Horseshoe Theory

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DNS
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Horseshoe Theory

Post by DNS » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:56 pm

Image

I mentioned about the Horseshoe Theory in another thread, so thought I'd start a new thread on just this topic.

The idea behind the theory is that the extremes start looking fairly similar and the more extreme they go, the more they look alike. It's something I noticed a long time ago when studying politics and taking some course at uni and even wrote a term paper about these ideas in a uni course, but never thought it was that profound an idea, so never published my ideas. Now I see some sociologists and political scientists have done that. :tongue:

Nationalists would be at the very far right extreme. Communists and extreme socialists would be at the far left extreme.
Notice how both these extremes tend to be totalitarian, don't hold elections or if they do, they are sham elections and are very authoritarian and big government.

U.S. Republicans would mostly be between centre & right.
U.S. Democrats would mostly be at centre with a few being between centre & left.

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fwiw
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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by fwiw » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:26 pm

DNS wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:56 pm
U.S. Republicans would mostly be between centre & right.
U.S. Democrats would mostly be at centre with a few being between centre & left.
That being the case, if your theory is correct, then everything should be fine in the USA right now, because of how polite and centrist everyone is. There is a contradiction here that needs to be addressed in my opinion
... in my opinion

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by DNS » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:34 pm

fwiw wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:26 pm
DNS wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:56 pm
U.S. Republicans would mostly be between centre & right.
U.S. Democrats would mostly be at centre with a few being between centre & left.
That being the case, if your theory is correct, then everything should be fine in the USA right now, because of how polite and centrist everyone is. There is a contradiction here that needs to be addressed in my opinion
Yes, I agree. I should say that is where the Democrats are and where the Republicans are, in theory. That is their political-philosophical-ideology. In reality, there is corruption and cronyism on all sides.

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by SethRich » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:27 pm

Greetings,

It appears that hostilities between the left and right are at something of an all-time high, but I don't think this is due to their extremes looking alike, or anything that the horseshoe theory is able to explain.

Rather, I think the forces that compelled the "uniparty" scenario into existence are disintegrating through exposure, and those who are threatened by that prospect are leveraging all their resources (e.g. mainstream media and big tech operating in concert to form echo chambers) to cover up and salvage the situation at all costs. If this has a deleterious impact on social cohesion, they don't mind, and in fact will aim to use such discord to their advantage.

These people are sick.

:candle:
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:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by fwiw » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:05 am

I think experience shows there is a huge difference between the far right and the far left

The far right nowadays is more than willing to kowtow to the establishment/oligarchs, and will only fool their followers into thinking they are anti-establishment (when it comes to what is really important to the oligarchs, that is their continued economical dominance, right wing politicians will kowtow but not necessarily so when it comes to immigration or race or any societal issue inconsequential to the billionaire class), in the likes of Mr Trump who is only anti-establishment when it doesn't actually disturb the establishment/oligarch's dominance

Whereas the (honest, not too) far left has the clear objective to take on the establishment/oligarchs and try to repurpose society so that it serves its members at large, and not just the rich

Saying these two are the same is a mainstream media, influencers, politcians and "analysts/experts" trope that in my opinion serves to sheep-herd people to the "center", which nowadays means (economically) the extreme right (and on societal issues somewhat lefty, although not necessarily so on immigration) in the likes of Macron. Sure, he is very polite and well-mannered on tv, but see what he does to protesters.

In other terms, that trope serves to rebrand near-fascism into centrism.

Just my opinion at the moment, liable to change any time given new factual information
... in my opinion

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by SarathW » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:29 am

DNS wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:56 pm
Image

I mentioned about the Horseshoe Theory in another thread, so thought I'd start a new thread on just this topic.

The idea behind the theory is that the extremes start looking fairly similar and the more extreme they go, the more they look alike. It's something I noticed a long time ago when studying politics and taking some course at uni and even wrote a term paper about these ideas in a uni course, but never thought it was that profound an idea, so never published my ideas. Now I see some sociologists and political scientists have done that. :tongue:

Nationalists would be at the very far right extreme. Communists and extreme socialists would be at the far left extreme.
Notice how both these extremes tend to be totalitarian, don't hold elections or if they do, they are sham elections and are very authoritarian and big government.

U.S. Republicans would mostly be between centre & right.
U.S. Democrats would mostly be at centre with a few being between centre & left.
I can agree with this.
That is why Buddha said that when we cross the floods we have to discard the raft.
Otherwise, you will be befallen to the place where you stat again.
When Tasan crosses the river with the aid of a wine (rope) he discards it immediately when he reach the other shore.
If he does not do it he ends up with where he started.
I discuss a similar phenomenon in the Dhamma Wheel.

Perhaps we should investigate why it happens like that.
My conclusion is irrespective of the political view people are the same when they come to attachment, aversion, and ignorance.
This is why Arahant does not do wholesome deeds or unwholesome deeds.
I gave up politics when I was in the Uni due to realisation of this.

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=35576

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:34 pm

fwiw wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:05 am
I think experience shows there is a huge difference between the far right and the far left

The far right nowadays is more than willing to kowtow to the establishment/oligarchs, and will only fool their followers into thinking they are anti-establishment (when it comes to what is really important to the oligarchs, that is their continued economical dominance, right wing politicians will kowtow but not necessarily so when it comes to immigration or race or any societal issue inconsequential to the billionaire class), in the likes of Mr Trump who is only anti-establishment when it doesn't actually disturb the establishment/oligarch's dominance

Whereas the (honest, not too) far left has the clear objective to take on the establishment/oligarchs and try to repurpose society so that it serves its members at large, and not just the rich

Saying these two are the same is a mainstream media, influencers, politcians and "analysts/experts" trope that in my opinion serves to sheep-herd people to the "center", which nowadays means (economically) the extreme right (and on societal issues somewhat lefty, although not necessarily so on immigration) in the likes of Macron. Sure, he is very polite and well-mannered on tv, but see what he does to protesters.

...Just my opinion at the moment, liable to change any time given new factual information
I agree with most of what you say here but I think there's some confusion or ambiguity about what "the left" means. On the one hand, it can mean the somewhat anarchic but well-intentioned social-justice-focused eco-aware rainbow-friendly mob which you seem to have in mind. On the other, it can mean the spiritual heirs of Stalin, working towards an authoritarian one-party state.
The latter does belong on the far end of David's horseshoe and is, in fact, far closer to the far right (i.e. dictatorships which may or may not be called fascist) than to the progressive left.

It's all so messy that I would prefer to avoid the terms "left" and "right" altogether, because they are almost completely useless - except, perhaps, as sticks to beat enemies with. :toilet:
In other terms, that trope serves to rebrand near-fascism into centrism.
Sigh.
Every political grouping tries to brand itself as sensible centrism and every other group as dangerously impractical ideologues.
:rolleye:

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by SethRich » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:50 am

Greetings,
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:34 pm
On the one hand, it can mean the somewhat anarchic but well-intentioned social-justice-focused eco-aware rainbow-friendly mob which you seem to have in mind. On the other, it can mean the spiritual heirs of Stalin, working towards an authoritarian one-party state.
The latter does belong on the far end of David's horseshoe and is, in fact, far closer to the far right (i.e. dictatorships which may or may not be called fascist) than to the progressive left.
I'm not sure they're as far apart as the above analysis would suggest. Some of the similarities are called out in the following article...

What the Leftist SJW Culture Have in Common with Communist Chinese Culture
A Comparative Analysis of how Marxist Culture is Trampling On the Freedoms of Hong Kong and America


The key points called out are:

- No room for dissent or differing opinions
- Scrubbing and rewriting history
- Cancel culture
- The Mobilization of children for propaganda purposes
- Obsession with privilege
- Lack of appreciation for the sanctity of ideas
- Obsession with the former "Axis" powers

It all sounds rather authoritarian to me, but then, coercing other people to share your worldview might be regarded by some as "leadership".

:?

:candle:
Last edited by SethRich on Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:35 am

I'm sorry, Paul, but I don't find refried garbage from the murkier depths of the alt-right swamp very appetising, and I'm sure it's not nutritious. Chacun a son gout, of course: if you enjoy it ...

:namaste:
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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by SethRich » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:55 am

Greetings,

Or in other words, Kim can't refute those similarities so he'll resort to calling a sweet young Asian lady by the name of S.G. Cheah posting on Medium, "Alt-right".

Real class act.

:?

I guess she was onto something when she spoke about "no room for dissent or differing opinions"
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:11 am
You disapprove of it and call it coercion. I approve of it and call it leadership.
:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by fwiw » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:59 pm

SethRich wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:50 am
What the Leftist SJW Culture Have in Common with Communist Chinese Culture
A Comparative Analysis of how Marxist Culture is Trampling On the Freedoms of Hong Kong and America


The key points called out are:

- No room for dissent or differing opinions
- Scrubbing and rewriting history
- Cancel culture
- The Mobilization of children for propaganda purposes
- Obsession with privilege
- Lack of appreciation for the sanctity of ideas
- Obsession with the former "Axis" powers
No matter how true all of this might be, one can't avoid seeing that this is unrestrained divisive speech. To quote you, "divisive, unproductive, socially corrosive and destructive". It is not difficult to come up with articles even better grounded about Trump or Bolsonaro supporters and the similarities they share with the Nazi government. And then we could have a shouting match of articles dissing the other side of the aisle. What for?
... in my opinion

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by fwiw » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:20 am

If I may try to elevate the conversation, the fact is, Paul, that your opinions often align with people on the Trump train

If it is assumed that this puts you in a majority of conversations on the right end of the political spectrum (which is, I think, what most people think), then if the horseshoe theory is right, it puts you also somehow closer to the left end.

Perhaps what the horseshoe model does is oversimplify everything and try to drive people to the center / status quo / establishment?
... in my opinion

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:23 pm

fwiw wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:20 am
...Perhaps what the horseshoe model does is oversimplify everything and try to drive people to the center / status quo / establishment?
I think the model actually tries to describe what's going on rather than to encourage change.
fwiw wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:20 am
If I may try to elevate the conversation, the fact is, Paul, that your opinions often align with people on the Trump train

If it is assumed that this puts you in a majority of conversations on the right end of the political spectrum (which is, I think, what most people think), then if the horseshoe theory is right, it puts you also somehow closer to the left end.
Another way of describing this kind of outcome is to say that people on the extremes have more in common with each other (and less in common with the people they usually claim to represent or serve) than they believe or would ever be willing to admit. Animal Farm, anyone?

As for Paul, I don't know.
:shrug:

:coffee:
Kim

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:46 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:23 pm
I think the model actually tries to describe what's going on rather than to encourage change.
Correct, it is just describing the reality, not suggesting which position is best or encourage which way to go.

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:54 pm

The problem with the horseshoe theory is that although it describes the reality of the extremes becoming somewhat similar, it doesn't describe one's total political views. For example, one can be left or or right on economics but there is also another spectrum, that of the degree of authoritarianism vs libertarianism. In that sense, to get a full picture, the political compass is probably best.

Image

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by fwiw » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:14 pm

Here is my data
chart.png
chart.png (17.29 KiB) Viewed 43 times

Some like to pretend the bottom left is empty. I think it's way more crowded than they think
... in my opinion

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by SethRich » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:18 pm

Greetings,
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:23 pm
As for Paul, I don't know.
:shrug:
Without doing the test again, roughly just to the left of where the L is on the Libertarian Right quadrant.

Although, as has been explained previously, my position is informed by the Dhamma, but also mindful of that which does not work well in practice (e.g. that which manipulates or ignores the market, that which is prone to corruption and embezzlement, that which surrenders sovereignty)

In the Horseshoe Model, the two extremes are both authoritarian so if it were to be overlaid upon the political compass, it would be vertically flipped with the pointy ends up, not down. The case in point here is Hitler, who was a national socialist (I.e. Nazi) but is perceived by many as right wing... what he certainly was, is authoritarian. No way in hell he was libertarian - either in reality, or by appearance.

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:58 pm

SethRich wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:18 pm
Without doing the test again, roughly just to the left of where the L is on the Libertarian Right quadrant.
Me too. :thumb:

I found my results from 2015 when I took the quiz, don't think there are any changes since then.

Economic Left/Right: 1.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.97
my chart.png
my chart.png (43.22 KiB) Viewed 28 times

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:59 pm

SethRich wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:18 pm
In the Horseshoe Model, the two extremes are both authoritarian so if it were to be overlaid upon the political compass, it would be vertically flipped with the pointy ends up, not down. The case in point here is Hitler, who was a national socialist (I.e. Nazi) but is perceived by many as right wing... what he certainly was, is authoritarian.
Good point.
No way in hell he was libertarian - either in reality, or by appearance.
That's for sure! :D

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Re: Horseshoe Theory

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:41 pm

DNS wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:54 pm
The problem with the horseshoe theory is that although it describes the reality of the extremes becoming somewhat similar, it doesn't describe one's total political views. For example, one can be left or or right on economics but there is also another spectrum, that of the degree of authoritarianism vs libertarianism. In that sense, to get a full picture, the political compass is probably best. ...
:thumb:
It's certainly far better than any one-dimensional analysis (and thanks for sharing your positions on it, folks). There have been many attempts to include more aspects - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_spectrum - but most of them are to complicated for general use.

:coffee:
Kim

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