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Mlle. Zabzie

US Politics - All He Wants for Christmas Was His Two Dead Sheep

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7 hours ago, Squab said:

Who is more qualified to know which party is the more worker friendly? The workers themselves? No, It'll be someone well educated who has studied the policies and even visited one of these areas once. And because the worker is dumb a low information voter, all we need is the right messaging next time. This same exact smugness was reflected in the recent result in Australia too.

How many results will it take to understand the left now represents population centers where government jobs and services and wages along with over education is high? Rural workers are abandoning the parties that once stood for workers but are now more focused on socialism, environmentalism, identity politics and whatever else is currently popular politically on university campuses. And some hillbilly worker from the country who questions any left wing ideal (immigration, increased taxes, environmental legislation, etc.) is dismissed (racist, capitalist, science denier, bigot). But hey, what would i know, im just a <insert name here>.

As a rural blue collar worker, you're wrong.  No Republican speaks for me or gives a fuck about me.  Their answer for everyone of my concerns is "work harder, we need to give $ to the rich.  Fuck healthcare.  Fuck fixing anything."

Anytime you vote you're telling someone else you think you know what is best for them, so in a political discussion this line of thought is a particularly strange embrace of total nihilism with a weird obsession on "don't tell me what to do".

 

21 minutes ago, Jeor said:

Without getting into the actual specifics of this slightly bizarre conversation, the conservative right does have a much more sympathetic view of individualism than the left. I gather that some of the aversion to left-wing ideas is that they tend to fight their battles on moral grounds of what is best for society as a whole, whereas apart from some aspects of the religious right, conservatives are generally more about individual choice and freedom.

I gather that @Squab is reacting to the tendency for preachiness of the left, although I can't say I particularly agree with his mode of attack. And yes, I know the right preaches too (e.g. conservatives on all sorts of hot button issues) but as much as the left abhors their preachiness and moral posturing, the right abhors the very same on the left, just on different issues.

I'm not sure what your stances are on abortion, LGBT rights, traditional family values or any other of that sort of thing, but in cases like those the right is also guilty of thinking they know what's best for someone. It's just on different stuff.

Re: bolded - those may be the words they use but other than the right to not pay fair wage or the right to own guns (well, if you're white) or the right to go bankrupt over medical bills the right doesn't offer any defense of individual rights.  

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29 minutes ago, Squab said:

if you think that you know what is best for someone (or a group of people) better than they do, then you are likely to lose elections consistently and not understand why

Ironically, the idea that some people "know best" is the basis of US democracy (it's very clear in the Federalist Papers), and of representative democracy generally speaking.

The alternative is increased democracy through decentralized power, which I agree would be ideal.

13 minutes ago, Squab said:

Same applies but i agree that the modern left has basically become a new version of the religious right. Both totally laughable

Only when and if left-wing policies are actually bad for the "average joe."

And maybe some are, depending on how you define the average joe. There are in fact some "leftist" policies or positions I'm personally sceptical of, but I would classify them as "liberal" rather than "leftist."
The fact that in the US "liberal" is synonymous with "leftist" really doesn't help (NB: "liberal" is "right-wing" in France, and it changes lots of things).

I'm personally old-school and like to focus on economic perspectives, where left and right are clearly defined. Progressive taxation and/or wealth taxes to finance socialized healthcare or education are demonstrably efficient (there's decades showing that, even if focusing on the US alone) and obviously good for the average joe.
There's nothing "preachy" about stuff like that. But in the US there's an ideological -and irrational- reluctance to raise taxes on the rich to finance socialized programs, so even "average joes" oppose socialized programs because they're afraid of having to pay for their neighbor.
It makes no fucking sense. But that's what you get when you have no clue what words like "Marxism" or "socialism" mean. It seems people on the right only see the moral dimension of left-wing socio-economic policies and completely forget (or have become sceptical of) their efficiency.
A simpler way to put it is that overall, social justice works. It's even possible that social justice is far more responsible for high standards of living in the West than capitalism (some studies certainly point in that direction).

And then there's something like global warming which is obviously going to hurt the average joe more than the 1%, but the right stubbornly refuses to seriously consider government intervention in the matter.
It's crazy.

And this is a recent evolution: until recently (the 1970s or thereabouts) even the American right admitted that government could use regulations, taxes, and various measures for the greater good. At some point this changed. And at that point, the American right stopped from basing its politics in reality.

The left is not completely innocent I guess, depending on what you're looking at. But to equate the modern left with the religious right is nuts.
Because at the end of the day, we have proof that socio-economic inequalities and global warming are very real and have very real consequences.
Whereas everything vaguely linked to religion and morality remain subjective, or worse.

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1 hour ago, Rippounet said:

Ironically, the idea that some people "know best" is the basis of US democracy (it's very clear in the Federalist Papers), and of representative democracy generally speaking.

The lolz are real. This was a nice display of the death of expertise.

@Squab, Pro tip from a long time political activist, if you whine about identity politics, all you’re doing is telling everyone around you that you don’t actually understand the subject. Everyone engages in identity politics, and often times the right is far more guilty of it.

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I have no idea why you're arguing with a ultra right libertarian from Australia who wants kids to be able to work in coal mines and have sex with adults if they choose to, but please continue, it's super entertaining. 

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Not sure it matters that Squab is Australian, and I gathered he was probably "libertarian" from his comment on euthanasia.

I do think the conversation brings up the issue of how in our polarized climate more educated people on the Left can productively engage with less educated people on the Right. Everybody has had the experience of feeling insecure in a situation where one is ignorant of the topic of a conversation or the vocabulary being used. People who are less educated have more of these experiences than the college educated. They have usually had many experiences where their ignorance has been mistaken for stupidity, and often will jump to the conclusion that educated people who bring up a topic they are unfamiliar with are being deliberately insulting.

Years ago I read a 1999 memoir titled Creeker by Linda DeRosier, a psychology professor at a small college who had managed to end up with a Ph.D.  though she was raised in rural eastern Kentucky in a poor farm family. The passage in the book that made the most impression on me was when she describes how at a large family picnic everyone stopped and stared at her when she used the word "atrocity." In her perception it wasn't what she had called an "atrocity" that was the problem, it was the use of the "high falutin'" word itself. She immediately goes on to say "That one slip would have been as offensive as would have been bringing up the fact that I had returned from Japan the Friday before, which I would never have brought up in that setting." Later in the same paragraph she writes "If I were to mention frequent-flier miles, it would likely be taken as a put-down by members of my home community."

I think the right wing in both the USA and the UK has done a masterful job of playing on such insecurities to get the non-college-educated to believe that "the Left" is constantly insulting them and putting them down, and to make them constantly angry about this so that they vote against their own economic interests. With political sorting so that college-educated voters have moved toward the "liberal" parties and less-educated voters toward the "Right-wing" parties, this becomes a more and more difficult issue to deal with. 

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42 minutes ago, Ormond said:

I do think the conversation brings up the issue of how in our polarized climate more educated people on the Left can productively engage with less educated people on the Right.

The points you made are extremely valid, and educated people on the left do need to recognize that their comments can often be seen as talking down to someone even if that’s not their intent at all, but I’m not sure this captures the exact essence of the problem at hand. I think the problem is, and it exists on both sides though significantly more on the right, how do we restore good faith debates, especially when one side seems to have no interest in having them?

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8 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

The points you made are extremely valid, and educated people on the left do need to recognize that their comments can often be seen as talking down to someone even if that’s not their intent at all, but I’m not sure this captures the exact essence of the problem at hand. I think the problem is, and it exists on both sides though significantly more on the right, how do we restore good faith debates, especially when one side seems to have no interest in having them?

I'm not sure this is accurate.  What issues are really even up for debate?  It's not like I'm going to change my mind about much either.  I'm not going to be persuaded that climate change isn't real, that universal healthcare is a bad idea, or that abortion should be illegal.  It's tough to accuse the other side alone of bad faith when we're not going to move much on entrenched issues either.

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6 hours ago, Squab said:

Your ignorance and arrogance lies completely in your assumptions of my scenario regardless of your education. If i want to know about sticking dicks in power sockets, be assured i will ask you. My own life, im gunna rely on me.

False. You thinking you know whats better for me than i do is the root of authoritarianism. Our definition of better is undoubtedly different just like our definitions of upper class snobbishness, for me its about thinking you’re better than others, kinda like you do

 

What you are describing is Solipsism.  The Earth is a globe regardless of beliefs otherwise.   Vaccines work to reduce the spread of disease regardless of beliefs otherwise.  

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21 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

The points you made are extremely valid, and educated people on the left do need to recognize that their comments can often be seen as talking down to someone even if that’s not their intent at all, but I’m not sure this captures the exact essence of the problem at hand. I think the problem is, and it exists on both sides though significantly more on the right, how do we restore good faith debates, especially when one side seems to have no interest in having them?

If you can solve that problem you've hit it out of the ball park.  Both my parents are Trump supporters.  My mother will still call me to see what I think about things.  I think she thinks I'm talking down to her when I explain that, yes, Constitutionally the House can call what ever it want "high crimes and misdemenors" so long as it can muster a 2/3's majority to vote in favor of such.  She wants to talk about the lies told about Trump but never wants to talk about Trump's lies.  It is the danger of being in an information bubble.  

But I think the bubble applies to all of us.  I was very surprised by the outcome of the UK election.  My perception was that Labour should have won easily and that Boris Johnson was despised.  I was clear inside my own information bubble.   We should all strive to avoid that kind of disconnect with reality.

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26 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

"People are who know stuff are authoritarian cause they recognize and tell you when you do stupid stuff." is an interesting argument, since trying to poison people against "intellectuals" is itself a very authoritarian method.

Here's the problem.  How is knowing more stuff helpful if you are dismissed by the people you are trying to help because of the manner in which your knowledge is presented (as Ormond so interestingly pointed out above)?  Are you going to compel people to do what you tell them to do based upon your knowledge?

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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9 hours ago, mormont said:

Who is more qualified to know if smoking is bad for me? Me, or someone well educated? 

Obviously, the latter. If you're arguing that somehow, all voters are experts in social policy and economics, you're arguing an absurd position. That doesn't mean I don't have the right to choose to smoke or that voters don't have the right to choose policies that are not in their interests. But it is daft to argue that voters always know what policies are best for them. 

You understand that standing for workers is the origin and the definition of socialism? This is like complaining that I used to stand for home cooking but now I spend all my time in the kitchen making meals from scratch. It's gibberish, and it can only come from an uncritical acceptance of 'socialism' as a buzzword rather than a word with an actual meaning in the real world. 

What I'm taking away from this, Mormont, is that voting for Republicans is as deadly as smoking. I agree.

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8 hours ago, Squab said:

Totally false. This is the root of authoritarianism. Even the smoking example, i choose what is best for me, not your idea of what you think is best for me. Total upper class snobishness at its apex. And the reason you keep getting surprised by losing.

I understand that is where it began. Today it is more “from those who have to those that need”. In reality it means everything costs more and the company i work for is looking to move elsewhere. But go ahead and tell me more about how i dont actually know whats good for me

Wut? Smoking is bad for you. You can still smoke. But it will kill you. This is total Republican science denial nonsense.

If you're advocating for Republicans, you don't know what's good for you.

Edit: Honestly, everyone, this is the prime example of why "moving to the center" is a losing strategy. You're not gaining any votes. People have made up their minds no matter how bad Trump is. If people stay home because of something like medicare for all, despite seeing the above sentiments all over the place, then there's nothing we can do.

Edited by Simon Steele

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11 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Here's the problem.  How is knowing more stuff helpful if you are dismissed by the people you are trying to help because of the manner in which your knowledge is presented (as Ormond so interestingly pointed out above).  Are you going to compel people to do what you tell them to do based upon your knowledge?

That's a fantastic question, and one we might have to answer soon because of global warming.
In fact, it's why I predicted some form of "eco-totalitarianism" emerging in the next decades (I'd bet on 50 years +/- 12) in another thread.

At some point survival of the species will trump individual freedom. This won't actually be authoritarianism: individual freedom was never meant to put other people in danger, and every individual has some level of responsibility toward fellow humans. But of course to individualists it won't feel that way.

OTOH, let's not put too much blame on "the manner in which knowledge is presented" :  many people are perfectly fine with their ignorance because knowledge would contradict their beliefs. In recent years, both traditional media (Fox News) and social media have somehow comforted hundreds of millions by telling them that their ignorance does not mean they are wrong. Hence ignorance is now seen as a virtue if it is combined with confidence and a number of abstract "values" (mostly nationalism and "traditional" beliefs, combined with a twisted sense of meritocratism), that's how people elected a man who's probably the dumbest president in US history, someone who can barely talk as well as an 8-year old.

The current era will be fascinating for future historians - assuming humanity survives. We're reaching the moment when we realize that not only are democracy and ignorance mutually exclusive, but political responsibility means citizens have to be educated, whether they want to or not, because any large group of individuals that are disconnected from reality has the potential to endanger the entire species.

And yes Scot, I am well aware of the pitfalls of such thinking... :rolleyes:

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53 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

I'm not sure this is accurate.  What issues are really even up for debate?  It's not like I'm going to change my mind about much either.  I'm not going to be persuaded that climate change isn't real, that universal healthcare is a bad idea, or that abortion should be illegal.  It's tough to accuse the other side alone of bad faith when we're not going to move much on entrenched issues either.

But you came to those conclusions because you have a reasonable set of facts. The science on climate change is conclusive. We can debate what to do about it, but denying it is not a good faith argument. And we have data that shows universal healthcare is more ideal and that it could in the long term lower our overall healthcare costs. Abortion is a bit trickier, but there’s no way to discuss the issue if the other side just screams, “YOU’RE A BABY MURDERER!!!” We can’t accomplish much if we can’t generally agree on the facts, and to me it’s unmistakably clear which side is not interested in doing that.

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45 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

"People are who know stuff are authoritarian cause they recognize and tell you when you do stupid stuff." is an interesting argument, since trying to poison people against "intellectuals" is itself a very authoritarian method.

And I'm guessing we can assume then that Republicans will promote their newfound "go-with-yer-gut" epistemology across the policy spectrum because "experts" who "know stuff" are fascist beta-cucks trying to assert global world dominance over the heroic alpha red-pillers? That's good to know. I'll keep it in mind when I'm getting my $199 flash sale shoulder replacement surgery from the new doc that set up shop next door in the house for rent.

Oh, wait...what's that? Republicans don't actually believe that, and have no intention of getting rid of "experts" like business titans and makers and John Galt, and that they're simply employing that tactic on hot-button cultural issues to sway low-information non-experts to vote for them and then have no intention of actually following through? 

Color me disappointed.

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33 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

That's a fantastic question, and one we might have to answer soon because of global warming.
In fact, it's why I predicted some form of "eco-totalitarianism" emerging in the next decades (I'd bet on 50 years +/- 12) in another thread.

At some point survival of the species will trump individual freedom. This won't actually be authoritarianism: individual freedom was never meant to put other people in danger, and every individual has some level of responsibility toward fellow humans. But of course to individualists it won't feel that way.

OTOH, let's not put too much blame on "the manner in which knowledge is presented" :  many people are perfectly fine with their ignorance because knowledge would contradict their beliefs. In recent years, both traditional media (Fox News) and social media have somehow comforted hundreds of millions by telling them that their ignorance does not mean they are wrong. Hence ignorance is now seen as a virtue if it is combined with confidence and a number of abstract "values" (mostly nationalism and "traditional" beliefs, combined with a twisted sense of meritocratism), that's how people elected a man who's probably the dumbest president in US history, someone who can barely talk as well as an 8-year old.

The current era will be fascinating for future historians - assuming humanity survives. We're reaching the moment when we realize that not only are democracy and ignorance mutually exclusive, but political responsibility means citizens have to be educated, whether they want to or not, because any large group of individuals that are disconnected from reality has the potential to endanger the entire species.

And yes Scot, I am well aware of the pitfalls of such thinking... :rolleyes:

I've heard many people bemoan the ignorance of the masses who vote.  And I must assume one of the pitfalls you note is barring people from voting based upon knowledge which has been frequently abused in many different contexts.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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12 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I've heard many people bemoan the ignorance of the masses who vote.  And I must assume one of the pitfalls you note are barring people from voting based upon knowledge which has been frequently abused in many different contexts.

I'm starting to lean towards a technocracy. Inevitably the powerful scientists and engineers who run our government will warp education and admissions standards so that their own offspring are the only viable candidates for replacement, but democracy wasn't no good anyways.

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