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Cult of MAGA: The Crisis, The System, and The Enemy

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Clarity in Philosophy - And A Terrible Post Modern Argument Against It

A common Post Modern defence of unclarity in philosophy is that e.g. some boundaries are vague/unclear. 'If reality is vague and unclear, then we must be vague and unclear in talking about reality. Otherwise we are not being true to reality.' The analogy here is, perhaps, painting a picture. If a storm is something vague and fuzzy, then to be accurate your painting of it must be vague and fuzzy, like a Turner. Being clear is a mistake - it involves crudely pixelating what is in reality highly subtle. But this is to muddle clarification with simplification. A crude pixelated image is a simplification of what we see, not a clarification. Analytic philosophers do not recommend simplification. They value perspicuity, so we can see/understand clearly how things are.  Being opaque is no aid to seeing/understanding how things really are, irrespective of whether how they are is simple, or infinitely subtle and complex. The subtlety and complexity of the subject matter is *no justificat

The Left’s “Antisemitism Problem” And Their Focus On Israel

(reposting of my 2017 article) I have recently been engaged in a very interesting discussion on Facebook about the Left's supposed antisemitism and Israel problem. It's widely supposed Labour has a major antisemitism problem that needs to be dealt with. Of course, there is antisemitism everywhere, but is there significantly more among Leftists? That's the suggestion. I don't see that the evidence supports the view that Labour has a major antisemitism problem. Labour has around half a million members. I noted that: (i) As of last summer, after various accusations were made in the Press and social media examples had been cited, a total of around 20 suspensions of Party members had been made. Out of half a million members. (ii) Press reports of alleged examples of Leftist antisemitism are anecdotal evidence - notoriously poor evidence. Finding 20, 50, 200, or even 2,000 examples of antisemitism in Labour would not establish that Labour had a particular problem with antisem

Why I won't be voting Labour at the next General Election, not even to 'keep the Tories out'.

I have always voted Labour, and have often been a member of the Party, campaigning and canvassing for them. For what it’s worth, here’s my feeling about voting Labour next General Election:   1. When the left vote Labour after they move rightwards, they are encouraged to just move further right, to the point where they are now probably right of where e.g. John Major’s Tory party was. And each time the Tories go further right still. At some point we have got to stop fuelling this toxic drift to the right by making the Labour Party realise that it’s going to start costing them votes. I can’t think of anything politically more important than halting this increasingly frightening rightward slide. So I am no longer voting Labour. 2. If a new socialist party starts up, it could easily hoover up many of the 200k former LP members who have left in disgust (I’d join), and perhaps also pick up union affiliations. They could become the second biggest party by membership quite quickly. Our voting

Prejudice Blindness vs Prejudice Goggles

Both these things *can* be true: 1. Prejudice blindness. Not being the target of prejudice ourselves, we can easily miss it (so we should always listen). 2. Prejudice goggles. Considering ourselves or a minority a target, paranoia kicks in and we start 'seeing' prejudice where it isn't (and supposing those who can't see it must blind, or worse). E.g. some say anti-black racism against Meghan Markle is a figment of the woke imagination (and her own). Others say it's real, and we should listen and take seriously: those who can't see it are ignorant or worse. So which way do you lean on the following, and why? Allegations of Islamophobia Racism in the Metropolitan Police Daily Mail coverage of immigration Sarah Vine's suggestions that Meghan Markle is herself being racist against 'our culture' (by mocking curtsying to The Queen) David Baddiel on treatment of Jewish people Sexism in the workplace Trans rights I guess most of us lean in different directio

Why are we drifting dangerously rightwards as a Nation?

Tony Benn: is he stopped clock here (correct by lucky accident), or right on the money? If you are scratching your head wondering why we seem to be drifting scarily ever more rightwards, this is as plausible explanation as any I have come across. When I was last out canvassing for Labour, the message I got from a lot of voters was: 'I won't vote - they're all the same'. And they had a point: even under New Labour, inequality actually increased. They engaged in some positive tinkering around the edges, but there was no substantive change to the status quo. When the only real mechanism for significantly improving working people's lives has been airbrushed out, then all they're left with is simplistic, blame it on the so-and-sos (i.e. anyone but the real beneficiaries of the system) propaganda. It's the so-and-sos (Europeans, immigrants, benefits claimants, black people, jews, socialists, Russians, etc.) that are to blame for their increasingly shitty lives. IF

If you believe inequality reduced under Labour, you've fallen for a myth.

If you believe inequality reduced under Labour, you've fallen for a myth. Sure, Labour redistributed, as the IFS confirm. But not nearly enough to reverse growing inequality. We're heading back to Victorian Britain under both parties, just at different speeds. See  here . There was, recently, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to actually reverse this trend. It was destroyed by a coalition of forces that included most of the Parliamentary Labour Party (Labour MPs), using some of the most disgusting tactics ever seen in British politics (though, thanks to our MSM, most folk are largely ignorant about what went on). Those Labour MPs are, even now, making it very clear that nothing significantly threatening our economic inequality-driving status quo will ever be allowed again on their watch. And yet, bizarrely, polls show the general public favour the much more radical democratic socialist policies that were on offer under Corbyn & 1940's NHS-creating Labour. (see e.g. her