Antifa And Left-Wing Struggle

One of the lesser reported aspects of the Irish Republican Army’s former military campaign in the United Kingdom is the low-level support it received from a wide range of anti-fascist and anti-apartheid organisations in Britain. While it has become the norm for the right-wing press in the UK to mention Jeremy Corbyn, the current leader of the Labour Party, in this context, the accusations against him have largely fallen flat. In fact, elected British politicians had almost no involvement with the IRA’s operations, no matter how sympathetic they may have been (and some undoubtedly were). Nor did the insurgents seek any contact with such representatives, and for obvious security reasons. Instead it was a tiny, frequently transitory, community of left-wing activists from a plethora of groupings, some no more than six or seven strong, which gave the Irish guerrillas an English sea to swim in.

I mention this because of two related articles in the American media, both discussing Antifa, an amorphous anti-fascist movement which has come to prominence in the United States following the street protests against a Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The first is by Daniel Penny in The New Yorker:

On October 4, 1936, tens of thousands of Zionists, Socialists, Irish dockworkers, Communists, anarchists, and various outraged residents of London’s East End gathered to prevent Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists from marching through their neighborhood. This clash would eventually be known as the Battle of Cable Street: protesters formed a blockade and beat back some three thousand Fascist Black Shirts and six thousand police officers. To stop the march, the protesters exploded homemade bombs, threw marbles at the feet of police horses, and turned over a burning lorry. They rained down a fusillade of projectiles on the marchers and the police attempting to protect them: rocks, brickbats, shaken-up lemonade bottles, and the contents of chamber pots. Mosley and his men were forced to retreat.

In “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” published last week by Melville House, the historian Mark Bray presents the Battle of Cable Street as a potent symbol of how to stop Fascism: a strong, unified coalition outnumbered and humiliated Fascists to such an extent that their movement fizzled. For many members of contemporary anti-Fascist groups, the incident remains central to their mythology, a kind of North Star in the fight against Fascism and white supremacy across Europe and, increasingly, the United States. According to Bray, antifa (pronounced an-tee-fah) “can variously be described as a kind of ideology, an identity, a tendency or milieu, or an activity of self-defense.” It’s a leaderless, horizontal movement whose roots lie in various leftist causes—Communism, anarchism, Socialism, anti-racism. The movement’s profile has surged since antifa activists engaged in a wave of property destruction during Donald Trump’s Inauguration—when one masked figure famously punched the white supremacist Richard Spencer in the face—and ahead of a planned appearance, in February, by Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, which was cancelled. At the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, a number of antifa activists, carrying sticks, blocked entrances to Emancipation Park, where white supremacists planned to gather. Fights broke out; some antifa activists reportedly sprayed chemicals and threw paint-filled balloons. Multiple clergy members credited activists with saving their lives. Fox News reported that a White House petition urging that antifa be labelled a terrorist organization had received more than a hundred thousand signatures.

The piece above spins off an interesting, if dubious, analysis by Peter Beinart in The Atlantic, criticising alleged left-leaning extremism in the US.

To most left-wing activists during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama years, deregulated global capitalism seemed like a greater threat than fascism.

Trump has changed that. For antifa, the result has been explosive growth. According to NYC Antifa, the group’s Twitter following nearly quadrupled in the first three weeks of January alone. (By summer, it exceeded 15,000.) Trump’s rise has also bred a new sympathy for antifa among some on the mainstream left. “Suddenly,” noted the antifa-aligned journal It’s Going Down, “anarchists and antifa, who have been demonized and sidelined by the wider Left have been hearing from liberals and Leftists, ‘you’ve been right all along.’ ” An article in The Nation argued that “to call Trumpism fascist” is to realize that it is “not well combated or contained by standard liberal appeals to reason.” The radical left, it said, offers “practical and serious responses in this political moment.”

Those responses sometimes spill blood. Since antifa is heavily composed of anarchists, its activists place little faith in the state, which they consider complicit in fascism and racism. They prefer direct action: They pressure venues to deny white supremacists space to meet. They pressure employers to fire them and landlords to evict them. And when people they deem racists and fascists manage to assemble, antifa’s partisans try to break up their gatherings, including by force.

Beinart’s argument seems to be that organised action by liberal protesters is encouraging right-wing counter-violence. Therefore it should be voluntarily curtailed. However, intimidation and threats have been part and parcel of Donald Trump’s reactionary politics since the launch of his presidential campaign in 2015. The success of that strategy has inspired his most militant followers and admirers to follow suit. And as others have pointed out, the Timothy McVeighs of this world long predated the recent reemergence of Antifa.

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21 comments

  1. I am a dedicated and active socialist. As such, I dislike the pundits on the right that make the already fat cats richer, and hate racists, fascists, and nazis. I despise all cretins that wish to suppress basic human rights, including these folks. They are just a bunch of thugs. 75% of them are without clue of any of the concepts underlying anarchy or socialism, lest even spell either. They have no stake in the left struggle. If the extreme right had the public’s support and that of the press, they would be running with the brown shirts. They just want to bust heads, and their name is just to endear themselves. To attribute any legitimacy to this group of anti-civil rights hooligans is a mistake. Any political organisation or group that avails themselves of storm-troopers in an environment where change can be and still is effected by proper petitions and grants, destroys their own legitimacy. As for the moron-in-chief of the United States, he may wish to appear threatening or intimidating, I just don’t see anyone who really is, apart from illegal immigrants that don’t know that immigration rules and laws in the U.S. are guidelines at best. He is constantly openly criticised, his stupidity regularly exposed, the courts, the Democrats, and his own party repeatedly shoot him down, hardly a sign that anyone feels intimidated. Plenty of people say they are, but that is primarily to further their own agendas. How would anybody? There are no repercussions, nor should there be. America is, after all, not quite nazi or antifa land yet. He only has minority public support, and virtually no support by his own government. No question his election, antics, and his reluctance to simply do his job and what is expected of him in condemning them, most likely out of pure spite, or perhaps even due to some level of sympathy, gave the nazis, racists, and other extreme right assholes a morale boost, and they have increased their level of activity. But they are a minute and very much ostracised group. Throwing all right-of-centre people (the greater majority in the United States, at least by European standards) into that bucket, and physically attacking them with urine, acid, excrement, cement-filled bottles, sticks and stones, whenever they exercise their right to express their opinion, is real intimidation, threat, and violence. One that is wholly unlawful, uncivilised, and unnecessary (it’s most likely going to be over in 3 1/2 years). This is not a parallel to Cable Street or the Battle of Manhattan, this a parallel to the end of the Weimar Republic, where the violence of power-hungry street thugs ruled while police and government stood by and did nothing, not knowing who their next masters would be.

    1. Interesting thoughts. Not sure things have gone that bad so far. However with the possibility of a military engagement looming over the Korean peninsula, anything is possible. One uncontrolled nuclear explosion, in aggression or by accident, could change the world’s political, social and economic landscape. For the very worse or the very best. I suspect the former.

    1. Phoenix, would you relax. I run an obscure blog in Ireland with a few thousand visitors a day. I’m hardly a threat to Donald Trump or whatever politics you adhere to, American or otherwise. There is no need for this OTT Comment or the others you have left elsewhere overnight. You have been given a free rein here to express whatever opinions you have for months. And happily so. I enjoy reading and sharing a diversity of views. The abusive and threatening ones not so much.

      Finally, I would point out that the articles linked to above arguably support some of your own arguments. Just because I disagree with them doesn’t mean they are not worthy of consideration. Which is why I featured them here.

      Fair enough?

      1. He’s addressing them to you? I got the impression he’s in the US, though I could be wrong, but threats of physical violence made on the internet? How pointless is that?

    1. Just on the issue of PIRA and antifascists Red Action is perhaps one of the most interesting groups, some members of same were actually involved in the 90s campaigns in the UK. Red Action (who had evolved out of the UK SWP) went on to become the Independent Working Class Association, a crew who spoke some good sense in my book about the world around us.

  2. Antifa are the cudgel that is used to beat nationalists in their own native countries, and are a tool for globalism. A fascist is now anyone who thinks a country should have borders, can decide its own immigration policy etc. I wonder what why you care about a united Ireland if its national character is going to be completely erased by the EU. Look at Britain, France and Sweden and ask do you want those problems they have withe their ever growing immigrant communities here, oftentimes damaging the wages of the lowest paid people in those countries, whos homes and communities are flooded with unwanted immigration, where they are forced to do the heavy lifting of intergration (if it can be achieved at all that is), all the while scorned and called dumb and racist by the elites who only get the positive effects of immigration, meeting the richest people from around the world and living in their neo-liberal bubble. Then sleep well in the knoledge that if you don’t like and wish to present that valid opinion, Antifa would put you on a list and deem you fascist.

    Trump has done fuck all that Obama or Hilary wouldn’t have done. The left are openly supporting and calling for mass immigration. The neo-liberal right establishment are creating propoganda and calling for the same, for cheap labour and votes. Antifas actions against “fascists” actually support the establishment.

    They may have attacked a few fascists in Charlottesville, but they also attacked a free speech rally in Boston which was not a fascist event. Ive seen you call commenters in the Irish media and Trump “alt right”. That shows how cassually the term is thown around. Well a lot of these people are not fascists. It would just suit the left to brand them so.

    This intersectionality is pointless. Look at the way Sinn Fein would have been portrayed as fascist, and basically still are by labour/worker forces in Ireland from the original split up to present day animosity between Boyd Barret and co towards Sinn Fein. The man is hysterical about it. Now imagine a load of antifa masked activists with the mind-set of “no nationalism” in Ireland, pan British workers party etc etc. They have nothing in common with us. And they do create and embolden nazis by giving centre right and centre left people no room to go to but extremes. Deplatforning someone in ireland because they are a “straight white cis male” who holds the wrong opinions, and “priveledge marches” like theyve had at trinity are inflamatory and frankly insane. Ask someone living in a porrer area what he thinks of the immigrants he lives beside, and he will say there are problems, perhaps reconcilable but that they should not just keep letting people into the country especially during a housing crisis. Ask a well-ff person from fox rock who doesn’t have to deal with any negative effects of mass immigration and hell be complaing about his racist country men, finding it unimaginable that other European countries want things like Brexit, hell probably be larping as antifa too.

    Is your nationalism born of nothing but victimhood and oppression? If Corbyn got in tomorrow and changed the whole system to a socialist, fair society, why wouldnt you advocate for Ireland to join it? Is it only economics with you. Its not about the people right? Just fairness. Why want anything for the Irish people if you don’t believe in an Irish people. If you throw genetics out the window, why don’t you at least see the monuments and history of things like the GPO as exclusionary to minorities? Shouldnt we let them all depict their history in these state buildings? You support equality right? Why should irish natives have preference over their language rights while people who come from poor countries have none, and are forced to speak ours, thats not equal is it? How can you allow the poetry of WB Yeats to be celebrated given his fascist leanings. Shouldnt his work come with a trigger warning? In fact, much of the language on this blog seems problematically nativist, perhaps it should be banned. perhaps you should be deplatformed. Nationalism is a curse upon Europe obviously, so why not in Ireland too.

    Many of the arguments for Irish nationalism have been from a nativist perspective. As historical an issue as Palestine and Israel. Its not about Israel simply giving Palestinians equal rights in a “fair and diverse, equal society”. Its because they took their fucking land and the people remember it. They are not fighting so they can then take in members from across the globe to then change the culture of Palestine, and make it more “diverse”. Its people who feel they have ownership over lands as natives. Thats the end of it. If you believe that at all, that would make you a racist by antifas logic.

    As said before, the reason a “United Kingdom” of socialism, or even a “united Europe” of socialism is undesirable is because this land is not ours to give away. Things like “Irishness” are only viable in a left context for these groups if “irish” can be seen as a minority who is opressed, but there is no control for keeping that as in anyway valid when they are no longer seen that way in for instance, the Irish state. It is then the irish who are the white supremecists and oppressors and nativists who have, a problematic history of violence towards women because history book A mentions incident B or because some chap once emigrated and was esteemed on the confederate side of American history. Antifa are not only defacing confederate monuments but also Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson monuments. Already there are calls coming out in ireland to denounce this Irish person because they fled poverty and fought on “the wrong side”, calling for them to be removed. calling for church monuments to be taken away whilst we build more and more mosques which incidentally, in clonskee are advocating sharia law and are pretty radical, but its apparently the irish white “fascists” we need to worry about and the left are simply fighting with their backs against the wall.

    Well no. I disagree. Marxism dominates academia and critical thought in this country. The left are organised and can rally freely in public, and they are well funded by people like for instance, George Soros backing of repeal the 8th campaign which is seen as a left vs right issue, but should raise eyebrows about his similiar intervention of countries decisions like immigration policy. The left are not some last recourse against “fascism”, they are a prominent, numerous, well funded group who are at this minute being co-opted into supporting globalism knowingly or unknowingly. It is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible to legitimise their violence against anyone the deem to be to the right. Their behavior as of late has showed they are incapable of distinguishing between anyone who isnt on their belief system. Richard Spencer is equivelent to Sargon of Akkad in their eyes.

    They are have no respect for Irishness, except to deconstruct it as an identity.

  3. Can I ask because you seem to be using a lot of terms interchangeably, what you mean by Irish Left and Marxism. And how do you mean that Irish academia and critical thought is dominated by Marxism?

    1. I admit they seem amorphous.

      The left-right paradigm is always inadequate in some form, but you will find that pundits of a political persuassion will often define the opposition broadly. Though Sinn Fein have drifted to the centre, I would consider them a leftist organisation which would have elements (for now) which would be considered nativist and right wing in the eyes of some, Solidarity the former AAA party comes to mind. In another hypothetical time Sinn Fein would have been the anti-EU party. It would not be hard to imagine them adopting an “Ireland first” platform that would be considered far right by anyone who thinks Brexit was morally wrong. But today Sinn Fein like most other parties are trying to court the liberal media.

      The left as an ideology has in some examples (Corbyn) managed to meld socialist policies with so-called progressive ideology but in many ways we see the left as being more concerned with culture at the moment, namely the dismantlement of western culture. To be frank, they along with the neocon establishment have begun to engage in identity politics. The neocons so they can get voting bases from a growing immigrant population they are trying to court and the left use them to critique Western society as oppressive.

      It is not a society where everyone has opportunity being advocated but rather quotas. I feel explaining this culture is unnecessary as it should be self evident to you. To see it in action however, let’s look at the oscars so white argument put forth a while back, or the “new resolutions dor white people” mtv vids. This is anti-white explicitly. And inflametory. The ideological attitude of safe spaces on college campuses has almost become segregationalist in attitude. And we must have diversity in stem, deconstruct gender, silence science we dont like.

      In an Irish context, you can see it creaping in over here.

      Just as the upper classes in Ireland have shown derision for I Irish culture, their cosmopolitan globalist view is now mainstream.

      Google and youtube are censoring anyone who talks about the problems of mass immigration. And antifa are doing the same thing in the streets. Everywhere you look people are talking about how “progressive” they are in the same kind of group think they used to say how “sucessful and business savy” they were in the late nineties.

      Look at the outrage over salary earnings at RTE. Some of the richest people in the country arguing over equal pay (and the nerve of them to talk about diversity in regard to ethnicity when they have excluded Irish working class people, given half these presenters live on the same street).

      Its not just chanpaigne socislism, its that the values of champaigne socislists are the loudest voice in the public sphere and they are the ones calling for censorship. The far left are hardly disagreeing.

      Everywhere its a message if open borders, diversity even if it must be forced and with the censorship of those who speak out against it then it certainly seems that way. You might say its a private company (google) but if it banned a site like this you would see it that way.

      Its not only that, but in Ireland, people are speaking as if we in Ireland are part of the history of Collonialism.

      It stems from cultural marxism rather than an economic sense.

      The reason why I say academia is dominated by marxism is because marxism is the foundation for critical theory.

      Its not only that however, aside from critical theory stemming from marxism the vast majority of university professers are left leaning ideologically.

      I once again have to refer to the inadequacey of the paradigm.

      But there is no denying that so-called progressive ideals dominate the public sphere.

      This is exemplified by the idea that Leo Vradker represents progress because he is the “first openly gay and Indian president.” That is cultural marxism. About who or what culture is speaking not about the policy. All cultures are equal whether hardcore Islam or anything else. Anything else but the native culture. That must be eroded at all costs to level the playing field. So yes this is leftist/cultural Marxism in its more extreme variant.

      I remember seeing on this site interesting debate over whether the Irish people are genetically descended from the celts. But now, to even hint at the existence of an Irish people on that level would be seen as racialist. “We are a nation of immigrants etc etc”. Well to what extent? And to what extent are safe levels of immigration without leading to social and civil strife?

      At first it was a reasobable debate over numbers. Now its “if you dont want to except large numbers of not just refugees but economic migrants into the country you are a fascist”. And whatever the lefts beliefs it has definitely moved away from tackling these issues.

      Admittedly it is hard to define the left adequately here, it encompasses many different strands, and not all leftists are the same.

      But the difference between me and others is I am not advocating violence against them or anyone who might be conflated with stalinists. I am not condoning riots to “stop them”.

      But this article, and the media are legitimising a violent group who have shown a willingness to loosely define what it means to be a fascist (basically to just be a republican) and to say “theyre nazis lets attack then with political violence”. And CNN, Washington post, Irish commenters, and everyone is condoning it. While they turn around on the other hand and say, “we must not see Islam as a threat even when one of its followers massacres a room full of little girls.”

      Those same people now want to brand the entirety if the right as a threat which must be tackled immediately and with vigilanty force because some Americans went larping.

      That they are not only against fascists is shown in what they did at Berkley.

      The optics of attacking a freedom of speech rally are not good. Just because theyve finally found some people who are actual national socialists does not mean they are in the right.

      And the attitude is everywhere on social media over here. I know leftist people, and they are advicating punch a nazi like its this trivial thing, like the boogeymen nazis have been rightly identified in our society.

      What is that TD who advocated for the removal of the monument of an Irishman who fought on the confederate side, and the people who agree with him, what else should I call them but leftist? Deluded maybe?

      Its an unfortunate piece of business to have to try and define the left in wholly negative terms. On the right, there are many groups I disagree with, but look at how “the right” is used in articles like this, by a very intelligent person by the way, but there is no doubt he uses it as a catch all term for some amalgomous right.

      When peope are using Milo Yiannopolous, Richard Spencer, Donald Trump, Lauren Southern, the KKK, the alt right, the skeptic community and anyone who has a shred of reapect for their own traditions interchangeably, as if they all have the same agenda then yes it must be done with Antifa, Anarchists, Communists and racial minority movements, SJWs, feminists and so on because they are working in tandem against these traditions.

      Even white supremacey is too loosely defined. It can be a group which advocates only having white peolple in an area or it can be a people, like the Irish people having a large white dmographic. So anyone who argues against mass immigration is seen now as a white supremecist.

      Irish either as a culture or an ethnicity or however you personally define it will not be immune to their deconstruction.

      For an example of how this could play out in Ireland very soon I suggest checking out the state funded Young Fathers piece where the speaker reffers to people like Robert Burns as old dead white dudes and is aghast at the idea that Scottish History is so white. He reffers to them as spawn I believe.

      Do a few exhibitions like that in an Irish museum and youll see a few more people join the alt-right.

      The difference is one person is publically paid to smear a nations history and remark on the colour of their skin while the native population if they disagree would be jailed for hate speech. Thats not #equality.

      So I say again, the left are culturally in the mainstream. Its reckless to let them have foot soldiers with cart blanche to do violence on the streets.

      Just as I dont condone someone who uses political violence against a sharia endorsing speaker in Ireland, nor do I condone the beating of conservatives. I would have thought this was a given, but the left disagrees.

  4. The left-right paradigm is always inadequate in some form, but you will find that pundits of a political persuassion will often define the opposition broadly. Though Sinn Fein have drifted to the centre, I would consider them a leftist organisation which would have elements (for now) which would be considered nativist and right wing in the eyes of some, Solidarity the former AAA party comes to mind. In another hypothetical time Sinn Fein would have been the anti-EU party. It would not be hard to imagine them adopting an “Ireland first” platform that would be considered far right by anyone who thinks Brexit was morally wrong. But today Sinn Fein like most other parties are trying to court the liberal media.

    Yes but it’s not others who are using the terms, it’s you so. And Brexit isn’t a left/right issue is it? I think Brexit is absurd but not purely from a left perspective. Now you’re welcome to your view that it’s ‘courting the liberal media’ but that’s simply an assertion with no basis in fact (moreover poll after poll indicates that the population of this island is lock solid against Brexit with majorities across all class and categories up to 90%).
    SF reps including TDs and Senators and I’ve spoken to them are appalled by how a reinstated Border etc is going to impact on the island politically and economically.

    The left as an ideology has in some examples (Corbyn) managed to meld socialist policies with so-called progressive ideology but in many ways we see the left as being more concerned with culture at the moment, namely the dismantlement of western culture. To be frank, they along with the neocon establishment have begun to engage in identity politics. The neocons so they can get voting bases from a growing immigrant population they are trying to court and the left use them to critique Western society as oppressive.
    It is not a society where everyone has opportunity being advocated but rather quotas. I feel explaining this culture is unnecessary as it should be self evident to you. To see it in action however, let’s look at the oscars so white argument put forth a while back, or the “new resolutions dor white people” mtv vids. This is anti-white explicitly. And inflametory. The ideological attitude of safe spaces on college campuses has almost become segregationalist in attitude. And we must have diversity in stem, deconstruct gender, silence science we dont like.

    This is hugely generalising. Again what ‘left’ are you talking about? Does SF fret about these matters to any degree? The SDs, Solidarity, PBP, the WP, Labour? The Independent left TDs or their groups? All this is twitter froth you’re talking about. It has little or no roots in reality. Indeed over the past couple of years there’s been a discussion (again on twitter unfortunately) on some parts of the left precisely whether identity issues have been over emphasised at the expense of economic ones. But the general reality is that most ‘left’ activists in practice gift economic over identity. Which makes sense.

    In an Irish context, you can see it creaping in over here.

    Just as the upper classes in Ireland have shown derision for I Irish culture, their cosmopolitan globalist view is now mainstream.
    Google and youtube are censoring anyone who talks about the problems of mass immigration. And antifa are doing the same thing in the streets. Everywhere you look people are talking about how “progressive” they are in the same kind of group think they used to say how “sucessful and business savy” they were in the late nineties.

    This seems to me to again be about social media debates etc. And it’s all rhetoric. What actual policy demands are being made?

    Moreover what precisely are the issues re immigration you can point to in Ireland.

    Look at the outrage over salary earnings at RTE. Some of the richest people in the country arguing over equal pay (and the nerve of them to talk about diversity in regard to ethnicity when they have excluded Irish working class people, given half these presenters live on the same street).
    Its not just chanpaigne socislism, its that the values of champaigne socislists are the loudest voice in the public sphere and they are the ones calling for censorship. The far left are hardly disagreeing.

    Sure, there’s a degree of rhetoric about it but what about actual differentiation in earnings beyond that in more usual employments that us more ordinary folk experience? It’s fine to criticise well paid RTÉ presenters but you know if that sets people in those less exalted employments thinking about why in some instances there’s unfair pay approaches well you know I’m not going to get too exercised about it. And the fundamental issue of one person being paid less than another seems to me to be vastly more important than the froth about champagne socialists or whatever (though really, are you seriously suggesting that bunch in RTÉ etc have even a hint of socialism about them?). In any event your definition is askew, this isn’t socialism, it’s liberalism. Doesn’t make it wrong or right per se, but why call it what it isn’t? Equality and parity of esteem don’t have to have anything to do with the left alone.

    Everywhere its a message if open borders, diversity even if it must be forced and with the censorship of those who speak out against it then it certainly seems that way. You might say its a private company (google) but if it banned a site like this you would see it that way.
    Its not only that, but in Ireland, people are speaking as if we in Ireland are part of the history of Collonialism.

    I find it hard to believe that people who are antagonistic to such things as open borders or diversity, though those are two massively different issues and I don’t quite see the connection, are stifled in their speech. You are free to start a website any time saying precisely that. As for Google, it is a private company and I think they have every right to determine what they find acceptable or not. And by the by, I’ve had my twitter account shut down for supposed infringements. One rolls with it. Or not.

    The issue of colonialism?. Certainly Irish people were involved, but then others were against and others again (most) were victims of same. But that’s a completely separate issue again. I’m unsure what the connection is with our discussion.

    It stems from cultural marxism rather than an economic sense.

    In your previous comment you were berating ASF for being too economic while at the same time complaining about the situation of ‘poorer’ areas in Dublin (I live in one myself).

    The reason why I say academia is dominated by marxism is because marxism is the foundation for critical theory.
    Its not only that however, aside from critical theory stemming from marxism the vast majority of university professers are left leaning ideologically.
    I once again have to refer to the inadequacey of the paradigm.

    Can’t agree. i’ve lectured in Ireland in various institutions across the last decade and more. Most lecturers in Ireland where they’re political are not left leaning. They’re middle of the road centrists, you’ll find a heap more FFers and FGers than anything else – again where they’re political at all. I can count on my hands the number I’ve encountered who would be Marxists, or even paid up members of the Labour Party! I suppose at stretch you could call them liberals but that’s not the same as marxism, not by a long shot. As to Marxism being the foundation of critical theory? Well so are any number of philosophies and ideologies – and critical theory is quite antagonistic to a lot of Marxism, but their impact on anything very much is hugely open to question. I mean you can get through third level education with not a whiff of critical theory about your studies with comparative ease. It just isn’t the issue you seem to think it is.

    But there is no denying that so-called progressive ideals dominate the public sphere.

    I think one can. What you’re doing is looking at immigration and perhaps, though you’re not entirely clear, one or two social issues, and saying that that characterises the entirety of the public sphere. But step back a ways and it’s clear that progressive ideas on economics, socially, etc don’t dominate. That in fact it’s quite a mix but broadly centre centre right.

    This is exemplified by the idea that Leo Vradker represents progress because he is the “first openly gay and Indian president.” That is cultural marxism.

    That isn’t cultural marxism. That’s liberalism. It’s a completely different philosophy. More important than any of that is the fact Varadkar is a conservative politician both economically and in many social areas.

    About who or what culture is speaking not about the policy. All cultures are equal whether hardcore Islam or anything else. Anything else but the native culture. That must be eroded at all costs to level the playing field. So yes this is leftist/cultural Marxism in its more extreme variant.

    Can you point to anyone outside some of the most marginal left fractions on the left who has argued that everything is equal in Ireland? Or that everything must be treated as so as a matter of public policy? Or sought policies that would do down ‘native’ culture?

    I remember seeing on this site interesting debate over whether the Irish people are genetically descended from the celts. But now, to even hint at the existence of an Irish people on that level would be seen as racialist. “We are a nation of immigrants etc etc”. Well to what extent? And to what extent are safe levels of immigration without leading to social and civil strife?

    First up look at the genetics and look at how diverse it all is long before we discuss contemporary immigration. Secondly, there’s nothing racist about saying there’s an Irish people, or any people. But I suspect it would be racist to think that this has some metaphysical quality. Of course this is a nation o immigrants in the sense that we’re an island. That’s what that line is fundamentally about.

    That’s a fair point, I’m certainly in favour of managed albeit continual immigration. But why are you fretting about that at this point when unemployment is going up, when the economy is relatively stable, when we’ve had very very minimal issues in regard to immigration. I live in a working class inner city area and I’m involved in community activism etc. All things considered, and without straying into liberal feel good stuff, all is reasonably well. Can you point to something that says it is otherwise?

    At first it was a reasobable debate over numbers. Now its “if you dont want to except large numbers of not just refugees but economic migrants into the country you are a fascist”. And whatever the lefts beliefs it has definitely moved away from tackling these issues.

    Is it? Is the issue of immigration such a problem that we’re anywhere close to that? And has anyone called you a fascist in this discussion for airing your view?

    Admittedly it is hard to define the left adequately here, it encompasses many different strands, and not all leftists are the same.
    But the difference between me and others is I am not advocating violence against them or anyone who might be conflated with stalinists. I am not condoning riots to “stop them”.
    But this article, and the media are legitimising a violent group who have shown a willingness to loosely define what it means to be a fascist (basically to just be a republican) and to say “theyre nazis lets attack then with political violence”. And CNN, Washington post, Irish commenters, and everyone is condoning it. While they turn around on the other hand and say, “we must not see Islam as a threat even when one of its followers massacres a room full of little girls.”

    But there’s a clear difference between Islam and fascists. For a start only a tiny fraction of Muslims engage in terrorism (and don’t think for a moment I’m not anti-Islamist – as distinct from anti-Islam which I”m not. Islamist violence is a curse and those characters in Barcelona and London and so on are deserving of nothing other than utter contempt.). Whereas fascists are all fascists. They all believe in racialist theories, authoritarian political structures, anti-democracy, freedom of speech, etc. They’re functionally anti-working class in every actual instance of their rule historically. So personally I don’t see Islam as a threat, even if I see Islamists as a threat (to some degree). Moreover these are facists who the current US President unlike all before him seems to at least tolerate to some degree. And just to be clear, Republicans as in US Republicans, many many of them hate the fascists too. And some of those went to war against them in 41-45! So it’s not exactly surprising there’s a sense that a robust response to them is regarded as legitimate given the small but not unimportant fact that in living memory the ideology these people represent (quite apart from its toxic aspects) was in direct armed conflict with the west.

    Those same people now want to brand the entirety if the right as a threat which must be tackled immediately and with vigilanty force because some Americans went larping.
    That they are not only against fascists is shown in what they did at Berkley.
    The optics of attacking a freedom of speech rally are not good. Just because theyve finally found some people who are actual national socialists does not mean they are in the right.

    Freedom of speech isn’t an absolute. As Milo Y discovered. Even the alt-right backed away sharpish when he exercised his freedom a bit too liberally. So let’s not get hung up on that. But let’s ask why freedom of speech fans would feel comfortable marching in lockstep with fascists. I wouldn’t. I don’t see any reason why, even though I have a pretty broad definition of freedom of speech there’s any onus on me to support that of fascists.

    And the attitude is everywhere on social media over here. I know leftist people, and they are advicating punch a nazi like its this trivial thing, like the boogeymen nazis have been rightly identified in our society.
    What is that TD who advocated for the removal of the monument of an Irishman who fought on the confederate side, and the people who agree with him, what else should I call them but leftist? Deluded maybe?

    There was once a statue of Queen Vic in leinster house. It was there until Clann na Poblachta came into power in the late 40s and then was removed. Was that wrong? Would you disagree with that? Should we just keep every statue? Is that an absolute? And why should we be precious about statues from a period and a side that supported slavery? What principle are we defending here? Personally I’m not as hung up on removing statues as others. But then again I’m not African American and I don’t have a personal experience of the legacy of slavery. If I was or if I lived in the US or if I saw how fascists, actual fascsits, glom onto those symbols perhaps i’d feel differently. And in the Charlottesville instance I think I understand given that it was fundamentally the far right who made it an issue that I’d probably say in that instance take the damn thing down.

    Its an unfortunate piece of business to have to try and define the left in wholly negative terms. On the right, there are many groups I disagree with, but look at how “the right” is used in articles like this, by a very intelligent person by the way, but there is no doubt he uses it as a catch all term for some amalgomous right.

    There are different rights (and some of them are both honourable and essential to the functioning of a democratic society), but in fairness ASF is being consistent with the US far right who are happy to call their events, as in Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’. Why not complain about them taking ownership of the term right?

    When peope are using Milo Yiannopolous, Richard Spencer, Donald Trump, Lauren Southern, the KKK, the alt right, the skeptic community and anyone who has a shred of reapect for their own traditions interchangeably, as if they all have the same agenda then yes it must be done with Antifa, Anarchists, Communists and racial minority movements, SJWs, feminists and so on because they are working in tandem against these traditions.

    Well okay, but it’s not very useful as an approach is it. I’d always see MY, Spencer and the KKK as being alt-right through to far right, Trump is really a populist right who plays footsie with the alt-right, Bannon likewise, not really sure why the skeptic community have to be roped in. And you know a lot of left-wingers have more than a shred of respect for their traditions without seeing a need to diss others.

    Even white supremacey is too loosely defined. It can be a group which advocates only having white peolple in an area or it can be a people, like the Irish people having a large white dmographic. So anyone who argues against mass immigration is seen now as a white supremecist.

    Is that true? I don’t think it is. But clearly there are those who are against mass (or any) immigration who are racists. And they’ve polluted the ability of people to have a sensible discussion about it.

    Irish either as a culture or an ethnicity or however you personally define it will not be immune to their deconstruction.
    For an example of how this could play out in Ireland very soon I suggest checking out the state funded Young Fathers piece where the speaker reffers to people like Robert Burns as old dead white dudes and is aghast at the idea that Scottish History is so white. He reffers to them as spawn I believe.
    Do a few exhibitions like that in an Irish museum and youll see a few more people join the alt-right.

    But why would anyone want to in Ireland? I mean you’re complaining about all these supposed dangers but there’s precious little in the way of actual evidence. YF are a hip hop group for the love of God. What possible policy implications do they have?

    And here’s a thought. You keep talking largely about rhetoric – and supposed constraints on it from a ‘left’ which you yourself can’t quite pin down but seems to be defined largely by ‘people I disagree with online’. And you keep trying to counter pose it with fascists. That’s kind of a problem because comparing internet or social media froth with actual fascists – well, who is the real threat? A bunch of

    The difference is one person is publically paid to smear a nations history and remark on the colour of their skin while the native population if they disagree would be jailed for hate speech.

    Yeah, except of the Young Fathers they all appear to be Scottish (or one might not be) so I’m not sure we can break them down in that way into ‘native’ and ‘non-native’. (and just looking into it I see they weren’t funded to do that video they spoke on so saying they’re state-funded or that speech was state- funded is a bit of a stretch). Again though policy implications seem thin on the ground.

    Thats not #equality.

    But you don’t seem hugely enamoured of equality either, as with equal pay or in your previous comment about various aspects of equality.

    So I say again, the left are culturally in the mainstream. Its reckless to let them have foot soldiers with cart blanche to do violence on the streets.
    Just as I dont condone someone who uses political violence against a sharia endorsing speaker in Ireland, nor do I condone the beating of conservatives. I would have thought this was a given, but the left disagrees.

    I guess if I had a general thought it is that your complaints seem to be very broad brush strokes – hopping between a lot of loosely connected areas. But again you keep complaining about ‘the left’ without really defining it. And what you do mention seems to have much less ‘power’ and social weight than you afford it. Even on your previous comment re antifa – those I’ve met in an Irish context would be ex Red Action or WSM and pro-Irish republican. The idea that they supported a British workers party or some such would be a laugh. But then again we’re discussing so many different things – people on twitter, people who go to protests, state policy, etc, etc.

    Part of the problem seems to be that you take any comment that you don’t like from anyone who you define as left about any given subject as representing the entirety of the left. I do think you’ve a point that it is important to define what ‘right’ we’re talking about but that being the case perhaps it would be worthwhile returning the compliment in a leftwards direction – but once we look at the far-right or fascist right or alt-right that does by its own statements position itself in racist discourse and attitudes a long way beyond reasonable analysis or critiques of say immigration or whatever social or economic issue.

  5. *Yes but it’s not others who are using the terms, it’s you so. And Brexit isn’t a left/right issue is it? I think Brexit is absurd but not purely from a left perspective. Now you’re welcome to your view that it’s ‘courting the liberal media’ but that’s simply an assertion with no basis in fact (moreover poll after poll indicates that the population of this island is lock solid against Brexit with majorities across all class and categories up to 90%).
    SF reps including TDs and Senators and I’ve spoken to them are appalled by how a reinstated Border etc is going to impact on the island politically and economically.*

    Brexit seems to me to have been primarily an issue over immigration. I’d agree with you if you said it wasn’t ONLY a left/right issue. I mean what way was the no side portrayed? Dumb racist people. It’s also true of course that we would be against such an action. But if you had asked people only a few years ago when we were getting railroaded by Europe anti-EU sentiment would have been much higher. In France I was very surprised to see La Pen run on a platform of leaving the EU. I thought it would stop her from winning and it probably did. I was also surprised to see that she got such a high vote on such a platform.

    As for SF, well honestly they should be saying that, but really a border would only help the case for a united Ireland. Brexit is a boon to nationalists as it has forced people to think about Ireland as a whole when previously they could just imagine the North of the island as some other country. For once they had to start considering what a united Ireland would mean.

    In anycase it was a hypothetical. Illustrative of Sinn Feins changing relationship with the EU and how they could be deemed to have been left wing but also nationalist depending on the times and context. Personally I think pay lip service to the EU because it would make them unpopular if they didn’t.

    2

    *Does SF fret about these matters to any degree? The SDs, Solidarity, PBP, the WP, Labour? The Independent left TDs or their groups?*

    Sinn fein engage in identity politics for obvious reasons, for irish people and specifically Irish nationalists. They also however, try to portray themselves as the “progressive” party up North and the DUP as the conservative, racist homophobic party which tp a large extent they are.

    Solidarity and the Independent TDs also engage in identity politics to varying extents. Mainly on the basis of refugees and making it easier for ayslum seekers to gain citizenship here, how we should be taking more even though I imagine the Irish people would be against this.

    The other socialist and worker parties seem to get a drilling from the media. Their views are not well represented.

    But to be honest though “the left” agitate over these issues, refugees and immigration they are a little more sober about it. That doesn’t mean its not going to change or get worse. Especially as those left wing parties align themselves closer to Europe, they would find themselves having to vote for centrists whose very policies are giving rise to the far right. Namely mass immigration and social gaslighting when it comes to the norms of society.

    ASF predicts and imagines the developement of Trumpism in Ireland. I see no reason why we won’t be importing the same crazy liberal politics from America though. And in this sense what is being said in person and on social media is the best indicator, but you can make your own mind up you may see it differently. We are very lucky we are an island nation as it somewhat has let us avoid the problems taking route in the rest of Europe. Merkel will not allow European countries to just opt out of the burdens she has given the EU however. So well see in future.

    3.

    *This seems to me to again be about social media debates etc. And it’s all rhetoric. What actual policy demands are being made?*

    Its more of a cultural drive, but the advocation of gender quotas, the breaking down of the idea of meritocracy. Our policy of picking up refugees and dumping them in other countries which are already struggling to deal with them for the sake of us looking virtuous (and no that does not mean we should be taking in more here). Expansion of hate speech and hate crime laws which are targeted mainly towards the native population backed up by academic rhethoric of only white people can be racist since prejudice and power is the only racism that matters, therefore we must disempower the natives. Blasphemy laws. These are all linked to the general discourse.

    4.

    *First up look at the genetics and look at how diverse it all is long before we discuss contemporary immigration. Secondly, there’s nothing racist about saying there’s an Irish people, or any people.*

    Well how would you define a people outside of citizenship?

    In anycase controlled immigration is one thing even if its steady. Mass immigration another. The reason I point out these things is because things were fine in other countries, but had they know about the failures of multi-culturalism, the necessity for giving greater and greater power to the state to protect its own citizens from those it is letting in they never would have allowed it, nor the changes to their communites. The West thinks it can bomb the shit out of other countries, then invite the survivors over and they will support its values. Lunacey. And ordinary people pay not the elites.

    5.

    *Sure, there’s a degree of rhetoric about it but what about actual differentiation in earnings beyond that in more usual employments that us more ordinary folk experience? It’s fine to criticise well paid RTÉ presenters but you know if that sets people in those less exalted employments thinking about why in some instances there’s unfair pay approaches well you know I’m not going to get too exercised about it.*

    The problem is the propogation of the myth that women are being paid unfairly. If you don’t believe this we will just have to disagree. Its not so much me closing off conversation with you on the matter, simply that this conversation has been played out time and again and there is evidence to dispute the gender pay gap as being about personal choice rather than misogyny due to the way the figures are aggregated. If it wasn’t always thrown at as “paid less for the same work” then there could be a point, but the sloganising and agitation of the issue by feminists as if it is just this grave injustice and a given that its the patriarchy is causing problems. The RTE debacle is another example of this. Sharon ni Bheolain is being paid less than Brian Dobson because he has been there longer. he does more commitments too. Sharon is in the top list of pay at the station period and some men are paid less. Why should it spark debate at all?

    The fact that this was all over the news shows how these issues are being blown out of proportion. And there are more issues coming: (article about the need for racial diversity at RTE, which as I said is hilarious given the fact voices from a certain region have domintated state boradcasting with dortspeak for so long.)

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/they-do-not-do-the-same-job-david-davinpower-says-brian-dobson-deserves-higher-rte-salary-36004011.html

    I do wonder about equal pay for migrants. But I don’t think people hire women because they can pay them less. Its more issues like a person with no other option being forced into being exploited.

    All of the rhetoric seems directed in the way of quotas.

    6.

    There was once a statue of Queen Vic in leinster house. It was there until Clann na Poblachta came into power in the late 40s and then was removed. Was that wrong? Would you disagree with that? Should we just keep every statue? Is that an absolute? And why should we be precious about statues from a period and a side that supported slavery? What principle are we defending here?

    Probably not wrong no. But as is said so often Ireland is a different case. Even still, there wouldn’t be a need to be precious about it if that was all it was in relation to. As regards confederate monuments, no its not an absolute. But once we start getting into “owned slaves” or “a civilisation had slaves” so it must be cleansed from view we could be burning quite a lot of books. While I can see that maybe a black person might have problems with a confederate monument in his area, mainly due to the resurgence of the paraphernalia under the KKK, I can also see that some people are proud of their history and for them its not only about slavery. If we have something dedicated to an Irish soldier who found himself fighting on the side of the confederates in a civil war though, I don’t really agree with tearing it down because of American politics. My problem is where does it stop. they are calling to take down Thomas jefferson and Abraham Linkoln monuments now, and some are already being defaced. Not very good for race relations in general. And of course there will be reprisals now on the monuments for other communities. The more we do this the more we start denouncing everything in history as imperialist and so on.

    7.

    *But there’s a clear difference between Islam and fascists. For a start only a tiny fraction of Muslims engage in terrorism (and don’t think for a moment I’m not anti-Islamist – as distinct from anti-Islam which I”m not. Islamist violence is a curse and those characters in Barcelona and London and so on are deserving of nothing other than utter contempt.). Whereas fascists are all fascists. They all believe in racialist theories, authoritarian political structures, anti-democracy, freedom of speech, etc. They’re functionally anti-working class in every actual instance of their rule historically.*

    But to advocate for ones own group does not necessarily make you a national socialist. And Islamism, Fascism, and dare I say even Communism, display authoritarian, anti-democratic traits. And Zionism. Many problematic beliefs. I say again though I’m not arguing for the right to beat up “commies” in the street. And one of the main reasons is it would be hard to tell the various strands “the left” apart because these ideologies become guilty by association. Exactly what we try to avoid no?

    8.

    *As to Marxism being the foundation of critical theory? Well so are any number of philosophies and ideologies – and critical theory is quite antagonistic to a lot of Marxism, but their impact on anything very much is hugely open to question. I mean you can get through third level education with not a whiff of critical theory about your studies with comparative ease.*

    Yes but it really doesn’t matter that they disagree. Marxists can use post-modernism and deconstruction to achieve aims. So Gender, Nationality, Biology, Race, Family, Sexuality, Religion and so are deconstructed, and portrayed as TOTAL social constructs, and textual in nature. But Marxists deconstruct these things not because they have no inherrent value on a metaphysical level, but because they want to implement communism. Anyone who believes in some of the above mentioned things can’t use critical theory if they are part of a power group, but if you are the IRA say, or the Palestinians then Marxists will embrace that you have those values and protect your right to them. Because you are challenging a hegeminic force. But all those values will have to go eventually. The right to an extent even outside of fascists DO believe in an essentialism. And this is why they cant bear the left defending Islam while castigating the right. They won’t lie down and allow the left to allign with other minority groups. Or should I say they will, but they can see the hypocrisy. The teaching in the humanities is marxist in any case to a large extent. Im wrong to speak of other fields.

    9.

    “I find it hard to believe that people who are antagonistic to such things as open borders or diversity, though those are two massively different issues and I don’t quite see the connection, are stifled in their speech.”

    Because of the shifting perceptions of what is considered “hate speech”. So for instance, opposition to open borders is predecated on both culture and economics. But the migrant/refugee crisis is a good example where people have a problem with one group of people coming to their country as opposed to another, leading to accusations of racism. But if we were to take in christian refugees we wouldn’t have fears of terrorism. We see the Islamist attacks in other countries, along with growing frustrations form moderate muslim communities and we want to limit it. But to denigrate someone for their religion could be considered hate speech. So it is about the freedom to criticise. Not to mention satirise. This coupled with google, youtube and facebook deplatforming those they disagree with ideologically, the vast majority of whome are NOT calling for violence, is enough for me to see their speech as being silenced. And I say this knowing full well the left has often been silenced through similiar means. In fact much of the critique of the left is to do with hegemonic control of discourse, so to back out of a debate on censorship just because its happening to the right seems odd to me.never have I really heard them defend corporate rights before.

    10.

    There are different rights (and some of them are both honourable and essential to the functioning of a democratic society), but in fairness ASF is being consistent with the US far right who are happy to call their events, as in Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’. Why not complain about them taking ownership of the term right?

    I agree in some ways. I don’t condone the actions of antifa at all. I will say though that Richard Spencer seems to me to be a deeply ingenuousness person. Of dubious and suspicious origins. He has on two occasions now led people into trouble. First with his hail victory and now at charlottesville. He took no responsibility for his followers safety or for the possible unrest. And he led a lot of young people, some of whom were not nazis, some who were larpers and some who were honestly there to oppose the taking down of the statue and didnt even know what they were getting into, into life destroying circumstances. And he and the other organisers will be absolutely fine. In fact he wants to do it again. I may sound paranoid but Im convinced he is some kind of plant. I can;t deny there were real national socialists there. There’s no question of that. But I think there’s also a concerted effort to undermine many of the events taking place by wipping out the swastika. This kind of thing happens on all sides. He knew it would delegitamise valid concerns, or else he is a buffoon. I think if you look into it, the first option is more likely.

    *Well okay, but it’s not very useful as an approach is it. I’d always see MY, Spencer and the KKK as being alt-right through to far right, Trump is really a populist right who plays footsie with the alt-right, Bannon likewise, not really sure why the skeptic community have to be roped in.*

    Milo Yiannopolous, Breitbart, Bannon and Gavin mccinnes are not alt-right. At a stretch you could say they may have been but definitely not as the movement is defined now. The alt-right are racialist in nature and ideology. This is not the same as thinking a statement or article could be construed as racist. The fact is none of these figures argue along racial lines predominantly, they are civic nationalists. The skeptic community are roped in because the leaders are often accused of being alt-right. Even Jordan Peterson has been described as far right. This is why there is an issue with the left saying its okay to punch a nazi. There is no solid distinction drawn between them. Trump was absolutely right when he said define alt-right for me. They would have said him or Bannon. There is also a growing anti-semitism among the alt-right. All of these people mentioned above are not anti-sementic either. I would see people like Milo and Gavin Mccinnes as conservative, right of centre, and the natural emerging force to opportunists like Anita Saarkeesian and the liberal culture your speaking of. For me to say liberals like that are not a part of the left is well, like me saying national socialists are not a part of the right. The difference is liberals are fine with antifa, whereas honestly I doubt most people on the right are really fine with Nazis. Your right that they should try to distance themselves from them because they have hijacked a lot of genuine concerns. I think the shutting down and deplatforming of milo is abad thing however, because his views are far more in line with what a growing number of the population think. A resistance to a sort of liberal orthodoxy or dogma that comes across as hipocrytical. Maybe Im wrong in saying that’s “the left” honestly. But I’d like to see someone define the right. The reason Im having to generalise and sweep up issues is because that is how it is unfolding. Its how it appears to me. I could be wrong. But I dont see much more nuance or anti-partisanship in ASFs coverage which is fine. the writer entitled to it. these issues are huge though, and of course people want to be able to distance themselves from wider erroneous beliefs. What I would like to see here though,on this site is some self-awareness and acknowledgement of the problem some of these liberal SJWs are creating. They are far more prominent than the alt-right.

    Personally I see the value in social welfare, health care and some of the institutions we have in Ireland, public goods. Those would be leftist values. But i also believe in the right of the Irish people to their own country.

    Others are right when they say trump has really not done much. Its not helpful to keep associating him with the alt right. It reminds me of the fear-mongering over Obama being assosicated with Islamists. He was actually. Or he was careful in his denouncing of groups. And he did not denounce the violence of BLM either, which I’m not saying he needed to. But the idea that one side is causing all this is preposterous. Trump was right to call attention to Antifa because the media had been ignoring it for months. And as i said before their violence really wasnt limited to fascists.

    10.

    *Is that true? I don’t think it is. But clearly there are those who are against mass (or any) immigration who are racists. And they’ve polluted the ability of people to have a sensible discussion about it. *

    The problem as I see it is we shouldnt even have to be formulating an argument against mass immigration anyway, either now or in the future. Its anti-democratic and causes nothing but violence and strife.

    Immigration in general, controlled is something to talk about. id say if you want no immigration at all thats one thing, its pretty far right. But all this stuff in Sweden with “the new Sweedes” and openly saying in European countries that natives will be a minority in their countries and this is a good thing is of course going to lead to the rise of the far right. Macron is on record as saying there is no French culture, and also that Europe will have to get ready for waves and waves of immigrants over the years. Well i think the people should have a choice in that. And someone on the left should see how it could completely destroy the social benifits we have. And culturally, especially because integration itself is under question by people who think that in itself it is racist and forced assimilation, it turns into a powder keg. So rather than people coming here to become Irish there should be an onus is on us to change our culture and society to accommodate them and once demographics get skewed, then states have a tendency to ethnicise.

    I mean honestly, look at the ancestral struggle we talk about in Ireland, with generations upon generations fighting English rule. Even under the most opressive force there was no way to truly get rid of the irish identity. This idea (globalism) that we can mix people around in various nations and it will all be fine is an experiment. And it should be suspicious why the establishment wants it.

    If the Young fathers are all Scottish born then isnt that itself indicative of something? That the speaker doesnt feel any kinship with scottish culture? There was perhaps an argument to be made that Scotland doesnt represent its minorities enough, but perhaps describing white people as a spawn is a bit much? In a climate where others could be prosecuted for saying something similar about anyone other than a white person. What does that say? Would he feel better if he was surrounded by others of his own race? If he saw them everywhere? Sounds racialist to me. .But just one guy etc etc. Not representative of everyone. I could say the same about charlottesville.

    I appreciate being able to talk about these issues anyway.

    I concede Its difficult to define the left. And as I said the left-right paradigm can be inadequate. But these are sort of the battlegrounds for culture, economics and social issues at the moment. My initial issue was with ASFs comfort in use of the alt-right, fascism and Trump in articles like this rather interchangeably too, whilst bringing up Antifa as a Republican ally. They may well have been bit I do not think we should support them. Saying the opposition to liberals is just as bad as those liberals who do violence was akin to trumps comments saying antifa are just as bad as the alt right. I fail to see why trump is not allowed to draw equivalences if commenters ASF is going to do the same thing.

    We should be condemning all political violence outside of civil war situations. both groups have recourse through the system at the moment.

  6. Part of the problem is I’m not advocating vigilante violence against the left.
    My problems are with SJWs, Antifa, militant communists in Europe and America who are using violence under the guise of anti-fascism. The latest wave of feminist discourse, and some of second wave feminsism especially rad feminsim. AAA, Solidarity (due to their opposition to irish nationalism). And general idiots. Elites who consider themselves leftist because they buy into the social policies but none of the economics. Elements in the media who champion diversity as if it were a religion. I see many of these groups as operating under the amalgamation of the left. I do think its holding a lot of sway, but particularly in the realm of identity politics which suits the state. And the centre parties are sitting on top. In these groups whether alligned or ideologically separate, I see a great effort to undermine any form of nationalism. And the way of life for a majority of people in Ireland and abroad. though its not gone to bits yet, Like others here even ASF I have to look at whats happening in other countries aswell.

    As for the right, large corporations pose a similiar threat, if not greater. But they too are advocating the suppression of nationalism.


  7. https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsFirstly and likewise, thanks for taking the time to talk through this. Appreciate it.
    Brexit seems to me to have been primarily an issue over immigration. I’d agree with you if you said it wasn’t ONLY a left/right issue. I mean what way was the no side portrayed? Dumb racist people. It’s also true of course that we would be against such an action. But if you had asked people only a few years ago when we were getting railroaded by Europe anti-EU sentiment would have been much higher. In France I was very surprised to see La Pen run on a platform of leaving the EU. I thought it would stop her from winning and it probably did. I was also surprised to see that she got such a high vote on such a platform.
    But who portrayed people as dumb racists? I can’t think of any leading campaigner for a Yes vote who did so. I certainly wouldn’t. If we’re talking about some people on the remain side on social media, well sure, but what about actual racists on the leave side. At some point we have to stop looking at the irrelevant stuff and look at the relevant stuff. As to the broader vote I think there was a cohort on the No side of voters who did vote from racism, I think many more fed a diet of anti-immigrant and downright incorrect stuff about the EU (and by the way I’m no starry eyed supporter of the EU – I’d be deeply antagonistic to any further moves to integration etc) across decades by the UK right media and corporations had misplaced views on it. And there were others who very sincerely are anti-EU and simply wanted to leave. I suspect a significant driving force was a big FU to the government and establishment. But that’s the way with referendums.
    And there’s no real point in looking back x number of years, not least because there’s been no point where there’s been a majority or close to same against EU membership. The reality is that exit sentiment has always been a tiny minority quite distinct from absolutely correct antagonism to having to rerun referenda twice etc. But those are two different issues. Moreover we can’t reduce Le Pen’s vote simply to atni-EU sentiment. She had a much wider platform than that. And people will prioritise. In any case, she and the FN also moderated their language on the issue coming up to the vote (and subsequently there’s been moves to shift away from anti-EU stuff by the FN amongst some of their people).
    As for SF, well honestly they should be saying that, but really a border would only help the case for a united Ireland. Brexit is a boon to nationalists as it has forced people to think about Ireland as a whole when previously they could just imagine the North of the island as some other country. For once they had to start considering what a united Ireland would mean.
    A border is a disaster for nationalism and a UI. It always has been. That’s the historical record. The reality of the GFA and an effectively invisible border was the reconnecting of economic and social links, Derry with its hinterland, etc. Now what we have is the potential for the island being divided once more in concrete fashion. There’s no upside to that. And that’s before we even address the situation of workers on both sides of the border who depend upon ease of transit etc, businesses employing tens of thousands, supply chains etc. If we’re talking about reality rather than abstractions that’s the key thing. I don’t know how old you are but I well remember the 70s and 80s. there was no movement and things were dire.
    In anycase it was a hypothetical. Illustrative of Sinn Feins changing relationship with the EU and how they could be deemed to have been left wing but also nationalist depending on the times and context. Personally I think pay lip service to the EU because it would make them unpopular if they didn’t.
    You can keep thinking that, but having talked to SF reps they have in my experience a critical view o the EU wanting reform but are antagonistic to exit. And why wouldn’t they be? Their support base in the North was anti-Brexit, and in the South too. Again, there’s nothing per se left wing or not about support for the EU or not. The WP is anti-EU, so are the FN. They have entirely different analyses.
    
2
*Does SF fret about these matters to any degree? The SDs, Solidarity, PBP, the WP, Labour? The Independent left TDs or their groups?*
Sinn fein engage in identity politics for obvious reasons, for irish people and specifically Irish nationalists. They also however, try to portray themselves as the “progressive” party up North and the DUP as the conservative, racist homophobic party which tp a large extent they are.
    Exactly, and fair dues to SF who have been consistent on this across years. But there’s a difference between reasonable identity politics and unreasonable or pointless or silly identity politics. I think that so much of it is what I have already described as froth. Well meaning but pointless and sometimes counterproductive.
    Solidarity and the Independent TDs also engage in identity politics to varying extents. Mainly on the basis of refugees and making it easier for ayslum seekers to gain citizenship here, how we should be taking more even though I imagine the Irish people would be against this.
    I wouldn’t see those as examples of identity politics. That’s issues of process, a more useful aspect would be about how we cultivate a stonrg sense of Irish nationalism amongst those who come here. I think that’ would be a useful project. There I do agree there’s insufficient thought about it on all sides, left right and centre.
    The other socialist and worker parties seem to get a drilling from the media. Their views are not well represented. 
But to be honest though “the left” agitate over these issues, refugees and immigration they are a little more sober about it. That doesn’t mean its not going to change or get worse. Especially as those left wing parties align themselves closer to Europe, they would find themselves having to vote for centrists whose very policies are giving rise to the far right. Namely mass immigration and social gaslighting when it comes to the norms of society.
    But what are these norms? I’m 51. In my lifetime I’ve seen huge changes, divorce brought in, contraception, same sex marriage, etc. I’ve no issue whatsoever with those, indeed I’ve campaigned for or supported them. But I also accepted the reality of votes against them while accepting my right to campaign for them. Yet even deeper rooted norms continue unchanged. And that’s all for the best. I don’t want pre-existing norms overturned, I want them supplemented. For example I think marriage for those who want it is a positive institution. Etc.
    And mass immigration just isn’t the issue you seem to think it is – again, can you provide me with examples of where there are substantive problems? You’re worried about it, and fair enough, but you’re basing your political approach on it to a huge degree and that I don’t quite get. By the way, I think people have an absolute right to express hesitation or concern about these issues and I think it is incumbent particularly on those of the left to address those concerns as best as is possible. Doesn’t mean people will agree but respect on all sides is reasonable. Where it is important to step back is baseless assertions.
    ASF predicts and imagines the developement of Trumpism in Ireland. I see no reason why we won’t be importing the same crazy liberal politics from America though. And in this sense what is being said in person and on social media is the best indicator, but you can make your own mind up you may see it differently. We are very lucky we are an island nation as it somewhat has let us avoid the problems taking route in the rest of Europe. Merkel will not allow European countries to just opt out of the burdens she has given the EU however. So well see in future.
    But the problem is that that crazy ‘liberal’ politics is very thin. A lot of the discourse you point to is again twitter led or centred on very specific parts of the US academy. I don’t think it is the 10% of the iceberg above the surface. The idea that privilege exercises most people in the US seems unlikely.
    Interesting assessment of Merkel in Prospect by the way which suggests she’s a much more conservative figure than is given credit for and that she’s also much less pro-Eu than is thought.
    Its more of a cultural drive, but the advocation of gender quotas, the breaking down of the idea of meritocracy. Our policy of picking up refugees and dumping them in other countries which are already struggling to deal with them for the sake of us looking virtuous (and no that does not mean we should be taking in more here). Expansion of hate speech and hate crime laws which are targeted mainly towards the native population backed up by academic rhethoric of only white people can be racist since prejudice and power is the only racism that matters, therefore we must disempower the natives. Blasphemy laws. These are all linked to the general discourse.
    But there’s never been a meritocracy – that’s a complete chimera. I went to school in Kilbarrack. Do you think that all those who went to school with me had meritocratic paths forward? They did not. Others I knew went to private schools and had the weight of support and capital of families that most in Kilbarrack or wherever you choose to say did not. There’s no level playing field. As for the situation of gender, I’m not sure of the efficacy of quotas as the best way forward, but in some instances they may be a good idea. But the point is that there’s no societal wide push for same and it’s not going to happen any time soon.
    You seem very exercised by race and immigration – but I can tell you that I don’t believe that only white people can be racist and the legal system doesn’t either. This is all very vague, public policy on this is fairly complex and astute. As for blasphemy laws, do you want them or not?
    

Well how would you define a people outside of citizenship? 
In anycase controlled immigration is one thing even if its steady. Mass immigration another. The reason I point out these things is because things were fine in other countries, but had they know about the failures of multi-culturalism, the necessity for giving greater and greater power to the state to protect its own citizens from those it is letting in they never would have allowed it, nor the changes to their communites. The West thinks it can bomb the shit out of other countries, then invite the survivors over and they will support its values. Lunacey. And ordinary people pay not the elites.
    But do they? Perhaps in certain instances – but is the situation as bad as you portray it? I live in the inner city in Dublin. Again the relationships between people of various backgrounds seem, and again I’m active in the community, to be pretty good. I’m a bit sceptical about multiculturalism as against integration, but there’s aspects of both that are useful I think. But you’re stepping in this discussion from Ireland to Europe to the West. These are all very different and complex environments. Some states have a history of colonialism, others don’t. The UK seems to have done a bit better than France. Ireland better than most. But we can’t just map US issues or experiences onto this island. They’re too different.
    The problem is the propogation of the myth that women are being paid unfairly. If you don’t believe this we will just have to disagree. Its not so much me closing off conversation with you on the matter, simply that this conversation has been played out time and again and there is evidence to dispute the gender pay gap as being about personal choice rather than misogyny due to the way the figures are aggregated. If it wasn’t always thrown at as “paid less for the same work” then there could be a point, but the sloganising and agitation of the issue by feminists as if it is just this grave injustice and a given that its the patriarchy is causing problems. The RTE debacle is another example of this. Sharon ni Bheolain is being paid less than Brian Dobson because he has been there longer. he does more commitments too. Sharon is in the top list of pay at the station period and some men are paid less. Why should it spark debate at all?
The fact that this was all over the news shows how these issues are being blown out of proportion. And there are more issues coming: (article about the need for racial diversity at RTE, which as I said is hilarious given the fact voices from a certain region have domintated state boradcasting with dortspeak for so long.)
    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/they-do-not-do-the-same-job-david-davinpower-says-brian-dobson-deserves-higher-rte-salary-36004011.html

    Well we will have to disagree about that – I’ve worked in the private sector across thirty years and consistently I’ve seen women paid less than men in employments for work that men would be paid more (only recently the Sunday Business Post has a long piece on the issue and pointed to structural discrimination in pay – now I don’t think the SBP are raving radicals…). I bet if you worked in a company and someone who happened to be a woman earned more than you for the same work you wouldn’t consider the issue blown out of all proportion. As a man I wouldn’t either. I’d be hopping mad. But here’s the thing – it’s difficult to go up against that except in unionised work places because employers have the power in that power relationship and (and I know this from direct experience) hold on to information about wages very very tenaciously. It’s no coincidence that workers aren’t encouraged to know each others wages (and by the by, it would be very useful in my opinion to have transparency on wages in all companies. Why not, in the public sector we know precisely what a person on a grade is on). So we’d be hopping mad and unable to do SFA about it.
    I do wonder about equal pay for migrants. But I don’t think people hire women because they can pay them less. Its more issues like a person with no other option being forced into being exploited.
All of the rhetoric seems directed in the way of quotas.
    I don’t think most hire women because they can pay them less but that a culture of lower pay is extant already. Not sure though how quotas would assist in solving the issue.
    Probably not wrong no. But as is said so often Ireland is a different case. Even still, there wouldn’t be a need to be precious about it if that was all it was in relation to. As regards confederate monuments, no its not an absolute. But once we start getting into “owned slaves” or “a civilisation had slaves” so it must be cleansed from view we could be burning quite a lot of books. While I can see that maybe a black person might have problems with a confederate monument in his area, mainly due to the resurgence of the paraphernalia under the KKK, I can also see that some people are proud of their history and for them its not only about slavery. If we have something dedicated to an Irish soldier who found himself fighting on the side of the confederates in a civil war though, I don’t really agree with tearing it down because of American politics. My problem is where does it stop. they are calling to take down Thomas jefferson and Abraham Linkoln monuments now, and some are already being defaced. Not very good for race relations in general. And of course there will be reprisals now on the monuments for other communities. The more we do this the more we start denouncing everything in history as imperialist and so on.
    Why is Ireland a different case? And there’s an issue with slave owning too that isn’t about getting rid of books. The Civil War in the US and anti-African American laws are part of historical experience. The last lynching took place in the 1960s IIRC, which is well within living memory, mind included. This isn’t like Plato or Caesar (quite apart from which in Rome slavery was of an indentured form, no less grim, but at least with the possibility of change). it’s something that has a real presence.
    Foolish to take down Jefferson or Lincoln monuments but that’s overstated and it isn’t going to happen. And so we know therefore precisely where it is going to stop and why this isn’t a slippery slope. I have to be honest I can’t see how we as Irish Republicans are possibly trying to support the monuments, or much more recent memorials to the Confederacy. No friends to the Irish them. And truth is much of history is imperialist. There’s no getting away from it. Doesn’t mean everything should go but it doesn’t mean everything should stay.
    But to advocate for ones own group does not necessarily make you a national socialist.
    Never said it did.
    And Islamism, Fascism, and dare I say even Communism, display authoritarian, anti-democratic traits.
    They surely do, in different ways but yes. But there are differences worth thinking about.
    And Zionism. Many problematic beliefs. I say again though I’m not arguing for the right to beat up “commies” in the street. And one of the main reasons is it would be hard to tell the various strands “the left” apart because these ideologies become guilty by association. Exactly what we try to avoid no?
    I’m not sure I’m arguing for the ‘right’ to do so either. And yet, it depends on the threat level. An organised political force that wishes to overthrow the state and may have the means to do so. Perhaps that does deserve a robust response.
    Yes but it really doesn’t matter that they disagree. Marxists can use post-modernism and deconstruction to achieve aims. So Gender, Nationality, Biology, Race, Family, Sexuality, Religion and so are deconstructed, and portrayed as TOTAL social constructs, and textual in nature. But Marxists deconstruct these things not because they have no inherrent value on a metaphysical level, but because they want to implement communism. Anyone who believes in some of the above mentioned things can’t use critical theory if they are part of a power group, but if you are the IRA say, or the Palestinians then Marxists will embrace that you have those values and protect your right to them. Because you are challenging a hegeminic force. But all those values will have to go eventually. The right to an extent even outside of fascists DO believe in an essentialism. And this is why they cant bear the left defending Islam while castigating the right. They won’t lie down and allow the left to allign with other minority groups. Or should I say they will, but they can see the hypocrisy. The teaching in the humanities is marxist in any case to a large extent. Im wrong to speak of other fields.
    But almost no organised Marxists of whatever flavour do use post-modernism etc in that way. They tend to dislike or be suspicious the 1968 and Frankfurt stuff because it’s a sort of half-baked and shifts away from class struggle and economy. The Marxist parties, WP, SP, SWP, CP (and those internationally) etc are broadly speaking antagonistic to that whole idea – though you’d never think it from what is put about online etc by those who are anti-Marxist. It’s a parody of Marxism put about by elements on the right and far right. It’s also a travesty of Gramsci’s thoughts on hegemony. The right and far right are always banging on about Marxism being anti-family etc, but in truth and practice Marxists tended to be socially pretty conservative as a bunch. And the worst of if is that it makes no sense. There’s no means by which any such supposedly cultural marxist programme could be implemented – it has no link to the working class and hence just isn’t Marxist. It’s just a ball of smoke.
    Marxists embrace the IRA or Palestinians (some Marxists anyhow) because they see them as anti-imperialist. Not because of some crazed all-embracing conspiracy theory about subverting the Family or what have you.
    Moreover very few on the left have defended Islamists as against Islam (it’s a crucial distinction). Far too many remember the Iranian revolution for example and how the Islamists stomped on the left elements of that revolution as soon as they were in power. And those examples are legion. The only example I can think of of rather unthinking support for Islamists came from the SWP. But that’s it. Everyone else on the left had distinctly negative views of Islamists. So how this took root as an idea baffles me.
    Because of the shifting perceptions of what is considered “hate speech”. So for instance, opposition to open borders is predecated on both culture and economics. But the migrant/refugee crisis is a good example where people have a problem with one group of people coming to their country as opposed to another, leading to accusations of racism. But if we were to take in christian refugees we wouldn’t have fears of terrorism. We see the Islamist attacks in other countries, along with growing frustrations form moderate muslim communities and we want to limit it. But to denigrate someone for their religion could be considered hate speech. So it is about the freedom to criticise. Not to mention satirise. This coupled with google, youtube and facebook deplatforming those they disagree with ideologically, the vast majority of whome are NOT calling for violence, is enough for me to see their speech as being silenced. And I say this knowing full well the left has often been silenced through similiar means. In fact much of the critique of the left is to do with hegemonic control of discourse, so to back out of a debate on censorship just because its happening to the right seems odd to me.never have I really heard them defend corporate rights before.
    Depends on the Christians surely? 😉
    BTW i was thinking, I more than sligthtly occasionally go to Mass, and that’s not a ‘norm’ any longer in this society I suspect. Does that make me more or less Irish? In any case you’d find many of people on the left supporting Charlie Hebdo (which by the way, and this is often forgotten, is a left wing publication) precisely because of a willingness to satirise relation.
    I agree in some ways. I don’t condone the actions of antifa at all. I will say though that Richard Spencer seems to me to be a deeply ingenuousness person. Of dubious and suspicious origins. He has on two occasions now led people into trouble. First with his hail victory and now at charlottesville. He took no responsibility for his followers safety or for the possible unrest. And he led a lot of young people, some of whom were not nazis, some who were larpers and some who were honestly there to oppose the taking down of the statue and didnt even know what they were getting into, into life destroying circumstances. And he and the other organisers will be absolutely fine. In fact he wants to do it again. I may sound paranoid but Im convinced he is some kind of plant. I can;t deny there were real national socialists there. There’s no question of that. But I think there’s also a concerted effort to undermine many of the events taking place by wipping out the swastika. This kind of thing happens on all sides. He knew it would delegitamise valid concerns, or else he is a buffoon. I think if you look into it, the first option is more likely. 
*Well okay, but it’s not very useful as an approach is it. I’d always see MY, Spencer and the KKK as being alt-right through to far right, Trump is really a populist right who plays footsie with the alt-right, Bannon likewise, not really sure why the skeptic community have to be roped in.*
    Why can’t Spencer be precisely who he says he is. A fascist? Why the need to find him not one because he is a bit too extreme? That’s what fascists are. Though I do agree he’s no great shakes organisationally or tactically.
    Milo Yiannopolous, Breitbart, Bannon and Gavin mccinnes are not alt-right. At a stretch you could say they may have been but definitely not as the movement is defined now.
    Fair point. Agreed.
    The alt-right are racialist in nature and ideology. This is not the same as thinking a statement or article could be construed as racist. The fact is none of these figures argue along racial lines predominantly, they are civic nationalists.
    Hmmm that may be a distinction without meaning.
    The skeptic community are roped in because the leaders are often accused of being alt-right. Even Jordan Peterson has been described as far right. This is why there is an issue with the left saying its okay to punch a nazi. There is no solid distinction drawn between them. Trump was absolutely right when he said define alt-right for me. They would have said him or Bannon. There is also a growing anti-semitism among the alt-right. All of these people mentioned above are not anti-sementic either. I would see people like Milo and Gavin Mccinnes as conservative, right of centre, and the natural emerging force to opportunists like Anita Saarkeesian and the liberal culture your speaking of.
    Jasus, right of centre? That’s very generous. They’re pretty far to the right even in terms of conservatism in the US and way off the scale say compared to Ireland or the UK or Germany. Indeed that’s another thing that bugs me about all this. US culture wars with little or no traction here are imported wholesale.
    For me to say liberals like that are not a part of the left is well, like me saying national socialists are not a part of the right. The difference is liberals are fine with antifa, whereas honestly I doubt most people on the right are really fine with Nazis. Your right that they should try to distance themselves from them because they have hijacked a lot of genuine concerns. I think the shutting down and deplatforming of milo is abad thing however, because his views are far more in line with what a growing number of the population think.
    Except Milo deplatformed himself didn’t he? Again that was a bit too much for his comrades.
    A resistance to a sort of liberal orthodoxy or dogma that comes across as hipocrytical. Maybe Im wrong in saying that’s “the left” honestly. But I’d like to see someone define the right. The reason Im having to generalise and sweep up issues is because that is how it is unfolding. Its how it appears to me. I could be wrong. But I dont see much more nuance or anti-partisanship in ASFs coverage which is fine. the writer entitled to it. these issues are huge though, and of course people want to be able to distance themselves from wider erroneous beliefs. What I would like to see here though,on this site is some self-awareness and acknowledgement of the problem some of these liberal SJWs are creating. They are far more prominent than the alt-right.
    Again, I’d agree, it is worth being very clear what factions of the right one is talking about. But liberals more prominent than the alt-right, in one sense perhaps but in many others (particularly with Trump in the White house) I’d wonder.
    Personally I see the value in social welfare, health care and some of the institutions we have in Ireland, public goods. Those would be leftist values. But i also believe in the right of the Irish people to their own country.
Others are right when they say trump has really not done much. Its not helpful to keep associating him with the alt right. It reminds me of the fear-mongering over Obama being assosicated with Islamists. He was actually. Or he was careful in his denouncing of groups. And he did not denounce the violence of BLM either, which I’m not saying he needed to. But the idea that one side is causing all this is preposterous. Trump was right to call attention to Antifa because the media had been ignoring it for months. And as i said before their violence really wasnt limited to fascists.

    I think we differ fundamentally in the threat from the right as against the left. Again so much of what you describe as a problem in relation to the left is rhetoric (from some I wouldn’t even define as left). But the right generally is what sets policy agendas and implements them. Granted the centre right or right of centre and not the far right, but still societies exhibit a right tilt mostly and therefor when those further to the right get in.
    As to Antifa, well, I think I’ve covered that above.
    The problem as I see it is we shouldnt even have to be formulating an argument against mass immigration anyway, either now or in the future. Its anti-democratic and causes nothing but violence and strife.
    But that suggests there’s no reason for debate. I’d be against unmanaged immigration, but that’s a different argument. If you do believe in freedom of speech why do you stop it there i.e. why is not permissible to discuss these issues?
    I’m not hung up on freedom of speech, but you appear to invest more in it than I do so why stop at that point?
    Immigration in general, controlled is something to talk about. id say if you want no immigration at all thats one thing, its pretty far right. But all this stuff in Sweden with “the new Sweedes” and openly saying in European countries that natives will be a minority in their countries and this is a good thing is of course going to lead to the rise of the far right. Macron is on record as saying there is no French culture, and also that Europe will have to get ready for waves and waves of immigrants over the years. Well i think the people should have a choice in that. And someone on the left should see how it could completely destroy the social benifits we have. And culturally, especially because integration itself is under question by people who think that in itself it is racist and forced assimilation, it turns into a powder keg. So rather than people coming here to become Irish there should be an onus is on us to change our culture and society to accommodate them and once demographics get skewed, then states have a tendency to ethnicise.
    I don’t think that’s any sort of a real problem. I can’t see any public policy push to accommodate others in that way and it would be pointless and counterproductive. Macron didn’t say that – it’s a mistranslation as is to be expected. https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@future-learning/2017/05/04/24457/macron-french-culture I’d say, with genuine respect, that perhaps you should change your newsfeeds just a bit.
    I mean honestly, look at the ancestral struggle we talk about in Ireland, with generations upon generations fighting English rule. Even under the most opressive force there was no way to truly get rid of the irish identity. This idea (globalism) that we can mix people around in various nations and it will all be fine is an experiment. And it should be suspicious why the establishment wants it.
    But if you’re right then why would immigration destroy Irish identity if British colonialism couldn’t? I don’t think by the way that that is exactly what people mean by globalism that we just mix and match populations -usually the meaning is free trade. I’m not sure it’s feasible anyhow.
    If the Young fathers are all Scottish born then isnt that itself indicative of something? That the speaker doesnt feel any kinship with scottish culture?
    Aren’t you again trying to use one instance to make a general case? I just don’t think there’s sufficient weight in that one instance. The Young Fathers seem a bit gormless to be honest at least as you present their case. but again it’s not like Scotland is rushing to take them up. Individuals will say stupid stuff. I don’t think we should worry too much beyond that.
    There was perhaps an argument to be made that Scotland doesnt represent its minorities enough, but perhaps describing white people as a spawn is a bit much?
    Agreed. Counterproductive as well. But there’s no Young Fathers movement, no party, no hangers on. They have literally no political weight. But far right/nazi parties do.
    In a climate where others could be prosecuted for saying something similar about anyone other than a white person. What does that say? Would he feel better if he was surrounded by others of his own race? If he saw them everywhere? Sounds racialist to me. .But just one guy etc etc. Not representative of everyone. I could say the same about charlottesville.
    Except that charlottesville is a coming together under a banner of Unite the Right of a fair body of people representing organisations. So it’s not the same as three hip hop artists, is it?
    I appreciate being able to talk about these issues anyway.
    100%.
    I concede Its difficult to define the left. And as I said the left-right paradigm can be inadequate. But these are sort of the battlegrounds for culture, economics and social issues at the moment. My initial issue was with ASFs comfort in use of the alt-right, fascism and Trump in articles like this rather interchangeably too, whilst bringing up Antifa as a Republican ally. They may well have been bit I do not think we should support them. Saying the opposition to liberals is just as bad as those liberals who do violence was akin to trumps comments saying antifa are just as bad as the alt right. I fail to see why trump is not allowed to draw equivalences if commenters ASF is going to do the same thing.
We should be condemning all political violence outside of civil war situations. both groups have recourse through the system at the moment.
    Broadly yes, but I think there are exceptions. I think given the historical threat of fascism – it’s genocidal aspects, the intrinsic aspects in relation to democracy, various freedoms, etc (and not least what it put Europe through in the early to mid 20th century) places it on a different level to other political ideologies. I’d be completely against political violence against say conservative Republicans (in the US) or Tories or whoever. But fascism is a qualitatively different ideology. Meeting it robustly is often times necessary. Now, whether that means it would be justified to take a pop at Milo Y in his heyday (or Steve Bannon) is a different question and whether it would be useful or counterproductive. I tend to the view that in general no it is not justified to do so (even though they’ve curried favour and played with the far right).
     

    Part of the problem is I’m not advocating vigilante violence against the left.
    My problems are with SJWs, Antifa, militant communists in Europe and America who are using violence under the guise of anti-fascism. The latest wave of feminist discourse, and some of second wave feminsism especially rad feminsim. AAA, Solidarity (due to their opposition to irish nationalism). And general idiots. Elites who consider themselves leftist because they buy into the social policies but none of the economics. Elements in the media who champion diversity as if it were a religion. I see many of these groups as operating under the amalgamation of the left. I do think its holding a lot of sway, but particularly in the realm of identity politics which suits the state. And the centre parties are sitting on top. In these groups whether alligned or ideologically separate, I see a great effort to undermine any form of nationalism. And the way of life for a majority of people in Ireland and abroad. though its not gone to bits yet, Like others here even ASF I have to look at whats happening in other countries aswell.
As for the right, large corporations pose a similiar threat, if not greater. But they too are advocating the suppression of nationalism.

    Fascists have been using violence against all others since they were established as a body of political thought (arguably before that if we include the Black Hundreds in Russia and other reactionary groups). Out of power that’s what they do and in power that’s what they do. That’s one of their fundamental approaches. And it’s one of the reasons there’s been such an unusually broad agreement from left to Republican right in the US about blame in relation to charlottesville.

    In any case you’re not disproving my earlier point that so much of your definition of left is ‘people I don’t like’ 🙂
    This all seems to be an issue of stuff you (and I) can’t do much about because it’s in some significant part an internet creation and the phenomenon of an online ‘culture’ where people get worried about stuff that has little enough connection to the real world or it is too detached from our situation here or in Europe to be of any direct relevance. There’s few people offline who use the term SJW, it’s kind of US right wing online jargon which means little or nothing offline.
    Where I live in the inner city there’s literally no one I can think of who is affected in any meaningful way by this. It’s stuff I wouldn’t even worry about personally – none of the people you mention or groups are a tangible presence offline (even were they much of an issue). It’s not like second or third wave feminists are forcing their ideas onto the people who live around the corner, or antifa are marching through day after day. But nor is this true in the UK or the US for the most part. Or other places. None of this is to say there are no problems – industrialisation, urbanisation, simply the fact of large populations (whether indigenous or whatever) all give rise to pressures of various sorts, but given who has the power in our societies – which is the right of centre mostly, and the structures we live under which are shaped by particularly negative forms of capitalism, it’s very odd to be worrying about people who aren’t in power for the most part or who have little influence beyond the twitter sphere.
    Offline and in real life people have – and this is true everywhere – much more mundane and banal issues and those are about employment, rights wages, etc.
    I’m not dismissing your concerns (though ‘nationalism’ under threat? I just don’t think that’s accurate. I’ve rarely seen in my life Irish nationalism in such good health, it’s certainly a world away from the 70s and 80s when even to fly the tricolour was frowned upon, when the language was in considerable retreat and when important parts of our culture were considered provocative due to the conflict). But there’s stuff one can worry about and do nothing about except worry, and stuff one can worry about and do something. So much of the above is in the former category. And some of your concerns seem exaggerated hugely. Moreover I think by trying to position this in relation to far right and fascist forces even tangentially – I mean why this defence of people who are quite literally openly neo-Nazi – it makes the not entirely unreasonable questions and concerns and hesitations people like yourself have about a range of issues completly delegitimised.
    And that’s before we get to whether the ineptitude of Trump and Bannon, the stupidity of Milo Y and their ilk (the catastrophe of those who championed Brexit) let alone the sheer toxicity of the far right and neo-Nazi’s shows that these are the sort of people who are going to achieve anything positive for people who support them for whatever reason. If I was trying to get those issues onto the agenda I wouldn’t start with those people, they’re too obviously compromised, too obviously beyond the beyond so that there’s an immediate and sharp pushback from everywhere else on the political spectrum (for my money the only party in Europe of the far right that even half took these concerns onboard was the FPO, and even that only incompletely, in Austria and even then we can see by its subsequent trajectory how huge the mountain it had to climb and which it still hasn’t really achieved and perhaps never will). If there’s going to be a genuine new right it would have to start by defining itself against those showers (not least because they’re so inefficient and bad at governing, those who are and the rest are… well, y’know, Nazis) as much as outlining what it is for.
    But perhaps that’s a discussion for another day.

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