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.
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
, 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.
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.
"We may fairly say that the U.S. media, despite their righteous self-image as opponents of something called terrorism, serve in fact as loyal agents of terrorism." Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky Manufacturing Consent