I do not even know what to say

But it’s a rare moment when I’m tempted to quote The Princess Bride.

~ by Servetus on June 22, 2018.

26 Responses to “I do not even know what to say”

  1. I am not sure of the context of his tweet, but I am tempted to snigger. I’ve never found liberalism a) particularly radical and therefore b) not worthy of defending as such. But as I said, I am unsure why he tweeted this.

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    • It means wildly different things in different contexts (historical, geographical, contemporary), in fact so different that it can mean two entirely contradictory things, even in the present. I assume he’s referring to it as an insult from right to left but it can also be an insult from left to right. I used to spend a whole class on this in modern western civ, and there’s a fight about it going on among political scientists at the moment.

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      • Spot on, Serv. In the circles I hang out with, “Liberal” is definitely a derogatory term. Well, even “liberal” is. It’s simply not going far enough. But well, no surprise there to hear this from Mr A. I’d just really appreciate it if he were a little clearer about his references. He often tweets stuff completely without citing a particular context, leaving it up to his readers to figure out what he is referring to. Which comes across as wishy washy imo. Anyway, confirms what we already knew… his brand of mildly left Liberalism.

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        • well, this is part of the problem — so you’re (I assume) looking at liberal in the conventional colloquial sense and saying, more or less, what Communists had to say about trade unionists. in that sense “liberal” is someone like Kerensky in 1917. Whereas originally the term meant something more like Mr. Thornton without the factory cafeteria — i.e., someone who would we would essentially consider a conservative today in the German context: Pro-big business, anti-regulation, pro-free-trade (maybe something like the German FDP as Suse says below, or the GOP before Trump). Then there’s what the Fox News people mean when they say liberals, which would be my guess as to what he’s talking about here (pro-entitlement, pro-social program, pro-human rights) — someone like Hilary Clinton.

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          • Yes. Hence my distinction between capitalised and uncapitalised l/Liberal.
            “Thornton without the cafeteria” 😂😂😂
            Ah, ok, Fox News again. Having only just returned from holiday, I was unaware of their latest hate-mongering.

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            • well, I’m just guessing (and that’s a constant refrain on Fox), he could mean Lib Dems in England.

              And we haven’t even started talking about Latin America, lol.

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              • Where I come from- Argentina- a liberal is considered, politically speaking, more of a right sympathiser than a leftie. And, as far as economics, as someone clealy in favour of laissez-faire. All in all, it ‘s always been used as an insult, mostly by those who identify themselves with the Peronista Party (if they adhere to its left wing. Yes, they also have a right wing…Don’t ask me to explain our politics for nobody’s ever been able to make heads or tails out of it.). Although to be honest, it is regarded in a negative light by everyone except by centrists.

                Liked by 1 person

                • right — closer to its original meaning in the 19th c. I don’t think of it as a very positive word, mainly for that reason.

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            • oh, the other thing — media are not very scrupulous at least in my view about how they use the “L” so I tend to ignore it. This is part of why political scientists are debating the topic at the moment, i.e., should we separate “classical liberal” from “neo liberal,” etc. — what consequences does it have for teaching and so on.

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    • I‘ve repeatedly seen the word „liberal“ used derogatively on social media (Those „liberal lefties“!! – a term which doesn‘t make much sense in my view but I‘ve seen it fairly often…).
      I think he‘s trying to point out that liberal can denote something positive, perhaps in the sense in which the German FDP once used to consider itself as liberal and actually upheld certain moral values? I don‘t know…

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      • that’s what it means in the U.S., but yeah, it’s kind of a weird designation from the German perspective. Someone like Hilary Clinton is a “lefty liberal” or (to use a term from my childhood) “bleeding heart liberal”. Which is nothing like someone like Christian Lindner.

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  2. I mean just say liberalism is not a dirty word— Lets all love each other! Or better yet just focus on “My Zoe”. The Princess Bride is a wonderful movie! So glad to hear that your dad is on the mend,. Maybe Richard’s tweeting is a good diversion for you or maybe not.

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    • While mom was dying this blog kind of kept me alive, so (although this is not anywhere near that bad) I am going to try to stay engaged. Unfortunately I am dad’s 24 / 7 skilled nursing support, so it will be erratic for a time.

      I think he should say what he wants — I am not in the “you’re just an actor” category. However, he should be prepared for blowback. He has a highly educated very politically aware fandom.

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      • Yeah I was just scratching my head about the long winded cloak and dagger message of the tweet. Maybe he was taking a swipe at Trump and the wave of disturbing news lately. I would hope that he would comment on the displacement of children from their families at the U.S. border esp since he had visited a refugee camp outside of Berlin (I think) in 2016 and wrote in my opinion a very heartfelt and honest account of what he and Michelle Forbes saw there. He’s a very smart guy and in this case I wish he would be more honest and heartfelt about his political opinion(s) instead of using dictionary definitions for what he wants to say.

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        • I suspect he got enough negative blowback on that that he may not write about it again (there was no evidence that he returned to the shelter in 2017, for instance). The whole “according to the dictionary” thing drives me batty, as someone who’s taught writing for years, but he stopped school for all intents and purposes at 17.

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          • That’s right he did! I wouldn’t mind him tweeting I guess that is the only forum he really uses about topics that he is passionate about or even about his views on the homeless situation in the UK, healthcare in Britain, even current events outside his sphere like North Korea, Syria (I know all not really plausible. ) He should apply his 3 buzz words empathy, equality and community and say what he really means instead of this passive and a bit condescending tweet.

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  3. Twitter is a poor forum for such discussions and he has never been particularly good at using it to start with. You’d think he’d learn how to express himself a bit better, but if he doesn’t mind the blowback, then so be it.

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    • yeah — I just hope we don’t get another article about how fans made him think twice about talking about politics or whatever. Everyone has to think twice. Not just Armitage.

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  4. Wenn er solch ein komplexes Thema gerne ansprechen möchte, dann ist Twitter dafür wenig geeignet. Dieses Wort kann so unterschiedlich gebraucht werden, dass man sich über die unterschiedlichen Deutungen (allein heute… und erst historisch betrachtet) unterhalten müsste. Ich habe noch nie ein Interview von ihm wahrgenommen, in dem er sich auch nur ansatzweise über ein solches Thema ausgetauscht hätte. Generell habe ich ihn noch nie in einem (längeren) Gespräch über gesellschaftliche Themen erlebt. Wenn, dann waren das Postings, bei denen kein Dialog möglich war und bei denen sich am Ende andere darüber gestritten haben, was er womöglich gemeint haben könnte. Das ist nicht konstruktiv.
    Solche Kurznachrichten lassen sich nur einordnen, wenn die Haltung der Person zu dem behandelten Thema bereits bekannt ist.

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  5. 🙂 J’adhère à ce que les fans ont écrit ci-dessus.
    En premier dans l’échelle des valeurs, je préfère positionner la notion d’humanisme, plutôt que celle de libéralisme.
    Ensuite il y a la position du curseur. Dans chacun de nos pays respectifs, les notions de libéralisme, de droite et de gauche, de liberté, d’égalité ne sont pas identiques, dans leur positionnement de référence.
    Bonne fin de semaine à vous deux!

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    • “humanism” is also an epithet in the U.S., but I agree. Or, if his point is simply that people should be more open and generous, perhaps “liberality’ as opposed to liberalism.

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      • 🙂 Il voulait peut-être juste discuter, comment le libéralisme peut être dévoyé par certains gouvernants en néo, ultra libéralisme et dans d’autres pays, le libéralisme peut prendre d’autres voix moins radicales, qu’il soutient?

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  6. Right now, where I’m at, ANY disagreement with anything “Trump” gets you called a “Libtard” and you are basically regarded as a communist (though called a socialist because they know no distinction). Democrats don’t even appear to exist anymore according to them, you are a Libtard socialist (meaning communist) if you don’t agree with the president. I don’t even identify as a member of the libertarian party so it’s infuriating to deal with and I really appreciated reading Richard’s tweet, which appears to be a google result/definition from a simple google search of a term which has been vilified and thrown in my face as an intended insult often lately, so much so that it’s reassuring to see others being a voice of reason about it’s true definition because it has been twisted to a baffling degree where I am by the nationalist fire. Maybe that was difficult for people to get who are in areas that aren’t dealing with this first hand, but for what I’ve been experiencing he expressed himself admirably.

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    • Thanks for the comment and welcome. What I’d say is that his comment made sense from where you are sitting. Great for you, but for a worldwide fandom, or for people who know something about liberalism beyond the Google definition of it, it was mystifying and / or problematic. My point is precisely that he picks one (not very universal or accurate) definition of the word, and just because Google says something is so doesn’t make it that way.

      Another subtext for reading his tweet for many of us was the indirect scolding his fans took as a group for the disagreement of some of his fans over his statements about Brexit. In the interview discussing this he stated that it made him think about what he said about politics. This statement seems unreflected to many of us. For anyone experiencing “politics fatigue” right now, it seemed like a mostly unqualified entry into a discussion that he stated he didn’t want to be having.

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