1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Why are all the conservatives saying "regressive"

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Hygro, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    20,254
    Really?
    I started posting in OT early 2009 and I could have sworn the keyboard libertarians and "statist" lingered on for a few years after that.
    Or I could be mistaken.
     
  2. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    9,437
    Location:
    Mid-Illinois
    I did a search for the word "statist" in OT. Of course we can only go back 300 posts using forum search, but that's still enough to make some conclusions. The 300th most recent post to contain "statist" was on February 5, 2012. The breakdown is:

    2/5/12 - 12/31/12: 171 posts
    1/1/13 - 12/31/13: 82 posts
    1/1/14 - 12/31/14: 29 posts
    1/1/15 - now: 16 posts, not counting this thread.

    The decline in the word "statist" in 2012-14 was much more rapid than the decline in OT posts. But then again it seems that use of "statist" fell off immediately when a certain someone was permabanned in mid-2013. Libertarianism may have become less popular before that. I'm pretty sure it was common through 2011 at least.
     
  3. Algeroth

    Algeroth 8 and 1/2

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,466
    Location:
    Прага
    Yeah, it was an (massive, true) uptick due to the Lehman Brothers bankrupcy and spread of the mortage crisis to the rest of developed world, but I think that using "statist" as an insult was way more in vouge in the 06/early 07, there was a decline after that.

    Or perhaps I misremember that. (Maybe because 06 was when I left my libertarian phase behind, so, the word "statist" gradually disappeared from my internet bubble)
     
  4. Funky

    Funky Emperor

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,291
    As someone who happens to use the terms "regressives" and "regressive left" all the time, allow me to cast some light on the matter. First, it was not introduced by conservatives. Only rarely have I seen a self-identifying conservative use it. There is no need to, for them "the left", or "liberals" already defines the opposition. It is ironic though that the notion that it must be a conservative invention intended to denigrate the left fits into the group-think which is so typical of regressivism.

    No, the term was actually coined by Maajid Nawaz, who, like other moderate Muslims, is sick and tired of a certain partition of the left in Europe and America constantly excusing orthodox Islam and trying to prevent much-needed discussion by labeling both Western critics and Muslim reformers as bigots, racists, "islamophobes" etc. It is used almost exclusively by liberals, true liberals I should say, people who stand up for liberal principles regardless of ethnic, religious or gender-based boundaries. The reason it has caught on so swiftly, is that these people rightly feel the need to distance themselves from those who consider themselves to be on the left, but are actually very authoritarian and regressive in their thinking. People who like to shut down the discussion of uncomfortable topics, and who will throw liberal principles like freedom of speech or women's rights out the window when they don't fit their ideology. Some of the main advocates of the term are Dave Rubin (whose whole show is centered around the topic), Maajid Nawaz, Sarah Haider, Sam Harris, Peter Boghossian, Nick Cohen, Ali Rizvi, Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar, Gad Saad, or Ayaan Hirsi Ali - all liberal-minded people who have had too much of the regressive insanity and are fighting back. Don't expect the term to go away any time soon.

    So, what defines a regressive? Regressives tend to be driven by identity politics. They regard white Western men as the most privileged group, and therefore the most worthy of denigration and slander, whereas they see other groups as being further down on the privilege scale. Being a woman will help, being gay is even better, if you are black you don't have much to fear, and if you are a Muslim you are so far down on their privilege scale that you can do the most abhorrent deeds and will hardly be criticised. The problem with this identity-partitioning is that it doesn't judge the individual by his own actions and beliefs, but by the color of his skin, his religious affiliation or his sexual preference - a mode of thinking which we had pretty much overcome. Hence these people are called "regressives", they want to turn back the clock and regress into antiquated stereotypical thinking. Moreover, viewing people as poor and oppressed, simply because they belong to a certain group, is a form of racism or bigotry in itself (often refered to as racism (or bigotry) of low expectations), though regressives are rarely aware that they are being racist.

    Furthermore, this mode of thinking renders regressives incapable of honestly assessing certain topics. When talking about radical Islam, for example, it can't be the fault of the Muslims or their interpretation of Islamic ideology that they blow themselves up in a crowd of infidels, it must be "Western imperialism". When confronted with the fact that black people commit way more crimes than any other race in the US, the reason must be "white racism". They ignore or discard any facts which are not in accordance with their talking points. That is the reason regressives won't discuss the insane violence going on between Sunnis and Shiites, or that different groups of black people are slaughtering each other in South Africa. It just doesn't fit the narrative of white Western men oppressing the rest of the world. And they certainly won't discuss black-on-white crime, or the countless instances where Christians are persecuted in the Muslim world. What is worse, they will try to prevent anyone else from talking about these topics, often in a very angry tone, by means of distraction, misrepresentation or name-calling.

    But there is good news. These people have been identified and are being called out. People like Cenk Uygur or Abbey Martin, who are among the worst regressives on youtube, are regularly being intellectually torn to pieces in countless response videos and comments. We have had to put up with this crap for far too long. The Sam Harris, Bill Maher, Ben Affleck affair was what got the ball rolling, and having to witness the insanity going on at US colleges finally broke the dam. Regressives are now being exposed across the board, and we can be hopeful that their backward thinking will eventually be overcome.

    If you are interested in finding out more, I can highly recommend watching the Rubin Report on youtube. Dave Rubin used to be a regressive himself who worked for the Young Turks, but was able to free himself from the shackles of regressivism.
    Here is a link to the part of his discussion with Maajid Nawaz about the regressive left.
    And this interview, where Peter Boghossian points out the similarities between the regressive left and the devout religious, may be the best discussion on the issue I have yet seen.
    In light of the fact that regressives hate to be confronted with opinions which challenge their worldview, will you watch these videos?
     
  5. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    46,471
    Location:
    US of A


    A tiny handful on the left compared to the overwhelming majority on the right.
     
  6. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    8,031
    There can, but criticism from the right almost always lacks appreciation for details and nuance.
     
  7. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    20,544
    I don't know.

    Following Funky's (excellent) post, I can think of quite a few moment over the last decades where large sections of the left embraced views that can only be described as "regressive". Like failing to stand behind Salman Rushdie in the fatwa case (which was what sent Hitchens to the neoconservative camp, BTW). Or being enamored by a violent caudillo like Hugo Chávez, who was brutalizing the opposition and killing democracy (he was very beloved by the mainstream left back in the day, now when his name is mentioned they just change the subject).

    At any rate, the incapacity of the left to engage in any self-criticism (see in this thread: "this term comes form the conservative echo-chamber!"; "it's a new conservative insult" ; "it's only a tiny minority") is also a regressive trait.
     
  8. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,996
    Location:
    the relative oasis of CFC
    /thread :D

    That's a clear and concise explanation of the usage of the term, as far as I've heard and used it myself.
     
  9. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    20,544
    Because all smart people are clearly on the left... that cradle of geniuses that has given us brilliant doctrines such as Marxism, Maoism, Identity Politics...
     
  10. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    8,031
    These are seemingly contradictory statements. If the problem with "regressives" is their partitioning identity politics, then why is it OK to blame "the Muslims" or "Islam" for terrorism? Doesn't that do the same exact thing? Doesn't that rob the individual terrorist of his agency and ascribe his actions to the larger group to which he (or she) belongs, rather than hold the individual responsible for those actions? Doesn't that reduce the cause of a complex problem to a simple root cause based on identity?

    Saying that "western imperialism" is the sole cause of radical terrorism would be silly, but radical Muslims are hardly the only terrorists, now but especially throughout history. ISIS is hardly the only large group of people in the world going around wantonly raping and killing their "enemies." Unfortunately, the enemies of "identity politics" often times themselves fail to understand this, fail to look to external factors which contribute to radicalization. Religion may play a role, sure, and that can be a crucial part of both understanding the problem and figuring out a solution, but it's hardly the only factor.
     
  11. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    20,544
    That's not true. Hardly anyone would say that Islam = terrorism (this oversimplification is just something identitarians use to shut down any and all criticism of Islam as the work of racist islamophobes).

    The criticism of identitarians is that they attempt to interdict even discussing possible problems in Islam (and not just Islam, of course). In Western Europe, Islam is the "religion of the poor and oppressed", so it has become a sacred cow for sections of the left.

    This insistence that Christianity or Judaism is "just as bad" is also so pointless it becomes dishonest. Nobody cares what the sacred texts themselves say, except for the radicals. Yes, the Old Testament is quite violent. So what? We should care about concrete facts. When was the last time some group killed over 100 innocent civilians in the middle of a Western capital in the name of Christianity? Maybe the 16th Century? Clearly, the religion with a radicalism problem right now is Islam. Islam needs to be criticized just like Christianity was in the 18th Century; it needs to be neutralized. Radical Imams preaching hatred should be arrested or deported, or arrested and then deported. Radical mosques need to be shut down. Foreign Imams should only be accepted after extensive background checks...

    Identitarians get crazy over such measures, but they applaud very similar ones that were taken by European governments in past centuries to curb the power of the Catholic Church...
     
  12. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Messages:
    34,314
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Leblanc
    Should I start a copycat thread about "identitarians", I wonder.
     
  13. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Messages:
    23,223
    Location:
    Montana
    I love that these posts are back to back.
     
  14. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    8,087
    I think that is a fantastic post personally. Clearly and concisely hits the nail on the head.
     
  15. Funky

    Funky Emperor

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,291
    The implication wasn't that one should blame "the Muslims" or "Islam" in general. I was refering to "the Muslims who blow themselves up" and to "their interpretation of Islamic ideology". Muslims, like all individuals, should be judged on their own beliefs and actions. By criticizing Islam, we are not judging a whole group of people, we are criticizing specific bad ideas and the behaviour that an adherence to these ideas leads to.

    Of course not all terrorists are Muslims, but Muslims are responsible for the overwhelming majority of deaths caused by terror attacks around the globe. According to Wikipedia there have been 32 terror attacks so far in this month alone, 31 of which were committed in the name of Islam.
    And while IS is the most horrific manifestation of a literal interpretation of Islamic scripture, the problem is much larger than just IS. The problem is the ideology of Islamism, which manifests itself in countless radical organisations and terrorist groups across the globe. I don't want to derail the thread though; besides, this discussion was just had in the Trump's Muslim plan thread.
     
  16. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    8,031
    That wasn't really my intention, to get into that discussion here.

    I think that what "regressivism" is is a push-back against the idea that entire groups of people (Muslims, blacks in the example you gave) are responsible for the actions of a very, very small number of people within those groups (terrorists in the case of Muslims, criminals in the case of blacks). And the connotation that often comes with a statement like "black people commit more crimes than people of other races," that this is somehow innately tied to race.

    I agree 100%, that it's absurd to write off negative behavior of any person or group of people as simply a product of things beyond their control. But I also think it'd be crazy to dismiss entirely that external factors play a role in those things. In the case of crime, there are societal factors that lead to an increase in crime among all ethnic groups. So using the ethnic group as THE arbitrary grouping by which you demarcate who commits more crime is perhaps not the proper way to discuss or understand the problem.
     
  17. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2002
    Messages:
    13,511
    Location:
    next to George Bush's parents
    This is strange. You have a three page spread on something I never heard. I admit I was more plugged into conservatives prior to my change in work situation last May, but this is a new one to me.

    J
     
  18. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,238
    Location:
    Within the realm of impossibility
    I think a good analogy is that rather than people's choices being an open sky where we can do or be anything, with full knowledge, our choices are like a dark maze. We can't see where choosing left will take us versus where choosing right will take us, but we still have the choice to do so.
     
  19. .Shane.

    .Shane. Take it like a voter Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    9,233
    Location:
    NorCal
    Actually, I don't find labels useful in forums like these. I always found it odd that so many people here desperately want to be labeled and label themselves.

    But, in the most literal sense, yes. I think societies either move forward or backwards. There is no such thing as staying the same. It's just not possible. And, I'm for moving forward.
    Got it. :) Sorry if I came off as defensive.
    I agree there are extremists and boors on both sides, but to me the difference is that regression is more or less the company line and goal for the GOP whereas the examples you site above do not speak for a majority sentiment and have a strong opposition from other "progressives" or "liberals".

    I hope that makes sense. :)
     

Share This Page