Poll

Does the Marxist Ideology of the BLM founders give you pause in supporting them?

No, because I am sympathetic to Marxism and believe it is the best tool for fighting white supremacy
4 (6.3%)
No, because I don't think the Marxism will infiltrate the movement in any meaningful way
30 (47.6%)
Yes, because Marxist movements have had a history of achieving their goals with violence
14 (22.2%)
Yes, because there is nothing to suggest most black people would want their movement to be associated with Marxism
15 (23.8%)

Total Members Voted: 63

Author Topic: Does the Marxist Ideology of the BLM founders give you pause in supprting them?  (Read 6250 times)

LennStar

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I have no interest in revolutionary politics.
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I am against a revolutionary socialist party that seeks to hand control of the means of production over to the workers.

But you are for a revolutionary capitalist party that seeks to hand control of the means of production and the rights of people over to a small amont of ultra-richs?

Because that is what has happened in the last half century. It was a revolution, even planned as one, just with a lot less PR and more shadows. See for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_Pelerin_Society

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In its "Statement of Aims" on 8 April 1947, the scholars were worried about the dangers faced by civilization, stating the following:

    Over large stretches of the Earth’s surface the essential conditions of human dignity and freedom have already disappeared. In others they are under constant menace from the development of current tendencies of policy. 
It is important to mention that "freedom" here means "the freedom to do with your money what you want, whatever the consequences are for other people".

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In my eyes, socialism is always political and targeted to create a socialist society, where all means of production and the distribution of goods is controlled by the state. So labeling something like mandatory health insurance, infrastructure or the police as "socialist" is misleading in my eyes.
O.o why? In the case of mandatory health insurance, the state orders that everyone has access to the means of (health) production and that the necessary goods for this are taken from everyone and distributed by the force of the state.
A mandatory health insurance IS your self-choose defintion of a socialist public service.

The question of which services are controlled by the state is just a matter of the slider between no socialism and full socialism. A quantity, not a quality difference.

Bloop Bloop

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There is no revolutionary capitalist party in Australia. We are so far from pure capitalism it isn't funny.

Feivel2000

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In my eyes, socialism is always political and targeted to create a socialist society, where all means of production and the distribution of goods is controlled by the state. So labeling something like mandatory health insurance, infrastructure or the police as "socialist" is misleading in my eyes.
O.o why? In the case of mandatory health insurance, the state orders that everyone has access to the means of (health) production and that the necessary goods for this are taken from everyone and distributed by the force of the state.
A mandatory health insurance IS your self-choose defintion of a socialist public service.

The question of which services are controlled by the state is just a matter of the slider between no socialism and full socialism. A quantity, not a quality difference.

Because the decision, that health services should be socialised, does not mean that one want to create a socialist society, where all means of production and the distribution of goods is controlled by the state.
It creates a false dichotomy. If someone says "I want the right to price my services as I see fit and don't want the government to interfere here." I don't assume that the person also want's to privatize the fire department or that all infrastructure should be build and distributed by companies.
But the opposite is implied if you say: "That's a socialist idea!"

GuitarStv

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The organisers don't just have "roots in" socialism. Paddy Gibson is a member of Solidarity which is a socialist organisation. I have no interest in revolutionary politics. Unless you believe that the funding for the police force and health service also comes from socialist organisations, your analogy is completely in-apt.
There is no analogy.  "Social services" are "socialist".  The hint is right there in the name.

Are you against Socialism itself or only against it when there seems to be no direct benefit to yourself?

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Definition of socialism
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

Sorry, but calling social services socialist is just using the communist boogey man to fight against things radical capitalists don't want.

I feel that you may have missed a vital point here in the definition that was posted.

A social service is a service where the collective (or government) owns the service and administers the means of production and distribution of goods.  This defines the majority of public services . . . public health care, police, fire departments, transportation projects (such as most road/rail/public transit), public education, pollution controls, etc.

Social services are indeed socialism by definition.  Supporting socialism (in the form of social services) does not mean that a person supports abolition of property rights and full blown communism . . . in the same way supporting capitalism does not mean supporting slavery, extreme generational wealth disparity, and a wanton disregard for the environment.

It's possible to support some of the tenants of captialism/socialism without supporting the excesses.  This is why capitalism and socialism operate hand in hand in all real world economies.  Only a sith believes in absolutes.  :P

Feivel2000

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I understand that socialising things is a strategy socialism will use to reach its goals.

Maybe it's a German thing. In Germany, social security and the welfare state was implemented by Bismarck, a conservative monarchist who did this to fight socialism. Germany's current socioeconomic model is called "social market economy" not "socialist market economy".

For me, and probably most Germans, someone who is a socialist want's a different socioeconomic model (often combined with far-reaching eminent domain). I think the English language would profit from including this middle ground. So you could discuss something like maternity leave without having to explain that you don't want to end the American way of life.
(Because of the socialist/marxist/communist/"I fought in Vietnam so you don't have to live under a communist tyranny!!!11eleven" bogeyman.)

GuitarStv

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I understand that socialising things is a strategy socialism will use to reach its goals.

Then you misunderstand.

Socialism (as per the definition that you yourself provided) advocates collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.  When the government provides a service (like say firefighters) the goals of socialism are met by providing that social program.

You are equating 'socialist' with 'communist'.  That's like equating 'capitalist' with 'monopolist'.  Although they have some similarities, there are significant differences between the meanings.

Feivel2000

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I understand that socialising things is a strategy socialism will use to reach its goals.

Then you misunderstand.

Socialism (as per the definition that you yourself provided) advocates collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.  When the government provides a service (like say firefighters) the goals of socialism are met by providing that social program.

You are equating 'socialist' with 'communist'.  That's like equating 'capitalist' with 'monopolist'.  Although they have some similarities, there are significant differences between the meanings.

No, I do not misunderstand. You are ignoring what I am saying.
The core of socialism, the political and economic idea, is not that the fire department (or health care) is state owned. Social ownership of the means of production is way more than the government providing some services (or making some insurance mandatory).

Using the same word for Socialism and the fact that the state is paying the firefighter is creating a false dichotomy.
In German, we use different words. We have a "social market economy" not "socialist market economy". We have a "Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs", not a "Federal Ministry for Labour and Socialist Agendas".

So the fire department is not socialism (for me), it's a public service. Branding it as socialism
a) helps the far-right to call everyone with ideas for something like a "social market economy" a socialist, the enemies of America
b) helps the far-left to sell their ideas, because the only chance for worker rights and health care is socialism.

Sounds like it's dividing the nation, fits well into this time.

The following article seems to be interesting, though I didn't had time to read it all: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2019/05/13/socialism-a-short-primer/

GuitarStv

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I understand that socialising things is a strategy socialism will use to reach its goals.

Then you misunderstand.

Socialism (as per the definition that you yourself provided) advocates collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.  When the government provides a service (like say firefighters) the goals of socialism are met by providing that social program.

You are equating 'socialist' with 'communist'.  That's like equating 'capitalist' with 'monopolist'.  Although they have some similarities, there are significant differences between the meanings.

No, I do not misunderstand. You are ignoring what I am saying.
The core of socialism, the political and economic idea, is not that the fire department (or health care) is state owned. Social ownership of the means of production is way more than the government providing some services (or making some insurance mandatory).

Using the same word for Socialism and the fact that the state is paying the firefighter is creating a false dichotomy.

The state doesn't just pay the firefighter.  The state has complete monopoly over the only fire departments around.  The state controls the means of production and the distribution of services of fire departments through regulation.  That is textbook definition of socialism.  The definition that you gave in fact.

You are taking an absolutist definition of socialism . . . where socialism means state control of the means of production and distribution of everything.  That's silly . . . and not something that you apply to capitalism.  It's possible (and perfectly normal) to have a socialist fire department and a largely capitalist economy.

You are falling into the trap of defining socialism only by it's extremes, but then not being logically consistent by doing the same with capitalism.

In German, we use different words. We have a "social market economy" not "socialist market economy". We have a "Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs", not a "Federal Ministry for Labour and Socialist Agendas".

So the fire department is not socialism (for me), it's a public service.

If you don't want to use the correct definition of socialism, that's your prerogative.  But an expectation that  others will conform to your personal heterodoxy is an unreasonable position to take.  A government provided service where the government controls the means of production and distribution is socialist by definition.  Now, if you personally want to call it a purple watermelon . . . that's up to you.  But this incorrect use of terminology will make your argument more confusing.


Branding it as socialism
a) helps the far-right to call everyone with ideas for something like a "social market economy" a socialist, the enemies of America
b) helps the far-left to sell their ideas, because the only chance for worker rights and health care is socialism.

The United States is so far to the right of center that the concept of a far-left takeover of ideas is laughable, and should not be even remotely concerning in the least.  The right has been mis-using the term socialist for decades now . . . ever since McCarthyism.  Misusing the term in the same way (as you advocate) only lends credence and legitimacy to their mistake.

Feivel2000

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No, I don't define socialism by the extremes. You define it by aspects of its implementation.
A capitalist who thinks there is a place for public services is not a socialist. We don't live in socialism because there are public services. And the fire department is not a socialist institution. Unless you ignore the better words (which exist in your language but are not used, I am not making them up). The fact that you ignore the existence of the middle ground does not make Germany a socialist country.

I know it is how the word was and is used and suggesting a different meaning makes me a cultural Marxist.

Edit: I maybe found a good analogy to make my point more clear: if someone wants deregulation or if deregulation is done, he isn't an anarchist and the deregulation is not anarchy, even though "removing rules" is definitely an anarchist method.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 10:45:42 AM by Feivel2000 »

LennStar

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Wir drehen uns hier ziemlich im Kreis. Ich glaube du wirfst hier die Akzeptanz, dass etwas nach sozialistischem Muster organisiert ist (Feuerwehr). mit "wir leben im Sozialismus" durcheinander. Oder anders: Nur weil ich jeden Tag Gemüse zu meinem Fleisch esse bin ich kein Vegetarier ;)

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A capitalist who thinks there is a place for public services is not a socialist.
Neither does it make the society socialistic.
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We don't live in socialism because there are public services
But those services are structured and maintained in a socialist fashion.

GuitarStv

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No, I don't define socialism by the extremes. You define it by aspects of its implementation.
A capitalist who thinks there is a place for public services is not a socialist. We don't live in socialism because there are public services.

Agree with the above.  And a socialist who believes there is a place for profit motive in much of the countries economy is not a capitalist.


And the fire department is not a socialist institution.

Not unless we use the commonly accepted definition that you provided for socialism.


The fact that you ignore the existence of the middle ground does not make Germany a socialist country.

I've never said that Germany is a socialist country.  Like all successful developed countries in the modern world, it's policies are a mix of capitalism and socialism.  It's weird that you're arguing that I'm ignoring the middle ground.  My whole argument is that the labels of socialism/capitalism don't work well when you apply them to whole countries because they ignore all the overlap between the two.

Is Germany socialist?  No, not purely.  Is it capitalist?  No, not purely.  Is the government run fire department in Germany socialist?  Yes.  Is the free market trading that goes on in the Frankfurt stock exchange capitalist?  Yes.  Germany (like every other successful country in the world) mixes the two.


I maybe found a good analogy to make my point more clear: if someone wants deregulation or if deregulation is done, he isn't an anarchist and the deregulation is not anarchy, even though "removing rules" is definitely an anarchist method.

Anarchy is the state of a society being freely constituted without authorities or a governing body.  An anarchist attempts to bring this state about.  Deregulation is certainly a part of that . . . just as socialism is a part of communism.  But there's a clear difference between deregulation and anarchy, just as there's a clear difference between socialism and communism.

Feivel2000

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Sorry, thanks to the great mobile view of this forum, I often don't know who I am answering to.

Like deregulation is not anarchy, the fire department is not socialism, even though it is state owned. In socialism everything is (or might be...) state owned, not everything state owned is socialist.

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the labels of socialism/capitalism don't work well when you apply them to whole countries because they ignore all the overlap between the two.
And they don't work on the small scale. They describe ideologies.

GuitarStv

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Sorry, thanks to the great mobile view of this forum, I often don't know who I am answering to.

Like deregulation is not anarchy, the fire department is not socialism, even though it is state owned. In socialism everything is (or might be...) state owned, not everything state owned is socialist.

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the labels of socialism/capitalism don't work well when you apply them to whole countries because they ignore all the overlap between the two.
And they don't work on the small scale. They describe ideologies.

OK.  So you agree that socialism/capitalism don't work on large scale because they are never individually present.  But now you're also saying that they can't work on small scale where they perfectly describe a situation.  So, in your opinion when should these ideologies be used in discussion?

Feivel2000

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OK, everything that's state owned and every public service is socialism/socialist. I will not be able to make you considering my point.

PKFFW

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https://twitter.com/paddygibson?lang=en

It's not a goal of BLM (after all, a movement doesn't necessarily have official, or discrete, goals, since many people can be involved in a movement and they can each want something different). But it's a goal of one of the principal organisers of the recent Australian BLM rally.
I read the first bunch of tweets on that feed and didn't see any stated goal to hand the means of production over to the workers.  The closest I saw was the dude's tag line bio thing states he is a "socialist activist with solidarity" which could mean a whole bunch of things.

Not being a user of Twitter I don't know if it's possible but are you able to link to any actual statement by the organiser claiming what you claim is his goal?

PKFFW

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In my eyes, socialism is always political and targeted to create a socialist society, where all means of production and the distribution of goods is controlled by the state. So labeling something like mandatory health insurance, infrastructure or the police as "socialist" is misleading in my eyes.
I see.

Not being aware of your personal definitions, I was going by the generally and widely accepted meaning of the term "socialist institution".

Sorry for the confusion.

Bloop Bloop

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https://twitter.com/paddygibson?lang=en

It's not a goal of BLM (after all, a movement doesn't necessarily have official, or discrete, goals, since many people can be involved in a movement and they can each want something different). But it's a goal of one of the principal organisers of the recent Australian BLM rally.
I read the first bunch of tweets on that feed and didn't see any stated goal to hand the means of production over to the workers.  The closest I saw was the dude's tag line bio thing states he is a "socialist activist with solidarity" which could mean a whole bunch of things.

Not being a user of Twitter I don't know if it's possible but are you able to link to any actual statement by the organiser claiming what you claim is his goal?

"Solidarity" is an Australian revolutionary socialist organisation. You can google it.

Feivel2000

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Not being aware of your personal definitions, I was going by the generally and widely accepted meaning of the term "socialist institution".

Sorry for the confusion.

In German, the adjective "sozialistisch" (=socialist) is always political. The German Wikipedia explains this well. I already told you why "my personal definition" is different from your "generally and widely accepted meaning".

Using the same word for Socialism and the fact that the state is paying the firefighter is creating a false dichotomy.
In German, we use different words. We have a "social market economy" not "socialist market economy". We have a "Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs", not a "Federal Ministry for Labour and Socialist Agendas".

Maybe it's a German thing. In Germany, social security and the welfare state was implemented by Bismarck, a conservative monarchist who did this to fight socialism. Germany's current socioeconomic model is called "social market economy" not "socialist market economy".

For me, and probably most Germans, someone who is a socialist want's a different socioeconomic model (often combined with far-reaching eminent domain). I think the English language would profit from including this middle ground. So you could discuss something like maternity leave without having to explain that you don't want to end the American way of life.
(Because of the socialist/marxist/communist/"I fought in Vietnam so you don't have to live under a communist tyranny!!!11eleven" bogeyman.)

I don't think that this is a good use of the word "socialist". It's like when people say, Belgium, Sweden or Germany are socialist countries, because there is health care. Using the word socialist for everything is in my opinion a great trick from the right, to discredit a lot good ideas. Because Americans seem to be allergic to everything that's called socialist. Even if it is not socialism...

I know it is how the word was and is used and suggesting a different meaning makes me a cultural Marxist.

So to sum this up: I tell you that we use the word in German differently and why I think it is the better way. You tell me:
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If you don't want to use the correct definition of socialism, that's your prerogative.  But an expectation that  others will conform to your personal heterodoxy is an unreasonable position to take.  A government provided service where the government controls the means of production and distribution is socialist by definition.  Now, if you personally want to call it a purple watermelon . . . that's up to you.  But this incorrect use of terminology will make your argument more confusing.

Don't think that there is anything left worth discussing.

LennStar

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I just want to emphasize that firefighters are actually the most socialist thing in Germany. It is owned "by all", paid by all, and even if you as a town didn't wanted one, you are forced by the central government.
And you (as a person) can even forced join the firefighters if there aren't enough otherwise. Because the need of the many outwight the freedom of the single person. That is the core of socialism.
"Community-oriented" or however you want to call it, is without force.
The socialist notion is that if the greater good is clearly by the many, the lesser good of the individuum has to stand back, by force if necessary.

(In communism everyone would see the greater good and do that without being forced. You can cleary see the reason why communism will never work ;) )

Feivel2000

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And still, nobody calls the Feuerwehr in Germany sozialistisch.

PKFFW

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"Solidarity" is an Australian revolutionary socialist organisation. You can google it.
So another group entirely and nothing about BLM wanting to put the means of production in the hands of the workers then. 

rocketpj

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It's fun to get into discussions of what exactly socialism is, and get off the silly notion that BLM is explicitly Marxist because some people associated with it like Marxism.

I am hardly a socialist, being an entrepreneur and a landowner.  However, I think there are a lot of things that the so-called free market is utterly crap at providing.  Those include health care (for examples, see the current US clusterfuck).  None of that has anything to do with BLM, which pretty much boils down to 'Stop killing us with impunity'. 

'Don't kill us' should really not be a political statement except in a society built on violence.

Bloop Bloop

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"Solidarity" is an Australian revolutionary socialist organisation. You can google it.
So another group entirely and nothing about BLM wanting to put the means of production in the hands of the workers then.

Except the Australian BLM protests were organised by one of its members.

And having attended similar protests before, there's always a huge overlap when you go there, between the ostensible cause (BLM) and a whole bunch of other fucking causes I care nothing about (to do with radical left wing politics).

If you can't see why that - and the stupidity of trying to organise mass protests during a pandemic - would turn me off, then good for you. I've explained why I don't like it and why I see it as disingenuous.

Just as I see the shitty statistics-whoring of the Australian BLM movement as also incredibly disingenuous.

There are rational and reasonable approaches to trying to right systemic racism. What the Australian protesters are doing is more akin to demagoguery and populism. I hate that, from any angle. I prefer civil, intelligent discourse that acknowledges problems without trying to conflate multiple issues or turn a complex thing into a simple worldview.

PKFFW

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Except the Australian BLM protests were organised by one of its members.

And having attended similar protests before, there's always a huge overlap when you go there, between the ostensible cause (BLM) and a whole bunch of other fucking causes I care nothing about (to do with radical left wing politics).

If you can't see why that - and the stupidity of trying to organise mass protests during a pandemic - would turn me off, then good for you. I've explained why I don't like it and why I see it as disingenuous.

Just as I see the shitty statistics-whoring of the Australian BLM movement as also incredibly disingenuous.

There are rational and reasonable approaches to trying to right systemic racism. What the Australian protesters are doing is more akin to demagoguery and populism. I hate that, from any angle. I prefer civil, intelligent discourse that acknowledges problems without trying to conflate multiple issues or turn a complex thing into a simple worldview.
I can see why it would put you off.  I was merely point out that socialism abounds in many aspects of the society you choose to live in.  Since you don't seem put off by those aspects I wonder why the mere idea of it being a  motivating factor of single one of the organisers is starting to put you off supporting the idea that entrenched and systemic racism within our society should end.

Bloop Bloop

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There's a difference between democratic socialism and revolutionary socialism. The latter entails giving the means of production to workers. The former entails mild redistribution.

And I can support a broad movement (like racial equality or gender equality) without supporting the actions of a particular manifestation of that movement, even if the manifestation is popular at a given point in time.

SotI

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  None of that has anything to do with BLM, which pretty much boils down to 'Stop killing us with impunity'. 

'Don't kill us' should really not be a political statement except in a society built on violence.
I don't know if the BLM organization is explicitly Marxist. However, it seems to be reasonably explicit "radical left" in that they push not only for "don't kill us".

When I read their mission statement, the rhetoric pretty much synchs with most radical left positions in communist-leaning groups (speaking about European radical left political groups here in case that you US folks have different trigger words).

To quote their https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/ (bolded by me the parts that are (also) standard fare of radical left identity policy lingo):

"We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise)."


So, yeah, I totally see where BloopBloop is coming from.
Edit: Not to mention that they don't refer to a specific US problem but claim global representation ...
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 09:07:25 PM by SotI »

LennStar

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And having attended similar protests before, there's always a huge overlap when you go there, between the ostensible cause (BLM) and a whole bunch of other fucking causes I care nothing about (to do with radical left wing politics).

Generally politically active people tend to be politically active if something urgent crops up. Surprise!

Ever wondered why you never see "capitalist" demonstrations? Why are there never huge crowds of people demonstrating for the continuation of e.g. low minimum wages, "deregulation" and such things?

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I prefer civil, intelligent discourse that acknowledges problems without trying to conflate multiple issues or turn a complex thing into a simple worldview.
I prefer it too. And even more do those who profit from the status quo. Because civil, earnest discussions don't change anything.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 03:14:08 AM by LennStar »