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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 8:42 am
by lessthanpleased
IsbenFaith wrote:But those collections aren't valued because of the stamps, but because of the hobby of collecting worthless stuff. Aside from that, why do people own TV's, art, guitars, books, almost anything? It is because it enables them to do something that they enjoy, or enjoy viewing, or be viewed as cultured.


Perhaps you should talk to some die-hard collectors (or consider becoming one). Hard as it is to believe, some people just get sheer joy from owning stuff qua stuff. When I was a comic book collector as a kid, I was the same way. That fact kind of throws the rest out of the window, and is the simplest argument against pure communism and anarchism: neither account for someone who just likes owning stuff because it is stuff and, unlike many objections I often level, this is not a hypothetical situation. There are tons of people who are like this, and this is a question that politcal thinkers post-Marx have to address (and none have really adequately done so, with the exception of the Deleuzians and the Foucaultians although, admittedly, whether they're doing positive philosophy is up for debate, at least for Foucault).

The material goods or wealth are means to an end, but in capitalism, and only in capitalism, those means become ends in themselves.


I'm not sure this is a fair assessment.

Its a whole miserly system, and not even cool misers like the Heat Miser, but lame ones who hold the entire wealth of the world without producing anything reducing the world, and humanity, to barbarism and social darwanism (the most useless of all theories). Wealth is meant to facilitate a good life, not constitute it, and if wealth can be dished out to humanity as a whole misery ends.


You're preaching to the choir.

Of course Anarchists don't account for how it would work; they're social thinkers not prophets. It is a spirit that fuels action, not a system of "dos" and "don'ts."


But here's the problem: if there isn't a plan for the action, then the action will fail. This is a critique also levelled at Marx, largely because it's overly Hegelian (and, thus, monstrous [that's a joke, btw]). If one doesn't provide a plan of action, then all you're doing is building castles in the clouds; or, to put it another way (a la Hegel), "This is the way things are. It is up to future generations to accomplish this." Well, that's great, I suppose, but Aristotle gave us a pragmatic Politics, as did Locke, Roussea, and just about everyone else. The natural response to stuff like this is generally: "These are some great ideas, let's see if we can make them work in the real world." Because, ultimately, a revolution without a plan is going to fail and fail badly, and the people who followed blindly are just fools left amongst the dead, believers in a mouldering grave.

It must remain idealistic and not "practical" since what is "practical" is defined and constituted by whatever social, economic, and political systems are in place, anything that does not seek to improve them becomes idealistic and not, what is considered, "practical."


Perhaps we're discussing "practical" differently. When I use "practical" I am using it colloquially to indicate "something that can happen realistically." Revolutions can happen realistically and logically, and often do so. They take over and redefine social norms in a coherent manner. It seems to me that anarchism- since it cannot be planned and remain anarchism (rather than socialism/communism)- has to commit itself to positing the same thing that Marx did: a Utopian society with no guideposts of how to get there other than a "prophesied" Revolution which will one day come because that's how things are.

Anarchism is idealistic since it is the complete overhaul of all of these systems to a fairer platform, and not just an improvement to the existing ones. But under no circumstances is anarchism to turn into a science, because systematizing anarchism would destroy its whole aim, as Bakunin writes, "Life is wholly fugitive and temporary, but also wholly palpitating with reality and individuality, sensibility, sufferings, joys, aspirations, needs, and passions. It alone spontaneously creates real things and beings. Science creates nothing; it establishes and recognizes only the creations of life." There can be no scientific account of the actions of man, because such systems will always be impotent to deal with man's natural inclination to rebellion. Anarchism is the general spirit of the revolution, not a "plug-and-play" theory, since those almost always fail.


Wow, Bakunin is mixing and matching Hegel and Marx explicitly there with a dab of Nietzsche. Interesting that Bakunin mentions mankind's inclination to rebel without mentioning mankind's equal inclination to kneel or bow, be it before a King, a God, or a Priest.

Can any set of laws treat men equally? Of course not, since the ones who are enforcing the laws (compelling wo/men against their will) is by force superior. Only in the absence of coercion and capitalism can any form of equality be truly realized, every other kind is naive illusion.


I was with you until the whole coercion and capitalism thing came up. I am, perhaps, more optimistic, about the potential of the current United States Judicial Branch than I have been at any previous point, since having to immerse myself in this stuff to serve in Student Government as Chief Justice. It would be very easy to come up with a perfect Democratic constitution, largely because it was already done: The Weimar Republic after World War I, whose constitution is unrivalled for its equity and commitment to democratic ideals. It also created an opening such that the Nazi party could gain power there and eventually declare themselves the ruling party, but that is the danger of giving the people the vote: sometimes, the people vote for the wrong things.

...elitism will also be abolished....


How? Last time I checked, some people will always be smarter than some others, just as some people will be stronger than some others.

Nope, because equality doesn't require each man be the same, just have the same opportunity for happiness. Of the people with mediocre faculties, myself being one of them so I can attest to the truth of this, happiness is just as possible as in the most intelligent. However, under capitalism, or any wage system, man's ability to do what makes them happy is completely stifled by actual economic possibility. Having the political right to do something is completely worthless without the means to do it. And since those means are in the hands of a few elite, almost all wo/men are completely denied the ability to happiness, and happiness should not be a luxury.


Definitionally, then, the word you're using for "equality" should probably be something else. Equality, in most definitions I've encountered, and in most definitions that should be used, x is equal to y. Thus, instead of saying "all men are equal," you prorbably should say that "All men must have the same opportunity for happiness." This statement gets your point across without getting hung up on "equality."

-neal

Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:09 am
by IsbenFaith
lessthanpleased wrote:Perhaps you should talk to some die-hard collectors (or consider becoming one). Hard as it is to believe, some people just get sheer joy from owning stuff qua stuff.

Okay, but this vast minority hardly disproves the idea that most of us buy a chair because they enjoy to either sit or enjoy the aesthetics of the placement of the chair. I'm gonna run with the masses on this one and not just buy a bunch of chairs just to have them.
lessthanpleased wrote:When I was a comic book collector as a kid, I was the same way. That fact kind of throws the rest out of the window, and is the simplest argument against pure communism and anarchism: neither account for someone who just likes owning stuff because it is stuff and, unlike many objections I often level, this is not a hypothetical situation. There are tons of people who are like this, and this is a question that politcal thinkers post-Marx have to address (and none have really adequately done so, with the exception of the Deleuzians and the Foucaultians although, admittedly, whether they're doing positive philosophy is up for debate, at least for Foucault).

Nope, it doesn't throw out the whole argument. Your owning comic books just to own them, and not read them, doesn't hurt the fact that the comic book industry only survives because people get them to read the stories and view the artwork. Just owning them isn't at all important, and if everyone only bought comic books just to have them the entire industry would fall. That kinda throws out your entire rebuttal.

lessthanpleased wrote:
The material goods or wealth are means to an end, but in capitalism, and only in capitalism, those means become ends in themselves.


I'm not sure this is a fair assessment.

Which part? "Material goods or wealth are means to an end" is almost entirely universal to the human race, with the exception of your stamp-collectors. "but in capitalism, and only in capitalism, those means become ends in themselves." Certainly you're not arguing that capitalists don't want money for money's sake. I'm unclear as to which part you're doubting.

lessthanpleased wrote:You're preaching to the choir.

Doubtful, because if you agreed with that then you'd realize what a huge situation that it is, and that it is not the lesser of the evils but that it is a creator of evil.

lessthanpleased wrote:But here's the problem: if there isn't a plan for the action, then the action will fail. This is a critique also levelled at Marx, largely because it's overly Hegelian (and, thus, monstrous [that's a joke, btw]). If one doesn't provide a plan of action, then all you're doing is building castles in the clouds; or, to put it another way (a la Hegel), "This is the way things are. It is up to future generations to accomplish this." Well, that's great, I suppose, but Aristotle gave us a pragmatic Politics, as did Locke, Roussea, and just about everyone else. The natural response to stuff like this is generally: "These are some great ideas, let's see if we can make them work in the real world." Because, ultimately, a revolution without a plan is going to fail and fail badly, and the people who followed blindly are just fools left amongst the dead, believers in a mouldering grave.

Aristotle's politics are horrible. I just read it. His "self-reliance" of a Polis is hardly self-reliant since it requires all of the wealth to be created by slaves. It is evil. Locke's political theory is a**-backwards, since we never came from a "state of nature," but it sure does seem like a great goal. And Rousseau said that all wo/men have no rights except what is granted them by the government which is kinda odd, since it is the wo/men who created the state and not vice-versa which such a system would require. None of these complete theories grasp humanity, since a large part of someone's humanity is dissatisfaction with oppressive systems. All of these systems require oppression since there must be something there to compel those who disagree with the way things are. And it is oppression that needs to be gotten rid of. All systems that require enforcement, "practical," since that is the way it has seemingly always been, need to be gotten rid of.

And the revolution preached by anarchists is hardly blind. Obolish privatization and government and any other system that would bend one person's will to another's by force(physical, i.e. government, or economic, i.e. capitalism, or spiritual, i.e. religion). That is the goal of the revolution. Because only one wo/man can determine the best interests of him/herself and no system can accomodate everyone, and in fact all systems can only accomodate a few, the rest are compelled into it. Establishing one system over another (take the American Revolution) just trades masters (kings for oligarchs). But the oppression remains. And you also don't have an argument that idealist revolutions don't work, because I'll just have to point out the great French Revolution, and the anarchist Spanish Revolution.

lessthanpleased wrote:Perhaps we're discussing "practical" differently. When I use "practical" I am using it colloquially to indicate "something that can happen realistically."
lessthanpleased wrote:Since it is both physically possible and reasonable, it becomes realistically possible. The "practical" used in attack against anarchism is always considering wo/man from a capitalist and governmental perspective. So anarchism certainly isn't "practical" from that standpoint, since its saying that both of those are consistently antagonistic to wo/man and need be done away with.

lessthanpleased wrote:Revolutions can happen realistically and logically, and often do so.

Show me one revolution that wasn't infused with idealism. One.

lessthanpleased wrote:They take over and redefine social norms in a coherent manner. It seems to me that anarchism- since it cannot be planned and remain anarchism (rather than socialism/communism)- has to commit itself to positing the same thing that Marx did: a Utopian society with no guideposts of how to get there other than a "prophesied" Revolution which will one day come because that's how things are.

That's Marxism. Anarchism's revolution is different, since it is a complete social revolution by the people. Can any of those well-thought out, and blantantly evil, political system's (Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau) work if the people don't hop and skip in the way in which those systems tell them to? Of course not, unless those people can be compelled into it. And that is the anarchist revolution, a complete social revolution in which everybody just no longer supports the government, and without the people the government becomes useless. The same with capitalism. If we suddenly just stopped this whole "this land here belongs to him, that to her, etc." nonsense and realize that nobody created it, therefore nobody is specially entitled to it, then capitalism would fall just as easily. That is the anarchist revolution. Do away with harmful ideas that ruin lives by compulsion and economic dispairity.

lessthanpleased wrote:Wow, Bakunin is mixing and matching Hegel and Marx explicitly there with a dab of Nietzsche. Interesting that Bakunin mentions mankind's inclination to rebel without mentioning mankind's equal inclination to kneel or bow, be it before a King, a God, or a Priest.

Because it isn't natural. I doubt that Bakunin ever read Nietzsche, I think he was around too early for Nietzsche. Bakunin ain't using Marx, they came up in the same situations, both were pseudo-students of Proudhon; there is similarity, but Bakunin was not at all influenced by the writings of Marx. Though Bakunin did think that Marx's works were brilliant, they were way too scientific and failed to take into account the complete fugitivity of man's nature. Whenever Bakunin writes about science in relation to man usual an attack on Marx.

lessthanpleased wrote:I was with you until the whole coercion and capitalism thing came up. I am, perhaps, more optimistic, about the potential of the current United States Judicial Branch than I have been at any previous point, since having to immerse myself in this stuff to serve in Student Government as Chief Justice. It would be very easy to come up with a perfect Democratic constitution, largely because it was already done: The Weimar Republic after World War I, whose constitution is unrivalled for its equity and commitment to democratic ideals. It also created an opening such that the Nazi party could gain power there and eventually declare themselves the ruling party, but that is the danger of giving the people the vote: sometimes, the people vote for the wrong things.

The constitution needs to go since nobody ever agrees to a social contract, no matter how desparately government theorists need them too. People "agree" to it only because there is no other choice, they are being compelled into it. How is coercion good?

lessthanpleased wrote:
...elitism will also be abolished....


How? Last time I checked, some people will always be smarter than some others, just as some people will be stronger than some others.

But I can't picture the idea that intelligence, strength, pigmentation, or any other aspect of one person that differs from another, as constituting a better "human being" surviving far past capilism. That is what I meant by elitism. Just because somebody is smarter than me doesn't make them superior as a person. And all of the factors of humanity cannot be measured, so its just not feasible to say that one person is "better," "superior," or that their life is "more desirable" than any another. (quotes made up by me).

lessthanpleased wrote:Definitionally, then, the word you're using for "equality" should probably be something else. Equality, in most definitions I've encountered, and in most definitions that should be used, x is equal to y. Thus, instead of saying "all men are equal," you prorbably should say that "All men must have the same opportunity for happiness." This statement gets your point across without getting hung up on "equality."

-neal

[emphasis mine]
I'm not using it in any new way, you know this.

"The terms "equality" (Gr. isotes, Lat. aequitas, aequalitas, Fr. égalité, Ger. Gleichheit), "equal," and "equally" signify a qualitative relationship. ‘Equality’ (or ‘equal’) signifies correspondence between a group of different objects, persons, processes or circumstances that have the same qualities in at least one respect, but not all respects, i.e., regarding one specific feature, with differences in other features. ‘Equality’ needs to thus be distinguished from ‘identity’ -- this concept signifying that one and the same object corresponds to itself in all its features: an object that can be referred to through various individual terms, proper names, or descriptions. For the same reason, it needs to be distinguished from ‘similarity’ -- the concept of merely approximate correspondence (Dann 1975, p. 997; Menne 1962, p. 44 ff.; Westen 1990, pp. 39, 120). Thus, to say e.g. that men are equal is not to say that they are identical. Equality rather implies similarity but not ‘sameness.’"(1)

***************************************************
Here I'm going to break out a crystal ball and try to predict a post revolutionary economic system if all government, capitalism, and other oppressive institutions get abolished...

Completely rural areas operate under an individualist idea, in which people, for the most part, handle their own needs in regards to growing food, making clothes, etc.

Suburban areas put Bakunin's mutualism into practice, with much success might I add, which is the idea that companies are composed of free individuals making personal contracts (these companies have no company heads, its basically just a productive union without the reps).

Urban areas pick up on Berkman's Anarchist Communism, in which everybody gets fed and roomed, and everybody who can pitches in where its needed, while creating robots to do most of the work so that reliance on human labor slowly decreases. With some success, but a lot of various modifications will evolve in various areas, but...all will be well, all will be well.

*Puts away crystal ball.*

But none of the above is what wo/man is supposed to do, since I am in no position to tell another how to run their life, that's just how I see it happening.

The reason I did that is so that you see what Anarchism is, since you seem to equate it with Marxism a little too close for comfort....because Marx was a prick....and Bakunin wasn't.....and neither was Kropotkin.

Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:23 am
by lessthanpleased
IsbenFaith wrote:
lessthanpleased wrote:Perhaps you should talk to some die-hard collectors (or consider becoming one). Hard as it is to believe, some people just get sheer joy from owning stuff qua stuff.

Okay, but this vast minority hardly disproves the idea that most of us buy a chair because they enjoy to either sit or enjoy the aesthetics of the placement of the chair. I'm gonna run with the masses on this one and not just buy a bunch of chairs just to have them.


But it kinda does, Isben, as I'm sure you well know. You can't put forward a theory of how capitalism works and how capital always function that isn't explanatory of how stuff works. There isn't an "exception that proves the rule" here, although it would be nice if there were one, because then we could answer all of these questions and come up with pat philosophical theories that are properly explanative of reality. You're formulation above is just begging the question.

Nope, it doesn't throw out the whole argument. Your owning comic books just to own them, and not read them, doesn't hurt the fact that the comic book industry only survives because people get them to read the stories and view the artwork. Just owning them isn't at all important, and if everyone only bought comic books just to have them the entire industry would fall. That kinda throws out your entire rebuttal.


See above. The guideline you're using about the nature of property is philosophically unaccetable (to steal a line from Noel Carrol) because "it is both too exclusive and too inclusive."


Isbenfaith wrote:
lessthanpleased wrote:
The material goods or wealth are means to an end, but in capitalism, and only in capitalism, those means become ends in themselves.
I'm not sure this is a fair assessment.
Which part? "Material goods or wealth are means to an end" is almost entirely universal to the human race, with the exception of your stamp-collectors. "but in capitalism, and only in capitalism, those means become ends in themselves." Certainly you're not arguing that capitalists don't want money for money's sake. I'm unclear as to which part you're doubting.


No, I'm suggesting that there are other systems of economics or government wherein the above was true: feudalism, tribal societies, really just about every form of govenrment and economic system thus far. In other words, I don't know if this problem is exclusive to capitalism, and, considering human history, I doubt that we'll escape it in the future.

lessthanpleased wrote:You're preaching to the choir.

Doubtful, because if you agreed with that then you'd realize what a huge situation that it is, and that it is not the lesser of the evils but that it is a creator of evil.


I have yet to meet anyone who would disagree with your statement that "[w]ealth is meant to facilitate a good life, not constitute it, and if wealth can be dished out to humanity as a whole misery ends." Unfortunately, however, it isn't actually much of a proof for anarchism; it also speaks for the need of various other revolutions as well.

Aristotle's politics are horrible. I just read it. His "self-reliance" of a Polis is hardly self-reliant since it requires all of the wealth to be created by slaves. It is evil. Locke's political theory is a**-backwards, since we never came from a "state of nature," but it sure does seem like a great goal. And Rousseau said that all wo/men have no rights except what is granted them by the government which is kinda odd, since it is the wo/men who created the state and not vice-versa which such a system would require. None of these complete theories grasp humanity, since a large part of someone's humanity is dissatisfaction with oppressive systems. All of these systems require oppression since there must be something there to compel those who disagree with the way things are. And it is oppression that needs to be gotten rid of. All systems that require enforcement, "practical," since that is the way it has seemingly always been, need to be gotten rid of.


I quite like all of the above, although perhaps you should re-read the Aristotle at a later date. What I like about all of them- and what I tend to like about most philosophers- is that they latch onto something real, and attempt to work out that problem. Armchair philosophizing is for stoners.

Your above contentions all rely upon the idea that human existence is in some way independent of social structure or systems, which pretty much the whole of the last fifty years of philosophy has argued against. I'm honestly unsure of whether or not its possible for humans to be human (in a meaningful sense, not a biological sense) outside of an oppressive social structure since so much of our identity formation, mores, and selves are constituted by interaction with others and indoctrination. But that's an aside, because I'm too lazy to type up the whole of Foucault's work... ;)

And the revolution preached by anarchists is hardly blind. Obolish privatization and government and any other system that would bend one person's will to another's by force(physical, i.e. government, or economic, i.e. capitalism, or spiritual, i.e. religion). That is the goal of the revolution. Because only one wo/man can determine the best interests of him/herself and no system can accomodate everyone, and in fact all systems can only accomodate a few, the rest are compelled into it. Establishing one system over another (take the American Revolution) just trades masters (kings for oligarchs). But the oppression remains. And you also don't have an argument that idealist revolutions don't work, because I'll just have to point out the great French Revolution, and the anarchist Spanish Revolution.


And last time I checked, there was a glorious country with no laws, government, crime, and capital in both France and Spain, right?

lessthanpleased wrote:Since it is both physically possible and reasonable, it becomes realistically possible. The "practical" used in attack against anarchism is always considering wo/man from a capitalist and governmental perspective. So anarchism certainly isn't "practical" from that standpoint, since its saying that both of those are consistently antagonistic to wo/man and need be done away with.


But Isben, I'm not using "practical" from a capitalist or governmental perspective. I'm using practical from the perspective of someone who is rationally trying to figure out how this position is logically coherent, self-sustaining, supported by historical precedent in some way, and not simply something that kids in highschool talk about while stoned discussing how great the world with be if we didn't have to work.

From a third person objective point of view, I fail to see how this position avoids the criticisms of doctrinaire Marxism in any way, largely because the end-goal is hard to sustain without some sort of plan in place, and hard to achieve without some sort of plan in place that is fairly exhaustive.

Show me one revolution that wasn't infused with idealism. One.


Pick a revolution that involved more than a group of free thinkers or philosophers. Most people don't think deeply (hell, most people in philosophy don't think deeply). Very few are truly idealistic. Most people want things to be better than they are now and a blowjob. Was the French Revolution filled with thousands of philosophers who all deeply believed in brotherhood, or was it filled with farmers that were angry that the queen- when told of their starvation- quipped "Let them eat cake?" Were the men and women who fought the British in the American Revolution all Enlightenment thinkers (like the founding fathers were), or were they defending their homes from invaders?

The answers should be obvious.

To bring it closer to home: I like pro-wrestling a lot, and my thesis advisor and I are shopping a "philosophy of pro-wrestling" book to a publisher that must remain nameless. That being said, I'm aware that the way that we watch wrestling is essentially different than the way most people do. My enjoyment of the aesthetic doesn't cause me to posit that other wrestling fans do the same: rather, I accept that they want to watch the Rock kick butt and take names.

That's Marxism. Anarchism's revolution is different, since it is a complete social revolution by the people.


Hmmm. Sounds like several strains of Communism to me....

Can any of those well-thought out, and blantantly evil, political system's (Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau) work if the people don't hop and skip in the way in which those systems tell them to? Of course not, unless those people can be compelled into it. And that is the anarchist revolution, a complete social revolution in which everybody just no longer supports the government, and without the people the government becomes useless. The same with capitalism. If we suddenly just stopped this whole "this land here belongs to him, that to her, etc." nonsense and realize that nobody created it, therefore nobody is specially entitled to it, then capitalism would fall just as easily. That is the anarchist revolution. Do away with harmful ideas that ruin lives by compulsion and economic dispairity.


Idealism.

lessthanpleased wrote:Because it isn't natural. I doubt that Bakunin ever read Nietzsche, I think he was around too early for Nietzsche. Bakunin ain't using Marx, they came up in the same situations, both were pseudo-students of Proudhon; there is similarity, but Bakunin was not at all influenced by the writings of Marx.


Well that's funny, considering that the quote I was commenting on sounded exactly like parts of Marx. I would venture to say that- like most contemporaries- they had to have some influence upon each other.

Though Bakunin did think that Marx's works were brilliant


That would explain the above.

The constitution needs to go since nobody ever agrees to a social contract, no matter how desparately government theorists need them too. People "agree" to it only because there is no other choice, they are being compelled into it. How is coercion good?


Well, when the prospect of refusal is the reality of some stronger person stepping in, raping their wife, murdering them, and so on (as in the Medieval period) social contracts aren't all that bad. Certainly better than many of the alternatives.

Isbenfaith wrote:But I can't picture the idea that intelligence, strength, pigmentation, or any other aspect of one person that differs from another, as constituting a better "human being" surviving far past capilism. That is what I meant by elitism. Just because somebody is smarter than me doesn't make them superior as a person. And all of the factors of humanity cannot be measured, so its just not feasible to say that one person is "better," "superior," or that their life is "more desirable" than any another. (quotes made up by me).


I don't know, Isben, I think that some people are better than others. You and I are better than serial killers- unless there's something about you that you aren't telling me ;)- and I don't think that any appeal to the amorphous nature of human existence can convince me that my intuition is wrong. So too with paedophiles.

I'll concede the point on usage of equality, but I don't think that the definition you're using disproves the above. Certainly, we may be equal to the serial killers in several respects (bipedal, dependent upon brachiation, genetically human), but I don't think that that equality constitutes the specific type of equality that was in question.

The reason I did that is so that you see what Anarchism is, since you seem to equate it with Marxism a little too close for comfort....because Marx was a prick....and Bakunin wasn't.....and neither was Kropotkin.


Y'know, I already knew what Anarchism was. And your prophesy- while fun- differed very, very little from the end result of certain strains of communism.

I'll make a prophesy of my own: I see myself going to bed. And waking up, every day for the rest of my life. So too with my children, and my children's children, and my children's children's children. And at no point will any of my descendants or myself have woken up to find that a global anarchist revolution or communist revolution has occurred, although other strains of government- equally unfair to that which exists now- will rise and fall because, although none of them will be perfect, all of them be practical and, at least at first, seem to make things a little bit better.

We'll never have a Utopia, kids.

The best we can hope for is for things to be better than they are now and a blowjob. And, right now, I'd settle for the blowjob if I had to choose.

-neal

Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:27 am
by IsbenFaith
lessthanpleased wrote:But it kinda does, Isben, as I'm sure you well know. You can't put forward a theory of how capitalism works and how capital always function that isn't explanatory of how stuff works. There isn't an "exception that proves the rule" here, although it would be nice if there were one, because then we could answer all of these questions and come up with pat philosophical theories that are properly explanative of reality. You're formulation above is just begging the question.

It's not a "exception" type dealy, its a "the stamp collector isn't hording the very means to existence," type thing. But, you've convinced me.....that I have to find out why these people do such strange things. I'm going to spend the next week trying to find as many of these oddities as I can and ask them why do such things as they do. If not one tells me, "I like owning lots of stamps," then I'm gonna be very mad at you.

lessthanpleased wrote:See above. The guideline you're using about the nature of property is philosophically unaccetable (to steal a line from Noel Carrol) because "it is both too exclusive and too inclusive."

Okay, it won't be in a week, when every one of them gives me reasons for owning stamps that doesn't limit itself just to having them.

lessthanpleased wrote:No, I'm suggesting that there are other systems of economics or government wherein the above was true: feudalism, tribal societies, really just about every form of govenrment and economic system thus far. In other words, I don't know if this problem is exclusive to capitalism, and, considering human history, I doubt that we'll escape it in the future.

Tribal societies? You sure about that?

Anywho, Feudalism and Capitalism are basically the same, only that Fuedalism is more honest. Anyways this doesn't discount the first part, and if you want, since its in keeping (completely) with the idea that all systems are oppressive by nature, you can continue to think that every system is oppressive by my requirements.

lessthanpleased wrote:I have yet to meet anyone who would disagree with your statement that "[w]ealth is meant to facilitate a good life, not constitute it, and if wealth can be dished out to humanity as a whole misery ends." Unfortunately, however, it isn't actually much of a proof for anarchism; it also speaks for the need of various other revolutions as well.

And what about the rest of the paragraph...it took me a while to write that. :cry:

And wouldn't you consider revolutions as anarchistic by nature?

lessthanpleased wrote:I quite like all of the above, although perhaps you should re-read the Aristotle at a later date.

Why should I do that? That was a great critique of Politics. Even so much so that it made it into the Cambridge Companion to Aristotle. And when I read Politics, after reading Cambridge, I completely agreed.

lessthanpleased wrote:What I like about all of them- and what I tend to like about most philosophers- is that they latch onto something real, and attempt to work out that problem. Armchair philosophizing is for stoners.

Awesome! maybe I should get some weed.

Okay, the anarchist's problem:
1)All systems are oppressive
2)Syllogistic Logic (or just any other system) is a system
-----------------------------
Ergo: Syllogistic Logic (or just any other system) is oppressive.

1) One person is more fit to govern themself than any other is.
2) All government systems are fit for a few and exploitative of the rest. 3) Exploitation is bad.
4) Sub: All government systems are bad.
5) Anything that is bad should be done away with
------------------------------------------------------
Government is bad for humanity and should be gotten rid of. (from 1, 4, and 5).

Mankind should not exist in a situation that is bad for it. Government and Capitalism is bad for it. Therefore mankind should not exist in either Capitalism or Government.

Deal with that.

lessthanpleased wrote:Your above contentions all rely upon the idea that human existence is in some way independent of social structure or systems, which pretty much the whole of the last fifty years of philosophy has argued against. I'm honestly unsure of whether or not its possible for humans to be human (in a meaningful sense, not a biological sense) outside of an oppressive social structure since so much of our identity formation, mores, and selves are constituted by interaction with others and indoctrination. But that's an aside, because I'm too lazy to type up the whole of Foucault's work... ;)

That's why I trust pure psychologists in matters of human development and behavior. Its not a system that is required, its just socialization. Which no Anarchist has ever tried to get rid of. All labor is communal in nature, as anarchism says, and mankind evolved socially first put forth by anarchists but now seriously considered the major evolutionary cause of human development. We are a communal species; no anarchist has ever denied this. A human can be a human outside of oppression, just not outside of a culture, the two are not the same, but neither mutually exclusive (oppression and culture).

lessthanpleased wrote:And last time I checked, there was a glorious country with no laws, government, crime, and capital in both France and Spain, right?

For a while there was, but they f**ked it all up and instated governments. Which created more problems.

lessthanpleased wrote:But Isben, I'm not using "practical" from a capitalist or governmental perspective. I'm using practical from the perspective of someone who is rationally trying to figure out how this position is logically coherent, self-sustaining, supported by historical precedent in some way, and not simply something that kids in highschool talk about while stoned discussing how great the world with be if we didn't have to work.

No historical precedent, but it is coherent. Anarchism is self-sustaining, and in fact all that there is. The government doesn't actually exist, nice to know, just coercion based on personal contracts. Most people believe that it does, and police brutalize as if it does, but that doesn't make it any more or less a concept, a belief. Seriously, if everbody just stopped with the belief in it, then what would a powerful government be?

lessthanpleased wrote:From a third person objective point of view, I fail to see how this position avoids the criticisms of doctrinaire Marxism in any way, largely because the end-goal is hard to sustain without some sort of plan in place, and hard to achieve without some sort of plan in place that is fairly exhaustive.

No plan, cuz you can't decide what's best for me, nor I for you. We don't know each other so how could one know what's best for the other. I can govern myself better than anyone, and so can everyone. Your life is your plan, but there aren't some great minds sitting around telling people what's best for them, when those great minds don't have a clue. If you can produce one person who has been in exact same situations as everybody, then you might have a case, but until that happens its just sheer coercion. A political theorist is just somebody trying to get on the right side of the stick.

lessthanpleased wrote:Pick a revolution that involved more than a group of free thinkers or philosophers. Most people don't think deeply (hell, most people in philosophy don't think deeply). Very few are truly idealistic. Most people want things to be better than they are now and a blowjob. Was the French Revolution filled with thousands of philosophers who all deeply believed in brotherhood, or was it filled with farmers that were angry that the queen- when told of their starvation- quipped "Let them eat cake?" Were the men and women who fought the British in the American Revolution all Enlightenment thinkers (like the founding fathers were), or were they defending their homes from invaders?

The answers should be obvious.

I can think of many of the soldier songs that popped up during the time of the American Revolution that were idealistic. In fact most of them. Whether or not they wished the war doesn't mean that they weren't fighting for some cause, and not just security. If it was just for security, it would have been best to not fight at all, don't you think?

lessthanpleased wrote:To bring it closer to home: I like pro-wrestling a lot, and my thesis advisor and I are shopping a "philosophy of pro-wrestling" book to a publisher that must remain nameless. That being said, I'm aware that the way that we watch wrestling is essentially different than the way most people do. My enjoyment of the aesthetic doesn't cause me to posit that other wrestling fans do the same: rather, I accept that they want to watch the Rock kick butt and take names.

The Rock is lame...I wish Sabu would kill him.

I really think that you're underestimating people. They know that the match is staged too, so they are watching for aesthetics. You don't think that they enjoy the flipping just as much as you don't think you enjoy the hurting involved?

lessthanpleased wrote:Idealism.

It is, and its meant to be fuel for the fire, not the fire itself.

lessthanpleased wrote:Well that's funny, considering that the quote I was commenting on sounded exactly like parts of Marx. I would venture to say that- like most contemporaries- they had to have some influence upon each other.

Though Bakunin did think that Marx's works were brilliant


That would explain the above.

Click here. It's great...trust me.

lessthanpleased wrote:Well, when the prospect of refusal is the reality of some stronger person stepping in, raping their wife, murdering them, and so on (as in the Medieval period) social contracts aren't all that bad. Certainly better than many of the alternatives.

False alternatives too! About the Midieval period, that was all done by armies, the church, governments, etc. The people themselves were the ones being hurt, by authority. But, this whole, oh no the government is gone so someone is going to hurt me, business just doesn't make sense. Honestly, if you heard government and capitalism were gone, would murder be the first thing that pops into your head? I hope not, or you are not better than the serial killer, you're just more afraid of consequences.

lessthanpleased wrote:I don't know, Isben, I think that some people are better than others. You and I are better than serial killers- unless there's something about you that you aren't telling me ;)- and I don't think that any appeal to the amorphous nature of human existence can convince me that my intuition is wrong. So too with paedophiles.

No, our actions are better than serial killers or pedophiles. Certainly different than unequal by nature that you were saying before.

lessthanpleased wrote:We'll never have a Utopia, kids.

That's where the misunderstanding is, anarchism doesn't claim to be one. Just the only "right" (yes we are absolutists, just not moral absolutists, since the platform doesn't have any do's and don'ts) existence for mankind. We are not a bad species, we just do some stupid stuff sometimes. Mostly for God, Country, and Money....

lessthanpleased wrote:The best we can hope for is for things to be better than they are now and a blowjob. And, right now, I'd settle for the blowjob if I had to choose.

-neal

*casts judgement on ltp*

Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:29 pm
by Duncan
bodidley wrote:Cuba, the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact States, the People's Republic of China, Angola, and Kampuchea, or even the Bay State don't make much of a straw man.
<EDIT>
You cannot compare the lofty "ideals" of communism with the "difficulties" of capitalism and then cry foul when either the "ideals" of capitalism or the "realities" of communism are put forth. Freedom, self-determination, and individual rights are as important to arguements over capitalism as equality is to arguements over communism. It is no straw man arguement.

I'm afraid that you are comparing the "difficulties" of attempts at communism with the lofty ideals of western democracy (not just capitalism).

To make any kind of a comparison, you have to compare the ideals of the two systems of redistribution. One is based on fairness, whereas the other promotes greed, selfishness and usury.

You won't find me defending China as a communist ideal. It is currently infected by capitalism after all.

Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:42 pm
by lessthanpleased
IsbenFaith wrote:It's not a "exception" type dealy, its a "the stamp collector isn't hording the very means to existence," type thing. But, you've convinced me.....that I have to find out why these people do such strange things. I'm going to spend the next week trying to find as many of these oddities as I can and ask them why do such things as they do. If not one tells me, "I like owning lots of stamps," then I'm gonna be very mad at you.

lessthanpleased wrote:See above. The guideline you're using about the nature of property is philosophically unaccetable (to steal a line from Noel Carrol) because "it is both too exclusive and too inclusive."

Okay, it won't be in a week, when every one of them gives me reasons for owning stamps that doesn't limit itself just to having them.


I trust that you will find people who like owning stuff qua stuff. If you don't, you've found me, who copped to it earlier. I've also got tons of friends who do the same. Another confession: a friend of mine works at blockbuster. Wrestling tapes were on sale for $4.99. I bought several, and not because I wanted the matches on there (which I've already seen), but because I wanted a new wrestling tape and had five dollars and change on me.

lessthanpleased wrote:No, I'm suggesting that there are other systems of economics or government wherein the above was true: feudalism, tribal societies, really just about every form of govenrment and economic system thus far. In other words, I don't know if this problem is exclusive to capitalism, and, considering human history, I doubt that we'll escape it in the future.

Tribal societies? You sure about that?


If we accept the idea that currency isn't limited to money- which is probably a good thing, since it does explain barter economies and so forth- then, in tribal societies, you had witch doctors becoming witch doctors for the power, chiefs becoming chiefs for the power, etc. To quote Plato, the techne of what they were supposed to be doing was being exploited. It's part and parcel of humanity.

I haven't seen a credible analysis of capital that doesn't in some way equate capital with power in some way, and I think that history shows that every culture has had power struggles and power-hungry individuals. The idealisation of tribal life is something that began in the Romantic era, and its kind of nonsensical.

Anywho, Feudalism and Capitalism are basically the same, only that Fuedalism is more honest. Anyways this doesn't discount the first part, and if you want, since its in keeping (completely) with the idea that all systems are oppressive by nature, you can continue to think that every system is oppressive by my requirements.


I don't think that every system is opressive by nature of its being a system, because I can conceive of systems that aren't oppressive. I do think that all successful systems have to be self-sustaining to remain in place, but this idea that all systems are oppressive is not substantially different than the current Right Wing culture of victimization that's going on: I'm not a victim, and I'm not oppressed. I think things can be better, and I want to change them. Perhaps it isn't the system that is at fault, but people?

I don't know, the casting stones at a system seems to me to be donig what Adorno is doing: critiquing something from a position of authority that is in principle impossible. If he's part of that system- and all systems are oppressive- how is he able to escape the system long enough to critique it? The fact that he can critique it freely seems to indicate that the system can't be oppressive because- were it so- he wouldn't be able to critique it.

And what about the rest of the paragraph...it took me a while to write that. :cry:


I responded to what I felt merited response in our discussion, and said my opinion.

And wouldn't you consider revolutions as anarchistic by nature?


No. I would consider them an instance of political dissent by nature, but there's nothing about them that suggests that every revolution has to have as its end-goal anything resembling anarchy. They're an instance of immediate regime change, some of which may be anarchist, most are not.

lessthanpleased wrote:I quite like all of the above, although perhaps you should re-read the Aristotle at a later date.

Why should I do that? That was a great critique of Politics. Even so much so that it made it into the Cambridge Companion to Aristotle. And when I read Politics, after reading Cambridge, I completely agreed.


My point being that- although you can mouth the critiques of others- it isn't generally wise t critique Aristotle until you've read and understood the Categories, Posterior Analytics, De Anima, Physics, and Metaphysics. To do otherwise is to not fully understand the scope of what he's doing. And, while I agree with parts of the Cambridge's critique, I disagree with others; there's a reason many good philosophers are still writing papers on the work.

Okay, the anarchist's problem:
1)All systems are oppressive
2)Syllogistic Logic (or just any other system) is a system
-----------------------------
Ergo: Syllogistic Logic (or just any other system) is oppressive.

1) One person is more fit to govern themself than any other is.
2) All government systems are fit for a few and exploitative of the rest.
3) Exploitation is bad.
4) Sub: All government systems are bad.
5) Anything that is bad should be done away with
------------------------------------------------------
Government is bad for humanity and should be gotten rid of. (from 1, 4, and 5).

Mankind should not exist in a situation that is bad for it. Government and Capitalism is bad for it. Therefore mankind should not exist in either Capitalism or Government.

Deal with that.


Thank God. This is far easier to debunk than what you were writing previously.

First of all, I would disagree with premise 2 in the first part: logic isn't a system, but the natural way in which the world works. Were it merely a system, then one would have to discard your following argument (which I want to preserve so that I can demolish it, and which you must certainly want to preserve so that you'll have an argument).

Second of all, I would disagree with premise 1 in the first part: not all systems are oppressive. Communal living is most definitely a system, and those on the commune (we're talking a hippie commune, not a cult commune) are certainly not oppressed. Secondly, science is a system, and it is far from oppressive: it is possible to think outside of the realm of scientific discovery and stumble upon something that refocuses all of science, a la Einstein, Darwin, Newton, Leibniz, etc. The oppressive part of science comes from human researchers, and seems to indicate that, rather than systems being oppressive, it is the humans that constitute them that oppress.

Now, on to your argument. It's borderline circular, if not circular outright. Sub 4 reads: "All government systems are bad." Your conclusion reads "Government is bad for humanity and should be gotten rid of. (from 1, 4, and 5)." This differs quite substantively from the good analytic arguments I've read, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Furthermore, 1, 2, 3, and 5 are extremely weak, largely because your assertions of their truth value are not proven or, in most cases, provable in principle. I would argue that none of them are true and, thus, that your conclusion does not follow.

For example: assertions that a heroin addict is more fit to govern herself than someone who wants them to stop taking heroin are absurd, and you cannot convince me that the contrary is true. Same goes for the suicidal and the mentally ill: they aren't fit to care for themselves or govern themselves by virtue of the way their minds are constituted. This simple intuition- of which even the most casual of observers can see its truth- invalidates premise one, which invalidates the argument.

But I'm not done. Premise number two makes the claim that "All government systems are fit for a few and exploitative of the rest," which is invalidated by the existence of the New Llano commune in North Louisiana, and various other communes. Furthermore, pure democracy on the small scale seems to work exceptionally well. I don't think there's anything about the systems that cause necessary exploitation, largely because- were the systems the cause of exploitation- there would automatically be exploitation. It would have to follow, but it doesn't.

As for 4, it doesn't matter unless premise 3 is true. Actresses in the porn industry- as well as countless college women who used strip clubs to fund their college educations and law school- would seem to indicate that exploitation isn't always bad. Since three isn't seen to be true in all instances- which it would have to be- four does not follow.

Finally, number 5: well, since you haven't proven that all governments are bad, it doesn't really matter. But I'll pretend that it does, just to be thorough. There are books and books in philosophy about whether your idea that all things that are bad should be eliminated is valid: the fact that there is substantial debate on the subject seems to preclude you from using it as a premise because its truth value is hardly decided.

That's why I trust pure psychologists in matters of human development and behavior. Its not a system that is required, its just socialization. Which no Anarchist has ever tried to get rid of. All labor is communal in nature, as anarchism says, and mankind evolved socially first put forth by anarchists but now seriously considered the major evolutionary cause of human development. We are a communal species; no anarchist has ever denied this. A human can be a human outside of oppression, just not outside of a culture, the two are not the same, but neither mutually exclusive (oppression and culture).


And that would be precisely why I depend upon philosophers.

Isbenfaith wrote:
lessthanpleased wrote:And last time I checked, there was a glorious country with no laws, government, crime, and capital in both France and Spain, right?

For a while there was, but they f**ked it all up and instated governments. Which created more problems.


Which goes to prove the validity of the objection that the system is too idealistic to be taken seriously.

lessthanpleased wrote:No historical precedent, but it is coherent. Anarchism is self-sustaining, and in fact all that there is. The government doesn't actually exist, nice to know, just coercion based on personal contracts. Most people believe that it does, and police brutalize as if it does, but that doesn't make it any more or less a concept, a belief. Seriously, if everbody just stopped with the belief in it, then what would a powerful government be?


This is an absurd attempt to deny what's really there. The government does exist: there are senators, presidents, parliamentarians, codified laws, armies, lawyers, judges, and whatnot. Wishing away the government by closing your eyes and hoping it'll be gone when you open them, or by stating that it is also an idea, doesn't make it any less existent. This is something that I call "hippie nonsense" in philosophy class because it ignores the way the real world works: the fact that governments are based upon abstract concepts in no way denies the reality of the institution.

lessthanpleased wrote:From a third person objective point of view, I fail to see how this position avoids the criticisms of doctrinaire Marxism in any way, largely because the end-goal is hard to sustain without some sort of plan in place, and hard to achieve without some sort of plan in place that is fairly exhaustive.

No plan, cuz you can't decide what's best for me, nor I for you. We don't know each other so how could one know what's best for the other. I can govern myself better than anyone, and so can everyone. Your life is your plan, but there aren't some great minds sitting around telling people what's best for them, when those great minds don't have a clue. If you can produce one person who has been in exact same situations as everybody, then you might have a case, but until that happens its just sheer coercion. A political theorist is just somebody trying to get on the right side of the stick.


To reiterate: From a third person objective point of view, I fail to see how this position avoids the criticisms of doctrinaire Marxism in any way, largely because the end-goal is hard to sustain without some sort of plan in place, and hard to achieve without some sort of plan in place that is fairly exhaustive.

Your response was pretty, but failed to explain how it sustains itself. Or can actually happen. It did have lots of empty platitudes, however.

lessthanpleased wrote:I can think of many of the soldier songs that popped up during the time of the American Revolution that were idealistic. In fact most of them. Whether or not they wished the war doesn't mean that they weren't fighting for some cause, and not just security. If it was just for security, it would have been best to not fight at all, don't you think?


My point- as should be obvious- was that all of these revolutions were pragmatic. Idealistically pragmatic, in some cases, but always pragmatic. Anarchism and pure communism do not seem to be in any way possible, although they do seem to be extremely idealistic: perhaps that's why they haven't really occurred in the world....

lessthanpleased wrote:The Rock is lame...I wish Sabu would kill him.


If it were ten years ago, Sabu would put Rock through a flaming table and then cut himself with a broken beer bottle on the way out.

I really think that you're underestimating people. They know that the match is staged too, so they are watching for aesthetics. You don't think that they enjoy the flipping just as much as you don't think you enjoy the hurting involved?


You'd be surprised by how many people where I'm from aren't aware that wrestling is staged.

But I really don't think I'm underestimating people: are other fans really watching because they want to see how a primarily non-verbal language manages to create a narrative, and how the vagueness of wrestling creates matches that are different even when they are move-for-move identical? I can assure you, Mr. Al the Baldwin Parish garbageman doesn't watch matches for that reason, nor do most of my friends; that's why I love watching with them. Especially Mr. Al, because he thinks that wrestling is real, and that all the faces are tougher than the heels.

False alternatives too! About the Midieval period, that was all done by armies, the church, governments, etc. The people themselves were the ones being hurt, by authority. But, this whole, oh no the government is gone so someone is going to hurt me, business just doesn't make sense. Honestly, if you heard government and capitalism were gone, would murder be the first thing that pops into your head? I hope not, or you are not better than the serial killer, you're just more afraid of consequences.


The fact that this routinely occurred despite the presence of armies, Isben, seems to indicate that these aren't false alternatives. There are crazies everywhere, not just in capitalism. Most people want to be secure from a schizophrenic with a weapon, and to suggest that crime is only a byproduct of capitalism is to ignore the whole of criminal psychology. Of course I wouldn't go and kill someone if I woke up tomorrow and there was no government: but I sure would buy a gun, because now there is less of a deterrant to stop the crazies from acting crazy.

lessthanpleased wrote:No, our actions are better than serial killers or pedophiles. Certainly different than unequal by nature that you were saying before.


I think you are woefully underestimating the rest of humanity, then, if you don't think we're essentially better than serial killers and paedophiles.

-neal

Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:08 pm
by IsbenFaith
lessthanpleased wrote:I trust that you will find people who like owning stuff qua stuff. If you don't, you've found me, who copped to it earlier. I've also got tons of friends who do the same. Another confession: a friend of mine works at blockbuster. Wrestling tapes were on sale for $4.99. I bought several, and not because I wanted the matches on there (which I've already seen), but because I wanted a new wrestling tape and had five dollars and change on me.

But your testimony in this case is invalidated because you have a vested interest (no matter how small) in the outcome of the results.

lessthanpleased wrote:If we accept the idea that currency isn't limited to money- which is probably a good thing, since it does explain barter economies and so forth- then, in tribal societies, you had witch doctors becoming witch doctors for the power, chiefs becoming chiefs for the power, etc. To quote Plato, the techne of what they were supposed to be doing was being exploited. It's part and parcel of humanity.

Power is not wealth. But wealth is power, and precisely why people hoard it. They monopolize wealth in order to gain power. Or in this case hoarding spiritual and coercive authority for the power. But the means to existence are not hoarded.

lessthanpleased wrote:I haven't seen a credible analysis of capital that doesn't in some way equate capital with power in some way, and I think that history shows that every culture has had power struggles and power-hungry individuals. The idealisation of tribal life is something that began in the Romantic era, and its kind of nonsensical.

But, ltp, I never said we should live barbarous lifestyles. So using Voltaire against me isn't going to work. I handled the power part of the argument above. It is power, via capital or coercion, that needs be done away with. This isn't a return to primitivity, since anarchism isn't how it worked in primitive times. But a human life should be free to govern itself and construct its own theory, and enforced by only his/herself. If Locke wanted a social contract, than that is how he should have acted around others. I believe in personal contracts, and that is how I act around others.

lessthanpleased wrote:I don't think that every system is opressive by nature of its being a system, because I can conceive of systems that aren't oppressive. I do think that all successful systems have to be self-sustaining to remain in place, but this idea that all systems are oppressive is not substantially different than the current Right Wing culture of victimization that's going on: I'm not a victim, and I'm not oppressed. I think things can be better, and I want to change them. Perhaps it isn't the system that is at fault, but people?

Which people are you saying are to blame: the ones enforcing or the ones rebelling? And just because you aren't being oppressed doesn't mean that the system isn't oppressive. I bring up the stat Sun Hua brought forward earlier about the 65 million people at risk of death because of capitalism. This is hardly something that "can be better."

lessthanplesed wrote:I don't know, the casting stones at a system seems to me to be donig what Adorno is doing: critiquing something from a position of authority that is in principle impossible. If he's part of that system- and all systems are oppressive- how is he able to escape the system long enough to critique it? The fact that he can critique it freely seems to indicate that the system can't be oppressive because- were it so- he wouldn't be able to critique it.

You mind expanding this, and explaining why somebody can't critique something that has flaws? Freedom of speech does not equal complete freedom.

lessthanpleased wrote:I responded to what I felt merited response in our discussion, and said my opinion.

My bad, when you quoted the whole paragraph and said, "You're preaching to the choir" I thought you meant that you agreed with the whole paragraph that you had quoted.

lessthanpleased wrote:No. I would consider them an instance of political dissent by nature, but there's nothing about them that suggests that every revolution has to have as its end-goal anything resembling anarchy. They're an instance of immediate regime change, some of which may be anarchist, most are not.

Fine, aren't all revolutions by the people anarchistic in nature since they are all destroying the current government structure. And after that initial rebellion is when the new one is created, however every popular revolution that I can think of was strictly focused around getting rid of the government in place.

lessthanpleased wrote:Thank God. This is far easier to debunk than what you were writing previously.

Glad to oblige. :D

lessthanpleased wrote:First of all, I would disagree with premise 2 in the first part: logic isn't a system, but the natural way in which the world works. Were it merely a system, then one would have to discard your following argument (which I want to preserve so that I can demolish it, and which you must certainly want to preserve so that you'll have an argument).

Some jokes are just lost on some people I guess...

lessthanpleased wrote:Second of all, I would disagree with premise 1 in the first part: not all systems are oppressive. Communal living is most definitely a system, and those on the commune (we're talking a hippie commune, not a cult commune) are certainly not oppressed. Secondly, science is a system, and it is far from oppressive: it is possible to think outside of the realm of scientific discovery and stumble upon something that refocuses all of science, a la Einstein, Darwin, Newton, Leibniz, etc. The oppressive part of science comes from human researchers, and seems to indicate that, rather than systems being oppressive, it is the humans that constitute them that oppress.

Off the bat, I gotta know how Dr. Pangloss made it onto that list?

Hippie communes aren't systems, they're personal contracts freely made and freely broken. They aren't trying to coerce everybody into living in their subculture, and everybody is free to go (remember that we're not talking a cult). That's not a system, and they're have been many, many anarchist communes.

The fact remains that systems require enforcement in order to properly work. No system can work unless the structure is protected. So, yes, science is oppressive, since a scientific experiment can be to run over an old lady three times to measure the effects of that action upon her physiology. The only reason that it doesn't appear to be exploitative is that it is kept in check by ethics.

lessthanpleased wrote:Now, on to your argument. It's borderline circular, if not circular outright. Sub 4 reads: "All government systems are bad." Your conclusion reads "Government is bad for humanity and should be gotten rid of. (from 1, 4, and 5)." This differs quite substantively from the good analytic arguments I've read, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Sub 4 means Sub Conclusion. Sub conclusions come from previous premises, in this case from 2 and 3 and, from their support, support the main conclusion.

lessthanpleased wrote:Furthermore, 1, 2, 3, and 5 are extremely weak, largely because your assertions of their truth value are not proven or, in most cases, provable in principle. I would argue that none of them are true and, thus, that your conclusion does not follow.

Well then, let's argue them one at a time.

lessthanpleased wrote:For example: assertions that a heroin addict is more fit to govern herself than someone who wants them to stop taking heroin are absurd, and you cannot convince me that the contrary is true. Same goes for the suicidal and the mentally ill: they aren't fit to care for themselves or govern themselves by virtue of the way their minds are constituted. This simple intuition- of which even the most casual of observers can see its truth- invalidates premise one, which invalidates the argument.

Nope, because if the above was true then all smokers must be coerced into a non-smoking hell. The fact remains that a heroin addict can govern his/herself better than anybody else, since that heroin addict approves of heroin use. Believe me, they know the health risks and make that choice anyways. Nobody has any right to tell them, "no." If they want to die a painful, worthless, and utterly unromantic death, they have the right to, as human beings. So premise 1 remains. But, even if it did get thrown out the argument wouldn't be invalidated, just weakened, as you know. Premise 1 is independent support from Premise 4 (sub-conclusion) and Premise 5.

lessthanpleased wrote:But I'm not done. Premise number two makes the claim that "All government systems are fit for a few and exploitative of the rest," which is invalidated by the existence of the New Llano commune in North Louisiana, and various other communes. Furthermore, pure democracy on the small scale seems to work exceptionally well. I don't think there's anything about the systems that cause necessary exploitation, largely because- were the systems the cause of exploitation- there would automatically be exploitation. It would have to follow, but it doesn't.

Communes are personal contracts and not social systems. Freely made with a [specified] group of other people, and freely broken if need be. If those contracts then were forced upon society as a whole it would become a system and need to be enforced. It would then be exploitative of the many and supportative of the few.

lessthanpleased wrote:As for 4, it doesn't matter unless premise 3 is true. Actresses in the porn industry- as well as countless college women who used strip clubs to fund their college educations and law school- would seem to indicate that exploitation isn't always bad. Since three isn't seen to be true in all instances- which it would have to be- four does not follow.

But 3 is correct, as is 2, thus 4 is true. Quick question, you actually believe the strippers when they say that they're doing it for college?

But, even if they were, the exploitation is horrific. There is no justifiable reason for them to have to do that in order to fund a college education. If we had a fair system, then they wouldn't have to. The exploitation is definately bad since the woman, the ones being exploited and not the ones doing it because they enjoy it (those are the ones that rock), is forced into degrading herself in order to sustain the means to substanance. There is no justification for it. Premise 4 (sub-conclusion) stands.

lessthanpleased wrote:Finally, number 5: well, since you haven't proven that all governments are bad, it doesn't really matter. But I'll pretend that it does, just to be thorough. There are books and books in philosophy about whether your idea that all things that are bad should be eliminated is valid: the fact that there is substantial debate on the subject seems to preclude you from using it as a premise because its truth value is hardly decided.

Other than Nietzsche and Machiavelli, who thinks that that which is bad for humanity need be kept around? Where is this debate?

lessthanpleased wrote:Which goes to prove the validity of the objection that the system is too idealistic to be taken seriously.

Love to hear the explanation of this...

lessthanpleased wrote:This is an absurd attempt to deny what's really there. The government does exist: there are senators, presidents, parliamentarians, codified laws, armies, lawyers, judges, and whatnot. Wishing away the government by closing your eyes and hoping it'll be gone when you open them, or by stating that it is also an idea, doesn't make it any less existent. This is something that I call "hippie nonsense" in philosophy class because it ignores the way the real world works: the fact that governments are based upon abstract concepts in no way denies the reality of the institution.

Has calling me a hippie done anything for your case yet? And hippies are actually starting to grow on me...like herpes.

Senators, and presidents, and parliamentarians, and laws, and armies, and lawyers, and judges, oh my.

What good would a law be without an arm to enforce it. This isn't absurd, human institutions exist because of the belief in those institutions. All those neat people you listed, aside from the armed ones, don't actually do anything productive. A law is nothing more than something that some people agreed on, and others agreed to use violence upon others based on. People built the prisons, and the White House, and constitute all of it. Its just people and nothing more, except for gang mentality on an uberscale.

lessthanpleased wrote:To reiterate: From a third person objective point of view, I fail to see how this position avoids the criticisms of doctrinaire Marxism in any way, largely because the end-goal is hard to sustain without some sort of plan in place, and hard to achieve without some sort of plan in place that is fairly exhaustive.

Your response was pretty, but failed to explain how it sustains itself. Or can actually happen. It did have lots of empty platitudes, however.

No, you're just requiring some oppressive system out of it, so that it can be attacked as hypocritical and no better than any other oppressive system. Any systems in place are what a person governs themself, and only themself, by. The "plan of action" is to abolish anything that is bad for humanity, and then humans can be what humans are. This is not possible while one person is compelled to the will of another.

lessthanpleased wrote:My point- as should be obvious- was that all of these revolutions were pragmatic. Idealistically pragmatic, in some cases, but always pragmatic. Anarchism and pure communism do not seem to be in any way possible, although they do seem to be extremely idealistic: perhaps that's why they haven't really occurred in the world....

You're missing the point here ltp. The revolution itself will be pragmatic, real, etc., but the idealism behind it cannot conform to the social norm that it is trying to destroy.

lessthanpleased wrote:If it were ten years ago, Sabu would put Rock through a flaming table and then cut himself with a broken beer bottle on the way out.

You just made me realize how much I miss watching Sabu wrestle :cry: , is New Jack still alive?

lessthanpleased wrote:You'd be surprised by how many people where I'm from aren't aware that wrestling is staged.

But I really don't think I'm underestimating people: are other fans really watching because they want to see how a primarily non-verbal language manages to create a narrative, and how the vagueness of wrestling creates matches that are different even when they are move-for-move identical? I can assure you, Mr. Al the Baldwin Parish garbageman doesn't watch matches for that reason, nor do most of my friends; that's why I love watching with them. Especially Mr. Al, because he thinks that wrestling is real, and that all the faces are tougher than the heels.

Faces are cool sometimes. I always loved RVD the uber-face. What was it a 23 month title reign?

Anywho, while you can put it into words, I highly doubt that they aren't enjoying the same things, they just don't have the experience in philosophical language for it.

lessthanpleased wrote:The fact that this routinely occurred despite the presence of armies, Isben, seems to indicate that these aren't false alternatives. There are crazies everywhere, not just in capitalism. Most people want to be secure from a schizophrenic with a weapon, and to suggest that crime is only a byproduct of capitalism is to ignore the whole of criminal psychology. Of course I wouldn't go and kill someone if I woke up tomorrow and there was no government: but I sure would buy a gun, because now there is less of a deterrant to stop the crazies from acting crazy.

No deterrent exists that stops the crazies from acting crazy, I'm from the midwest home of the serial killers. They just kinda do what they do regardless of consequences. Why should I let the fear run my life?

lessthanpleased wrote:I think you are woefully underestimating the rest of humanity, then, if you don't think we're essentially better than serial killers and paedophiles.

-neal

No we are not, in the fact that we're human. My actions and choices are better, and dare I say Good, and theirs are horrific, Bad, and thus I hate them and want nothing to do with the parasites, however we must never forget that they are as human as us, and that it is physically (and mentally) possible for us to do those exact same things.

Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:58 am
by lessthanpleased
IsbenFaith wrote:But your testimony in this case is invalidated because you have a vested interest (no matter how small) in the outcome of the results.


I trust that the fact that I consider myself to be a socialist should restore your faith in my honesty, because I recognize that I'm a really shitty socialist when it comes down to living my life. I know that I should want to share, and that everything would better if I lived my life the way that I thought the country should be run.

lessthanpleased wrote:If we accept the idea that currency isn't limited to money- which is probably a good thing, since it does explain barter economies and so forth- then, in tribal societies, you had witch doctors becoming witch doctors for the power, chiefs becoming chiefs for the power, etc. To quote Plato, the techne of what they were supposed to be doing was being exploited. It's part and parcel of humanity.

Power is not wealth. But wealth is power, and precisely why people hoard it. They monopolize wealth in order to gain power. Or in this case hoarding spiritual and coercive authority for the power. But the means to existence are not hoarded.


I don't know, dude, I'm fairly convinced that power is wealth to a certain extent. It certainly is wealth to the extent that it needs to be to make my point.

lessthanpleased wrote:I haven't seen a credible analysis of capital that doesn't in some way equate capital with power in some way, and I think that history shows that every culture has had power struggles and power-hungry individuals. The idealisation of tribal life is something that began in the Romantic era, and its kind of nonsensical.

But, ltp, I never said we should live barbarous lifestyles. So using Voltaire against me isn't going to work. I handled the power part of the argument above. It is power, via capital or coercion, that needs be done away with. This isn't a return to primitivity, since anarchism isn't how it worked in primitive times. But a human life should be free to govern itself and construct its own theory, and enforced by only his/herself. If Locke wanted a social contract, than that is how he should have acted around others. I believe in personal contracts, and that is how I act around others.


See above.

lessthanpleased wrote:Which people are you saying are to blame: the ones enforcing or the ones rebelling? And just because you aren't being oppressed doesn't mean that the system isn't oppressive. I bring up the stat Sun Hua brought forward earlier about the 65 million people at risk of death because of capitalism. This is hardly something that "can be better."


Probably both should be blamed. And as I stated, there are non-oppresive systems.

lessthanplesed wrote:I don't know, the casting stones at a system seems to me to be donig what Adorno is doing: critiquing something from a position of authority that is in principle impossible. If he's part of that system- and all systems are oppressive- how is he able to escape the system long enough to critique it? The fact that he can critique it freely seems to indicate that the system can't be oppressive because- were it so- he wouldn't be able to critique it.

You mind expanding this, and explaining why somebody can't critique something that has flaws? Freedom of speech does not equal complete freedom.


I brought up Adorno because I think it's interesting to see where this goes. Adorno is a contemporary thinker who has a habit of criticising societal structures because they determine the way we think and constitute selves, and that we need to address this. Unfortunately, if we accept what Adorno is saying about social structures, it becomes unclear how Adorno has the ability to critique the system as a whole since he can never escape the system itself. Furthermore, if he can escape the system, then his argument falls apart because the system really isn't what he claims it to be.

I think the anarchist who insists upon the system as a whole being oppressive is running the same risk as Adorno; how do you have the intellectual ability to criticise the system as a whole since you're always a part of it, and since we have to escape it? None of us have experienced life outside of societal oppression, so is it possible for us to say that life would be better? I'm not so certain that the argument you're making is fruitful, since there is no guarantee that what you're saying about the system as a whole is accurate: what if oppression isn't a result of the system, but coterminous with it and dependent upon human nature?

What I'm suggesting is that one should be skeptical about anarchism just as one is skeptical about communism: both are positing outcomes that have never been experienced, and maintain that certain aspects of human life are a result of oppressive systems: but, since we've pretty much always had oppressive systems, it's unclear whether the things that you are positing as a result of oppressive system actually are a result of that system, or part of the human experience. We don't have the relevant data to support several key suppositions about oppression and society, and possibly never will: I'm not saying that we shouldn't try it per se, but I personally find the proposition to be unsound.

After all, it would royally suck if you were wrong about violent crime being a problem only in capitalistic societies after the fact. I wouldn't want my anarchic bliss interrupted by my wife being raped or myself being murdered without any societal apparatus to prevent that. See my point?

lessthanpleased wrote:No. I would consider them an instance of political dissent by nature, but there's nothing about them that suggests that every revolution has to have as its end-goal anything resembling anarchy. They're an instance of immediate regime change, some of which may be anarchist, most are not.

Fine, aren't all revolutions by the people anarchistic in nature since they are all destroying the current government structure. And after that initial rebellion is when the new one is created, however every popular revolution that I can think of was strictly focused around getting rid of the government in place.


I would say that, since you're insistent on anarchy being the abolishment of government for the sake of having no government (as you have to be), all revolutions are decidedly not anarchic. Some revolutions occur to install a specific form of government. Some do not, and those are properly anarchic revolutions.

lessthanpleased wrote:Second of all, I would disagree with premise 1 in the first part: not all systems are oppressive. Communal living is most definitely a system, and those on the commune (we're talking a hippie commune, not a cult commune) are certainly not oppressed. Secondly, science is a system, and it is far from oppressive: it is possible to think outside of the realm of scientific discovery and stumble upon something that refocuses all of science, a la Einstein, Darwin, Newton, Leibniz, etc. The oppressive part of science comes from human researchers, and seems to indicate that, rather than systems being oppressive, it is the humans that constitute them that oppress.

Off the bat, I gotta know how Dr. Pangloss made it onto that list? [/quote]

Leibniz invented calculus, and is one of the pioneers of science in that regard. His philosophy is fun, too, but when I think of mathematicians I tend to think of Leibniz first because he's a freaking genius.

Hippie communes aren't systems, they're personal contracts freely made and freely broken. They aren't trying to coerce everybody into living in their subculture, and everybody is free to go (remember that we're not talking a cult). That's not a system, and they're have been many, many anarchist communes.


By that regard, many things aren't systems. Democracy isn't a system in theory, since it isn't trying to coerce people into living in its subculture (people can emigrate). I think you're distinction between what is a system and what is not a system is spurious: most of the communes I know of have a "work for food" thing going on, which seems like a societal system to me (and to most social anthropologists as well).

The fact remains that systems require enforcement in order to properly work. No system can work unless the structure is protected. So, yes, science is oppressive, since a scientific experiment can be to run over an old lady three times to measure the effects of that action upon her physiology. The only reason that it doesn't appear to be exploitative is that it is kept in check by ethics.


I don't see how science is oppressive as a system.

lessthanpleased wrote:For example: assertions that a heroin addict is more fit to govern herself than someone who wants them to stop taking heroin are absurd, and you cannot convince me that the contrary is true. Same goes for the suicidal and the mentally ill: they aren't fit to care for themselves or govern themselves by virtue of the way their minds are constituted. This simple intuition- of which even the most casual of observers can see its truth- invalidates premise one, which invalidates the argument.

Nope, because if the above was true then all smokers must be coerced into a non-smoking hell. The fact remains that a heroin addict can govern his/herself better than anybody else, since that heroin addict approves of heroin use. Believe me, they know the health risks and make that choice anyways. Nobody has any right to tell them, "no." If they want to die a painful, worthless, and utterly unromantic death, they have the right to, as human beings. So premise 1 remains. But, even if it did get thrown out the argument wouldn't be invalidated, just weakened, as you know. Premise 1 is independent support from Premise 4 (sub-conclusion) and Premise 5.


Have you met a heroin addict? Or helped someone kick the habit? I have trouble believing that someone in the throes of heroin is a better custodian for themself than someone who isn't screwed up on H? Or that someone on X should be allowed to jump off a building because they know that they can fly? Or that every drunk person should be allowed to drive?

Really, Isben, you're positing some things that are incredibly not plausible.

lessthanpleased wrote:But I'm not done. Premise number two makes the claim that "All government systems are fit for a few and exploitative of the rest," which is invalidated by the existence of the New Llano commune in North Louisiana, and various other communes. Furthermore, pure democracy on the small scale seems to work exceptionally well. I don't think there's anything about the systems that cause necessary exploitation, largely because- were the systems the cause of exploitation- there would automatically be exploitation. It would have to follow, but it doesn't.

Communes are personal contracts and not social systems. Freely made with a [specified] group of other people, and freely broken if need be. If those contracts then were forced upon society as a whole it would become a system and need to be enforced. It would then be exploitative of the many and supportative of the few.


The New Llano community is as much a governmental system as anything else is, along with other communes. This is simple cultural anthropology.

Isbenfaith wrote:But 3 is correct, as is 2, thus 4 is true. Quick question, you actually believe the strippers when they say that they're doing it for college?


I didn't until I started meeting more and more people who did it. Including the bar owner whose bar is next door to me, and is earning six figures a year running a bar. Don't get me wrong, I still won't date a stripper, but several people I've met enoy a higher standard of living than they would working at a burger joint by simply using their looks to get ahead.

But, even if they were, the exploitation is horrific. There is no justifiable reason for them to have to do that in order to fund a college education.


Oh, none of them have to do it. But they like having loads of money.

If we had a fair system, then they wouldn't have to. The exploitation is definately bad since the woman, the ones being exploited and not the ones doing it because they enjoy it (those are the ones that rock), is forced into degrading herself in order to sustain the means to substanance. There is no justification for it. Premise 4 (sub-conclusion) stands.


Funny, because you do admit that there are some women who are benefitting fromtaking advantage of this. I don't see how your proposition that "exploitation is bad" survives to lend any credence to a subconclusion when said premise isn't universally true: and being universally true is what it needs to be in order for you to make a universal claim.

lessthanpleased wrote:Finally, number 5: well, since you haven't proven that all governments are bad, it doesn't really matter. But I'll pretend that it does, just to be thorough. There are books and books in philosophy about whether your idea that all things that are bad should be eliminated is valid: the fact that there is substantial debate on the subject seems to preclude you from using it as a premise because its truth value is hardly decided.

Other than Nietzsche and Machiavelli, who thinks that that which is bad for humanity need be kept around? Where is this debate?


In different debates of whether or not this is the best of all possible worlds all cover this, as do various debates on the distinction between pleasure and pain.

lessthanpleased wrote:Which goes to prove the validity of the objection that the system is too idealistic to be taken seriously.

Love to hear the explanation of this...
It can't sustain itself in the face of human nature. That was really self-evident, I'm surprised you had to ask.

lessthanpleased wrote:This is an absurd attempt to deny what's really there. The government does exist: there are senators, presidents, parliamentarians, codified laws, armies, lawyers, judges, and whatnot. Wishing away the government by closing your eyes and hoping it'll be gone when you open them, or by stating that it is also an idea, doesn't make it any less existent. This is something that I call "hippie nonsense" in philosophy class because it ignores the way the real world works: the fact that governments are based upon abstract concepts in no way denies the reality of the institution.

Has calling me a hippie done anything for your case yet? And hippies are actually starting to grow on me...like herpes.


It got me through the above contention, which was not disputed.

Senators, and presidents, and parliamentarians, and laws, and armies, and lawyers, and judges, oh my.

What good would a law be without an arm to enforce it. This isn't absurd, human institutions exist because of the belief in those institutions. All those neat people you listed, aside from the armed ones, don't actually do anything productive. A law is nothing more than something that some people agreed on, and others agreed to use violence upon others based on. People built the prisons, and the White House, and constitute all of it. Its just people and nothing more, except for gang mentality on an uberscale.


My statement was meant to demonstrate that- rather than not really existing- governments clearly exist in some fashion. And it did so.

Isbenfaith wrote:No, you're just requiring some oppressive system out of it, so that it can be attacked as hypocritical and no better than any other oppressive system. Any systems in place are what a person governs themself, and only themself, by. The "plan of action" is to abolish anything that is bad for humanity, and then humans can be what humans are. This is not possible while one person is compelled to the will of another.


I don't think it is untoward or unreasonable to demand that a system of government be able to sustain itself. If the revolution occurs and anarchy reigns supreme, shouldn't it be able to sustain itself? I mean, I know it hasn't in the past- as France and Spain indicate- but this hardly seems unreasonable. In that line, it is also quite reasonable to demand that anarchy actually be able to persist after it happens, which it doesn't seem to be able to do.

The fact that it is as idealistic as certain strains of communism lends one to quite naturally think that it too will fail because of its inability to sustain itself; this is hardly reason for someone to ascribe to it.

lessthanpleased wrote:You're missing the point here ltp. The revolution itself will be pragmatic, real, etc., but the idealism behind it cannot conform to the socil norm that it is trying to destroy.


No, I think you're dodging my question: what will keep anarchy around after the first revolution? What's to stop people who get off on controlling others (the insane in truly grand fashion, like Hitler and Stalin) from getting a bunch of stupid people together with guns and taking what they want? There wouldn't be an anarchist army that is governed by each individual governing themselves, I would hope, because armies without a chain of command fail.

lessthanpleased wrote:You just made me realize how much I miss watching Sabu wrestle :cry: , is New Jack still alive?


New Jack is still alive, and is insane. I can send you an interview he cut on his career in .mp3 form if you'd like.

Anywho, while you can put it into words, I highly doubt that they aren't enjoying the same things, they just don't have the experience in philosophical language for it.


I'm not completely convinced, simply because these same people aren't interested in the abstract in general. They'll watch the Rock do it, but Mitsuharu Misawa and Toshiaki Kawada (despite being possibly the greatest match ever formally speaking) just doesn't interest them.

lessthanpleased wrote:I think you are woefully underestimating the rest of humanity, then, if you don't think we're essentially better than serial killers and paedophiles.


No we are not, in the fact that we're human. My actions and choices are better, and dare I say Good, and theirs are horrific, Bad, and thus I hate them and want nothing to do with the parasites, however we must never forget that they are as human as us, and that it is physically (and mentally) possible for us to do those exact same things.


Is it really possible for the average joe to torture seven people to death? Isn't it interesting that some people can't bring themselves to kill another person, in combat, when the chips are down?

Again, I'm all for treating everyone as if they were human, but I'm a bit too Hellenistic in my thinking about what constitutes a human and what doesn't. And I admit that and move on. ;)

-neal

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 8:40 am
by Duncan
IsbenFaith wrote:
lessthanpleased wrote:I don't think that every system is opressive by nature of its being a system, because I can conceive of systems that aren't oppressive. I do think that all successful systems have to be self-sustaining to remain in place, but this idea that all systems are oppressive is not substantially different than the current Right Wing culture of victimization that's going on: I'm not a victim, and I'm not oppressed. I think things can be better, and I want to change them. Perhaps it isn't the system that is at fault, but people?

Which people are you saying are to blame: the ones enforcing or the ones rebelling? And just because you aren't being oppressed doesn't mean that the system isn't oppressive. I bring up the stat Sun Hua brought forward earlier about the 65 million people at risk of death because of capitalism. This is hardly something that "can be better."

I've got a question for Isben. Communism provides a justification for and a means of redistribution that should address the problem of the 65 million. Arguably this is a "system". How does anarchism achieve this redistribution?

Interesting debate by the way.

Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:05 pm
by barbarosso
I'm back, Jeez these posts are getting too long, aw well lets start.


[quote=lessthanpleased]I don't think that every system is opressive by nature of its being a system, because I can conceive of systems that aren't oppressive. I do think that all successful systems have to be self-sustaining to remain in place, but this idea that all systems are oppressive is not substantially different than the current Right Wing culture of victimization that's going on: I'm not a victim, and I'm not oppressed. I think things can be better, and I want to change them. Perhaps it isn't the system that is at fault, but people? [/quote]

I would agree, with you there. People expect to much to fast, that ofen "systems" are making the very most of their resources. Yet everyone one wants something done or built or emproved.

People are never satifived with there goverment, thats partly why communism collapsed. people in general are too greedy and self centred so they want there problems sorted first, and quickly fall out with anyone can't provide. The goverment.

I'm gonna agree with ya here Lessthanpleased :roll: