Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby GrahamB on Tue Oct 19, 2021 6:19 am

This thread is like a living example of conspirituality.

"A weekly study of converging right-wing conspiracy theories and faux-progressive wellness utopianism. At best, the conspirituality movement attacks public health efforts in times of crisis. At worst, it fronts and recruits for the fever-dream of QAnon.

As the alt-right and New Age horseshoe toward each other in a blur of disinformation, clear discourse and good intentions get smothered. Charismatic influencers exploit their followers by co-opting conspiracy theories on a spectrum of intensity ranging from vaccines to child trafficking. In the process, spiritual beliefs that have nurtured creativity and meaning are transforming into memes of a quickly-globalizing paranoia."

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/c ... 1515827446
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby vadaga on Tue Oct 19, 2021 8:04 am

@Graham funny you should mention that.
the Norwegian TV had a special on recently about new age anti-vaxxers in Norway.

I also met someone with whom I've played music with in pubs last weekend busking off of Grafton Street in Dublin- when asked if she would be playing at the pub again soon, the response was that she'd not be going to play in the pub as vaccine certs were required and she wasn't interested in getting vaccinated -- 'I go more for holistic medicine'
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby GrahamB on Tue Oct 19, 2021 10:57 pm

You go far enough left you meet the people going far enough right.
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby Doc Stier on Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:59 am

GrahamB wrote:You go far enough left you meet the people going far enough right.

Quite so indeed! As the I Ching states, when things reach an extreme expression at either end of the spectrum, they automatically change into the opposite expression.
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:28 pm

GrahamB wrote:You go far enough left you meet the people going far enough right.


Yeah, the Horseshoe Theory. I'm not convinced. I'd say the problem is that people are misusing the term left. What is called left in American politics, for example, is not usually left at all. Identity politics, as the term is usually used these days, is at its core a form of essentialism which is antithetical to left ideologies. It's also often used performatively as a way to avoid structural change in order to protect power and capital (right wing aims).

There are those that argue that so-called Communist regimes went so far left that they became right. Others argue that they were simply right deviations from quite early on (Chomsky is one of the best known supporters of this stance).

Really, it probably comes down to the inaccuracies that grow out of slapping labels on things. It's how humans operate in the world, but it can have its limitations, too.

I'd be curious for some reasonable real world examples of what Doc is talking about. I am sure there must be plenty. But, when I think about history, or the changes between day and night, these things are usually more gradual rather than sudden. We notice rupture, but continuity is almost always more prevelant, IMO.
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby Steve James on Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:55 pm

It's like the yin-yang thing, except the idea of left and right is cartesian. The left literally can't become the right. Well, it wouldn't work for locating anything in space and time. I'd argue that the yin-yang idea is probably more accurate, in that there's always some left in right, and vice versa.

A nazi might convert to Judaism, or vice versa, but it's not inevitable or usual. In the US, however, there's lots of disagreement among the right and the left. Members of both share some of the same opinions. In fact, pick any issue or category and opinions are not clearly left or right.
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby Giles on Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:27 am

I'm certainly no expert on political science, so I won't try to make any profound or generally valid statements on this issue. However, it seems to me that there is one aspect where extreme left wing and extreme right wing can morph into each other. --->>> Please note, by "extreme left wing" I'm referring to actual Communist ideologies and political systems, or those that dubbed themselves 'Socialist' but were still essentially Communist. I'm NOT referring to political parties or governments or other bodies with social democratic or liberal socialist leanings, even though some in the US and elsewhere refer to these, erroneously, as "far left".
Anyway: where a state moves into a condition of essential dictatorship (end of generally free and fair elections, jail sentences or worse for dissenting or 'deviant' political opinions etc.), or where an individual adopts views and a state of mind that support such a form of governance, then there can be an easy transfer from "far left" to "far right" and perhaps in the other direction, too.
The official ideology may be diametrically opposed, at least on paper, but basic modes of thinking, feeling and behaving are pretty much the same. Then it's like a computer printer in 'extremist/dictatorship' mode that will print only in one colour and in a particular way, and you can simply swap the ink cartridge and the printer will do exactly the same job in the new colour.

One example close to home (for me): a significant proportion of the people who grew up and were socialized in the essentially Communist dictatorship of the GDR ("East Germany") have shown themselves to be more open and amenable to extreme right-wing and in some cases essentially fascist/Nazi thinking, along with political parties that support/sell this thinking. The relative strength and success of the political party AFD in the areas of the former GDR is due significantly (but not solely) to this factor.

At the anecdotal level, let me quote from the Wikipedia entry on Horst Mahler (who by the way was born in the 'East' but moved to the 'West' in his teens):
"Horst Mahler (born 23 January 1936) is a German former lawyer and political activist.[1] He once was an extreme-left militant and a founding member of the Red Army Faction (RAF, also known as the Baader–Meinhof Group) and later became a Maoist before switching to neo-Nazism. Between 2000 and 2003, he was a member of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany. Since 2003, he has repeatedly been convicted of Volksverhetzung ("incitement of popular hatred") and Holocaust denial and served much of a twelve-year prison sentence."

In Russia, many aspects and qualities of the repressive Communist dictatorship of the USSR, which at least officially propagated ideological struggle and ultimate global victory of the Communist ideology, are gradually but clearly being revived under Putin. At the practical level (and jumping over the years ca. 1991-2005), Putin is establishing a continuity between "Communism and 'the proletariat' first" and the current "Russia and Russian interests first" with clear elements of ideological nationalism tending towards fascism in practical terms. The KGB morphed fairly seamlessly into the FSB with many of the same personnel, structures and methods. And so on.

So to summarize, the actual ideologies and stated ends of 'far left' and 'far right' may remain clearly distinct or even fully opposed, but once you get into 'extremist', dictatorship-friendly thinking and structures, and are willing to put these into practice, then the tips of the horseshoe maybe can touch.
Last edited by Giles on Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby oragami_itto on Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:40 am

I think the simple answer is that authoritarianism is very opportunistic. Left or right wing ideologies are just a vehicle for power hungry psychopaths to get their hands on the pursestrings.
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby Steve James on Thu Oct 21, 2021 7:12 am

I agree with origami that the categories left and right might describe different political philosophies, but both can be equally authoritarian in practice.

However, I also understand that people who hold the extreme views on any subject are likely to be just as extreme if they switch positions. There's no one further "left" than an ex-Nazi. Similarly, "liberals" who become "conservatives" are usually outspoken against "liberals." George Wallace ran for president on a pro-segregationist platform. He was almost assassinated; but, he eventually turned into a civil rights advocate.

Anyway, these things happen, but they're not inevitable. And, it's neither good nor bad. When it comes to covid, though, it's more likely that someone who was against vaccines will be for vaccines if he or she ends up on a deathbed in the ICU. But, everyone's who against them will not necessarily change their minds.

Grandma said people are more likely to become the thing they hate, rather than the thing they love.
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:57 am

Giles wrote:I'm certainly no expert on political science, so I won't try to make any profound or generally valid statements on this issue. However, it seems to me that there is one aspect where extreme left wing and extreme right wing can morph into each other. --->>> Please note, by "extreme left wing" I'm referring to actual Communist ideologies and political systems, or those that dubbed themselves 'Socialist' but were still essentially Communist. I'm NOT referring to political parties or governments or other bodies with social democratic or liberal socialist leanings, even though some in the US and elsewhere refer to these, erroneously, as "far left".
Anyway: where a state moves into a condition of essential dictatorship (end of generally free and fair elections, jail sentences or worse for dissenting or 'deviant' political opinions etc.), or where an individual adopts views and a state of mind that support such a form of governance, then there can be an easy transfer from "far left" to "far right" and perhaps in the other direction, too.
The official ideology may be diametrically opposed, at least on paper, but basic modes of thinking, feeling and behaving are pretty much the same. Then it's like a computer printer in 'extremist/dictatorship' mode that will print only in one colour and in a particular way, and you can simply swap the ink cartridge and the printer will do exactly the same job in the new colour.

One example close to home (for me): a significant proportion of the people who grew up and were socialized in the essentially Communist dictatorship of the GDR ("East Germany") have shown themselves to be more open and amenable to extreme right-wing and in some cases essentially fascist/Nazi thinking, along with political parties that support/sell this thinking. The relative strength and success of the political party AFD in the areas of the former GDR is due significantly (but not solely) to this factor.

At the anecdotal level, let me quote from the Wikipedia entry on Horst Mahler (who by the way was born in the 'East' but moved to the 'West' in his teens):
"Horst Mahler (born 23 January 1936) is a German former lawyer and political activist.[1] He once was an extreme-left militant and a founding member of the Red Army Faction (RAF, also known as the Baader–Meinhof Group) and later became a Maoist before switching to neo-Nazism. Between 2000 and 2003, he was a member of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany. Since 2003, he has repeatedly been convicted of Volksverhetzung ("incitement of popular hatred") and Holocaust denial and served much of a twelve-year prison sentence."

In Russia, many aspects and qualities of the repressive Communist dictatorship of the USSR, which at least officially propagated ideological struggle and ultimate global victory of the Communist ideology, are gradually but clearly being revived under Putin. At the practical level (and jumping over the years ca. 1991-2005), Putin is establishing a continuity between "Communism and 'the proletariat' first" and the current "Russia and Russian interests first" with clear elements of ideological nationalism tending towards fascism in practical terms. The KGB morphed fairly seamlessly into the FSB with many of the same personnel, structures and methods. And so on.

So to summarize, the actual ideologies and stated ends of 'far left' and 'far right' may remain clearly distinct or even fully opposed, but once you get into 'extremist', dictatorship-friendly thinking and structures, and are willing to put these into practice, then the tips of the horseshoe maybe can touch.


In case you missed my post, there are many economists, historians, political scientists, and other scholars who point out that the 20th Century Communist states were not only not leftist, but that they weren't communist. They practiced state capitalism or a form of non-planned administrative command systems. I don't have a problem with anyone calling them communist states, as long as we agree on what that means. But, were they leftist? Nope. So, of course, peoples indoctrinated with far-right ideologies find it easy to take up other far-right ideologies.
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:59 am

oragami_itto wrote:I think the simple answer is that authoritarianism is very opportunistic. Left or right wing ideologies are just a vehicle for power hungry psychopaths to get their hands on the pursestrings.


Is that all they are?
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:04 am

Steve James wrote:I agree with origami that the categories left and right might describe different political philosophies, but both can be equally authoritarian in practice.

However, I also understand that people who hold the extreme views on any subject are likely to be just as extreme if they switch positions. There's no one further "left" than an ex-Nazi. Similarly, "liberals" who become "conservatives" are usually outspoken against "liberals." George Wallace ran for president on a pro-segregationist platform. He was almost assassinated; but, he eventually turned into a civil rights advocate.

Anyway, these things happen, but they're not inevitable. And, it's neither good nor bad. When it comes to covid, though, it's more likely that someone who was against vaccines will be for vaccines if he or she ends up on a deathbed in the ICU. But, everyone's who against them will not necessarily change their minds.

Grandma said people are more likely to become the thing they hate, rather than the thing they love.


Some good points in there, especially from Grans.

There is also the interesting phenomenon of the fascists drawing their aesthetics from leftists. Of course, no one kicked more fascist ass than the communists.
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby oragami_itto on Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:17 am

Ian C. Kuzushi wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:I think the simple answer is that authoritarianism is very opportunistic. Left or right wing ideologies are just a vehicle for power hungry psychopaths to get their hands on the pursestrings.


Is that all they are?


No, of course, my statement was poorly worded. In relation to authoritarians, that's all they are. I agree with people working together to achieve common goals, but we have to be careful who we have steering the mass.
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:40 am

Agree. Ideally, the people would be given enough that everyone had as close to a fair shake as possible. Then the various majorities might be less fearful, ignorant, and tyrannical. Then we might have a shot at some form of cooperative democracy where people want to help each other.
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Re: Crazy (and not-so-crazy) shit about Covid-19

Postby GrahamB on Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:00 pm

Found this recently:

Image

Not necessarily left and right - new age and fascist tendencies instead.
Last edited by GrahamB on Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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