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The Nationalist Delusion (Page 3)
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subego
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Jan 10, 2018, 05:36 PM
 
Sorry again this took so long! Once RL calmed down I wanted to think it through solidly.

Here’s the conflict I’ve been facing, since well before Trump.

When it comes to the model the left uses on race and racism, I essentially agree with it.

In contrast, the model the left uses for what motivates the right is bad. Like, really bad.

This would be a difficult course to navigate on its own, however I face the obstacle of the latter pitching me into a blind rage.

I can justify the passion and conviction which fuels this rage, but neither of those things justify my poor navigation, which I am unquestionably guilty of.

This article is a clear example. I was enraged, and it manifested as me hastily, and with little thought, steering towards what enraged me.

Several unintended conclusions were implied by my course. The most important being I strongly disagree with the race model the left uses, and somehow consider what I’m whining about to be the greatest injustice of all the injustices subsumed by the thread topic. I don’t conciously hold either of those positions, and if I do subconsciously, it would be something I’d like to correct.


I’m aware it may appear difficult to reconcile my claim I agree with the left’s racism model with my approach of semantically questioning the definition of the term racism. That reconciliation (as you noted) is better material for its own thread. I mention it to assure you it does exist, as in I’m ultimately attempting to serve the purposes of the left’s racism model. We have the same goal.

Nonetheless, my apologies for derailing the thread. I addressed the article in a general sense, but would gladly (re)visit any and all specific points where you think my commentary would be of value. I can promise I’ll better navigate the trip.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 12, 2018, 12:45 PM
 
I'll give you a proper response this weekend but just stopping in to chip in that, boy, this thread is very timely given the latest news.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 13, 2018, 10:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
In contrast, the model the left uses for what motivates the right is bad. Like, really bad.
This is the indifference vs. resentment argument, yes?

Originally Posted by subego View Post
Nonetheless, my apologies for derailing the thread. I addressed the article in a general sense, but would gladly (re)visit any and all specific points where you think my commentary would be of value. I can promise I’ll better navigate the trip.
So here's the best compromise I can think of without delving wholeheartedly into a semantic mess. Which is to say, when I ask about something being racist, perhaps you shouldn't give a binary answer, but multiple answers; One based on your own values and one based on your perception of the liberal definition.

To return to the unanswered question (Given the length of time and posts I may have missed your answer):
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Can you honestly look at the past two years and not come to the conclusion that America is a lot more racist than we thought it was?
I don't think this requires a singular definition of racism to answer in the affirmative, but Ill allow you to tailor your answer to definitions as you see fit.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 14, 2018, 05:48 PM
 
"You can't have an immigration compromise if everybody's out there calling the president a racist," [Rand] Paul added.
To be honest, Paul, it's hard to get a fair one if the President is being racist.
     
subego
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Jan 29, 2018, 11:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
To return to the unanswered question (Given the length of time and posts I may have missed your answer):
I apologize yet again for taking so long. Similar to last time, apart from numerous distractions, it took some effort to put my thoughts into words.

The following is the clearest example of what makes me hesitant to simply answer “yes” to your question. There are a handful of others, but they’re all variations of the same idea.

My position on immigration, one widely shared by the left, is to explicitly encourage breaking the law to cheat the system.

Many object to the position because of this, and I don’t think I’m being unfair when I say the left would much prefer to dismiss the objection rather than address it.

If the author of this article is as dismissive of the objection as the left is to it in general, I’m not sure I can place my full trust in his analysis of what drove people to Trump.

If you’re as dismissive of this objection as the left is to it in general, I’d be afraid that even though I do genuinely and honestly answer yes to your question, our respective yesses mean very different things.
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 30, 2018, 12:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My position on immigration, one widely shared by the left, is to explicitly encourage breaking the law to cheat the system.
I don't think this is an accurate representation, more the impression that's been carefully crafted by spin doctors over the years. The consensus amongst proponents (which go beyond “the left”) is that the law as it is now does not reflect what their values, in particular who should be considered American — people who grew up in the US and know no country besides the United States should be considered Americans with all of the rights and the duties that this entails.
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subego
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Jan 30, 2018, 06:32 AM
 
I’m lost. I’m not talking about people who grew up in the US.
     
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Jan 30, 2018, 02:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I don't think this is an accurate representation, more the impression that's been carefully crafted by spin doctors over the years. The consensus amongst proponents (which go beyond “the left”) is that the law as it is now does not reflect what their values, in particular who should be considered American — people who grew up in the US and know no country besides the United States should be considered Americans with all of the rights and the duties that this entails.
So what's even the point of having laws if we ignore them when they feel icky to us? I also think this is a gross misrepresentation. The law is the law is the law. Just because your values don't jive with those laws doesn't make Subego's statement any less true. Which spin doctors are you referring to? Because from here it looks as if you're trying to conflate what the law is with how you feel about it, the latter somehow being more important. i.e. put lipstick on a pig and claim that anonymous others are the ones doing the spinning.
     
subego
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Jan 30, 2018, 02:10 PM
 
I guess I would be considered one of those “spin doctors”, because it’s how I chose to describe my own position.
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 30, 2018, 07:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
So what's even the point of having laws if we ignore them when they feel icky to us? I also think this is a gross misrepresentation. The law is the law is the law. Just because your values don't jive with those laws doesn't make Subego's statement any less true.
The law is what we make the law to be in a democracy. Working to change the law to make the law reflect one's value is fair. That's very different from being intent on “to advocate to break the law”. That's spin, not fact, you are demonizing “the other side”. Especially since large swaths of changes to migration policy have broad support in the US population across the political spectrum.
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Which spin doctors are you referring to? Because from here it looks as if you're trying to conflate what the law is with how you feel about it, the latter somehow being more important. i.e. put lipstick on a pig and claim that anonymous others are the ones doing the spinning.
Immigration in the US has seen so much spin so as to make a complicated issue seemingly simple or give a positive or negative tinge to things. Just take the term “chain migration” which gets mentioned over and over again in the context of illegal immigration. Chain migration refers to the right of a citizen or resident to sponsor visas for close relatives to come to the US — decidedly part and parcel of legal migration. You can still be against it, perhaps you are, but I think conflating it with illegality is spin, not fact. If you'd like, you can point to the word “dreamers” for an example in the opposite direction.
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subego
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Jan 30, 2018, 08:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That's spin, not fact, you are demonizing “the other side”.
Again, this is my own side.

This is how I chose to describe my own position.
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 30, 2018, 08:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Again, this is my own side.

This is how I chose to describe my own position.
I was answering to Snow-i's post, not yours.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I guess I would be considered one of those “spin doctors”, because it’s how I chose to describe my own position.
You made a claim about “the (nebulous) left” sharing your stance. Obviously, you speak for yourself, but that doesn't mean you accurately represent others who may share your policy goals.
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subego
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Jan 30, 2018, 10:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I was answering to Snow-i's post, not yours.

You made a claim about “the (nebulous) left” sharing your stance. Obviously, you speak for yourself, but that doesn't mean you accurately represent others who may share your policy goals.
The left believes illegal immigrants without further criminal records should not face consequences for breaking the law and cheating the system. They also support and enact sanctuary city protections for the same.

I’m calling a spaten a spaten.
     
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Jan 30, 2018, 11:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The left believes illegal immigrants without further criminal records should not face consequences for breaking the law and cheating the system. They also support and enact sanctuary city protections for the same.
Neither is it just “the left” (there is bipartisan support for legalizing these people) nor is it the same as to “explicitly encourage breaking the law to cheat the system”.

Things can be illegal but not necessarily involve further punishment. In many countries tax evasion is not a crime, and all you need to do is pay back the taxes to get even with the state. If you live in a state where tax evasion is a criminal offense and you argue in favor of decriminalization, that doesn't mean you encourage others to evade taxes.
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subego
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Jan 31, 2018, 02:48 AM
 
It is safe to assume a policy of decriminalizing tax evasion will increase the incidence of tax evasion.

If the policy I support will lead to more tax evasion, I am encouraging tax evasion.

This is the degree of responsibility I hold myself accountable for. I find consideration of holding myself less accountable to be morally repellent.

I am willing to entertain arguments it is unfair of me to shine the light I cast upon myself at others, but I wouldn’t characterize myself as sympathetic to the idea.
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 31, 2018, 02:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It is safe to assume a policy of decriminalizing tax evasion will increase the incidence of tax evasion.

If the policy I support will lead to more tax evasion, I am encouraging tax evasion.
No, it is not safe to assume this, because you can punish people in different ways (e. g. by adding punitive damages to the amount of taxes you have to pay). You could also see this from the point of view of tax revenue, and see which action maximizes that. (Just for the record, I think tax evasion should be a crime, but I feel it serves as a good analogy as there are some countries where it is not a criminal offense while in others it is — just like immigration-related offenses.) Even just removing punishments altogether does not have to lead to more abuse: decriminalizing drug possession in Portugal lowered the rate at which drugs are used. So I think there are counter-examples to what you deem to be safe to assume.
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subego
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Jan 31, 2018, 12:56 PM
 
In retrospect, I should have eliminated that first sentence. It’s not required for the argument.

I stand behind the rest of my statement, which was not addressed.
( Last edited by subego; Jan 31, 2018 at 02:05 PM. )
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 31, 2018, 06:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I stand behind the rest of my statement, which was not addressed.
I think I have: akin to tax evasion in some countries, immigration violations should be handled as a civil matter, not a criminal one. Putting things right should be doable by submitting the right paperwork. We can talk about why I think this should be so (unlike tax evasion), but that's another debate. There should be a clear path to legalization for large swaths of people (excluding career criminals, for example). And similar to drug legalization, I think there should be clemency. In my mind, immigration reform should lead to more legal immigration.

Of course, if you (= impersonal you) disagree with this stance and want that those people who came to the US without the necessary papers, then I see how you could claim I am supporting more “law breaking”. But I still don't think it is accurate to characterize my position the way you (= personal you) did — even if I agree with the sentiment behind it (actions have pros and cons, and even if you think what you do is a net positive, you need to accept the negative aspects).
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subego
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Jan 31, 2018, 09:35 PM
 
Until such time as reforms lead to more legal immigration, my position there should be no penalty for illegal immigration is explicit support for people breaking the law.

As I said, my sense of personal responsibility does not brook holding myself less accountable, and I have not been given sufficient cause to abandon it.
     
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Jan 31, 2018, 11:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Until such time as reforms lead to more legal immigration, my position there should be no penalty for illegal immigration is explicit support for people breaking the law.
I really don't understand why you insist on this weird interpretation. If you had written “support for people who are breaking the law”, I'd agree with that. But I don't think that's what you are saying. Like I said, the point is to find a legal remedy for the predicament, so advocates of this type of immigration reform are not advocating for people to break the law, but to change the law so as to allow people who are currently breaking immigration law to become compliant with immigration law. And a legal remedy might be some form of punishment, although I don't think there should be one in this particular case. To me it is the exact opposite of what you are insinuating.

What you are saying seems predicated on the assumption that “those who break the law should be punished.” I don't agree with this exact sentiment, I would amend it to say “those who break just laws should be punished” as a general rule; of course, reasonable people will disagree on which laws are just and what the punishment should be. Take another example, laws against homosexuality. These existed for a long time, and people have been punished. Turing was punished with chemical castration, and he was one of the “lucky” ones in England. In various places men have been put into prison, and they counted as criminals for behavior that is normal. My support to repeal homosexuality laws and to remove such charges from peoples's criminal records does not mean I explicitly support people breaking the law. People have been unjustly punished, and they should not be considered criminals. I can think of a ton of similar examples (legalization of pot) where you can make arguments along similar lines.

Consider another example: If you want to fully legalize pot, you are not in favor of more people smoking pot illicitly. Suppose you support the legalization of pot. Then you want to make their action legal. You probably find it unjust that some people got arrested for having pot on them. I see no way that if I carry my position to its logical conclusion, I arrive at me encouraging other people to break the law. And I would also support that people with low-legel drug offenses (e. g. possession for personal use) get freed from prison and their records expunged.

There are places when I support people breaking the law: e. g. when I was visiting Ottawa (before pot was legalized in Canada), there were demonstrations in front of parliament where a whole bunch of protestors lit up to protest that at that time, pot wasn't legal. I thought that protest was clever, and here I was ok with people breaking the law as I disagreed with the content of that law. So I am fine admitting when I advocate for that. But your interpretation on immigration law to me is twisted and missing the main point.
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subego
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Feb 1, 2018, 12:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
My support to repeal homosexuality laws and to remove such charges from peoples's criminal records does not mean I explicitly support people breaking the law.
If a homosexual comes to me and asks “do you explicitly support me breaking the law by engaging in this homosexual relationship”, my answer is “yes”, and I would hope yours is too.

I struggle to term this something other than explicit support for breaking the law.
     
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Feb 1, 2018, 01:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If a homosexual comes to me and asks “do you explicitly support me breaking the law by engaging in this homosexual relationship”, my answer is “yes”, and I would hope yours is too.
My answer would of course be no, because it is the wrong question to ask! I am quite sure a homosexual would never ask you this specific question either, because that is not the point of view homosexuals would take. I would say I support you in your fight to change the laws so that homosexuality is decriminalized and that all people who have been penalized under the law should receive restitution (e. g. their criminal records should be expunged, released from prison and receive restitution for time served).
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I struggle to term this something other than explicit support for breaking the law.
You insist on asking a very different (and I would say the wrong) question, that's why.
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subego
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Feb 1, 2018, 01:39 AM
 
If I could make questions disappear by dismissing them, my life would be much easier. My only recourse thus far has been to make them disappear by answering them.
     
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Feb 1, 2018, 01:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If I could make questions disappear by dismissing them, my life would be much easier. My only recourse thus far has been to make them disappear by answering them.
That's not what I am saying. The question you choose to ask is inherently linked to your way of thinking about this issue. And that's ok. I am only objecting to your statement that this is the question people think of (or at least should think of) when discussing these issues. I certainly don't think of me as supporting homosexuals breaching laws in, say, Russia or the various Gulf states, just because I want homosexuality to be completely legalized everywhere.
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subego
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Feb 1, 2018, 03:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I certainly don't think of me as supporting homosexuals breaching laws in, say, Russia or the various Gulf states, just because I want homosexuality to be completely legalized everywhere.
A yes to my question means you support precisely this.

I believe, and I say this with no snark, your convictions are strong enough to survive thinking of yourself as supporting it.

I believe the same about the rest of the left who support the position.
     
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Feb 1, 2018, 04:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
A yes to my question means you support precisely this.
No, I think of those two as distinct points of views. Which is why I answered no to your way of phrasing the question on homosexuality: there are other choices than the two you present in your question (refrain from living as a homosexual or breaking the law) and there are other choices that should be made instead. If you see this as the only two choices, ok, that's your way of seeing the problem and your choice. But don't assume other people see themselves being limited to the same two choices.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I believe, and I say this with no snark, your convictions are strong enough to survive thinking of yourself as supporting it.
I have no problem supporting breaking the law in select circumstances (I gave an example previously), but I simply don't see it this way in case of immigration reform. You are trying to forcibly view my (and other people's) way of thinking through your own perspective — and as a result, you are missing something really essential here.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I believe the same about the rest of the left who support the position.
What does this have to do with the left? There is bipartisan support for immigration reform.
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subego
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Feb 1, 2018, 12:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
No, I think of those two as distinct points of views. Which is why I answered no to your way of phrasing the question on homosexuality: there are other choices than the two you present in your question (refrain from living as a homosexual or breaking the law) and there are other choices that should be made instead. If you see this as the only two choices, ok, that's your way of seeing the problem and your choice. But don't assume other people see themselves being limited to the same two choices.

I have no problem supporting breaking the law in select circumstances (I gave an example previously), but I simply don't see it this way in case of immigration reform. You are trying to forcibly view my (and other people's) way of thinking through your own perspective — and as a result, you are missing something really essential here.

What does this have to do with the left? There is bipartisan support for immigration reform.
Nothing in my post was about immigration reform.

If homosexuality is illegal, the homosexual in my scenario doesn’t get to compartmentalize being in the relationship and breaking the law.

I want them to be in the relationship, so I don’t get to compartmentalize it either.

Most people who support homosexuals would want them to be in the relationship. If you do not, I apologize for the mischaracterization.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Feb 3, 2018, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I apologize yet again for taking so long. Similar to last time, apart from numerous distractions, it took some effort to put my thoughts into words.

The following is the clearest example of what makes me hesitant to simply answer “yes” to your question. There are a handful of others, but they’re all variations of the same idea.

My position on immigration, one widely shared by the left, is to explicitly encourage breaking the law to cheat the system.
Stop right there. I don't think the mainstream position on the left is cheering people to break the law. I think the mainstream position is we're sympathetic to why its done.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
If the author of this article is as dismissive of the objection as the left is to it in general, I’m not sure I can place my full trust in his analysis of what drove people to Trump.
The point he makes in the article is that conservative opposition to immigration has always had a basis on race. Just because conservatives can make an argument regarding the rule of law doesn't change that their motivations may be less than pure.


Still, I think chalking it up to a difference of views on illegal immigration is missing the forest for a tree.

Look at how views towards refugees has changed.
Look at how views toward muslims has changed.
Look at how aggressive actions towards illegals has changed.
Look at views towards legal immigrants has changed.
Look at how views towards having immigration has changed.
Look at the rise in attacks towards voting rights which disproportionately affects black voters.
Look at how views of how much discrimination blacks face has changed.
Look at how white racial resentment of blacks has changed.
Look at how police brutality is dismissed because it primarily affects people of color.
Look at rise of neo-nazis like Richard Spencer.
Look at the rise of terror attacks by white supremacists.
Look at the rise in rallies about being white.
Look at the rise of the alt-right.

You don't think all these things have changed dramatically in the past three years, let alone 10?

(If you disagree, please point to which ones you disagree on)
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Feb 3, 2018, 05:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
The law is the law is the law.
This impressively dogmatic devotion to the law. Authoritarian, one might say. You seem to be saying the point of law is to be enforced, even if it is a bad law.
     
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Feb 3, 2018, 07:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Nothing in my post was about immigration reform.
The ideas from my post apply to both.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If homosexuality is illegal, the homosexual in my scenario doesn’t get to compartmentalize being in the relationship and breaking the law.
I tried very hard several times to explain my point here, and I believe that you are misunderstanding a whole host of people by forcing them into this paradigm of yours. Since I don't believe I have anything to add, I'll leave it at that.
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subego
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Feb 4, 2018, 02:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I think chalking it up to a difference of views on illegal immigration
I’m not though.

To repeat what I said in the post, this is a singular example. My other ones follow similar contours, so I thought it best to pick one and focus on it.

Central to all my examples is the excellent point you raise about people using the rule of law argument (or others) to mask their racism. That’s the fundamental question we’re trying to get the answer to. What percentage of people making this claim (and similar ones) are in fact lying, racist pieces of shit?

The left’s analysis of itself, which appears to be on display in this thread, is they don’t consider their position on immigration to merit being described as in conflict with the rule of law.

If I think the rule of law argument has little to no merit, will this influence my analysis of whether a person making the argument is full of shit? I can’t see how it wouldn’t.

I find the rule of law argument to be far more compelling than the left seems to, so I’m going to be less inclined to think of the arguer as being full of shit.
     
subego
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Feb 8, 2018, 01:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I tried very hard several times to explain my point here, and I believe that you are misunderstanding a whole host of people by forcing them into this paradigm of yours. Since I don't believe I have anything to add, I'll leave it at that.
This is your prerogative of course, and I’ll take responsibility for making my point in less constructive ways than I could have, but I must object to the claim I’m responsible for the paradigm.

In the scenario we are discussing, the policy of homosexuality being illegal, and in turn those who support it, are responsible for the paradigm.

In places where this is the law, they are responsible for the situation where a homosexual must break the law to engage in a homosexual relationship.

I’m not making the paradigm, only providing an answer to the dilemma it poses. The choices are engage in the relationship or respect the rule of law. Our subject can’t do both.

If our subject picks the former, I pick the former, most on the left pick the former, and I still suspect you pick the former.

We have all forgone the option to respect the rule of law for what we feel is a better option.
     
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Feb 8, 2018, 04:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is your prerogative of course, and I’ll take responsibility for making my point in less constructive ways than I could have, …
I didn't mean to come across as arrogant or dismissive, I just want us to avoid wasting time by talking in circles.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
…, but I must object to the claim I’m responsible for the paradigm. In the scenario we are discussing, the policy of homosexuality being illegal, and in turn those who support it, are responsible for the paradigm.
Here, paradigm refers to how you view this issue (that you disagreeing with the substance of a law means you are in favor of people breaking it), not what it is we are talking about (homosexuality). If you don't like my choice of words, replace it with point of view.
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Feb 8, 2018, 01:08 PM
 
Let’s return to our subject. We’ll call her hypothetical homo Harriet.

She wants to hook-up with hypothetical homo Heddy.

They live in Nohomostan, where this is illegal.

I want them to get together anyway, despite it being illegal.

Am I way off base saying the left feels the same? Is my assumption you feel this way a mischaracterization?
( Last edited by subego; Feb 8, 2018 at 01:45 PM. )
     
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Feb 8, 2018, 04:36 PM
 
Speaking for the whole left yes we care more about right than legal.
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Feb 8, 2018, 06:08 PM
 
Exactly.

Breaking this law in Nohomostan is justified. Why wouldn’t I encourage those who want to break this law to do so?
( Last edited by subego; Feb 8, 2018 at 06:59 PM. )
     
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Feb 8, 2018, 09:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I want them to get together anyway, despite it being illegal.

Am I way off base saying the left feels the same? Is my assumption you feel this way a mischaracterization?
Yes, I think you are way off base, and I can definitely say I feel differently: I want them to get together and have it be legal. I am not sure why it is so hard to convey this difference to you.

When what is and what ought to be legal diverge, I think only very few people will think that “they want people to break the law” or “they are ok with people breaking the law”. You seem to react in this way, and this is ok, but I don't think most are. In fact, I think they would be as perplexed as I am when hearing your claim that “we then have to be ok with people breaking the law”. Instead they will think that this behavior should be legal and solve the tension between is and ought by changing the law.

Just to be clear: this is different from acknowledging that certain people are not complying with the law as it currently stands. Nor am I advocating in this situation for people to wait living openly as homosexuals, because that is now how laws change. If there is no pressure created by the difference of is and ought, the laws won't change by themselves. Perhaps your point is that you want people to break the law to create this pressure differential, ok, but honestly, that is more of a tactic to facilitate change. It doesn't tell you the direction in which to facilitate change in the first place.

Plus, I don't think this way of thinking is unique to one particular ideology (I don't fit into the American left-right paradigm anyway), and thinking of it as being connected to the mythical “Left” is quite misleading. The two examples discussed here, immigration and homosexuality, have a clear left-right bent according to the demarkation lines in US politics.

You can even stay with immigration to find a counter example, namely the issue of “chain migration” (which is just family unification). Many Americans, mostly conservatives, feel that this legal immigration should be curbed and scaled back. So here things are going in the opposite direction: what is currently legal ought to be illegal in more circumstances. Viewing this from the lens that you want to bring is in line with ought to works perfectly here, and using the point of you use doesn't.

I can come up with other examples: The topic could be people illegally transporting guns across state lines that they are legally allowed to have in one state but not another. (This was recently addressed by Congress.) I don't think guns rights activists were thinking here that “we want people to break the law”, but “hey, that should be legal”. Or we could pick a topic like pot that becomes more and more of a bipartisan issue: if having pot is legal according to state law but is illegal according to federal law, is it just that some people are in legal limbo? Or we could talk about people continuing drinking during prohibition. Or we could talk about whether certain things (e. g. tax evasion) should be a criminal offense, and if so, whether it should incur punishments. You get the point.

Ascribing not being hardliners on the law to “the Left” is about as productive as ascribing respect for “state's rights” to the “US Right”, when it all depends on what you are talking about. Gun rights: well if it is in the direction of less restrictions, it is a state right, but if you are in favor you can also make it a federal issue if it forces less restrictions on gun owners (just like with the law mentioned that forces other states to accept state rules on gun ownership, thereby allowing people to transport weapons across state lines more easily). Pot is another: some people celebrate state's rights because they think it should be legal, but Jeff Sessions nevertheless tries to clamp down here. Logical coherence looks differently.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Breaking this law in Nohomostan is justified. Why wouldn’t I encourage those who want to break this law to do so?
Because it is the wrong impulse to have — and one that I lack here: it is not about whether breaking the law is justified, it is about making laws that are just. I don't want to encourage people to break laws, I want just laws that do not criminalize or otherwise penalize behavior I believe should not be penalized. My wish is not for homosexuals to be together while breaking the laws, my wish is to change the laws.

The idea that I wish to encourage people to break laws is completely alien to me.
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Feb 9, 2018, 01:39 AM
 
If you look at how laws get changed, sometimes it starts with breaking them. Suffrage being one great example. There are numerous others.
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Feb 9, 2018, 09:58 PM
 
@Oreo,

Excellent post, and thank you for being willing to continue discussion.

Things are busy at the moment, but I’ll definitely reply!
     
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Feb 16, 2018, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Yes, I think you are way off base, and I can definitely say I feel differently: I want them to get together and have it be legal. I am not sure why it is so hard to convey this difference to you.

When what is and what ought to be legal diverge, I think only very few people will think that “they want people to break the law” or “they are ok with people breaking the law”. You seem to react in this way, and this is ok, but I don't think most are. In fact, I think they would be as perplexed as I am when hearing your claim that “we then have to be ok with people breaking the law”. Instead they will think that this behavior should be legal and solve the tension between is and ought by changing the law.
Please don’t take the brevity of this post as a lack of thought or consideration.

Does what I quote apply to Rosa Parks?
     
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Feb 16, 2018, 06:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Please don’t take the brevity of this post as a lack of thought or consideration.

Does what I quote apply to Rosa Parks?
Yes, it applies to Rosa Parks, Gandhi and others who peacefully protest injustices through civil disobedience.
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Feb 16, 2018, 09:13 PM
 
There’s got to be some sort of communication gap here.

This comes off as an argument civil disobedience is illegitimate.

That can’t be right.

One must be okay with breaking the law to support or engage in acts of civil disobedience, because that’s what civil disobedience is.
     
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Feb 16, 2018, 11:13 PM
 
That's what I've been saying in this post, you definitely misunderstand me when you think I am claiming civil disobedience is illegitimate — I don't! I was trying to explain my perspective, my mental model of how I think about these issues.

My primary concern is to have a just society, and one central tool here are laws. And laws only work if we all strive to stay within them. All of the examples that you brought were ones where in my opinion the laws were unjust and needed to be changed. That's why I am not thinking about people or encouraging people to break laws — that's not only a waste of my mental energy, it first of all would not really help homosexuals or black people or immigrants to encourage to break laws, that's the wrong goal. Moreover, it erodes the trust in the rule of law in total. Let me repeat that for emphasis: wanting to break the law is the wrong goal, the right goal is to aim to change laws to fit our definition of justice.

There are certainly instances where I am ok with breaking laws: I would break traffic laws to save a severely injured person from death or escape a tsunami. Civil disobedience can be a good tactic (≠ goal!) to drive political (hence, legal) change, but I doubt Rosa Parks was hoping to get away with breaking the law by illegally sitting in seats reserved for white people. Instead, her civil disobedience was such a powerful driver of change because the majority of people who saw her being hauled away knew in their guts that what the police did was immoral and that the whole “separate but equal” mindset was immoral.

To come back to the discussion of immigrants: when you claim that I must be ok with people breaking the law, I hope you understand now why that goes against my grain. You insist on a point that is secondary to me. And that isn't because I value the rule of law less, I suspect (culturally speaking) I'd be more of a stickler when it comes to the rule of law than you are. It is because we (= society) can shape laws the way we see fit (in theory, in reality there is still politics to deal with), rather than that we have to mindlessly adhere to laws. We can make laws that repeal laws, and even laws that overturn convictions based on old laws. It took decades until Alan Turing was posthumously pardoned, technically he died a criminal. In fact, in many countries where laws banning homosexuality were repealed, the repeals unfortunately did not include provisions that wiped the records of people clean who were convicted under those laws.
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Feb 18, 2018, 04:37 PM
 
This is going to come across as maudlin and emotional.

Disrespect for the rule of law erodes its value as a tool to maintain a just society, but our ideals are how we define a just society.

I focus on our homosexual couple because the prospect of counseling them to respect the rule of law makes the ideals of love, compassion and fairness scream out in absolute agony.

I beg you to consider that to silence these screams, to rebuke these ideals, is a far more destructive act than disrespect for the law.
     
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Feb 18, 2018, 06:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Disrespect for the rule of law erodes its value as a tool to maintain a just society, but our ideals are how we define a just society.
That's exactly what I wrote.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I focus on our homosexual couple because the prospect of counseling them to respect the rule of law makes the ideals of love, compassion and fairness scream out in absolute agony.
I think you still don't understand: I am not advocating them to stay within the bounds of the law until the laws are changed, to “not being gay for the time being”. That's something you always seem to imply in my position, but I have not argued for that. I am not sure how much clearer I can be. I am ok with people temporarily breaking the laws if laws are unjust, and laws need time to change. I also know that laws aren't created equal, and many people forget that e. g. people breaking immigration laws is not akin to a felony, but more in line with a traffic offense.

But you wrote initially that you argue for “encouraging” others to break the law, because to me that is substantially different from “being ok with temporarily breaking the law until laws better reflect our values”; that may be out of necessity (can't be temporarily straight if you are actually gay) or as an act of protest. Encouraging others to break the law distracts from the more important effort and undermines the rule of law.

Perhaps you consider the difference semantic. I don't.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I beg you to consider that to silence these screams, to rebuke these ideals, is a far more destructive act than disrespect for the law.
???
I think this bit is borne out of a severe misreading of what I wrote.
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Feb 18, 2018, 09:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I am not advocating them to stay within the bounds of the law until the laws are changed...
Which means you advocate for them going outside the bounds of the law.

This is not a semantic reinterpretation, it is a direct restatement.

What’s leading to the misreading is a refusal to remain consistent.
     
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Feb 18, 2018, 09:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Which means you advocate for them going outside the bounds of the law.
No! I am not advocating for people to break the law. I am not advocating for people to “become gay”, for example, that doesn't even make sense. It lies outside of my and that person's own control whether he or she is gay, they just are or are not. I think it is natural that a certain share of the population is gay and shouldn't be punished, it is as if we started to punish people with curly hair or who are blonde. Or affording less rights to black people. These are not issues people have conscious choice over.

The same thing goes for children who were taken to the US when they were small: they had no control over the situation, and I am not cheering for more people to come to the US without papers. I'd advocate for a change to immigration laws that makes it easy for these people to come to the US legally. Problems with laws are solved with better laws, not by encouraging people to break laws — that's the wrong goal to have and the wrong impetus to give. I don't know how much clearer I can be.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is not a semantic reinterpretation, it is a direct restatement.

What’s leading to the misreading is a refusal to remain consistent.
No, it isn't. “Encouraging people to break the law” is fundamentally different from “being ok that people temporarily break the law until laws have changed”.* Even if you personally feel those two positions amount to the same thing, you should at least be aware that to some other people that is a meaningful and important distinction.

* Just to be extra clear: if you did not use the work “encourage” and just wrote “you therefore must be ok with people breaking the law”, I'd be on board that in certain circumstances (and we can debate what those are) I think it is ok to break the law.
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Feb 18, 2018, 10:45 PM
 
I am open to a demonstration of the meaningful and important distinction between “I am not advocating for them to stay within the bounds of the law” (exact quote) and “I advocate for them to go outside of the boundaries of the law”
     
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Feb 19, 2018, 12:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I am open to a demonstration of the meaningful and important distinction between “I am not advocating for them to stay within the bounds of the law” (exact quote) and “I advocate for them to go outside of the boundaries of the law”
Two things: First and most importantly, I was specifically referring to the distinction between your “encouraging people to break the law” and “being ok with people breaking the law in certain circumstances”. If you hadn't written “encouraging” in your post and emphasized that (as far as your attitude is concerned) this is how you feel about it, we wouldn't have this discussion in circles.

Secondly, while the quote may be exact, you took it out of context — and the context is very different from the one you put it in now.
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Feb 19, 2018, 01:03 PM
 
What I am attempting to denote by the term “encourage” is the element of active participation.

If I counsel the homosexual couple to be in a relationship when that is illegal (which I do), have I not explicitly counseled them break the law?
     
 
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