ForumTouchy Subjects ► The Far / Radical Left
Ferreteh said:
But statistically, left wing extremism as a whole contributes to just 2% of deaths by the hands of extremists in the US in the last ten years. That's behind Islamic extremism at 24% and right wing extremism at 74%. The perception of antifa as violent is slightly justifiable by how it identifies itself, but it's definitely not doing too great of a job at that.
We should take the ADL's numbers with a huge pinch of salt because the ADL counts extremists killing people for any reason, not just for their extremism. For example when KKK member Melissa Ancona killed her own husband, who was also a KKK member, the ADL included it in their list of extremist killings! The ADL's lists of "extremist killings" are inflated with domestic disputes that happen to involve extremists, and I think that's misleading.

Reveal counted US terrorist deaths 2008-2016 and came up with 51% Islamist, 45% Far-Right, 4% Far-Left. Across all US studies though, the far-left does fall behind in terms of fatalities nowadays. Back in the '70s and '80s far-left terrorism was a big deal in the US, with revolutionary groups like Weather Underground, SLA and BLA. But it seems like the US far-left gave up on proper terrorism after the collapse of the USSR.

Now the question of Leftist violence, at least in the US, is mostly about vandalism, assault, rioting. Off the top of my head I can only think of the Democrat who opened fire on the Republican baseball game, and the pro-LGBTQ guy who opened fire on the conservative Christian office because the SPLC listed it as a hate group. In countries like Greece, Spain and Italy the far-left is more militant and does low-level bombings.
First I'd like to commend you for finding a stat that implies increased threat of Islamic terrorism within an article that explicitly states how white nationalist terrorism is more of a risk than Islamic terrorism. That just couldn't get better in the context of other discussions that have gone down on this forum regarding the subject.

Next, rather than play a numbers game with opposing statistics - though 2% more than 2% is just 4%, and represents 7 deaths over the measured period of 8 years and none of these refer to antifa explicitly, and as far as I know antifa hasn't caused any deaths - I'll instead ask what your point is? Vandalism is not a violent crime, and rioting that doesn't involve the harm of people - only the destruction of property - is not a violent crime. No one is defending antifa violence - only pointing out how, based on available statistics, it appears to be significantly less likely than right wing extremist violence, especially in reference to lethality. If you can find proof that antifa have actually killed anyone I'd appreciate it - it doesn't seem to exist, whereas there are multiple instances of lethal alt-right violence, even though both movements emerged around the same time.
Thank you, I think it's important to be able to filter out spin and get to the facts. I am well aware what Reveal's angle is. It's remarkable cognitive dissonance to run a headline telling us we should be most concerned about white nationalist attacks, then burying in the small print, literally in brackets, that Islamist attacks kill the most.

Your OP was inviting thoughts about the far-left generally, not exclusively Antifa. I have no articles to hand about Antifa killing anyone, and didn't claim to. I said from the start that the far-left kills less than Islamists and the far-right, and that far-left violence is nowadays mostly around Antifa mob assaults or low-level bombing. I think it's wrong to say no one is defending Antifa violence. See for example the "Nazi punching" thread where people are defending Antifa violence.

You've suggested that by definition no killing can be BLM-related because BLM is a specific organisation which says don't kill people, and that black nationalists killing police in revenge for police killing black suspects shouldn't be called BLM-related even if they cite BLM. Is "Alt-Right" a specific organisation or is it white nationalists generally, and should black nationalists generally be categorised under the far-left umbrella?
Ferreteh said:
What is it? Is it antifa? The Resistance? Communism? Neo-Marxism? Socialism? Social anarchism? Anarcho-capitalism? Beats me. The far left as a concept is one of the harder things to pin down in today's political landscape, largely because of fiscal conservatism and its place under the "left" umbrella, as well as the lack of a very clear "villain" at the same level of austerity as the alt-right and the Red Pill crowd. What comes to mind when you hear people talk about the label? How do you approach conversations regarding it?

The far left is National-Socialism.
really? i thought it was marxism.
Cr3d_F1r3 said:
The far left is National-Socialism.

Yeah,I think the nazis were more authoritarian. The left usually advocates for less government interference on social issues, while the National Socialist party spent a lot of effort putting people in camps who didn't have the "correct" traits.
People aren’t always what they call themselves. The Nazis were really fascists, not socialists, just like how North Korea isn’t really a democratic republic.
Yes well if National Socialist implies socialist politics then I suppose we should all be thankful the world has two egalitarian paradises: the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, etc etc.
The big problem with trying to define "far left" is that politics can't be easily summarized on a single axis. The "Political Compass" uses two axes: economic left/right and social libertarian/authoritarian. I also recently saw a three-axis categorization on Reddit:
  • Collectivist vs. Individualist
  • Identitarian vs. Identity-blind
  • Authoritarian vs. Libertarian
I like this breakdown, at least to describe current US politics (not sure how universal it is). A multidimensional system like this or the 2D version allows us to ask more precise, meaningful questions, like "what does radical collectivism look like?" or better yet "what does radical collectivist-identitarian-authoritarianism look like?"
Modeling political opinions is a fun exercise in dimensionality reduction. A most-accurate model might have N dimensions, where N is the number of issues (dozens, hundreds, thousands). How do we reduce those dimensions while still preserving the accuracy of the model?
Let S be the space of political issues,
Fwip said:
Modeling political opinions is a fun exercise in dimensionality reduction. A most-accurate model might have N dimensions, where N is the number of issues (dozens, hundreds, thousands). How do we reduce those dimensions while still preserving the accuracy of the model?

For any given group of political thinkers, the dot product of their N-dimensional vectors should give a measure of how closely related their thought is, and a unit vector based on the sum should give the political direction of their common ground.

By choosing suitable groups, you can generate a set of vectors which give the "meaning" of various ideologies as expressed in N-dimensional political space. Choosing some of these as alternate axes, might be a first step to reducing the model.
"Socialism is the science of dealing with the common weal*. Communism is not Socialism. Marxism is not Socialism. The Marxians have stolen the term and confused its meaning. I shall take Socialism away from the Socialists. Socialism is an ancient Aryan, Germanic institution. Our German ancestors held certain lands in common. They cultivated the idea of the common weal. Marxism has no right to disguise itself as socialism. Socialism, unlike Marxism, does not repudiate private property. Unlike Marxism, it involves no negation of personality, and unlike Marxism, it is patriotic. We might have called ourselves the Liberal Party. We chose to call ourselves the National Socialists. We are not internationalists. Our socialism is national. We demand the fulfillment of the just claims of the productive classes by the state on the basis of race solidarity. To us, state and race are one."

Weal = what is best for the nation (or person/other thing)

"There are only two possibilities in Germany; do not imagine that the people will forever go with the middle party, the party of compromises; one day it will turn to those who have most consistently foretold the coming ruin and have sought to dissociate themselves from it. And that party is either the Left: and then God help us! for it will lead us to complete destruction - to Bolshevism, or else it is a party of the Right which at the last, when the people are in utter despair, when it has lost all its spirit and has no longer any faith in anything, is determined for its part ruthlessly to seize the reins of power - that is the beginning of resistance of which I spoke a few minutes ago. Here, too, there can be no compromise - there are only two possibilities: either victory of the Aryan, or annihilation of the Aryan and the victory of the Jew."

  • Hitler

Hitler was not ever, even once in his life, a socialist or leftist of any type. He tried to redefine the civil side of socialism in order to sway his voters while he was coming into power, but socialism is more about economic ideology than it is about civil rights and law. Fascism was the antithesis to the rise of Marxist ideologies like communism and its cousin, socialism. In socialist and communist nations, persons do not hold individual wealth nor do they hold any individual autonomy. They are to share all their luxuries with all of their nations, and they are to bind their entire life's purpose to serve their nation in a way an ant serves its queen; it works for the hive, and it dies for the hive, never having become something different than the other ants. Fascism is capitalism on an ultra-scale, where there is no difference between business and government as the corporate and industrial world has more government power than the average citizen. Not only that, but the average citizen is able to keep their autonomy up until serving the needs of the country, not just the wants. The only things that are similar in historical fascist and socialist nations are the national worship of an authoritarian cult of personality and the murder of millions, and neither of those things are required for either label.

To toss this into the mix, taxation is democratic (and even Christian; Romans 13: 6-7). Taxation goes back as far as the early Egyptians and even the Romans taxed for things like law enforcement and it aqueducts. In America, it is constitutional for taxation with Article 1 Section 8 declaring that Congress has a right to tax the people. The Republican president Abraham Lincoln was the first to instate an income tax, an idea that would be later drafted into the what is now the 16th Amendment by Republican president William Taft. In a taxed democratic government, the government makes no money from the services it provides nor does it offer a voucher or stipend to the citizens from the profits it makes. The citizens also do not own any part of those services being offered by the government entity. It is a service operated by a government democracy paid for by the wealth and luxuries of that nation's citizens. There is nothing communist or socialist about it.

So, when an American conservative sits there and says that Hitler was a socialist, know that it is a lie. When a conservative vehemently screams that Hitler was a leftist, know that it is a lie. When conservatives stammer on and say that the USSR was fascist or communo-fascist, know that it is a lie. When they drone on about how taxation is theft and that taxation for social programs is socialism, know that it is a lie. The only thing that they truly know is that words like communist, socialist, and fascist are big scary words and that they have a billion opinions on those scary words. Otherwise, they haven't a clue what any of those words actually mean and the social and economic policies that make those political identities what they are.
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