[LMB] OT: Labels

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 26 15:32:26 BST 2018

As I said previously....

I look at how groups function, not at the dogma they claim to follow, or
the labels they or others apply. Most of the labels being used nowadays
are out of date, misunderstood, and/or are used as a convenient way of
negating anything the person says: stick the label on and they will be
resoundingly condemned so that their truth is lost in the howling.

Extremists, whether political, religious, or anything else, tend to function
the same way.  Their goal is to enforce their will over others. Their goal is
power. They may parrot some political ideology, some religious dogma, or
whatever - generally it's an extremely narrow and twisted version of their
source material. What they are really doing is framing their reality so that
they have the power, and anyone who disagrees with them, by definition,
is beneath contempt and deserves no respect, has no rights, is simply
fodder in their clawing towards power.

Many groups manage to function this way while claiming to value rights and
freedoms. But freedom of thought, of action, of belief, is only allowed if
you agree completely with them. Deviation from their stated beliefs is not
permitted. And the penalties can be severe, up to lethal. Their acts are
often a flat contradiction of their stated high goals, and the rules and goals
change at times - at which point the obedient followers are expected to
instantly parrot the new standards.

Some political movements allow and respect freedom of thought and belief,
many do not. I judge them on what I see in action, not what's on paper.
It all sounds great until you see it in action.

As for all the labels, and the claims that one party is this side, another is
that, one party stands for certain actions, another is the opposite.... watch
them. If you weren't told which side they were on it'd often be hard to tell
from their voting record, the laws they've pushed, the noses in the trough,
the jobs for the boys.

When we argue politics in society we argue the wrong things, in the wrong
ways. We've lost the objectivity of the press, we've lost even the appearance
of integrity in public life, we've lost the expectation that the people we elect
will respect and represent us. We've lost real respect for our rights, we've lost
many of the rights themselves. We've lost so many of our personal freedoms.
We've lost the right to express an idea, we've lost the ability to have a
discussion without bile and hostility.

And it will take a long time to get it all back again. If ever.

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