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Scott de Montevideo!

"Statism v. Anti-Statism" will it replace "left v. right"?

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So maybe it's more accurate to say that conservatives generally want the debate to be stateism v. anti-statism, and progressives want it to be more about wealthy v. non-wealthy.

I don't know, given the calls for a Marriage Amendment, past opposition to medical marijuana laws (and IIRC legalization of prostitution), and erosion of privacy it's hard for me to believe conservatives truly desire weakening of government power.

I think it is important to some, but it seems like they want that government power to step in selectively. Same with liberals, which is why I don't think Statism vs. Anti-Statism will replace left vs right. The goals "government out of our lives!" and "the government needs to intervene in other people's lives!" are more means to ends rather than something either political party actually is willing prioritize IMO.

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Everyone,

I know there are pro and anti statists on both sides of the spectrum. That's why I'm asking if pro and anti Statism could replace left and right as the meaningful polarity of the political divide.

I think it is the only meaningful polarity.

Left and right is illusory. What kind of spectrum puts Gandhi on the same side as Stalin, and Franco on the same side as Thomas Paine?

And I do think that we are heading in the direction. Because of the greater information available from the net, and because of the increased distance of the two major parties from the views of their constituencies, Anti-Statists from both sides of the spectrum will realize they have more in common with each other than with their supposed left or right brethren.

Eventually, the current alignment will end, as it has so many times in the past

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people are more consistent in their views than others

i suppose when we can trot out some 'baggers who want to privatize the military and the prisons and the schools and roads and bridges and medical R&D and hydraulic management and the judiciary and the space program and second injury funds and insurance guarantee corporations and patient compensation funds and agricultural subsidies and the federal reserve and disaster relief and border patrols and benefits for disabled & retired persons, then we'll see some consistency, provided also they turn over all of their state-sponsored moral twaddle to the market.

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...Durkheim said quite awhile ago that all disagreements about government are about degree of application.

This seems to me to be true.

The arguments, even in so far as I understand them in the USA, don't seem to be about statism or anti-statism but what you think the proper role of the state to be. Much of the debate seems to be about shrinking parts of the state while expanding or at least keeping constant the bits you you happen to like rather than the state's right or ability to act to act in the first place.

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No.

The people who are actually antistate are pretty rare. Most people who say that are not antistate, they're simply against specific policies and are in favor of others. Most people just want THEIR stuff in. Whether it be gay rights, more defense spending, anti pornography laws, food stamps. Everyone wants more fOr themselves. The folks who are actual ideologues? Not many.

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No.

The people who are actually antistate are pretty rare. Most people who say that are not antistate, they're simply against specific policies and are in favor of others. Most people just want THEIR stuff in. Whether it be gay rights, more defense spending, anti pornography laws, food stamps. Everyone wants more fOr themselves. The folks who are actual ideologues? Not many.

I buy everything but that there aren't many ideologues.

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Things would get interesting if some people on the right said, "Screw it, you can have abortion and gay marriage as long as religions can object to performing them," and some people on the left said, "That's cool, and while we're at it we'll let the states handle gun control and what to do about illegal immigrants."

Get past things of that nature and we can probably start getting along. Which, of course, the existing people in power wouldn't want anyway, because then we don't need them any more. So, not a very likely outcome. But it's fun to dream.

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I don't get it ............ you really think that "let the states handle gun control and what to do about illegal immigrants" are what the rightwing want?

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By no means, I'm all on board if the rightwing is willing to agree to what mack proposed above!

So what do you say rightwingers? Give us abortion and gay marriage, and we'll give you state control over gun-ownership and immigration policies.

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Everyone,

I know there are pro and anti statists on both sides of the spectrum. That's why I'm asking if pro and anti Statism could replace left and right as the meaningful polarity of the political divide.

No. Not in the near future anyway.

Despite what some may claim, the major political divides in places like the US especially, as between differing idea of where the government should be and where they shouldn't be. Both sides want big government and small government, just in different places.

There is no meaningful anti-statist movement.

Which is exactly what you'd expect really. People like what the government does for them.

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I don't get it ............ you really think that "let the states handle gun control and what to do about illegal immigrants" are what the rightwing want?

I mean, I am a flaming lefty so I'm not in a place to say what the right wing wants. We could substitute some other issues and hopefully keep the same idea. If the order of the day is "Bomb Iran!" then maybe not. On the other hand, I suspect both left and right would generally be happy to see the end of NCLB at this point.

I'm not talking about the whole right wing, anyway, and definitely not the apparatus that is a fixture of the pundit class. I think there are enough people on the right and enough people on the left who are both concerned with federal government power that there is some room for compromise. Maybe this is a naive belief. The framers of the Constitution wanted a central government with strong authority in its scope, but it wasn't supposed to do everything.

A government that says "separate but equal is inherently unequal" is securing a right. That is good. But the government secures a lot of stuff these days at the expense of rights, too. Left and right can find some agreement there - again, I'm not talking about Congress or the beltway insider types.

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Everyone,

I know there are pro and anti statists on both sides of the spectrum. That's why I'm asking if pro and anti Statism could replace left and right as the meaningful polarity of the political divide.

Not at all. There really is too few proper anti-statist out there. What you have are people claiming to be anti-statist, but at the same time strive for increased state control on certain issues.

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Everyone,

I know there are pro and anti statists on both sides of the spectrum. That's why I'm asking if pro and anti Statism could replace left and right as the meaningful polarity of the political divide.

Not really, I think. The question is power and property, rightist anti-statists basically support power elites based on wealth creating their own mini states governing "their" property. The logical conclusion of what Americans call "libertarianism" is feudalism. People holding those views will always ally themselves with rightist statists when wealth and power is threatened.

I actually see three paralel continuums

Libertarian-Conservative-Centre Right (From Ayn Rand to Obama) - Goal, protection of property rights

Liberal-Social Democrat-Democratic Socialist (From Robert Reich to Clement Attlee) - Goal running an economy with divisions of wealth and power but submitting decisions on their extent to democratic control and viewing redistribution of wealth as both necessary and desirable)

Socialist-Communist-Anarchist (From George Orwell to Nestor Makhno) - Goal - The majority of the economy is under the control ownership of the people, or managed democratically, and the level of private property is decided by the community rather than being a right.

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Guest Raidne

Yeah, no for me Scott. I'm not anti-state. I like subsidized education, public roads, SEC filings...all kinds of stuff.

I just don't like the government reading my private email. I don't pick and choose which of the Bill of Rights I think we should still enforce. I'm just pro-civil liberties. Not in any way necessarily related to statism or anti-statism.

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I don't think the question is state vs anti-state. The anti-state platform that libertarians dream of is really a rather fringe position. When you get down to it, in the mainstream you don't have people that want the power of the state to go away, the divide is about how that power is to be used.

Conservatives (generally) have no problem with the increase of the power of the state when it comes to security, military/espionage powers, and enforcing order. (Including the social order that they're comfortable with,including more or less freezing society in place as they came to know it growing up, with the same values, treatment of women, gays, etc as they were used to back then.) Most conservatives don't seem to have a problem with government power when it comes to being able to bomb the shit out of a country they don't like, kill terrorists, put up personhood amendments, etc. It's only when the government tries to impose something on their own personal local culture or change things in ways they're not familiar with that you hear them railing against government power.

Liberals (generally) want to move state power away from a focus on the military and security to a focus on things like healthcare, education, betterment of the poor, civil rights, fairness, equality. Most liberals want to shift government power out of expressing itself in a militaristic/law enforcement role and do so instead by helping and raising up the least fortunate/most oppressed, creating a more open and educated society. And although most of them are dismayed by state power as embodied by say, Preemptive Warfare and such, (although specific military/anti-terror issues create splits among them) most don't have a problem with, say, trampling the elements within our own culture that are homophobic, racist or anti women's rights.

In the end, very few people want to really lower the power that can be wielded. They just want to redirect it.

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Liberals (generally) want to move state power away from a focus on the military and security to a focus on things like healthcare, education, betterment of the poor, civil rights, fairness, equality.

I'd point out liberals want to accomplish this by redistributing massive amounts of wealth, refusing to look at vouchers as a viable option, and allow for an amnesty program for illegals.

Now, as someone who is center to center-right on the above, I'm willing to hear arguments liberals have on non-social issues, but I think you presented something of a caricature of conservatives there.

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I'd point out liberals want to accomplish this by redistributing massive amounts of wealth

What's wrong with taxation?

, refusing to look at vouchers as a viable option,

Vouchers for what? Education?

They siphon money from public schools without providing any large scale increase in educational outcomes, while also not being enough to actually help some kids get into good schools. It's just a way to exacerbate the already existing issue with public/private schooling.

and allow for an amnesty program for illegals.

What's the issue here again?

Now, as someone who is center to center-right on the above, I'm willing to hear arguments liberals have on non-social issues, but I think you presented something of a caricature of conservatives there.

No, he's pretty much dead on. The conservative movement you see in place like the US is in favour of more money for guns and government intrusion into your personal life.

They are only against government doing things like providing services (unless they are for old voters) or regulating markets.

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