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~*...left? right? republican? democrat? what's the difference?...*~

Discussion in 'Politics (deprecated)' started by that 420 guy, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. that 420 guy

    that 420 guy TRIBE Member

    one of the reasons i don't normally speak openly about politics is because i know very little to speak intelligently about it. not to mention that the topic of politics itself encourages many to choose a side...this party or that party, left or right, republican or democrat, liberal or conservative. sometimes, it is difficult to choose a side when you don't even know what that side stands for yet alone associate yourself with it. then when someone openly admits that they don't know what "left" or "right" means or "republican" or "democrat", we are sometimes ridiculed for our lack of knowledge, making it even more difficult for us to add anything constructive to the poilitical topic being discussed.

    so can someone please tell me (and those of us who have never taken a history or poli sci class) the basics.

    1. what is a right wing view?
    2. what is a left wing view?
    3. what is a republican?
    4. what is a democrat?
    5. what is a conservative?
    6. what is a liberal?
    7. if i'm asking these kinds of questions, should i still be allowed to vote?

    - that share what you know guy :cool:
  2. Boss Hog

    Boss Hog TRIBE Member

    "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate."

    -Noam Chomsky

    This is pretty much how I see "left" and "right" of the political spectrum. I don't think left or right or any single party out there has the definitive answers, but we keep acting as if one of them might. So we waste a lot of time trying to figure out which one.

    As long as we're kept wildly debating between "left" and "right", we're limited to look outside the box at the bigger issues.

    That doesn't directly answer your questions, I know, but I don't feel that "left" or "right" really serves us any more.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2003
  3. EffinHard

    EffinHard TRIBE Member

    I think too many people play party politics these days. Its not the representative or party that matters, its the issues. Look at the issues and vote for a person / party that is inline with what you believe.

    A party is defined by their platform.
  4. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    I think what most people here are saying is that they don't like labels. But there is a reason why they exist and it's not only to limit viewpoints.

    Start by going here:

    You can see that the political spectrum is divided into a 4 corner plane and not just left/right. You get to see where past & current political figures exist on that plane, and understand the chart by actually taking a test and plotting yourself there.

    To answer these questions in very basic and incomplete terms (only because I'm at work):

    1. what is a right wing view?
    Socially, it relies on what they call self-reliability & personal-responsability. And usually works for the reduction of social programs/spending to promote this. Economically it relies on supply side economics. Give more to those who run things and the economy will flourish. Deregulate industry and let the market discipline rule.

    2. what is a left wing view?
    Socially it relies on more of a communal infastructure -one with strong social programs and wealth sharing. Economically it's for public ownership and regulated industry. Taxation on higher incomes to pay for lower income social programs. Demand side economics. Give enough to all and the economy will flourish.

    3. what is a republican?
    Republicans, for the most part, are right wingish.

    4. what is a democrat?
    Democrats for the most part are left wing/centrist.

    5. what is a conservative?
    Conservative is another word for someone who supports supply side economics & right wing economic ideals. Also one who is heavily set in traditional forms of economics and is very skeptical of progressive movements.

    6. what is a liberal?
    Liberal is someone with progressive ideals, trys new things often and is more likely to look for alternative solutions, even if it means doing away with tradition. Liberals are usually linked with Left wing ideals & demand side economics.

    7. if i'm asking these kinds of questions, should i still be allowed to vote?
    Yes, of course. You're willing to learn instead of being willfully ignorant.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2003
  5. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    1. what is a right wing view?

    Generally right wing views are ones that argue that services and everything short of the military and police should be provided by private interests.

    2. what is a left wing view?

    Generally left wing views follow that the vast majority of service required for life should be provided by government, either local or federal. Thus your water should be inspected and provided by the government and your electricity for instance should be provided by government.

    3. what is a republican?

    An evil puppy eater!!! No seriously they're anti environment evil bastards.

    Classically republicans argue that governments should be as small as possible and that the majority of services and work done by governments should be sub contracted out to consultants and to private companies. A republican would argue that a prison should be owned and run by a company at arms length from the government that provides police services to you and at arms length from a government that provides education for your children.

    4. what is a democrat?

    Democrats tend to argue that government belongs to the people and has a vital role to play in the direct economy. Employees of the government should work directly by the government and government agencies should be tightly tied together. In general they believe in larger direct government control and involvement.

    5. what is a conservative?

    A conservative is a person who would sell his own mother into slavery to make a quick buck! Conservatives tend to argue that private interests provide services cheapest and most efficiently. A conservative will argue that government ownership and management of natural resources is stagnant and that regulation and taxation needs to be applied rather than direct government controls. Conservatives in general argue its better to subsidize private child care then to actually own and run it themselves. They're argument is useful when things go wrong, for instance lets say that they're is a teacher who molests a child. They can argue that the teacher doesn't work for them, then they can argue that the inspector doesn't work for them, and then they can argue that the psychiatrists the kid will need doesn't work for them and thus they can't be sued for any form of liability. They also tend to argue that the user of the service should pay for the service.

    6. what is a liberal?

    Its the nice thing to call a guy who would sell his sister into slavery for a quick buck because his mother isn't worth enough anymore. Although not all that different than conservatives they tend to argue that making any quick change is a little foolish and that sitting back and allowing ministries to implement long range plans makes the most sense. Although normally they do the same thing as the conservatives anyway they tend to try and distribute the cost over longer periods and more people so that everyone feels just as good and just as bad rather than having winners and losers. but really they aren't that different.

    7. if I'm asking these kinds of questions, should I still be allowed to vote?

    Dude you last 5 haircuts should prevent you from voting who the fuck are we kidding!!
  6. Mike Richards

    Mike Richards TRIBE Member

    They're all yanks to me!
  7. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    Allow me to make a brash over-simplification:

    left = liberal = democrat = socialist.

    right = conservative = republican = capitalist.

    I refuse to discuss politics on those terms as it oversimplifies the debate. This relates back to what Boss Hog said. Look at the following "ascii-visual":

    |-------------------------------I D E O L O G I E S-------------------------------|

    Basically, the political spectrum is a small subset of the possible ideologies, and that's the way the government likes it, because concepts outside of the bounds of the political spectrum are considered "dangerous" or "extremist" when in fact, they are neither.
  8. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    It's worth noting that the labels of "left" and "right" aren't absolute, but relative. They're used more for comparison between ideologies than for solid labels devoid of any context.

    For example, here in Canada, we have the political spectrum about evently split with the NDP on the left, Liberals in the centre, and PC/Alliance on the right.

    However, if we were to compare our Liberals to the political parties in the U.S., the Liberals would be considered far left, with Democrats roughly in the centre (or centre-right even) and the Republicans on the far right.

  9. Deep_Groove

    Deep_Groove TRIBE Member

    I don't think the Liberals would be far-left in the U.S.; I mean, these days they're canonizing Paul Martin who is far from far-left :)

    I would say the Liberals are like the left wing of the Democratic Party.

    And the PC's are not really like the Republicans - Canadians haven't got the fundamentalist Chrisitian contingent that pushes the party to the right on social issues and the welfare state. That's why the Alliance gained so much popularity. Hopefully those talks will pan out and the two parties will be formally united (*cross fingers*) ;) with a more moderate tone on the social issues...

    P.S: IMO, if Canadians truly believe in democratic options, all of us should support this merger, even far-lefties like you ;)

    - Deep_Groove
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2003
  10. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    Say what you will about ideological labels as an oversimplification ... All I know is that I almost always end up arguing against the same people in every political debate. ;)
  11. Deep_Groove

    Deep_Groove TRIBE Member

    Amen! :)
  12. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    I'd have to agree.

    haha, they're still around? So popular in fact they have to merge to retain any control.

    I think it's a cheap move, both parties having to concede some of their policy to merge reduces their credibility & conviction in their platform. IMO. If I were PC, I'd be thinking twice about them.
  13. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    This is because these sorts of discussions tend to reduce themselves to ideological debates in the end. It is still, however, incorrect to claim that you are "right-winged" and your opponent "left-winged".

    If a context *had* to be enforced for the rightwing and leftwing ideologies, I would define it as: "leftwingers generally put their faith in the government's capacity to support public services" while "rightwingers generally put their faith in the private market to support public services".

    My personal opinion is that the private market does not represent or encourage ethical values. This doesn't exempt public government from corruption, it only demonstrates a certain ideology.
  14. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    I believe in a real free market. Although when I see a real one, I'll let you know.
  15. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    The most dominant topic of debate is economics, either directly or indirectly. Just look at the attempts to define ideology in this thread. In that sense, what is the problem with calling someone (or claiming to be) "right-winged" on the issue? Do we always have to be specific and mention that we're talking about "right-wing only on issues of economics" when the topic of discussion is clearly economics?
  16. Mike Richards

    Mike Richards TRIBE Member

    For a second there I thought you said 'Flea Market'.
  17. Adam

    Adam TRIBE Member

    Re: Re: ~*...left? right? republican? democrat? what's the difference?...*~

    I've added my additions.
  18. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    Re: Re: Re: ~*...left? right? republican? democrat? what's the difference?...*~

    It's true.
  19. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    Really .... why would conservatives eat babies? In a couple of years, those kids are going to be ready to work in sweatshops to produce cheap goods for our consumer market.
  20. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    and there mothers might stop producing slaves if we kill them and eat them to young!

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