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All extremists threaten us… but it's the radical right we should fear now


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All extremists threaten us… but it's the radical right we should fear now

 

 

Trump, Johnson and their kind are a far greater danger to our cherished freedoms

 

 

I once believed that you should fight the extreme right and extreme left “at the same time and for the same reasons”. The phrase had a fine sound to it, even if I say so myself, and it remains true enough. Anyone who has witnessed the public shaming of those who deviate from approved leftish ideology will find Boris Johnson’s attempts to purge the cabinet and civil service of all who disagree with him familiar. The politics may be different but the oppressive spirit is the same.

But in this terrible year, it is worth saying that moral equivalence is not the same as practical equivalence. As the world stands, the fight against the radical right is a fight for the preservation of liberal democracy. The fight against the far left is a fight for justice for the individual denied the freedom to express his or, and more frequently today, her opinions without post-Stalinist inquisitors demanding she confesses her ideological crimes or lose her job.

Both fights are essential but the difference in scale is so enormous it barely makes sense to put them in the same category. The best way I can explain why is to imagine an American announcing they were voting for Donald Trump because they were repelled by how the New York Times and US universities had removed journalists and academics who would not bow their heads and bite their tongues. You would, I think, tell them that their sense of proportion was so out of balance it was a wonder they did not topple over. Trump has the power to threaten the American constitution. He has stuffed his administration with cronies and relatives, and damned thousands of Americans to needless deaths from Covid-19. He is hoping to retain power by encouraging far-right terrorism and ballot rigging. Given the anarchic glee that Trump and the Republicans display when they block defensive measures against global warming, his defeat is a necessity not just for the United States but for humanity.

I don’t deny that leftish cultural influence is a form of power. If you are forced out of your job in a university or publisher, or told what you can and cannot teach, think and write, it is a power that can crush you. But political power with the ability to crush tens of millions of people is in the hands of the radical right. And not just in the United States. Britain, Hungary, Poland, Russia, India, Turkey, Brazil and the Philippines are democracies that have been taken over by governments that to varying degrees despise independent checks and are determined to humble any institution that might curb them.

However fond modern writers are of quoting Hannah Arendt and George Orwell, the 2020s are not a reprise of the 1930s. We do not face the equivalent of Hitler on one side and Stalin on the other. With the exception of the Venezuelan dictatorship, the anti-liberal movements that control democracies are all from the right. Meanwhile, the rising superpower of China might mouth the old Maoist slogans out of force of habit, like you might half-remember a story from your childhood, but it is nothing like the old Soviet Union. The ideology that drives it is a hyper-aggressive nationalism, not communism.

The nearest any developed country came to experiencing the dead end of 1930s politics was Britain. In the 2019 general election, the choice was between the competing dishonesties of the Brexit right and the Corbyn left. Whichever way voters went, the country would have been ruined. British political culture has changed with remarkable speed since Labour’s defeat. The far left is on its way out and Labour is at last looking as if it would be better at governing the country than the Conservatives, not a hard task, given that Johnson has lowered the bar to floor level. The American Democrats in turn have refused to play into the Republicans’ hands. To Trump’s visible disappointment they chose Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to represent them.

However vicious it may be, the far left has not overrun the western centre-left as the radical right has overrun mainstream conservatism. Labour MPs were willing to give up their careers to fight against antisemitism and the toleration of totalitarian ideas and regimes. Compare that with the US, where only Mitt Romney and a handful of Republican politicians have risked losing office by fighting to stop their party becoming Trump’s personality cult. British 

Conservatives who were prepared to oppose the national catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit were either purged by Johnson, in an example of the Stalinism on the right, or walked away from the party in despair at the last election. They showed a courage their successors lack. With only months to go before we could crash out of the single market and customs union, no prominent Conservative politician is prepared to speak for the national interest or even debate it.

The silence from a right that still boasts it believes in freedom of speech is not confined to Tory MPs who Johnson can directly harm. It extends to the conservative press, thinktanks and intellectuals. Their slavish compliance shows that Johnson has been more successful in imposing a party line on the right than Corbyn ever was in imposing conformity on the left.

A defeat for Trump would make the contrast clearer. Conservatives have written with accuracy about how cancel culture and political correctness have moved disgusted voters rightwards. They always forget to mention that the converse also applies. Trump has destroyed America as an example for the world to follow and authorised every reaction against it. Extremism begets extremism. When you have an unapologetic racist as American president, all opposition is legitimate and the most zealous opposition can feel the most legitimate of all. As I say, you should not have to choose. But if you must, fight the power that presents the greatest threat, because once the far right is defeated, it will be easier to fight the far left.

 Nick Cohen is an Observer columnist

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/05/all-extremists-threaten-us-but-its-the-radical-right-we-should-fear-now

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2 hours ago, caddieman said:

Trump, Johnson and their kind are a far greater danger to our cherished freedoms

 

 

I once believed that you should fight the extreme right and extreme left “at the same time and for the same reasons”. The phrase had a fine sound to it, even if I say so myself, and it remains true enough. Anyone who has witnessed the public shaming of those who deviate from approved leftish ideology will find Boris Johnson’s attempts to purge the cabinet and civil service of all who disagree with him familiar. The politics may be different but the oppressive spirit is the same.

But in this terrible year, it is worth saying that moral equivalence is not the same as practical equivalence. As the world stands, the fight against the radical right is a fight for the preservation of liberal democracy. The fight against the far left is a fight for justice for the individual denied the freedom to express his or, and more frequently today, her opinions without post-Stalinist inquisitors demanding she confesses her ideological crimes or lose her job.

Both fights are essential but the difference in scale is so enormous it barely makes sense to put them in the same category. The best way I can explain why is to imagine an American announcing they were voting for Donald Trump because they were repelled by how the New York Times and US universities had removed journalists and academics who would not bow their heads and bite their tongues. You would, I think, tell them that their sense of proportion was so out of balance it was a wonder they did not topple over. Trump has the power to threaten the American constitution. He has stuffed his administration with cronies and relatives, and damned thousands of Americans to needless deaths from Covid-19. He is hoping to retain power by encouraging far-right terrorism and ballot rigging. Given the anarchic glee that Trump and the Republicans display when they block defensive measures against global warming, his defeat is a necessity not just for the United States but for humanity.

I don’t deny that leftish cultural influence is a form of power. If you are forced out of your job in a university or publisher, or told what you can and cannot teach, think and write, it is a power that can crush you. But political power with the ability to crush tens of millions of people is in the hands of the radical right. And not just in the United States. Britain, Hungary, Poland, Russia, India, Turkey, Brazil and the Philippines are democracies that have been taken over by governments that to varying degrees despise independent checks and are determined to humble any institution that might curb them.

However fond modern writers are of quoting Hannah Arendt and George Orwell, the 2020s are not a reprise of the 1930s. We do not face the equivalent of Hitler on one side and Stalin on the other. With the exception of the Venezuelan dictatorship, the anti-liberal movements that control democracies are all from the right. Meanwhile, the rising superpower of China might mouth the old Maoist slogans out of force of habit, like you might half-remember a story from your childhood, but it is nothing like the old Soviet Union. The ideology that drives it is a hyper-aggressive nationalism, not communism.

The nearest any developed country came to experiencing the dead end of 1930s politics was Britain. In the 2019 general election, the choice was between the competing dishonesties of the Brexit right and the Corbyn left. Whichever way voters went, the country would have been ruined. British political culture has changed with remarkable speed since Labour’s defeat. The far left is on its way out and Labour is at last looking as if it would be better at governing the country than the Conservatives, not a hard task, given that Johnson has lowered the bar to floor level. The American Democrats in turn have refused to play into the Republicans’ hands. To Trump’s visible disappointment they chose Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to represent them.

However vicious it may be, the far left has not overrun the western centre-left as the radical right has overrun mainstream conservatism. Labour MPs were willing to give up their careers to fight against antisemitism and the toleration of totalitarian ideas and regimes. Compare that with the US, where only Mitt Romney and a handful of Republican politicians have risked losing office by fighting to stop their party becoming Trump’s personality cult. British 

Conservatives who were prepared to oppose the national catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit were either purged by Johnson, in an example of the Stalinism on the right, or walked away from the party in despair at the last election. They showed a courage their successors lack. With only months to go before we could crash out of the single market and customs union, no prominent Conservative politician is prepared to speak for the national interest or even debate it.

The silence from a right that still boasts it believes in freedom of speech is not confined to Tory MPs who Johnson can directly harm. It extends to the conservative press, thinktanks and intellectuals. Their slavish compliance shows that Johnson has been more successful in imposing a party line on the right than Corbyn ever was in imposing conformity on the left.

A defeat for Trump would make the contrast clearer. Conservatives have written with accuracy about how cancel culture and political correctness have moved disgusted voters rightwards. They always forget to mention that the converse also applies. Trump has destroyed America as an example for the world to follow and authorised every reaction against it. Extremism begets extremism. When you have an unapologetic racist as American president, all opposition is legitimate and the most zealous opposition can feel the most legitimate of all. As I say, you should not have to choose. But if you must, fight the power that presents the greatest threat, because once the far right is defeated, it will be easier to fight the far left.

 Nick Cohen is an Observer columnist

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/05/all-extremists-threaten-us-but-its-the-radical-right-we-should-fear-now

Do you think this Nick Cohen is a little radical ?

do you think his fear is based on the Republicans and conservatives fighting back on being silenced and cancelled ?

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Right-Wing Embrace Of Conspiracy Is 'Mass Radicalization,' Experts Warn

December 15, 202012:17 PM ET
gettyimages-1229648113-ce7873de345100e99
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The Million MAGA March drew thousands of President Trump's supporters, including members of far-right groups such as the Proud Boys, Patriot Front and others, to Washington, D.C., last month.

Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The widespread embrace of conspiracy and disinformation amounts to a "mass radicalization" of Americans, and increases the risk of right-wing violence, veteran security officials and terrorism researchers warn.

At conferences, in op-eds and at agency meetings, domestic terrorism analysts are raising concern about the security implications of millions of conservatives buying into baseless right-wing claims. They say the line between mainstream and fringe is vanishing, with conspiracy-minded Republicans now marching alongside armed extremists at rallies across the country. Disparate factions on the right are coalescing into one side, analysts say, self-proclaimed "real Americans" who are cocooned in their own news outlets, their own social media networks and, ultimately, their own "truth."

"This tent that used to be sort of 'far-right extremists' has gotten a lot broader. To me, a former counterterrorism official, that's a radicalization process," said Mary McCord, a former federal prosecutor who oversaw terrorism cases and who's now a law professor at Georgetown University.

McCord was speaking at a recent online conference, Millions of Conversations, an organization aimed at reducing polarization. Along with McCord, several other former officials who served in senior national security roles said the mass embrace of bogus information poses a serious national security concern for the incoming Biden administration.

Weekend protest

They added that there's no easy foil for a right-wing propaganda effort that amplifies fears and grievances on a nonstop loop. Those beliefs already have inspired political violence at protests over lockdowns and racial injustice. Political conspiracies drew thousands to last weekend's pro-Trump rally, after which the Proud Boys and other violent extremist groups wreaked havoc in downtown Washington, D.C.

"Breaking through that echo chamber is critical or else we'll see more violence," said Elizabeth Neumann, who in April resigned her post leading the Department of Homeland Security office that oversees responses to violent extremism.

While it's impossible to pin down the scope of such beliefs, analysts say, the numbers are staggering if even a fraction of President Trump's more than 74 million voters support bogus claims that say, for example, the election was rigged, the coronavirus is a hoax, and liberals are hatching a socialist takeover.

Traffic numbers for right-wing outlets and livestreams suggest the support extends well beyond the margins. Recent polls also signal the spread: One survey found that around 77% of Trump supporters believe that Joe Biden won the election as a result of fraud despite no evidence to support that claim.

At the online conference, participants characterized the shift as a mass radicalization. Neumann said the issue keeps her up at night worrying about where the country is heading. She talked about family members who've gone down the right-wing rabbit hole of disinformation. She said conversations with them require patience and negotiation, such as laying out her conditions for coronavirus safety protocols at family gatherings.

 

Neumann said it's hard to imagine what it would take to replicate those tough conversations on a national scale, given the power and reach of conservative media.

"I am wrestling with: How do I help people that have, unbeknownst to them, they've become radicalized in their thought? They hold views they didn't hold 10 years ago because all they listen to is that conservative infotainment," Neumann said. "Unless we help them break the deception, we cannot operate with 30% of the country holding the extreme views that they do."

Show of force

Jason Dempsey, a military analyst and former Army officer on the panel, said too many people are turning to force as a response to fears over political divisions, whether through the military and law enforcement, or the formation of local armed groups. The election-rigging rhetoric only ups the ante as Democrats are painted no longer just as fellow citizens with different views but as enemies who must be vanquished.

"There are no easy answers, even if they're carrying guns and wearing body armor," Dempsey said. "We've got to get past that and be wary of the idea of militarism that doesn't lead to a common conception of service, but leads to the kind of tribalism where we have to protect ourselves and our families by force against those we disagree with."

On the conference call, the analysts agreed that the leftist fringe also is hardening and promoting its own conspiracies. But they said there's simply no equivalency with the right in terms of the volume of disinformation and conspiracy, or in its connections to violent acts.

"There is a monetization of outrage on both sides," Neumann said, "but in particular the conservative infotainment sector makes money off of that outrage."

On the topic of solutions, the panelists floated ideas about education, media literacy, trusted mediators. But they added there's little chance of progress until Trump, a superspreader of conspiracies and disinformation, is out of the White House.

"Leadership matters," said Kori Schake, who was a senior adviser in the State Department, Defense Department and the National Security Council. "It really matters that the president of the United States is an arsonist of radicalization. And it will really help when that is no longer the case."

Entrenched polarization

The online conference wrapped up the way many such discussions do: without a clear solution, at least in the near-term. The same what-do-we-do conversations are happening in political circles, among researchers and at tech companies.

Nobody expects polarization – or its spinoff, radicalization – to go away when Trump is out of office. It's now a fixture of the American political landscape, part of an international trend toward right-wing populism, said Arie Kruglanski, a University of Maryland professor who's written extensively about radicalization. He said the erosion of trust in public institutions leaves ample room for disinformation to take root.

"We don't trust the government. We don't trust the Congress. We don't trust the Supreme Court. We don't trust now the science. We don't trust medicine. We don't trust the media for sure," Kruglanski said. "So who do we trust? Well, we trust our tribe. We trust conspiracy theories that tell us what we want to hear."

Kruglanski said revolutions and wars throughout history offer examples of how quickly extremism can go mainstream.

"Every large political movement started at one point as a small fringe minority," he said. "And when it catches on, it can engulf the whole society. So, you know, the danger is there."

 

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The snowflakes of the world can choose to be fearful of anything they want.... they may want to fear the present government that is stripping our freedoms away at a very fast pace....they might fear the anarchists who are terrorizing the big cities....or even what this alt-right this post is about......

 

As I prioritize the issue, my listing is the in the order I place the most concern.....to the least...

 

The US has much bigger problems to deal with than the fringe far right.....  CL

 

 

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Their are no radicals on the far right only patriots. If patriots scare you Good. You talk as if it was the right that was killing police ,children, innocent people all summer. Like it was  the right who was burning our city's. Like it was the right who was turning against our own law enforcement. Like it was the right who was looting and taking what was not theirs to take. All the while the left stood by with their corrupt news media and cheered them on. Are we supposed to just forget now. Play dumb You people think things will ever be the same. We saw what you did. We heard the lies We have seen how far you are willing to take it. Now you have the nerve to point at us and say "oh you right wing radicals are scaring us. "   hahahahaha  Hang on to your ass pal its going to get a lot scarier . 

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The premise of this thread is very shortsighted, as it's quite naive to believe destructive radicals only belong to one political ideology....An honest person only needs to look at the actions perpetrated on our Capitol to know that is not the case, as it ranks right up there with the looting and pillaging from the other side's radicals last summer.  As always, just my opinion.

 

GO RV, then BV

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31 minutes ago, Shabibilicious said:

The premise of this thread is very shortsighted, as it's quite naive to believe destructive radicals only belong to one political ideology....An honest person only needs to look at the actions perpetrated on our Capitol to know that is not the case, as it ranks right up there with the looting and pillaging from the other side's radicals last summer.  As always, just my opinion.

 

GO RV, then BV

Wrong.

One instance does not equate to 1 years worth and counting.

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Shabibilicious said:

destructive radicals exist on both sides.

You are 100% correct! Wackos on both sides! Just like you I condemned all the violence that happened this summer. The movements were taken over by the extreme fringe radical left. And just like the storming of the capital was taken over by the fringe radical right. The sad part is to many if you’re not extreme right you are evil and hate everything. Talk about eat up with hate! I just SMH when someone says you hate everything. Unfortunately I think some people are just to far gone to even try and have a conversation with. So I don’t. Best for both sides

Edited by caddieman
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22 minutes ago, Shabibilicious said:

 

I stand by my comment.....destructive radicals exist on both sides.

 

GO RV, then BV

Do not talk to us as though we are children Shabs . Of course there are destructive radicals on both sides. There is in every conflict. There are always ones that will take things to far. Like the GOVT at wounded knee like the lakota at the big horn. The capital is a joke nothing more then a house of corruption. Washington dc is a sink hole . The GOVT does nothing to help its people. 500.000 people has died and the left still wants to ally with the very ones that killed them. Biden verbally attacks Russia knowing full well that china is the threat. Only a blind man would not be able to see this. What china did was a act of war every bit as pearl harbor and the twin towers. To hell with your capital. This is no longer the America of my youth it has become something foul and evil and should be cleansed. Yes these are harsh words for very harsh times.  As long as the left is a threat which it has shown its true face this summer. Then we will respond to that threat. 

 

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54 minutes ago, dog53 said:

Do not talk to us as though we are children Shabs . Of course there are destructive radicals on both sides. There is in every conflict. There are always ones that will take things to far. Like the GOVT at wounded knee like the lakota at the big horn. The capital is a joke nothing more then a house of corruption. Washington dc is a sink hole . The GOVT does nothing to help its people. 500.000 people has died and the left still wants to ally with the very ones that killed them. Biden verbally attacks Russia knowing full well that china is the threat. Only a blind man would not be able to see this. What china did was a act of war every bit as pearl harbor and the twin towers. To hell with your capital. This is no longer the America of my youth it has become something foul and evil and should be cleansed. Yes these are harsh words for very harsh times.  As long as the left is a threat which it has shown its true face this summer. Then we will respond to that threat. 

 

Don't allow Shabbs to get you so riled up, heck he would have considered George Washington a far right extremist in 1776. To say nothing about Thomas Jefferson who advocated the armed removal of the government that rules against the will of the people. I can hear him now, claiming them more vile and radicalized than Trump. 

That's what the British did and it didn't work out so well for them. You know what's changed since then?

NOTHING. 

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7 hours ago, Shabibilicious said:

 

I stand by my comment.....destructive radicals exist on both sides.

 

GO RV, then BV

As usual you failed to address you words I contested. Instead you made it sound like I support right wing extremist.

As stated earlier, if conservatives wanted to be an issue they would know.

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13 hours ago, nstoolman1 said:

As usual you failed to address you words I contested. Instead you made it sound like I support system" rel="">support right wing extremist.

As stated earlier, if conservatives wanted to be an issue they would know.

I've noticed through  the years that Shabbs regularly ignores the post subject matter he's responding to. 

Only to twist the original posters intentions around like a pretzel trying to make everyone else look like something their not. 

 

I love my Brother but this is why I believe he knows his political position is wrong. By never addressing the issue he displays he cannot show the righteousness of his argument. 

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1 hour ago, ladyGrace'sDaddy said:

I've noticed through  the years that Shabbs regularly ignores the post subject matter he's responding to. 

Only to twist the original posters intentions around like a pretzel trying to make everyone else look like something their not. 

 

I love my Brother but this is why I believe he knows his political position is wrong. By never addressing the issue he displays he cannot show the righteousness of his argument. 

 

No.....he usually doesn't respond to common sense....logic.....or undeniable facts well....

 

He seems to enjoy the fringe MSM garbage that is 98% of American media....

CL

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