T Nation

Any Other Leftists on T-Nation?


#1

Ok, well, I am on the Left politically. It would seem that a lot of people that post on this political forum are Right of center. And, yes, I know that I am setting myself up to get flamed by those people.

However, I am wondering if there are other people here who consider themselves Left of center by their own definition of what that means. For example, you could be a Catholic who takes Left positons on affirmative action, health care, militarism, etc, but who is against abortion, etc. etc. In other words, I am not looking for Purity, but just a tendancy towards Leftish positions.

BTW, one request. If you are going to flame me, please make it funny. As you should know by now, I like a good joke.

And by the way, I am not trying to set YOU up. This is not a case of ""Let a hundred flowers bloom, let the hundred schools of thought contend." If you want to, you can PM me.


#2

I am a left leaner myself...and proud of it.


#3

Most of us around here believe with her, the Goddess of Intellect!


#4

I used to think I was a leftist, but after talking to real leftists at college and at a protest or two, I realized I had little in common with those people.

I think your political outlook is determined mostly by your temperment. If you believe that people are inherently good you tend to be left of center. I didn't take to Modern American Liberalism because I don't have much faith in people, so I think that top down big government solutions will be incompetent failures at best. Competition and self-reliance are what make us strong, that doesn't work for some people, but that's life.

I see no reason to flame you for your beliefs. I think most Americans who fall to the left of center are decent people who want what they think is best for the country, I just think their answers are usually wrong.


#5

I don't think anyone should be flamed for being a little slow. I enjoy discussion and debate with people as long as they are sincere and knowledgeable.


#6

Hmm. I look at as the reverse. The left, not having faith in the goodness of the American people, favor stricter gun laws and a cradle to grave welfare state.


#7


Government is best when it functions at some minimal level, about 20% of GDP. Anyone, left or right, who advocates spending and increasing government programs is simply sounding the death-knell for the country.


#8

I would define myself as a libertarian -- I believe in the notions of nonaggression, the free-market, nonstatism, and intellectualism. This is also known as a classical-liberal.

A leftist to me means big government, protectionism, and welfarism. Neo-liberals and neo-conservatives are leftists with different political agendas that use the above means to obtain them. This is known as fascism.

Is this how you would define the political left?


#9

I subscribe to no political affiliation. I am an independent thinker. One side or the other may agree with me, but it is not the other way around. I have beliefs that niether side agree with, but they can kiss my ass if they don't like it.
So I can't be left, right or center, I just take up the whole damn road.


#10

No, you got it backwards. The people are good, it's the evil guns that go around killing people and making people do bad things. Get rid of guns=rainbows and sunshine!


#11

I've been called a leftie by the conservatives here. Must be true then. :wink:

Makkun


#12

I'm not a leftist but have been typified by some because much of the right right, I disagree with their view points.

I think the left right spectrum is bullshit honestly its too divisive.

I also think the majority of people you will find on T-Nation are rightwing and jingoist however.

Manlieness for some reason is typified with this.


#13

I, for one, am not a leftist, but have been disappointed at the decline of smart leftists around here.

It is always interesting when a bona fide classical liberal and a bona fide modern leftist get into a good debate on real issues. That is what used to make it fun around here.

And when I say "bona fide classical liberal", I mean that too - the wacky looneytarian neo-radicals are no more classically liberal than I am a Marxist.

We need more smart lefties - and I may sometimes decry that as an oxymoron ;> - but it was more fun when we had them.


#14

Damn straight. But we can't vote in primaries 'cause nobody wants us thinkers to tell them who they should pick...

I'm politically schizophrenic. Sometimes the Right agrees with me more, but sometimes it's the Left, and usually I hate them both.


#15

I used to think I was conservative. Now I realize that conservatism involves "compassion" in the form of give-aways to underperforming non-Asian minorities and to third world despots in the form of "relief aid," so I guess I'm not a conservative. I'm more of an island.


#16

At the risk of revealing my geriatric bona fides, you both may be interested in Scammon and Wattenberg's classic, The Real Majority (1970-!-revised sometime in the early 1990s).

In reflecting on LBJ and the '60's, and arguing against the Nixonian veneer of conservatism, they thought that liberals and Democrats needed to re-think election strategy. The "real majority" of liberal-minded Americans were to be the answer to RMN's "silent majority." (It turns out that Nixon--or his minions--at least read the text by 1972.)

Points:
1. The USA tends toward liberalism and liberality during periods of perceived security and expanding economy. Or, Liberal thought is the USA's "default" mode.
2. Nevertheless, Democrats and liberals would only start to win national elections when they started to cater to "the unpoor, the unblack, and the unyoung." (I think Wattenberg was a Scoop Jackson fan.)

Perhaps and perhaps not, but there has not been a northern Democrat in the White House since 1963 (if you call JFK a liberal), and WJ Clinton's "triangulatin' " resembled point #2.

So many posters on PWI may think that Reagan and Gingrich changed all that. I am not sure, and Scammon and Wattenberg may still have something to say to conservatives and liberals alike.


#17

You're confusing conservative with republican.


#18

The term bona fide implies there is a standard with which to measure someone who calls themselves a classical-liberal. Pray tell, what is that standard? Since you give no definition of measurement I can only assume you have no idea what one is. Calling someone a loonytarian by you own definition does not mean anything.


#19

"Looneytarian" = someone who tries to take classical liberalism and turn it into a radical philosophy based on left-wing proto-Marxist assumptions.

Classical liberalism has never advocated wild-eyed anarchism, relativism, or nihilism. At a minimum, that is all the standard you need.


#20

The only standard is a belief in individual liberty and laissez-faire government. One can be an anarchist and still be considered a classical-liberal. The distinction is that the limitation of government in anarchism is more extreme.

I am not sure what you mean by "wild-eyed". Is this a label that all anarchists get or just how you subjectively value the anarchist philosophy?

The absence of relativism is merely your own standard and has nothing to do with political philosophy but rather epistemology as it deals with empirical truths and the limits of knowledge.