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News Left becoming increasingly isolated?

  1. Aug 27, 2012 #1
    Of course this depends on how you define the Left. I'm referring mainly to many in academia, as a well prominent spokesmen like actor Shawn Penn and British MP George Galloway. In the past many self-described leftists have supported Sharia Law, the 7th century code of Islamic law, under the banner of "multiculturalism". Now we have many of the same people openly supporting the Assad regime in Syria. Penn is an ardent supporter of Hugo Chavez in the upcoming Venezuelan election. There is little doubt that Chavez will be re-elected with or without Penn's help. Chavez is an outspoken supporter of the Assad regime and is diverting oil to Syria. Galloway has openly declared his support for Assad.

    The recent vote in the UN to condemn Syria overwhelming passed in the General Assembly with only 12 nations voting against the resolution. These included several Latin American nations with leftist governments: Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. China and Russia also voted against the resolution, but this is consistent with their long standing foreign policy. The votes in Latin America however were clearly a gesture against the US, but I wonder if this isn't against their own national interests.

    It's clear that the broader Left is divided on these issues, but it's the so called "Far Left" that often speaks for the entire Left. My question is how those who identify themselves as "left of center", "progressive", "liberal" or some other more moderate sounding descriptives feel about the positions espoused by the those who share the views of Penn and Galloway.
     
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  3. Aug 27, 2012 #2

    phinds

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    Can you give a reference for any prominent Americans who support Assad? I find it hard to believe.
     
  4. Aug 27, 2012 #3
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-s...n-campaigns-hugo-chavezs-reelection-venezuela

    Note what I said. Shawn Penn has for some time supported Hugo Chavez and this support has not diminished since Chavez declared his support for Assad. Penn has apparently evaded the obvious question of whether he supports Assad.
     
  5. Aug 27, 2012 #4

    Ryan_m_b

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    I find the whole left/right spectrum to be fatally flawed, as though the rationale and complement of positions people take conveniently align! It's strange how pervasive this idea is given it's origin and how often it leads to confusion.
     
  6. Aug 27, 2012 #5
    I would agree with that, but it is nevertheless the reality, particularly in academic settings.
     
  7. Aug 27, 2012 #6

    Ryan_m_b

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    What settings did you have in mind? Perhaps it is the fault of selection bias but the type of political and socioeconomic books I have read by academics fully acknowledge the flaws in the left/right spectrum and tend to use better (but by no means brilliant) systems such as the Nolan chart.
     
  8. Aug 27, 2012 #7

    phinds

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    So as I assumed, you do NOT have any references of any prominent Americans who support Assad.
     
  9. Aug 27, 2012 #8
    I think you're splitting hairs about prominent Americans. Penn has not criticized Chavez for his position on Syria (or that of the other Latin American regimes). I would not expect him to proclaim his support for Assad in so many words. Depending on how your define "prominent" there's no dearth of veiled support of Assad on the internet. It generally takes the form of attacks on American "Imperialism"

    http://www.iacenter.org/nafricamideast/syria080312/

    BTW, Ramsey Clark is a former Attorney General of the US.

    Besides, I did not particularly reference the American Left. You are evading my question which was how do moderates who might consider themselves center-left feel about the views of Penn and Galloway. I consider myself in this category, and have no problem strongly criticizing the positions represented by Penn and Galloway or the Latin American regimes that voted against the UN resolution.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  10. Aug 27, 2012 #9

    PAllen

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    Friends of mine who consider themselves very left wing (way to the left of Penn) never supported Sharia law under any guise, anywhere, and would claim such belief rules you out as a true leftist.

    As a logical point, it is quite common for A to generally support B, while having a disagreement with them that they choose to de-emphasize. That is at the heart of two party politics in the US.

    My overall response it that you have made gross over generalization of what is 'left wing'. Similar to proposing 'all Democrats believe...' or 'All Republicans believe...'.

    All I can say is that for my remaining acquaintances who call themselves left wing [most have moved away from leftism], little of your proposed statement rings true.

    [I should note, that these persons would not jump to endorse the US or the UN taking action or resolution against Syria on the basis of the pot calling the kettle black; but they all consider Assad a murderous criminal all the same. They would claim the US has done much more damage overall, and spout out a long list of US crimes.]
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  11. Aug 27, 2012 #10
    http://digitalcommons.law.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1921&context=lawreview [Broken]

    It's well known that political correctness is a problem (at least for some) at many universities. This is manifested in many ways, including a degree of rigidity in how the so called political spectrum is defined. If you hold certain views that may be considered right of center, then you are a conservative and all your views must conform to the stereotypical conservative. Many of these views might be politically incorrect in academic departments that identify themselves as liberal or progressive. For a self identified liberal to criticize certain points of view considered standard liberal views such as affirmative action based solely on race, is to risk harsh criticism and possibly a failing grade.

    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  12. Aug 27, 2012 #11

    Evo

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    Please post the link to the actual website instead of the google link. This is something google started doing that's really annoying.
     
  13. Aug 27, 2012 #12

    PAllen

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    If you remove the '.' before google, it works as is. It is a malformed url.
     
  14. Aug 27, 2012 #13
    Thanks. It worked.
     
  15. Aug 27, 2012 #14

    Evo

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    No the URL is http://digitalcommons.law.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1921&context=lawreview [Broken]

    Google has to be stopped from doing this. It's their sneaky way of taking credit and advertising themselves. They've found a way of adding themselves to every search result, don't fall for it. Click the actual website and post the correct link.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  16. Aug 27, 2012 #15

    phinds

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    No, I am stating that are no references to people(*)who support Assad. I don't see how you can call that splitting hairs. Supporting someone OTHER than Assad is NOT supporting Assad.

    EDIT: (*) I do not include in this flakes who post trash on the internet. I'm talking about known celebrities or politicians or academics.
     
  17. Aug 27, 2012 #16
    I'm new to the Mac and I'm not sure how to do this short of manually copying the url. It takes me to the PDF, but I can't copy the url off the PDF identifier. The code available for copying is the google url at the top of the page.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  18. Aug 27, 2012 #17

    Evo

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    I don't think people care what Sean Penn does or says. He tied his wife up and beat her. He's a sadistic nut, IMO.
     
  19. Aug 27, 2012 #18
    You're arguing against something I never claimed. Where did I say a prominent American specifically said he or she supported Assad? I did say British MP Galloway openly supported Assad. As for "flakes", are you talking about the site that was founded by a former US attorney general?

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  20. Aug 27, 2012 #19

    Evo

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    You did insinuate it.

    Do you have anything backing your implication that Penn supports Sharia law taking over?

    If not, why are you bringing him up?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  21. Aug 27, 2012 #20
    I recall reading about Galloway while ago. Didn't he have very close relationships with Arab leaders like Saddam Hussein/was supported by those leaders? Does he even belong to a well-recognized and organized political party?

    If you feel like it's too of an extreme to support Assad argue it here:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=615762&page=4
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
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