HomePersonalRants & ObservationsGender, Race, Political Affiliation, and the Wide-Open Field

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Gender, Race, Political Affiliation, and the Wide-Open Field — 18 Comments

  1. Holly, I hope I haven’t left it too late to reply to you on this discussion.

    You say, “Every time leftists anywhere in the world get power, the result is the same. Horror, slaughter, genocide, the enslavement of the population, and the destruction of the economy and the livelihoods of the people who supported the leftist as well as those who didn’t.”

    I don’t think that this argument holds because the thing which Stalin, Mao and Hitler have in common which they don’t share with other “leftist” ideologies is totalitarianism. They were control freaks.

    But from the point of view of those of living in “leftist” Europe, things do not look as bleak as you might suppose. I know from fairly extensive contact with American sites that many of you class nearly all European societies as “socialist”. I particularly remember one women saying, “You are all socialists, which explains why you are such cowards.” Evidence of cowardice was there none. Here in the UK where are our troops were dying fighting Bush’s war in Afghanistan that remark did not go down well.

    Still, mention the National Health Service, which remains one of the great national achievements which are the pride of Britain, on an open American site and the perceived abuse of personal liberty and the imagined horrors of our Death Panels will get heated – and occasionally abusive, posts galore. And after “socialised medicine”, the words “socialist” and leftie” are usually the most prominent.

    We are not the only ones; across Europe, in different forms and to different degrees, we all regard some degree of universally available healthcare, paid for out of taxation, as a natural part of a civilised society.

    I read, back in the 80s, a post on a Compuserve forum from an SF writer who had gone bankrupt trying to pay for cancer treatment. Amongst his creditors was the hospital which had seized the intellectual property of his most popular series character. They seemed to think that they could find a writer who would write more books about that character. The original writer said, “They would have done much better financially, to let me get on with it – but they didn’t see the argument.”

    Cancer still robs people of earning potential here, but not because they have come to the end of their health insurance. Across Europe (and Australia and New Zealand) this sort of “leftism” has not resulted in, “Horror, slaughter, genocide, the enslavement of the population, and the destruction of the economy.”

    I hope that the mention of cancer is not taken as any form of personal attack. I did think at least twice before including that in my argument, but I am simply reflecting on what seems to me to one of the most prevalent horrors (as seen from this side of the pond) to the American way of healthcare. I have also looked to your personal blogs to seek reassurance that you are still on top of your own cancer nightmare.

    I would like to go further, especially on the matter of free speech (where I probably agree with you to an extent which would make some of your own American university students shun me as a tool of fascism), but I did want to try to refute the quotation I started with. And I must now leave this post to be re-read after dinner.

  2. Well, I liked your ‘rant’ and I agree with it … I never thought you were suggesting lawlessness, just simplify life to “respect me and I shall respect you” – agree to disagree – live and let live. We ought not be afraid of that which is different, it might just be a new spice that will add flavor to your life.

  3. I’m reminded of Christopher Stasheff’s “The Wizard in Spite of Himself” series. The hero was trying to establish democracy, and was opposed by both totalitarian and anarchist forces. I think there’s always going to be a tension between group vs individual rights and responsibilities. I see it even when there are only two people – just watch an episode of “Naked and Afraid”.

    The discussions on “Right” and “Left” annoy me. The definitions depend on time, place, and the person making the claims. Originally it was supporters of French Monarchy [+ Catholic Church] v opponents [democratic equality + secular]. By those standards, wouldn’t the US parties be considered moderate left and mid left?

    Good laws protect the rights of all against abuse. Isn’t that why the US government has 3 separate branches? It’s supposed to prevent any one branch from abusing power. Our right to free speech, bear arms, etc. is designed to protect the individual from the state. Those rights are limited to protect the group from an individual. Aagh. This has taken too much of my time 🙂

    • I appreciate your perspective, though. Yes, in theory, the three branches of government are supposed to each act for the best interests of the people they serve, but with differing perspectives that oppose each other, thus preventing government overreach and protecting the rights of individual citizens.

      In fact, when Congress voted to make itself no longer subject to the laws it created, it broke the system.

  4. Yep, just like in Scandinavia, all those leftists slaughtering each other. Your view of the world is so hopelessly naive, Holly. You think “keep your hands to yourself” will prevent systemic inequality, that people won’t oppress each other? Maybe you don’t, maybe you just don’t care. It’s really not about being “different.” It’s about systems being deeply skewed against some groups and other groups benefitting from that. But, you know, why try to change the systems – fuck it, eh? The ‘people who run the businesses that pay other people, and who create the food that feeds other people, and who build the homes that house other people, and who risk their lives to protect other people” ARE the leftists, often. Are nonleftists useful and everyone else is just a waste of space in your world?
    I wasn’t going to come back here after your stupid rant about a game that portrays white people in a “racist” manner when you have never had anything to say about the whole theatre of racism against non-white people in both our countries. (Searched your blog and the ONLY racism you’ve ever called out is “racism” against whites.) I’ve been on your sites since I was 14. I learned to write from you. I know, I know – you don’t care that I’ll no longer be your reader and fan, I’ve seen how you dismiss the people who disagree with you. I also know there’s no hope of changing your mind. But i’m done listening to nonsense about legislation trying to “control thinking.” I know plenty of people hate me, at least in the abstract. I don’t think laws can be made to change that. But goddammit we can make laws about what people SAY and DO and the racism and other hatreds they ENACT and those who oppose that are just saying they don’t care.

    • I held off on responding to this tirade when you first posted it, because while you managed to make yourself a complete asshat with your comments, I did not wish to respond in kind. I needed a little time to cool down.

      First, I’m not just against the far left. I don’t support the far right, either. The far left and the far right are the exact same people.

      The political extremes don’t sit on to opposite points of a straight line.

      They share the exact same spot on the opposite pole on a circle, with the individualist advocating for individual rights and freedoms (that would be me) on the other side.

      (Yes, the extremists of the Religious Right and the Liberal Left are the same. This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. This is about advocating for the use of force against those who disagree with you, or advocating for individual freedom.)

      I made this diagram to explain my position to a friend. I’m reusing it here.
      The Political Extremes
      Actions speak louder than words, and the only two possibilities are to fight to preserve individual rights, or to fight to criminalize all rights when you advocate the use of force against people you don’t approve of.

      No matter how you slice it, the path that demands “special interest” rights and demands the curtailing of rights held by others leads to dictatorship, tyranny, oppression, and the destruction and slaughter of individuals in the name of some fucked-up claim of acting for the “greater good.”

      There is no good greater than the right of the individual to live the life he or she chooses, as long as that individual does not use that freedom to oppress others.

      after your stupid rant about a game that portrays white people in a “racist” manner when you have never had anything to say about the whole theatre of racism against non-white people in both our countries.

      This would suggest that you’re lying your ass off when you claim to be my reader.

      I express my opinions on race vehemently in my work. My main character of my favorite books, the Cadence Drake novels, IS black. She’s a hero — smart, capable, funny, tough. She lives in a widely settled universe where the good guys and the bad guys are of all races. Where the inventors and creators and movers and shakers are of all races. THAT is my beliefs on race, put into a form where they can be held up and viewed for as long as there are readers — that all humans are created equal in the eyes of the law, and deserve equal and just treatment for their actions and achievements.

      I looked at the world as it is, and wondered, “How could I show something better? How could I show a world where race is no longer an issue? Where people are judged not on the color of their skin, but on the quality of their character.” And then I built that world.

      And now people like you are doing their damnedest to destroy any hope we have of taking ourselves to that better world, by making the color of skin a factor of preference again, by trying to push legislation to make saying things like what I’m saying here illegal. You and people like you are trying to slaughter the First Amendment, the very amendment that protects every individual who chooses to speak his own mind against the immense and brutal power of the government.

      But goddammit we can make laws about what people SAY and DO and the racism and other hatreds they ENACT and those who oppose that are just saying they don’t care.

      Laws already exist to protect against “what people DO and the racism and other hatreds they ENACT.”

      You’re trying to bundle laws that already exist with the real atrocity you’re advocating for — and virtue signalling with all your righteous indignation to hide what you’re doing while you do it — but it’s bullshit.

      Here’s the poison you and the folks agitating with you are trying to shove down everyone’s throats with their righteous indignation.

      But goddammit we can make laws about what people SAY…

      THAT’s the one…

      What people say. Which is some version of what they think. That’s what you want to legislate.

      Legislating thought and speech led to the Spanish Inquisition, the gulags of Russia, the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, hundreds of people slaughtered and thousands imprisoned for protesting for more freedom in Tiananmen Square in China.

      You certainly can legislate speech. You’re a fucking fool if you do.

  5. Nashira, Holly said nothing about taxes, public services, etc. She only covered personal civil liberties. I think the personal protections against unfortunate case you mentioned fit in the “no” box that Holly put in her first graphic.

    And Storm, when you talk about people “denying me the right to live MY life”, the only way they do that is by passing laws and creating more “no” boxes.

    And your entire rant basically says that you believe you are right and other people should be forced to follow the rules you set forth. If it is wrong for others to do to you, it is wrong for you to do it to others.

  6. If we all minded our own business would we have schools? Or fire departments? Or roads? I agree, I never understood why anyone would care what adults do in their own homes. Wait, that’s not true. I called the police when I heard a neighbor abusing his wife and I didn’t want to be one of those people you read about who heard screams and did nothing. I would love to live in a world where we could all live and let live, but too many people take that to mean those with power get to do what they want.

    • Limited government that is in control of the individual citizens who vote is necessary and has absolutely nothing to do with anything I said above.

  7. Here’s the problem that I see with this. It would be great, if people actually DID mind their own business and keep their hands to themselves. But they don’t. And when someone insists on denying me the right to live MY life so that they can have THEIR perfect vision of the future, something has to give. And if I need a law, so that my ability to live the life I choose is protected from the people who make it their business to shut it down, then that’s what I’m going to push for.

    I’ve been active in alternative communities for most of my adult life. I’ve watched as the people in those communities have dealt with everything from actual MURDER for their beliefs and practices to being beaten, abused, and tortured — and to less physical, but more damaging long-term actions like putting laws in place that were designed for nothing more than to deny the people in the groups that I participated in the right to their pursuit of happiness. The right to decide for themselves who to love, where to live, and how to make a living for themselves. I’ve watched people legislate away their right to their children, their right to congregate, their right to love whom they love and get the rights others take for granted (over 1100 laws that benefit married people, for example) for themselves and those they love.

    It is a nice fantasy to say ‘just mind your own business and let people live their own lives’ but it isn’t realistic. Unless you can get people to stop firing me because I’m disabled without laws to enforce it, or get people to agree that if I love someone of the same gender, I should be able to legally marry them just like someone who is marrying someone of the opposite gender, or if my skin is dark, I should be able to live in the same pretty neighborhood as other people who don’t like people with dark skin if there are no laws that say that they -have- to let me in, then it is naïve to say “Don’t make laws, because too many laws are stupid and won’t make people like you anyway.” It isn’t about making people like those of us who are different. It is about making people accept that they have NO choice but to back off from trying to destroy us and our lives — about making people accountable for their bigotry, because if you say ‘just MYOB, nobody will, and people will continue to be abused for the choices that are their own choices (or the things about them that are different and that they have NO choice over) as long as someone else can profit by denying them a future.

    • Murder is already illegal. Enforcing the laws that exist needs to be the priority, NOT making some murder more important than other murder in the eyes of the law.

      There are already equal opportunity laws. There are already “anyone can live in any neighborhood” laws.

      Enforcing the existing laws equally across all races and creeds and ages must be made a priority. THAT is a fight worth fighting. Demanding new laws for your own special interest is the path to having no rights at all.

      Realize, China is a leftist government. Cuba. Venezuela. Nazi Germany was a liberal left-wing government – socialist was right in the name. Hitler was a vegetarian, non-smoker, non-drinker, animal right activist (I’m not recommending the site, just the article).

      Every time leftists anywhere in the world get power, the result is the same. Horror, slaughter, genocide, the enslavement of the population, and the destruction of the economy and the livelihoods of the people who supported the leftist as well as those who didn’t.

      And the lie they tell to get power is the same every fucking time. “We’re going to protect YOU from THEM.”

      And “them” is ALWAYS the people who run the businesses that pay other people, and who create the food that feeds other people, and who build the homes that house other people, and who risk their lives to protect other people.

      Wake up.

      • Well said. People do tend to forget that Nazism is / was a LEFT wing ideology. Calling a conservative or a Republican or a “right-winger” a “Nazi” or “Hitler” is all sensational emotionalism. Probably has something to do with the fact that education is so badly done in this country all they can count on is that people will at least remember that Hitler was a bad guy. Anyone compared to Hitler is guilty by association, even if the association is spurious.

      • C.S. Lewis expressed this same sentiment beautifully:

        “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

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