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The pointlessness of most political debate on internet forums

November 10, 2011

I started to reply to a thread on Scottish nationalism on the Word Magazine blog tonight, I reacted to several posts by one contributor.

I spent 20 minutes writing the reply and then, having brushed my teeth, realised it’s utterly pointless. I deleted it, because the idea of any kind of deep political discussion, much less change, happening thanks to discussions on the blog of a music magazine is either: a) misguided, b) ridiculously utopian, or, c) evidence of the rampant egotism of all of us in this age of free information exchange.
The fact I am posting the deleted entry here is testament to both this age of ego and the power of my own. I hope no-one reads this. Apart from the last couple of lines.
It’s disingenuous to suggest that a coalition of political identities emerge solely as a matter of political expediency and a need to appeal to a support base. Rather they come can also from deep seated associations born of cultural and emotive identification.
The lefty-ish tinge to some Scots nationalism is not modern but tied to the cultural implications of separatist movements that emerge in the post-Enlightenment period. This leftist separatism is now 200-odd years old.
DCU’s John Doyle wrote a great chapter for a book in 2008 which outlined the cultural and political reasons behind Irish nationalist and republican support for the Palestinian cause and reflects the degrees of support for it among all the nationalist parties in Ireland. They do so through certain cultural and emotional attachments to dispossessed nations and people.
It is, within the parameters of modern history, to see nationalism place itself naturally within leftism. Whether they tag on Cuba or other causes to legitimate them, in some way. Sub-altern nationalisms can become fascistic, but invariably start at a position of being culturally dominated.
My point is that, yes, there are a range of right-on left wing causes which naturally coalesce and which form a canon of current political catechism, but they emerge organically and not simply from self-interested politicians.
The left wing cause of identifying with those in… Oh Jesus… I’m never getting these 20 minutes back again, am I? Joe Strummer died at 50, I’m 12 years away from that. Time to stop wasting time in forums.
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