Guardian readership, dislike of multiculturalism, no mandate for mass cultural change, etc. Ask her if she has chosen to live in a heavily Islamified area, too.

I chatted with my new neighbour yesterday about the fact that in Balham I used to have to work work extremely hard to be able to live there, while next door a load of African asylum seekers lived for free, at my expense. She agreed, but said it might be seen as racist to protest. I said I don't care about that any more, and neither should she - it's a meaningless word now. The Left have devalued it themselves by crying wolf so often.

Have couple of German beers out there for me. More interestingly, see if you can find any conservative people out there - seems like "thoughtcrime" would be more outlawed there than anywhere, else given their history.
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Elliott » 05 Aug 2014, 00:21

Try to record her with your phone, Nathan! I'd love to hear this woman.

Either way, I hope you enjoy Germany. I'm enjoying my holiday! Good God, I needed to get away!
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Yessica » 05 Aug 2014, 06:41

Hope you enjoy Berlin :)

I sometimes wonder if people who try the most liberal things do so just for purposes of small talk. Try to get her drunk to find out ;)

You know what would be fun? To say something like:

You know, I am about to convert and I am totally in favour of more islamic immigration as I think women in Europe enjoy more freedom than is good for them. Just think of all the sinful things they do like going dancing or wearing shorts. I am happy that this will come to an halt. I am sorry that people like you won't be able to attend confernces like this any more but I am sure you understand that this is just done to protect your eternal soul.


Watching her reaction would be interesting :)

...and say it with a straight face like somebody who really believes it.
unfortunately might not work if you say it while enjoying a beer.
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Elliott » 05 Aug 2014, 10:03

Very good, Yessica! I hope he did try something like that.
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Re: Trying to understand liberals

Postby Elliott » 05 Aug 2014, 10:18

How can you ever understand this?
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