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From now on, I am ignoring anyone outside of the gray box.

Thank you.


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I think I need a ruling from the referee in the booth:


I love medicine. Medicine is my firend.

And the politicians are ignoring people in the grey box...

If any names came to mind, a useful/funny thing to do would be to note, for both directions, someone who you think is just barely over, and someone else who you think is just barely within, the gray zone.

Over/under on how long this lasts: I'd give a week.

Of course what really matters here, Michele, is what "far left" and "far right" means to YOU. But I have heard people like Bill Buckley, Thomas Sowell, and Robert Bork described as "far right."

For definition, let's go with Indymedia on the left and Free Republic on the right.

In a phrase: Tin Foil Hats.

I usually tend to ignore people that aren't completely moderate.. as in: open to argument, no dogmas, logic, reason.

It's quite hard to find people like that.

Problem is that it's hard to ignore those people at the far sides of the spectrum. And it's still almost a year before election time in the US.. I have the feeling the far right and far left wings are going to grow huge. I've had visions of blogs exploding from all the rage and snarkyness during November 2004.

Great idea...if only politicians would ignore those outside the grey box, we would have decent candidates from both parties.

A friend of mine sez that if you curve this graph like a horseshoe,it will become more clear that the" extremes" are actually brothers and sisters.

you are the goddess
once and always


"A friend of mine sez that if you curve this graph like a horseshoe,it will become more clear that the" extremes" are actually brothers and sisters."

People have tried to convince me of that as well--but I believe that the reason that this appears to be so is misdefinition of terms.

Far right is often described as things like Nazism an Fascism--despite the fact that those systems share the state run economy and totalitarian nature of communism. Additionally, theocracy gets toosed on the right even though it, too, eventually gets to a 'state' run everything.

I propose that all these things are, in fact, the left. That the left is actually statism, and the far left is statism run rampant.

This, of course beggars the question, what then is the far right exactly?

Anarchy. Not the anarchy of the black masked socialists that march in lockstep with their socialist, statist brothers, but the real anarchy where the only social conscience is that provided by self-interest.

State vs. non-state. Non freedom vs. total freedom
Put that way, which would you choose?

"State vs. non-state. Non freedom vs. total freedom. Put that way, which would you choose?"

That's just it, Jack. Those of us inside the gray box don't want to be forced to choose between two equally insane extremes.

Why do we have to be gray? It's so bland. We're not the AARP, for god's sake.

Michele, I concur. However I'd be inclined to add a small red gap smack dab in the middle as well. It's hard to debate, take serious, or be enlightened by someone with apathy or no opinion at all.

Jack, partly you are right.

Part of the problem I think is that there are multiple definitions of left and right. Actually those terms are pretty useless.

You have an axis running from communism to libertarianism. Left-right. Non-freedom to total freedom.

But where does conservatism fit in, then?

It just doesn't work out in a one-dimensional system. And afaik in the old parliaments 'progressives' were on the left side on the parliament, hence the name, and the 'conservatives', on the right.

(also a misdefinition: left != progressivism per se. Just like the right isn't progressive per se.)

But why would someone in the center have no opinion, Sondrak? You can be a centrist and still have strong opinions about things.

Sondrak,I consider myself in the middle - a centrist, if you will. I would venture to say that I have strong opinions, no?

What if I am neither right or left on the graph? I am somewhat "south" of the right-side of the middle left portion........

......and are we talking politically, or sexually?

"State vs. non-state. Non freedom vs. total freedom"

I see it as a bit different. Anarchosocialism in basically communal living with no regulatory structure. It is the anarchy of the left. Anarchy as you defined would not mean total freedom since you would still be responsible to your community. I think Libertarianism taken to its extreme could be considered anarchy of the right since private property still exists.

I still see far right and far left meeting either in a circle or as part of the horseshoe. The overriding quality of "far" in that equation is the imposition of ideology and the refusal to accept any competitors. Basically totalitarian as you stated which I don't think the right or left have exclusive rights to.

Um. Michele, the left-right paradigm does not work very well. Where for instance do we libertarians end up on your line?

Ok, you all don't get it.

I just mean that I am ignoring anyone that should be wearing a tin foil hat.

Michele, I don't know much about the other "centrists" but I believe strongly that you are not SMACK DAB in the middle. I would be quite surprised to take your strong opinions, average them out and find you there.

I know I can be all over the graph myself at times but I always end up somewhere left or right of the middle when it comes down to it. I am quite open minded to forming my opinions based on every bit of information I can obtain.

But rarely once either side of the scale is filled do I find it in complete balance.

But,you might be open to my delightful tin-foil undreoos?

Uh,that should be Underoos

Tin foil Oreoes hurt my fillings:)

You can be a centrist without whimpering, "Well, both sides sort of have a point..."

For definition, let's go with Indymedia on the left and Free Republic on the right.

Oh, goody. That means I'm what I've always thought - a moderate.

what do you have against tinfoil hats?

1) They are stylishly trendy.

2) They don't rust.

3) All the other wacko's leave you alone cause you're wearing the tin foil hat.

4) You can scream at the Mickey D's manager for the tiniest slight, like no napkins in the drive through or the straw dispenser being empty and turn it into a diatribe about Elvis and the aliens going back in time to shoot JFK in order to prevent the Spanish American war. After you leave, everyone just thinks "WACKO" but you giggle for days at the shocked look on the patrons faces........

Not like I would do that or would have even ever wore one.

I agree with Jack's assessment of left to right with anarchy on the right and The Matrix on the left. The term I believe comes from the Estates General during the French Revolution, with the Jacobins on the left and the conservatives on the right.

That's also one reason why left and right don't make as much sense in the American context. We've never taken seriously nutcases on the left and in fact think they are dangerous. Unfortunately, these nutjobs have taken over our universities and the fruits of it are the WTO demonstrations, Rachel Corrie, and such. In another generation, we might have an actual left -- complete with riots, treason, guillotines, etc. Similarly, I'm not sure we really have a serious right-wing, either.

Most Americans are neither left or right. Most Americans could care less what you do or with whom, and demand the same. We tend to be susceptible to factionalism, but extremism tends to eventually be absorbed into the general apathy Americans have toward revolutionary change. The Europeans say we have a political system with two right wings -- and again, that's because they don't really get what we're about. Few Americans believe we can invent a utopia through the state, and few Americans believe we should just dismantle the government, either.

I don't think that Indymedia and Free Republic are that useful to appeal to here. They are both way over their respective lines. What would be interesting is to see who various folks think is just barely over the line. For example, I think that the staff of Reason is, by and large, just shy of the line ... and many of the NRO 'Corner' people (Derbyshire, e.g.) are just over it.

Maybe The Nation as just-over-the-line on the left? (On average, that is; I think that Alterman, e.g., is within the 'gray zone'.)

Yes, Derbyshire lives just over that line.

Hmmm....I have an idea. Hang on to that thought, JW.

If you look at people like Hitler, he was only "right-wing" in a sense that really isn't applicable in the US, because it's a right wing that originally opposed classical liberalism, which is actually a major part of American conservatism (and the conservatism of people like Thatcher) -- really, they were national SOCIALISTS... so obviously they'd fall to the left by contemporary American standards.

Looks like a rolling pin with red handles. Maybe something Freudian?

Yes. It means I want to beat the hell out of everyone in the world with a giant rolling pin.


You know I actually saw someone wear an tinfoil hat on a bus once.

From http://www.blogrolling.com/br/sidebar.phtml?r=4c35e83fff9404b3604536607c4813b2&overridetarget=_main

Emperor Misha

Actions speak louder, and all that.

Wow, that gray box is a lot wider than I have.
At any rate, good for you! Nothing good comes from extremists and sometimes there ARE no "one-size-fits-all" solutions.

- Some guy who loves your writing, but your commenters give me a frickin' migraine. _

Nice! I'd ignore the people outside the gray box if I wasn't afraid of turning my back to them.