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Folks, Chris raises some excellent points. I'd be really curious to
see how/whether anybody can answer him, because the flaws he points
out are rarely addressed from within the left wing, but are glaringly
obvious from the outside.
Here are my reasons for not being a leftist.
I used to be a leftist in high school. What turned me off from it are the
1. Every other leftist I met seemed to write off any form of progress as
a white male Eurocentric world domination plot. Conversely, the few
Libertarians, Anarchists, and other rebel scum that I met were into sci-fi,
RPGs, and were willing to speculate about the future history of humanity.
2. The consensus seemed to converge on "fixing the problems we have
before moving in new directions". Since problems expand to fill the
space available to them, to me this seemed like a recipe for centuries
3. The dominant value seemed to be equality for its own sake and by
any means necessary. As it turns out, my dominant value is maximizing
the overall, long-term, species-wide good. As it turns out, these two
values are at odds more often than one might expect.
4. Left wing ideology is at its heart an ideology of top-down
control. Yes, yes, I know, benevolent, egalitarian,
for-your-own-protection control. I'm not questioning the morality of
control at the moment. I'm questioning its practicality in a
civilization as large, complex, and quickly changing as ours is.
5. Back then, I knew very little about economics, evolution,
information theory, and most importantly, complexity theory. I think
that few people will survive exposure to complexity theory with their
views on social justice intact...
5. I was not so much a leftist as anti-right wing. It was obvious to
me that the right wing was full of racist, classist, homophobic,
religious zealot assholes deep in the pockets of corporations. I
thought that the left was the lesser of two evils, which is how they
recruit a lot of members, I bet. As it turned out, the Libertarians
are the least of three mediocrities while the left wing is actually
full of nihilistic, politically correct, control-freak assholes deep
in the pockets of law firms, labor unions, and foreign interest
...really, the main reservation I have left is the research question--
who's going to fund basic science and other important ventures that
have delayed payoffs? Watching the growth of the open source software
community has answered part of the question. Cheaper material and
equipment costs driven by nanotech may answer another part of the
question in the future. I'm on the lookout for more answers, because
we need to develop plans and test them well before It All Goes Down
Randy Weaver George Bush Ruby Ridge
Why are the above words in my signature? Check out:
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:49 MDT