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A Global Manifesto as crafted by Occupy++

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by White Elk, May 11, 2012.

  1. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I never really understand why people appeal to "history", as if that in itself means anything at all. Unless there are some specific details that you're able to sketch out for us, it really just reads as "I'm right because I'm right". :dunno:
     
  2. Leoreth

    Leoreth Prince of Blood Moderator

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    Isn't your criticism based on history, too?
     
  3. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I certainly think that paying reference to history is necessary for constructing valid political criticism, I just don't think that you get very far by asserting that "history says X". It may not be wrong, for all I know, but unless you can tell us how history says X, it's bugger all use to anyone. It's just an appeal to authority, and an absurdly nebulous authority at that.
     
  4. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    And I dont get how people can perpetually think human nature has radically shifted and therefore the corruption flaws that have shown up in every single attempt at human government in known history suddenly wouldnt show up this time. The oppressor isnt capitalism or socialism, its corruption. Both ideas are great in silly idealized form which has never happened and never will.
     
  5. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Well, the obvious objection would be that there's no such thing as "human nature", at least not in the sense of a pre-cultural essence that you're talking about. Humans don't really work that way outside of 18th century political just-so stories.


    At any rate, as I said, if you want to convince anybody, you need to actually explain what you're saying, not just state it as self-evident fact. What "corruption" are you talking about? What form did it take? How do you identify it in the first place? What obstacles does it present to the organisational models you're criticising? These are necessary explanations that you're just not offering us.
     
  6. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    I tend to run on the fact that people have a novice enough understanding of history to see the things that have gone wrong without needing a history lesson to recap. For instance the fact that in all attempts to create it, communism has through human power hunger been mutated into dictatorships should be a warning flag to people. By the same token capitalism, which in theory is a system that allows anyone to climb up the ladder with hard enough work gets corrupted to where those at the top of the ladder do things to prevent those lower down from joining them. That is why I snidely mocked the idea that "oh well capitalism is terrible what sort of idiot wants to try and preserve that" when the alternatives have just as bad of track records historically speaking.

    All human government systems: Republics, dictatorships, democracies in capitalist, socialist, and communist forms have an idealized state their supporters sell and then the real world versions that have repeatedly popped up throughout history.
     
  7. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    "Democracy is the worst form of government - except all the others that have been tried!"
     
  8. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    All you're doing is repeating yourself in more words. Answer the question I gave you and we might actually be able to carve a decent discussion out of this, but if you all you do is making a series of sweeping, wholly non-explanatory claims about all human societies everywhere ever then I honestly don't know what you expect anyone else to say.

    Not that Churchill, a staunch public defender of Mussolini, was in any sense opposed to trying alternatives.
     
  9. BasketCase

    BasketCase Username sez it all

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    They're not. China's elections are a sham, and people who vote the wrong way frequently get arrested, imprisoned without trial, and, sometimes, made to disappear.

    Nope. I was saying Occupy is a political, and frequently violent, movement.

    No, you cannot.


    This thread is not about the Tea Party.

    Well, that's the effect you're having.

    Some food for thought, G-Man: if the OCCUPY Movement (rather than the Tea Party) unilaterally demanded something you don't approve of (tax cuts for the rich, an end to all abortions, take your pick), would you support or oppose it? Why? Because you oppose the specific policy?

    If you support Occupy's current demands (or most of them), why do you support them? Is it because you approve of the specific policies they advocate? Do you want to see those policies implemented? By any means necessary?

    (Don't answer any of that; that way the thread can't get derailed. Simply consider the above stuff in the privacy of your mind)

    That boldface part a few lines up is the problem with the Occupy movement (and many others, but this thread is not about them). They didn't get what they wanted in the 2008 or 2010 elections (Obama pretty much flaked), and so they're trying to get what they want some other way. In the United States, that's not appropriate. The correct venue for deciding government policy is in the voting booth.
     
  10. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I had a citation. Do you?

    Just like voting, yes.
     
  11. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    At this point you are just being intentionally difficult. You seemingly want a play by play explanation of how every human society had an ideal form and step by step explanation of how they moved away from that ideal form which is an utterly ridiculous demand. My example of communism was a perfectly reasonable example of what I was talking about. if you cant see how a system which is supposed to be a worker's paradise mutating into a dictatorship like the Soviet Union isnt an example of history showing ideals get corrupted, then I dont know what exactly you are expecting.
     
  12. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    All right then, we'll specifically address Russian socialism; I suppose that's probably as good a working example as any. Paraphrasing my earlier questions, what is the "corruption" you identify as emerging in Russia between 1917 and (say) 1926, and how have you identified it? What were the "ideals" that Russian socialists began with, and how did the eventual reality diverge from those ideals? How are the soviets, the fabzavcom, the various parties and the Soviet governments related in this process of "corruption"? What role did external affairs, such as the Civil War and the collapse of the German insurrection, have in the development of Russian socialism? Was this form primarily social, economic and political, and how did the multiple dimensions relate to each other? It's not necessary to answer these questions directly, but they describe the sort of issues that I think any effective explanation would cover.

    Certainly, I don't disagree that something happened between 1917 and 1926, and I suppose "corruption" could be an at least suitably poetic way of describing it, but simply saying that this is so isn't actually an explanation, and that's what we need before we can hope to evaluate the significance of such a development, or to infer from it (if this is at all possible) any general lessons about human social and political organisation.
     
  13. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    I honestly wouldnt say it was that corrupt at that point, to me you have to look at the total lifespan. The goal of the communist revolution was a worker's paradise I believe, correct? It was a noble goal, one which they were still attempting to work towards in the time frame you mentioned. However, the original leadership eventually died out and Stalin took over. The stalin who killed millions and was infinitely more concerned about keeping power than he was the workers. That is the moment that I think it got corrupted, when power shifted to those more concerned about their own standing then the original goals. At that point I would say you can safely say the ideal was lost and the goal instead shifted to those being in power remaining in power and projecting their power around the world as opposed to actually helping out the workers.

    You probably raise a fair point that just saying history without explanation is a bit of a vague comment, but I wasnt responding to a particularly detailed comment in the first place so I wasnt exactly going to delve deeply into it.
     
  14. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    You made some pretty sweeping claims, though, so I would have assumed that you'd have some sort of supporting logic grounded in empirical sociology and history to back it up. I'm not asking for a monograph, just an attempt to flesh out what you're actually claiming occurs and some very briefly worked examples- an explanation, rather just a description. But if the best you can do for as complex a topic as Russia 1917-1926 is "Lenin died, whoops, STALIN", then do you really expect to convince anyone?
     
  15. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    That doesn't take into account the shenanigans of the plutocrats to engineer elections to their work in their favor.
     
  16. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    Best I can do and what I am willing to do to satisfy your standards on an internet forum are rather different creatures. You seem to want the equivalent of a fairly well written college history essay on, by your own admittance, a rather detailed and active time in history. Its a fairly unreasonable standard. I am perfectly willing to admit my original comment was broad and vague, but your demands for how detailed of an explanation you want are over the top, or at least they are for the level of effort I intend on putting into a topic about a broad manifesto full of demands with no actual solutions.
     
  17. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton Awake

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    Kramerfan, Traitorfish summed up your point IMO just fine with "Lenin died, whoops, STALIN" (made me laugh, too :mischief:). If you think to expect more than this means to overburden you, than as Traitorfish himself says, you shouldn't expect to convince anyone with your opinion (and I add) who is actually interested in widening his or her horizon in a sensible way.
    The underlying problem is (for some reason Traitorfish is very reluctant to speak his mind, but I think he will agree here), that history is very, very, very, yes very very much circumstantial. Which makes it very very very hard (Dachs would probably say futile) to derive universal lessons which are not obvious and profane. Hence, any such claim to have done so nevertheless by definition requires some good explanation. I realize that not everyone does that. With regards to Communism, it is very fashionable to not do so. But frankly, that's stupid. That's intellectually lazy.
     
  18. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    And like I said I agree its a fair point I was vague in my original comment and would agree JUST because something failed in the past is no guarantee it will perpetually. I think it shows the odds are high, but not impossible.

    I suppose a better way to put my original post which he was hammering away at is that there is nothing any more wrong with idealistically hoping to fix the current system than there is hoping to learn from the past mistakes in other systems. Either way IMO you are going against the odds. Neither are total impossibilities though.
     
  19. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton Awake

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    Replacing impossible with unlikely isn't really addressing the issue. What I personally actually find likely is unless you have a profound reasoning in your head you just don't want to bother to share, that your conclusions with regards to Communism and its compatibility with human nature are not valid. And Communism being as a word raped and deformed by decades of idealogical warfare surely does not help the matter.
    However, if you want to narrow it down to incredible idealized versions of Communism, which surely are out there, I think there in deed is a good case to be made for how that does not harmonize with human nature. But more because of the profane nature of such a revelation rather than historic incidents. Like expecting that human nature allows for a fundamental abstinence of selfishness seems very unlikely, because the conditions to establish such seem very unlikely.
     
  20. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    nah its not just communism, that just happened to be an example. It simply comes down to Im a bit of a cynic. History is a bit of a sad tale of could of and should of beens and it has me jaded. Communism and capitalism both are good things strictly speaking, Im just pessimistic on the chances of either one being pulled off as their biggest supporters hope.
     

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