161

The alt-left is not really a thing unless you live in Switzerland, where it is a political party. In the US, it's a term that got cooked up by the alt-right to describe their fantasized progressive equivalent. The problem, of course, is that there is no such thing. There's the oddball violent antifa, but where the aim of such would-be alt-left might be ...


136

There is no "alt-left". It's a term made up by the right to far-right in an attempt to create a false equivalence between white supremacists and those opposing white supremacism: It's a "made-up term" used by people on the right to "suggest there is a similar movement on the left," [Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation ...


121

There are various forms of "Nationalism", but one prevalent belief is that "My Nation is better than others". Racism can be broadly understood to be the belief that "My race is better than others". Given how close these ideas are, it isn't surprising that there are many nationalists who are also racist. This is particularly the case for the so-called "white ...


116

Yes, there are plenty of conspiracy theories that are primarily supported by left-wing voters and politicians. Here are a few examples (not meant to be an exhaustive list): Conspiracy theories about HIV/AIDS are popular in many left-leaning demographics in the US, especially black and Hispanic Americans. According to one survey, "approximately 55% of ...


92

I looked at your profile and saw that you're an American. You are confused by Bob because you assume that the political positions held by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are directly analogous to what "Leftists" and "Rightists" should or do actually think. This is not the case. The parties in the United States effectively act as standing ...


89

Pronouns are a thing, but they aren’t the thing for the most part. They’re about simple interpersonal communication and respect (it’s no big deal to make a mistake, it’s pretty insulting to adamantly insist on using the wrong ones), but they tend not to be a major factor in, say, the political agendas of most feminist and/or LGBTQ communities, that I have ...


88

African Americans vote Democratic mainly because of civil rights issues, on which many believe the modern GOP has (shall we say) a somewhat poor track record. But setting that aside, African Americans are significantly more religious than whites (83% to 61% absolute certainty in the existence of God, heavily concentrated in the Southern Protestant Christian ...


74

The alt-left, regressive left, or illiberal left are terms used to describe a subset of people on the left. The three terms may not be exactly the same, however they are close enough that I felt it makes sense to talk about them together. These terms seem to collectively amount to a certain type of criticism of some aspects of the left. First, it should be ...


68

It depends what you mean by communism. If you mean what the Soviet-bloc states ended up like then, yes, all historical examples of this communism were pretty authoritarian. If you want indulge the [far] leftist theoreticians, then no country actually achieved communism. Even the former Soviet bloc countries only declared themselves socialist and on the path ...


58

Yes, but as a small part of the larger US culture wars The push to use gender neutral pronouns, or to insist that people must use the pronouns that they are explicitly told to use or face ostracism and/or criminal penalty, is an extremely recent phenomenon. The recentness of this is primarily a result of the broader LGBT movement successfully making gay ...


58

The first important thing to notice is that political labels mean different things in different parts of the world and in different points of time. In contemporary US politics libertarian is usually used to describe a set of political values that advocate liberal social policies with conservative economic policies. This means they don't fit neatly on a left/...


57

The modern US military is self-selecting — a professional army, not a conscripted one — so I doubt this effect would hold true historically. But as a rule, the political Right tends to value military service as a symbol of deep patriotism. As a consequence, those who lean politically Right who want to serve the nation will be more likely to think of the ...


56

Much of politics doesn't fit into the traditional left-right one-dimensional political spectrum. Politics is multi-dimensional. Marijuana legalisation (and the legalisation/regulation of other drugs) is a socially liberal as well as economically liberal idea. While being economically liberal, many people on the Right wing are not socially liberal. Rightly ...


56

Deep Roots First, relative political conservatism and liberalism are remarkably stable in any given geographic area over time (even though, in absolute terms corresponding to specific policies, almost everyplace gets more liberal over time). For example, even at a county by county level the 1876 Presidential election and the 1976 Presidential election look ...


53

I don't think that there is anything to reconcile. As you said, left-wing politicians support strong regulation for workers rights and a high minimum wage. The poorest workers make minimum wage, so immigration should not reduce their wage. In the same manner, strong regulations should prevent employers from abusing workers. But even if we assume that this ...


52

The question seems to assume that sharing values with someone necessarily implies that you support that person (or group etc) in all things. There's a difference between sharing certain values with a person or group on the one hand and supporting them regarding a specific issue, conflict or contention. For example, if Jane is a dyed-in-the-wool left-winger ...


50

First, I wanted to make clear that "authoritarianism" does not mean "enforces rules with some form of force" - if we were to use that definition, then every single system of government is authoritarian (such as when police arrest people for murder). To be authoritarian, it must go beyond simple enforcement of rules with some form of force....


50

Voting Democratic doesn't mean you support every plank of Democratic policy. The Democratic party consists of three main wings in an uneasy coalition: The traditional white working class: in favour of economic redistribution by strong unions, high taxes and strong social safety nets. However they are socially conservative; they oppose gay rights and are at ...


49

From a very abstract point of view, the difference is that totalitarianism desires to completely (totally) influence the thoughts and actions of its citizens, even into the private sphere, while authoritarianism is primarily concerned with keeping public life ‘in order’ and will allow for private affairs to remain private decisions. Examples (albeit ...


47

"Disproportionate representation" describes the result without making any reference to the cause. For example, States have disproportionate representation in the Senate is a perfectly reasonable description. If you want to be more specific as to what kind of proportionality you're talking about, you could specify with States have disproportionate ...


45

Libertarianism is neither Left nor Right-wing. It's on a spectrum opposite of Authoritarianism. So, as you go further towards Authoritarian, you want more and more government control and intervention in society. As you go further in the opposite direction on this spectrum, you want less government control and smaller government. This means that as a ...


43

The "anti-war" rubric is mainly a conservative conflation of a lot of different Centrist, Leftist, and (non-authoritarian) Rightist positions. I mean, it is often blithely applied to wide ranging movements like: Pacifism, which opposes mass violence for moral and/or religious reasons Anti-draft movements, which oppose forcing young people to risk ...


42

Because US Democratic party is not left wing, it's just slightly more to the left than extremely right wing Republican party. This is an important point, one that is worth expanding. The ideology of the Democratic Party is closer to that of European Centre-Right parties like the UK Conservative Party and the German CDU than it is to the European Centre-Left,...


41

There are many in the United States who lack a basic understanding of Socialism in even a few of its many forms. The most damning indictment is when a person uses Communism, Nazism, and Socialism as though they are synonyms. It would be lost on them to attempt to explain nuances between Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism. There are numerous programs ...


40

The phrase "politically homeless" has been used a lot in the UK lately for this kind of situation, since almost nobody is entirely happy with how either party has handled Brexit, and there are people arguing for it from left and right.


39

If you consider environmentalism and green politics left wing (and generally most people consider even the less radical politics solidly left wing), then you can find plenty of conspiracies around chemophobia, radiophobia and similar "unnatural" human activities that corporations and/or the government are hiding the true and catastrophic effects of....


37

This a good question, because what seems intuitive is often not exactly so. In this case, immigration doesn't lower wages. For example: a 2016 report by the London School of Economics found that the parts of the UK which received the greatest number of EU immigrants suffered no worse a decline in wages than the rest of the country, and declining wages are ...


35

How could so many rich men like George Clooney and Bill Gates vote for Hillary Clinton? After all, she openly said that she thought it was sexist to hire a man (Donald Trump) over a woman (her). And we all know that she wanted higher taxes on better off people compared to Donald Trump. No one seems to ask that question. Perhaps they simply didn't ...


33

What makes Nationalism (as in "my nation is the best") bad? Because it can be meant in two ways, both pretty frequent, and one of them is bad for one's own nation. And people frequently unconsciously mix the two. The first means, approximately: "I like my country and my nation very much". The second means what it literally says: "I think my nation is ...


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