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Author: Subject: What The Hell Is A "Leftist?"

Zen Peach





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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 09:10 AM
Some of us are being characterized by others as being "leftists," among other things. I'm not sure what this is all about. No body I hang out with, or work with, or associate with anywhere else has ever said anything like that. "Oh, hi, Allen. I see you are a leftist." Now these are the people who know me, and spend time around me, so if I really was a "leftist," it seems like they would notice.

Maybe they are all leftists, too, so they don't notice that about me. I don't know. But apparently there are people who can read a few words I type at a music website, and know that I'm a leftist. So maybe there is something I'm missing. Am I supposed to be going to some kind of leftist meetings, or other gatherings? Is there a leftist newsletter I should be getting? Special outfit I should wear?

I wonder if the term "leftist" is just a term used by the rightist talking heads on TV and the radio, and then the people who listen to them go out and call all the people who don't agree with them leftists. Like little minions sent out by their ruler to seek out the leftists who would destroy their way of life, and expose them wherever they find them. Of course, the easiest place to look is on the internet, and the safest, too, since they can call names and say all kinds of vile things about the leftists without ever leaving their chair. They can be their own little Sean Hannity, without even having to look anyone in the eye.


 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 10:28 AM
As I always understood it, a "Leftist" was just a nice way of calling someone something far worse than a Democrat. It implies communisim, socialism, anti-American sentiment when none of those principles may apply. For me, Im very liberal but I also have very strong conservative leanings on some issues.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 11:43 AM
A leftist is someone who fundamentally opposes the free-enterprise capitalist system that we live under and seeks to change it whether by revolutionary or non-revolutionary means. It does not mean liberal and most people who vote Democrat are not properly characterized as leftists.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 11:58 AM
These definitions aside, as we've discussed in other threads, we live in a polarized political world now, liberal/conservative, democrat/republican, left/right, so I think usage by some simply means a person has left, or liberal, tendencies. I don't think it's as pejorative, anti American or anti capitalist as its original intent.

While I appreciate the origin of the word now that others have told me, I would have innocently characterized someone as leftist that I thought was generally liberal.

Greg

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 12:15 PM
And then a 3rd party would get started, and eventually, with power, end up just like the other 2.....



and yes, I understand that is being cynical.....

[Edited on 7/11/2008 by Sang]

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 12:20 PM
quote:
Notice there are no 'rightists' ?

Sure there are, the language just doesn't work in the same way. Someone wanting to use that label will usually say something like: those of you "on the right", or: "right-wingers", or something like that.

Same general intent, different language rules

With the exception of political applications; left pretty much always implies direction, whereas right can be an adjective (you're right about that!), or and adverb (turn right dummy!). Hence the different language applications.

I think Doug gave a pretty good summary of the political distinctions

quote:
I wonder if the term "leftist" is just a term used by the rightist talking heads on TV and the radio, and then the people who listen to them go out and call all the people who don't agree with them leftists. Like little minions sent out by their ruler to seek out the leftists who would destroy their way of life, and expose them wherever they find them. Of course, the easiest place to look is on the internet, and the safest, too, since they can call names and say all kinds of vile things about the leftists without ever leaving their chair. They can be their own little Sean Hannity, without even having to look anyone in the eye.

If your goal was to question the labels in an attempt to bridge understanding and find common ground, you won't get very far with that approach SCB.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 01:08 PM
quote:
Why 3? Why not 10? The more choices, the better chance that you actually might end up with something good.....

Not to doubt the good intent of your comment, but have you ever paid attention to Italian politics? They have all sorts of parties, and are constantly forming and reforming their government because no one can agree or get anything done.

Then again, that sounds pretty familar....

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 01:44 PM
quote:
Our current form of government sucks. That much is certain

No disagreement there, but could it be largely our fault?

We keep electing these people out of self-interest - what they can bring home for their state or district - instead of the good of the country.

We let all sorts of evidence pass by of incomptenance, and still keep electing the same people

Even with our massive lack of attention to what they are doing, we can't even put together enough strength to get term limits in place. At least then we could pay the same miniscule attention and only get screwed by a particular individual for a limited period.

We are swayed by the cheapest pandering to our self-interest.

We base our votes mostly on emotion instead of reason



Fo all these reasons and more, I have to ask: "don't we deseve what we have?"

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 01:53 PM
And you grumpy old fellas make sure those damn kids stay off your lawn

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 02:42 PM
Our current form of government is the best in this world...but, with that said, it is increasingly under attack from the left to move to socialistic, entitlement programs,
higher taxes, and away from the Constitution. This will be the ultimate downfall of this country.
Charles barkley..." Poor people been voting Democrat for 50 years, and their still poor".
Vote Republican and save the USA

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 02:47 PM
I also thought a "leftist" was one hell of a guitar player....

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 02:59 PM
A "Leftist".... doesn't agree with Ann Coulter

A "Liberal"...evidently is one who has the audacity to disagree with Hannity & Limbaugh

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 03:16 PM
quote:
A "Leftist".... doesn't agree with Ann Coulter

A "Liberal"...evidently is one who has the audacity to disagree with Hannity & Limbaugh


LOL... the winner!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 07:55 PM
quote:
These definitions aside, as we've discussed in other threads, we live in a polarized political world now, liberal/conservative, democrat/republican, left/right, so I think usage by some simply means a person has left, or liberal, tendencies. I don't think it's as pejorative, anti American or anti capitalist as its original intent.

While I appreciate the origin of the word now that others have told me, I would have innocently characterized someone as leftist that I thought was generally liberal.

Greg


The term leftist is usually used to denote someone to the left of a liberal.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 08:19 PM
quote:
quote:
These definitions aside, as we've discussed in other threads, we live in a polarized political world now, liberal/conservative, democrat/republican, left/right, so I think usage by some simply means a person has left, or liberal, tendencies. I don't think it's as pejorative, anti American or anti capitalist as its original intent.

While I appreciate the origin of the word now that others have told me, I would have innocently characterized someone as leftist that I thought was generally liberal.

Greg


The term leftist is usually used to denote someone to the left of a liberal.


I had promised myself that I wasn't going to expound on these political thread, but something has come over me and I'm just going to do it.

Categorizing people or groups of people and putting them under nice neat little exclusionary titles like "leftist" is so unimaginative. Labeling and stereotyping others is for people who are either afraid of the people they label because they are different, or because they don't understand them. Educating oneself helps immensely. If you understand where a person is coming from (even if you don't agree with them) it makes it much easier to have an intelligent dialog instead of name calling like a bunch of children. Thank you, I will try to bow out now.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 08:32 PM
Yes, I have heard the term thrown around quite a bit, but based on the definition I am not sure that I ever met one. It is pretty comical though if you think about it, that you can be referred as one by folks you have never met.

 

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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 08:52 PM
SCB wrote: "I wonder if the term "leftist" is just a term used by the rightist talking heads on TV and the radio"

Allen, it dates to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. The French Revolutionaries were somewhat divided in their ambitions, and those with the most radical and extreme desires to destroy the status quo, including wiping out nearly all persons associated with the old regime sat on the left (as you entered) the Revolutionary Council. Those on the right were less extreme in their views. Subsequent revolutionaries, including Marx, et al, and later communists, socialists, radicals, anarchists adopted/adapted the term to their own prospectuses. Later, after 1865, Americans with extreme views also wrapped themselves in the banner. Pre-WWII Democrats were often aligned with the Old Left, while post-1945 Democrats were more closely identified with the New Left, which arose out of the fact that they blamed the Old Left with the failure of WWII to fully settle the world on a "leftist" orbit, however one might wish to accept that.

Now, of interest, while the Left likes to compare the GOP to the Nazi's, they might wish to check that term. "Nazi" was a contraction of National SOCIALISM, which ironically drew much of its impetus from radical SOVIET/COMMUNIST ideology. The Nazi Party arose from a very small radical extremist group in Germany, the German National Socialist Worker's Party. Hitler was sent to spy upon it by a right wing Army leadership, fell in love with its public exhortations, and became member #7. One suspects it was truly a very small group.

However, to

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/11/2008 at 09:04 PM
quote:

If your goal was to question the labels in an attempt to bridge understanding and find common ground, you won't get very far with that approach SCB.


Oh, don't worry. I wasn't.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/12/2008 at 07:38 AM
Wow, Maconga, I had to read that clever line twice to get its full meaning. Did you think that one up on your own?

 

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