The impression I have -- though of course I don't know what your friends have been saying -- is that the burn-their-houses-down brigade are much more upset about the kinda-fascist sort of right than the kinda-libertarian sort of right. Of course even if I'm right about that that doesn't necessarily reduce the sense of alienation; your aliefs needn't match your beliefs.

Except that I don't think libertarian is incompatible with boarder controls - indeed, libertarians are generally enthusiastic about property rights, and controlling immigration is no different to locking your front door and vetting potential housemates.

I'm not saying that the boarder controls should be based around skin colour, but the definition of 'Nazi' seems to have expanded to anyone who believes in any form of boarder control.

Agree about first half; not fully convinced about second half. As you pointed out yourself, it's not that long ago that we had actual Nazis and Stalinists in power in Europe, and bad though early-21st-century politics is it doesn't seem like it's got there just yet.

I certainly agree that globally its not as bad as 1930-1990. Nevertheless, things seem to have got dramatically worse in the last decade - in my personal experience it used to be that people could agree to disagree, now most political opinions seem to be in lockstep, almost like a cult. More generally, I remember people criticising Bush, but now there are very intelligent people, even the head of CFAR, saying that Trump could be the end of democracy. Either they are correct, in which case that is obviously a cause for concern, or they are wrong and a lot of very smart people, inc rationalists, are utterly mindkilled.

I remember people criticising Bush, but now there are very intelligent people, even the head of CFAR, saying that Trump could be the end of democracy.

Trump is the end of democracy-as-we-know-it, and both sides of the political spectrum agree that this is the case, albeit for very different reasons. But the United States were never founded as a democracy in the first place; they're supposed to be a federated republic, with plenty of checks-and-balances as an integral part of the overall arrangement. If our Constitution is worth more than the paper it's printed on, we'll find ourselves right back in what used to be the status quo.

2gjm3yFor what it's worth, I haven't seen the word used that way. But -- the standard disclaimer -- my left-leaning Facebook friends are not your left-leaning Facebook friends, unless there's some purely coincidental overlap, and yours may be more Nazi-accusation-happier than mine. Or both, of course :-). More seriously, I think your observations are adequately explained by the hypothesis that (1) Trump and his administration are much more unusual than Bush and his administration, (2) they are in fact distinctly more likely than Bush was (though still not very likely) to do serious damage to the US's democratic institutions, and (3) a lot of very smart people are somewhat mindkilled. I think #1 is obviously true, #2 is probably true, and #3 would be entirely unsurprising (much less surprising than all those people being utterly mindkilled). Incidentally, I do remember some not-otherwise-obviously-crazy people speculating that Bush would simply refuse to leave office after 8 years and that somehow the Republican-controlled Congress would help make it so. So end-of-democracy hysteria isn't so very new.
1metatroll3yPutin's a mindkiller.

Open Thread, Feb. 20 - Feb 26, 2017

by Elo 1 min read20th Feb 2017344 comments


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