Sunday, October 30, 2011

Problems with left and right

My main post today is on the New England History blog, Aboriginal New England in the Pleistocene Period. Here just a brief note.

On Club Troppo, Nicholas Gruen posted The intellectual collapse of the right. I commented:

From a purely personal perspective, Nicholas, I struggle to understand what is meant by left or right today or even how I fit in within the spectrum as defined. According to those sometimes popular quizes, I am now left of centre, yet my instinctive reactions to some of the left of centre blogging clearly places me on the right or at least the centre right.

I would argue, I think, that the problem with both the “left” (John Q, Club Troppo, Larvatus Prodeo) and the “right” (Catallaxy)is that they combine responses on values or particular issues with certain analytical models to make judgements as to whether something is left or right. They are also both selective.

To my mind, there is a risk of circular argument. Surely the question of the intellectual poverty of the right, or of the left for that matter, depends on how you define the terms?

I am not sure that the comment is totally fair, but it does capture my own mixed feelings.

Like all of us, my judgements about things reflect my own experiences and attitudes. I don't have time this morning to try to tease the arguments out. Perhaps another time.


Anonymous said...

Please do pen a rebuttal Jim.

You could title it something like "The Degeneration of Australian Political Discourse Into the Incessant Superficial Regurgitation of Meaningless Code Words"

I'd supply a witty acronym, but all I can think of is "crap", and besides, I can't decide where to put the :


Jim Belshaw said...

I am not sure that I want to attempt a fill rebuttal, kvd. Not strong enough. But perhaps a brief post.

Legal Eagle said...

Jim, as you know, I feel exactly the same. I turn out as left wing in surveys, yet I don't fit in at LP or with many of my left wing colleagues.

KVD, you make me laugh. Again.

Jim Belshaw said...

It's interesting, LE, for I think that we are not alone. Fortunately, we have the freedom not to get involved in certain debates unless we choose!