Current mess and addition of new forum under current events

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Sean in Ottawa
Current mess and addition of new forum under current events

Seems this site is rapidly becoming a smaller mainstream political site as progressive voices are leaving and being replaced by mainstream Liberals -- and even now a gun advocate.

I don't have a problem with engagement but this is being swamped.

Modest proposal

Why not open a forum under current events uniquely for Leftist/Progressive/Socialist perspectives - or whatever you want to call it - views on politics. Then the Canadian political forum can be as advertised (Harper Harpies to...) and people who want to engage with the Liberal party can go there for that purpose.

It could have a sticky perhaps of what the participants could agree on as a condition of being there. So we have a place (when there are so few on the internet) where people who want a more progressive vision than the Liberal party can gather and discuss without a constant stream of Liberal politics and talking points. The Liberals can stay on babble and be challenged in the Canadian politics forum by those up for it while the people who don't want to debate how great the Liberal vision is don't need to wade through that for every comment.

If you don't have a place for progressives who are to the left of the Liberal party to go, they will simply stop coming (already happening).

It is possible that some people would only go to the Leftist politics forum and maybe the Liberals would end up talking to themselves in the politics forum but I am guessing that there would be some who would engage the Liberals in the politics forum as well while others will choose not to and prefer to just stay in the leftist forum. This is better than what is happening now where the people who do not want to engage at every turn with the Trudeau vision are just not coming back.

Moderators would be asking (I hope) for non-leftist entrtists to enjoy the existing Politics forum for wide open debate and leave the leftist space alone. In some respects the model would be like the feminist forum that expects not to argue certain points that are taken as a given so that the conversations can go further than they could if you have to go over the basics in every thread.

Otherwise I don't see this place lasting very long.

ygtbk

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Moderators would be asking (I hope) for non-leftist entrtists to enjoy the existing Politics forum for wide open debate and leave the leftist space alone. In some respects the model would be like the feminist forum that expects not to argue certain points that are taken as a given so that the conversations can go further than they could if you have to go over the basics in every thread.

Otherwise I don't see this place lasting very long.

Sean, I think I understand your viewpoint, but in my view making it taboo to raise particular issues is absolutely the wrong way to go. If people are making assertions that you find absurd then in anything reasonably labelled a discussion board you ought to be free to challenge the assertions, without attacking the person.

OTOH, having a "Liberals Issues" forum could be loads of fun, as long as anyone could post there.

6079_Smith_W

A small problem: how one defines leftist/progressive, beyond what is laid out in the statement of policy, that is.

That is to say, I know there are some of us who take a more laissez faire approach, but I do object to the claims by some here that they are the real lefties, and others are not.

Frankly, I have always found the repeated claims about alleged deterioration, questioning of motive, and who belongs here and who does not to be pretty offensive, and itself not very progressive.

If we want to get picky I could point to all kinds of political stands here which I don't consider progressive at all. And far more when you want to include progressive issues which clash with one another. I keep my mouth shut about most of it.

Really, the only valid reason I see for actually tossing someone or shutting down a discussion is if it becomes obstructionist. The only measure I see that is important is that there is some progressive purpose. To think that people who come from different perspectives can't take part in a productive way is absurd (and on the question of Liberals, I'd say a lot of the offense is mutual).

But if there's a big enough push here for a self-described True Lefty echo chamber, go ahead. I can't wait to see the application forms for who is allowed in. It will be interesting to watch, though I wonder if the mods will be willing to police it to anyone's satisfaction.

 

 

Paladin1

Holy shit, not a gun advocate! Can you PM me his or her name? I'll get the pitch fork.

Webgear

6079_Smith_W wrote:

A small problem: how one defines leftist/progressive, beyond what is laid out in the statement of policy, that is.

This is a simple answer, they all carrry the same birth mark of the messiah. Tongue out

 

 

Webgear

Sean, I don't think certain that certain babblers are necessary the cause of the lack of traffic on the forums.

Over the years there have been several issues that have driven babblers away that have caused greater wounds to the forums than some conservative members posting here. Think about the great schism, the firing of key staff and poor choices of moderators that banned outstanding members.

The downward spiral of the forums have been going on for years, even now discussions are limited to a few threads every day. I think the greatest shame of the forums is in most cases people didn't band together to solve issues or help people, people posted here to push their political or personal objectives.

I speak as outsider, someone that has watched from the outside of progressive circle. The "left" is just as responsible for the destruction of forum as the "right" is. 

Slumberjack

A lot of what we have here is liberal debate.  The party of the left met its demise some time ago.  So it seems that what is really being discussed here is sub-dividing liberalism into parts that should be considered vital to the whole, lest it cease to function altogether.

Webgear

I don't believe the debate should be about what is liberalism or progressivism. The debate should be about helping people, how to organize, how to create grass root solutions to local problems.

How many honest threads have we had on the forums about helping people? 

6079_Smith_W

@ SJ

I wouldn't be quite so pessimistic about it.

Liberalism and the left always have been multifaceted, and that's not a bad thing.

As for what is vital to the whole, this is a forum and news service, not a social action group or political party. I don't see how difference of opinion can cause any kind of deadlock unless people are shouting over one another.

A forum only ceases to function when it is no longer a public space for the free exchange of ideas. And yeah, I do know there is specific mandate and slant to this space, which I support; but if that isn't balanced by open exchange it doesn't mean a damned thing. And sometimes that means listening to things you disagree with.

 

 

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
  It is possible that some people would only go to the Leftist politics forum and maybe the Liberals would end up talking to themselves in the politics forum but I am guessing that there would be some who would engage the Liberals in the politics forum as well while others will choose not to and prefer to just stay in the leftist forum. 

I think it's more likely the general progressive politics forum would be active and the more exclusive one would die.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
  This is better than what is happening now where the people who do not want to engage at every turn with the Trudeau vision are just not coming back.

If you started a thread and put in a note saying it is only for pacifists or a thread that said no Liberal supporters, or only people who are familiar with mid East politics, or NDP supporters, or only men or only hockey enthusiasts or whatever other limitations you want to put on a thread I would respect that and I bet so would most other people.

I think it's the personal attacks that drive people away and I see the place lasting a lot longer without them.

Aristotleded24

I am uncomfortable with where this thread is going on a number of levels. For one, I can remember when trolls would actually come in and tag-team each other as they taunted us, and yet somehow this place managed to survive. These infestations were much more intense than anything we have endured for the last few years or what we're enduring right now.

The other thing is how do you define what is "left wing/progressive?" I think there is some truth to the idea that if you ask 100 socialists to define socialism, you will get 100 answers, so where is the line drawn? Is the progressive position always cut-and-dried?

Which leads me to how do we interact with and deal with other people who don't agree with us? I'm sure we have to encounter such people in our 3D lives. Do we put on bug spray and tell them to get away because they are evil and will contaminate us? I actually think that if more politically mainstream (or even right-of-centre) people swing by babble, that it's a testament to how successful we are at making our point. And over the years we have had regular members from across the political spectrum, and yet this didn't seem to threaten the left-wing character of this board. I do get the frustration that the site is declining in numbers, but I think that has much more to do with history between certain members, decisions made by moderators that some people disagreed with, and the general trend away from discussion boards to media like Facebook and Twitter rather than people coming in with non-left perspectives.

onlinediscountanvils

Aristotleded24 wrote:
The other thing is how do you define what is "left wing/progressive?" I think there is some truth to the idea that if you ask 100 socialists to define socialism, you will get 100 answers, so where is the line drawn? Is the progressive position always cut-and-dried?

Which leads me to how do we interact with and deal with other people who don't agree with us? I'm sure we have to encounter such people in our 3D lives. Do we put on bug spray and tell them to get away because they are evil and will contaminate us? I actually think that if more politically mainstream (or even right-of-centre) people swing by babble, that it's a testament to how successful we are at making our point. And over the years we have had regular members from across the political spectrum, and yet this didn't seem to threaten the left-wing character of this board. I do get the frustration that the site is declining in numbers, but I think that has much more to do with history between certain members, decisions made by moderators that some people disagreed with, and the general trend away from discussion boards to media like Facebook and Twitter rather than people coming in with non-left perspectives.

Bingo.

jjuares

I get Sean's frustration. It isn't so much that you are dealing with people of a different political viewpoint who are simply expressing a different set of beliefs but what you have looks to be endless posts and threads extolling the chances of a Liberal victory. There is no political or intellectual content beyond that. It is an attempt to demobilize and demoralize the left.

onlinediscountanvils

jjuares wrote:
I get Sean's frustration. It isn't so much that you are dealing with people of a different political viewpoint who are simply expressing a different set of beliefs but what you have looks to be endless posts and threads extolling the chances of a Liberal victory. There is no political or intellectual content beyond that. It is an attempt to demobilize and demoralize the left.

As opposed to the endless posts and threads extolling the NDP? Let's not pretend the NDP doesn't do more than its share to demobilize and demoralize the Left.

jjuares

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

jjuares wrote:
I get Sean's frustration. It isn't so much that you are dealing with people of a different political viewpoint who are simply expressing a different set of beliefs but what you have looks to be endless posts and threads extolling the chances of a Liberal victory. There is no political or intellectual content beyond that. It is an attempt to demobilize and demoralize the left.

As opposed to the endless posts and threads extolling the NDP? Let's not pretend the NDP doesn't do more than its share to demobilize and demoralize the Left.


But those posters are usually coming from a progressive perspective and I have not seen one make anti-worker comments. And those who criticize the NDP are usually coming from the left and want the NDP to act like a social Democratic Party instead of another Liberal Party. There is a hell of a difference between those two groups and those that are here not to discuss why the Liberals should win but simply to describe how they are winning.
And finally we were talking about the posters not the Liberals and the NDP.

Pondering

jjuares wrote:
I get Sean's frustration. It isn't so much that you are dealing with people of a different political viewpoint who are simply expressing a different set of beliefs but what you have looks to be endless posts and threads extolling the chances of a Liberal victory. There is no political or intellectual content beyond that. It is an attempt to demobilize and demoralize the left.

That's not true of either the thread on marijuana legalization or on the Liberal nominations.

Step away from the conspiracy theories. There is no attempt to demobilize or demoralize the left and if this is all it takes you are too weak to survive anyway.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

There's a larger reality here that needs to be acknowledged -- that rabble's readership is now mostly posting on sites like Facebook and Twitter, and not here. It's been going on since Facebook opened up to the general public in fall 2006, and it's larger than just babble -- older style discussion forums in general have declined significantly since then. It's not just folks who have left here, it's that new rabble readers since 2006 have mostly not been joining babble. They have Facebook and/or Twitter, and they're happy with that.

Which has led us to the state we're in now, where the discussions are mostly the same few people arguing with each other, some of whom happen to be current Liberal Party supporters. But this is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself, and Sean's proposal doesn't do anything to address the underlying problem. We can go ahead and create a forum where Liberal Party support is not allowed, but it's not going to lead to a flood of new members coming here.

Most likely the new forum wouldn't get enough traffic to have viable discussions, and would just be people posting articles. Because at this point the debates between NDP and Liberal supporters are pretty much the only thing keeping this place from becoming nothing but article postings.

I know the above may sound harsh, but it's the reality. I'd love for babble to have more vibrant discussions among left of NDP types, but I don't see it happening.

jjuares

Pondering wrote:

jjuares wrote:
I get Sean's frustration. It isn't so much that you are dealing with people of a different political viewpoint who are simply expressing a different set of beliefs but what you have looks to be endless posts and threads extolling the chances of a Liberal victory. There is no political or intellectual content beyond that. It is an attempt to demobilize and demoralize the left.

That's not true of either the thread on marijuana legalization or on the Liberal nominations.

Step away from the conspiracy theories. There is no attempt to demobilize or demoralize the left and if this is all it takes you are too weak to survive anyway.

More unintentional hilarity from Pondering. The thread on Liberal nominations is a perfect illustration of my point. You do remember that you started that thread.? The first post, again by you was advertising some great pick up in nominations , the Liberals had achieved. No point to that thread but to act as an advertisement for that gang known as the Liberal Party of Canada. Whoops, are you going to use the same tactic you used with Sean and claim that isn't how you remembered it?

That was a howler for the ages.

jjuares

Left Turn wrote:

There's a larger reality here that needs to be acknowledged -- that rabble's readership is now mostly posting on sites like Facebook and Twitter, and not here. It's been going on since Facebook opened up to the general public in fall 2006, and it's larger than just babble -- older style discussion forums in general have declined significantly since then. It's not just folks who have left here, it's that new rabble readers since 2006 have mostly not been joining babble. They have Facebook and/or Twitter, and they're happy with that.

Which has led us to the state we're in now, where the discussions are mostly the same few people arguing with each other, some of whom happen to be current Liberal Party supporters. But this is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself, and Sean's proposal doesn't do anything to address the underlying problem. We can go ahead and create a forum where Liberal Party support is not allowed, but it's not going to lead to a flood of new members coming here.

Most likely the new forum wouldn't get enough traffic to have viable discussions, and would just be people posting articles. Because at this point the debates between NDP and Liberal supporters are pretty much the only thing keeping this place from becoming nothing but article postings.

I know the above may sound harsh, but it's the reality. I'd love for babble to have more vibrant discussions among left of NDP types, but I don't see it happening.


I very much agree with that last comment. I am so annoyed with the NDP right now that a discussion of alternatives would be interesting.

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
I wouldn't be quite so pessimistic about it.

Frankness shouldn't be confused with pessimisism.  It is what it is.

Quote:
Liberalism and the left always have been multifaceted, and that's not a bad thing.

In our experience, liberalism's multifaceted nature includes conservatism and hawkishness, which is a bad thing.

Quote:
As for what is vital to the whole, this is a forum and news service, not a social action group or political party. I don't see how difference of opinion can cause any kind of deadlock unless people are shouting over one another.

Think beyond these our narrow confines here to the general picture.

Quote:
A forum only ceases to function when it is no longer a public space for the free exchange of ideas.

Some limitations are understandable, but generally speaking, people who argue on behalf of gated communities should be left alone within them.  The rest of humanity typically don't have that option available to them.

Quote:
And yeah, I do know there is specific mandate and slant to this space, which I support; but if that isn't balanced by open exchange it doesn't mean a damned thing. And sometimes that means listening to things you disagree with.

Agreed, and I'm quite familiar with that last bit.

Paladin1

i was going to make a whole reaction thread about this but I'll just throw this in here.

Honestly the big issue I see is that there are a few posters here who are bullies pure and simple. 

 

I've had to approach the mods (with a view to contacting the site owners) to stop someone from following me around different threads making personal attacks and throwing something I said in X thread into my face in Y thread. Total harassment that felt like a forum stalker.

 

If you as a new member join babble and some of the old guard don't like you good luck. The first thing they do is attack your credibility and further enforce the notion you're an outsider. 

"Why are you even here? You're a conservative plant. You're a troll. You're ruining the board and laughing about it. You're here to destroy the left. Nothing you say is valid. Who are you really?"    It's a form of dehumanizing someone.

You get badgered and badgered, if you rise to the bait and defend yourself you risk getting whiplash over how fast the insigator contacts the mods about your heonious personal attacks and how offended they are.   If mods still don't listen then it's fuck this place you've ruined it, fuck you mods for letting it happen, the left is doomed, I'm not comfortable here anymore, I'm out.

There seems to be a change of pace regarding this but in the not so distant past (including before my time from what I'm reading) it seemed like these bullies could get away with pretty much saying anything they want without any real reprecussion. You as a new poster trying the same? Probably get banned.

If there is something that would harm a forum like this it's the people who respond with abusive language and make personal attacks anyone who they don't feel matches their idea of who should be allowed to post on the forum.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Slumberjack wrote:

Quote:
And sometimes that means listening to things you disagree with.

Agreed, and I'm quite familiar with that last bit.

Geez... and you think I'm not?

The difference is I generally only speak up when it turns to personal attack or things like open racism.

Sadly, we wind up there quite a lot.

There are plenty of things I don't agree with you or some other posters about, and as I said, a number of values and positions I find pretty offensive and not very progressive.

I rarely say anything beyond stating my opinion on it. If anything I defend your right to post, particularly opinions which might be unpopular.

I have no problem with you (pl) voicing your opinion, although there are some cases where it is ad nauseum. I have never said that any of you don't belong here, never accused you of coming here on false pretenses to raise trouble.

Yet we see those kinds of attacks all the time here.

So now that someone gets called on it  a couple of people have turned this completely around and are talking about flouncing? I do hope they change their minds, but if the price is giving some of this terrible behaviour and exclusive attitude a pass?  Forget it.

And the notion that this is about numbers is a complete red herring. In the first place people left for all kinds of reasons, and no one can wave that in the air like a flag for their cause. And secondly, would it be okay to put up with this if we really were just five or six people sitting in a room? I don't think so.

 

 

iyraste1313

I am so annoyed with the NDP right now that a discussion of alternatives would be interesting....

Yes music to my ears.....calling the NDP leftist? When they enthusiastically support imperialism and military adventures and support fascists islamic movements, in Syria, Libya etc? and neo nazi movements as in Ukraine, and support corporate globalization? finance capitalism? O sure there may be differences over trivia...

yes we need a site for discussing real alternatives for building  peoples political social cultural movements....thanks for your comment!

Pondering

jjuares wrote:
More unintentional hilarity from Pondering. The thread on Liberal nominations is a perfect illustration of my point. You do remember that you started that thread.? The first post, again by you was advertising some great pick up in nominations , the Liberals had achieved. No point to that thread but to act as an advertisement for that gang known as the Liberal Party of Canada. Whoops, are you going to use the same tactic you used with Sean and claim that isn't how you remembered it?

The thread still stands so no need to use any tactics. People can form their own opinions, something some of you seem very uncomfortable with.

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/federal-liberal-candidates

My last post criticizes the Liberals for their nomination process but overall yes I have been mainly positive. The thread was still about discussing the nominees, their credentials and political leanings both left and right as well as the process. There was and is plenty of room for criticism and there has been. You act as if I did something wrong by starting the thread. It's still standing and still active, one of the few threads on the board that is.

Because the Liberals have so few seats there are many more nominations to discuss but you could start a thread on NDP incumbants and new nominees. I'd even stay out of it if I am asked nicely rather than attacked, or the thread could be "NDP supporters only" or whatever else you like.

For people who claim to be pacifists you sure are hostile. Having a memory of events isn't a tactic it's a common human experience. I followed up with the research when challenged.

Huff Post Canada had no trouble building up a membership. Granted they are much higher profile and not as leftist as rabble but social media didn't stand in the way. Even now that they are demanding real names they still have a lot of activity. The Montreal Gazette and other publications link to rabble on occasion and apparently there are many more lurkers than participants here. New people do join but get driven off. Then there is your great schism and spin off boards. Were those people not leftist enough either? Is everyone happy they are gone? Is babble better off for it?

Common courtesy towards others is not a capituation. Refraining from personal attacks is not an unreasonable request.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Interesting discussion, but my thoughts lie in somewhere in between the comments of Left Turn and Aristotleded. 

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Geez... and you think I'm not?

The difference is I generally only speak up when it turns to personal attack or things like open racism.

Well, people should be expected to take ownership of their positions, and political discussions generally should be open to a well of critical engagement.  The personal is political, because political opinions are formed through personal absorbtion.  Opinions regarding the Ukrainian crisis are an example of where personal opinions are being informed by one side of the geo-political dimension or the other, or somewhere in between perhaps, and it is these quantities that shouldn't expect to be harboured behind a teflon wall once they've been tossed into the ring.  When you don't hedge your bets with so much as a footnote on the destructiveness of western corporate imperialism, which as western citizens we should be critiquing first before anything else I would argue, then to me this is a shortcoming at the individual level in terms of what one is prepared to associate with to support their contentions.  This would apply to international issues and domiestic politics, like extolling the virtues of either one of the main political contenders in this country.

I discussed the point about racist commentary being introduced where it is contained in some of the links that are provided.  We will each have our own list, and particularly the ones who are feeling most racialized by it.  Mine would include much of the mainstream media and the comment sections. 

Quote:
Sadly, we wind up there quite a lot.

It's sad where people get their ideas from, but not so much to have them critically engaged on a discussion forum.  We should remind ourselves from time to time that critical analysis is almost entirely absent from mainstream journalism and its commentariat of readers.  CBC's recent analysis of the impending decline of the American Empire didn't engage the right or wrong of it to any degree, but instead it was taken up as an assessment that they were doing too much around the world at great expense.  No critique of a vicious empire there.  What's sad is that after 13 years what people like to discuss around here and the way it's discussed is still relatively unique, if not almost completely obscure.  It means there is a profound lack of critique in the public domain and consciousness.  People do what they can here, and when they encounter the stoogeocracy's pronounciations being repeated, this makes for much more sadness than assessing someone's personal qualities by what they introduce and associate with. 

Quote:
I rarely say anything beyond stating my opinion on it.

"Your" opinion?  What a laugh.  No one would have an opinion if it wasn't being fed to everyone.  It's how we react to all the spoonfeeding that makes all the difference between an honest attempt at a personally arrived at opinion, and one entirely informed by propaganda. 

Quote:
 have no problem with you (pl) voicing your opinion, although there are some cases where it is ad nauseum. I have never said that any of you don't belong here, never accused you of coming here on false pretenses to raise trouble.  Yet we see those kinds of attacks all the time here.

I don't always agree with those opinions either, notwithstanding that some in the past obvously demonstrated that they belong elsewhere.  In general, if you don't venture into socio-political discussions with a thick skin, it's probably best not to venture in at all.  But even then it's probably better for all concerned to not throw up the gates and call security.

6079_Smith_W

Slumberjack wrote:

"Your" opinion?  No one would have an opinion if it wasn't being fed to everyone.  It's how we react to all the spoonfeeding that makes all the difference between an honest attempt at a personally arrived at opinion, and one entirely informed by propaganda. 

If I hear you right you are saying you believe people can't think for themselves. In the first place it is nonsense - pessimistic nonsense at that. Secondly this perennial tactic of dismissing information based on nothing but the source is nonsense, and really fucking tiring to deal with.

Quote:

If you don't venture into socio-political discussions with a thick skin, it's probably best not to venture in at all.  But even then it's probably better for all concerned to not throw up the gates and call security.

Personally, I don't think this should be a macho game, but it begs the question of who is displaying the thin skin in this case. Seems to me this is about tolerating the opinions and participation of others, no?

And do you think there is no reason to have reasonable moderation or policy standards?  Not sure what you are refering to in that second sentence; the only gates I thought we were talking about was this proposal of a True Lefty enclave.

 

6079_Smith_W

And yes, I was wondering too when being a Liberal Party supporter suddenly made one the devil. I mean, to hear some talk,  NDP supporters are no different, but I guess some progressives just don't stick to their principles like others.

/joke

Seriously, I know staunch Liberal supporters who are allies on a number of issues, and who in some cases are more hard-line left than me.

If passing judgment on someone's presence here solely based on opinion is out of line, reducing this to team sports is completely reactionary.

 

Pondering

iyraste1313 wrote:

I am so annoyed with the NDP right now that a discussion of alternatives would be interesting....

Yes music to my ears.....calling the NDP leftist? When they enthusiastically support imperialism and military adventures and support fascists islamic movements, in Syria, Libya etc? and neo nazi movements as in Ukraine, and support corporate globalization? finance capitalism? O sure there may be differences over trivia...

yes we need a site for discussing real alternatives for building  peoples political social cultural movements....thanks for your comment!

This is why I don't see traditional electoral politics as a path to radical change. The debate between whether we would be better off under the NDP or the Liberals is over trivia. Whether one votes Liberal or NDP therefore is not the defining factor of whether or not one is progressive.

This site could easily be where "a site for discussing real alternatives for building peoples political social cultural movements" happens if that's what you want to do. Use it for that, and that is what it will be. That electoral politics is discussed doesn't prevent more radical discussion.

That is one of my primary concerns. How to reach average people to undo the neoliberal brainwashing. The NDP isn't doing it so I don't see what's so shit hot about them that voting for Mulcair is be all and end all of being progressive and voting for Trudeau some sort of betrayal.

Any discussion on how neoliberalism won so much support turns into attacking me for supporting Trudeau and blaming the Liberals as though they rule the world or Canada exists in isolation.

In some thread Sherpa-Finn said something to the effect that the best avenue forward for turning things around is through international agreements because corporate control over governments is happening worldwide through that mechanism.

The discussion on whether or not to send advisers could have developed into a discussion over the design of our military. I was actually defending the NDP in that thread.

In the thread on guns someone mentioned the board had already had that discussion and it was concluded as though no one should be allowed to discuss it anymore because some of you are done with the topic.

Maybe you could have an Advanced Activists forum for sophisticated discussion only.

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

In the thread on guns someone mentioned the board had already had that discussion and it was concluded as though no one should be allowed to discuss it anymore because some of you are done with the topic.

That isn't what I said Pondering, and I explained that. But I take your general point, and agree.

...except for the "advanced activists" designation. They'd be completely insufferable then.

(um, joke)

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Pondering wrote:

In the thread on guns someone mentioned the board had already had that discussion and it was concluded as though no one should be allowed to discuss it anymore because some of you are done with the topic.

That isn't what I said Pondering, and I explained that. But I take your general point, and agree.

Thank-you. I didn't remember who said what exactly. Just the overall impression I got from multiple posts that the thread should never have been opened and was baiting and I was a troll for asking Paladin about gun laws. I appreciate your comments of moderation.

 

 

swallow swallow's picture

Slumberjack wrote:
I don't always agree with those opinions either, notwithstanding that some in the past obvously demonstrated that they belong elsewhere.  In general, if you don't venture into socio-political discussions with a thick skin, it's probably best not to venture in at all.  

With respect, this comment is troubling me. What initially attracted me to this board was the strong feminist sensisbility (not in the feminist forum, which I've never rally taken part in, but over the entire board). Both Meg and Catchfire try to maintain this as best they can, I think, but the majority of activity here is political junkies talking politiucal games. To me the loss of the strong feminist voices that were once more present here is the biggest loss. Ther are still some of those voices, of course, but not as many, and that's sad. Saying women are just as able to participate as anyone esle is in my mind missing the underlying issue. If you require a thick skin to venture into a conversation, then the conversation is excluding some who might otherwise take part. 

I don't see slow threads as an issue, really. They can lie dormant and become valuable again even if theya re not on the TAT page.

Anyways, just a somehat off-topic thought. 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

swallow wrote:
To me the loss of the strong feminist voices that were once more present here is the biggest loss. Ther are still some of those voices, of course, but not as many, and that's sad. Saying women are just as able to participate as anyone esle is in my mind missing the underlying issue. If you require a thick skin to venture into a conversation, then the conversation is excluding some who might otherwise take part.

This observation makes me sad with its truthfulness.

6079_Smith_W

And not to imply that women aren't at least as capable as men of taking that abuse for a good cause, and have strong voices - they are.

But who wants to play that game, who is more likely to get sucked in by it, and what's the point? It is wearying to have to engage in debate at that level.

And swallow's comment is not off-topic at all.

 

wage zombie

iyraste1313 wrote:

I am so annoyed with the NDP right now that a discussion of alternatives would be interesting....

Yes music to my ears.....calling the NDP leftist? When they enthusiastically support imperialism and military adventures and support fascists islamic movements, in Syria, Libya etc? and neo nazi movements as in Ukraine, and support corporate globalization? finance capitalism? O sure there may be differences over trivia...

Have you tried to do anything to encourage the NDP to be better?

Do you think any alternative to the NDP would be better able to maintain its integrity once it got to the 100 seat range?

Sorry about the thread drift. 

sherpa-finn

For various reasons, I think we are dealing with a 'critical mass' issue ....there just more critics around here than mass.

In principle, I would have no problem with Babble threads having some sort of 'criteria' for joining and contributing. Those who want to build a thread around how to build a stronger NDP for the coming election should be able to have a useful and constructive conversation on that topic without having to respond to distractions from those who do not actually subscribe to the premise of that thread, be that from the left (The NDP is a sell-out!) or the right (Trudeau is the way!).

With similar threads available for the conversations of those other audiences - one on "Political alternatives to the NDP?" (unsullied by NDP believers) and another on "Making the Liberal Party a progressive option" (with AC banned from admission).

But to be honest, there just do not seem to be enough warm bodies around here these days to populate all those different conversations. So we keep bumping into one another with all our different premises and lenses.  Sometimes there is exchange and enlightenment (most often in the Cndn politics threads); other times just serial monologues and discourse of the deaf (most often in the International threads).  IMHO, that is.

Jacob Two-Two

Pondering wrote:

This is why I don't see traditional electoral politics as a path to radical change. The debate between whether we would be better off under the NDP or the Liberals is over trivia.

Funny you spend so much time on that very question, then, isn't it? Are you saying you come here to have trivial conversations?

Quote:

Whether one votes Liberal or NDP therefore is not the defining factor of whether or not one is progressive.

True, voting NDP doesn't qualify you as progressive in any way, but supporting the Liberal perty certainly disqualifies you. They are a neoliberal corporate party. I can't be a white supremacist and say I'm not racist at the same time. Some things are simply mutually exclusive.

Quote:

That is one of my primary concerns. How to reach average people to undo the neoliberal brainwashing. The NDP isn't doing it so I don't see what's so shit hot about them that voting for Mulcair is be all and end all of being progressive and voting for Trudeau some sort of betrayal.

Voting for Mulcair doesn't accomplish anything by itself, and certainly doesn't define progressiveness, but there is no question that voting for Justin is a betrayal of any and all progressive leanings. The Liberal party has done more to destroy Canada's social infrastructure than any other institution in the country. Calling yourself progressive and voting for the LIberals is just licking the boot that's stamping your face.

Quote:

Any discussion on how neoliberalism won so much support turns into attacking me for supporting Trudeau and blaming the Liberals as though they rule the world or Canada exists in isolation.

That's because the Liberals are the main architects of neoliberalism in Canada. It's not a complicated concept. You just keep pretending not to understand it.

 

Bacchus

And the attacks begin again Cool

Pondering

Pondering wrote:
This is why I don't see traditional electoral politics as a path to radical change. The debate between whether we would be better off under the NDP or the Liberals is over trivia.

Jacob Two-Two wrote:
Funny you spend so much time on that very question, then, isn't it? Are you saying you come here to have trivial conversations?
Quote:

My comment is about politics, your comment is about me. If we were having a trivial conversation it would be about you. (bazinga)

 

Jacob Two-Two

Yes, well, Pondering's poor wounded bird routine is a kind of attack in itself. The constant refrain of "Why are you all picking on me?" implies that the people that take her to task on her disingenuous debating are being bullies, but it's perfectly obvious why people feel compelled to come after her. She keeps presenting the same arguments over and over, ignoring all the objections raised in the past; she redefines arguments when responding to them to avoid dealing with the real points of her opponents, and worst of all, she runs out of arguments and then just keeps going anyways, quoting passages from posters and then writing long screeds under them that have nothing to do with the quote and ignore all the points made in it. It's just an excuse to keep chattering and not admit that she has nothing left to say.

And this speaks to the purpose of this thread. The problem Sean identifies is real, but it's not because of incompatible ideologies or some lack of debating skill. it's a problem of intent. We've often had people here that were strongly opposed to the "babble consensus" but were still able to spend time here. Obviously they provoked a lot of fights, but they weren't despised or cast out, because we knew they were sincere in their convictions, even if those convictions were wrong. I have no problem with Alan Smithee, for instance, despite his loud support for the Liberal party, because he seems to mean what he says. The posters I have no respect for, on the other hand, I would still disrespect no matter what they professed to believe. It's the way they engage people that keeps me coming back to poke holes in their gibberish. Their every post reeks of calculated passive agressive provocation. People who come here to pimp for the Liberals will get their ideas attacked, but people who come here just to mess with the board will be called out for what they are. 

Pondering

Relative to a socialist revolution, the differences between the three political parties are over trivia as all three embrace pipelines to saltwater ports and promise a balanced budget and low taxes. I don't think marijuana legalization is trivial, but it is trivial in comparision to say shutting down the oil sands, or even having a major debate over what kind of country we want Canada to be vis a vis centralization and equalization. People disparage the marijuana legalization issue as trivial but it's the most transformative and radical change on offer and it is definitely progressive. Pot laws were racist to begin with and even now unfairly impact the marginalized.

Your declaration that one cannot both be progressive and support Trudeau eliminates quite a few people besides myself.

I don't want any pipelines to saltwater but if one has to exist I would rather it be Keystone than Energy East because EE threatens the Canadian environment passing by many major waterways and the gulf of Saint Lawrence.

I do not buy that the NDP is so radically left of the Liberals that they serve as a litmus test for being progressive enough for babble. Why not make the line the Green Party? They want to refine onsite or close to it. That's a much better position than either the Liberals or NDP. Supporting the NDP disqualifies anyone from calling themselves progressive too.

The Green Party still won't admit that we need to shut down the oil sands. I guess progressive people can't vote for them either.

Wait, isn't that what Slumberjack suggests?

I think if you want to make sure babble is properly progressive it will have to be limited to Slumberjack.

Pondering

Jacob Two-Two wrote:
Obviously they provoked a lot of fights, but they weren't despised or cast out, because we knew they were sincere in their convictions, even if those convictions were wrong.

I haven't been despised or cast out. I interact just fine with most posters and have rewarding conversations with them.

As to the "poor wounded bird" reference, the alternative is to not defend myself.

Jacob Two-Two wrote:
The posters I have no respect for, on the other hand, I would still disrespect no matter what they professed to believe. It's the way they engage people that keeps me coming back to poke holes in their gibberish. Their every post reeks of calculated passive agressive provocation. People who come here to pimp for the Liberals will get their ideas attacked, but people who come here just to mess with the board will be called out for what they are.

You say this as if it is your job to police the boards, that you are entitled to pass judgement on other participants then call them out personally if they don't meet with your approval. As long as we are sharing, even though you are a jerk, I still wouldn't disrespect you in conversation unless you attacked me or someone else.

 

swallow swallow's picture

It's not my job to police the boards, Pondering, but i do think it would be helpful if you posted less in this thread, and others did not use this thread to argue with you. You've made your point on attacks and civility; now it would perhaps make a more productive thread if this one did not become about you - whether others attacking you or you defending. Just a suggestion.

Pondering

swallow wrote:
It's not my job to police the boards, Pondering, but i do think it would be helpful if you posted less in this thread, and others did not use this thread to argue with you. You've made your point on attacks and civility; now it would perhaps make a more productive thread if this one did not become about you - whether others attacking you or you defending. Just a suggestion.

Point taken. I don't mind a constructive comment.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Catchfire wrote:

swallow wrote:
To me the loss of the strong feminist voices that were once more present here is the biggest loss. Ther are still some of those voices, of course, but not as many, and that's sad. Saying women are just as able to participate as anyone esle is in my mind missing the underlying issue. If you require a thick skin to venture into a conversation, then the conversation is excluding some who might otherwise take part.

This observation makes me sad with its truthfulness.

Likewise for me.

Red Winnipeg

Babble seems old and tired. It used to be a much more vibrant and active space for discussion. And, more and more people, it seems, are pulled towards "discussions" that are composed of 140-character missives. Writing relatively lengthy and substantive posts takes too much effort for most people.

jjuares

Pondering wrote:

Common courtesy towards others is not a capituation. Refraining from personal attacks is not an unreasonable request.

In post 41 of this thread you call someone a "jerk". Since when is name calling not a personal attack and a violation of the common courtesy you call for?

6079_Smith_W

Well I have a sure prediction:  that if we don't move beyond recriminations and bemoaning the alleged state of things,  these complaints might be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Have we gone around this enough that everyone sees the lay of the land, even if it is clear we have some philosophical and political differences?

Yes there are hurt feelings on all sides. I think a better course than making that even worse might be thinking about what has happened and (for those who are willing) getting back to what still makes this a worthwhile place to be, and trying and make it better.

 

 

Unionist
iyraste1313

¨This is why I don't see traditional electoral politics as a path to radical change....

better stated would be representational democracy....does anyone out there really believe that the process hasn`t been totally coopted by the financial elites, their control of the elites of the parties through money, the parties which dictate to their membership, the corporate media acting as the gatekeepers of the game to legitimize who is politically correct etc. ad nauseum...

so why aren`t there discussions on how to proceed......(granted there was a thread on smashing the vote...which just leaves us voiceless and without alternative strategies)...we are in war, threats of nuclear war, looming collapse of the finance capitalist system....what with the downward spiral of global GDP inspite of the overwhelming money printing scams going on which no longer work, new ecologic disasters and greater and greater scacrifice zones....

It is only when people come to grips with the disaster we face, I suppose that we will get real about searching, exploring the alternatives...I`d love to participate in this.....but not just to myself

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

[...]

That's because the Liberals are the main architects of neoliberalism in Canada. It's not a complicated concept. [...]

Thank you for summing this up so beautifully Jacob. I hope at some point you can come up with a way of so succinctly wrapping up the other side of that equation.... that outside of the economic sphere, Liberals have seldom been more than "Tories with table-manners". That making common cause with them because they are somehow "progressive" (a term I have come to abhor over the past few years, in no small part because of the discussions I have been witness to on this board) is generally quite a foolish road to take...

My only regret in highlighting that quote from you is that it was addressed to an individual, I wish it had been addressed to babble as a whole.

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