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Civilised Debate - Left Vs. Right

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In my experience, leftist arguments tend to be based on emotion, rather than reason.

Take for example last week's Question Time on R4 where Michael Howard gave a very eloquent speech about how a welfare state can only function if it is underpinned by a strong economy and paid for by subsequent taxation.

After he said that, you could hear the tumbleweeds blowing through the hall.

Then, two leftists gave impassioned speeches about caring for the sick, the poor, the 'disadvantaged' etc and got huge applause.

Those further to the right don't need to preach hatred or violence, because they can simply show by reasoned argument how their opponents are wrong. The left generally can't do that because their policies are based on emotion. So if the Tories say they will cut benefits, this is seen by them as 'evil' because they can't grasp the fact that somebody has to pay for the welfare state. If said 'evil' Tories persist with their views, even in the face of sob stories about the suffering poor, it understandably provokes rage and anger in those who can't grasp the rationale behind it.

It's like a teenager stamping her feet and shouting 'I HATE YOU' at her parents when they refuse to give her more pocket money.

"Take for example last week's Question Time on R4 where Michael Howard gave a very eloquent speech about how a welfare state can only function if it is underpinned by a strong economy and paid for by subsequent taxation. "

This is very presumptuous of Michael Howard, it presumes that the left are fiscally irresponsible. Yet you could argue right wing governments are, especially as we haven't had a truly left wing government for bloody ages and look at the mess the country is in. We are borrowing 1.43 trillion quid, which is almost a doubling since the previous right wing government came into office.

As for taxation, it's all very well saying you want a strong economy to pay for public services but if you are part of a party that is controlled by and paid for by people who avoid tax, then it's arguable whether a proper welfare state is even possible or desirable by the people in power.

"Then, two leftists gave impassioned speeches about caring for the sick, the poor, the 'disadvantaged' etc and got huge applause.

Those further to the right "
The language you use is revealing. almost as though you're trying to be derogatory. Why not refer to those 'further to the right' as rightists? Does it not have the same ring to it?
Edited by moedo12

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This has a lot of truth to it.

The protests weren't to do with left or right wing politics. It was more to do with the poor having been treated like crap for the last 5 years of Tory government. It is hardly surprising that people are going to be angry when faced with 5 more years of the same.

That doesn't make those protesters left wing.

It's possible (probable?) that with that background they're more likely to be though. However I'd put it down to two effects of the same cause rather than a direct connection between them.

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I found it interesting but not particularly helpful. I think there must be other factors that need to be considered

Presumably the Greens do well on "libertarian" because of their attitude to personal freedoms (e.g. cannabis, immigration) but they wil be much more authoritarian about controlling companies not to mention pollution including my right to supermarket bags. Why is the SNP more libertarian than th liblabcon ? And I see on the german site, apparently "Die Linke" are the most libertarian - this is the successor party to the East Gernan single state party. Seems a bit odd.

Plus I found a few of the questions a bit unclear, Things like: "Making peace with the establishment is an important aspect of maturity." Well it obviously *is*, in the sense that it happens, but are they really asking if I think this is a good thing?

The SNP are still in the authoritarian quadrant.

As for greens, I think you are confusing personal freedom with corporate ones. Corporate freedom (measured by economic deregulation) is represented by the right/left wing axis.

There is no one stopping you personally from buying a plastic bag - but a left leaning government might restrict a corporation's ability to give them away by imposing taxes etc. An extreme right wing one might not even introduce regulations to stop them being made from dangerous substances - preferring to let the market decide.

If you want both corporate and personal freedom, then that puts in you in the libertarian right wing quadrant. This is where Ayn Rand is found.

"Making peace with the establishment is an important aspect of maturity." They are asking not whether you think it is a good thing or not - but whether you agree with that statement. Personally, as an avowed libertarian, I didn't agree with it.

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Those further to the right don't need to preach hatred or violence, because they can simply show by reasoned argument how their opponents are wrong. The left generally can't do that because their policies are based on emotion.

So an emotional-based argument is wrong? That's a scary thought (although all too prevalent amongst those in power). The emotional side should be the one that decides what sort of country we want. The rational side is then used to work out how to get it, with a bit of to-ing and fro-ing since they'll often contradict each other. After all it's the emotional side that decides that it's worth paying to treat the sick, then up to the rational side to work out how to do that.

I won't deny that there seems to be an all too large group who seem to think that the money to pay for it all appears by magic.

Edited by Riedquat

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Thinking of examples like dock workers who went on strike over mechanised loading and unloading and destroyed their own industry in the process - hello. This isn't Someone Else's Fault. Progress occurs whether you like it or not. In this case, not.

The story I heard in the early 70s from guys afew years older than me is that the problem that the dock workers had was with the fact that containerization greatly reduced the opportunity for nicking gear.

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So an emotional-based argument is wrong? That's a scary thought (although all too prevalent amongst those in power). The emotional side should be the one that decides what sort of country we want. The rational side is then used to work out how to get it, with a bit of to-ing and fro-ing since they'll often contradict each other. After all it's the emotional side that decides that it's worth paying to treat the sick, then up to the rational side to work out how to do that.

I won't deny that there seems to be an all too large group who seem to think that the money to pay for it all appears by magic.

There is quite a large group none the less......boils down again to entitlement, personal responsibility and projected blame onto others, when so often they are not themselves blameless, very often people help to create the predicament they find themselves in.......taking ownership of your life, health and happiness is a difficult nut to crack for some people........always someone elses fault. ;)

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It seems pretty easy to me - people writing comment supporting Labour, SNP etc. who then also make violent threats against the Tories, Lib Dems, UKIP etc. I just don't see much of it the opposite way around.

Any evidence of these violent comments by SNP and Labour Supporters? Labour are right wing by the way.

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I won't deny that there seems to be an all too large group who seem to think that the money to pay for it all appears by magic.

Money has appeared by magic over the last 7 or so years. The problem is that the money has been given to the wrong people.

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Money has appeared by magic over the last 7 or so years. The problem is that the money has been given to the wrong people.

Yes exactly. The question is where you put the magic money, do you invest it in housing an infrastructure or do you instead give most of it to the banks and your mates?

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I found it interesting but not particularly helpful. I think there must be other factors that need to be considered

Presumably the Greens do well on "libertarian" because of their attitude to personal freedoms (e.g. cannabis, immigration) but they wil be much more authoritarian about controlling companies not to mention pollution including my right to supermarket bags. Why is the SNP more libertarian than th liblabcon ? And I see on the german site, apparently "Die Linke" are the most libertarian - this is the successor party to the East Gernan single state party. Seems a bit odd.

Plus I found a few of the questions a bit unclear, Things like: "Making peace with the establishment is an important aspect of maturity." Well it obviously *is*, in the sense that it happens, but are they really asking if I think this is a good thing?

Yeah, the Greens being libertarian is a joke tbh.

While it's true that they have the right instincts in some matters, especially regarding the political sphere, Brighton Council fining you 50 grand for not putting rubbish in the right bin is as psychotically authoritarian as it gets.

Edited by EUBanana

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Any evidence of these violent comments by SNP and Labour Supporters? Labour are right wing by the way.

It doesn't matter what you call them, they may well be 'right wing' in Scottish terms. In England they are definitely on the left, especially under Od Miliband, and their voters self identify as Left.

It's true that 'left' in modern parlance basically means social engineers rather than an actual socialist economic system, but that's because that idea has been consigned to the far left since Michael Foot's suicide note.

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It doesn't matter what you call them, they may well be 'right wing' in Scottish terms. In England they are definitely on the left, especially under Od Miliband, and their voters self identify as Left.

It's true that 'left' in modern parlance basically means social engineers rather than an actual socialist economic system, but that's because that idea has been consigned to the far left since Michael Foot's suicide note.

No Labour are definitely right wing.

Take a look at this site which is not UK based as far as I am aware:

http://www.politicalcompass.org/uk2015

The only thing left about the Labour party is that they are slightly left of the Tories.

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The language you use is revealing. almost as though you're trying to be derogatory. Why not refer to those 'further to the right' as rightists? Does it not have the same ring to it?

Yes, this is true, but it also comes back to my original point:

centre/right term of abuse for people on the the left - lefties, leftists, commies, trots etc.

left wing term of abuse for people on the right - scum

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Yes, this is true, but it also comes back to my original point:

centre/right term of abuse for people on the the left - lefties, leftists, commies, trots etc.

left wing term of abuse for people on the right - scum

So what you are saying is Tory supporters use more high brow insults than Labour supporters.

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Yes, this is true, but it also comes back to my original point:

centre/right term of abuse for people on the the left - lefties, leftists, commies, trots etc.

left wing term of abuse for people on the right - scum

but during this discussion, the last thing I would do would be to refer to people who identify as right wing as scum. :)

Edited by moedo12

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but during this discussion, the last thing I would do would be to refer to people who identify as right wing as scum. :)

I spose it depends on what they've done.. :ph34r:

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I couldn't call the Tories "fiscally sensible", especially at the moment...people like to make out that they are (including themselves), but they aren't..Recently, the nearest thing they probably had, was the Major government...

Edited by Dave Beans

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It's poverty of ambition on the part of the lefties.

One death (tossing Gove off a building) is a tragedy and therefore uncivilised.

******ing over millions of people for ideological kicks is merely a statistic.

Statistics are high brow and therefore civilised.

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but during this discussion, the last thing I would do would be to refer to people who identify as right wing as scum. :)

Well I know, and I did make the point that debate on this forum is remarkably free of that kind of thing.

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So what you are saying is Tory supporters use more high brow insults than Labour supporters.

I'd say politer rather than high-brow but, if you like, yes. And, also, they don't threaten to beat up people they don't agree with and don't, at least to my observation, go around vandalizing public buildings that don't fit their world view.

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I'd say politer rather than high-brow but, if you like, yes. And, also, they don't threaten to beat up people they don't agree with and don't, at least to my observation, go around vandalizing public buildings that don't fit their world view.

Its not as easy as "the left" and "the right"...There are subtle shades in between...As I said before, nutters on both sides of the coin, will use threats of violence...the vast majority of those in between just get on with it...

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And to add a bit more credence to my comment above, Charlotte Church was one of the protesters. She is a supporter of the right wing Labour party.

So I say it again, the premise of this whole thread is nonsense.

Your defining "left" as people who agree with you, and "right" as people who don't agree with you. On that definition you are of course correct.

If you define the terms as they are commonly used by everybody else then the thread makes more sense.

In my experience my left leaning associates are more emotionally engaged with their politics and see it as a good v evil struggle. This tends to lead them to some of them considering their world view as the one true path at the centre of righteousness. When you look at the world that way there are only 3 types of people in the world;

1. Fellow true believers

2. Those too stupid to understand the true path. These people must be controlled for their own good.

3. Those who appear clever enough to understand, but inexplicably don't. These people are obviously evil and should be attacked.

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I was happy when Margaret Thatcher won in 1979. Was also relieved at Tony Blair's vitory in 1997.

Crikey! I was wrong both times. :blink:

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If you ever have a discussion with a Labour supporter and have a contrarian position or try to use any knowledge or understanding (such as gleaned her), the immediate response is "You must be a Tory." They can only resort to name-calling.

It is as annoying as those who who ask about your marital status, then if single, go straight to "are you gay?"

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Easy solution.

You: but have you considered the fiscal consequences of implementing those contradictory policies

Them: Are you a Tory?

You: No- are you gay?

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  • 395 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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