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May 31, 2023Liked by Dr. Maximilian C. Forte

Who's fault is the division really? Is it fair to dunk on "right wingers" for ideological differences when it's unlikely the other side has any desire to give an inch in their direction either.

Is it really so impossible that different groups simply have irreconcilable differences that should be peacefully negotiated, rather than inflamed with blame and shame?

Ultimately I agree with your conclusion that there is no overarching resistance across tribal affiliation, but what's the fix?

Is it to continue to nit-pick ideological differences, or find ways to connect despite it?

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Jun 1, 2023Liked by Dr. Maximilian C. Forte

The divide is the fault of politicians, media, and corporate interests that stoke flames for gain (whatever that gain may be). However, the divide at this point is also equally the fault of those that refuse to acknowledge the tactics at play by powers on both "sides" and participate in ideological nitpicking, petty pointless fingerpointing and moral grandstanding on behalf of one side or the other. We need to extract ourselves completely from choosing the lesser of two evils, and/or assigning every political/moral issue to a side on the political spectrum.

Thats my view at this point.

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I tend to spend more of my time these last few years conversing and debating with conservatives, because I personally find many self-described leftist forums to be insufferable. As a result I am steeped more in one camp than the other, when before it was the reverse. I owe allegiance to neither. I keep trying to get people to realize that their brains, like their lives, are all their own, and they were not put on this earth just to uphold some other (dead) person's agenda. But for now, the focus of the article is justified since the noise being made about Target is coming from one camp, and they need to engage in some critical self-examination as much as anyone else.

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I think there's a bit of a false dichotomy being portrayed here. Right-wingers, libertarians, some conservatives (collectively, the camp on the "right" that doesn't start race and gender wars or typically set cities on fire in the name of DEI) disapprove of looting for completely different reasons than those they adopt in support of boycotts. Their values are in no way inconsistent in these matters.

On the one hand, they call for legitimate boycotts of businesses that promote a morally ambiguous, arguably reprehensible marketing campaign target-ing children with inappropriate, sexually themed lifestyle products. On the other hand, they oppose wanton chaos and aggression that follows no core moral value whatsoever but is instead arbitrary, or random in its practice. Think BLM destroying black-owned businesses AS WELL AS big box stores in a bid to sow chaos, not to attack the big corps. Looting doesn't only happen in Target and Walmart stores. Looters don't generally enter establishments thinking "I'm going to loot this place on ideological grounds."

My two cents. Richard G

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Jun 1, 2023·edited Jun 2, 2023Author

I don't think you have seriously studied the history of looting, to be able to conclude that it is "typically indiscriminate". It is also not problematic that former shoppers at a box store, become its looters--it makes perfect sense. Looting, like migration, follows capital.

You can assert that issues are being "wrongfully conflated," but you do not show that. In actual reality, both things are happening at the same time, in the same place.

Groups such as yours decided to kick down and denounce looters, precisely at the peak of the lockdowns that destroyed the communities where such looting occurred. Sharing racist videos about the looters turning Target into a "zoo," with an added soundtrack of Gangsta Rap, also says a lot, and far more than I would like to hear.

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Jun 1, 2023·edited Jun 1, 2023Author

People on the right do NOT start race or gender wars? Did you actually write that, or did some malicious troll seize possession of your keyboard when you were not looking?

What do you think slavery was, if not the start of a race war? What about telling a certain group of people that they had to sit at the back of the bus, or drink from specified fountains, or were banned entry to certain establishments--also not a race war? And against what did feminism originally emerge? Ever heard of "barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen"? You reap what you sow.

The fact remains: you justify far more expensive attacks on something like Target, while denouncing certain other attacks because they don't square with your hypocritical, complacent, contented, bourgeouis values.

Denying looters the capacity to think about what they are doing and why, and just frame their actions as immoral, random, and arbitrary does help in one way: it helps to underscore the fact that you think of these people as dumb animals.

Unfairly dunking on the right? I have not even started.

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Jun 1, 2023·edited Jun 1, 2023
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I am glad to see some of the right wingers I had in mind showing up here to provide such a weak defense for their unjustifiable biases. It is why you will remain secluded, continue the divisions, and the big corporations will continue winning.

Also, your massive chip on the shoulder when it comes to academics is showing here. Remember to always wear your underwear on the inside of your pants. Nobody likes to see the undignified stance of someone with a severe inferiority complex.

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Also, please don't be pompous with me--in this aspect, you exceed most of my academic colleagues. "Overcoming division is something we must do on an individual level"? Really, and have you overcome it, or are you still sharing racist videos instead?

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Jun 2, 2023·edited Jun 2, 2023Author

In the interest of complete transparency, my policy with comments is that I will not allow them to escalate and spiral out of control. The rule here, for me or anyone else, is that something is posted, then there is a critique, and then the original author responds--and that is it. I don't want to see the comments section explode into some melodramatic novel. Anyone abusing this policy will be permanently banned.

Two commenters above are temporarily suspended, in the hope that this cools things down. One of them decided to post an abusive comment under another name (like a troll), and is now permanently banned.

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Jun 2, 2023Liked by Dr. Maximilian C. Forte

Anecdotally, this past weekend I went to a bachelor party weekend with 10 old friends, people I've known since childhood, and who have over time filtered to opposite ends of the political spectrum, the two most extreme being a Trump supporting flat earth lizard people conspiracist, and at the other a Concordia PHD and lecturer who apparently majored in white guilt and speech policing, with most of the rest somewhere in the middle, and myself who prefers to be left out of the entire spectrum altogether. We had a messenger group leading up to the event which predictably devolved into self-indulgent hostile nonsense between people on the opposite ends of the ideological aisle, which left me dreading the weekend would be a disaster before it even began.

Know what happened when we were altogether? We drank beer, smoked pot, went swimming, and sat around the fire talking about just about anything but all that bullshit.

I think it's a great example of how disconnected people can become from any ideas outside of their prescribed online and/or university echo chambers, and equally just how powerful those echo chambers can be when we don't engage with people in the real world. There is a palpable toxicity to online forums (and I think we have a few examples of it in this comment section already), but just like that video most of us have seen with the dogs barking through a gate at each other ... pull away the gate, and the vitriol tends to melt away for most people ... because all of a sudden you have to be accountable for your words and actions.

Just a thought :)

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