15 votes

Liberal hypocrisy is fueling American inequality. Here’s how. | NYT Opinion

37 comments

  1. [28]
    Seven
    (edited )
    Link
    I have a lot of thoughts about this video, so I apologize if they're organized badly. This video is great at identifying a lot of the problems with American liberalism, but I feel like it misses...
    • Exemplary

    I have a lot of thoughts about this video, so I apologize if they're organized badly.

    This video is great at identifying a lot of the problems with American liberalism, but I feel like it misses the root cause of all these problems: liberalism itself. Democrats aren't being hypocritical when they fail to provide housing to thousands of people; that's their express aim that housing be "affordable", which is a very different thing from housing being a human right. All the problems in this video aren't because of liberals failing to be true to their ideology, but rather because of the base hypocrisy endemic to the liberal ideology: that capitalism and equality are fundamentally at odds. American neoliberalism necessitates this sort of inequality because of its belief that free market capitalism is the best way to organize the society. To Democrats, the government's job is to get out of the way and let the free market take its course. The problem isn't even "money in politics", it goes far deeper than that, to the root of American democracy. The video makes a good point when it says that the main conflict in politics today isn't between Republicans and Democrats. The reality is that we have two right-wing parties in this country and no viable left-wing alternative. The main conflict in our society isn't between political parties; it's between classes. And I'm not trying to make a class reductionist argument; far from it, I think one of this video's greatest problems is how it neglects to mention how many of the problems it specifies intersect with race. The school funding issue, for example, disproportionately affects communities of color as well as lower-class communities.

    These Democrats in power are not being hypocritical when they refuse to address class inequality in their states; that's what the ideology of liberalism is all about. We cannot truly address this issue until we acknowledge that capitalism is inherently unequal. We cannot solve inequality from a liberal ideology.


    EDIT EDIT: the main conflict in politics today is isn't between Republicans and Democrats
    20 votes
    1. [27]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      How are you thinking of “housing as a human right?” Do you mean it should be free? Presumably this would be government-built and maintained?

      How are you thinking of “housing as a human right?” Do you mean it should be free? Presumably this would be government-built and maintained?

      2 votes
      1. [26]
        Seven
        Link Parent
        Yes it should be free. It doesn't need to be government built or maintained, but that would probably be the easiest way to implement free housing in our society currently if we're not going to...

        Yes it should be free. It doesn't need to be government built or maintained, but that would probably be the easiest way to implement free housing in our society currently if we're not going to abolish capitalism entirely.

        7 votes
        1. [25]
          vegai
          Link Parent
          If abolishing capitalism was possible, what do you imagine would replace it?

          If abolishing capitalism was possible, what do you imagine would replace it?

          1. [24]
            Seven
            Link Parent
            Anything from democratic socialism to anarcho-communism. I honestly think some form of anarchy would be best for humanity, but I'll take anything I can get at this point.

            Anything from democratic socialism to anarcho-communism. I honestly think some form of anarchy would be best for humanity, but I'll take anything I can get at this point.

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              nothis
              Link Parent
              Lots of wealthy European countries had "social democrats" in charge for decades and none of them abolished capitalism. I'm not sure if "social democracy" and "democratic socialism" are the same...

              Lots of wealthy European countries had "social democrats" in charge for decades and none of them abolished capitalism. I'm not sure if "social democracy" and "democratic socialism" are the same but I'm not a big fan of "-isms" as they often become a teamsport/religious view of bundled ideas. I'd rather pick the good parts from multiple schools of thought, which is kinda what's happening everywhere outside the US and North Korea. It's absolutely possible to mix a sensible social housing policy with capitalist money inflows (I think Vienna, Austria does this well, it's a rich af city ruled by social democrats). I think this is a more realistic goal and there's little to gain from splitting politics into sharply defined opposites.

              6 votes
              1. mtset
                Link Parent
                They are not. Social democracy is not socialism, so saying "the social democrats (who are capitalists) did not abolish capitalism" is not useful evidence. This isn't accurate either. The US is...

                I'm not sure if "social democracy" and "democratic socialism" are the same

                They are not. Social democracy is not socialism, so saying "the social democrats (who are capitalists) did not abolish capitalism" is not useful evidence.

                I'd rather pick the good parts from multiple schools of thought, which is kinda what's happening everywhere outside the US and North Korea.

                This isn't accurate either. The US is definitely a stronghold of market capitalism in a lot of ways, but Germany and France are doing a decent job of implementing neo-Reaganomics, the UK is in the process of gutting their few socialist-adjacent policies, and there are definitely a few remaining functional socialist societies out there that haven't been coup'd by the CIA yet. Vietnam is a great example; I suggest looking beyond Western media to see some non-capitalist perspectives.

                there's little to gain from splitting politics into sharply defined opposites.

                Agreed, but you do have to pick a central organizing principle, and the question as I see it is, do we organize our society around moving as much money as possible to those who already have money (capitalism) or around some other socially-defined goal (socialism)? Of course, there's always moving money and power towards those born into the right families or big enough armies (feudalism; see Russia's current shenanigans) if you'd prefer!

                5 votes
            2. [2]
              vegai
              Link Parent
              We have democratic socialism where I live but it seems to be almost completely compatible with capitalism. Sure, some hard-core suits whine about it, but probably only to gain better margins.

              We have democratic socialism where I live but it seems to be almost completely compatible with capitalism. Sure, some hard-core suits whine about it, but probably only to gain better margins.

              4 votes
              1. spctrvl
                Link Parent
                You probably have social democracy rather than democratic socialism. The former is indeed compatible with capitalism, whereas the latter is not.

                You probably have social democracy rather than democratic socialism. The former is indeed compatible with capitalism, whereas the latter is not.

                4 votes
            3. [19]
              streblo
              Link Parent
              So I disagree with your statement but I am curious how you think anarchy is supposed to be a non-transitive state for society? One could argue pretty convincingly we're currently living in an...

              I honestly think some form of anarchy would be best for humanity

              So I disagree with your statement but I am curious how you think anarchy is supposed to be a non-transitive state for society? One could argue pretty convincingly we're currently living in an end-product of anarchism. Anarchism strikes me as similar to libertarian free markets --perhaps temporarily increase individual freedoms but ultimately results in highly concentrated power structures.

              1 vote
              1. [18]
                spctrvl
                Link Parent
                I think there's a disagreement between the popular and technical definitions of the term. In the political science sense, anarchism doesn't mean absence of governance or social organization, it...

                I think there's a disagreement between the popular and technical definitions of the term. In the political science sense, anarchism doesn't mean absence of governance or social organization, it means the absence of domination, violent coercion and hierarchy, and the reorganization of society based on the principles of mutual aid.

                3 votes
                1. [17]
                  streblo
                  Link Parent
                  I’m aware of the more formal definition but I’m still interested in how one could see an absence of a monopoly on violence being anything but temporary unless we assume a radical transformation of...

                  I’m aware of the more formal definition but I’m still interested in how one could see an absence of a monopoly on violence being anything but temporary unless we assume a radical transformation of human nature.

                  1 vote
                  1. [15]
                    spctrvl
                    Link Parent
                    The "because human nature" argument is kind of a stopper on debate, since it seems to just mean whatever the speaker finds most convenient for their argument at the time. I could equally make the...

                    The "because human nature" argument is kind of a stopper on debate, since it seems to just mean whatever the speaker finds most convenient for their argument at the time. I could equally make the case that violent coercive states are contrary to human nature, and survive only because on a day-to-day level people still organize their lives around a network of personal social connections that the state only rarely enters into directly. I'm sure 300 years ago, you could easily have made the argument that authoritarian monarchy was human nature, since that was pretty much all there was in terms of government structures. But at the end of the day, I doubt either argument will carry much water since human nature is just too nebulous and ill defined to be of much use to political science discussions.

                    7 votes
                    1. [14]
                      streblo
                      Link Parent
                      I agree it's very nebulous but the arguments that I'm aware of in favour of anarchism rely on it. Can you make an argument in favour of anarchism that doesn't rely on bold and hitherto unobserved...

                      I agree it's very nebulous but the arguments that I'm aware of in favour of anarchism rely on it.

                      Can you make an argument in favour of anarchism that doesn't rely on bold and hitherto unobserved claims of human nature? I don't think you can, which is kind of what I was getting at with my question for OP. It wasn't a rhetorical question but genuine. I'm decently well read on this topic and I'm aware of the traditional arguments in favour of. I just don't find them very convincing and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts of their own on how that would work.

                      Somewhat unrelated tangent: in my undergrad I wrote a thesis on optimal nuclear weapon strategy and the dangers of. In my opinion nuclear weapons represent the greatest threat to the survival of the human race, moreso than climate change or anything else. It's a genie that both can't be put back into the bottle and must be put back into the bottle. Now I don't think the status quo is doing a particularly good job at tackling this issue but these are the sorts of questions that anarchism is not equipped to answer whatsoever. Until someone is able to change my mind I remain highly, highly skeptical of how such a political system would even function in maintaining the survival of the human species, let alone be ideal?

                      1 vote
                      1. [13]
                        spctrvl
                        Link Parent
                        Can you make any arguments against it that don't? That's really the point I was trying to make here. For the record, most of the arguments in favor of anarchism that I'm aware of are fundamentally...

                        Can you make any arguments against it that don't? That's really the point I was trying to make here. For the record, most of the arguments in favor of anarchism that I'm aware of are fundamentally rooted in the idea that organizing society along non-hierarchical and non-violent lines is more just, and preferable to the status quo, regardless of whether it's more natural or not, if there's appeals to human nature they're secondary to that, and that's more or less my personal view. Whereas literally all of the arguments against anarchism that I'm aware of are rooted in some vague idea of it being against human nature.

                        3 votes
                        1. [10]
                          Eylrid
                          Link Parent
                          In your ideal non-violent society how do you deal with people who don't care about that ideal and decide to be violent anyway?

                          In your ideal non-violent society how do you deal with people who don't care about that ideal and decide to be violent anyway?

                          2 votes
                          1. [3]
                            spctrvl
                            (edited )
                            Link Parent
                            Broadly speaking, I'd just point out that there's ways of coercion not backed in violence. I'm not sure whether you're talking about a Napoleon or just a regular murderer in your example, but...

                            Broadly speaking, I'd just point out that there's ways of coercion not backed in violence. I'm not sure whether you're talking about a Napoleon or just a regular murderer in your example, but preconditioning access to community resources with entrance into a mental health focused rehabilitative justice system seems like it'd be a reasonably effective option. Frankly with motivators of survival and property crime rendered obsolete, I don't think you'd get much violence in an anarchist society besides crimes of passion.

                            4 votes
                            1. [2]
                              Eylrid
                              Link Parent
                              There's a lot to unpack here that's really got me thinking, thank you for that. I'm all for the soft approach and reducing violence as much as possible. I favor rehabilitation over punishment. I...

                              There's a lot to unpack here that's really got me thinking, thank you for that.

                              I'm all for the soft approach and reducing violence as much as possible. I favor rehabilitation over punishment. I believe that people armed and trained in combat (i.e. traditional police) should only show up to a scene when absolutely necessary. I want a society where everyone's basic needs, physical, emotional, and mental, are met, at a minimum. I agree that if people weren't desperate for survival it would eliminate a significant amount of acts of desperation.

                              However, in any situation involving coercion, whether or not it includes physical violence, there is potential for corruption and abuse. I don't think it's possible, no matter what system we use, to completely stop the powerful from preying on the weak. We can rein in it to some degree, and some societies are better at that than others, but I don't think we can get rid of it entirely. I care about murderers, because I don't want to get killed, but I also care about Napoleons. As long as there is a way to get an advantage over other people, there will be unscrupulous people who do.

                              2 votes
                              1. spctrvl
                                Link Parent
                                I think I more or less agree with you. I'm not a utopian by any means, I don't believe society is perfectable or anything, I just think there's a clear direction that we should be moving in, and...

                                I think I more or less agree with you. I'm not a utopian by any means, I don't believe society is perfectable or anything, I just think there's a clear direction that we should be moving in, and that's away from violence and hierarchy, and towards peace and equality.

                                3 votes
                          2. [6]
                            mtset
                            Link Parent
                            This is another thing about which anarchists have written extensively, prolifically, and constantly since about 1890!

                            This is another thing about which anarchists have written extensively, prolifically, and constantly since about 1890!

                            4 votes
                            1. [5]
                              cfabbro
                              (edited )
                              Link Parent
                              Not everyone knows about the various political philosophies approaches to criminology, or even where to start looking for that information, and not everyone who asks a question is doing so in bad...

                              Not everyone knows about the various political philosophies approaches to criminology, or even where to start looking for that information, and not everyone who asks a question is doing so in bad faith, and deserving of scorn. All that behaving as antagonistically as you just did accomplishes is piss people off, and unnecessarily escalate things here, while adding absolutely no value whatsoever to the conversation. So unless that's your goal, next time you should try pointing people towards some reading material where they can find the actual answers to their questions, instead of just throwing shade at them.

                              E.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_criminology

                              4 votes
                              1. mtset
                                Link Parent
                                Fair enough. I apologize for lowering the tone of the conversation.

                                Fair enough. I apologize for lowering the tone of the conversation.

                                2 votes
                              2. [3]
                                hungariantoast
                                Link Parent
                                Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me because I keep reading that comment and struggle to understand how it could be taken as antagonistic Regardless, yes, providing 'links' is...

                                Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me because I keep reading that comment and struggle to understand how it could be taken as antagonistic

                                Regardless, yes, providing 'links' is always cool:

                                https://tildes.net/~humanities/z5e/liberal_hypocrisy_is_fueling_american_inequality_heres_how_nyt_opinion#comment-6wgt

                                1 vote
                                1. [2]
                                  cfabbro
                                  (edited )
                                  Link Parent
                                  When someone asks an honest question of someone expressing their views, and the response from another person who was not the one asked, or even previously involved in the conversation, basically...

                                  When someone asks an honest question of someone expressing their views, and the response from another person who was not the one asked, or even previously involved in the conversation, basically amounts to "The answer to this has been extensively written about!" and nothing more, that's pretty obviously antagonistic, IMO. It's not much different than if someone had butted in with "google it!". It's incredibly dismissive, and also implies that the only reason the person doesn't know the answer is because they're either lazy or willfully ignorant.

                                  4 votes
                                  1. Eylrid
                                    Link Parent
                                    Yep. Even if I had read everything written about the subject over the last 130 years I would still want the person I'm talking to to tell me their position in their own words so I can engage with...

                                    Yep. Even if I had read everything written about the subject over the last 130 years I would still want the person I'm talking to to tell me their position in their own words so I can engage with them.

                                    2 votes
                        2. [2]
                          streblo
                          Link Parent
                          I think the traditional arguments for anarchism start from a normative moral position and then make claims about its feasibility by describing human nature, once freed from the shackles of...

                          For the record, most of the arguments in favor of anarchism that I'm aware of are fundamentally rooted in the idea that organizing society along non-hierarchical and non-violent lines is more just, regardless of whether it's more natural or not, if there's appeals to human nature they're secondary to that.

                          I think the traditional arguments for anarchism start from a normative moral position and then make claims about its feasibility by describing human nature, once freed from the shackles of economic or violent coercion, as sufficiently changed as to make it possible.

                          I'm not really interested in addressing the moral argument here -- even if I agree with it in principle it's purely academic if we can't address the feasibility issue. Can we do this without mentioning human nature? Probably not? But we can't make the argument in favour of feasibility either.

                          Anyways, my problem with this claim is that the entire human population, distributed across much of the world, was once free of any sort of organized state. Human nature, even unencumbered, clearly was not enough to keep it that way except perhaps in very isolated populations. What reasons do we have to expect different results?

                          And as I mentioned, we're no longer only dealing with regular violence but additionally existential nuclear violence as well. Even if the anarchists were broadly correct and human nature is transformed in the wake of destruction of the state, it would only take a small number of people to inflict massive nuclear damage or to achieve nuclear primacy and become unopposed kings of the world. Are we really going to argue the transformation of human nature will be so pure that there will be no bad actors? Seems far-fetched to me.

                          1 vote
                          1. skybrian
                            Link Parent
                            In practice, most societies are mixtures so it might be more practical to consider situations where formal governance is less needed. For example, consider legal rights. I'm doubtful that rights...

                            In practice, most societies are mixtures so it might be more practical to consider situations where formal governance is less needed.

                            For example, consider legal rights.
                            I'm doubtful that rights can be guaranteed through custom alone, though they are often a matter of custom with government pretty far in the background. Custom goes a long way, but disputes still need to be resolved, and some disputes are more difficult to settle than others.

                  2. mtset
                    Link Parent
                    The volume of literature on this is truly staggering; I suggest taking a look at Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman as a decent starting point.

                    The volume of literature on this is truly staggering; I suggest taking a look at Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman as a decent starting point.

                    5 votes
  2. [7]
    Merry
    Link
    I watched the whole video and I can certainly agree on a lot of parts about it. When I moved to California five years ago, I was impressed by how nice everything was compared to my rinky-dink...

    I watched the whole video and I can certainly agree on a lot of parts about it. When I moved to California five years ago, I was impressed by how nice everything was compared to my rinky-dink small hometown in the Appalachians. But from day 1, I also felt the hypocrisy laid out in front of me seeing all these people with BMWs, Audis, Teslas, and all the other luxury cars, zooming past the homeless encampments. I kept thinking to myself that a great community is defined mostly by how we care for the poorest and neediest of the members of it and just how much of an utter failure the Bay area is in that context. Each election cycle all these ballot measures fail (Prop 22 sticking out in my mind) that would be a no brainer for people who claim to be progressive.

    There are a few things that I think should have been talked about more in this video. One of those is money in politics. Greed is a corrupting influence on the values of people whether you are an elected politician or a homeowner in Palo Alto. The wealthy in this country exert more influence in our government than the poor, and people seem to only move forward on changing things when it doesn't cost them money personally. Ultimately, this (among other things) degrades our value-based lenses for looking at and acting on problems. This is probably the whole context of the video but instead of pointing out that liberals fail at doing what they say they want, I would venture further and say this is a conservative issue as well and by that extension an American culture problem. Collectively, our ability to choose to sacrifice something from our own lives for the betterment of others holds us back. We often fail to exhibit compassion and empathy towards others, especially if they are opposed to our own beliefs, even though we are all in this together.

    And separately, I think our top-down nationalization of the political process has eroded the sense of importance towards local politics and community decision-making. Too many of us are tied up in knots thinking at a national level what are the most important issues we are facing but failing to engage at the local level where most of their day-to-day problems lie and where the largest impact can be felt. In most recent times, I saw this with the CA governor recall race and the Virginia governor election. When I was visiting my hometown on the opposite side of the country, I was often asked about the recall election and told by people how they hoped the race would turn out. Even though these people would never visit California except on a vacation. Then on the Virginia governor race, looking at how invested the country was in a race for a state that holds <3% of the country's population.

    We really need to pull back and engage locally with our own communities to better tackle the problems that face us and not rely on guidance from national political parties to inform our decision making, but rather rely on our own values instead.

    17 votes
    1. [5]
      rosco
      Link Parent
      I agree with so many of your takeaways from living in California and the video in general. I'd like to add one more compounding factor that I feel is often overlooked when we talk about the lack...

      I agree with so many of your takeaways from living in California and the video in general. I'd like to add one more compounding factor that I feel is often overlooked when we talk about the lack of local community engagement. Community engagement requires people who want to make a place better for themselves and the people in their community. Most of the time, that requires seeing it as a place they plan to set down roots. To establish deep connections with folks in the neighborhood and organizations they engage with.

      Unfortunately, many of the people who now live and work in the Bay Area are not from California and do not intend on making California their home. The Bay Area presents opportunity: high wages, incredibly profitable IPOs, and access to unrivaled capital. The vast majority who move to the area, particularly in the last 2 decades with the high cost of living acting as a barrier of entry, have moved specifically to work in tech and, forgive the term, 'make their nut'. Many live in the Bay area for a few years to a decade and move to places with lower cost of living, more libertarian ideologies, and lower taxes. They come in, steal the loot, and leave. These are the people who write open letters to the mayor about how they shouldn't have to deal with homeless people because of how much they spend on housing. These folks are not going to engage in local communities.

      This feels like the crux of the issue to me. How do you get transient, out of touch folks to meaningfully engage with larger issues in the community? I'm not sure we can.

      As a small side note, I grew up a stones throw from Palo Alto. Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Atherton have always been and will always be comprised of NIMBY bastards. I think using Palo Alto as the example in this video is pretty extreme cherry picking by the authors to make their point.

      7 votes
      1. [4]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        I see very little distinction between this sort of rhetoric and rhetoric that is exclusionary towards immigrants. Of course people move to a place to make their nut. Whether or not they stay is a...

        The vast majority who move to the area, particularly in the last 2 decades with the high cost of living acting as a barrier of entry, have moved specifically to work in tech and, forgive the term, 'make their nut'. Many live in the Bay area for a few years to a decade and move to places with lower cost of living, more libertarian ideologies, and lower taxes

        I see very little distinction between this sort of rhetoric and rhetoric that is exclusionary towards immigrants. Of course people move to a place to make their nut. Whether or not they stay is a result of how effective the place is at making them want to stay. If the only thing drawing people in is jobs and money, you're going to get people who only care about being there for transactional reasons. If they can't have memories of going on nice dates in a park because the park is a homeless encampment why would they stay? If nobody making less than a million a year can afford to live there who but millionaires are going to move? And if those who aren't millionaires get called "gentrifiers" for moving into more marginal neighborhoods, how would they move in to establish themselves?

        The problem isn't that the people coming are transient or out of touch, it's that the Bay Area has made lots of specific choices about housing policy, transit availability, and public spaces that make it impossible for non-transient or in-touch folks to be able to live there. So who else are you going to get? And it wasn't the transient tech-bros who made this bed, it was the old property owners in the area itself who cared more about "neighborhood character" and their property values than they did about making sure the influx of labor the companies based there would need could have places to live.

        7 votes
        1. [3]
          rosco
          Link Parent
          These are all really good points and to be honest I'm coming from a place of frustration. I'm sorry for that. I hadn't made the connection between anti-immigrant language and my take on the...

          These are all really good points and to be honest I'm coming from a place of frustration. I'm sorry for that. I hadn't made the connection between anti-immigrant language and my take on the changing of the guards here, but you're right they are very similar. Thanks for pointing that out.

          You're also right, the transient folks that work in tech aren't the cause of all my frustrations. We do need reformed zoning legislation and the new bill Newsom signed into effect is not going to alleviate the issues we currently have. Our infrastructure and transit systems are definitely lacking. And I'll be gentrifying anywhere I choose to move (I've joined the retirees on the coast). I really do agree with all of that and I want to offer up some differing opinions without it being a "Yes, but" if you know what I mean. Then again calling that out often means that's what it's going to be.... I'm going a little side tangent about the article and then I'll come back around to our conversation specifically.

          I think what I find frustrating about pieces like this is that I feel attacked by it in familiar ways. It's like when people points out that someone who cares and rallies for the environment are hypocritical for driving a car. Yes, the system we have inherited is broken and I need to function within that system to change it. The video paints a similar narrative. The title on the NYTimes website is "Blue States, You're the Problem". It goes beyond the premise that nationally we wouldn't be any different if it was just 'liberals' in charge. We've landed at the very familiar talking point "liberals are as bad as conservatives, but at least the conservatives are honest about it". What if they had looked at California for environmental policy and the fact that we were sued by a large conglomerate of automakers for setting our own emission standards? They picked a fight they new they could win to hold us up as the hypocritical lefty who says they want change but really secretly doesn't. Great, we're a state of NIMBY assholes and honestly I don't completely disagree with that. But this feels like ammunition for those with regressive perspectives to entrench further. The first person I know who shared this video was my ragingly racist, conservative neighbor as a 'told you so' to all us hip, semi-young thangs.

          Talking about issues around the changing culture in the Bay Area feel similar. I want community engagement and changes to nearly all the flaws you pointed out. I want to open up our zoning laws, to improve the infrastructure (I mean we have topography as flat as the Netherlands, where are our bike lanes?!?!), and address the underlying issues of income inequality plaguing our little bubble. When I think of how to make those things happen and mobilize those changes, it feels at odds with the ethos of the majority of people moving in. Getting legislation and regulation like that passed requires buy in from these folks who likely wont benefit from them. But we also can't call them out? I know they end up as a punching bag on these topics, but to some degree I'm not sure how to address it without taking a swing. If they don't have an interest in making the city better then they are often literally a vote against progress.

          You're right I do need to change my language around how I talk about this and probably my mentality too. My language is alienating but the alternative feels like giving up. Maybe I've just become my annoying, racist neighbor. Sorry for the thought dump. I really do appreciate your thoughts and I have a lot more to chew on!

          7 votes
          1. [2]
            NaraVara
            Link Parent
            Sorry I had meant to reply to this when I first saw it but wasn't really sure what to say. It's good that you're being reflective about how you think about the nuances around these problems. And I...

            Sorry I had meant to reply to this when I first saw it but wasn't really sure what to say. It's good that you're being reflective about how you think about the nuances around these problems. And I am glad (dare I say, even a little proud) that something I said put you on that road.

            It definitely is a tough situation to talk about because we do tend to talk about things in terms of hierarchies of suffering and different rights and entitlements before one is allowed to complain. It's an easy habit we all fall into and I've been trying really hard lately to try to understand peoples' individual challenges and motivations independent of the categories and labels we stick on them. The gist of the opinion piece did not do this, sort of lumping everyone as a "liberal" rather than "liberals" being a large polity of people with competing interests and motivations that just happen to converse on certain national-level political issues. It's not a helpful approach and mostly just serves to generate really reductive charges of hypocrisy and whataboutism instead of productive discussions about what ought to be done to address problems.

            1 vote
            1. rosco
              Link Parent
              I really like that and I'm going to try to incorporate it more into my life as well. I always really appreciate our interactions on here. Recently our perspectives have felt a little at odds, but...

              I've been trying really hard lately to try to understand peoples' individual challenges and motivations independent of the categories and labels we stick on them./

              I really like that and I'm going to try to incorporate it more into my life as well.

              I always really appreciate our interactions on here. Recently our perspectives have felt a little at odds, but your thoughtful insights really help me consider alternative positions. Thanks for getting in the weeds with me on so many of these topics.

    2. NoblePath
      Link Parent
      Just wait until your rinkyndink appalachian town turns into that. (I’m from Asheville, NC originally, now homeless encampments in the shadow of million dollar plus 3d homes)

      Just wait until your rinkyndink appalachian town turns into that. (I’m from Asheville, NC originally, now homeless encampments in the shadow of million dollar plus 3d homes)

      3 votes
  3. post_below
    Link
    Such a good video. It's never been democrats vs republicans, it's top tier wealth vs everyone else. As @seven mentioned elsewhere in the thread, we have two conservative parties. The Bernie wing...

    Such a good video. It's never been democrats vs republicans, it's top tier wealth vs everyone else.

    As @seven mentioned elsewhere in the thread, we have two conservative parties. The Bernie wing of the democratic party took a shot at actually being progressive, but conservative democrats made sure that didn't go too far.

    It's almost as if the two parties take turns favoring wealthy Americans in slightly different ways. It's like a relay. The stories they tell about what they believe in are pretty much irrelevant.

    I should add, as the piece illustrates well, the problem isn't only representation, individuals actively fighting for their comfy bubbles are a big part of the status quo. Of course they are, comfortable people are always going to fight to preserve their comfort.

    8 votes
  4. pvik
    Link
    Not sure if this fits in ~humanities, but thought might be the best match. Mods please move to another group if you think this is the wrong group for discussing this.

    Not sure if this fits in ~humanities, but thought might be the best match.
    Mods please move to another group if you think this is the wrong group for discussing this.

    2 votes