Generic Viagra Caverta Cialis Cheap Take Cabergoline And Cialis Together Buy Tegretol Uk Diclofenac Buy No Prescription Buy Tofranil From Mexico

The contradiction inherent to right-wing blogs


2:00 pm - March 3rd 2010

by Left Outside    


      Share on Tumblr

Sunny has been running a series of posts on where he wants to take Liberal Conspiracy [part 1, part 2 and part 3]. What has piqued my interest is the response this sort of action draws from the rightwing blogosphere.

Mr Eugenides commented very even handedly on Sunny’s last piece and I think it is worth responding.
He says: (this is an extract):

Tory blogs have tried to emulate the campaigning style of online leftwing campaigns – #Kerryout, for example – and by and large we don’t do it very well. I myself have taken part in some campaigns – for the Gurkhas, Iraqi interpreters, free speech online – and it’s noticeable that many of them have been organised and pushed from the left – I have sometimes been, if not the token Tory, then at least one of a relative few.

I’m sure there’s a thesis to be written on this somewhere down the line, but I think the bottom line is this; that while a small part of me wishes you luck (and another, much larger part, hopes that all attempts to “destroy the right” end in ignominious failure), I can’t help thinking that a loosely-focused left-wing blog is going to have difficulty making an impact in our politics because – unlike Conservative Home – LC doesn’t represent a recognisable consituency that politicians need to pander to.

First of all, I think there is a constituency Liberal Conspiracy can tap into, and one which has been abandoned since 1997.

Perhaps most importantly I there are lots of other small but overlapping constituencies for which LibCon can become a tool allowing them to coordinate.

However, I think the really interesting stuff comes in the first three paragraphs. Because it is an attitude I see repeated on many right wing blogs, they’re just in it for fun and we’re all taking it far too seriously.

Life can be a bitch and much of the work of politics is ameliorating the position of those afflicted by life’s worst excesses.

That is not all politics is by any means but it is a good minimum for what politics should aim for.

The right’s charge against the state is that it makes things worse; it cannot direct an economy without crashing it, it cannot provide benefits without building dependency, it can’t help without pushing out others who would help better.

Its a matter of faith, certainly not evidence, for the right that charities will deal with the needy better than the state ever could.

The people calling for the role back of the state and the destruction of all our hard earned and recently eroded safety nets are missing the other half of the bargain.

The market does not just provide, people do. They provide by publicising, campaigning and organising but that is not what the right wing blogosphere do.

They moan and bitch and swearblog entertainingly but without offering a positive alternative and that is why the journey from virtual to physical sees a huge drop in influence. Votes in Norwich for LPUK: 36.

There’s a risk that this post will be the spark that sets the right wing blogosphere aflame with activism and alternatives but I doubt it.

Although they’re having a lot of fun I am not sure that they will ever have the impact a smaller (for now) and better (forever) organised left will, and that should worry them if they think their vision of the world is an attractive one.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Left Outside is a regular contributor to LC. He blogs here and tweets here. From October 2010 to September 2012 he is reading for an MSc in Global History at the London School of Economics and will be one of those metropolitan elite you read so much about.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Liberal Conspiracy ,The Left

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


Back when I was helping first organise Socialist Students at my university, I remember a Tory approaching our stall to ask about our policies, activities etc. When I in turn questioned her about the sort of stuff Con Future did she looked at me with a quizzical expression and mumbled something about wine and cheese evenings and going to the pub.

So it’s not just a right wing blogging thing, there is no real culture of activism on the right.

2. Luis Enrique

isn’t this predictable? One side thinks things need fixing and thinks they know how to fix’em, the other side thinks things are best left alone.

Sorry, what is the contradiction?

Yes, I agree Tories are more in it for fun and profit, caring less about the issues, that’s an important insight. But it’s not a contradiction.

What I find interesting is that Eugenides examples were of involvement on the liberal side of these issues, against the conservative position adopted by the Labour government.

The day Labour is too conservative for a Conservative, it should be the main target for a campaigning liberal website like this.

4. Luis Enrique

although I guess one strand of the right things the problem is government and they know how to fix that (less government) and they are reasonably active on the front

@3 No Labour stalwart me, that’d be the Marxist at number 1.

@5 hence the sloppy use of “contradiction”. That’s what dialectic is all about. If only Marx hadn’t been influenced by Hegel, things might have been very different.

@6 sloppy? They say the state gets in the way off all the great stuff individuals can achieve without it and then set about acheiving… nothing. That’s contradictory.

Dammit, my post in 15 words. And I’m unfussed by dialectics.

8. Planeshift

“and going to the pub.”

Thats on all sides of the spectrum 😉

(well except the islamic fundamentalists)

The thing is LO, I don’t agree that right wing bloggers have no impact – its just they have an impact on ideas rather than votes for parties. This is partly because the libertarian ones are careful to distance themselves from the conservative party, and portray libertarian ideas as radical and anti-establishment (despite minarchism on economic matters being extraordinarily influential worldwide over the past 30 years).

Furthermore, the right does have some activism, the TPA and migration watch appear in the press on a daily basis and probably fire off press releases on an hourly basis. I’d wager most small left wing groups probably fire off press releases on a monthly basis at best – and more than a few generally don’t see the point of them.

Another aspect of influence is also related to money, and here the winners are obvious – the right has money, the left doesn’t.

The only aspect where the left clearly does have a lead on activism is turnouts for demos and direct action/publicity stunts. And sometimes its difficult to know what the achievements these have translated into.

The left is better organised is a canard (or possibly a mallard… sorry, was that pun too bad?).

In fact this is only true from the perspective that large-scale and (generally) centralised organisation is a worthwhile end in itself. I suspect most libertarians and much of the right wing blogosphere as a whole deliberately eschew organisation in favour of individualism, not through any inherent weakness in their political position but because this is the key point of their political position. For organisation to work requires command which requires authority which requires submssion of individual freedoms to the will of the authority. This is clearly anathema to much right-wing thinking (and some variants of left-wing thinking as well).

In effect, two different games are being played on the same field – the more right-wing expression of individual ideas (there are plenty of good left-wing blogs capable of doing the same thing) and the attempt by mainly left-wing groups to promote movements and the like (although the promotion of say the Libertarian Party online shows this is not an entirely one-sided movement). To make direct comparison between these ideas seems wrong. It also veils a worrying question – Sunny’s big idea was to ‘destroy’ the right – but is there actually anything that animates the leftwing blogosphere in the same way as individual freedom does the right other than this sort of negative imagery? And if there was, would not the left-wing blogosphere be much more like the right, bubbling with ideas (including lunacy) around their theme rather than more focussed on building movements and abstracts (‘social justice’; ‘fairness’)? Note that campaigns like keeping the Independent’s current editorial status and stopping changes to the BBC are inherently conservative – they keep the status quo – rather than representing an idea.

“Life can be a bitch and much of the work of politics is ameliorating the position of those afflicted by life’s worst excesses.”

If only it were. Half of politics seems to be the imposition of the politician’s desires and values upon others who don’t share them. The other half is the attempt to gain power without merit.

“The right’s charge against the state is that it makes things worse;”

No. That it can make things worse, yes, but not that it necessarily does. It depends, you see, on what it is that the State is doing….and even on what it is attempting to do.

“it cannot direct an economy without crashing it, ”

Depends upon the level and direction of that attempted direction. Just about everyone agrees that a certain level of direction (say, interest rates, sound currency, rule of law, property rights) is essential to avoid a crashed economy.

On the other hand the micro-management by the national government of a motorcycle factory didn’t do too well either.

“it cannot provide benefits without building dependency”

Sure it can. Universal non-means tested benefits don’t create dependency: because they’re not dependent upon needing them. No one says child allowance creates dependency: only that benefits that require you to be in a certain state increase the likelihood that you’ll remain in that state.

“it can’t help without pushing out others who would help better.”

Sure it can….sometimes. And sometimes it cannot. It’s called “it depends” you see?

“The market does not just provide, people do. They provide by publicising, campaigning and organising but that is not what the right wing blogosphere do.”

Publicising, campaigning and organising. Umm, that’s a market you recognise? Here’s the stalls with hte various offers, now, which socio-economic system would you prefer? Sometimes the consumers pick the one that’s “best”. Most of the time they pick the one that meets their own hopes, desires and interests, just as they do with washing powder. Sometimes they just take the one with hte best salesman. But it’s a market just the same, one with brands, new entrants, barriers to entry and all the rest that you learn in economics 102.

“Although they’re having a lot of fun I am not sure that they will ever have the impact a smaller (for now) and better (forever) organised left will,”

I’m really not sure about that you know. Really not sure. Regarding Richard Murphy’s idea (as filtered through the TUC) that there should be a tax on CHAPS bank transfers. Once a few bloggers started pointing out that this would entirely close down the interbank markets and the short term credit markets the idea seems to have died a death. It deoesn’t even appear in the TUC’s new paper (R. Murphy again) on the financial transactions tax.

It’s not actually necessary to have students marching in the streets to make a difference.

It is naive and self-serving to see Guido Fawkes as the archetypical right-wing blog and libertarians as the archetypical right-wing bloggers.

If you took ConservativeHome as the archetype, could you really say they don’t participate in activism? ConHome is a rallying point for the right-wing of the Conservative Party, that lets them shout at the Cameroons about Europe, foreigners and climate change. Just because they don’t do marches, it doesn’t mean they don’t have an influence on future government policy.

@ Watchman

For organisation to work requires command which requires authority which requires submssion of individual freedoms to the will of the authority. This is clearly anathema to much right-wing thinking (and some variants of left-wing thinking as well).

It is certainly anathema to liberals and libertarians which is why LO gloating over the LPUK vote in Norwich doesn’t rankle particularly.

Indeed it is often said that organising libertarians is like herding cats and it is quite satisfying that this idea should be proven by electoral wipeout and organisational failure. For what is the point of purporting to want political power when your philosophy is founded in preventing the indiscriminate exercise of such power?

The OP is correct, however, that the belief in individual freedom punches well above its weight on the blogosphere by comparison with reality. That is as it should be, because the internet is a more liberal environment than is our society.

But it would be foolish of the statists to assume that there is no connect between the two and that they can therefore crush individual freedoms with impunity.

The day Labour is too conservative for a Conservative, it should be the main target for a campaigning liberal website like this.

Mr E isn’t a conservative, and we’ve campaigned and argued against Labour positions plenty of times. If you weren’t so intent on maligning LC, perhaps you’d be more even handed.

pagar,

“The OP is correct, however, that the belief in individual freedom punches well above its weight on the blogosphere by comparison with reality. That is as it should be, because the internet is a more liberal environment than is our society.

But it would be foolish of the statists to assume that there is no connect between the two and that they can therefore crush individual freedoms with impunity.”

I would argue a bit more strongly: the blogosphere in many ways is a reflection of movements coming into society (perhaps, as the risk of irritating Laurie and others, best illustrated by the way sexuality has become increasingly liberalised at least partially through the easier access to pornography, or (at the risk of irritating Simon Cowell) in the rise of diverse and interesting bands as opposed to record-company promoted pap). I think the generally liberal attitudes rollover into reality more and more (when you find your parents influenced by them, you know something is changing).

Incidentally, although Sunny shows many personal tendencies towards the description, I do not think it is fair to describe the movement he wants to build as statist, as he has nowhere stated its aim is to gain control of the state. Organisation need not imply state.

Who cares what the response from the right wing blogs is?

If they are not doing fart jokes or attacking brown shinned people they are just out doing each other in a game of ” who is the biggest tosser in the village.”

Guido has pissed away any credibility he may have had as an anti all politicians by becoming nothing more than a Cameron brown nose, and the last time Ian Dale was right about anything he was communicating with a feather quill. The fact that they send out their trolls on here shows that they are much more interested in what we are doing.

And what do you ever actually *do* Sally, other the pop up here and abuse people?

I only abuse trolls…………………… And tories who pretend that they are not tories but come on here and repeat tory talking points. A bit like you.

sally,

“attacking brown shinned people”

Can’t help but think I haven’t seen many attacks on people who have been walking through mud in shorts on right-wing blogs. Although you could try Old Holborn…

As to who cares, well those of us who don’t believe that stating an opinion makes it right perhaps? Those of us (from across the political divide) who whilst point scoring are open to new ideas and different viewpoints? I don’t read blogs to reinforce my prejudices – I read them to challenge my understanding. I would hope at least some others do as well, even if that means engaging with the ‘enemy’.

Sorry, but you want be challenged by reading Ian Dale and Guido.

What annoys me most about right wing blogs is that they wilfully miss the point of things (though you get a bit of this with all bloggers to be fair). The approach seems to be to find a bit of wood to knock about to ensure you can’t see the trees. This avoids dealing with the big issues like why their ideology is in tatters and when they are going to admit it. The whole thing is a macho game, and they don’t really seem to give a toss about the issues, far better to score points and be smug about it. This is especially annoying on economic issues when they trot out theories in defence of their viewpoint. Some of these are more valid than others but I’m afraid the burden of proof now lies squarely with free market economics. People just won’t take it as a given anymore because some dead white bloke said it was so. We face multiple crises at the moment and the old theories are clearly just not up to the job. A bit of contrition would be a start.

21. Shatterface

Marx is a dead white bloke too – though I can’t speak for his shins as I’ve never seen pictures of him in shorts.

Free markets are falling apart but state run economies were torn down by those who lived under them 20 years earlier.

“Free markets are falling apart but state run economies were torn down by those who lived under them 20 years earlier.”

I’m afraid I’m going to have to steal that line. Quite wonderful.

23. Col. Richard Hindrance (Mrs), VC, DSO & Bar Six, KitKat

“Marx is a dead white bloke too – though I can’t speak for his shins as I’ve never seen pictures of him in shorts.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiZt79UKUFQ

TimW @10:

Not going to argue with your categorisation of ideology as a marketplace, but I do feel I should quibble over this:

Sometimes the consumers pick the one that’s “best”. Most of the time they pick the one that meets their own hopes, desires and interests, just as they do with washing powder.

No, they don’t. They don’t do either of these things, really; except by a very long stretch on the word “interests”. As any geek will tell you, “the market” selects for the cheapest product, followed by the most heavily saturation-marketed product. Think about the advent and continuing market dominance of keg “ale”.

Neither quality, nor best-fit with their own hopes, desires and interests, plays any part in the decision because corporations do not compete on those criteria if they can possibly avoid it. They compete on price, and brand recognition: ideally, they don’t compete at all if they can get a monopoly or a functional cartel.

“The market” is very big and 90% of it are seriously poor compared to the other 10%. The informed, or early adopter, markets behave more or less as you describe. That’s because early adopter markets are very rich, by comparison with the rest of the marketplace. That’s why they’re early adopters; they both have the knowledge to get in early, and the spare cash to buy flaky products when the technology is still very expensive. Early adopters bought Betamax.

It’s not as though people want poverty to be the defining influence on marketplace adoption; people would like to be able to select for actual use and value. They are forced to select for the cheapest product by the basic operating principle of capitalist economics; 90% of your economy must be poor, 10% can range from affluent to stinking rich.

Apply this to the ideas market, and taking English politics as the exemplar marketplace. In terms of “cheapest”, it has always been more like hard work to support the left than the right. Running with the foxes is much harder, and more dangerous, than running with the hounds. But our big problem is in brand recognition. Only three significant brands exist in the entire marketplace and two of them are in a cartel to ensure the preservation of this status quo ante.

The “early adopter” market for ideas is, these days, implemented on the Internet. Bloggers are early adopters; they are the kind of people who have, within this economy, lots of resources (time, computers, education, political ideologies) which most of the marketplace do not have. That sub-market behaves more or less as you describe. In the real marketplace most people don’t give a shit what party you support because they’re all crooks anyway, and besides, where’s my PS3 and my jet pack?

And as to which idea is “best”; you seem to have misunderstood how both the political and the commodity marketplaces have worked since the 1950s. People most certainly do not select political philosophies from an open market based on the quality of the ideas themselves. If they did the Tories would not be advertising Cameron’s face, they’d be advertising their ideas. Consumers of ideas don’t select between them, except in the most basic possible sense: that would involve having both critical faculties and ideas of their own. That’s very expensive, compared to just getting this week’s talking points from your dominant brand of choice.

Whether the product, be it Labour or Persil, meets people’s hopes and expectations is totally irrelevant. The whole point of the modern marketplace, as created by Madison Avenue in the 1950s, is that people are getting their hopes and expectations from the marketing of the damn products. The advertising, be it for the Tories or for Daz, is not about whether the product does what you want; it’s about the plutocrats behind the product manipulating the popular definition of “what people want” until it matches the product they happen to have available.

There is such a thing as a free market in the West. It is 100% unregulated by government. It is without saturation marketing but makes heavy use of grassroots social networking. It regularly creates new products, which compete on merit and user experience.The brief experiment with systematic branding in the early 1990s failed due to large-scale marque forgery and, ultimately, market rejection. It is the only Western market I can think of where people really do select products based on quality and value, before price and brand recognition.

I am talking, of course, about the marketplace for recreational pharmaceuticals.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    The contradiction inherent to right-wing blogs http://bit.ly/b58Egl

  2. superbrutal

    RT @libcon: The contradiction inherent to right-wing blogs http://bit.ly/b58Egl





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.