The Sensible Left

Public debate works best when there are two or more compelling sides in the tussle, with each putting forward its strongest arguments and thoughtfully countering the opposition.  In this way we can best examine these cases and decide the most appropriate path.  Often we reach a conclusion that is somewhere in the middle.

The problem with current political and cultural discussion is that one side has gone completely crazy and is no longer attempting to argue.  The New Left simply screams insults that end in ‘ist’ and tries to shut down the debate.  Neither side is bothering to listen to the other any more.

Most of my readers are on the right and hold me in contempt for my infuriating fence sitting, especially because I do so due to indifference rather than indecision.  You are probably wondering why you should bother trying to listen to the Left – anything you read on Slate is nuts, after all.

And this is a fault shared by left and right – being absolutely certain about everything.  All my favorite bloggers are guilty of it, and you almost certainly are, too.  I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it ‘til my fingers stiffen: what are the chances that there’s a person on this planet who is completely correct in all his beliefs?  And further, what are the chances that that one person happens to be you?

Legend has it that an oracle declared Socrates the wisest person in the world and he was confused because he thought he didn’t know anything.  He went around asking questions and finally concluded that he must be the wisest because those who thought they knew things were mistaken.

Confucius said, wisdom is knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know.

The world’s simplest minds think they understand everything.  Ask them any question and they’ll say, ‘Because God did it.’  Once you realize that this is another way of saying ‘Fucked if I know,’ you are getting closer to wisdom.

But we are off track.

I feel like starting a second site under another name that unironically presents moderate left wing positions.  Not because I necessarily agree with them, but because there needs to be a more sensible counterpoint to the right-wingers who are presently doing all the world’s thinking.  Through this elenchus, both sides would sharpen up and we could make more intellectual progress.

I would eliminate from my site the current madness clogging up the skulls of the coastals: obsession with transgenderism, seeing racism and sexism in every shadow, continuing to venerate Marx, and all that bullying and blockading of alternative views.

I would replace this with left wing views that have stronger legs, and that deserve a more serious and determined response:

  • A generally free market with light-touch regulation and public health care and education
  • An end to sexism and racism, meaning that everyone ought to have equal opportunities. No university course, profession, or geographical area should be restricted on these grounds
  • An end to the stupid wars, a winding up of the unsustainable US global empire, and massive cuts in defense spending. A return to the principle of non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states as agreed at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.  This really ought to have been low-hanging fruit for the Left but these days they want more than anything else to get into a nuclear war with Russia.  How things change.
  • A continuation of the welfare state but with tougher restrictions and limits on recipients
  • Increased spending on infrastructure
  • Cracking down on tax rorts for the rich and global corporations such that they pay their fair share, though this share should not be punishingly high
  • A firm commitment to free speech, that is, any speech that does not openly advocate committing a crime

Please don’t argue against these suggestions in the comments.  That is not my point.  Rather, don’t you think that a Left that espoused the above policies would be much more intellectually competitive?  It would be worth arguing with, and minds on both sides would thereby be exercised and improved.

Perhaps a leftie out there has put together his own ‘sensible right’ platform.  Link it if you see it.

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6 comments

  1. Adam · August 3, 2018

    The left haven’t had any new ideas since Obama care. So good luck if you reckon that you can come up with something.

    Like

  2. luisman · August 3, 2018

    Reblogged this on Nicht-Linke Blogs.

    Like

  3. The Empty Subject · August 3, 2018

    When I’m in a polemical mood and I think of the left, I think of mumbling murderous blacks, hysterical diseased gays, mannish women and assorted browns and yellows howling for the death of the white man. I think of seething crossdressers, effeminate snarking journalists, fat and ugly people bemoaning beauty standards, corrupt elites, weaselly bureaucrats, arrogant pseudo-intellectuals with a library full of children’s books, diversity demanders and sophistical academics.

    It’s more fun to write about the extremes. The language I can use is more graphic and satirical and I would hope also more persuasive, but that probably depends on what you’re inclined to appreciate. Some people prefer a more confident, aggressive tone and some like a more balanced, restrained perspective.

    I’ve always appreciated your writing, and I wouldn’t want you to write differently. You were the first blog to link to me when I was a neophyte blogger in DC over three years ago.

    I’ve been thinking for a while now that many of the left’s core economic concerns mirror my own. I don’t see why the left and the right can’t come together on certain issues. It’s probably all the identity based isms. But even so, it strikes me as perverse that people who call themselves conservatives could defend the consolidated corporate power and economic development that dissolves traditions and uproots communities.

    Many conservatives devote their lives to the idea of being a conservative and forget about the people and places they should be conserving. What makes you a conservative isn’t your refined understanding of Burke, Locke or the constitution, but your love for your people, culture and homeland. Why insist on smaller government if it can’t protect your environment from corporate predation? What is conservative about imperial warmongering and selling arms to people you then turn around and crush into dust? Or militarized police or a privatized military?

    These issues present themselves as a packaged deal. If you identify as a leftist, then you’re expected to be all in on every other leftist position, and the same goes for the right. I harbor racist attitudes but I also believe workers should organize themselves to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions. I don’t want the government teaching my future children how to use dildoes but I also don’t want industrial waste flowing out of my faucet.

    I don’t understand why environmentalists are associated with and claimed by the left. Nothing is more conservative than wanting to prevent the destruction of the earth. You can be skeptical toward transgender science without denying the validity of climate science. Many conservatives have a degenerate devotion to free markets and monopolistic, transnational conglomerates. They may profess a faith in God, but their souls are possessed by consumerism and hedonism.

    The left and the right should unite against illegal wars, concentration of wealth and environmental devastation. Kill the elites and separate into smaller scale societies that respect each other’s differences from a comfortable distance. Trade with the other, but don’t mate or mess with it.

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  4. dickycone · August 3, 2018

    “A generally free market with light-touch regulation and public health care and education”

    I know a lot of non-insane leftists who would agree with what you’re proposing. Especially the quote above, which is what exists in places like Denmark and Sweden and what our reasonable leftists in the US desperately want. Before discovering Vox Day and Heartiste, I would often wonder too why we couldn’t have a sanely regulated free market and good public health care like Denmark, but now I see that what Vox would say is probably right: the Danish systems requires Danes. Americans are not Danes, and we’re unlikely to ever have some kind of efficient national health care system because it would contradict our national character. “Maybe when that character changes due to mass immigration” the left might say, but Somalis and Hondurans are even less like Danes.

    Like

    • Nikolai Vladivostok · August 3, 2018

      And it probably works better when people see their countrymen as their extended family.

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  5. As someone who identifies as a leftist I pretty much agree with all of these
    I am also gay but I don’t really let that define my political character, as I find myself also disagreeing with other people who are both gay and left leaning in many respects

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