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Iraq protests

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Socrates99, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Socrates99

    Socrates99 Bottoms up!

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    Sad part is that our economy (not just US but western democracy in general) is so intertwined with China that it's hard to put real pressure on them without hurting ourselves. They proved that with their counters to Donny Tiny-hands' attempts. Hindsight is 20/20 but not isolating them like we did the USSR was a bad move. But hey, I guess it made a few people boatloads of cash.
     
  2. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I don't think current Russians think the isolating helped. I don't know the relative improvements vs atrocities that Russians vs Chinese experienced/suffered. But I don't think the Russians of 2045 will be in a better place than the Chinese of 2045
     
  3. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    Yes, but also a lot of Chinese were lifted out of poverty. It's complicated.
     
  4. Socrates99

    Socrates99 Bottoms up!

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    Of course they're better off. The Soviets would have been as well, if their economy hadn't been strangled. The reason China is where it is now is because they were allowed to do things the USSR wasn't.

    It's theoretical but, had the West treated the USSR similar to the way its treated China the hypothetical Soviets of 2045 would likely be better off than the Chinese of 2045.

    We gave implicit permission for the very human rights violations we complain about by normalizing relations with China and even reap the benefits of them. Hard to complain about them without acknowledging that.
     
  5. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    I kind of doubt that more sanctions and less economic entanglement would have had a positive impact with respect toward Chinese respect of human rights. It certainly didn't help with respect to Russia, nor any other country I can think of where we've levied sanctions.
     
  6. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    What is the rule thumb
    you need 4 rewards for every 1 disapproval to break even ?
     
  7. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Sanctions against USSR were motivated by geopolitics and had nothing to do with human rights. Also, their role in USSR collapse is greatly overestimated.
     
  8. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Hmmm, no, what I mean is that I'm not sure sanctions helped Russians sufficiently to say that Chinese people would have benefitted from them.
     
  9. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    That's correct on both counts, of course.
    What complicates things a bit is that while the West quite clearly uses human rights as a geopolitical tool, and is resented for that by non-Western people, there are also many in the West, both among the public and among politicians elected by the public, who genuinely support human rights based sanctions out of conviction. The result is a never ending mess or hypocrisy and resentment.

    The world would be a better place if the West pursued its geopolitical goals without sugarcoating them. Paradoxically, there would be less resentment towards the West than currently.
     
  10. Commodore

    Commodore Deity

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    The goal wasn't to help them. The goal was to help the world by containing them.
     
  11. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Yep. I was replying to the idea that it is currently tough to pressure China into improving their human rights situation without hurting ourselves in the meantime
     
  12. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    yes such clusters
    question in between

    You mention Boston.
    Boston has a remarkable history regarding its economy. It was important in colonial times and is still important as thriving cluster, despite the second half 20th century downfall of traditional mass manufacturing (Detroit not succesfull in countering that).
    My high level understanding was simply that Boston had the skilled workers, the finance and both Harvard university as MIT. Detroit had no outstanding knowledge centres like Harvard-MIT.
    Browsing, researching to understand Boston better as succesfull cluster I found this article on a Boston re-inventing itself three times: https://www.csus.edu/indiv/c/chalmersk/econ251fa12/glaeserboston.pdf
    The first 5-6 pages abstract and introduction a good high level read.
    I am always very focussed on knowledge for success. From engineering-science to skilled workers and from infra-logistics to management and finance capabilities (capital just one of them). Many industrial clusters in Europe started as textile centres in the early modern period. Modern clusters imo need a wide variety of features and many of them are (no longer) capital asset intensive. It's getting the setting right, complete and continuously adaptive. AND attractive for everyone to want to be there: job. education and living.

    Question:
    how would you rate Harvard-MIT as important for Boston (and compared to Detroit)
    and how do you think about the importance of capital nowadays for such clusters in highly developed countries.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  13. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    They plus the many other colleges and universities in the area are critical. Tech hubs need a critical mass of tech ideas; skilled tech people, lifestyle possibilities that are desired by tech workers, the tech infrastructure to support all of that. Such hubs will attract capital and workers. Boston has always been an attractive place to live and work. That helps. Detroit is essentially starting from scratch and it is hard. Right now not enough tech workers are the problem for most companies. Then once you get the workers, you need to have housing they will be satisfied with close enough. Detroit may not have that.

    New Mexico is trying to leverage itself in that way based on its two national labs, Spaceport America and the myriad tech companies that support those labs. It is a struggle. U of NM is not Harvard or MIT, let alone both. :) It has some great outdoor amenities, but its urban chops are much thinner than bigger cities.
     
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  14. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Deity

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    Is this literally a call for a return to blatant colonialism?
     
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  15. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Rather a call to stop pretending that blatant colonialism is "helping the world".
     
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  16. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    How did you get that from the above?
    It's a call to stop the counter-productive hypocrisy of the West regarding its foreign policy.

    Take the Yugoslav Wars, for example. The West had limited interest in the area, and its geopolitical goals were limited to restricting Russian influence in the balkans. To that end, the West painted the whole thing as some "human-rights" crusade against the evil Serbs, who happened to be closely aligned with Russia. Don't get me wrong, the Serbs committed many atrocities during the war, which were amply documented in Western media. But the West turned a blind eye to the atrocities and ethnic cleansing committed by Croats and, above all, Bosnian. Hundreds of thousands of Serbs were also forced out of land they had occupied for centuries, but this didn't really offend Western sensibilities.

    If the Western goal was indeed to prevent carnage, the logical step would have been working with Russia, which had a lot of influence over the Serbian leadership. But that would mean increasing Russian power in the balkans, so the west basically cut Russia out and intervened unilaterally. And what for? Serbia was alienated; Bosnians were frustrated by the level of support they got and thus turned increasingly towards Iran and foreign Mujahideen. The rest of the world saw the huge hypocrisy and selective concern for human rights of western governments. Atrocities happened anyway. And Russia realized the West did not view it as a partner, but rather as some vanquished enemy.
     
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  17. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    Human rights behaves in practice much like the religion of secular people

    It's not only that this causes crusades by this new "religion"... it is also a basic threat for traditional religions and other "religions" when missionary preaching is added with a proselytising character.
    And yes... history has proven enough how easily religion has been abused by non-religiouys interests between nobilities, tribes, etc.

    Freedom of religion in countries has in history been one of the keystones in the development of western human rights, with humanism as a well known example.
    But humanism was basically having respect for others.

    History also shows the many shades of grey there regarding proselytising.
    Some countries are seemingly very tolerant, but a closer look shows that active proselytising is not that much appreciated. Some countries have explicit laws forbidding it up to mixed marriages, most countries having laws that implicitly forbid more extreme teachings being proselytised of certain religions.
    Most countries happy to keep that all at low profile, at a kind of domestic armistice level.... until it flares up sometimes
     
  18. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    I do not think this is the reason. On the contrary, if the economies are not intertwined, it would be hard to put any economic pressure on them at all. It is rather a matter of scale. A large economic block can put pressure on a much smaller block without hurting itself too much. Try the same thing on an economic block of the same size and the result is quite different.

    The US would have a much easier time in a trade war against China if it managed to convince other economic powers to support them.
     
  19. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Doesn't matter. Would have avoided the perversion of our political systems. There's a very real chance that had we taken a containment-like approach to post-Soviet Russia Donald Trump would not now be President.
     
  20. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    I'm not so sure. One of the reasons the breakup of the Soviet Union went about as well as could be expected was the understanding on the Russian side that despite the Soviet Union 'losing' the Cold War, Russia would still be recognized as a Great Power whose interests would be acknowledged and respected by the United States. Even with Yeltsin resolving a Constitutional Crisis by shelling the Duma, a lot of the Russian elite and those who weren't Russian Nationalists/Communists relied on American/Western cooperation for their political goals. While it would have been interesting to see if Russia would be in a better position now had Yeltsin not shelled the Duma and stepped down in favor of the Russian Nationalist/Communist opposition; the opposition weren't democrats and social liberals and had a pretty hard line conservative and authoritarian bent.

    I would argue it was our failure to treat Russia as a Great Power (even if only humoring Russia) and supporting attempts to expand NATO/EU into the Russian 'sphere of influence' is what lead the current tensions.
     
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