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Knight Of Winter

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About Knight Of Winter

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  • Birthday 01/05/1989

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  1. I don't know....what I'm seeing here and elsewhere is arising of flat-out war psychology. - we have clear distinction "our" side - protesters (or radical part of protesters) and "their" side - police - we have homogenization between members of our group, with usual us vs them mentality - their crimes are emphasized and put in the spotlight - our crimes are excused and reframed - war is fought until annihilation of enemy (usually framed as abolish the police) - while our side is obviously fighting for truth and justice, their side is not given any benefit of doubt - they're a priori assumed to be rotten jerks acting in bad faith - criticism of our side is looked down upon - after all, we are fighting for the just cause and cannot be wrong etc. In actual war, this kind of propaganda and mentality is propagated by government, but here they're willingly embraced by populace themselves. Meanwhile, I have little doubt that their side i.e. police is undergoing the same process, same homogenization and same self-righteousness. Where this will ultimately lead to - I don't know, but IMO it's unlikely to be anywhere good. The very idea of such a degree of conflict, separation and distrust between police and population they're supposed to be part of (specifically, part which protects them) is a symptom of deeply ill society. Great part of blame is surely on the police - their wanton murder of multiple unarmed and innocent people coupled with their utter inability to reject wrongdoers among their own ranks certainly present a huge problem. But is this the solution - I don't think so.
  2. Genuine question (hopefully to push discussion into different way): cops in the car - what they should have done in this situation? What was their optimal course of action?
  3. Personally, I agree with you (that slave trade caused racism, not the other way around), though I've seen opinions claiming the opposite - hence I thought it an interesting subject to think and debate about.
  4. At that point in time, I consider them one and a same - same people, same culture, same ideas about slavery. At the time that Atlantic slave trade started, "Americans" were still groups of English, Dutch, French (and others) colonists. Though, more interesting question would be was (Atlantic) slavery a product of racism or vice versa.
  5. Oh, racism is probably as old as humanity itself. Even a cursory look at world's history reveals many ideas and behaviors which would now days be classified as firmly racist. Plato considered non-Greek slaves to be literally incapable of thinking, little better than animals. Rome, while not discriminating on skin color, was very into nationalistic pandering - Cicero for example received a lot of mockery for being Italian but not Roman. Early 20th century Japanese had the idea of superiority of their race which called for militarism and expansionism. In medieval Europe, pagans were treated without any mercy sometimes offered to Christians - being forcibly converted or slaughtered en masse. In Old Testament, Israelites considered themselves Lord's chosen people, giving them mandate to treat other nations (i.e. those "not chosen") pretty horribly. Etc. The point is clear - all through the history people searched for some arbitrary distinction to separate, and elevate themselves from other groups - be it ethnicity, religion, class or something else. Heck, it could even be - and I'm not kidding here - penis size (ancient Greek considered large ones be barbaric and uncultured). Is there any wonder that, at some period of human history - skin color entered the equation? I'm surprised that it didn't happen any sooner, honestly. Perhaps it's because most countries didn't have multiracial society - for that you'd need an empire with large territory and good communication within - and not many fit the bill here. There was a psychological research which concluded that people usually need some form of justification (to themselves) to justify their bad treatment of others - and the ones that work the best are either implied moral inferiority or physical inferiority (being dirty, unclean, crippled etc.). And implied moral superiority can be "inferred" from almost any arbitrary characteristic - ethnicity, religion, class and yes - race. I think @Rippounet is right on spot when he says that racism is a form of othering, although I think it has very little to do with power structures. Rather, I believe it stems from basic in-group vs out-group distinction ingrained in human nature - and probably arose way earlier than humans formed first civilizations with first power structures. It's a very much bottom-up process. ____ As to what degree is American slavery different from the rest - only thing that comes to mind is that it was almost exclusively race-based. I can't think of any other civilization which reserved slavery specifically for people of one skin color.
  6. That's a...complicated issue, to put it mildly. For starters, almost every person being commemorated in a statue was part of a society that was - slave-owning - deeply classist - patriarchal - warmongering and the list goes on. And that's saying nothing of their personal failings - some of them were huge assholes on purely personal level. But the point was, they were part of deeply unfair societies, societies that shaped them and instilled values in them. Judging any of them in inseparable from judging a period they were born in, and pretty much any historical period was terrible by our standards. Take Edward Colston, British merchant, philanthropist and politician whose statue was recently brought down in Bristol. Did he trade in slaves - absolutely. But did he live in a society which was perfectly fine with the concept of slavery - also absolutely. While not every British man and woman of 17th century was a slave trader, all of them profited from it. Slave work made them rich, or at least increased their standards of living. They all enjoyed products from slave plantations, and so no problem with it. There were no massive anti-slavery campaigns, or any widespread notion how horrible slavery is. The concept of universal human rights was nonexistent, and they probably saw slave trader the same way we see wine or silk trader today. And they weren't alone in that: pretty much everyone in the world thought slavery was a-okay: other European countries, China, India, African countries, pre-Columbian American civilizations etc. ... yeah, all of them engaged in slavery as well. So the toppling of a Colston statue is less of a judgement of him as a person, and more of a judgement of a period that he lived in. Even if you topple Colston's statue and replace it with another 17th century British(wo)man statue - the issue will remain the same. They might not have profited of slavery in the same direct manner that Colston did - but profit from slavery they did. And the same applies not only to 17th century Britain, but for 19th, 14th, 10th or 8th century Britain as well - each of them had its own set of deeply unfair or wrong ideologies. Needless to say - Britain is not alone in this: you could apply the same logic for every other country on earth too. I'm certainly and definitely not saying that we should brush it off with "oh well, he was just a man of his times" and leave his statue standing. Each society has a right to name their own heroes and villains; and by 21st century British standard - Colston is not a hero deserving of statue. That much is clear. Nor it is about Confederate statues - which, frankly, I find rather ridiculous. Not only did Confederacy fight a war for the wrong reasons, but they also lost it. What exactly is there to celebrate or commemorate? In fact, the two most common examples discussed here and elsewhere (Colston & Confederacy statues) are the two that are pretty easy to judge, in my opinion. What I'm saying is, that if you continue down that road, soon you'll find yourselves in a society with no statues at all. Soon you'll find examples that are a lot more complicated and nuanced than either Colston and Confederacy generals. Separating one person's great achievements from his flaws; and separating a person from the time and place he grew in is a hell of a lot of difficult job - way way harder than simplistic oh, we'll just remove all the statues of bad people and then we'll be swell idea so popular nowdays.
  7. I've been trying to figure this one out. The fact that apparently every random nutso can buy a gun in the US certainly doesn't help, but's it's not the sole cause of the problem. Other countries also have widespread gun ownership (though not to the extent of US) , yet none of them (in the western world) have nearly the same amount of mass shootings, murders by officers and murders of officers. I don't know what to conclude from this
  8. While Colston statue should not have place in a public place, I think it fits absolutely magnificently in a museum. Firstly - because it (presumably) has artistic value, and museums should be places to nurture art. And secondly - because it's one of the most educational and instructive objects of all. It testifies of time when Colston was alive, yes. But it also testifies of times when the statue was erected and our time when it was removed. It testifies how values of society change over time, and how some values - though held sacrosanct at the time - are only products of era they were implemented in. On a psychological level - it testifies how much good and bad can be held simultaneously in the same person; how it's possible to affect thousands of lives in both positive and negative value. Truly, it's the perfect thought-provoking and educational piece. Oh, and collectively shitting on one "wrongdoing" poster doesn't make anyone a righteous hero. While HOI may be misinformed and wrong (and I do think he's wrong: while removing the statue is indeed just symbolic - symbolism is hell of a lot important. Oftentimes more important than anything tangible) he's not a troll, he's not arguing in a bad faith, and I haven't seen anything in this thread which would paint of as deliberately malicious or racist. If you, on the other hand, truly consider him as incorrigible racist who constantly enjoys oppressing the downtrodden - just put him on ignore list and make both your and his lives easier.
  9. I reread my original post from the last thread and realized I came off like a holier-than-thou prick, so I'll take this in stride. But let's not make this any more personal: this isn't about me or my sense of morality. Whether or not moral absolutism or relativism is correct is irrelevant - but I'm certainly not a supreme moral judge whose decisions represent ultimate moral truths about the universe. However, yes - I do have a right to judge, just like everybody else does. All the posters who posted here judged the protesters - the only difference being that their judgement was entirely positive. Mine was not. Ok, lets discuss there context and circumstances. Which ones do, in your opinion, make what - again, one small part of the protesters - are doing as okay? I explained my points: namely that looters are enraged and are absolutely right to be enraged - but are expressing their anger (or revenge, or frustration - call it what you will) towards a undeserving target. The ones who are they harming are not the ones who harmed them. Therefore, their actions are not just. Utilitarian viewpoint (we smashed some buildings, but it will all lead to a better society) - also doesn't work here, as there is no correlation between their actions and intended consequences. Therefore, actions in questions produced no good and some harm - and aren't sure to lead to a better outcome. Results are such that nobody is better off and some are worse off. So, yes - I think they're in wrong here. You obviously disagree, so let's hear why. What are your reasons - I'm genuinely interested in hearing? And do state your reasons and opinion - not hiding between relativistic well, I don't know all the circumstances, so I'll pass. While you're absolutely right in warning against too quick of a judgement while being ignorant of a context, go too far down that road and you'll find yourself justifying almost anything that ever happened on a basis of not knowing enough. Nor you nor I know what was going on through Mussolini's head or his life circumstances, yet can (hopefully) agree that he's a colossal asshole judging from his actions. You have to draw a line somewhere. I partly disagree here - for some moral principles are same across all cultures and can therefore be considered absolute; but that's a digression. It's a discussion I'd be happy to have in different thread.
  10. Au contraire, my fellow high-horser Ripp, in this particular case I don't find it difficult to ask for courage and restraint at all. Firstly - because I'm not really speaking about anything extraordinary: great majority of the protesters are already doing it. And secondly: because I strongly suspect that these looters are not acting out of desperation, but of entirely less noble motives. I mean, were we really speaking of hungry and despairing people, robbing supermarkets in a desperate desire to find elementary food and supplies - I would be cheering and and supporting them. However, I believe that's not what happening there (more on this in a minute) I didn't want to make this personal, but I feel I have to respond to this. The thing is - I've been living in a society that's seen absolutely every violent stuff that's currently happening in USA - only on a much grander scale and for a different, non-racial reasons. It had war in its recent collective memory, has seen violence on a big scale, countless people becoming refugees due to suddenly losing their homes, and has been both a victim and perpetrator of numerous war crimes (men killed, women raped, homes being stolen or destroyed...). Being a part of it has taught me quite a lot about desperation that people find themselves in, which you were speaking about. Also that your assertion that people need to be desperate in order to "loot supermarkets" is blatantly incorrect. Or about enraged people just seeking some target - any target - upon which they need to mete their frustrations. Or about general public excusing not only looting - but way, way nastier stuff - on a basis that perpetrators are part of "just struggle". And finally - that no matter how dire and extreme situation might be - certain standards of behaviour must be expected to be met. Otherwise things start going to shit on a scale you can't even begin to imagine. Interesting to hear. Thanks.
  11. And unrelated to the above - there's a important discussion to be had regarding police force in the United States, and this seems like a good place to have it. Even a cursory look at data reveals that police is a complete mess, in all possible ways. Around 150 of officers are killed each year in the line of duty (1) , while on the opposite end of spectrum around 1100 Americans lose their lives at the hands of police departments yearly (2). But of these numbers are staggeringly huge – and not even remotely comparable to other western countries. So, it's safe to say that police violence to such a degree is uniquely an American problem. (3) But the question is: why? So that's what I believe is worth discussing: what is it about American culture and society that makes USA such a hotbed for police violence? What are its root causes and explanations? When did police-related murder rates start of devastate from that of other countries? And most importantly – how to fix it? Are there some provable strategies which would save many human lives each year? I don't have all the answers, heck I don't even have all the right questions – but we have to start somewhere. Some questions and tidbits to ponder on: - police violence is very much geographically dependent. Georgia citizens are 6x less likely to me killed by police then their Oklahoma counterparts. (2) - a lot of police-murders in the last couple of years basically boiled down to officers being way more trigger-happy and violence-happy in general. Police elsewhere will generally try other approaches before resorting to violence: talking, deescalating the situation, warning shots before actual lethal shots, using guns only when they themselves are threatened. American officers (at least some of them) nurture a different approach: violence as a first measure. They're eager to use handcuffs and batons, and even guns as a first resort, without apparently considering other, less dangerous approaches? Why is that? - how much is police work „ghettoized“ in the US? How much are they intertwined/isolated from the rest of society? Cos it seems to be there's a lot more „us vs them“ mentality going on then it should. - this cool site (2) cites some provable solutions. Best ones (improvement of 25%) are requiring officers to use all the other means before shooting and requiring all the use of force to be reported. Still, even with 25% decrease, police violence would remain at very high rates. What else is there? -try to avoid simple diagnosis and solutions, such as: well, American officers just suck. There's no reason to believe that worse people enter American police force as opposed to, say, German or Australian police force - while racism is definitely a part of the problem, it's probably not a core of problem. Police (I'm talking about unjustified murders which hit the media) officers of all colors killed victims of all colors, in cities all across US led by police chiefs of all colors. - how much is 2nd amendment at play here? How likely is it that an officer will „shoot first, ask questions later“ when knowing that every citizen they approach is possibly armed due to widespread gun ownership? I'd very much like to hear opinions on this topic. 1 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_enforcement_officers_killed_in_the_line_of_duty_in_the_United_States 2- https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/ 3 - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/09/the-counted-police-killings-us-vs-other-countries
  12. From last topic: @Rippounet - "Maybe -just maybe- they'd rather not get killed." What - fighting police is dangerous? It can get you killed? Who would have said? When confronted with a powerful enemy, possibility of you losing and being harmed is always high. It's natural to try to avoid fighting it and "punish" someone weaker and unrelated instead. Wrong and unjust - but natural. But when that happens, you don't get to claim to be on a side of truth and justice. You just get to admit you're a coward to bows to those stronger and relishes bullying those weaker. Again, neither is a good solution, IMO. But, if you're already dedicated to supporting the "solution violence" - then the paragraph above should be your credo. If police wrongs you, fight the police - not gas stations. @Week - "How many people are they? Few dozen? Couple hundred? What percentage of folks out there protesting do you think this represents that then justifies you impugning the protests writ large?" Not much, I'd wager. From everything I've heard, majority of protesters aren't violent - and I haven't seen anyone said otherwise. I didn't dispute that it's only a minority of protesters engaged in ill-thought behaviour, I disputed the assertion that their behaviour is somehow correct or justified. Had the consensus been: yeah, some small part of protesters are looting and troublemaking. That's wrong and we need to distance from it. - I would second it, give a thumbs up and not post anything else in this thread. @TrueMetis - "More has been done in the last two week than in the last decade. Minneapolis is looking to abolish their police force. This is working." What?? They're thinking about abolishing their police force and replace it with what exactly? Once police is gone - what will stop murderers from murdering, robbers from robbing or asshole husbands from beating their wives? Who will you turn to for protection if some thugs threaten you or your family? Look, things with police in USA have gone terribly wrong at some point, and they indeed have deep systematic issues which require all-around reform. But abolishing the police is not the answer. I don't know what is, but this isn't. Abolishing police doesn't abolish the need for police. I've read an article or two since you posted it - and saw that proponents argue that money saved from police establishment should be put into healthcare, education and community service for communities most harmed by police brutality. A great suggestion - but it should go alongside police (and it's reformation), but against it. Police are not the only source of violence of these communities - and abolishing it will make all the other sources much worse. This is a prime example of cautionary tale of how not to act in a tense situations. This seems more like a panicked response than reasoned and analyzed policy.
  13. One argument might be that, when social contract is broken, choosing to further break might not be the best way to improve the situation. This is not a universal claim - sometimes it's true, other times it isn't. In this specific case, I think it's the former. Okay, so: what do protesters want? For one - justice for Floyd and other victims and for two, for such murders not to take place in the future. The question they should be asking themselves is: how do we conduct in such a way in order to best achieve our goals? Is property destruction the best answer to such a question - I don't think it is. Second argument is more universal - breaking social contract occurs not on people who originally broke it (police) but on innocent companies whose property the damaged. Now, once these companies have social contract broken upon them, should they instead try to...I don't know, burglarize the retirement homes? But what do retirement homes have to do with it? Nothing, no more than these companies do. That's why I repeatedly said that protesters anger is directed at the wrong targets. If they instead fought the police, burned down police stations, ordered assassinations of guilty officers in question etc. - I'd get it. It would still not be the best way to approach the problem - but it would at least make sense. Call it a karmic justice if you will. But no, they instead chose to mete their frustration on those completely unrelated to Floyd's murder.
  14. Again, how does undeniably police brutality (which is a huge problem which everyone, myself included, agree on) justify what one part of protesters is doing? These two phenomenons - police brutality and looting - are unrelated and cannot be used to explain or justify one another. Oh, please. You just want to turn this thread into a even more of a echo-chamber than it already is, where everyone parrots exactly the same sentiments and any voice of dissent is met with a priori distrust. I don't feel the need to virtue signal myself and repeat ad nauseam how unjust and horrible officers' action were. It's obvious to any person with an ounce of humanity in them. However, this thread also featured a number of posts justifying what is, IMO, destructive and injust behaviour. So I reacted to it and tried to enter a reasonable debate about it. That's what public forums are: for debating and discussing.
  15. True indeed. But also whataboutism. Law enforcement brutality doesn't justify protesters' wanton property destruction.
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