Why are everyone's politics so binary?

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more heat than light
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PostWhy are everyone's politics so binary?
by more heat than light » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:09 am

So I was venturing deep into Twitter when I happened upon a pinned tweet by this meltburger, a Mr David Kurten who seems to be from UKIP.



And it got me thinking. There are a lot of different issues on that tweet, why do right wingers always fall on that side of those debates? And similarly why am I (as a generally left of centre kind of guy) so appalled by the whole thing?

Why aren't there people with a mixed viewpoint on some of these things? People who are against immigration but worried about climate change? Struggle with gender issues but support abortion? It's always the same sides, you can guarantee that if someone has that tag, they'll be shouting about feminism being evil or defending white supremacy (even David, who is black). Why is it one or the other?

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by suzzopher » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:33 am

Weirdly, a lot of my family are outright racists, but then they want to do something about climate change. I’d imagine they are not pro choice and most certainly against gender issues.

Climate change seems to be a very big issue even with the poor. Where as right wing people with money they’ll will likely be climate change deniers.

In the case of working class who are right wing, it comes from ignorance that they are racist, against gender issues and abortion.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by OrangeRKN » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:46 am

It's conservatism right? All of them are a reluctance to embrace change or admit fault (either personally or in society at large).

Climate change is funny because the unwilligness to change behaviour is at odds with the desire to conserve the existing climate. The behavioural changes needed are dispraportionately from the rich and big business so the rich/poor divide suzz mentions makes sense.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by jiggles » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:52 am

1. Extreme views are the loudest and therefore spread the furthest online where everyone has a platform.
2. A political system with a majority party leads to an opposition that is their antithesis. There's no nuance, they are simply their opposite.
3. The vast majority of people don't like to think about difficult issues. They might see someone state 4 out of 6 views they definitely agree with and then just adopt the other 2 because it's easier than having to form an opinion and safer to avoid defending said opinion.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Qikz » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:04 am

My politics are binary because I refuse to move closer to the center. I'm left wing and I believe all right wing policies are inherently evil, there's always some hidden point to strawberry floating over either the poor, the disabled, minorities or the young. I'm not going to sit there and compromise to the right, because I know someone will be strawberry floated over because of it.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Mommy » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:09 am

I dont understand the political spectrum at all and dont know where I sit in it.
Karl implied I was far right but I dunno.
I work hard, want to get on in life, pay my taxes and hate spongers.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Pedz » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:25 am

What is a sponger to you exactly? It makes me think you just hate people who don't work regardless of why. Which in that case I would agree with Karl.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by jawafour » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:00 pm

more heat than light wrote:..Why aren't there people with a mixed viewpoint on some of these things? People who are against immigration but worried about climate change? Struggle with gender issues but support abortion? ...Why is it one or the other?

I feel that there is a huge range of opinion, mhtl; few people agree with each other on absolutely everything. Social media channels tends to highlight the most extreme examples of opinions. Personally I'm surprised that some folk have such great affinity towards a particular political party; I'd be amazed if one's opinions tied up with that of the party on absolutely everything. I understand the reasoning, though, and that's compromise - you gotta choose a party that "best fits" your own range of views.

As with the idea that aspects of gender are on a spectrum and not binary, I believe that political views are much the same.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Peter Crisp » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:04 pm

I'd say my politics is rather left wing but I do have parts of it that agree with conservatism.
I have seen how bad it can get when people are laughably binary and claim anyone on the other side must be mentally ill to think the way they do and against those types of people you just have to back away as nothing you or anyone says will convince them that maybe they're wrong.

I don't think the system in the US helps with just 2 main parties as you get people who will just claim that team red or blue is always right or wrong and may not even consider looking into the actual facts of an issues they just know the opposition are wrong.

I'd say on a system where a 1 is loony leftist and a 10 is a Right wing nutjob I'd rank as maybe a 3.5 or 4.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Mommy » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:16 pm

Pedz wrote:What is a sponger to you exactly? It makes me think you just hate people who don't work regardless of why. Which in that case I would agree with Karl.


I do a lot of work in social housing properties. Not all are the same but id often visit properties with a smell of dope meeting you at the door, 50" telly on the wall, no carpet on floor, kids in shitty nappies, latest games console on the go. I see this all too often.
When i engage the parents in conversation about work, they say they get more on the dole. No self respect.
I have all the time in the world for people who make an effort, either short hours or volunteering,
but those wastrels get my goat.
There are so many of them too.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Trelliz » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:01 pm

I don't have that experience, but to me that is an indictment of low wages, lack of opportunities and a system that has failed a lot of people. 'scroungers' are demonised but the amount they 'take' is a drop in the ocean compared to how much tax isn't paid by large companies.

To answer the original question, politics are polarised due to the social media echo chamber. Both in terms of increasingly telling you what you want to hear, but also in that moderate views don't get you liked and retweets

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:07 pm

Mommy wrote:
Pedz wrote:What is a sponger to you exactly? It makes me think you just hate people who don't work regardless of why. Which in that case I would agree with Karl.


I do a lot of work in social housing properties. Not all are the same but id often visit properties with a smell of dope meeting you at the door, 50" telly on the wall, no carpet on floor, kids in shitty nappies, latest games console on the go. I see this all too often.
When i engage the parents in conversation about work, they say they get more on the dole. No self respect.
I have all the time in the world for people who make an effort, either short hours or volunteering,
but those wastrels get my goat.
There are so many of them too.


Why?

One of my biggest bugbears with our current society is the fact that capitalism has somehow engendered an inherent view that work is moral and right and somehow a requirement to live a good life.

It's not.

(Obvs volunteering is cool)

Nothing to add towards the original question really but yeah: conservatism is, well, being conservative. A fear of change is inherent and progressive politics runs contrary to that.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Oblomov Boblomov » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:20 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
Mommy wrote:
Pedz wrote:What is a sponger to you exactly? It makes me think you just hate people who don't work regardless of why. Which in that case I would agree with Karl.


I do a lot of work in social housing properties. Not all are the same but id often visit properties with a smell of dope meeting you at the door, 50" telly on the wall, no carpet on floor, kids in shitty nappies, latest games console on the go. I see this all too often.
When i engage the parents in conversation about work, they say they get more on the dole. No self respect.
I have all the time in the world for people who make an effort, either short hours or volunteering,
but those wastrels get my goat.
There are so many of them too.


Why?

One of my biggest bugbears with our current society is the fact that capitalism has somehow engendered an inherent view that work is moral and right and somehow a requirement to live a good life.

It's not.

(Obvs volunteering is cool)

Nothing to add towards the original question really but yeah: conservatism is, well, being conservative. A fear of change is inherent and progressive politics runs contrary to that.

Because if you need to take something from a society, you should be prepared to give something back if it's possible for you to do so. Obviously that's just my opinion, I'm not saying it's a universal truth.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:25 pm

I certainly don't think work is inherently bad, I just thinks its moral worth has been hugely exaggerated. If to work and contribute is the only way to be seen as a valid part of society then that's a broken system given that there are so many who are denied the opportunity to do so in a meaningful way.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Corazon de Leon » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:30 pm

I think it’s less about them not working per se and more that *a very small subsection of people* take advantage of their situation when receiving state benefits. I watched my mum drift from centre-left to centre-right after going back to work in the social housing sector for ten-fifteen years and I can absolutely see how views like Mommy’s can emerge there.

Personally, I think that when you actually drill down into people’s political identity, you’ll find that there are lots of discrepancies, people are rarely as binary as you think they are.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:33 pm

Corazon de Leon wrote:I think it’s less about them not working per se and more that *a very small subsection of people* take advantage of their situation when receiving state benefits. I watched my mum drift from centre-left to centre-right after going back to work in the social housing sector for ten-fifteen years and I can absolutely see how views like Mommy’s can emerge there.


I had a similar experience with a friend who joined the Met police. She was super left and eventually became a massive racist simply because she was dealing with crime in a lot of largely black areas.

Right wing views often tend to lack nuance in my mind, which is the reason these tiny minorities become the rule rather then the exception in people's minds.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Peter Crisp » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:54 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:Why?

One of my biggest bugbears with our current society is the fact that capitalism has somehow engendered an inherent view that work is moral and right and somehow a requirement to live a good life.

It's not.

(Obvs volunteering is cool)

Nothing to add towards the original question really but yeah: conservatism is, well, being conservative. A fear of change is inherent and progressive politics runs contrary to that.


I have to agree. There's a popular opinion that even working a job you thoroughly hate for low pay is somehow better than going to classes to improve yourself so you can maybe do something that doesn't make you want to kill yourself.
Work is in itself not a good thing and I disagree 100% that work ethic (I've worked with people who are working at a job they clearly despise but do a crapload of overtime because they claim they have a huge work ethic and if they don't get the job done nobody can which in a strawberry floating warehouse is laughable at best) says anything at all about the character of the person.
Life is a one time thing and forcing people to work most of it to pay for the basic necessities is just cruel. I think having a guaranteed basic income is a good idea as I feel 99% of people have ambitions that rise above that and will work they just won't feel a crushing dread at being sacked from jobs that they honestly despise and being evicted and having the kids taken away.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Skarjo » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:17 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:I certainly don't think work is inherently bad, I just thinks its moral worth has been hugely exaggerated. If to work and contribute is the only way to be seen as a valid part of society then that's a broken system given that there are so many who are denied the opportunity to do so in a meaningful way.


I mean, but gooseberry fool still needs to get done, no?

I say this with all the lentil munching Guraniad reading dislike of hardcore capitalism that you'd expect, but if you've got a roof over your head and food in your belly then someone, somewhere has done some work that you're benefitting from, no? Again, the systems that keep people out of work are complex and definitely up for discussion, and I'm not saying that people who are out of work and needing support are inherently in the wrong, but the act of being alive is an active process and you should be a player in that process.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:40 pm

Skarjo wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I certainly don't think work is inherently bad, I just thinks its moral worth has been hugely exaggerated. If to work and contribute is the only way to be seen as a valid part of society then that's a broken system given that there are so many who are denied the opportunity to do so in a meaningful way.


I mean, but gooseberry fool still needs to get done, no?

I say this with all the lentil munching Guraniad reading dislike of hardcore capitalism that you'd expect, but if you've got a roof over your head and food in your belly then someone, somewhere has done some work that you're benefitting from, no? Again, the systems that keep people out of work are complex and definitely up for discussion, and I'm not saying that people who are out of work and needing support are inherently in the wrong, but the act of being alive is an active process and you should be a player in that process.


Again, I'm not saying work is inherently bad. I'm saying that the need to be in work to be a valid member of society is bad. Have you read Bullshit Jobs?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs

I highly recommend it, and it (obviously) does a far better job than any summation I could cobble together.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Skarjo » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:52 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
Skarjo wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I certainly don't think work is inherently bad, I just thinks its moral worth has been hugely exaggerated. If to work and contribute is the only way to be seen as a valid part of society then that's a broken system given that there are so many who are denied the opportunity to do so in a meaningful way.


I mean, but gooseberry fool still needs to get done, no?

I say this with all the lentil munching Guraniad reading dislike of hardcore capitalism that you'd expect, but if you've got a roof over your head and food in your belly then someone, somewhere has done some work that you're benefitting from, no? Again, the systems that keep people out of work are complex and definitely up for discussion, and I'm not saying that people who are out of work and needing support are inherently in the wrong, but the act of being alive is an active process and you should be a player in that process.


Again, I'm not saying work is inherently bad. I'm saying that the need to be in work to be a valid member of society is bad. Have you read Bullshit Jobs?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs

I highly recommend it, and it (obviously) does a far better job than any summation I could cobble together.


I don't need to read that to know we're probably broadly on the same page about this. I agree that you don't need to be in work to be a valuable member of society, and strawberry float knows that having lived in Hong Kong and Japan I know more than enough about bullshit jobs that get done for the sake of being done rather than any actual inherent value.

I agree that being 'in work' is not the only way to contribute, but I also think that, for a variety of complex reasons, there does exist a group of people who will not contribute and that I think is wrong.

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