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Thread: "Fake" progressivism and "genuine" conservatism-- why?

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    No Blorg's Avatar
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    "Fake" progressivism and "genuine" conservatism-- why?

    It seems like lots of people-- including many progressive people-- think that progressives are fundamentally dishonest. That's what the term "pc" insinuates-- progressivism is seen as pretension. Empathy related to progressivism always seems to draw suspicion and accusations of self-righteousness. Yes/no? If yes, why?

    In contrast, both progressives and conservatives tend to view conservative values as authentic. Conservatism looks like it has deeper roots, there's nostalgia attached to it, and it's intuitively connected to American culture-- much more so than progressivism, despite the "equality for all" platitude (one example is the intersecting stereotypes of Southern conservatism and Southern hospitality.)

    Does the fake progressivism/genuine conservatism idea mirror trends in several countries, currently and/or historically, or is this just a modern American thing?

    (bear with me, I don't know much about politics. I don't know whether or not this is just my imagination, if it's obvious, if the progressive/conservative dichotomy creates illogicalities, etc. you're allowed to build on and/or renovate the idea and questions in the op as much as you want.)

    EDIT: I'm not asking for advice. I'm just starting a discussion.
    Last edited by Blorg; 08-19-2014 at 01:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dot View Post
    It seems like lots of people-- including many progressive people-- think that progressives are fundamentally dishonest. That's what the term "pc" insinuates-- progressivism is only pretension. Empathy related to progressivism always seems to draw suspicion and accusations of self-righteousness. Yes/no? If yes, why?

    I think this depends on how you feel about your previous political involvement. If you feel like it wasn't something worthwhile, or something impractical, that translates to how you feel about other people who are involved.

    Recently I find myself becoming more political, because it's occurred to me that it isn't really mutually exclusive with other things, and that it seems to give me some kind of a "spark". The difference is, when I was younger, I was more interested in if I was "doing it right", and I wanted to "do it right." I assumed I was less knowledgeable on stuff because other people had so much conviction, and so constructed arguments and thought patterns from the convictions of others. At some point I got the sense that I wasn't really any less knowledgeable than they were most of the time, and there was also a lot of pressure on me (within and without) to prove that I could "make it" in society. I also still felt very aloof, and that this wasn't really helping me feel any more comfortable around others. I also started getting the sense that it wasn't really part of my "true self". So I kind of buried that stuff, rationalizing it as merely just crap bored lonely college kids think about, and something that killed my "true self".

    Recently, (and who knows how long this will last), I feel like it might just be as much a valid part of me as the other things.

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    No Blorg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slab_Bulkhead View Post
    I think this depends on how you feel about your previous political involvement. If you feel like it wasn't something worthwhile, or something impractical, that translates to how you feel about other people who are involved.
    I'm not speaking personally-- I'm just talking about something I've observed in other people. Personally, I think I'm progressive by most measures, and genuinely so (though, as I said, I don't know much about politics and I'm going to work on refining/nuancing my views)-- as far as I'm aware, I'm not a "secret" conservative, nor am I progressive for purposes of social manipulation.

    Recently I find myself becoming more political, because it's occurred to me that it isn't really mutually exclusive with other things, and that it seems to give me some kind of a "spark". The difference is, when I was younger, I was more interested in if I was "doing it right", and I wanted to "do it right." I assumed I was less knowledgeable on stuff because other people had so much conviction, and so constructed arguments and thought patterns from the convictions of others. At some point I got the sense that I wasn't really any less knowledgeable than they were most of the time, and there was also a lot of pressure on me (within and without) to prove that I could "make it" in society. I also still felt very aloof, and that this wasn't really helping me feel any more comfortable around others. I also started getting the sense that it wasn't really part of my "true self". So I kind of buried that stuff, rationalizing it as merely just crap bored lonely college kids think about, and something that killed my "true self".

    Recently, (and who knows how long this will last), I feel like it might just be as much a valid part of me as the other things.
    That's interesting. I'm also sensitive to that annoying encouragement of blunt, self-assured, ambitiously generalized political statements-- it prevents me from discussing politics in most situations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dot View Post
    I'm not speaking personally-- I'm just talking about something I've observed in other people. Personally, I think I'm progressive by most measures, and genuinely so (though, as I said, I don't know much about politics and I'm going to work on refining/nuancing my views)-- as far as I'm aware, I'm not a "secret" conservative, nor am I progressive for purposes of social manipulation.
    I think it's important to make sure that what your take on is something that makes sense to you. Don't follow anyone else, no matter how confident they seem. Learn what you can, and take it from there. At least, that's what is important to me.


    That's interesting. I'm also sensitive to that annoying encouragement of blunt, self-assured, ambitiously generalized political statements-- it prevents me from discussing politics in most situations.
    Generalize in the sense of generalizing about specific groups or situations, or generalizing in the sense of tending towards ambivalence in situations that people often perceive in black-and-white terms?

    I try not to be too self-assured, but I don't go out of my way in worrying about whether people think I'm arrogant or not.

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    No Blorg's Avatar
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    ^good points. "Generalized": more interested in presenting a grand unified theory of everything instead of testing out and sharing hypotheses about smaller variables.



    Anyway, to move this back in the direction I intended, my main question in the op is: is there an association of progressivism/falseness and conservatism/genuineness, and if there is, why is this the case?

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dot View Post
    It seems like lots of people-- including many progressive people-- think that progressives are fundamentally dishonest. That's what the term "pc" insinuates-- progressivism is seen as pretension. Empathy related to progressivism always seems to draw suspicion and accusations of self-righteousness. Yes/no? If yes, why?

    In contrast, both progressives and conservatives tend to view conservative values as authentic. Conservatism looks like it has deeper roots, there's nostalgia attached to it, and it's intuitively connected to American culture-- much more so than progressivism, despite the "equality for all" platitude (one example is the intersecting stereotypes of Southern conservatism and Southern hospitality.)

    Does the fake progressivism/genuine conservatism idea mirror trends in several countries, currently and/or historically, or is this just a modern American thing?
    Well, the thing is that PC-ness actually is dishonest. There is a case to be made about the underlying objectification of the Other in the liberal mindset that preaches "do whatever it is you traditionally do, I am not so pretentious as to hope to understand; but I will tolerate you". This disarms progressives when it comes to thinking up universal frameworks to regulate essential human liberties. Their professed "respect" for the Other who they are supposedly too humble to comprehend creates boundaries that often stand in the way of integration and even basic debate.

    In many ways it does seem like a very american thing, and perhaps to a more limited degree, a current First World thing. This discussion reminds me of something I heard a jewish professor say in the US in a debate about anti-semitism. He said that there is no "new anti-semitism", because there is no new anti-anything. That to his memory, debate has never been so stifling and sterile in university campuses in the US as it is now, because of the heights to which PC-ness has taken the prohibition to speak out against anything that can be even loosely linked to a particular minority or group. I should point out that if this is the scenario, there is nothing genuinely progressive about it at all. It is a clearly conservative outcome when you cannot question a status quo, even when that status quo pervades a group that you are not a part of. It is no wonder that conservatism, with its don't-give-a-fuck attitude in the face of other people's sensibilities, should be seen as more honest.

    I think genuine leftism, which is the kind I respect, is immensely politically incorrect. It would be nice to see more of that among the American left.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    Well, the thing is that PC-ness actually is dishonest. There is a case to be made about the underlying objectification of the Other in the liberal mindset that preaches "do whatever it is you traditionally do, I am not so pretentious as to hope to understand; but I will tolerate you".
    Interesting.

    One thing thing that occurs to me is that you tolerate a mosquito bite. You don't really love or like something you tolerate. You'd just rather it be out of sight, out of mind. Understanding is more important than tolerance, definitely.

    I do think some of the debates I heard in college were really, really stupid, like the one that was common during the 2008 Democratic primaries. There was no discussion of issues or policies, just who deserved the presidency more. Essentially, it came down to who had it worse... black men or white women. (I guess the existence of black women made things too complicated. It was phrased as "black people" and "women", but that was essentially what it was about. )

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    i distrust a lot of progressives and even "leftists" admittedly cuz they like to talk but don't really show up when it matters. there isn't any real solidarity, at least not in the mainstream, and there are many reasons for that. there's this very exaggerated dynamic of privilege and saviorism that gets played out here where if you question whether someone's truly using their social position for good, you need to be put back in your place immediately. liberal/progressive views are great if they can be marketed. that's one aspect of the "PC" that annoys me. on the other side of the coin, you're called "PC" if you don't use hate slurs. so actually i have no idea.

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    I get the impression that political correctness has become a derogatory term for discourse that the speaker disdains. That is likely rooted in the feelings of distrust mentioned, but it seems to have expanded a bit.

    I saw an interesting study which, while I'm skeptical of its reliability, could be relevant to the discussion. It concludes that conservatives are likely to assume that others agree with them, and liberals tend to consider their own beliefs unique.

    Surprisingly, these trends even emerged among nonpolitical judgments, such as preference for coffee: Liberals believed their preferences were more different from those of other liberals than they actually were, while conservatives believed their preferences were more similar to those of other conservatives than they actually were.
    I could see these trends manifest in discussion as liberals and leftists may be more critical of each other, while moderates and conservatives may be more likely to speak as a consensus. However, I would expect that such generalized behavior would be less consistent here, given the disparity of our locations and the typical argumentative nature of INTPs.

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    Amen P-O's Avatar
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    Personally, I see both sides as full of shit. Both are genuine in their own way, but ultimately both sides don't really use any kind of logical thought to arrive at conclusions. That's just people... but how can you say it's a genuine thing when you don't even understand what it is you're promoting or why.

    Conservatives have a reputation for being more genuine because they tend to be from small towns. Everybody knows everybody in small towns so people tend to be able to trust each other more.
    Liberals tend to be city folk where everyone is a stranger, and packed together in a small area. In the city, a certain amount of distrust for your fellow man is a given.

    If you look at the different kind of psychological bents of the conservative and liberal wing, I think you see that there's a reflection of these different kinds of living situations... and how that affects the psychology of the people living there.
    Violence is never the right answer, unless used against heathens and monsters.

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