• Civilization 7 has been announced. For more info please check the forum here .

Extremism: Thoughts and Solutions

Zardnaar

Deity
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
20,446
Location
Dunedin, New Zealand
So here we have had a smaller version of the Ottawa protests. They're an assortment of people with a grudge against vaccine mandates etc but a few are there to burn everything down or alternative types. In America you get a rise in extremism on both sides.

I suspect things are gonna get worse before they get better. Inflation plus economic disruption plus surging house prices. The US is starting to catch up to NZ in that regard 4-5 years ago. We had two years of back to back 20%+ surge in house prices.

So there's a lot of pissed off people out there. My theory is this is caused by three primary factors. Covid is just the ignition point it's been brewing for years.

1. Economic equality. The rich get richer the poor get poorer. The faith the boomers had in the system since the 1980's in effect has seen a massive intergenerational transfer of wealth. The boomers essentially pulled the ladder up behind them.

2. Backlash against globalization. In the boomers day the world was a lot less globalized. China and the Soviet Union and much of the third world weren't that involved in the global economy.

3. Out of touch global elites. Basically they're in on it (the right) or are unable or unwilling to deal with increasing amounts of inequality. What should gave been a short term emergency economic shock in the 80's has morphed into a new (old repackaged) economic orthodoxy.

In the USAs case you have a choice between conservative and liberal plutocrats the key problem being different flavours of plutocrats. In all cases eroding living standards.

The culture war is mostly a distraction. Get people angry about social issues that would largely solve themselves in a system where inequality wasn't so baked in.

Ah Zard you stupid idiotic kiwi you don't know what you're talking about we need to fix the social stuff first!!! Well we have things here that people in the USA want and a lot of those things were passed by people who would fail all sorts of modern purity tests.

Visitors here seem to like our culture as the extremes of Europe and America are not present because of what those people achieved. Civil rights in the 60's were also achieved by people who would fail modern tests.

If the economy is failing people resort to extremism (see Germany lead up to 1933 or Russia 1905-17, France 1789 etc). People lose faith in the government and will overthrow it or be indifferent to it's fate.

Bernie Sanders is essentially correct.

So that's what you need to fix first imho anything else is just window dressing. If things fall apart (revolution, collapse, slide to autocracy etc) all those social policies are immediately at risk of being revoked, replaced or just ignored as state control collapses.

The right actively makes things worse unless you're further up the food chain while the left has been hijacked by urban liberals often middle class or better with a lack of perspective for the struggles of the working class who often respond with F you I'll vote for the other guys.

So you're getting screwed over or betrayed by your elected representatives or they're to incompetent to fix things or prefer to focus on easier social issues which are a reasonably simple bill/act of parliament to enable if you have the numbers to pass them.

As an added bonus most of them are out of touch being on six figure incomes often from reasonably well off back grounds to start with. Here parliament is more "diverse" than the USA in terms but all of them apart from maybe 1 are not from a working class back ground and 115/121 have investment property.

In the USA some have been in government since the 70's. France you have to attend the right schools, Britain well enough said and it's probably similar in most countries.

Solutions. In US terms progressive economic policies, term limits for Congress/senate, overhauling electoral laws, hard look at taxes, immigration, housing etc.

How much will actually get down in any democratic country? Probably not much at least in the short term. After the boomers families got smaller so less voters proportionally to their generations, not all support solutions either.
 
Last edited:
First a point about terminology. What exactly is extremism? Historically the "extremes" of political movements have sometimes come to be seen as orthidox, such as people should choose their rulers rather than it being the oldest son of the current one, women should get a vote, we should not own people, things like that. So is it the extremeness of the position that is the problem, or just that the answer is wrong?

However, the existence of harmful political movements is very real. It seems to me the cause is pretty uncontroversial, basically the economy is broken in that productiviety is going up massively but median availablity of these goods is going down. This is seen in things like house prices, and blamed (justifiably in many cases) on things like globalization and elites. The core of the problem however is the economic system that we have chosen to implement. It seems that the obvious solution is to fix this. It is our choice that it currently works like it does, and our choice to change it or not. Exactly how we should change it is of course the difficult question.
 
Last edited:
1st step stop demonizing people who have 'extreme' views and try to understand them and where their beliefs came from. Even if they're dead wrong about 90% of things acknowledge the concerns they have that are legit.

Basically don't say idiotic things like Justin Trudeau
 
My theory is this is caused by three primary factors. Covid is just the ignition point it's been brewing for years.

1. Economic equality. The rich get richer the poor get poorer. The faith the boomers had in the system since the 1980's in effect has seen a massive intergenerational transfer of wealth. The boomers essentially pulled the ladder up behind them.
2. Backlash against globalization. In the boomers day the world was a lot less globalized. China and the Soviet Union and much of the third world weren't that involved in the global economy.
3. Out of touch global elites. Basically they're in on it (the right) or are unable or unwilling to deal with increasing amounts of inequality. What should gave been a short term emergency economic shock in the 80's has morphed into a new (old repackaged) economic orthodoxy.

1. Boomer wealth will be a bigger transfer to Millennials than any previous transfer.
2. The internet sped up globalization and has lowered the bar (to nothing) for public shouted discontent.
3. Global elites have always been oblivious to economic inequity and have found ways to keep their wealth intact.

National economies have become more interdependent because of global companies, world travel/tourism, refugees, decentralization of media and mostly, the internet. Extremists used to find it difficult to get publicity or recruit followers outside of their local area. Free access to the internet breeds trouble from dissenters. Why do you think China has such tight controls over what is allowed on its platforms? When you control the internet, you push the opportunity for ideas to spread back 50 years.

Baby Boomers have been retiring in increasing numbers, and now some are dying. They leave behind a giant pile of money that the media have labeled “the greatest wealth transfer” in modern history: a collective net worth that currently sits at $35 trillion, much of which will be passed down to their heirs. It’s so much money that, naturally, the Biden administration is examining ways to tax it, charities and nonprofits are angling for their share of it, and estate lawyers are licking their chops at the prospect of helping to plan how it all gets dispensed.
 
Last edited:
Basically don't say idiotic things like Justin Trudeau
The irony of this after saying "try to understand where people come from even if they're 90% wrong about something" is very good. If this was intentional, it's outright genius.

This isn't me defending whatever Trudeau's said at all, for the record.
 
1. Boomer wealth will be a bigger transfer to Millennials than any previous transfer.
Presumably that is true for just about every generation.
 
Presumably that is true for just about every generation.
One difference is that the boomer generation is so large. numbers vary, but here is one set.

Generations.png
 
The irony of this after saying "try to understand where people come from even if they're 90% wrong about something" is very good. If this was intentional, it's outright genius.

This isn't me defending whatever Trudeau's said at all, for the record.
We should try to understand why Trudeau is coming from too altho my compassion goes out more to people not in power (the disenfranchised on both sides on the aisle [the artificially constructed and seeded asile])
 
One difference is that the boomer generation is so large. numbers vary, but here is one set.

View attachment 620784
My point is that every generation since say the black death has been larger than the last, and most of them, certainly since the industrial revolution, have been richer. Therefore saying the the transfer from one to the next is the largest ever is not saying anything very strong.
 
My point is that every generation since say the black death has been larger than the last, and most of them, certainly since the industrial revolution, have been richer. Therefore saying the the transfer from one to the next is the largest ever is not saying anything very strong.
Gen X is an exception. I was responding to
The boomers essentially pulled the ladder up behind them.
Which is not the case at all. Millennials will get more money than the boomers did. More boomers have more more money than in previous times and for millennials it will be the same: there will be more Millennials with more money and in past generations.
 
1. Economic equality. The rich get richer the poor get poorer. The faith the boomers had in the system since the 1980's in effect has seen a massive intergenerational transfer of wealth. The boomers essentially pulled the ladder up behind them.

I'm not sure this is quite right. Specifically, the elites in the boomer generation did this. "The system" has changed a lot from 1960 until now. Steadily increasing influence on government by private interests. Then government makes "feel good" policies after .com, housing, and COVID crashes...how good are people feeling about the results of those policies? If you want to blame wealth inequality, policy in response to these events is a major source. All in the name of "helping", of course.

3. Out of touch global elites. Basically they're in on it (the right) or are unable or unwilling to deal with increasing amounts of inequality. What should gave been a short term emergency economic shock in the 80's has morphed into a new (old repackaged) economic orthodoxy.

They're probably more in touch than you think, and more of them are "in on it" than you think. Things are going pretty well, for them.

Solutions. In US terms progressive economic policies, term limits for Congress/senate, overhauling electoral laws, hard look at taxes, immigration, housing etc.

I don't disagree with you (other than maybe "progressive" economic policy, because that's highly non-specific), but some might calls these extremist views :p.

We should try to understand why Trudeau is coming from too altho my compassion goes out more to people not in power

Trudeau is doing the best tinpot dictator maneuver he can manage. Using the emergency measures act in this context is a laughingstock. He, himself, is engaging in wild extremism, even as he pays his own media to misrepresent his opposition, lies to his country, and uses dangerous rhetoric.
 
Basically don't say idiotic things like Justin Trudeau

It's not so much that it was the thing that was said, but who said it. And when you're the elected leader for a term, you have no choice but to say these things.

"There are small pockets of psychos trying to trick you into supporting their cause instead of your cause" is a reasonable warning, and the leader has to say it. And if your ally says it, it's just good sense. But if your political opponent says it, then what's heard is "You're psycho lovers and your cause is psycho".

Now, proper word-crafting can limit this 're-interpretation', but that doesn't stop people from trying to see it that way. And, given the anger of the crowd or the sloppiness of the wording, the level of this 're-interpretation' is going to ebb and wane.

I think it's a variant of why Bush was allowed massive deficits and Obama was allowed to drone-strike a US citizen. We trust our perceived ally to make hard choices more than we trust our political opponent. We trust them to grasp dangers better.
 
Trudeau didn't just name call people. He used "us vs them" language broadly, painting political opponents as a threat. He implemented an act designed for wartime. He lied about what was happening, just as he lied about his policy surrounding COVID generally. He violated the Canadian charter of rights, to the extent that they didn't even pass the law(s) that could supposedly bypass charter rights in an emergency for courts to review...this was all done by executive, with no merit of emergency for the vast majority of time it was in play.

His "psycho" opponents demand bodily autonomy and to uphold their charter rights. Apparently, extremist preferences, to those in power.
 
His "psycho" opponents demand bodily autonomy and to uphold their charter rights. Apparently, extremist preferences, to those in power.
This is a good example of why extremism is hard to solve. It's not seen as such, and / or is deliberately reframed as something less violent and more benevolent than it actually is.

EDIT - missed this
We should try to understand why Trudeau is coming from too altho my compassion goes out more to people not in power (the disenfranchised on both sides on the aisle [the artificially constructed and seeded asile])
I get where you're coming from, but it's that urge to label, to demean. We all do it.

So long as we're doing that, we're not really understanding it. Alternatively, we are, and the name-calling is separate. A bit to make feel better. Both things happen, imo. Sometimes people resort to insults without understanding, and sometimes people understand a situation but still feel strongly enough about it to say something others might find distasteful.

So the the question ends up being: what is the root of the offense to what's being said? And this often divides down ideological lines. Which, again, makes extremism a tough nut to crack.

There's another angle too. If I hypothetically call someone (not on here) a white supremacist, it's taken as an insult regardless of how true it might be. And this is weaponised. Actual supremacists hide behind feigned offense, which makes any discussion on the topic pointless - for anybody involved.
 
Last edited:
Trudeau didn't just name call people.

Here's where i know more history than you. The clip you're referring to is a fumble of something he's previously said, where the difference was more clearly laid out.
But, as I allude to in my fourth point (above), a 'friendly' audience is able to see the statement that way and a 'hostile' audience is less capable of doing so. On top of that, we each curate news sources that lead us to one interpretation or the other. Given your strong stance on this topic, we know you've curated news about this event. After that, you're somewhat subject to the motives of the people who're creating your content, and the best you can do is your best.

I think the very best example I can think of is Trump's ambiguous "their/they're"

When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. […] They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.

Now, the author put that as 'They're'. But that's a subjective interpretation, because '[they're bringing] their' works just as fine in that sentence. I know that we unconsciously choose which word to put there and post-rationalize it, because (as much as I despise Trump) I hear it as 'their'. So 'Bringing their rapists' is a very different intensity than 'they're rapists'.

And, depending on your preformed biases

And some, I assume, are good people
Either sounds token or just ... true.

As I said, proper word-crafting can mitigate some of this harm. It can also aggravate if you're good enough at dog-whistles.

Edit: don't take this as defense of Trudeau (he's long-lost my support). I don't think it's possible to hold an extended conversation about mandates without eventually insulting the people who're against it. The more words you say, the more some words are going to sound like 'true colours' to the people who don't like you.
 
Last edited:
I’ve read a lot about extremists and one thing they seem to have in common is an inability to consider they might be wrong about something and rethink their opinions.
 
But, as I allude to in my fourth point (above), a 'friendly' audience is able to see the statement that way and a 'hostile' audience is less capable of doing so.

Like I said, his words mean a lot less to me than repeatedly and emphatically trampling on his own country's promises of rights to its citizens, lying about it in the process. I don't want him out of power because some things he said make people butthurt. If he were talking authoritarian measures but doing nothing...no mandates, wartime measures, false emergencies, legislative bypass, asset freezing w/o order...if those things weren't happening, I would still dislike him and consider him a hypocrite. But I wouldn't consider him special among politicians in any way.

I want to see him out of power because I don't like tyrants, who take extraordinary (by definition) measures to shut down protests that are a fraction of the direct damage of protests Canada and the US alike tolerated for much longer. In addition to war measures, he has also secured the government's ability to freeze assets without a court order, before the state of emergency even passes the country's legislature. The implications of that are staggering. And there are people unironically viewing the risk of jail for someone taking money out of their account and putting it in their spouses being a *crime* as a GOOD thing, as if that isn't extremism.

It's for similar reasons that I consider both Bush and Obama worse than Trump. Because for all of his corruption, bluster, and failures, Trump did not work nearly as hard to undermine/destroy people's rights directly. Bush gave us quite a handful, I don't think I need to detail the extreme measures he took during his terms to convince anybody here. Obama signed an indefinite detention bill into law, to minimal media attention or outcry. When we have actual things passing their offices, it seems silly to focus on Trudeau's "blackface" incident of Trump's intention of "they're/their". Those things are trivial, in the relative sense.
 
The amount of damage the US tolerates in their protests is immaterial (and also ignores whatever calculus is needed to figure out the injustice/warranted disruption). And your perception of the relative damage caused by various protests in Canada will be a function of your curated news sources. I have no idea (or opinion, really) on what steps the government should be taking to stop the illegal parts of the protest, nevermind what resources they need to bring to bear to do so.

This all seems to be a segue from my original point, which I think I've finished articulating.

The point that I've brought up a few times, though, is the damage that can be done by biased news sources. And, obviously, the extremism that can be inspired by back government choices.
 
This all seems to be a segue from my original point, which I think I've finished articulating.

Yeah. I don't have much to discuss or argue against that point itself though. I think we'd all benefit a little from observing what people do more so than what they say though. When I do that, I'm sometimes surprised.
 
Top Bottom