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Alarich II

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About Alarich II

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  1. Yes, and? I wrote "authoritarian mindset". Do I really have to spell out that there are right-wing authoritarians too? This is not a left/right issue, this is not even an economic issue first and foremost, this is an issue of civil rights and the assault on our liberal demoracy comes from both sides. Yes, and did I suggest that? To be clear: there is a public interest and a state interest. And most of the times, the state tries to frame it's interest as the public interest. But really, the two only overlap, and that means the fewer people get to define what the state interest is, the smaller the overlap gets. And it really doesn't matter if you you shift the state interest more to the right or the left, the only question is, will the overlap with the public interest be greater or lesser. So at the moment we see that a few rich try to move the interest of the state towards their own interest. I don't deny that, but the answer is not a shift to the radical opposite. It's more of a question how to move back towards an equilibrium where we have a better and fairer distribution of wealth without sacrificing our civil liberties and prosperity. Of course the middle ground is the hardest position, because both fringes are saying if you're not with me, you're against me.
  2. Millions of dead in the Ukraine alone, but at least we got Sputnik into Orbit. Yeah, and Hitler built the Autobahn. I bet those Million dead would have preferred to industrialize a bit slower, instead of being starved, beaten and shot to death by the Stalinist reign of Terror. We have seen that democracies can and do turn into autoritarian regimes. We see it happen in Turkey at this very moment. And, sure thing, Erdogan appointed his son-in-law as director of the central bank. That's just the kind of Thing authoritarians to. The problem is not socialism, the problem is that to do what is proposed (total seizure of all assets by the state) the state will have turn into an authoritarian regime. And there, it will stop. And that's the real problem. How many other important public goods like freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, free elections etc. are you willing to sacrifice just so that the state can seize all property from its citizens? And then we get the claims like all private owners are completely unaccountable oligarchs. Yeah, tell that to the owner of the construction company next door, your baker, your plumber, your accountant and the thousands of other SMEs, the pensioners who invested their retirement funds in company Shares, tell them that they are apparently all completely unaccountable oligarchs. Actively selecting against empathy and the common good. But the framing fits the authoritarian mindset: easy solution, they've had it coming, they vs. us.
  3. You don't need to collectivize and own the entire MOP to seize control over the MOP. Let's take Germany for example: what we saw first, was the expropriation of critics and undesired. I.E. communist-leaning cooperatives were expropriated, jewish shop owners, bankers etc. were expropriated and so forth. And the message was clear: you have "freedom" - if you cooperate and support the regime. If you don't, your shop, factory, whatever is going to be confiscated (and thats probably not the only measure). Unions were abolished and with it the freedom to collectively negotiate the price for labour. Or, if you look at Russia where you will hard pressed to find an important company that is not owned either by the state directly or by an Oligarch who belongs to Putins inner circle. An authoritarian regime doesn't have to implement soviet style measures to seize control over the MOP. Indirect control is often much more effective.
  4. Alarich II

    The value of going to college at different times

    There are some western countries that have made good experiences with a dual education system, notably Austria, Switzerland and Germany. But there are some arguments why this cannot be copied easily (Link) and some are rather critical of the dual education system (Link). But the huge cost of college education without a viable alternative way to enter the jobmarket for decent middle-class jobs, is problematic.
  5. I think there is a clear link between authoritarian regimes and state control over MOP. That's simply because the authoritarian control over the public and private sphere cannot be complete if the state doesn't directly or indirectly (see Russias system of loyal oligarchs) control the MOP. The other way round is not so clear: a state that owns alls MOP doesn't - in theory - have to be authoritarian. But in practice, the total state control over all MOP is a pretty good indicator for authoritarian Regimes. And that's because in a liberal democracy, it is very hard, probably impossible, for any state to just seize all the MOP from it's citizens: you'd have to seal off your country from international trade and other treaties, abolish or violate a number of constitutional rights, make sure you control the justice system and then make sure that you don't get voted out, during the inevitable economic turmoil. So yeah, it is pretty obvious that first comes the authoritarian regime and then comes the complete seizure of all MOP. It's because you need the first to do the latter.
  6. Alarich II

    Catalan thread continued

    Makes sense: That way he either he goes to trial for rebellion or he is exiled until the charges against him are dropped or statute-barred under Spanish law (don't know how long that may be). But for the time being, this means that as long as he doesn't (successfully) fight the rebellion charges in a Spanish court, he is pretty much removed from the political process for a much longer time than a conviction for misappropriation of public funds would.
  7. Actually this hybrid already exists in a way (at least here). There are many government sponsored innovation programs: some offer interest free or low interest loans, others will subsidise investment in certain types of equipment, some will subsidise education and training of employees. Some are just favorable tax regulations for research and development costs or tax loss carry-forward. Most of these programs are aimed at areas that are high on the political agenda. The thing is: None of these programs evaluate the quality of the idea, they just create a set of objective criteria you have to meet to get the ressources. And they attach a ton of strings. So basically what the state considers desirable get's a headstart (if they can live with the strings attached) and the rest will just have to succeed on their own.
  8. Alarich II

    U.S. Politics: Kraving for Kavanaugh

    Actually it doesn't take much imagination to see that creating a bottleneck, where a central administration becomes the only gatekeeper for innovation, will keep out many good ideas. Because bureaucrats have to evaluate (potentially revolutionary) ideas or inventions and allocate appropriate funds follwing standardized administrative procedures (remember: you are not allowed to have or spend private capital on your idea). You think, I made a caricature of that process? I didn't, this is pretty much precisely the process how it will happen. Fill out an application, fill out the right boxes, meet the criteria, hope there's money left in the big pot. Wait for the administrative decision. Maybe challenge it in court. Administrations have to follow standardized procedures whose outcome can be challenged in court, especially if at the end of the administrative procedure stands a decision on wether individual A will get money or not. Maybe it's different in the US and you have a super creative and flexible administration that just hands out the money to creative entrepreneur personalities to see what happens. Not here.
  9. Alarich II

    U.S. Politics: Kraving for Kavanaugh

    Lol way to completely miss the point. State capital isn't some magic wand that brings all good ideas to fruition. I gave an example that demonstrates this
  10. Alarich II

    U.S. Politics: Kraving for Kavanaugh

    And you really think that Bureaucrat John Doe of the Central Agency for Idea Evaluation can and will objectively determine the quality of an idea? Oh dear, let's hope he follows the standard protocol for assessing out-of-the-box thinking. Otherwise Mr. Edison will never get get his idea government approved.
  11. Alarich II

    Catalan thread continued

    That's not true. The question wether it was rebellion or not can only be decided under Spanish jurisdiction. Consequently, the German judges didn't say anything on the rebellion charges except that for those charges there is no comparable criminal offense in Germany. Which simply means that Germany cannot extradite for charges of a crime, that doesn't exist here. Which means that if Spain wants the extradition, they cannot accuse him of rebellion. And that means that the legal question (was it rebellion under Spanish law) will not be answered in the case of Puigdemont. The question is: will Spain insist on extradition? Or will they just wait until Puigdemont leaves Germany to a country that will extradite for rebellion (that would probably require some patience, but it would very effectively take out Puigdemont for a long time, probably longer than any misappropriation charges).
  12. Alarich II

    Family Etiquette

    IDK, here at least my own expectation remains still: wether as a child or able-bodied adult: you give up your seat for the elderly, infirm, pregnant or otherwise handicapped persons. However, I would not expect a child to give up a seat for an able-bodied 30-something. Now the seat thing came up, when a poster described her experience as a mother with a small child in a sling. I don't think that anyone said that as a general rule you should give up your seat to children in public transport.
  13. Alarich II

    Family Etiquette

    Sitting down is not a problem, in fact most children can sit before they can walk. But in your first post, you added two important qualifiers: a) quietly and b) for a couple of hours. And that's not a reasonable request, in fact, most adults wouldn't pass that test. I certainly don't go out just to quietly shovle tood in my mouth: I want to talk and laugh with the others on my table. And of course I will let my kids participate in the conversation, and sometimes when children talk, they get excited about their topic, so they raise their voices. I will also let them walk around in the restaurant: I will not let them play tag but at 5 years, I let them go to the toilet alone. I will not let them wander into the kitchen, but - depending on the restaurant - I tell them, that if they ask the waiter nicely, maybe they can have a peek from the door. And when they come back to our table to tell me what they saw, how the food was made, they may get excited. So they run, which means, I will talk to them why that's not a good idea. They will try to interact with other guests, like for example my 3 year of daughter will look or wave at a neighbour table and see if the people there will play peek-a-boo with her. Or she walks to a table and says hello. And I will let her do that, but I'll also step in, when I see that people feel disturbed. But I will not go out and preemtively chain my kid to a chair for hours. Allowing my kids (3 and 5) this kind of freedom, means that sometimes, things can go wrong. So far, we've been lucky but the risk is there, that others may be disturbed and will call me rude. It's a risk that my wife and I can live with. On your second paragraph, we are in agreement. However I wouldn't call it "rules", it's more of a social expectation. And it behooves every participant in the general public to recognize that his or her expectations may not be the same as someone elses. Which leads to tow points: first, if you are not ready to develop a certain amount of tolerance to what you may find disagreeable behaviour, being out in public will be a miserable experience to you. And second, you must be ready to communicate your expectations in ways that makes a compromise possible. Third paragraph: It's amusing to see and hear the proud proclamations of the childless on how they would do this and that with their children and how their child wouldn't be doing this or that. I suggest you come back when you have children and then you can tell us your parenting war stories.
  14. Alarich II

    Family Etiquette

    See, that's the point though: you expect the parents to make that determination based on what you consider a reasonable request. And apparently you consider it a reasonable request for kids to sit down quietly for a couple of hours. You know, when you go out in public spaces, you should generally expect children and their behaviour to be part of the general public. I know that's sometimes inconvenient, but being an adult means that you should have learned how to deal with inconvenient situations. A reasonable assumption when dealing with such a situation is that neither the parents nor the kids are doing this because they want to annoy or disturb you. I'm also not a fan of absolving kids of all responsibility. They can and do have to learn to take responsibility for their actions. I would have no problem, if for example in a restaurant, you were to adress this directly: "Hey Kids, your running around my table bothers me, because I am afraid you will knock over my glass of wine, why don't you ask your parents or the waiter for a pencil and a paper and draw a nice picture instead." And most kids will react to that and learn from that. In most cases it's a good idea to ask yourself (wether you are a parent or not): how would I like my child to solve this conflict? And then take it from there. 6 weeks ago, I found 3 boys from the neighbourhood playing on the tire swing that I hung in a tree. They were about 9 to 11 years old. Now, our lot is about 2.5 acres big and not fenced: obviously kids will be inquisitive, but it is also very obvious that it is private property and they knew that. Obviously I cannot expect their parents to lock them inside or supervise their playtime. So I just told them that I don't want them on my property without me or my wife knowing, in case something happens or stuff gets destroyed, but if they want to come and play, feel free to ring at the door and ask. Problem solved, no need to get their parents involved.
  15. Alarich II

    Family Etiquette

    I'm not saying you're saying it... but you're saying it. Of course you have little or no experience with kids, so it is understandable that you have no knowledge about what can and what can't reasonably be expected of children. This is a general problem: the expectation of what a child can and can't do are either totally over the top (like sitting down quietly for a couple of hours), or far below their abilities (like first graders can't walk to school alone). So kids are expected to act in a self-conscious and responsible manner but they are not given the necessary freedom to develop just that. Instead of bitching about the parents, I would suggest this: you adress the child directly, tell them what behaviour bothers you and why and suggest an alternative (Play at your parents table etc.). That way child gets valuable feedback on its behaviour, that's how children learn. and that's basically how it was done since, well, ever. Parents have to accept, of course, that behaviour in public will generate a certain amount of public feedback. Then why on earth did you invite your sister and her kids to a place like that?
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