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laureth's avatar

Have you read your ideological opponents' classic works?

Asked by laureth (27184points) November 13th, 2011

This question is inspired by this article.

I think much can be gained by reading the other side’s canon, whether it’s a political, economic, religious, or any other kind of ideological divergence of opinion. What classics have you read from the other viewpoint? (Or, failing that, what classics have you read from your own?)

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33 Answers

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Excerpts of “Mein Kampf” and Mussolini’s “The Doctrine of Fascism”.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yes, I have read Das Capital, as well as most of the other political polemics.

laureth's avatar

@CaptainHarley – does this mean you equate liberalism with Communism, or that you are specifically opposed to Communism but not garden variety American liberalism? Galbraith’s The Affluent Society, perhaps? Keynes?

Or Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, book 4, chapter 3, part 1, “Digression Concerning Banks of Deposit?”

zenvelo's avatar

I’ve read some. I’ve read Buckley and George Will, and Deborah Saunders in the SF Chronicle. I read a lot of Milton Friedman, and agree with much of his theory, but find it incomplete from a policy viewpoint.

filmfann's avatar

Yeah, I read a lot of Bennet Cerf.

basstrom188's avatar

Adam Smith The wealth of nations

CaptainHarley's avatar

@laureth

LOL! No, I have a lot of friends who call themselves “liberal.” It’s not that I’m opposed to communism, or any of the other ”-isms.” It’s just that I’m opposed to any attempt to limit individual freedom.

In fact, if it weren’t for human greed and human intransigence, communism would the the ideal political philosophy. The problem is that a political philosopy which doesn’t take into account human fallibility is doomed to failure and will ultimately end up with the strong taking over and enslaving the weak.

Ron_C's avatar

I have read a number of Tea Party Manifestos and notice that their actions don’t match their words. Instead of promoting more democracy as described in their writings, they promote policies that lesson democracy, everything to greater freedoms favoring corporations over people to anti-union and attacks on firemen, police, and nurses.

We as a nation have to decide if we want fascist corporate control or democratic, human control. You can’t have both.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Ron_C

I don’t know what you’ve been reading, or who wrote it, but that’s not the Tea Party I know.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yes. I have read all the pseudo-scientific claptrap bemoaning the ruin of boys due to feminism and providing ‘answers’ to ‘what women want’.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

I lay almost all the blame for the many problems besetting boys and young men in today’s society right squarely on men. By abondoning their active participation in the lives of their sons ( and daughters as well ) they leave them adrift to figure out on their own what it means to be a man.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CaptainHarley I have read many studies recently that show boys do not benefit from hanging out with dads that are into ‘stoic masculinity’ so to speak. That is, for boys to be emotionally healthy and well-rounded, they should be around women and that once the dads ‘take over’ in teenage-hood, the boys suffer because they’re told to ‘man up’ and all that. This is unfortunate since all parents should be involved but when men (as we raised them) are involved, they’re not good parents.

It is further interesting to me (I’ve been writing a lot of theory on this) that it is now valuable for men to be emotionally available and that means they’re all of a sudden well-rounded whereas before when this was the realm of women, they were just seen as hysterical women…gender inequality is so pervasive that even things previously associated with women get put onto men and suddenly gain value and women are still left with whatever is less valuable…

laureth's avatar

@CaptainHarley – One must give up much personal freedom, simply to live in civilization.

SavoirFaire's avatar

It’s basically my job to read (and to teach) both sides. I’ve also switched sides on a number of issues since my days as a fledgling philosopher. Given that my current opponents are often my former allies, I’ve wound up fairly conversant in all of the various viewpoints.

Currently, I am reading the major works of Thomas Reid—one of the main intellectual opponents of my man David Hume.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@laureth

True, to a degree, but that should be a matter for the criminal code, or case law.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Finding the line which separates legal freedom from mere license.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CaptainHarley In regards to what? Can you be less cryptic?

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

It’s not higher mathematics. In the political relm, as well as the social relm, what is permissible is usually determined by case law built up over many years, and the cumulative effects of the laws passed by the people’s elected representatives.

In the US most of the foundation of this legal structure is based on the Constitution.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

Oops! Sorry! I seem to have gotten yours and @laureth ‘s questions mixed up. I’ll chalk it up to being very tired. ; )

What part of what you said was bullshit? Two parts: the part about “gender equality,” for one. Things that are essentially unlike are essentially unequal. The second was the concept that dads waiting until boys become teenagers to build a relationship is the rule rather than the exception. Using my own family as an example, I was intimately involved with both my boys and my girls from infancy onward. Both the boys and the girls were valued simply because they were, not because of what they did or because of how much what they did was highly valued.

koanhead's avatar

@CaptainHarley The plural of “anecdote” is not data.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir made what I consider to be an unsubstantiated claim. You responded with an anecdote about your own experience. This is utterly meaningless to debate: you could both simply be making things up. If either of you cares to provide any citations or references for your claims, then those could be evaluated on their merits; until then, you’re just having yet another pointless shouting match on the Internet.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Oh, God save us!

Anyone who has spend any time at all on the Internet knows that the chances of changing anyone’s mind on here approaches zero as a limit.

The pulral of “anecdote” is “anecdotes.” The singular of “data” is “datum.” So?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@koanhead Hi. We were not having a shouting match. It matters little to me what you consider to be a substantiated claim since you and I aren’t in conversation. Now, peanut gallery, you may go.
@CaptainHarley “Things that are essentially unlike are essentially unequal” – that’s what they said about black people when they lynched them. We are all unlike, as people. Yet, there is this crazy thing called equality that won’t let us simply slaughter one another. Secondly, I wasn’t speaking of your family since those studies are based on some men only and, clearly, many families are more progressive.

koanhead's avatar

@CaptainHarley I spend time on another site where people occasionally do change their minds in response to well-reasoned arguments. The level of discourse there is considerably higher than it is here. What you say may well be true of Fluther, but let’s keep in mind that Fluther is not a forum nor a blog, but a question-and-answer site. If you can’t back up your assertions, then expect to be argued with and/or flagged.
I’m sorry that you haven’t run into the saying “The plural of anecdote is not data” before. It’s a fairly common saying that means that “anecdotal evidence” is not actually evidence at all. I invite you to look it up for a more comprehensive explanation.

koanhead's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Thanks ever so kindly for the personal attack. I did not ask you to provide substantiation for your assertions. I only pointed out that they were unsubstantiated in my opinion.
Since the site architecture allows any user to do so, I will continue to feel free to comment on any question I wish, regardless of whether or not you consider me to be “in conversation” with some other user.

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augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Simmer down, folks. No need to make this personal.

Ron_C's avatar

@CaptainHarley I have met with many local tea party people, to me, they are woefully uninformed conspiracy theorists. They think that we are abusing corporations, health care is socialism instead of social policy, and they demand that we make this an official Christian country to prevent its takeover by Sharia Law.

They support politicians that want to do away with environmental protections and also give away our local natural gas resources at bargain basement prices for fear that we will loose to West Virginia. They want guns and prayer at school and want to get rid of all abortion regardless of a woman’s life, or whether the fetus was conceived by rape or incest. The want no regulation on industry but see nothing wrong with regulating your personal sex life. I truly felt uncomfortable at their meetings. I cannot understand how a country with little or no government and 300 million people is supposed to operate. They even want to get rid of minimum wage and child labor laws. I think that their idea of a great time in U.S. history was just before the Civil war with a filthy cut-throat industrialized North and legal slavery in the South.

CaptainHarley's avatar

LOL! Y’all too rich for MY blood! : )

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