General Politics Thread

ayase

State Alchemist
Attacking your opposition is a little different to attacking your own party and helping the opposition.
Corbyn's actions are contributing towards the rise of anti-semitism in this country
So just so I've got your position clear here Ken: Commenting that someone's mural featuring (by the artist's own words) white and Jewish bankers burdening the poor (what, you're not allowed to criticise any Jews, even those who are doing terrible things? Maybe someone should let Harvey Weinstein know) as a general attack on the power of finance shouldn't be taken down and is contributing to anti-semitism rather than supporting free speech, but making a "hilarious" YouTube video in which someone repeatedly says "Gas the Jews" is not contributing to anti-semitism and should be protected as free speech because "it's just a joke"?

The reason this has got me and a fair few other people angry is because it's proof the media have the power to run around the world several times with a lie, then cap the truth in the back of the head while it's getting its boots on and continue running. It's absolute nonsense. Speaking out against the actions of the State of Israel is not anti-semitic just as speaking out against the actions of the Saudi Arabian state is not racism against Arabs, just as speaking out against the actions of the Zimbabwean state under Mugabe is not racist against black Africans. Because states are not people. I mentioned Gerald Kaufman earlier, he was Jewish and was highly critical of the actions of extremist zionists and the State of Israel, but I doubt anyone would call him anti-semitic (well, perhaps these people in the media today would).

The Israel-Palestine conflict is a very difficult thing for anyone to comment on, since on both sides you have extremists stoking violence, and you have ordinary people trying to live their lives. Is violence on either side justified? Personally I'd say no, I might feel differently if I was an Israeli or a Palestinian who'd had bombs raining down on them from the other side. The wider issue of anti-semitism as in simply hatred of Jews for being Jewish, separated from the context of that conflict (as all the Jews who live in Britain and not Israel are) is not something I believe anyone could justifiably level at Corbyn or few in the Labour Party, and if it can then I imagine there are just as many in the Conservative Party it could be levelled at. The media has hardly been fair in its treatment of Labour over this issue.
 
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Watanabe Ken

Magical Girl
No I'm pretty sure I gave three different examples of things he did that contributed towards anti-Semitism.
1 joined three different anti-Semitic groups on his personal social media, which legitimizes anything that is said by members of said groups.
2 Allowed anti-Semitic extremist a platform to spread there hate.
3 failed to punish labour members who say anti-Semitic things by allowing them to still be members of labour, thus legitimizing anti-Semitism in the labour party

The mural was cleary anti-Semitic but I don't think it should've been torn down because somebody's feelings are hurt, but I think your over focusing on the mural because a lot of **** has happened before the whole mural thing blew up.

The Israel-Palestine conflict is a very difficult thing for anyone to comment on, since on both sides you have extremists stoking violence
actually I think it's actually really simple, the Palestinians don't want peace and would rather kill every Jew they can get there hands on, if they stopped trying to kill the jews then Israel wouldn't need to defend themselves problem solved.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
Ah yes, facebook groups any member can post to and post anything they like. So if someone goes on the Conservative Party's facebook group and makes an anti-semitic comment, does that make it an "anti-semitic" group? Is Corbyn supposed to personally monitor every post in every facebook group he's part of to make sure no-one is saying anything disagreeable? Does any politician who's actually doing their job have time for that? One might think that if someone brought it to his attention dodgy stuff was being said in those groups, he'd leave and denounce them - Oh wait, that's exactly what happened. And arch right-winger Guido Fawkes, who'll naturally do anything he can to try and damage Labour, is hardly a fair and balanced non-partisan source of news. Let's see him dig similar dirt on Tories, but he won't be doing that, will he?
actually I think it's actually really simple, the Palestinians don't want peace and would rather kill every Jew they can get there hands on, if they stopped trying to kill the jews then Israel wouldn't need to defend themselves problem solved.
Well clearly we'll have to disagree about that, because I think a self described ethno-state (are there even any others in the world who describe themselves in racial terms?) which actively steals land from their neighbours in violation of international law and then doesn't allow the Arabs residing in that land to vote in their "democratic" elections is hardly blameless in such a conflict. Killing civilians, let alone civilians in another sovereign territory is never acceptable, and both Palestinian militants and the IDF have been guilty of that. Killing civilians or denying people their rights under the guise of "self defence" does not make it okay.
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
actually I think it's actually really simple, the Palestinians don't want peace and would rather kill every Jew they can get there hands on, if they stopped trying to kill the jews then Israel wouldn't need to defend themselves problem solved.
The level of your ignorance is simply off the charts. You're politics are bizarre, you're outraged at a moronic anti-Semitic Youtuber getting a sentence, yet have no sympathy for innocent Palestinians who get bombs dropped on them because it's apparently all their fault in your childish and straight up warped view of the conflict, and you're are also convinced Jeremy Corbyn is proper anti-Semitic too. But from my understanding Corbyn isn't actually directly responsible for that disciplinary ruling about anti-Semitic behaviour you presented, it's the NEC that is responsible for that and Corbyn can't just hijack all the disciplinary committees and over-rule them can he really? But of course everything is Corbyn's fault because you don't like him, right.

It's like the other day I saw someone bizarrely using that photo of Corbyn being arrested for the anti apartheid picket as yet more evidence Corbyn is an extremist rather than a decent human being. Because apparently a few people who supported that picket were extremist. But you'll of course find that with literally any rally or protest or picket, and the desperate lengths and lows that the Tories will sink to to try and attack and discredit Corbyn is utterly embarrassing.
 

Watanabe Ken

Magical Girl
I'm pretty sure they were secret groups, which means he would have actually had to be invited by someone, so it's kinda different than some random going onto the conservative page and typing kill the smurfs burn the little blue fuckers with fire.

Now finally everybody's favourite part of the general politics thread : History lessons with Ken

1918 the British empire takes control of the middle east including the area that constitutes modern day israel

1936 The Arabs rebel against the British and there Jewish neighbours, the British formed the peel commission to study the causes of the rebellion,they concluded that the cause of the violence was because the Jews and Arabs both wanted to govern the same land, so they proposed a two state solution in which the Arabs would get 80% of the territory and the Jews would get the remaining 20%, the jews despite just getting 20% of the territory excepted the offer but the Arabs did not and resumed there violence.

1947 the British asked the United nations to find a new solution to the continuing conflict, the like the peel commission proposed a two state solution which the jews accepted but the Arabs did not.

1948 as soon the British rule ended the neighbouring Arab states armies of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Transjordan and Egypt attacked th one day old state of Israel in order to destroy it, to everybody's surprise Israel survived.

1967 the dictator of Egypt Gamal Abdel nasser announced his plan in his words to destroy Israel. He placed Egyptian troops on Israel's border and armies of surrounding Arab countries were also mobilized to attack, however Israel took the initiative and attacked Egypt and Syria first but did not attack Jordan, they begged Jordanian king not to join the war but he didn't listen and attacked, so Israel ****** there **** up. Shortly after the Arab states went to khartoum sudden and announced their famous three no's: no recognition, no peace and no negotiations.

1978 Israel gives the entire Sinai peninsula which they acquired in the six day war back to Egypt as jester of peace, because Egypt under new leadership signed a peace agreement with Israel.

2000 Israeli prime Minster Ehud Barak met at camp David with Palestinian liberation organization chairman Yasser Arafat to conclude a new two state solution. Barak offered Arafat a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and 95% of the west bank with east Jerusalem as it's capital, the Palestinian leader rejected the offer and in the words of Bill Clinton ,Afarat was here 14 days and said no to everything, instead of making peace the Palestinians decided launched a bloody wave of suicide attacks against Israel.

2008 prime Minster Ehud Olmert offers the Palestinians an even better offer than his predecessor, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas unsurprisingly turned the deal down.

Point of the story is that Palestine does not want peace with Israel, what they want is the destruction of Israel. If Israel was to lay down their arms and stop defending themselves, then every single man, women and child would be butchered to death like cattle.
 
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Watanabe Ken

Magical Girl
You're politics are bizarre, you're outraged at a moronic anti-Semitic Youtuber getting a sentence, yet have no sympathy for innocent Palestinians who get bombs dropped on them because it's apparently all their fault in your childish and straight up warped view of the conflict
Actually caring more about things happening in the country you live in and that could affect you, rather than caring about a conflict in another country that doesn't effect you is pretty logical and I think you'll find is the social norm. You may care more about people in the middle east than fellow British citizen's facing abuse for simply being Jewish, but I don't so take your moral outrage to someone who gives a flying ****.

You are aware that Palestine is also bombing Israel and killing innocent Israeli civilians, fair enough Israel could take the moral high ground and not retaliate, but why would they stop defending themselves from someone who wants to eradicate them?
 

Watanabe Ken

Magical Girl
Should have taken the offer

But what can I say some people just care more about eradicating the jews than they do about peace.
 

Watanabe Ken

Magical Girl
World Zionist organization :confused: Somebody picked the wrong map, were did you find it on a conspiracy website? The majority of Jews that moved to Ottoman Palestine between 1904 and 1914 were from the Russian empire, and immigrated mainly because of the rising anti-Semitism, not because of a secret Zionist organization told them to.
 
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Watanabe Ken

Magical Girl
Real or not they didn't make the Jews immigrate from Russia to palestine, and there existence doesn't excuse people wanting to eradicate jews.

Also that clearly biased map neglected to mention that Jordan and Egypt seized the West Bank and Gaza in 1948, and Israel didn't ask to be invaded in 1948 or 1967, otherwise the border would have remained at the 1947 line.
 
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Vashdaman

Za Warudo
I'm pretty sure they were secret groups, which means he would have actually had to be invited by someone, so it's kinda different than some random going onto the conservative page and typing kill the smurfs burn the little blue fuckers with fire.

Now finally everybody's favourite part of the general politics thread : History lessons with Ken
Ken you are fooling no one here. There are quite a few members on this forum, that may or may not choose to comment in this thread, but who have a much better grasp of the Israel and Palestine conflict than you do, you're just embarrassing yourself. In fact you should be ashamed of yourself, painting the Palestinian people as some bloodthirsty belligerent tribe, that's a truly callous and heartless misrepresentation of a people. Your lack of historical comprehension is frightening, it's as if you're gathering all your information from only the most biased right wing sources and just unquestioningly regurgitating them on here.

You may care more about people in the middle east than fellow British citizen's facing abuse for simply being Jewish,
Please tell me where you got the idea I am insensitive to the anti-Semitic abuse British Jewish people face? Oh, you've just completely made that up out of thin air and misrepresented me just like you've done everything else. In fact, I'm a lot more inclined to believe that you're the insensitive one given your impassioned defence of an anti-Semitic youtuber, and that's the only group you've evinced any genuine care for in this thread.

I honestly would encourage you to question the validity of your information more often, seek out the writing of people who actually have some intellectual credibility and integrity, don't just get all of your opinions from a select group of online lunatics.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Should have taken the offer
You know why that plan didn’t happen Ken? I'm glad you like history, because there's an episode you missed out in your time-line which explains that, and it's quite an exciting and interesting period in the area's history.

When the area that became Israel and Palestine was under the British controlled Mandate for Palestine, the British authorities decided that it was in the interests of stability to limit immigration into Palestine so as not to inflame conflict between the local Arab population and Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Zionists who saw Israel as a homeland for all Jews wherever in the world they might be disagreed with this, and a militant offshoot of a paramilitary called Haganah who had been formed as a self-defence force for Jewish settlers decided to fight against it. They were called Irgun, and the tactics they used to undermine the British authorities can only be described as terrorism. Here are a few of the things Irgun did:
  • Shot unrelated Arab civilians dead as reprisals for attacks on Jews
  • Set off explosives and placed land mines in Arab civilian areas
  • Killed British police officers
  • Blew up the British administrative HQ, killing 91 people, most of them civilians
Later, Irgun co-operated with an even more extreme terrorist group called Lehi which, I kid you not, considered Italy's fascists and Nazi Germany better friends to the Jews than Britain, sought to co-operate with them in removing the British authorities and explicitly had as their aim the founding of a "totalitarian" state in Israel, an Israel they believed should include all of today's States of Israel, Palestine and Jordan. During this period, Irgun and Lehi were responsible for:
  • Assassinating a British government minister
  • Attacking and killing British soldiers, both on and off duty
  • Bombing a police station
  • Mining railway tracks to kill British soldiers
  • Massacring an entire village of Arab civilians
  • Assassinating a UN mediator who was attempting to create a peace plan
And ultimately, they won! The British weren't able to successfully fight back against these militants or suffer the bad press that came with fighting against Jews so soon after WWII and the Holocaust, and withdrew from Palestine. This led to a civil war which the Jewish militias together won, resulting in the founding of Israel. Today, former members of Lehi can be awarded a military decoration in recognition of their help establishing the State of Israel. Some might wonder if it's possible to take away from that history the lesson that you can get what you want via terrorism, and if that isn't something which in a perverse way might have inspired the Palestinian militants of today who use terrorist tactics, as they fight over that same land.

All that history aside, I do believe that the people of Israel and Palestine today, be they Jewish, Arab or otherwise, have a right to live in peace, because I don't think the vendettas of the past have any place in the present day. The vast majority of ordinary Israeli Jews are not and never were terrorists, just as the vast majority of ordinary Palestinian Arabs aren't. You can only create a lasting peace through dialogue and engagement between the reasonable folk on both sides who want peace (and I believe most people do, as it's preferable to being shot, stabbed and blown up) as the Northern Ireland peace process proved. But while those people are being represented by hard-liners in Likud and Hamas who show little sign of changing their attitudes or reconciling, I think that peace is unlikely.

I'd love nothing more than to see that conflict come to an end without the need for partitions at all, with Jews and Arabs having equal rights under the law and a power sharing system of government. I think that would be a lot more healthy and conductive to future peace than having two sharply divided ethno-states nursing historic grievances towards each other on either side of a literal wall.
 
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Watanabe Ken

Magical Girl
painting the Palestinian people as some bloodthirsty belligerent tribe, that's a truly callous and heartless misrepresentation of a people.
I don't believe I said they were a bloodthirsty tribe, I simply said they need to stop killing jews and gays for that matter, nothing wrong with me judging them by my western standards, let's not make excuses for anti-Semitic and homophobic behaviour.

I think the powers that be in Palestine and some former/current Labour members need to accept the fact that Israel isn't going anywhere.

history aside, I do believe that the people of Israel and Palestine today, be they Jewish, Arab or otherwise, have a right to live in peace, because I don't think the vendettas of the past have any place in the present day. The vast majority of ordinary Israeli Jews are not and never were terrorists, just as the vast majority of ordinary Palestinian Arabs aren't. You can only create a lasting peace through dialogue and engagement between the reasonable folk on both sides who want peace, as the Northern Ireland peace process proved. But while those people are being represented by hard-liners in Likud and Hamas, I think that peace is unlikely.
That's what I like about you ayase all facts no personal, you don't just claim you and others are more knowledgeable, then fail to back it up. But I must admit I'd wasn't aware of Irgun and will definitely look into it when I'm doing my no 2's at work( there might even be a book there if I'm lucky).

But I must ask don't you think there's a double standard when it comes to the conflict, I remember back in 2014 when Hamas was firing rockets at Israel and Israel responded by targating the the launchers, but not before dropping flyers to warn the civilians to stay away from Hamas sites, which was the complete opposite to what Hamas was doing which was to tell civilians to stand around the targeted sites so they would get hit by Israel's rockets, yet Israel was the one who was portrayed as the villains and had protests against them all around the world.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
But I must ask don't you think there's a double standard when it comes to the conflict, I remember back in 2014 when Hamas was firing rockets at Israel and Israel responded by targating the the launchers, but not before dropping flyers to warn the civilians to stay away from Hamas sites, which was the complete opposite to what Hamas was doing which was to tell civilians to stand around the targeted sites so they would get hit by Israel's rockets, yet Israel was the one who was portrayed as the villains and had protests against them all around the world.
I try my best to see conflicts from both sides, but of course I'm not living in Israel or Palestine so I can't really imagine what it must be like to live under threat of violence or reprisals from the other side of the fence for the actions of the militias or the military on your side of the fence. If I was a Jew living in Israel might I support the IDF, or if I was a Palestinian living in Gaza might I support Hamas? I think under those circumstances both would be a distinct possibility, as both claim to be defending their people and attacking aggressors (and both have a point) so I find it hard to see either as heroes or villains.

From my armchair observer perspective though, I feel like neither are really helping anything change for the better by their tit-for-tat violence, they're just helping perpetuate vendettas (not unlike the ones which raised their ugly heads during the Yugoslav Wars and which were only ended via NATO and UN intervention. Is there much hope of something like that happening in Israel and Palestine to bring about peace? I wouldn't count on it). It just goes on and on - Hamas probably fired those rockets because of something the IDF did, the IDF did that because of something Hamas did, etc, etc. To quote bad Gundam subtitles: "Where does the unforgiveness end?" And people always know when they fire rockets or drop bombs that there's the possibility of civilian casualties because they're not precise weapons and have a friggin' large blast radius, they just seem not to care (on a personal note I consider all forms of aerial bombardment cowardly as a matter of principle, no matter who's doing it - If you're not willing to look someone in the eyes while you kill them you shouldn't be doing it at all) which can only really be down to dehumanisation of the "enemy".

What some Jews and some Arabs have to go through in Israel and Palestine is quite horrible, and I think on many occasions is quite racist. But I don't think that's a natural occurrence, I think it's something that's been stirred up by uncompromising leaders who will never let the past go, who think all the land should belong to the Arabs, or to the Jews at the exclusion of the other. The pragmatic, realistic approach to take (and in my view the only one that will lead to peace) is that there will always be Jews and Arabs in that land, and that both have the right to be there and should be treated fairly under the law. But you need leaders who believe that to achieve anything, and as long as those leaders, Israeli and Palestinian, are making their political careers on feeding people's fear and distrust of the "other" nothing is going to change. And I think as long as the media and individuals keep tarring all the people with one brush and saying "The Palestinians" think this or "The Jews" do that (not just unhelpful, but pretty racist) peace is going to be even more elusive.
 
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Vashdaman

Za Warudo
I don't believe I said they were a bloodthirsty tribe
You literally said that the Palestinians are determined to murder every Jewish person in Israel. Which is clearly a hateful and wrong statement. It would be bigger of you to just admit you were (very) wrong.

Hamas doesn't speak for every Palestinian and didn't always have the prominence and power they have now. And even then, it's highly unlikely Hamas literally want to murder every Israeli despite whatever they might spout. I remember reading something by Chompsky a few years ago explaining that Hamas had actually stated recently (when that article was written) that they were willing to adhere to international consensus and accept the conditions of the UN proposed two state solution.

But anyway, good posts Ayase

edit: https://soundcloud.com/user-185917539%2Fmec-gaza-martyrdom-and-betrayal
 
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Watanabe Ken

Magical Girl
You literally said that the Palestinians are determined to murder every Jewish person in Israel
No I didn't I said
the Palestinians don't want peace and would rather kill every Jew they can get there hands on
Which is no different than someone saying the American's need to **** off out the middle east and stop causing wars, they clearly don't mean every single American citizen do they, no they mean the government. So when I say the Palestinians need to stop killing the jews, I mean the Palestinians that are trying to kill the Jews need to stop, which is an opinion that is shared by nearly everybody in the international community, but they'd probably say it in a more pc way, like there needs to be a permanent ceasefire, but i think the phrase "the Palestinians need to stop killing the jews" sounds much better. Actually there are a lot of marriages between Palestinians and Israelis, I remember seeing one online that was portrayed as a marriage between star crossed lovers, mind you the Palestinian groom was pretty average in the looks department, but the Israeli bride was mighty fine, and I bet you ten pesos that at least one Jew was destroyed that night.

Ugh. I've detested Finkelstein ever since he compared Charlie Hebdo to Nazi propaganda about Jews, and showed sympathy for the Gun Men but not the victims.
 
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Vashdaman

Za Warudo
You know one thing I remember Ayase pointing out very rightly to me a few years ago, also when discussing this conflict, is the importance in being specific and accurate in what you say. To say that the Israelis have been targeting and punishing innocent Palestinian civilians isn't a statement anyone should make in my opinion, even though certain Israelis in power and the military do indeed do that. It is not ok to say the Palestinians want to kill every Jew, it's not about being PC or not, it's about thinking about the meaning behind your words and words carry weight. If you want to say something about Hamas, how hard is it to say Hamas instead of Palestinian?

Be specific if you're going to make bold statements accusing people of horrendous crimes and attitudes, don't think that it's just ok to generalise and be lazy. And it's doubly wrong to make such statements about the Israel Palestine conflict since those are the very same kind of words that are currently being used to justify innocent people being killed.

And your America comparison isn't a good one since it's a lot more obvious people are talking about the American military when they say they need to get out of the Middle East or whatever. Your statement wasn't obviously alluding to Hamas militants specifically at all.


You probably have something in common with Finkelstein here since he often does use the term Israelis in the way I illustrated above, so you have that in common with him. I do have an issue with the way he phrases some stuff, but nonetheless there aren't many individuals who have the depth of knowledge on the conflict that he does.

Also, I'd just like to say that while I don't know what he said about the Charlie Hebdo shooting, it is possible to take issue with the content of the cartoon without sympathizing with the shooters. I know many people who do find those cartoons is bad taste, and I can understand why.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
You know one thing I remember Ayase pointing out very rightly to me a few years ago, also when discussing this conflict, is the importance in being specific and accurate in what you say. To say that the Israelis have been targeting and punishing innocent Palestinian civilians isn't a statement anyone should make in my opinion, even though certain Israelis in power and the military do indeed do that. It is not ok to say the Palestinians want to kill every Jew, it's not about being PC or not, it's about thinking about the meaning behind your words and words carry weight. If you want to say something about Hamas, how hard is it to say Hamas instead of Palestinian?

Be specific if you're going to make bold statements accusing people of horrendous crimes and attitudes, don't think that it's just ok to generalise and be lazy. And it's doubly wrong to make such statements about the Israel Palestine conflict since those are the very same kind of words that are currently being used to justify innocent people being killed.
I'm afraid my memory isn't good enough to allow me to remember that specific conversation, but I'm glad it stuck with you Vash. I won't deny I've been guilty of making sweeping statements in the past as well, but there came a point when I realised that the bit in bold there is very important, because it can really alienate people if by your words you're equating them with people they don't agree or associate with.

At a very basic level, this is why racism and xenophobia are so wrong-headed, because they imply that all people of one race or nationality think or behave the same when anyone with the slightest bit of awareness of the world around them can clearly see that's nonsense. I think that's also why it's important to make clear when you're criticising an individual it's because of their personal actions or beliefs, not because you have a problem with a group they belong to as an arbitrary factor of birth. I think the latter proves a particular problem in the case of anti-semitism, because (to tie back into the problems the Labour Party have been having) there are more than a few hard-line Zionists and Israeli nationalists who seem ever-ready to accuse anyone who criticises their political beliefs of anti-semitism, even when they make it very clear it's their politics and not their race they take issue with. And that can snowball because if the media then start reporting "X is an anti-semite" then reasonable Jews and Israelis can feel like they're under attack when they never were, which plays right into the hands of the extremists.

The same thing I think happens with some reasonable and moderate Muslims taking criticism of Islamic extremists (such as the Charlie Hebdo situation) as being aimed at them when it isn't. Making fun of or criticising extremists who happen to share your race, religion or nationality is not the same as criticising everybody else in that group. And this is a very odd thing to my mind, because in the past people who criticised or made fun of say, the IRA or the Baader-Meinhof gang didn't suddenly find themselves on the receiving end of abuse or criticism from ordinary Irish and German people saying "this is offensive to us, we're not all like that" because clearly they understood they were not the intended target. I think identity politics is becoming a horrible scourge in the age of social media, as it's very easy for certain people to whip others up into a frenzy to defend "their people" who in many cases really aren't people with wide support at all, rather extremists using the fact they share a race, religion or nationality to project the image of having a much larger support base than they actually have.

I think we'd all be much better off if people saw themselves as individuals with no good reason to have automatic solidarity with others of their race, gender, religion etc. and saw other people that way as well. Maybe we could stop all this tarring and being tarred with the same brush.
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
I do agree with what you're saying there @ayase but I often find myself having conflicting feelings over the whole identity politics thing. You do see a lot of it these days, I'm not on social media but I'm vaguely aware of what goes on on it, and my university's student population is very lefty (which I think is great, but more on that in a minute) and I see so many events and movements catering to the political needs of every precise sub denomination of humanity imaginable. There's still plenty of stuff for the general proletariat too of course, but sometimes I do worry about all those things creating a feeling of separation. And I suppose part of my feeling may come from the fact that I don't at all relate more to a identifiable group any more specific than 'human', so I do really wish we could just throw everything else out the window.

But then I have to question whether we're really at a stage in our society where we do have the luxury of just forgetting about the specifics. And I'm not sure we are. It seems to me that right now we are seeing something of a backlash to 'identity politics' in some quarters. You hear about people taking offence to the black lives matter movement and tweeting 'all lives matter', and if you listen to any interviews of that Jordan Peterson guy who has shot to fame (and fortune) recently it's apparent he (ostensibly) believes deep rooted societal sexism and racism in the west is nothing but a modern myth created by radical left wing identity obsessed lazy types. And of course there are the people who take umbrage to the term feminism and would rather they called themselves humanists or something. This all sounds rather nice, until you realise all it's doing is enabling the status quo to be perpetuated. A general 'humanist' or 'all lives matter' campaign isn't going to work in addressing these existing racial or sexual or gender power imbalances. And until these are truly, finally, fully uprooted, can we really forget about them? Maybe right now we do just need to accept that everything really does need to be taken into account.

I don't know, it's tricky.

Different topic:

As for my left wing uni. Well it's great, there are so many politically active young sprigs who do genuinely care for people other than themselves, it gives one hope. For years there was a huge campaign putting pressure on the uni to bring its cleaners in house and give them decent contracts. Last year it finally succeeded and was more proof that activism and campaigning really does work. And of course recently there's been this huge teachers strike at all University of London unis over the slashing of pensions. It's not something I've been following awfully closely to be honest, but I know I support it. I do feel for the students who are disappointed to be missing loads of tuition and have their year incredibly disrupted, especially the foreign students who are paying through the nose (I'm not sure if they're able to get any refund on their fees), but I think the cuts will negatively impact the quality of university education here in the long run if they go ahead.

However, I've seen some emails about student protesters from my uni who a couple of weeks ago physically assaulted both students and university staff trying to enter the building. I was disgusted to hear this, as I think students and uni staff are among the last people in the world who deserve such bullying. And somehow the other day, while I was capitalising on the cheap free wine and snacks at some random event at my university I think I accidentally fell in with some of the culprits (their freeloading etiquette was atrocious, they were snagging entire bottles and, ironically, getting the serving staff in hot water because of the missing bottles). First, one of this scruffy band, a young guy with a deceptively angelic face and gorgeous blonde hair, began to boast about his exploits breaking into the British Library of all places. It caused some consternation in me as the British library, along with any other place filled with precious books, is sacrosanct to me, but I chalked it down to being a spirited youth and even condescended to give him a strained "whoo yeah". But he then followed it up with a boast of having "pushed a professor the other day". That's when I realised who this bunch were, and I indignantly put down my glass free white wine and stormed off without a word.

Ok, after typing that out I feel as if I'm some kind of Victor Mildrew out of touch grouch. But I'm not, am I? Surely it's reasonable to consider shoving innocent professors beyond the pale, even for radical protesters?

edit: Oh and just to clarify, this thuggish band are very small indeed and this violence very rare. The picket outside my university has been unfailingly urbane, that one incident aside.
 
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