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At last! An ideology/movement I can sink my teeth into!


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#1
The Kurgan

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You've heard of the alternative right?  Meet its counterpart.
 

The Alternative Left should be for people who are mostly liberal, Left or progressive in their characters, souls, politics and voting. However, we are disenchanted with some aspects of Left, especially the Cultural Left in the US. On those issues, we feel that the Left has gone too far. So while we are more conservative than the Cultural Left, we are not all the way to the social conservatism of the US Right, which mostly appalls us. So Alt Left types would be more centrist on cultural issues, not as leftwing as the Cultural Left but at the same time repulsed by the cultural reaction of the Right.

However, on economics, most Alt Left types would feel that the Western liberal/Left has not gone far enough. The Democratic Party in the US, Labor in the UK, the Socialist Party in France, and the Social Democratic PASOK in Greece have all sold the workers out badly for the rich, the corporations and capital in general. They claim to represent the working people, but instead they are traitors to the working class.

So the Alt Left would be for people who feel that the Western Liberal-Left in governments of the West is too rightwing on economic issues but too leftwing on social issues.

We would be quite leftwing in economic issues (although we would let in anyone disenchanted with rightwing economics) but more to the center on cultural matters.


Where have you been all my life?

In terms of the "dealbreakers", the only things I really disagree with this guy on are "race realism", which I'm deeply skeptical of, his views on transgender rights (which I more fully embrace) and perhaps the overarching tone of "Mindsets not welcome" and similar whispers of dogmatism.

But for the most part, what's not to like?

#2
Driver

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who do we vote for?

#3
Brando

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Trump

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Driver

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I'M OUT

#5
The Kurgan

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I'M IN
who do we vote for?


Wait ... what? Really?

#6
Driver

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sort of?

 

honestly this is what I've been angling at for awhile-- I'm socially liberal, fiscally conservative, and have as much hate for hardcore super liberals (even if I seem like one) as i do for bible belt conservatives.



#7
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You've heard of the alternative right?  Meet its counterpart.
 

The Alternative Left should be for people who are mostly liberal, Left or progressive in their characters, souls, politics and voting. However, we are disenchanted with some aspects of Left, especially the Cultural Left in the US. On those issues, we feel that the Left has gone too far. So while we are more conservative than the Cultural Left, we are not all the way to the social conservatism of the US Right, which mostly appalls us. So Alt Left types would be more centrist on cultural issues, not as leftwing as the Cultural Left but at the same time repulsed by the cultural reaction of the Right.

However, on economics, most Alt Left types would feel that the Western liberal/Left has not gone far enough. The Democratic Party in the US, Labor in the UK, the Socialist Party in France, and the Social Democratic PASOK in Greece have all sold the workers out badly for the rich, the corporations and capital in general. They claim to represent the working people, but instead they are traitors to the working class.

So the Alt Left would be for people who feel that the Western Liberal-Left in governments of the West is too rightwing on economic issues but too leftwing on social issues.

We would be quite leftwing in economic issues (although we would let in anyone disenchanted with rightwing economics) but more to the center on cultural matters.


Where have you been all my life?

In terms of the "dealbreakers", the only things I really disagree with this guy on are "race realism", which I'm deeply skeptical of, his views on transgender rights (which I more fully embrace) and perhaps the overarching tone of "Mindsets not welcome" and similar whispers of dogmatism.

But for the most part, what's not to like?

 

Soooo, basically what the American left was in the 1990s, more or less?  

 

I have the same apprehensions as you, and some of the phraseology makes my spidey sense tingle.  Like it's really conservatives trolling lefties in some blind cola taste test, waiting to reveal "Surprise! you just chose Donald Trump!"  



#8
The Kurgan

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sort of?
 
honestly this is what I've been angling at for awhile-- I'm socially liberal, fiscally conservative, and have as much hate for hardcore super liberals (even if I seem like one) as i do for bible belt conservatives.


Well, put it to you this way: I'm more sympathetic to stuff like feminism than a lot of these guys are. Plus few of us are fiscally conservative.  Post war Keynesianism is about as far to the right as we tend to go economically.  

 

That said, what you won't find with the alt-left are shrill cries of "heretic!" if you disagree with them on anything.  Sure, opinions vary wildly and discussions can get heated. But refreshingly absent is the stifling sense that you are insensitive at best, if not downright hateful and bigoted (SJWs) or a treasonous "cuck" (alt right) if you deviate from the party line or display ideological impurity of any kind. The echo-chamber tendency to drive thought into ever more narrow and extreme directions doesn't (yet) exist with the alt-left. You probably would be welcome, Driver, though you'd come across as kind of an SJW to the more socially conservative ones.
 

Soooo, basically what the American left was in the 1990s, more or less?

 

There actually wasn't an American left back in the 1990s. 70s and into the 80s, perhaps?  Notice how "leftism" wasn't much of a thing in American politics until it became shrill, dogmatic and self righteous?  These seem to be fundamental, ingrained characteristics of the U.S political class.



#9
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There actually wasn't an American left back in the 1990s. 70s and into the 80s, perhaps?  Notice how "leftism" wasn't much of a thing in American politics until it became shrill, dogmatic and self righteous?  These seem to be fundamental, ingrained characteristics of the U.S political class.

 

I think we are confusing the term American Left.  Let me rephrase:  This seems to resemble the democratic party social issue positions of the 1990s.



#10
Kyrian

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Soooooo...you guys have heard that there's a position known as Centrist, right? It's a shocking concept of a balance between the left and right.

 

You guys are too black and white when it comes to politics. You don't have to be left or right, Democrat or Republican, capitalist or socialist. You can have views that embrace aspects of both, and your political system needs to change to reflect that. Ours too, to be fair, but at least we have minor parties (most of them are a joke or the butt of jokes, but at least we have them).



#11
Marc DuQuesne

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I really have trouble with the whole political party thing. I try to look at each issue individually and judge it on it's own merit. That is hard to do with modern media of course, and I don't always succeed the first time through, but sooner or later somebody actually makes an argument that you had not heard yet or points you to information you didn't have. The freedom to change your view (while being able to point to the logical path that took you there) is to be valued. I don't see that happening much in modern politics.

 

As soon as a party lists a set of positions that they expect their members to agree with they have lost the ability to truly debate the issue within their own party. Any internal debate is a sign of weakness, and they can't have any sign of weakness the other party and the media can exploit.

 

I know that politics is a team game. I know it won't change. I really do hate it though.



#12
Carrie Mathison

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sort of?

 

honestly this is what I've been angling at for awhile-- I'm socially liberal, fiscally conservative, and have as much hate for hardcore super liberals (even if I seem like one) as i do for bible belt conservatives.

That's not what this ideology is though.  It's actually the opposite... it's populism- socially conservative and fiscally liberal. 

 

It's basically a kinder, more gentler version of Trump.  Similar to how the New Democrats of the 90s were just a more left-leaning version of Reaganism/Thatcherism.

 

The three closest candidates to your positions in this election are: Johnson, Clinton, and then (distant third), either Kasich or Bush.

 

A true alt-left candidate would be unlikely to win your support I think.  It would look sorta like Sanders when he was still anti-illegal immigration, with maybe a more nationalist streak.


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#13
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Which is what I was saying, in not so many words, at least when it comes to the dems of the 1990s. 

 

I don't know if I agree with you on the Trump part, though.



#14
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The idea of the alt-left being socially conservative ... I dunno.  It's more nuanced than that.   
 
The defining features of the alt-left are:
 
  • Enlightenment values.  This is universal and probably its central characteristic.  To the alt-left, the propensity of both the alt-right and the SJWs to prioritize group loyalty over objective reality is extremely troubling.  The alt-left is overwhelmingly secular, with many if not most of them being anti-theistic.  This anti theism extends equally to Islam and Christianity, and the alt-left frowns on mainstream leftist preference for Islam and mainstream rightist preference for Christianity equally.
  • Skepticism towards leftist identity politics.  Anti SJW-ism is nearly universal, but a lot of variation exists beyond this.  Some basically accept feminist and critical race theory but don't like how dogmatic and sacred-cow the mainstream left has gotten about this.  An opposite wing embrace "race realism" and men's rights activism, with the majority being leery of right wing identity politics, but not demonizing them the way the mainstream left has.  The alt-left tends not to like 3rd world immigration: we notice that they tend to make good scabs.  Most alt-leftist distrust identity poltics all together, which brings us to ...
  • Economic leftism.  Oddly, I have seen libertarians in the alt-left, but not surprisingly they're rare and don't last long.  No mincing words here, the alt-left is socialist with a capital 'S'.  Keynesian liberalism and social democracy are the more conservative elements, with communists and anarchists being on its left wing.  
In terms of the US election, few alt-leftists I noticed supported Clinton.  A minority support Trump.  Sanders was by far the most popular of the candidates, and in fact was tarred by the Clinton campaign for the support he received from "brocialists" or "Bernie Bros."  We chuckled that the Clinton campaign would say either as though they were bad things.
 
The demographics of the alt left are predominantly white, male and European.  Women, LGBT people and people of color are welcome in the movement, but not prevalent in it, though there are some.  Most of us came from one of these ideological or cultural back grounds:
 
  • Libertarians who came to distrust untrammeled capitalism.
  • Progressives who grew weary with the anti-white, anti-male tendencies on the mainstream left.
  • Progressives who were frustrated with the lack of emphasis on labor and economic issues on the mainstream left.
  • Proto Alt-Rightists (GamerGaters and the like) who disliked political correctness, but felt that the very real racism and misogyny on the alt-right were just the stupid opposite extreme, and grew just as frustrated with the anti-SJWs as they did with the SJWs themselves.


#15
Carrie Mathison

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The idea of the alt-left being socially conservative ... I dunno.  It's more nuanced than that.

Yeah, I know that.  I was using an imprecise shorthand because I couldn't think of a better term.

 

'Socially conservative' doesn't quite fit since it invokes images of the bible thumping crowd, which the alt-left most certainly is not.  But then again, the alt-left is basically anathema to the Clinton wing of the party when it comes to identity politics issues and the manner in which social issues are currently framed.  The alt-left actually has more in common with the Trump alt-right than they do with the Clinton Dems... although, and let's be clear about this, there is a big caveat in the issues that are prioritized and how they want them presented.

 

So yeah, 'socially conservative' doesn't work, but I'm not sure of a better term either.  "Anti-SJW" ?


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#16
Carrie Mathison

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Which is what I was saying, in not so many words, at least when it comes to the dems of the 1990s. 

 

I don't know if I agree with you on the Trump part, though.

 

The alt-left has more in common with Trump than they do with Clinton, this isn't really in dispute.

 

When I said they were similar to the New Dems, I mean they were similar in the sense that they are both a reaction to the prevailing Democrat ideology of the time.  Not that they're similar ideologically- they are kinda opposites in some ways, and in fact, the alt-left is a reaction to the New Dems.

 

The New Dems aren't similar to Trump at all, they are basically polar opposites.  I was talking about the alt-left.  These are two different things, and you shouldn't conflate the New Dems with the alt-left since the alt-left despises the New Dems.

 

I'm not sure what you were arguing.  Did this clear things up?



#17
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At heart, the alt-left is really a rejection of deterministic identity politics. This runs the gamut from an acceptance of the basic thrust of critical theory but a rejection of its current sacred cow status, to neo-reactionary, race realist sorts who also happen to believe in some kind of socialist economics.

A common theme with the alt-left is that the alt-right and the SJWs are two sides of the same coin. White male identity and culture have become central points of contention in western politics, with the alt-right taking the pro and the SJWs the con sides. The superior economic performance of 1st world nations is always attributed to either the supremacy of the white race (the alt right) or colonial exploitation of indigenous POC by white people (SJWs). The rise of women, POC and LGBT people is either fundamentally good because white males deserve to be put in their place (SJWs) or bad because white male culture is superior and the world would thus be worse off were it not to be recognized as such (the alt right). In both cases there's a narrative of white male exceptionalism underlying their views.

#18
Jacen123

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So.....stochastic identity politics, then?



#19
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Which is what I was saying, in not so many words, at least when it comes to the dems of the 1990s. 

 

I don't know if I agree with you on the Trump part, though.

 

The alt-left has more in common with Trump than they do with Clinton, this isn't really in dispute.

 

When I said they were similar to the New Dems, I mean they were similar in the sense that they are both a reaction to the prevailing Democrat ideology of the time.  Not that they're similar ideologically- they are kinda opposites in some ways, and in fact, the alt-left is a reaction to the New Dems.

 

The New Dems aren't similar to Trump at all, they are basically polar opposites.  I was talking about the alt-left.  These are two different things, and you shouldn't conflate the New Dems with the alt-left since the alt-left despises the New Dems.

 

I'm not sure what you were arguing.  Did this clear things up?

 

Do you even pay attention to what Trump says?

 

Saying Trump is alt left is like saying David Duke opposes Affirmative Action.  I mean, yeah, but in the far right extreme!



#20
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Do you even pay attention to what Trump says?
 
Saying Trump is alt left is like saying David Duke opposes Affirmative Action.  I mean, yeah, but in the far right extreme!


Trump does sort of meander into alt-left territory at times, though. Oddly enough, so does Bernie Sanders. I forget where I saw this description, and I'll link it if I manage to find it again, but it's an odd sort of political no man's land "somewhere between Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan."  This blog entry, made by an early alt-leftist, describes the condition of being alt left like this:
 

"How many white progressives have begun to reject the politically correct narrative and secretly venture into thought crime circles on the web? I’m willing to bet it’s probably more than you think. Of those that pop the red pill and make the trip . . . how many see all the boilerplate, post libertarian corporate conservatism, radical traditionalist Christianism, 15th century LARPing, pseuoscientific anti-vaccination stuff, and wacky conspiracy theories being promoted and decide “Screw this. These people are freaks. Maybe the social justice crowd isn’t so bad after all.

Then there are the ones who stick around."


The alt-left shares with the alt-right its rejection of the narratives offered up by the "cathedral" - the politically correct establishment.  But, we also don't see the alt-right taking us to any better a place.  A good analogy would be this whole "red pill" metaphor that the edgier anti-PC parts of the web are so fond of.  Like when Neo takes the red pill from Morpheus and accepts the hard truth instead of the comforting lie, and the story begins.  A lot of "manosphere" types use this metaphor a lot, and I've seen it in a lot of neo-reactionary and even race realist circles as well. 

 

Now, carry the Matrix metaphor a bit further.  Becoming Alt-left can be compared to what happens when Neo met the Architect at the end of Reloaded, and discovered that the system he was fighting was a lot more than he was first led to believe.  That your particular brand of edginess is just a small part of a much larger social cycle, and that you and your fellow "red pills" are no less a part of it than the agents of political correctness are.  That the people you thought were your oppressors - the liberal, PC establishment - were merely themselves "red pills" of a previous incarnation of the matrix, and are light years away from the real centers of power in any event.  That Ivory tower radical feminists and critical race theorists were once what you are now: critics of their own era's version of the PC establishment.  And were you to take their place, the system would ultimately be no different.  

 

So at least in my conception of it, alt-leftism goes a bit beyond being socially conservative (or at least centrist) and fiscally progressive, though that's not entirely inaccurate.  The difference is subtle and nuanced.  There is something fundamentally postmodern about the alt-left in a way that a Buchannan or a Trump or certain historical anticidents like European fascism were not.  The alt-left tends to reject the backward looking romanticism inherent in these views, but are similarly skeptical of narrow and reductionist social theories so popular with progressives, though Marxist tendencies are definitely present.  Enlightenment thinking and values are actually quite prevalent on the alt-left, and as I indicated above, actually quite central to it.  Indeed, some on the alt-left do hold socially liberal views but are disillusioned by how dogmatic the progressive mainstream has become about them.



#21
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I disagree.  Trump is of the secular, business-oriented urban right, who is pulling a Mao and feeding populist rhetorical red meat to the rural hoople heads and tea baggers in flyover country.  He's a demagogue who realizes that the religious right is losing influence throughout not just the country, but the party that has so long been their safe-haven. He's not appealing to the alt-left, he's appealing to people who are less Jesus oriented in the GOP, and playing on their fears.  He seems left to some in the GOP because the GOP is fractured and made up of multiple, and sometimes competing factions,who's only commonality is Fox news and AM radio.  But the simple fact is  the GOP for a long time has been made up of old money, the wall street business people, the religious right, and then the rural lower to middle class right.  The old money and wall streeters control the oligarchy, and just use the latter two as a way to gain enough votes.  Trump is no different, he's just ignoring the religious right, because in a generation at the most, they will be such a minority, that they won't matter anymore.  But Trump is far from alt left.  



#22
Carrie Mathison

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Which is what I was saying, in not so many words, at least when it comes to the dems of the 1990s. 

 

I don't know if I agree with you on the Trump part, though.

 

The alt-left has more in common with Trump than they do with Clinton, this isn't really in dispute.

 

When I said they were similar to the New Dems, I mean they were similar in the sense that they are both a reaction to the prevailing Democrat ideology of the time.  Not that they're similar ideologically- they are kinda opposites in some ways, and in fact, the alt-left is a reaction to the New Dems.

 

The New Dems aren't similar to Trump at all, they are basically polar opposites.  I was talking about the alt-left.  These are two different things, and you shouldn't conflate the New Dems with the alt-left since the alt-left despises the New Dems.

 

I'm not sure what you were arguing.  Did this clear things up?

 

Do you even pay attention to what Trump says?

 

Saying Trump is alt left is like saying David Duke opposes Affirmative Action.  I mean, yeah, but in the far right extreme!

 

:confused:

 

I wasn't arguing that "Trump is alt left."



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Maybe it's just me, but sounded like you were.  If you weren't, then I guess we agree, I guess?

 

Anyway, according to this article that explains what alt-right is,  it is clear that Trump falls in that category.  

http://www.cnn.com/2...rump/index.html



#24
Carrie Mathison

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Nah, I wasn't.  In retrospect, calling the alt-left a "version" of Trump wasn't the most precise way to word it though.  What I was trying to get across is that there are commonalities between the alt-left and "Trumpism" (or alt-right), and that they are both reactions to their respective mainstream parties, but not that they're the same.  If you took a list of issue stances from both and lined them up, there'd be more overlap between the two than say, the alt-left and Clinton (or any other typical New Dem type politician). 

 

However, they are different in two very significant ways- first, the motivations behind their issue stances and their world vision is completely different.  For example, they may both be anti-trade and pro-protectionist, but their motivations for being so differ.  This can be seen in their ideal world view- both see a place for a strong centralized government, but the alt-left envisions something more akin to a communitarian style society in the tradition of Rousseau, whereas the alt-right envisions a more pre-enlightenment society with a strong ruler and weaker legislature, such as the UK before the English Revolution.

 

Second, they draw upon completely different demographics- the alt-left from disaffected millennials, strong progressives and socialists, left-leaning anti-establishment voters, and old Left remnants who despise Clinton and the New Dems, but can't bring themselves to vote for a Republican.  Whereas the alt-right is a hodgepodge of old Labor remnants that associate anything left-wing with SJWs, nativists of all socio-economic levels, single issue voters on immigration, the more hard-line anti-SJW folks, paleo-cons (and especially younger paleo-cons), and affluent voters who have become disillusioned with the GOP establishment.  There isn't a ton of crossover in demographics, although there is quite a bit of crossover on issue stances.  There are also some characteristics that both share- for example, neither group is particularly religious.



#25
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The term alt-right is newer, but really, it is just a new name to describe the lower to middle class republican voters that are socially conservative, which includes (but not exclusively) the rural right, or urban whites who identify as "red neck."  Or the tea partiers who are middle class.  

 

When I think alt-right, I think of the lone white male middle class student in a college class with a left leaning teacher, who is constantly disrupting the class by contradicting and arguing the teacher to the point of annoying everyone else, and spouting off Rush Limbaugh talking points in the process, that sits back after doing so with his sh*t eating grin and pats himself on the back, thinking he's the smartest guy in the room. He's bought into the rhetoric that white people are a declining and losing class; losing their power, their jobs, their livelihoods to the non-whites and immigrants and the gays and it's all one big liberal conspiracy to take it all away. Which sounds exactly like the basic stance of any white supremacist web site mission statement, whether said alt-right guy knows it or not.  But to the rest of the class, he just comes off as a closed-minded, bigoted douche who isn't nearly as informed as he thinks he is.  Anyone who has attended college/university at any point since the late 1990s, probably had at least one student just like that in one of  their classes.

 

On the other hand, when I think alt-left, I think of the old BILL Clinton voter (maybe not necessarily Bill Clinton himself), who what is now considered a moderate democrat, maybe even some libertarians.  I almost want to say blue dog democrat, but they aren't necessarily from the south, so might be accurate to say conservative democrat.  In some ways, I personally agree with the alt-left.

 

 For example:

I am for equality, but I am weary of all the martyrs and SJWs out there.

I'm a live and let live type of person  when it comes to trans people, but think there are far more important things that deserve attention than whether a 10 year old boy has the right to use the girls bathroom in a public school.

I do think in some cases, there is a totally valid argument that the radical  "isms" of the left have taken over the DNC, and their agenda pushes aside common sense approaches.  

 

But I think what bothers me about the alt-left as described in the article Kurgan posted, is there is a subtext there that like the alt-right, there is a fear that white people are an endangered species. While I agree with a lot of the points made in that article, I find the motives behind making those points suspect. 





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