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Apocalyptic Thinking and Progressives (we are all doomed but we still need healthcare)

 
 
Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2021 07:19 pm
Over the past week, I have read the following from progressives.

- We are going to run out of Phosphorus (and potassium) and society will collapse.
- Genetically modified organisms will destroy native crops and society will collapse.
- The bees are all dying and society will collapse.
- Voter IDs and society will collapse.
- Covid mutant strains are coming and society will collapse.
- The police are Nazis and society will collapse.
- People are saying sexist things on twitter and society will collapse.

There is a political motivation for this. Painting the world as falling apart and your party as the only solution is time-tested strategy to win election. But I think there is something more.

I think pessimists are drawn to the progressive side in greater numbers. These are the people who see the worst in humanity, and exagerrate every problem into an existential crisis.

Many times progressives will argue against good news... try to explain that data objectively shows violence against women going down significantly year after year, or that the number of people facing starvation is at a historic low, or that the trend of honey bees is now starting to turn the corner. There is a psychological need for things to be bad.

Are there any optimistic progressives?

 
View best answer, chosen by maxdancona
Mame
  Selected Answer
 
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Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2021 07:39 pm
@maxdancona,
What I'm wondering is if you like mustard, relish or ketchup more on your hot dog.
maxdancona
 
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Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2021 07:50 pm
@Mame,
Ketchup and relish would be great! Thank you Mame, I always knew we could get along.
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maxdancona
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 10:07 am
For example...

I have yet to find a progressive who is willing to admit that violence against women has fallen precipitously in the past 30 years.

They will first angrily deny the fact. When I show the actual data, which is quite encouraging, they will look for excuses or reasons why it can't be true. They will point to an upsearch of violence against indigenous women under 37 in Northern Minneapolis, or they will look for slight increases in isolated years as signs of desperate hope that maybe things will get worse in the next few years.

Good news makes them uncomforable, which is why they are constantly searching for signs that things are bad and getting worse.

If you are a progressive who is happy that violence against women is at a historic low... please let me know.
neptuneblue
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 10:29 am
@maxdancona,
You're wanting to jump up and down saying "HOORAY rape stats have gone down!!" That is good news. However you make it seem like that's the END of the problem and not just the start of stopping violence against women.

Sure, air pollution is not nearly as bad as it once was and I'm grateful for that as well. But that doesn't mean deregulation should happen and be celebrated.

It's not that good news isn't good news, it's the fact there's tons of stuff left to do and you tend marginalize any effort to continue to lower the instances of problematic issues.
hightor
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 11:07 am
@maxdancona,
What you leave out is the "if". People observe trends to see where society is headed in 10, 20, 50, or 100 years. There's a certain amount of confidence that, if dangerous trends are identified and addressed in a timely manner, the worst consequences can be avoided.

Quote:
There is a political motivation for this.

Not really. It's more like preaching to the choir. Ideas which run counter to the "people are great, we can do anything" narrative don't usually reach people predisposed to reject what they see as "pessimism".
Quote:
... or that the trend of honey bees is now starting to turn the corner.

And where did you hear that?
Quote:
Are there any optimistic progressives?

I'm not a "progressive" but I think it's stupid to refuse on principle to believe or even consider bad news. One shouldn't be a doctrinaire optimist or a committed pessimist — it's more constructive to marshal the facts, weigh the evidence, and decide on a case by case basis.
maxdancona
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 11:39 am
@neptuneblue,
I understand this, but there are consequences to putting ideological narrative and political expediency over fuctual accuracy.

We now have a deeply divides society wheee left and right each have their own sets of facts. It is rare to see a progressive acknowledge when a conservative makes a valid point, or vice versa. I don't belive this is good for society or for democracy.

When ideologies are more important than facts, the facts suffer.
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maxdancona
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 11:42 am
@hightor,
There are a great number of positive trends globally as humanity progresses in a time of unprecedented peace.

There are a few negative trends, and as Neptune says we should be honest about these and work to change them.
neptuneblue
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 12:10 pm
@maxdancona,
Negative trends? Again you are downplaying the magnitude of certain issues.
maxdancona
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 12:37 pm
@neptuneblue,
Which specific issues do you think I am downplaying?
farmerman
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 12:45 pm
@maxdancona,
Want it Trump who promised a really great health care bill ifn only he could burn Obamacare. It took the USSC to enstate O;care more forcefully. When did the GOP even hint that they were building a better health care Bill???

answer: never. It was all a lie. Obama care, as flawed s swections may be, was counting on bipartisan compromise .

Today its voter surpression that makes the GOP blood run hot.

Are we headed for another Civil War? and a subsequent Balkanized set of countries??
maxdancona
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 05:16 pm
I want to address the existential crisis myth of Global Climate Change. The term "existential crisis" has been used by politicians and pundits. It is nonsense when it comes to the science.

The term "existential crisis" implies that as a civilization we are serious risk of ceasing to exist. The belief is that if we don't address global climate change, either all human life on the planet will end, or whole major civilizations will crumble and we will go to some post-apocalyptic stone age future a la Mad Max.

Except the science isn't saying anything close to this.

Climate change is real, and it is serous. Millions of people may die... which is in itself a reason to take drastic action. There will be billions of dollars of damage, with increased droughts, more extreme weather events and ecological damage.

All of these things are serious. But humanity will go on and most of civilization will go on much as today. Again, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't take it seriously.

The idea that humanity itself is in danger of near term extinction is a gross exagerration unsupported by science.
oralloy
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 05:56 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
When did the GOP even hint that they were building a better health care Bill???
answer: never. It was all a lie.

That is incorrect. The Republicans have a plan to model American health care on Singapore's system.

I don't have details because I've never been curious enough to look into it, but I do know that the plan exists.
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farmerman
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 07:01 pm
@maxdancona,
existential crisis often mens that a serious event or events can occur that result in major changes to our existence. IN THAT, A.C.C. actually does qualify. We may drive many other species to extinction and thus we suffer an existential crisis.
Words and phrases have meanings covered by a series of broader definitions
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farmerman
 
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Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2021 07:03 pm
@maxdancona,
A.C.C. looks like it can cause the extinction of C3 plantlife. We may be eting soylent green someday
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