Thursday, March 05, 2009

Britain: Preparing For a Summer of Rage

By Fred Weston
Wednesday, 25 February 2009

High-ranking British police officers have expressed concern that the country may be facing an outburst of street protests. Superintendent David Hartshorn, head of the Metropolitan police's public order branch, and one of the highest ranking police officers in the country, in an interview with The Guardian newspaper, spoke of the possibility of riots like those that rocked the country in the 1980s, erupting later this year as people who lose their jobs, homes or savings become "footsoldiers" in a wave of violent mass protests.

The number of people who lost their homes in 2008 grew by more than 50%, hitting a 12-year high. Unemployment in the UK grew by 131,000 to 1.92 million between the months of September and November of last year. In December according to ILO figures the number had reached 1.971 million and is now clearly over the two million mark.

Every day newspaper headlines and the evening TV news list the latest jobs to go. While this is happening the government continues to throw billions at the banks, with no real effect on the economy in terms of defending jobs, boosting credit, easing up on mortgages and so on.

The workers affected by this crisis can see the glaring contradiction between how easily and quickly the government moves when a bank is facing crisis, and the stubborn refusal to intervene when companies are facing bankruptcy, the latest example being the van producer LDV.


British police are preparing for violent protests this summer as working class people take to the streets. Photo by Rich Lewis on Flickr.

Superintendent David Hartshorn refers to “middle-class individuals who would never have considered joining demonstrations may now seek to vent their anger through protests this year”. We have to consider this term “middle class” carefully. What does it mean? Does it mean small business people, small “owners of the means of production”, or the petit bourgeois, to use a Marxist term?

Partially yes, as many small business people are facing bankruptcy. Also, over the past period many people who would normally have worked for a boss were forced to become “self-employed”, when in reality their work still depended on the same boss, except that the boss doesn’t have to sack them, as he doesn’t formally employ them.

However, the term “middle class” here actually means a section of “wage labour” (another Marxist term), i.e. people who to earn a living have to work for someone else, the owner of the means of production who pays them a wage. In this sense, the overwhelming majority of the workforce is “wage labour”, and therefore “working class”.

When capitalism is booming and a significant section of this “wage labour” can earn a relatively high income they can feel that they are “middle class”, especially if their job involves working in an office, wearing a suit, and so on. But we as Marxists understand that this layer is, and always was, “working class”. Now that the crisis of capitalism is hitting hard those people who had illusions that they were “middle class” and so they are suddenly discovering that they are in fact “working class”.

So what our Superintendent is actually saying is that what we are facing later this year is a revolt of the working class, which will be joined by sections of the “petit bourgeois” as these become “proletarianised” as Marx would have put it, i.e. as they fall downwards into the working class.

The British police have carried out detailed studies of the behaviour of demonstrators in recent protests. What they have noticed is that the mood has changed into an angrier one than previously noticed. Protestors are increasingly "intent on coming on to the streets to create public disorder".


Mass protests, such as in Iceland, have made an impression on the British police who will be attempting to prevent similar events from occuring in Britain. Photo by Finnur Malmquist on Flickr.

The police are concerned that “viable targets” are the banks and the headquarters of multinational companies and finance houses, all seen by the public at large as mainly responsible for the present crisis.

The tops of the police also learn from what happens in other countries. The eruption of massive youth protests in Greece in December has not been lost on these people. They realise that what was behind the movement in Greece were the social conditions that have been created over decades, of extreme flexibilisation, casualisation of labour, low wages for the youth, and a general feeling of being in a dead end – the same conditions that afflict the youth in this country.

They have noted the sharp turn in events in a country like Iceland, which only one year ago was being described by the same Guardian newspaper as the best place to live in the world. Here the financial crisis has led to mass mobilisations and violent clashes on the streets. They have noted the big protests in France, the strikes in Italy, the recent huge demonstration in Ireland and the growing wave of worker militancy there. And most recently of course we have had the Lindsey dispute and a spate of similar strikes, strikes which have revealed a very high level of militancy of the British workers.

What happened at Lindsey has sent a clear signal to workers in other industries: militancy pays! In some cases what we are seeing is not a passive, defeatist attitude of workers faced with redundancy. On the contrary we are seeing workers balloting for strike action, as is the case on the railways, in the post office, in car plants such as BMW at Cowley. Even the Prison Officers are preparing for strike action!

It is obvious to anyone that this resurgence of union militancy in the context of a deep economic crisis affecting all layers of the working class is creating a potentially very explosive situation. According to the same Guardian article, intelligence reports indicate that “known activists” are preparing to “foment unrest”. As Hartshorn explained, "Those people would be good at motivating people, but they haven't had the 'footsoldiers' to actually carry out [protests]." Now that the economy is in deep crisis he fears that the “footsoldiers” will increase!

In the immediate future, the police are concerned about what may happen around the G20 summit in March, and they are preparing to mobilise big forces to meet any protests there. But it isn’t just about the G20 summit. What they are concerned about is a much more widespread wave of protest involving ordinary working people over a whole period of time.

In line with this goes a much more aggressive stance of the police in the latest protests. As one trade union activist has put it, “it’s getting very nasty out there”. The police are preparing to use the same methods they used against the British miners twenty years ago. And there is a logic in this. The bosses, the capitalists, the ruling class, the bourgeoisie cannot provide ordinary working people with jobs, decent income, a home, because their system is in deep crisis. Therefore they are preparing for violent confrontation with the people of this country.

The behaviour of the police during the recent Greek solidarity marches in London, the protests over the invasion of Gaza, or even the protest against the Kingsnorth power station in Kent last August is an indication of all this. In the case of the Kingsnorth power station they drafted in 1000 police officers, aided by helicopters and riot horses, with an overall cost of the operation of £5.9 million pounds and with 100 activists being arrested.

Notice the priorities they have. Close to six million pounds is spent on policing one protest, but when workers in industry demand the government spends money on saving their jobs they get not a penny! All this is having a profound effect on ordinary people’s understanding of the nature of the system we live in. A recent YouGov opinion poll has revealed that 73% of people fear a return of mass unemployment. The same poll revealed that 37% thought “serious social unrest” was likely in British cities in the coming period. A similar figure believes that the Army would be used to face rioting, as the recession gets deeper.

The police chiefs, the intelligence services, ministerial study groups and so on, study carefully what is happening deep down in society, particularly among the workers and youth. They can see what the Marxists can see: society is polarising along class lines. The two major classes, on the one hand the bourgeoisie, a tiny minority numerically, but which has at its service the state, with all its trappings, and on the other hand the working class, the huge majority of society, are lining up for battle. It will be a battle such that we have never seen in the whole history of capitalist society. The outcome of this battle will depend on the leadership of the working class. The one we have at the moment wishes for peace and tranquillity. It wants compromise with the bourgeoisie. It is living in the past. What is required is a leadership up to task of seriously leading the workers. That is what the Marxists are patiently and systematically working towards.


RENEGADE EYE

203 comments:

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Ghazala Khan said...

Interview Request

Hello Dear and Respected,
This is with reference from Mr. Gret of Gret's Blog. I hope you are fine and carrying on the great work you have been doing for the Internet surfers. I am Ghazala Khan from The Pakistani Spectator (TPS), We at TPS throw a candid look on everything happening in and for Pakistan in the world. We are trying to contribute our humble share in the webosphere. Our aim is to foster peace, progress and harmony with passion.

We at TPS are carrying out a new series of interviews with the notable passionate bloggers, writers, and webmasters. In that regard, we would like to interview you, if you don't mind. Please send us your approval for your interview at my email address "ghazala.khi at gmail.com", so that I could send you the Interview questions. We would be extremely grateful.

regards.

Ghazala Khan
The Pakistani Spectator
http://www.pakspectator.com

Larry Gambone said...

There is a long legacy of bitterness in the UK as a heritage of Thatcher's attack on the working class and the Blair years, of course.I have been expecting this suppressed rage to burst forth for some time now. The crisis may well be the trigger. I hope it can be channeled into revolutionary action and not frittered away throwing bottles at cops.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I live here.

I rid that same article and it's a fiar dollop of scare mongering, we are a long way off the pain and hardship of the 80s which I also remember.

Of course, you can't rule anything out but I realyl doubt we're going to see the raft of violence that swept Britain when I was a kid.

And I can assure you it will not be a socialist uprising, it will mostly be hi-jacked by the right wing.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Nice to see a UK post.

Even if it is about us all going bat-shit crazy and ripping shit up.

:-)

Renegade Eye said...

I'll write more tonight.

The post is not saying that whatever happens in Britain, will necessarily be socialist. It seems the state authorities believe, in the summer there is a possibility of mass actions in Britain. The character will depend on political leadership.

At one time Liverpool was governed by open revolutionary socialists.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Some on the state authorities, not many and I don't see enough clear evidence over here...yet.

As for Liverpool, they did a very, very bad job of running it.

Horrible times.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

What's Hot Now For The Summer of Rage

Ducky's here said...

Yesterday I was reading an essay on a 60's British film, "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner". Old school 60's socialist bent and all.

The essay was written during the height of Tony Blair's Thatcherite government and ends with the line ... "this all seems like such ancient history, now."

Well, not so fast. Seems there were a few flaws in the edifice Maggie built with St. Ronnie Raygun by her side.

This is quite possibly all just in its beginning. Capitalism has eaten its tail and we are going to find that pain isn't ancient history at all.

Hopefully we handle it a little better than the '68 Paris riots but in that case we need more solidarity and maturity on the left.

nanc said...

their economy coupled with their recent dhimmification has proven to be a deadly cocktail.

God be with them.

Nevin said...

I was attending University in London during the protest against "poll tax" in 1990. Many people were arrested and some were even inquired quite badly. Me and a few friends (us being hot blooded young lefties) witnessed everything.

I have to say, protests are healthy form of out let but must be contained on both sides. If either side loose control and become some what violate then the whole meaning of protesting looses it's value... Maybe being 41 now and having children changed my opinion of "protesting" in general, but I wish it could all be peaceful, rather then violent...

FJ said...

I thought socialist Europe with all their brilliant governmental bureaucrats was supposed to have solved the economic problem, through share and share alike, all for one and one for all. Trouble in paradise, people? What gives?

Larry Gambone said...

Farmer,Europe is not socialist, it is capitalist. That which is owned or controlled by the state, overwhelmingly serves capitalism - just like in the USA.

FJ said...

But is already directs 40% or more of European GDP. Are you saying that in order for socialism to work, the bureaucrats must direct 100% of the economy, else they're America's / capitalism's unwilling lackeys?

FJ said...

Here's the current ratio of government spending to private

Larry Gambone said...

1. USA 35%, EU 47% . Not exactly a qualitative difference. 2. State involvement in the economy is not socialism. It is state capitalism. In both cases a huge chunk of govt. spending goes to bolster, feed and support corporate capitalism. 3. What is important is not govt spending to private, but what percent of the most important sectors of the economy are govt. owned, or fed by govt. handouts. For example, Sweden, extolled or derided for its "socialism" - manufacturing is overwhelmingly corporate.

Larry Gambone said...

Also Canada's govt to private percent must be around 50%. Yet, almost the entire economy is in the hands of corporations. That which used to be state owned, Petrocan, Air Canada, Canadian National Rail, etc, have all been given away to "private" corporations. The idea that Canada is in any way "socialist" would be the height of absurdity. We are the complete slaves of multi-national corporations.

The Pagan Temple said...

Britain's due for another Maggie, I think. Labour has had its day in the sun, now its time to turn the reins back over to the adults. I say it will coincide with the coming Republican gains and possible takeover of the US Congress. It would be fun watching Mitch McConnell conducting affairs of state in all but name after the 2010 elections.

As for any potential for mass protests or riots, I think that will turn out to be one bug dud. It might also be fun over the next couple of years to tour Hyde Park, which will pretty much mark the boundaries of the British free-speech zone, at least within the London metropolitan area. And really, where else is there?

This is a country that wouldn't allow an elected Dutch politician to disembark from Heathrow Airport for engaging in so-called "hate speech". This is obviously not a country whose government values, respects, or aims to protect the rights of free speech in reality, unless they are the ones managing and controlling the content and the discourse of it.

Another Maggie would help all you Brits think right once again. Right as in opposite of wrong. Here's a clue for you, if the government controls more than forty percent of your economy, there's no time like the present to start reining them in. You can't keep using the US as a whipping boy for your own governments economic excesses and foul-ups and expect to accomplish much.

You own it. If you don't like the way its been run, do something about it. Don't keep voting in the same old fucking clowns year after year and imagine they're going to somehow magically decide to do the right thing. That kind of Stonehenge thinking should be substituted for a Tower of London mentality.

Larry Gambone said...

News for you Pagan, the state actually grew in size under Thatcher. What she did was cut back on that section of it which benefited people, so more public wealth could be shoveled to the corporations. (Blair and Thatcher were not that different anyway - it's like a good cop - bad cop game, the people who actually do the work in society get fucked no matter what.)

Renegade Eye said...

Ghazala Khan: I already was interviewed by you.

Daniel H-G: At the post about fashion and rage, you were off base. The hot summer idea is coming from law enforcement, combined with objectibe conditions.

I don't think the right, is strong enough to take leadership. There are too many people against the BNP.

Nobody said whatever happens, will necessarily be socialist. What is said, it's a question of who leads.

When the Militant Tendency ran Liverpool, it was transformed. They brought thousands of jobs, new factories, schools, parks etc.

What killed them wasn't the witchunt. It was people inside, who believed they didn't need the Labor Party, and could form a new one. Too many people as Tony Sheridan.

Ducky: May/June events in 1968 in France, were close as to be to a revolution. Funny how it bypassed the "new left." They were so much into Che, Mao etc. they missed the fact the soldiers almost deserted. The Communist Party saved DeGaulle. He believed he was done.

Nanc: Dhimmification?

Nevin: The anti-poll tax brought down Thatcher. The Militant Tendency started that movement.

FJ: Europe has more regulation of their capitalism, which strengthens it. After this breakdown by American capitalism, Europe is demanding more regulation of the US economy.

Pagan: You have no idea what UK politics are like. The Tories of today, don't at all resemble the Tories from Thatcher's time. They outflank Labor from the left, on enviromentalism and war.

Republicans are history. They are learning all the wrong lessons from their loss.

It's law enforcement that is preparing for mass protests this summer. They already hit Ireland.

Larry G: I never could explain social democracy to conservatives.

The Pagan Temple said...

I understand the difference in social democracy and state capitalism, I just think its a canard in the long-term reality, because somebody always ends up controlling the "means of production".

Why should any one group "control" it? Whoever does is going to by definition have the power, and that's where the state comes in, either as a willing partner, a subordinate, or the controlling interest. It has to be that way, because of the simple fact that real wealth is limited to begin with. Real money, which is backed by something like gold or silver, etc., would by its nature have to be limited, and so you need some type of controls. Otherwise eventually you get to the point where you're just circulating worthless paper and coins minted from base metals.

The only way you keep any economic system solvent long-term is by making people and workers the actual base, and you do that by getting as much work out of them as you can for as little money as you have to pay them, or by engaging in competitive wage and benefit policies in order to encourage greater output.

None of that is going to change under any system. It's almost an immutable law. It's also why government investing obscene amounts of money as a stimulus is actually counterproductive in the long-term unless it has built in limits, but no one really wants to add them. You end up throwing money down a rat hole if you aren't really, really careful.

So how is social democracy going to change all that, unless you end up going to some kind of ancient barter system re-tooled for the modern age? That by the way wouldn't hold up either. Wouldn't change a thing.

The Pagan Temple said...

Ren-

If the Tories are to the "left" of Labour on military spending, then "left" is the new conservative.

I don't know where this idea came from that excess military spending is "conservative" but that's just plain wrong. No kind of excess government spending is conservative. Just because some things are a necessity doesn't mean you have carte blanc to throw obscene amounts of money into outdated weapons systems just to pad somebody's payroll and pass money around or help keep a pet industry of a supporter profitable. Not exactly the essence of conservatism, nor is throwing billion of dollars into the coffers of first one tin-horn dictator or another. It might be necessary from time to time, but its not conservative.

When an American policy fornicates with a foreign nation and ejaculates tens of thousands of American soldiers into the womb of corrupt systems in the hopes of impregnating them with a bastard democrat or republican heir, that's not conservative. That's just spending money on a whore that should have been spent on your own wife and children, and the long term result is going to be something you're not going to want to claim in most cases.

There's no such thing as a conservative government that engages in spending other than for basic necessity or for national emergency. Just because they keep inventing reasons to keep the system going doesn't make it conservative in reality. The minute a so-called conservative talks about the need to maintain and even expand NATO he just smashed to smithereens what conservative credentials he might have had.

America could cut its defense budget by forty percent with no long term adverse effects, other than a few thousand civilian defense contractors jobs being cut, basically producing stuff that is no longer needed, and closing some foreign bases, where again, they are not really needed, or for that matter wanted. There is so much wasteful spending on defense it has not qualified as conservative for fifty years at least. Defense is no different from any other government agency crawling to the Congress with their hands outstretched. Naturally they're going to beg for more money and invent reasons why its supposedly necessary. That's what government agencies do.

FJ said...

Thanks for taking the time, Larry to distinguish "private" capitalism from "state" capitalism.

But if state control of the economy isn't socialism or representative of it... then what distingishes socialism from state capitalism?

FJ said...

ie - the sun is a star. There are billions of stars. But what distinguishes the sun from the other stars, is that it's the closest star to Earth.

jams o donnell said...

Daniel has already made the comment I would have made. Things are not great here but we are nowhere near the powder keg. There will be a lot more protest. I can see the seeds of that as I go to and from work - I pass the Houses of Parliament and the number of small protests has inmcreased (although this could just be down to the fact that Brown relaxed restrictions on protesting outside Parliament).

The greatest beneficiary of unrest wil be the BNP - They will gain more councillors and amy even win a European seat but they are miles away from the levers of control and will stay that way.

As for the Dhiimification of Britain? Eh? We have a sizeable muslim minority but I can assure you we are not living under Sharia law Here despite what some on the fringe may say

Pagan Temple - I had mixed feelign about banning Wilders but David Duke was also banned from the UK as was Farrakhan for that matter. I wonder how many people are banned gfrom teh US for their vuiews. Gabriel Garcia Marquez was for his support of Castro

Ren as for the revolutionary socialists in Liverpool? Do you mean Derek Hatton and his Militant rabble? Derek Hatton is currently undermining capitalism by selling property in Cyprus!

jams o donnell said...

Pd I got a intergiew request from Ghzala too - they must be hard up if they want to interview me!

Gert said...

Simply put, if things really get as bad as that, most countries could face a riotous future. Right now in Britain, I can't see it happen yet.

@Pagan:

"Britain's due for another Maggie, I think."

Forget it: Thatcher was a disaster: managed to massively increase inflation and unemployment with her "monetarism" policies. The Tories got rid of her, not the electorate. Thatcher's last re-election wouldn't have been possible w/o the useless Falklands War. There's no one like her waiting in the wings of the New Conservatives, who, if anything, are moving to the centre.

"This is a country that wouldn't allow an elected Dutch politician to disembark from Heathrow Airport for engaging in so-called "hate speech". This is obviously not a country whose government values, respects, or aims to protect the rights of free speech in reality, unless they are the ones managing and controlling the content and the discourse of it."

Another misinterpretation by the more moronic "defenders of Liberty" who truly believe in the US Freedom of speech is absolute (I can assure it is not).

Not letting Geert Wilders in was silly but nothing more than the over-reaction of our Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who feared (wrongly IMHO) that Wilders could lead to public disorder. She played safe (Wilders calls the Qu'ran Mein Kampf abnd wants to see it banned, imagine how Jews would fee about their Holy Book, huh?) The HO in Britain does have a tendency to knee-jerk on issues like this. It also, on exactly the same grounds, refused entry to Moshe Feiglin, the Israeli Hyper Right nincompoop (wrong again, IMHO).

They should have let Wilders in and the Lords should have had a brilliant time laughing his Fitna chef d'oeuvre off the screen.

Freedom of speech is enormously well protected in this country. Laws on hate-speech contain so many caveats (guaranteeing free speech) that we hardly have any convictions at all. Of course, when we get some arsehole towelhead preacher calling for the beheading of 'Infidels' and he gets off on the same type of legal technicalities, asshats like you are the first to shout "Dhimmis!"...

You suffer from a phantasmagorical worldview.

@Farmer:

Calling Europe "Socialist" shows just how little mental midgets like you actually understand about socialism. You can spout that kind of nonsense over at the sewer sites you normally hang out at and be applauded as a real luminary but anywhere else they'll just laugh at you. Like I said before: in Conservative circles shouting Socialism! is merely to use an old Cold War era insult. Earth to FJ: the CW is over.

Gert said...

Imagine that, Wilders complained his right to free speech had been violated because someone told him politely to shove his idea of banning a religious book up his own arse. A few spanners short of the full set or what?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Larry Gambone:

Spot on correcting FJ's lack of knowledge/sarcasm re: Europe, should we also break it to him that it is a global economic crisis?

Pagan:

Maggie was a disaster in much the same way Reagan was for the economy, some things right, many things wrong but you'd hav thought we'd have learnt.

And remember I lived under her regime.

As for New Labour, they started very well but them became fixated with neo-con policy making and the rest, as they say, is history. I'm a Liberal Democrat all the way, the third option so to speak.

As for the Tories being adults...you clearly don't know too much about UK politics and becuase the Conservative party are perhaps the nearest to your own politics, you are backing them in a partizan way. Fair enough.

I do agree that just like the US, the current government has enforced a raft of draconian laws to repress freedom of expression and human rights, unlike the US though we have no Obama to correct the conservative overreach. This is a real shame.

And not letting the Dutch racist in was a mistake because what he had to say was better left to air and die, than garner martyr status.

As for the rest of your rant, it doesn't realyl make sense and is full of plenty of vague name calling but no substance, perhaps make it based on facts and then we can debate.

Ren:

I don't buy it, I read the piece and previous pieces on the subject matter a while back, long before this got blogged, matters in the UK I keep right on top of and the fashion piece was to illustrate the media over playing of this issue. The police are pushing it to amp up the fear factor, keep us scared, keep us down.

And you statement about the BNP shows how little you get the UK, in times of crisis we lean right and we blame the immigrants for stealing our jobs, public housing and we lash out.

As for Liverpool Ren, please, a little bit blinkered here, corruption ran rife, their methods and beliefs ran contrary to what the city needed and although their leftist platform had some success, it was not some kind of utopia.

Jams:

You've got it down, glad to see someone else here you is a Brit and lives here so can lay on the facts. Cool.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Gert:

You're also on point.

Gert said...

And a word about that famous American Right to Free Speech. One of the admirable tenets of the Constitution, there's been no shortage of episodes where dissent was suppressed or bullied and information withheld or "lost". You really don't need to hark back to McCarthyism for that. See e.g. the Israel lobby's treatment of Walt and Mearsheimer (they had to go to the UK Socialist Gulag to get that published!) or ruining several scholars' careers (like Norman Finkelstein) because their critique of Israel was "unacceptable". Meanwhile the majority of US Congressmen and Senators see no problem with squandering billions of dollars worth of US taxpayer's money to support one of the most brutal injustices in the world, the treatment of Palestinians by the AOF. Again though, anyone who dares speak up gets the AS or AA treatment (things do seem to be changing on that front little by little of recently).

So Pagan, you shouldn't blow your own trumpet too much...

The Pagan Temple said...

Gert-

"Freedom of speech is enormously well protected in this country. Laws on hate-speech contain so many caveats (guaranteeing free speech) that we hardly have any convictions at all."

The problem is, any kind of trial for that can cause unnecessary duress and damage to a person's reputation and can be inordinately expensive to fight such charges, which is probably the point to why they are brought in some cases. There should be no hate speech statutes. They are too easily used for political reasons.

An imam openly calling for people to be murdered seems pretty cut-and-dried to me. Nobody should get away with that, and it shouldn't even be necessary for a hate-speech statute to prosecute it.

I don't paint everybody in Britain with the dhimmi brush, but you certainly have plenty of people there with that mindset. We have them here too, maybe just not quite as many of them and certainly not as influential. It's harder to get away with that kind of stuff here.

As for the hate speech laws generally, if you insist you want them-you meaning the country as a whole-by all means, you're a sovereign nation, but I'm telling you, it doesn't look good to those of us who see the potential for mischief.

Nor am I blowing my horn. The ideal is one thing, the reality here in the US is too many times something else again, I know that. What passes for the left in the US though is the biggest offenders, even while the right are certainly no angels either.

Daniel-

I don't know what you mean by vague name calling. I just used an analogy to illustrate the extent and wrong-headedness of a great lot US military and defense spending. It's gotten way out of hand over the years. It takes up way too much of the budget. There is too much spending across the board, but Defense is the worse offender, or was before the latest stimulus and spending bill, both of which are stratospheric.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Free speech laws in the US and libel laws utterly best that of what we have in the UK, with regards to that issue we are a million miles behind and I can only hope that we progress on this issue.

But what confuses me is that you talk about freedom of speech and then say that an imman (the obsession with Muslims goes on) should be locked up for what he said. I though you'd be for everyone havng their say? The silly Dutch politician and the idiot imman both exposing their ignorance?

And the idea that the UK is somehow in a process of Islamification is a red herring, proposed only by the far right and those looking to manipulate ignorance into hatred.

FJ said...

Calling Europe "Socialist" shows just how little mental midgets like you actually understand about socialism. You can spout that kind of nonsense over at the sewer sites you normally hang out at and be applauded as a real luminary but anywhere else they'll just laugh at you. Like I said before: in Conservative circles shouting Socialism! is merely to use an old Cold War era insult. Earth to FJ: the CW is over.

Really? I simply want a clarification as to what socialism means "today". A few years ago before communism became so completely discredited, its' defenders claimed that it was an transitory stage on the road to communism (state ownership of the means of production). Now, it would appear, you've taken to defining socialism as "state ownership of the means of production." Sounds like the same goal, but with a new and "less discredited" name.

And so now, whenever a conservative makes an accusation that we're on the road to socialism, you all have a good laugh and say we're nowhere near there yet... socialism's become this pure un-mixed "end point" (communism) when in reality, the USA is 30% already there and the Europeans are 45% there.

THIS, what we're experiencing NOW is socialism... and as we're all learnin', IT AIN'T WORKIN'!!!

You're like cockroaches runnin' from the light.... AGAIN!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ:

You're ranting and wrong, you're thinking is too polarised and, forgive me, out of date.

Your opening paragraph is not accurate or reflective of modern thinking.

Your second paragraph still makes the mistake, that you mock, of thinking that the US is anywhere near what any socilist would call socialism. It is not, so you can relax.

Your third paragraph is mistaken in thinking that the US is experiencing socialism, which it is not.

And then you call a whole bunch of people cockroaches.

Nice.

Gert said...

Pagan:

"[...] any kind of trial for that can cause unnecessary duress and damage to a person's reputation [...]"

The majority of investigations into hate speech allegations don't even make it to the charges stage, never mind trial, see also the recent case of the British blogger "Lionheart", who rather comically thought he could seek political asylum in the US (LOL). Nice try, pussycatheart! LH wasn't even interviewed under caution, let alone charged and tried.

But there are some cases where hate-speech should be prosecuted. And clear cases still need laws to be able to prosecute such cases, how else can we prosecute someone?

Take Lionheart for instance. He claims al Qaeda is taking over the drugs trade in Luton (absurd but he can 'investigate' all he wants, no probs there). Is this opinion or is he stating something as plain fact? As he implicates also ordinary Muslims (in LH's world there are no innocent Muslims apart from converts and dead Muslims), the next step would be to claim some or all of Luton's Muslims are members of al Qaeda. Well, I'm not a Muslim but if somebody firmly alleged I was a member of al Qaeda, I'd be inclined to sue for slander or libel.

Right now, LH stays behind the line where opinion shifts over into firm allegations, fine. Whether what someone writes is opinion or libel also strongly depends on context, purpose, possible outcome of intentions etc. Freedom of speech is not absolute.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Lionheart is a twat and a blemish on the UK blogging scene.

Well taken apart Gert.

FJ said...

Your second paragraph still makes the mistake, that you mock, of thinking that the US is anywhere near what any socilist would call socialism. It is not, so you can relax.

Well then, provide a definition, that's all I'm asking for. Or are you going to simply scurry off into a corner again and disappear behind the molding?

FJ said...

btw - Thanks you for all your compliments. I would loath to believe that modern modes of thinking had in any way, shape or form corrupted my mental processes.

The Pagan Temple said...

FJ-

What they are trying to say-I think-is that true socialism is where the people control the economy and means of production through things like "worker's councils" and such as that, only instead of the old style Soviets of the Russian system, which became a part of the central government, it would be more federalist in nature, organized around communities, regions, etc.

They almost make it sound like there would be no national government to speak of, just a group of regions and regions working cooperatively.

You know-"sounds good on paper, but"-

Daniel-

There is a very vast, huge difference between spouting an opinion and openly advocating, encouraging, and in effect ordering destruction and violence and murder of civilians and officials.

Imagine if the Archbishop of Canterbury were to order the men of his church to rape their wives when they start acting uppity and beat their children with huge sticks if they misbehaved, and went on to suggest if they should murder every Muslim they see they would only be doing God's will.

Yeah, like it or not he has the perfect right-well, or he should-to suggest that women should be subordinate to their husbands, that children should be respectful to their parents, and that Muslims are the enemies of God and Christianity.

But the minute he advocates those types of illegal actions he's crossed a line that can't be excused on free speech grounds, and I would think you'd agree with that.

Gert said...

FJ:

Apart from the Ultra Far Right lepers you hang out with, ain't no one buying your definition of Socialism. It's funny when you start taking intended swearwords (in your circles) as the Gospel truth. BTW, if anything, with New labour the UK has been inching away from "Socialism".

Personally I believe the theory that the Bushes are shape-shifting Reptilians holds more water than your rantings.

I'm going out for a few jars to my local, "The Marx on the Corner". In Lenin Street, see you there!

FJ said...

As much as your definition fits the old one for "communism", I agree with you PT. As for the actual definition of socialism, I'd prefer if one of the roaches would respond... because unless you can define what it is you're talking about, there's a pretty high liklihood you're just talking out of your ass, so to speak,

FJ said...

Gert, you're still behind the roach barrier. Try stepping into the light for a moment w/a definition.

Larry Gambone said...

Socialism? "A system of national cooperatives", "cooperative production" K. Marx

And for virtually all of the socialists in the 19th and aerly 20th Centuries - until the idea got corrupted into statism by Fabianism and Stalinism, See
http://porkupineblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/myth-of-socialism-as-statism.html

The Pagan Temple said...

Ren, congrats on the new look to your blog. I especially appreciate the larger font.

Renegade Eye said...

I've been having serious trouble with Blogrolling. It became after it was "hacked," suddenly a pay site. If you click on a link to a blog, it now comes with a pop-up. It will take me a few weeks to edit all the blog links I have (<300). They will be tighter, getting rid of inactive blogs.

Jams: I told Ghazala to interview you.

There has never been before in history, anything as the Militant Tendency, in the UK or anywhere. A modest Trotskyist group, gaining power in the Labor Party, evolving to having thousands of members, positions and 200 full time organizers. It led the anti-Poll Tax Movement which brought down Thatcher.

The Labor Party members, who led the witchunt, by todays standard in the Labor Party, would be excluded.

What defeated the Militant Tendency was internal. A group inside, thought they didn't need the Labor Party anymore. That was worse than the witchunt.

I'm not saying or the article much specific, that there is a belief some who have never taken part in protest, will be joining the ranks.

FJ: A socialist state is based on the Paris Commune of 1871. Abolish the standing army, everyone a soldier. All officials elected and subject to recall. Abolish bureaucracy by everyone being a bureaucrat. No politician paid higher than a high paid worker.

Engels: "The proletariat seizes state power and turns the means of production into state property to begin with. But thereby, it abolishes itself as the proletariat, abolishes all class distinctions and class antagonisms, and abolishes the state as the state."

Pagan: The Tories aren't like Thatcher or American conservatives anymore. They opposed the Iraq War for one thing.

Daniel H-G: Financial Times says the same thing about the USA as this article. They say when Obama's charisma stops working, there is a danger of people looking for someone to blame the crisis on.

Nobody is saying socialist revolution is on the immediate docket. This crisis is the deepest in my lifetime, and I'm an old guy.

It's strawman argument using a word like utopia, about the Liverpool government. They did institute bold reforms.

Gert: When a mass movement happens, it's in spurts. Months before the Russian Revolution people didn't expect it. Contrary to Maoism which talks about protracted struggle, things happen in spurts. The police are obviously expecting some type of movement.

Larry G: I don't call state capitalism, many things that other radicals do. That idea doesn't deal with inheritance, and it has to answer who is the state capitalist class? If Stalinism was state capitalism, the capitalist would do well to off Stalin.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ:

Stop calling people roaches. No one has called you names in this thread, so ease up.

Remember what Ren said regarding behaviour.

And it's your point, you find the definition or better yet, stop wading in on subjects that you don't know enough about and hope that your bluster will get you through.

Also, stay on topic, you're dragging this thread well off base, again and it would be good to stick to the subject matter at hand.

Pagan:

What you talk of never happened, so perhaps best if we let this one die and move on.

Ren:

Their is much to be said for actually being in the country that you talk about and so knowing a wee bit more and directly experiencing the implications of what you talk of.

It's evidence based practice.

jams o donnell said...

I like the new layout Ren. I moved to layouts recently having gotten fed up with waiting for Blogrolling to return... I certainly wouldn't pay for it so it was layouts for me.

But I digress. I think you overstate the power of Militant. THey were reasonably successful as as entryists but what did that amount to? THey were nowhere near taking over the Party, let alone the "commanding heights" of the economy!

Aprat from a big presence in the Young Socialists what did they really have? 2 MPs who got stuffed when they stood in their own right after expulsion, Liverpool Council?
More than other entryists but not a lot really.

I wholeheartedly supported their expulsion from the Party but then I was on the right of the Party at the time - but that puts me on the far left in today's organisation!

As for Lionheart. I visited the blog a couple of times, decided it was the work of a nut job (A bit like Further Left on the other end of the spectrum!) and never bothered again

Oh thanks for putting Ghazala Khan in my direction. I didn't realise!

The Pagan Temple said...

Ren-

Engels: "The proletariat seizes state power and turns the means of production into state property to begin with. But thereby, it abolishes itself as the proletariat, abolishes all class distinctions and class antagonisms, and abolishes the state as the state."

Do you really believe this? Seriously, I suppose in theory, it could happen that way, or it could happen that way in part, but here's the problem-it's still just a theory and you're putting it out there like its a proven fact.

There would seem to be an implicit assumption that once you satisfy all the prerequisites, everything else would simply fall into place.

That's a very dangerous bit of thinking, and in my opinion is precisely the kind of thinking that makes Stalins possible and maybe even, one could argue, inevitable.

It's like me thinking that if I quit smoking, eat right, exercise and get plenty of rest I'll never again get sick a day in my life, therefore what the hell do I need health insurance for?

Take this bit about abolishing the standing army and make everybody a soldier. What is that supposed to accomplish? What do you do then with the tens or hundreds of thousands or whatever of suddenly unemployed ex-soldiers, make them cops? How is a non-professional army of citizen soldiers supposed to stack up if these ex-soldiers decide to stage a rebellion?

Who is going to train the citizen soldiers in the event of an invasion or uprising, or before? Will this be a nation of armed but undisciplined thugs, or is this going to amount to a police state driven by a highly trained and ruthlessly efficient cadre of military and intelligence professionals. Yeah, I know that's supposed to not happen, but you are creating a vacuum here.

By the way, if no politician makes more money than the highest paid worker, do you think there's a chance you might suddenly see some seriously overpaid workers?

Honestly, this stuff is problematic, and it doesn't help when people don't question the likely downside of things, or at least entertain the possibility of a downside, just because it was written by Frederich Engels. What, did this guy walk on water or something?

I won't go into the ending inheritance rights deal, we just have an ideological difference there that we are never going to come to an accord on.

At least we can agree on one thing-Blogrolling is a piece of shit. I dropped them four months ago, after the last hacking fiasco. They were a worthwhile service for a while, and inf act were one of the most dependable. But nothing is worth all of that. I use Blogger's widget for blogrolls now. The only downside is it doesn't show you when a blog updates. There is one that does but I don't like it. Dropping blogrolling just means one less bit of code to load and sometimes slow unnecessarily slow down my sites loading.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

pagan, the live link list on blogger is good, it shows you when blogs update, i use it my blog and it works well, unless you hate the look?

FJ said...

Stop calling people roaches. No one has called you names in this thread, so ease up.

As I've said before, I'm a strict tit-4-tatter. I'll direct you to Gert's little "missive" at 9:29 on 6 March.

And I'd like to thank Larry and Ren (and Pagan) on their varied responses to my request for a definition. It seems clear to me that none of you are in agreement as to exactly what socialism is, and that all you can agree upon is that we "ain't there yet". And given those varied definitions, I can guarantee we won't be there "ever" and that my contention that % of gdp directed by the state is as good a proxy for the "socialization" of the economy as any of yours.

As for the rest of your (not Ren's) rules, Danny, I find it interesting that I (and PT to a lesser extent) am the only person on this blog that you require follow them. So either apply them "equally" to ALL or f*ck off!

Gert said...

FJ:

The reasons why I don't define Socialism are:

a. I'm not a Socialist myself
b. You, like so many on your side, simply conflate things. Europe, by and large, has more of a mixed economy and a larger public sector than the US. From conservatives, even Republicans, there is a visceral, irrational even, fear and loathing of the idea of a public health sector, which you brand as "socialised medicine", yet the system works very well for us.

Other aspects of European countries, such as stronger unionism, stronger protection of worker rights etc are all the direct consequence of Europe's long and hard fought struggle for emancipation of the masses. A considerable amount of that kind of measures was actually imported into the US by the founding fathers (separation between Church and State e.g.) and the successive waves of European immigrants to the nascent US.

To consider these things, as I believe you do, as 'socialistic' or 'Marxist' is missing the point completely. They don't add up to anything near an ideology, IMHO.

With "real" Conservatives I'd really like to know what exactly the Utopia they have in mind really is...

@Ren, you wrote: "The Tories aren't like Thatcher or American conservatives anymore. They opposed the Iraq War for one thing."

I have to correct you on that: the Tories did support the War in Iraq. Blair had sold his casus belli well and managed to turn it into a matter of 'National unity'. The Tories, traditionally more the party of the Army, then complied and voted pro-war, see here e.g.:

"The more people speak out the better. The Conservatives mistakenly supported the war in Iraq, now they must come off the fence"


Sorry to hear about your blogroll...

The Pagan Temple said...

Yeah, that's it. I won't say I hate it, but I'm not that fond of it, and it seems like with a large blogroll it would be especially cumbersome.

FJ said...

To consider these things, as I believe you do, as 'socialistic' or 'Marxist' is missing the point completely. They don't add up to anything near an ideology, IMHO.

I agree, since your ideologies don't add up to anything at all, how can our conceptions of them add up to anything?

I'd really like to know what exactly the Utopia they have in mind really is...

It's the one classical liberals have always dreamed of. A "just" place where no one imposes their will upon you, and you refrain from doing it to others (after children reach the age of majority, anyway)... and everyone believes in their heart as Socrates did, that it would always be better to suffer an injustice, than to commit one. Unfortunately we live in a Nietzschean "Will to Power" world where eye for eye justice makes everyone blind. Unlike the Left, we accept the fact that our ideals are fantasies and mostly "faith" based.

btw - I'm very happy for you that socialized medicine is working for you. Just don't try selling it here, or socialized medicine in Great Britain 100 years hence will likely return to "cost effective" treatments such as bleedings to cure depression and the application of leeches to remove foul humours.

Gert said...

FJ:

"It's the one classical liberals have always dreamed of. A "just" place where no one imposes their will upon you, and you refrain from doing it to others (after children reach the age of majority, anyway)... and everyone believes in their heart as Socrates did, that it would always be better to suffer an injustice, than to commit one. Unfortunately we live in a Nietzschean "Will to Power" world where eye for eye justice makes everyone blind. Unlike the Left, we accept the fact that our ideals are fantasies and mostly "faith" based."

Unfortunately others do impose their will on us. The European Social Movements, from which the Left arose and ultimately Socialist and Marxist ideologies emerged, were nothing but a reaction to this. Abject living conditions and a short and brutally nasty life were once the norm for the majority of Europeans. Having redressed that was a good thing.

"btw - I'm very happy for you that socialized medicine is working for you. Just don't try selling it here, or socialized medicine in Great Britain 100 years hence will likely return to "cost effective" treatments such as bleedings to cure depression and the application of leeches to remove foul humours."

How on Earth do you arrive at your conclusion? "Socialising" health (in many countries well over a 100 years old now) care simply hasn't led to any degradation of methods, services or results, quite the opposite.

In Britain certain parts of health care have been pushed out of the NHS and the results aren't great. Eyecare is one of them. NHS prescription glasses may not have been "pretty" (neither is the current fashion, IMHO) but they were by and large free and of good, sturdy quality. Now we rely on a large number of franchised opticians who all offer the same: "Two pairs for the price (often several hundreds of pounds) of one!" Well, I don't want two pairs, I just want one, at a reasonable price. Despite competition, we're now all dependent on these snake oil merchants who have the populace believe if you serve them a complimentary cup of coffee then that's VIP treatment and worth the price for the privilege. Not in my book...

Fighting against 'socialised' medicine in the US is fighting a rear guard action fight: an orderly retreat at best. The US doesn't need us to "try selling it here", it will sell itself.

The only American I know of in my (admittedly small) hometown came here, in his own words, "because God brought me here". Asked to elaborate, he told me that he had needed a truly expensive heart operation and his insurance in the US wouldn't cough up. So he came here and had it done. Asked what he thought of public health care (free at the point of use), he told me that if he had been working for a large US company his insurance would have been adequate. Except... he wasn't. Despite receiving life-saving attention here, he's still not convinced about the merits of public health care. That's a flabbering mindset, if you ask me...

Larry Gambone said...

Marx and Engels concept of the state was Hegelian and ontological. According to Hegel, people getting together in an institutionalized armed body to protect their lives and property is the essence of the state. Hence, in such terms, the working class as an armed body defending itself from counter-revolution is a state. The anarchist concept of the state is phenomenological – state means hierarchy, politicians, bureaucracy and an armed force and police separate from the populace.
The Paris Commune abolished the standing army, replacing it with a militia, all posts were elected and revocable and direct democracy was practiced. Thus for anarchists the Commune was not a state. For Lenin, by the fact the commune had an armed body and suppressed the bourgeoisie, it was a state, albeit, the bare-bones, last vestige of such.
When Engels wrote about the state taking over the economy as the first step to handing it over to the workers, he meant state in this Hegelian sense. Unfortunately the use of word “state” has been a rationalization for Fabians and Stalinists to create a full blooded state that dominates the working class.
After the Paris Commune, Engels dropped the Hegelian concept, feeling it was too confusing for people, especially in light of their conflict with Bakunin, and felt that the term workers or peoples state should be replaced with the term “commune.” Marx, for one hated the term “peoples state” (Volkstaadt), and never used it.

Larry Gambone said...

Ren, I no longer refer to the Stalinist states as state capitalist. I now use the term to describe the support the state gives capitalism.

FJ, there is little difference between Ren and me as to what constitutes socialism. It is more a matter of semantical difference. We both favour workers councils and worker-management, which is the essence of true socialism.

FJ said...

How on Earth do you arrive at your conclusion? "Socialising" health (in many countries well over a 100 years old now) care simply hasn't led to any degradation of methods, services or results, quite the opposite.

You must believe yourself to have been living in a vacuum these past sixty years, that's all I can say.

Let me ask you this. Do you think that Europe benefited in any way from the establishment of NATO, as responsibility for the defense of your continent post WWII was transferred to ours? Europe literally saved hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars that would have otherwise gone to "defense".

Similarly, just how "good" do you think that the European health care systems would be today absent the technologies and drugs developed in the United States over the past sixty years?.

British Health care would be no where near as advanced today were the "Americans" to transition from a market driven health care system to a "welfare" driven one. It would, like Cuba, be a health care backwater struggling to maintain a 1960's level of medical technology.

The Pagan Temple said...

Medical care in the US is a complicated thing, and its really counterproductive to try to boil it down as a choice between socialized medicine or nationalized health care and the private sector.

Here's one example. One of the biggest onjections to socialized medicine is the fear that government bureaucrats will control the amount and quality of care an individual receives, taking that decision out of the hands of doctors and patients. Under this scenario, the doctor is little more than the middle man to the health care which is actually produced by the state.

That's all very understandable, but there's one big problem with it. We already have that scenario now, with HMO's who do exactly what most people in the US are so afraid the state is going to do.

Here's another thing. The fear that taxes will go up to a great extent to fund the socialized medicine scheme. But again, costs are already driven upward by the lack of some kind of rational payment system or affordability. When a patient fails to pa his bills its passed on to everyone else that does. That's only one small reason for the increased cost, of course, there's others.

But its much too complicated here to imagine that a nationalized system will be a magic bullet solution, or that handing everything over to the private sector would be so.

Gert said...

You're nuts, FJ, completely. You claiming Europe has no market driven development of medical science????? That we owe it all to the good ole' USA? That Nato saved us billions which we then squandered on welfare and healthcare? You're nuts.

No, I've not been living in a vacuum. You however live in a very, very strange bubble, including a bizarre interpretation of Nietzsche. No wonder Beaky's one of your buddies and MZ is another. That whole cluster of blogs you hang out in is one of the saddest places on the Internet.

You're not on the US Right, you belong in a category all of your own...

FJ said...

I see what you're saying Larry and I truly appreciate your efforts to educate me, but let me ask you a fundamental question dealing with Marx/Engels taxonomy. Why must everything be divided into these completely artificial categories of "workers" and "capitalists", one being inherently "good" and the other inherently "evil"? Doesn't this bother you? The Chinese recently came round to the concept of the "three represents" which sought to harmonize the relations between "workers", "capitalists" and "state bureaucrats" instead of adopting an "either/ or" "good/ evil" approach fight-fight-fight approach.

Newt Gingrich used to be an ardent follower and advocate for the ideas of futurist Alvin Toffler who dealt in the emerging third wave prosumer economy, where workers, capitalists producers and consumers all merge and become indistinguishable and the clear Marxist worker-capitalist class distinction becomes a blurred mess.

I'm afraid modern Marxism has fallen victim to a defective and soon to be extinct taxonomy and some of Emerson's complaints vis a vis biological and scientific taxonomy's apply more than ever...

Emerson, "Conduct of Life; On Beauty"

The spiral tendency of vegetation infects education also. Our books approach very slowly the things we most wish to know. What a parade we make of our science, and how far off, and at arm's length, it is from its objects! Our botany is all names, not powers: poets and romancers talk of herbs of grace and healing; but what does the botanist know of the virtues of his weeds? The geologist lays bare the strata, and can tell them all on his fingers: but does he know what effect passes into the man who builds his house in them? what effect on the race that inhabits a granite shelf? what on the inhabitants of marl and of alluvium?

We should go to the ornithologist with a new feeling, if he could teach us what the social birds say, when they sit in the autumn council, talking together in the trees. The want of sympathy makes his record a dull dictionary. His result is a dead bird. The bird is not in its ounces and inches, but in its relations to Nature; and the skin or skeleton you show me, is no more a heron, than a heap of ashes or a bottle of gases into which his body has been reduced, is Dante or Washington. The naturalist is led from the road by the whole distance of his fancied advance. The boy had juster views when he gazed at the shells on the beach, or the flowers in the meadow, unable to call them by their names, than the man in the pride of his nomenclature. Astrology interested us, for it tied man to the system. Instead of an isolated beggar, the farthest star felt him, and he felt the star. However rash and however falsified by pretenders and traders in it, the hint was true and divine, the soul's avowal of its large relations, and, that climate, century, remote natures, as well as near, are part of its biography. Chemistry takes to pieces, but it does not construct. Alchemy which sought to transmute one element into another, to prolong life, to arm with power, that was in the right direction. All our science lacks a human side. The tenant is more than the house. Bugs and stamens and spores, on which we lavish so many years, are not finalities, and man, when his powers unfold in order, will take Nature along with him, and emit light into all her recesses. The human heart concerns us more than the poring into microscopes, and is larger than can be measured by the pompous figures of the astronomer.


And so when you talk of "workers councils", the Moslem speaks of his "Islamic Courts", the American of his "city council" and the Democrat worker of his "union hall". One can choose to organize one's self around any such "kernel" of community... church, workplace, statehouse, courtroom... but why must "union hall" be the organizational monad around which all society is built?

FJ said...

You claiming Europe has no market driven development of medical science

No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that you don't live in a complete vacuum and that perhaps the National Health Service would not nearly be what it is today were in not for medical treatments and technologies spun off by our highly market driven medical care system.

FJ said...

Workers management and Worker councils. I fail to see how this could possibly work. I fail to see why vocation matters to a society UNLESS on is trying to establish the "Just State" along the lines of Plato's "feverish" ergo/unjust "Republic".

FJ said...

...which necessitated the division of the state into three separate and distinct "classes", one honoring wisdom, a second courage, and the vast majority/masses temperance.

...and believe me when I say that there no one in the world who appears to me to be more "intemperate" than a Marxist.

FJ said...

In Plato's "Charmides" (On Temperance) the youthful Charmides mistakenly defines "temperance" as "every man doing his best w/o interference from others". Nothing sounds to me more "interfering" and destructive to "every man doing his best" than a "workers council" or "worker manager"... as Hesiod stated the "cause" of men "doing their best" in his classic treatise "Works and Days"...

Attend thou with eye and ear, and make judgements straight with righteousness. And I, Perses, would tell of true things.

(ll. 11-24) So, after all, there was not one kind of Strife alone, but all over the earth there are two. As for the one, a man would praise her when he came to understand her; but the other is blameworthy: and they are wholly different in nature. For one fosters evil war and battle, being cruel: her no man loves; but perforce, through the will of the deathless gods, men pay harsh Strife her honour due. But the other is the elder daughter of dark Night, and the son of Cronos who sits above and dwells in the aether, set her in the roots of the earth: and she is far kinder to men. She stirs up even the shiftless to toil; for a man grows eager to work when he considers his neighbour, a rich man who hastens to plough and plant and put his house in good order; and neighbour vies with is neighbour as he hurries after wealth. This Strife is wholesome for men. And potter is angry with potter, and craftsman with craftsman, and beggar is jealous of beggar, and minstrel of minstrel.

The Pagan Temple said...

I never did understand that crap either. It's like a mythology where all the bourgeosie are like evil trolls or gremlins or something and the workers or proletariat are all without exception comprise this great collective godlike entity that can do no wrong if it could only be unshackled from the chains imposed by the evil capitalists. Well, we all labor under some kind of chains, that's nothing unique to the "working class".

For one thing, the working class is nowhere near as oppressed, anywhere in the west, as they were in Victorian England in the days when Engels toured the family business trying to learn the ropes.

When the middle class exploded in influence due to their numbers swelling from below, that should have been your best indication of the innate desires of the great collective working class, if there really is such an animal. They want to be middle class or higher, just like everybody else. And depending on the situation, they'll give power to a Hitler, a Mussolini, or a Ronald Reagan if they think that will empower them in pursuing that dream.

Nobody in the privacy of their own thoughts says "I want to create a more just world where wealth is distributed more fairly and there is equal justice for all."

What they're thinking about is their damn selves. If they support socialism then they must be somehow convinced that will somehow better their own lives. But they like everybody have short attention spans, and they better start seeing some really big improvements real fast. Nobody's interested in building a better world for future generations, and its bullshit to think they do.

When they start to get clued in that all those great improvements don't seem to be anywhere in sight or even just around the next corner, that's when productivity goes to hell and the system falls apart. Nobody gives a shit about being productive for the benefit of future generations, that's all political double-talk, which politicians of all stripe engage in.

People have to live in the here and now, and they expect their leaders to act accordingly. If there is any kind of discontent in Britain-or anywhere else-that will be what drives it to a large extent. We want our fucking lives back that was god damned stolen from us, and we want them back now, for us, not for our great-great-great-great grand kids.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ:

Your tit for tat argument shows you to be the moral weakling you are. Which is a shame becuae once again, it's you last wording everyone else who comments here, grinding the thread to standstill, which is a shame.

The comments have about as much to do with the post as Farming subsidies do with fairness.

Again, a real shame.

FJ said...

A "moral" weakling? Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha.

F*ck you twit.

The Pagan Temple said...

I hope my last comment didn't come across as too strident, as it wasn't aimed at anyone here. I just get pissed off at politicians and their bullshit, from all sides. Whenever they start talking about what they're going to do for future generations that's code for they ain't going to do a fucking thing for you. They ain't going to do a god damn thing for future generations either.

Renegade Eye said...

I have dozens and dozens of blog links to transfer, that I collected over the years. Often something like three blogs a week link to this blog, sometimes even in languages that I have to guess what they are. I'll be happy to be free of Blogrolling.

Jams: Many radicals believe since the Labor Party is so pro-capitalism and reformist, you shouldn't work inside it. The Militant Tendency showed that whatever its leaders are, its rank and file are the most militant sections of workers. It proved if you are outside working class parties, you are nowhere.

Pagan: Marxists don't use words as absolute as good and evil. Napoleon III spread capitalism in feudal states. That was progressive. He would free slaves. That's an example of capitalism as good.

Its not like good capitalism and bad feudalism. The issue is capitalism was progressive, but now it can't meet the needs of people anymore.

Socialism is not a system of one day everything is either cooperative or nationalized. It is a transition period, of taking the best from everywhere.

Larry G: I stand corrected.

FJ: People have gone on medical missions, helping others without profit forever.

The bronchial inhaler in the US is $120.00 per inhaler, while they are $.05 each in Cuba.

You forget basic research is paid for by academia, not pharmaceutical companies. Research that should be shared, is saved for $$ and patents.

Daniel H-G: I think you are overstating the power of the BNP. That's not saying socialism is coming in the summer, but I doubt if a rightist move either.

Gert: The US has the most costly, and less efficient health care systems.

The Blairite move towards privatization, collides with the reality of the economic crisis.

Madam Miaow said...

Renegade, I now have your link in my blogroll — thanks for including me.

Re welfare state, thank goodness I was born and kept healthy under the National Health Service. I don't see how you can call yourself civilised without one of those.

The Pagan Temple said...

In any kind of Democratic system, it's up to the people to hold their elected officials accountable, and if they don't, then the system inevitably falls apart. If they do, and they are consistent about it, then they system generally will work, even with hiccups along the way.

That is just as true of one system as another, including socialism and capitalism, which are after all only economic systems. What is vital is the level of power wielded by the people, and how responsive-and adaptable-any given system is to their needs.

When Napoleon III spread capitalism and freed slaves, capitalism in general was not exactly progressive, as you had mass exploitation of workers in many European countries, and also in the US, working in filthy conditions for very little pay for long hours, sometimes six days a week, including even children.

Capitalism actually evolved beyond this and improved due to demands of the people. Yet if Marx and other socialists had had their way, these advancements would never have come about. I concede their influence was a great influence in making these changes come about, but I doubt this is what they had in mind.

They wanted an entirely new system (understandable owing to the excesses they were familiar with), but I doubt that system would have held up, or advanced as much as the capitalist system did with the improvements that came along over the years.

That's though the power of democracy, it has nothing to do with anything inherently good about capitalism or socialism, or with anything bad about either one. Again, they are simply tools.

Comparing the capitalist system noted by Marx and Engels, and by the way by Charles Dickens-who probably wrote about that system to far greater effect than Marx and Engels could have ever come close to doing in their wildest dreams-to the system as it came to be in the aftermath of World War II and beyond, would be like comparing a Model A Ford to a Lamborghini.

The fact that the police are worried about the potential for an uprising doesn't say anything about the weakness of capitalism or the strength of socialism, but it says volumes about the potential power of the people if they would just exercise it. The idea of it inspires fear in government-which by God it is supposed to do and should.

FJ said...

You forget basic research is paid for by academia, not pharmaceutical companies.

LOL! And you forget that academia operates entirely upon government grants and has yet to bring a single product to market... ever.

...and much like Britain's universal health service, but for capitalism's ingenuity, Cuba wouldn't have invented the inhaler or the drugs to put into it.

FJ said...

ps - And where does the government get the funds to pay for basic academic research? Taxes on big pharma, of course.

FJ said...

For one thing, the working class is nowhere near as oppressed, anywhere in the west, as they were in Victorian England in the days when Engels toured the family business trying to learn the ropes.

You should read Melville's diptych, "The Paradise of the Bachelors and The Tartarus of the Maids". I think that about sums up Marx's missing "good & evil" arguments.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Pagan:

Seriously, I like your new tone, perhaps not what you say all the time but then again total agreement would be dull.

Ren:

I'm not overstating, in the sense that the UK always goes right when there are economic troubles and I have lived in parts of the UK with BNP councillors. The UK has plenty of issues with immigration and far right thinking, it is not just the US that has the dibs on that.

Madam Mioaw:

Spot on indeed!

Gert said...

FJ:

"...and much like Britain's universal health service, but for capitalism's ingenuity, Cuba wouldn't have invented the inhaler or the drugs to put into it.

ps - And where does the government get the funds to pay for basic academic research? Taxes on big pharma, of course."


Taxes on everybody, not juts big pharma. Nor have I denied 'capitalism's ingenuity', it's rather you who claims Europe's Socialist.

FJ said...

...it's rather you who claims Europe's Socialist.

I'm not alone.

If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, walks up to you and tells you it's a duck, then there's a pretty good chance, it's a duck!

It seems that there are only a few fringe hard core purists that are having trouble admitting what the rest of the world already knows.

And yet Socialist Europe's economies cannot seem to "handle it" when American capitalism catches the flu... they have the chutzpah to demand that the patient be killed and claim they could do w/o him alright, but killing the goose who lays all the golden eggs that the socialists later gather into a basket for redistribution might not be the "great idea" that so many Marxist "socialist purists" advocate.

FJ said...

As for America not being socialist, it came as no surprise to me that our current President, Hussein the 1st, was once a member of the New Party, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Socialists of America and member in good standing in the Socialist International.

Gert said...

Not Socialist, FJ, not Socialist. And not a case of "we're just not there yet" either. In the UK chances are now high that the next HMG will be Tory. You can't seriously claim that a country governed by Centrist Conservatives is somehow Socialist. Like I said above, European countries have adopted some emancipative measures, hard fought for and won by the Social movements. That does not equate to Socialist economies or systems of governance.

New Labour, BTW, in terms of economic strategies e.g. is far more Thatcherite than 'Old' Labour. Although they pledged to reverse Thatcher's privatisations, not one such a reversal has been carried out (not one).

"And yet Socialist Europe's economies cannot seem to "handle it" when American capitalism catches the flu... they have the chutzpah to demand that the patient be killed and claim they could do w/o him alright, [...]"

Who is calling for that? Almost no one. People in power? Name and shame if you can find some (some being at least more than one...) Most talk of protectionism is coming from your side of the pond, but not quite seriously either.

Hard to deny though that runaway Laissez Faire 'super-capitalism' created some seriously chimerical 'products' and structures...

Why do you call Obama "Hussein the 1st"?

Gert said...

FJ:

Your assertion of European Socialism is about as serious Glenn Beck's Road to Communism. (Funny, if you haven't already watched it).

FJ said...

That's sad, Gert. You have a Socialist Labour government, and you're in complete denial over it. No wonder you'll soon be having riots in the streets.

And it wasn't the laissez-faire capitalist that created the economic chimera's that lead to this collapse. It was the do-gooder dnc banking committee sitting, ACORN loving, every poor person deserves a home mortgage he can't afford crowd and those that are still trying to prop them up that are preventing any economic recovery from occurring anywhere. And the markets won't recover till we've weeded all this prop-the-deadbeats-up mentality from the system.

Hussein the 1st? Because every do-nothing tower-ridden damsel in distress Democrat thinks she needs a knight to ride in and save her from the evil capitalists, so little do they suspect that their hero's friends actually built this particular tower...

Gert said...

Well, on the Socialism thingy, I'm done here. To consider New Labour to be Socialist is too simplistic by far.

Unregulated Capitalism doesn't work, even most capitalists accept that: inherent instability always leads to boom-and-bust. Unless you're willing to accept prolonged periods of cataclysmic depressions and gruesome hardship for its victims, followed eventually by recovery and economic boom, LF capitalism cannot work.

Gert said...

As regards riots, I believe they're more likely to start in France than Britain: the former has more of tradition of direct action than we have.

FJ said...

You should be done, as Labour considers itself socialist and is a member of the Socialist International.

And Europe is more than a little bit pregnant with socialism. Let's just agree to keep it over on your side of the pond.

The Pagan Temple said...

Whatever you want to call it, socialism or quasi-socialism, or whatever, it's our fault, because we've been subsidizing it for the last sixty years. I don't see how anybody can deny that. Just like the US Defense budget takes up well over one third of the total US budget, it would take up appreciably more of the various European nation's budgets if it weren't for NATO. If not for us, Europe would be faced with a hard choice-cut back drastically on social services spending, or have a bare bones defense budget.

It may have arguably been necessary during the height of the Cold War-which I actually don't believe either, to tell you the truth-but whatever the case, it is certainly not necessary now. If anything, NATO is a perfect example of crony capitalism at work. It goes well beyond even that much though-it's the WPA with guns and uniforms.

Larry Gambone said...

To call Europe socialist, is to not have the faintest understanding of the word.

Actually it is good that the far right is so stupid. You would not want them to have an accurate picture of the world, for knowledge is power. (and there would be a lot less occasions for humor without right-wing foolishness to laugh about.)

Renegade Eye said...

FJ: I started an open thread. I think there is a need for you to be told what the second international is about. There are vast differences between the four internationals.

In the UK in the late 80s, many radicals were expelled from the Labor Party. The people in power now, are so far to the right, they'd expel the group that expelled the radicals. Blair openly said the Labor Party shouldn't have existed.

Pagan: When I'm talking about capitalism being progressive, I'm comparing it to dying feudalism. The nation state beats a fiefdom. Currency has specific value, no trading Manhatten Island for trinkets etc.

Gert: See this.

I don't know about riots, or what form, of what will probably be mass protest.

Daniel H-G: The BNP lately influenced a strike in the UK of refinery workers, but were turned around by the left.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Ren:

Turned around by the left? No, the BNP sit and wait, as they always do, to piggy back. As for attempting to 'educate' FJ in the open thread, you are sadly mistake that he is at all open to learning. You wish for too much.

Gert and Larry:

It's funny, the Know Nothing thinks he knows it all which clearly he does not, he tries to generalise an entire continent as socialist, when yes, it has elements of it but it also has elements of conservative and Tory thinking as well as libreal ideology and elements of the far-right.

Once again, FJ is crippled by his black and white thinking, that demands absolutes, where difference and grey area is ignored.

Quite frankly, it is pointless, he is locked into his world view and nothing, no debate, no comment, no evidence, makes him shift, which is a shame because greatness does not lay in obdurately defending your own viewpoint but attempting to see them all and being fluid and flexible with your ideas and open to education.

FJ is not, show me one thread here where he is debating with a view to being open to a new idea. NEVER! Yet he hides behind the protection he is offered here with this fakery. He is not here to debate, he is here to use this blog as a platform for his views with no openess to debate or transformation of thought. He has not the strength of will or depth of intellect to cope with that.

The most emabrassing part for him is that he still refuses to accept the global crisis, started in the US by bad governance under Bush, is global, he rather uses it as a spear tip to outline weakness in others when the ultimate weakness came from his own nation.

Then he embarrasses himself further by not only referring to Obama by his middle name (a far-right wingnut fear of anything that smacks of the 'other/outsider' a joke in most circles that a middle name should matter but to the more simple minded, it does) but then digging out long descredited stories about Obama, when if he just read his books he'd know exactly what Obama was involved in and the cry is quite frankly, what does it matter?

Then he makes a fool of himself by insisiting that the Labour party in the UK is an outlet for socialist ideas, when in reality it is a centrist party long departed from it's roots. Yes FJ, it may say it is socialist but it's policies have nothing to do with that.

But the crux is, why does it matter? What is the bizarre obsession with socialism, this fear, why the old man is scared of ideas!

He is a fool, he lives in a simple mindset and his existence at this blog is a constant and nasty thorn in the side of serious debate here because he is unmovable on any of his well-worn and ridiculous themes, no evidence, no arguement, nothing moves him.

FJ:

Read the above, I accuse you of being a fraud, I accuse you of not having the moral strength of will to actually be open to debate, evidence and ideas, I accuse you of using ignorance and steadfastness in that ignorance as a shield to defer any transition in your ideas. I accuse you of being intellectually and morally stuck and thus corrupt.

You will now drag this thread into a 200+ comment tit-for-tat where you expound your ignorance and as in all the other threads, I will be the only voice that will challenge you because rightly so, the others here grow bored with you and the ruination to bring to the forum in every thread you touch.

FJ said...

So I am the closed minded one. You keep your own head stuck up your ass all day and then have the chutzpah to accuse me of being closed minded?

Your are the living embodiement of a parody representing all your accusations.

FJ said...

...and Larry, to call what passes for capitalism in the USA "capitalism" is to not have the slightest understanding of the term.

Nuance and "grey-areas" are not the sole province of Leftist thought either.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ:

Like Gert and Larry, I am about to do the right thing, which is to leave this thread alone, even though it is a subject matter close to my heart, that has been taken way off topic by you...again!

Between us, your arguements have been dismissed but deaf to anything other than what you know, you remain unmoved, as if this blessed ignorance is a credit to your character rather than a horrible flaw.

And I note that it is you that has waded off topic to pick over your favourite subject matters that get you all in a tizz, so you can vomit out your chestnut arguments. It is you that has offered insults under the weak reasoning of 'well, he did it!' (seriously, the children I teach know better than that and grasp that that kind of logic has no part in grown-up debate) and it is you that has consistently failed to be open to ANY other agenda accept your own.

You use this blog to flog your own version of events and turn every debate into an act of propoganda and spew, turning every subject matter to your own petty annoyances.

All of us here have at some time or another either agreed to disagree or even conceaded points to each other in the process of a healthy debate.

You have never done this and yet you keep to the deluded idea that you are somehow NOT doing that. As with all the arguments here, you cling onto the notion that you can have your cake and eat it.

Be unmovable in debate but refuse to accept you are close-minded. You cannot have both and you are more than aware that greatness stems from being able to say when you're wrong, when you're right and when you learn something new.

This never happens to you.

No doubt you will try and claim it is the quality of the blog or the comments here and perhaps you will even believe that but the rest of us know and can see your lack of flexiblity and openess that is crippling in it's damage to your reputation and standing here.

By my ensuing silence here, I know that I have done the right thing and have won.

Good luck.

Gert said...

Pagan:

You've gone into funny mode again.

Ever occurred to you why in Europe income tax is considerably higher than e.g. the US? Even in 'low tax Britain', tax was above 30 % before Thatcher reduced it. In many European countries 35 and 40 are the norm. That's a lot of government spending.

We appreciate better public services and are willing to pay for them, collectively (Aaaarrrghgh! Collectivism! Socialism! Ko-ho-ho-homunism! Run to the Shining City on the Hill!)

What's it like to be born a US Supremacist?

Daniel: re FJ: you should see his views on Israel. Even more telling, I can tell you.

Ren: thanks for the link...

FJ said...

Be unmovable in debate but refuse to accept you are close-minded. You cannot have both and you are more than aware that greatness stems from being able to say when you're wrong, when you're right and when you learn something new.

This never happens to you.


Funny, you must have missed the discussion in the Venezuela thread previous to this one. But then, the fact that your head is always up your own ass is not lost upon anyone.

And I note that it is you that has waded off topic to pick over your favourite subject matters that get you all in a tizz, so you can vomit out your chestnut arguments.

lol! It wasn't me who changed the subject from one of European socialism reaping it's own "just desserts" in the form of the very violence proto-Marxists such as yourself so readily advocate into a discussion of whether some abstract and pure form of "socialism" currently exists in "statist" form on the European continent.

...and I would consider any ensuring silence on your behalf on this thread and all future ones a blessing to thinking men everywhere.

The Pagan Temple said...

I wasn't making a value judgment on European social policies. You are all sovereign nations over there, and I might not like what you do, but you have the right to do them. It's your own business.

I was just pointing out that it is the US support over the years that made that possible, by subsidizing a great deal of your military defensive capabilities and all the expense that entails.

It has nothing to do with "American superiority". It's just the point that without all of that, such as NATO, you would have to fund more of your military and this would probably necessitate cutting back on your social services. Simple as that.

Gert said...

Pagan:

"Simple as that."

Not quite. There's a lot missing in your 'equation'. In fact you don't present one at all. It'd be trying to punch way above your (and mine) weight to try and quantify the financial benefits of Nato (for Europe) and what part of our policies of higher taxation play in providing better public services.

The US has always (or at least for a long time) placed greater emphasis on lower taxation, capitalism and defense spending. Public services remain a dirty word to many Americans. As a result you broadly speaking got what you wanted. Please don't blame us.

The Pagan Temple said...

I'm not blaming you, I'm blaming our own politicians. The fact that they care more for your well-being than they sometimes seem to care for ours, for strategic reasons, while aggravating as all fuck is not your fault, it's theirs, and for that matter, ours for putting up with it for so long.

In fact, I would like to see some rational, well thought out, intelligent social spending here in the US, if it could be run effectively without corruption and without some kind of bureaucracy doing more harm than good to civil liberties. That's just the problem, it almost never is.

Unfortunately, what we get is mired in corruption and political payola.

A large portion of the crap in the stimulus bill is every bit as much about payoff to Obama's and the Democrats political supporters as anything. Which, fine, the Republicans do the same thing, I am all too aware of that. But don't try to talk out of both sides of your mouth and your ass at the same time by calling it a necessary stimulus to cure the ailing economy, because its plainly bullshit. Yes, some of it can be that, but not a good lot of it.

Money to ACORN and other such groups, such as laRaza, is nothing but political payback that will be packaged as an economic stimulus but won't amount to anything but money disappearing into the pockets of the people who actually run those groups. Sure, they'll pass a little bit of it around through the communities they "serve"-just enough to secure their leadership positions in the communities. But at the end of the day there will be precious little improvements in people's real day-to-day lives, if any at all. Just enough extra pocket change to encourage them to keep voting Democratic and blaming the Republicans for not getting any more.

FJ said...

Amen! The La Raza money in the Obamasbus bill is just so much kicking sand in the face of Republicans.

Gert said...

Sayonara! See you upstairs maybe?

- said...

I was at a recent Gaza protest in London and what struck me was the make up of the demonstration it was made up of all ages, male and female but was not militant in anyway. This is good and bad in my view (for what should be obvious reasons). Sadly, apart from muslim youth I just don't see where this militancy is going to come from. They are clearly the most outraged and willing. The action The Guardian suggest surely requires youth on a grand scale, I just don't see where they are going to come from. They have decided to settle for what they are told and what they are given. My hope is the introduction of I.D cards could be some kind of trigger. Take the protest I attended, it was heavily marshalled, on a prepared route (I presume) and went to the usual old place Trafalgar Square culminating in some nice sentiment. That's all well and good. But it's about time the protest said we'll go where we want, we'll stop traffic, we'll antagonize... Enough speeches have been made by now in Trafalgar Square. It is all too sanitized. I even overheard a copper say " They build them all up and then....(they all go home)" ! There is no militancy because people think certain things are not allowed, life's a shame. It is my view that the last ten years of killing in Iraq and Afghanistan etc warrant militancy like The Guardian is suggesting, but where was it? To have it now seems to be taking the piss. Well this jumbled lot seemed to make some sense when I was typing it. Cheers.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

-

Same old faces protesting the same old thing, I used to be one of them but then I did stuff that made a difference rather than tagging along with a whole bunch of people I didn't agree with.

As for Muslim youth being militant, that is a problem not a good thing and threatens there place in our society, it never looks good when you rail against a nation that welcomes you and lets you rail.

Also, I find it hard to take seriously people who think that milatancy over Iraq and Afghanistan is legitimate, they should try militancy under the regimes that were 'removed'.

Gert said...

Daniel:

If the Muslims you're speaking of are legal citizens in Britain then under British Law they have exactly the same rights as anyone else. That even includes demonstrating for the "wrong" cause. They don't need permission to "agree" or "disagree" with you or anyone else. Those "threatening their place in society" are mostly Muslim-baiters. The criminal radicals we deal with, like we do other criminals. Simple. Just. Not perfect.

Personally, I can't blame them for feeling angry about Iraq and Afghanistan. In the case of the former, an entire, predominantly Muslim country was attacked when we fingered the wrong guys.

Saddam Hussein was gassing Kurds and Iraqis during his war of aggression on Iran. There were whistleblowers but they were ignored. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, eh? We supported that war and didn't stop the use of chemical shells. He was, simply put, 'our dictator'. It was a fine gesture of him to so diligently gas our New Enemy (Iran), don't you think? Sadly the clown managed to lose his stupid war.

Gert said...

Ooops, that meant to say "Kurds and Iranians", not "Kurds and Iraqis". My bad...

FJ said...

He was, simply put, 'our dictator'.

What a crock of shiite! He wasn't "our" dictator, he (Saddam) was a Soviet puppet. And what prompted Saddam to attack (9/80) was the "absence" of "our Shah".

The Iranian hostage (11/79) crises also prompted the Soviets to over-reach into invading Afghanistan in 12/79.

Freakin' revisionist!

The Pagan Temple said...

Well, it wasn't so much the absence of the Shah as much as it was his fear that the Ayatrollah's would destabilize Iraq by influencing his majority Shi'ite population. Plus, we did support Sadam, at least tacitly, due to our problems with the Iranian mullahs as well as the oil factor. People tend to skim over the fact that we lost our a great deal of our source of energy over that deal. Thank you, Jimmy Carter, you peanut farming piece of shit.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Gert:

Sorry, on this one we disagree, take the idiots that protested the return of troops back to the UK, a small minority yes but idiots never the less.

I back their right to protest but I don't back what they are saying and in the current climate in the UK we are in danger of race war.

Respect needs to be shown towards the troops, the choice of war was not theirs and to call them baby killers is only to draw media attention, of which they have, which is part of my disgust.

- said...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill -

Are you a muslim youth? If not I suggest worrying about your own place in our society and not a generalised mass of people.

I find their outrage and anger completely justified, warranted and respected. No doubt it will give something for the far right to chew on but I would say there will be sympathy with their actions more than anything. (Unless of course you choose to ignore the horrors of this world which many like to do).

You reminded me of this:

Although capital is quite good at hiring personnel to defend it, social inertia is a greater conservative force than media or police.

Lastly,

"it never looks good when you rail against a nation that welcomes you and lets you rail"

Maybe they don't care what it looks like? What does it look like? Looks like passion to me, something that has been seriously lacking for a long while. I would like to think the United Kingdom is beyond some kind of backlash towards these kinds of actions, in fact I am virtually sure it is.

I would also like to ask you at what stage do you think militant action is warranted when your nation kills a whole load of people from another?

Cheers.

The Pagan Temple said...

Said-

Here's the biggest problem, the way I see it, with what you said-

"we'll stop traffic, we'll antagonize"

Oh really? Not exactly the way to win things and influence people, especially when you could very easily have some nutbags that might be inclined to go well beyond the "antagonize" part.

So what happens when one of these people you stop in traffic happens to be on your side, somebody like Gert, and some maniac jerks him out of his car and beats him to a pulp because he's all fired up and maybe the guys all pumped up too over being harassed. One thing leads to another, and it might well go beyond one incident to a street brawl with injuries, destruction of private property, and death.

You have to stop and think through the potential consequences of your actions.

- said...

I should have stopped reading when you said "win things". What the fuck does that mean. This isn't sport and who said anything about sides mr polaroid. When you've finished talking down to me....realise that I'm not actually a twelve year old who just wants a fight if you can possibly imagine such a thing! Don't go to work tomorrow you might get hit by a bus!

And I completely disagree, I think it is exactly the way to influence people, to show them that a more militant protest is possible if you allow yourself the possibilty. You are your own authority.

Define nutbag please.

I would like to pick apart every sentance of these replies but I just can't be fucking arsed. People seem to presume so much and think of all the possible outcomes so much so that the possibilty of an event becomes non existent.

Sit on your arse and do nothing.

Gert said...

FJ:

By the time he invaded Iran the regime had flip flopped over to the West. In his early days he had been a Soviet puppet, yes, but not anymore by 1980. Osirak e.g. was built with French and apparently Italian know-how.

I hope you're not going to deny that we (the West) tacitly supported his war against Iran (it remains something the Iranians won't easily forgive us for). When the war turned really badly against Iraq, the US supplied Saddam with satellite images of Iranian troop movements).

Daniel:

"Are you a muslim youth? If not I suggest worrying about your own place in our society and not a generalised mass of people."

No, I'm not. Not sure what you mean though.

Citizens are citizens are cistizens. Lady justice is supposed to be truly blind. Simples.

The Pagan Temple said...

Said-

If you're going to debate people whose first language is English, then learn to speak the fucking language you ass hat prick. I never said anything about it being a sport, "Win Friends and Influence People" is a reference to a book by noted author Dale Carnegie which describes tactics and means of winning people over to your point of view and influencing them in a positive way.

I realize it doesn't sound like it would be as much fun as burning down buildings and cars and hacking off folks heads and tromping up and down the streets shouting and waving signs reading "Death To Europe", but it might well get you better results. It might also help if you have an actual legitimate bitch, as opposed to ranting about some jackass cartoonist expressing his opinion about your equally idiotic religious beliefs that keep your people mired in bronze age thinking.

And what's this about talking down to you like a twelve year old. I'm talking to you, motherfucker, not Mohammad's wife. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot, she was eight.

I want one of you fools to stop me on the street one of these days and start some shit. I really, really do.

FJ said...

By the time he invaded Iran the regime had flip flopped over to the West. In his early days he had been a Soviet puppet, yes, but not anymore by 1980.

LOL! That explains all the T-72's our A-10's popped in '91 during Desert Storm. And please, the French are not part of the "west", they only pretend to be in NATO.

And the Iranian's have no room to complain about not being supported for the 444 days they held our embassy hostage.. And if you recall the Iran-Contra weapons sales to IRAN:

August 20, 1985. 96 TOW anti-tank missiles
September 14, 1985. 408 more TOWs
November 24, 1985. 18 Hawk anti-aircraft missiles
February 17, 1986. 500 TOWs
February 27, 1986. 500 TOWs
May 24, 1986. 508 TOWs, 240 Hawk spare parts
August 4, 1986. More Hawk spares
October 28, 1986. 500 TOWs


Not to mention all the F-14 spares we routed to them...

Gert said...

FJ:

Thanks for making my point for me! Appreciated!

"LOL! That explains all the T-72's our A-10's popped in '91 during Desert Storm. And please, the French are not part of the "west", they only pretend to be in NATO."

Iraq was in the USSR's pocket for a long time, I never said otherwise, most if not all of Saddam's military materiel was Soviet made, not just the T-72 tanks, much besides that including their Scuds. But by the start of the Iraq-Iran War, the regime had flopped over to the West.

The significance of this is that Conservative Americans have always used the claim "he gassed his own people!" when that was actually going on when he was fighting our little pre-emptive war against the Mullahs. Iranians blew the whistle on it but were ignored (what else?)

So, saying "he was our dictator" is correct, even if over-simplifying.

Nice bit of typical American Rightwing francophobia there too: apart from France's Force de Frappe Independente (its own nuclear deterrent) France is as much part of the West and Nato as any other member state.

"And the Iranian's have no room to complain about not being supported for the 444 days they held our embassy hostage.. And if you recall the Iran-Contra weapons sales to IRAN:"

I guess the CIA and MI5/6 had nothing to do with removing the democratically elected Dr Mossadeq in 1953 and getting the Shah as an American puppet, huh? Cos' it appears to me that the Iranians saw the hostage crisis as retribution for that coup.

Again this is significant: I believe the coup is really the original sin from which all other US/Iranian animosity stems: the Iranians have never forgotten it.

Tell me: how many Joe Sixpacks today know about the coup? That Halabja was committed on our watch? That conveniently we did nothing until conveniently it became convenient again?

As a little aside, just for mentioning the 1953 coup on the now defunct Hear'O Israel blog I got chased by an angry mob of rightwing bloggers belonging to the not unknown "Pirate's Armada" blogger alliance. That was fun!

FJ said...

Gert,

Do you enjoy talking out of both sides of your mouth? Saddam was fighting HIS OWN little pre-emptive war with Iran... it had NOTHING to do with us and EVERYTHING to do with our absence and the ensuing power vacuum the overthrow of the Shah left.

In '53, Dr. Mossadeq was a commie stooge.

You "revisionists" act as if there was never a Cold War... grow up.

The coup was just a pretext, just as every stated causus belli (ie WMDs) is just a pretext for taking advantage of another's weakness.

And if it wasn't the '53 coup, the pretext could have just as easily been the 3rd Crusade.... as Osama bin Laden is fond of pointing out by calling us "the Crusaders".

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

-

No, I'm not a muslim youth, I'm a Jewish 32 year old but I presume then I can only comment on Jewish 32 year old issues?

Don't be daft.

The issue is one of, you show respect to them for their actions and I have no respect for them at all and their acts are quite grotesque.

As for warrented military action, this isn't about that, a soldier does their job and does not deserve to be assualted in this way.

Stick to the point.

Take care.

white rabbit said...

One aspect which deserves further exposure is the surveillance state dimension of policing in the UK. Demonstrations, now matter how peaceful, are being saturation videod, demonstrators being on the receiving end of close attention and information gathered generally.

A huge database of people who have done nothing unlawful but have - as they are supposed to be entitled - made a protest is plainly being accumulated against contingencies.

A bonfire of the database would seem in order (metaphorically speaking although literally would be ok) ;)

The Pagan Temple said...

I don't see any problem with videotaping a demonstration. You have no reasonable expectation of privacy in a public setting anyway, for one, and for another, as long as the videos are made public, they can be placed in the public archives. It would be one sure fire way of recording the event for posterity, in its entirety.

Speaking of which, there are probably people who video tape such events anyway, the government doing it is really no different, and if things get out of hand and there is law breaking, at least they can have a reasonable expectation of finding the perpetrators, which might serve to lessen the possibility of unwarranted violence or other lawlessness.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

White Rabbit:

Agreed, the UK has far too many CCTV cameras and as someone who has protested I am also aware that I am on numerous police files for regular protesters.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I think the point is Pagan that this is in addition to a vast raft of CCTV everywhere in the UK and, I'm not sure if you ever have protested, being filmed and photographed by police officers when peacefully demonstrating instigates a feeling of guilt.

I never have much time for the 'nothing to hide nothing to fear' arguement as that acts as a gimmie to human rights infringement.

FJ said...

WHY the cameras are there... to keep a peaceful protest from turning into a violent riot.

When a hundred men stand together, each of them loses his mind and gets another one. --Nietzsche

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

No FJ, cameras do not prevent that, many riots have been filmed, they don't stop violence at all.

As for the idea that group protest is somehow second rate is terribly flawed, it is an essential and very human form of expression, coming together, humans in unity by a concept is what the world is based on.

Not the individual.

Gert said...

FJ:

"HIS OWN little pre-emptive war with Iran... it had NOTHING to do with us and EVERYTHING to do with our absence and the ensuing power vacuum the overthrow of the Shah left."

Sure, I was exaggerating, but will you deny it suited the West that Saddam wanted to try and stop the spread of a Shiite revolution? Sunni Arab states also largely stood by Saddam too.

"In '53, Dr. Mossadeq was a commie stooge.

You "revisionists" act as if there was never a Cold War... grow up."


The Cold War was the backdrop to many a conflict and bizarre contortions, also in the ME, sure, no doubt about that. I hope you also accept that US support for Israel is really a Cold War geopolitical accident and that the chips could have fallen elsewhere and differently.

But on 1953: I don't believe the CW played a big part. Rather my reading is that End of Empire Britain didn't want to lose the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to Mossadeq's nationalisation plans. We (UK) were broke at the end of WW II, remember? To call Mossadeq a 'commie stooge' is too facile.

End of Empire Britain tried another last stunt in 1956 (Suez) and Eisenhower wisely opposed it. Bye, bye Anthony Eden...

Then you play a little game of 'alternative histories' but I can play that game too. It's equally plausible that without deposing Mossadeq and reinforcing the Shah, Iran's path could have been very different and certainly less filled with hatred to 'Big Satan' and 'Little Satan'. Tell me how the Iranian revolution didn't catch the US somewhat off guard and the strength of anti-US sentiment the feeling that the chickens had come home to roost...

The problem with the West's policies in the ME is that they're constantly made on the hoof with little regard for future implications. The Iraq adventure is another example of that, IMHO.

Word recognition: PORKSOB (lol)

Gert said...

Pagan:

You miss the point on CCTV cameras entirely.

The UK is preparing a biometric ID card system that would be unthinkable in the US (and in fact up to very recently also in the UK).

Biometric databases, including face and gait recognition software is being developed, so that video footage isn't completely useless (most of the time it is: if no one recognises the guy in the images the images are worthless - that's where the databases come into it.)

In addition, we've heard rumblings about plans to not just record images on the high street (demos or not) but also sounds. How would you feel about having your conversations listened to in a public place? It's called MASS SURVEILLANCE.

The Pagan Temple said...

Yeah, you're right, that is scary. There have been rumblings about that here, too. It's one of those things that somebody throws out as a trial balloon every now and then, and they usually sugar coat it to showcase the supposed benefits while giving a song-and-dance about how it would supposedly be all above-board with controls to prevent abuse.

Which this is the kind of thing that is precisely the reason I tend to despise government in general. The more power they get the more likely they try to get something like this by. They can always come up with one excuse or another, such as terrorism, drug smuggling, other types of crime and gang activity, etc.

The bad thing about it is, a lot of the people that propose these kinds of things have the best of intentions. For example, they might think it would be a good way to cut back on manpower, thus expenses. For example if you have some of this kind of thing in play, then you have no need to have ten or twenty undercover detectives walking around and still missing half of whatever allegedly criminal activity there might be going on right under their noses.

It's not worth the trade off though in the potential for abuse and lack of basic privacy.

FJ said...

Sure, I was exaggerating, but will you deny it suited the West that Saddam wanted to try and stop the spread of a Shiite revolution? Sunni Arab states also largely stood by Saddam too.

And it STILL suits the West to split the Moslem world into two camps Sunni/Shi'a and playing a balance of powers game between them. As Nietzsche once said, "The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy.

The Arab Sunni's generally hate the Persian Shi'a as evidenced most recently by the recent outbreak of violence during the pilgrimage in Medina last month.

Curiously, that riot was set off by an attempt by the religious police to film Shi'a women visiting the prophet's grave... who then threw their shoes at them... but IMO had fixed camera's been installed on poles, there never would have been a riot. Which goes to show, that cameras can be used to deliberately intimidate as well.

The problem with the West's policies in the ME is that they're constantly made on the hoof with little regard for future implications. The Iraq adventure is another example of that, IMHO.

Now THAT's where you're mistaken. The Iraq adventure was brilliant in that the West now has a Shi'a ally that we can use to keep our "Sunni" friends in check with AND which has a pretty good chance of overthrowing the radical Iranian regime... unless of course WE THROW AWAY OUR ADVANTAGES BY ABANDONING IRAQ.

- said...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill -

Your reply is pathetic. You choose to ignore my questions and divert away from them or talk about a completely different issue all togther. I will not be drawn into wasting my time with you any longer, you do not deserve or warrant my attention.

FJ said...

I don't believe the CW played a big part.

Then you've never heard of "X's" Containment strategy or the fears George Kennan expressed in the 1946 Long Telegram for Turkey and Iran in particular.

Gert said...

FJ:

C'mon FJ, you're just advocating more of the same old: messing with people and expecting they 'won't mess back'. You merely confirm that 9/11 was, at least in part, blowback.

A continued occupation of Iraq is simply not possible, as you well know... Might as well invade the whole ME and astroturf over it and grab that oil we seem to have a birthright to.

There are better ways of dealing with Iran than to try and overthrow the regime.

Sorting the Israel/Palestinian question would take much of the wind out of their sails. Cooperation on Afghanistan could even forge an alliance: there was something like that going on under Khatami: US/Iran cooperation on the Taliban.

" but IMO had fixed camera's been installed on poles, there never would have been a riot."

Total rubbish. Best weapons against CCTV are balaclavas and spray paint cans. Also: as I pointed out to Pagan, without a database to put names on faces cameras just take pretty pictures, PERIOD.

I'll read your links later.

FJ said...

LOL! Talk about advocating more of the same-old same-O. Go back to playing referee for Israel and the Pseudostinians? There's a loser, if EVER there was one.

And who said anything about US ovethrowing the Iranians? They'll do it to themselves, now that Najaf is free to pursue its' traditional role as center of the Shi'a faith. All we've got to do is NOT get in the way whilst supporting the Iraqi government in maintaining its' independence from Tehran/Qom.

Gert said...

FJ:

Anyone who adopts the epithet 'pseudostinians' (claimed to be the intellectual property of the notorious Arabophobe [and utter imbecile] Beaker) to describe the Palestinians cannot be expected to see any merit in such a plan. I see the long shadow of "From Time Immemorial" lives on.

The Israelis would sabotage it in all likelihood because Iran as a largely imaginary perennial foe is of much more value to them as an adversary of the US than as a friend or ally (both Is were once very close allies). And so Israel lives another day...

FJ said...

...or they might choose to use Israel as a strategic ally in the Shi'as perennial struggle against the Sunni. After all, no other country in the region has the technological expertise required to stave off an enemy 10x or 100x larger.

FJ said...

The Iranian's only shake their fists at Israel to win support from the Pseaudostinian and Islamic masses in a modern battle for Islamic public opinion between Shi'a and Sunni extremists to demonstrate who is best qualified to become the "true leader of the coming restored Islamic Caliphate"... and based upon Fatah's (and the Sunni Brotherhood's failure), Iran is winning the PR war.

But if the quietists from Iraq ever come to power and subdue the Iranian regime, it is highly likely that the Shi'a will stop playing this stupid extremist expansionist game as the threat from Osama in the North is very likely to distract them (fighting a two from war is never smart) for quite a while, especially as the USA will likely withdraw from the region entirely in another few years.

The Pagan Temple said...

The US will never entirely withdraw from the region. No matter how badly we want to leave, somebody will reach out and drag us right back in. There will always be some kind of presence, especially in the Persian Gulf. In fact, that's one of the very few areas of American military presence where you can say there is some rational justification for it. That and maybe the Philippines.

FJ said...

The Philippines?

We don't have any presence in the Philippines, do we? They closed Subic back when Mt. Punatubo blew.

white rabbit said...

'Pseudostinians' is an odious little sneer and says more about the commenter than any aspect of reality. It would be nice not to hear it again.

A bit off topic as regards the post too...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

White Rabbit has it down, this thread has drifted (once again) well off the subject matter at hand.

Thanks for that FJ...

-

Pathetic? No, that'll be this fit of pique you're having when your ideas are taken apart and investigated, you need more than sound bites to make policy and that's all you offer with no backing behind them.

I dealt with your silly ideas, you've given them too much weight, which is understandable but you need a greater understanding of what is at hand.

Thanks for that treacle.

The Pagan Temple said...

FJ-

My mistake. Shows you how behind the times I am. I thought we always had a base there. Oh well, I'm right in principle. Aside from the Persian Gulf, we have no real reason to be in most other areas where we are stationed. We have a vital interest in protecting the shipping of the Persian Gulf, for example. I guess you can make an argument for Korea, but I think we could and probably should phase out troops out of there too, not immediately, but gradually, while working with the Chinese to come to some kind of final peace settlement.

Troops in Japan and Europe are absolutely unnecessary. It's nothing but a big giant money laundering operation in reverse.

Gert said...

'Pseudostinians' is a term used to indicate the user believes the Palestinian people don't exist and were mere Arab interlopers who arrived in Palestine after the modern nation state of Israel came into being, needless to say to destroy the latter and 'steal' its land. An entire generation of Americans was brought up to believe that, as part of the Hasbara sonder truppen effort.

It's the kind of inversion that makes the Flat Earth society look like a bunch of sincere truth seekers. Sadly, if the Zionist gangster state gets its way, they'll have erased all memory of any Palestinian presence, in parts they're well on their way to achieve that.

But I don't believe they'll achieve it: the world has no appetite for mass transfer, no matter how much the Blight unto the Nations manages to shine the light away from its expansionism (Iraq, now Iran and the War on Global Teggog). Let the Palestinians hang in there, in their Bantustans and 10 or 20 years from now all they may have to do is march on Tel Aviv or J'sem.

FJ said...

Kill the UN welfare for terrorist program commonly known as UNRWA and the Pseudostinian's would disappear into the slums of Cairo, Lebanon and Jordan and never be heard from again... problem solved.

Continue to fund UNWRA and you continue to have 2.5 jobless Arabs sitting in welfare camps with nothing to do but build rockets and launch them into Israel.

What started as a relief effort to temporarily aid ~700k displaced Arabs has become a permanent way of life... as the refugee's children and children's children have all taken to collecting welfare and hating Israel.

And THAT's how they acquired the name Pseudostinians, as they are entirely an artificial UN creation.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

And this is connected to Britain's Summer of rage how?

Gert said...

FJ:

"What started as a relief effort to temporarily aid ~700k displaced Arabs has become a permanent way of life... as the refugee's children and children's children have all taken to collecting welfare and hating Israel."

Yeah, too bad these people didn't just stop reproducing altogether, eh? That definitely would have been the end of the "Palestinian question".

"[...] have all taken to collecting welfare and hating Israel."

If only they taken up crochet, macramé or philately, huh? No, instead, for no reason at all, they decided to take up 'hating Israel'. Bloody darkish fools! Why couldn't they just have followed 'the plan' and politely have made way for the European Ashkenazim is beyond me...

Give me one good reason why they should not hate Israel?

Can you name me one case in history (just one, no more) were the occupiers ended up being loved (or even accepted) by the occupied?

After having expected to be met with flowers and candy by the Iraqis as liberators, a long and arduous campaign of hearts and minds, I still don't see great Iraqi love for US/UK troops.

FJ, for someone whose clearly read a few things and is capable of critical thought, aren't you rather slavishly towing the old Hasbara lines that seem so popular in the blog clusters you're part of? Is 'Israel-First' not something that in so many deeply conservative US circles seems to be imbibed at the point of breastfeeding?

Daniel:

It isn't. We're just meandering, OK? Meander withus if you like.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

No thanks, too much past meandering...

Gert said...

"Kill the UN welfare for terrorist program commonly known as UNRWA and the Pseudostinian's would disappear into the slums of Cairo, Lebanon and Jordan and never be heard from again... problem solved."

It just doesn't work that way: the 'connection to the soil', irrational as it might be, doesn't just dissipate upon displacement, rather the opposite: 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'. Even if the Zionutzis managed to cleanse Eretz Yisrael of the last Palestinian, tarmacked over the remains of their physical presence, the Palestinian Diaspora would still be a constant (and possibly painful) thorn in their side.

Israel would be looking over its shoulder for all of eternity.

FJ said...

Yeah, too bad these people didn't just stop reproducing altogether, eh? That definitely would have been the end of the "Palestinian question".

No. The real question is, "Why didn't the Arab governments surrounding Israel absorb the Palestinian refugee's as Israel did the Jewish refugees? And the real answer is, "Becuase the stupid Europeans were willing to pay for their permanent upkeep and maintenance."

If only they taken up crochet, macramé or philately, huh? No, instead, for no reason at all, they decided to take up 'hating Israel'. Bloody darkish fools! Why couldn't they just have followed 'the plan' and politely have made way for the European Ashkenazim is beyond me...

Had the Jewish refugee's from Arab lands all been put into camps and treated like sh*t by their "host" nation Israel, I'm sure THEY would all be plotting the violent overthrow of THEIR home countries, too!

Give me one good reason why they should not hate Israel?

Give me one good reason why they shouldn't hate the Arab governments that restricted their lives to concentration/refugee camps in Lebannon, Jordan and Egypt instead of assimilating them? The only reason is that the stupid Americans and Europeans are paying for the maintenance of a civilian militia (Fatah/Hamas) that will eventually be used to overthrow the Jews in the near future.

Can you name me one case in history (just one, no more) were the occupiers ended up being loved (or even accepted) by the occupied?

Rome - the rape of the Sabine Women. Albany - the Last of the Mohicans. As long as rights of intermarriage are offered and accepted, the occupied will eventually be assimilated. That's why Osama bin Laden is so successful. He marries into 4 families at a time... as do all his kids.

I still don't see great Iraqi love for US/UK troops.

I agree. No rights of "intermarriage"... the model is "flawed". Read Plato's "Statesman"

STRANGER: Where this divine bond exists there is no difficulty in imagining, or when you have imagined, in creating the other bonds, which are human only.

YOUNG SOCRATES: How is that, and what bonds do you mean?

STRANGER: Rights of intermarriage, and ties which are formed between States by giving and taking children in marriage, or between individuals by private betrothals and espousals. For most persons form marriage connexions without due regard to what is best for the procreation of children.

YOUNG SOCRATES: In what way?

STRANGER: They seek after wealth and power, which in matrimony are objects not worthy even of a serious censure.

YOUNG SOCRATES: There is no need to consider them at all.

STRANGER: More reason is there to consider the practice of those who make family their chief aim, and to indicate their error.

YOUNG SOCRATES: Quite true.

STRANGER: They act on no true principle at all; they seek their ease and receive with open arms those who are like themselves, and hate those who are unlike them, being too much influenced by feelings of dislike.

YOUNG SOCRATES: How so?

STRANGER: The quiet orderly class seek for natures like their own, and as far as they can they marry and give in marriage exclusively in this class, and the courageous do the same; they seek natures like their own, whereas they should both do precisely the opposite.

YOUNG SOCRATES: How and why is that?

STRANGER: Because courage, when untempered by the gentler nature during many generations, may at first bloom and strengthen, but at last bursts forth into downright madness.

YOUNG SOCRATES: Like enough.

STRANGER: And then, again, the soul which is over-full of modesty and has no element of courage in many successive generations, is apt to grow too indolent, and at last to become utterly paralyzed and useless.

YOUNG SOCRATES: That, again, is quite likely.

STRANGER: It was of these bonds I said that there would be no difficulty in creating them, if only both classes originally held the same opinion about the honourable and good;—indeed, in this single work, the whole process of royal weaving is comprised—never to allow temperate natures to be separated from the brave, but to weave them together, like the warp and the woof, by common sentiments and honours and reputation, and by the giving of pledges to one another; and out of them forming one smooth and even web, to entrust to them the offices of State.


---

FJ, for someone whose clearly read a few things and is capable of critical thought, aren't you rather slavishly towing the old Hasbara lines that seem so popular in the blog clusters you're part of?

Since these are my own thoughts on the matter and haven't a clue as to what the "old Hasbara lines" were, how can I possibly be "toeing" them.

FJ said...

It just doesn't work that way: the 'connection to the soil', irrational as it might be, doesn't just dissipate upon displacement, rather the opposite: 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'. Even if the Zionutzis managed to cleanse Eretz Yisrael of the last Palestinian, tarmacked over the remains of their physical presence, the Palestinian Diaspora would still be a constant (and possibly painful) thorn in their side.

Israel would be looking over its shoulder for all of eternity.


A man busy earniing a living for his family doesn't have time to do much more than "pine for the fjords". A man sitting around in a concentration camp collecting welfare on the other hand... is a MUCH more imminent threat.

And as I've said before, there are no indigenous autochthonous people. You can't sew the teeth of the dragon in Thebes and expect warriors to spring from the soil.

Gert said...

FJ:

Let me start with your last point:

And as I've said before, there are no indigenous autochthonous people.

Totally agreed. But. There is a big but, perhaps more apparent in the context of this discussion than in any other. Despite the Jewish People having been removed from their ancestral lands for more than a 120 generations they claim to crave a return to Zion, carried over from one generation to the next, both orally and in elaborate scholarly writings.

The purpose of the state of Israel is to ensure that Yehudi from Brooklyn, undoubtedly the fine product of a long line of European/American Jewry, can fly to Tel Aviv and will be granted citizenship automatically and might find himself taking up residence in, say Sderot (of all places).

In contrast, say Ahmed, say born in 1920, say born in what is now Sderot, is refused entry and citizenship on the mere basis that he is Palestinian. To me Ahmed doesn't have to prove he's autochthonous to the region or comes from a long line of Palestinians: all he has to prove is that he owned his house and land or that he leased or rented it legally at the time of his expulsion.

No. The real question is, "Why didn't the Arab governments surrounding Israel absorb the Palestinian refugee's as Israel did the Jewish refugees? And the real answer is, "Becuase the stupid Europeans were willing to pay for their permanent upkeep and maintenance."

Expecting the surrounding Arab countries to absorb the displaced Arabs is simply asking for more ethnic cleansing elsewhere:

'Syldavia' invades 'Muldonistan' and unceremoniously dumps all 'Muldonistonians' across the border into 'Nonstopistan', in the knowledge that the 'Muldonistonians' will be absorbed by their brethren of 'Nonstopistan'. Without some mechanism to prevent 'humane' ethnic cleansing states would have no compunction about going the resources and land of this state or that state (it's always about theft of land and/or resources).

The "stupid Europeans" provided humanitarian aid, in part because no one expected this crisis to continue for 60 years. The REAL stupidity was to believe that partitioning would work (there are almost no examples of it working elsewhere), that the Arabs would 'play nice and share' or that Zionism would stop at 1948 borders.

Had the Jewish refugee's from Arab lands all been put into camps and treated like sh*t by their "host" nation Israel, I'm sure THEY would all be plotting the violent overthrow of THEIR home countries, too!

Here you're creating ridiculous 'equivalence': Israel is specifically brought into life to be a homeland for all Jews. On a few occasions they've shown themselves pretty desperate for 'new Israelis', like when they absorbed a million Russian Jews. Treating 'Jewish refugees' badly was therefore never on the cards.

As long as rights of intermarriage are offered and accepted, the occupied will eventually be assimilated.

Accepted but irrelevant in this context: Jews are stricter (even stricter than Muslims) about inter-marriage. Even in a one state solution (into which the Israelis are in my view sleep walking - although 'massive car crash in slow motion' is probably a better analogy) Arabs and Jewish Israelis will remain separate populations.

FJ said...

You forget one thing, Gert. A war was fought. The Arabs lost. You don't get free do-overs just because Achmed doesn't want to keep kosher. If the Arabs had won the war, I wouldn't be trying to give the land back to the freakin' Jews.

FJ said...

In other words, possession is 9/10ths the law, and the Arabs never had possession. The Brits did. You've got a problem with Jews occupying Israel? Look into the mirror as to the source of your problem...

As for the Israeli 2,000 year old claims I say to them, either hold onto your land or shut the 'f up.

Every war has its' "pretext". And only an idiot cares about "justice" in the dispute. Might makes right. So it has always been, and so it will always be. It ain't fair. It "just is".

I'm a big Thrasymachus fan (Plato, "Republic"). Just-is is nothing but the interest of the stronger.

The Pagan Temple said...

I dig justice as much as the next guy, but justice is the last thing being served by this constant never-ending war. Plus, the Jews did not win A war, they won several. Achmed should have got the fucking message by now. Determined little fucker ain't he?

Me, I am solidly behind the Jews having their own secure and prosperous homeland where they don't have to worry about Adolf, Nicolas, or Achmed deciding they all need to be collectively punished for the murder of Christ (wink, wink), or because Achmed's grandfather lost a four room house in a town Achmed has never set foot in or laid eyes on.

white rabbit said...

The Pagan Temple asks (of Ahmed)'Determined little fucker ain't he?'

You've got it in one!!!

The Zionist dream that the Palestinians will ever give up is delusive. And why should they? (Okay - don't bother trying to answer that)

Rough old world, ain't it - you ethnically cleanse, dispossess, brutalise and occupy a people and they don't stop complaining (and resisting).

How inconvenient of them...

Now about the British summer of discontent...

FJ said...

Indeed. And all that needs to happen now is to crush the dissenters like the vermin they are. And THAT comment includes the whiney Brits.

white rabbit said...

FJ - Planning the Fourth Reich are we???

And no doubt this time no more Mr Nice Guy.

Hmmmm...

FJ said...

Nope. Averting one.

If you are planning to get violent outside the beerhall on the street, you shouldn't be surprised if you end up on the receiving end of a little violence yourself, Adolf.

I believe in a zero tolerance policy for violent revolutionaries.

Gert said...

FJ:

In essence you're whitewashing any future Arab efforts to violently overthrow Israel, as long as they're successful in their bid.

No, even you wouldn't go as far as that, in fact you'd be outraged, or at least feign outrage.

This whole creation of Israel and its unabated expansionism created enormous instability in the region and a likely cause for future wars, lost or won. A world war even... But, hey, 'Might makes Right', so who cares, eh? You don't have to be a peacenik to balk at that.

Pagan:

"I dig justice as much as the next guy, but justice is the last thing being served by this constant never-ending war."

Really??? How is justice served by continuous colonisation of what's left of Palestine? Does it stop rockets? Does it in any, way, shape or form improve Israel's security? Does it need that land when much of Israel proper is empty space? Does farming the Golan Heights improve its security?

Since as there are Israelite archaeological remains scattered throughout the ME, including in South Lebanon, would it justify creating an Israel from the river to the other river?

"Achmed should have got the fucking message by now. Determined little fucker ain't he?"

Bit of a racist little fucker, aren't you? What makes you think he should give up any reasonable claims to the land? Because according to little racist mental midgets like you he 'should have gotten the message by now'?

"Me, I am solidly behind the Jews having their own secure and prosperous homeland where they don't have to worry about Adolf, Nicolas, or Achmed deciding they all need to be collectively punished for the murder of Christ (wink, wink), or because Achmed's grandfather lost a four room house in a town Achmed has never set foot in or laid eyes on."

When you're in your flippant mode, you show just what a troll you are. Four or five blatant falsehoods for the price of one.

Only a third of WW Jewry lives in Israel. Clearly the other two thirds aren't too bothered about "Adolf, Nicolas, or Achmed". Considering the ME is a dangerous place, taking refuge there might not be Yehudi from Brooklyn's greatest survival strategy. Motives for Jews to make Alya vary hugely.

One of Ahmed problems, whether he's 'set foot in or laid eyes on' whatever, is that he's been confined to living in refugee camps for 60 or 40 years. Heaven forbid this would happen to the Most Worthy of all the World's Citizens: Americans. Cos' then we'd hear no end about the horrendous injustice. But Arabs, who the fuck cares, huh?

And who is meeting out the collective punishment here and now? Arabs? Who are victims of a neo-colonial project, supported by the powers that were and now the powers that are? Do you think the Israelis could carry on their colonisation without the support of the US and its poodle, the EU? Is Hamas responsible for this colonisation?

3 billion (3,000,000,000) USD per year the US spends on Israel: every one of it US tax dollars. Used in part to expropriate Palestinian land, houses, farms, orchards and the like. And all you can say is: 'fine, at least they don't have to worry about Adolf anymore'?

Do you realise that anti-Semitism was also rather rife in the US in the thirties? That until the seventies understanding and knowledge of the Holocaust was rather scant in your country, until Hollywood started making a number of rather schmalzy productions about it? That without a massive Hasbara effort, most Americans would probably not be able to find Israel on a map?

How old are you? Thirteen? You "dig justice"? I doubt if you'd recognise the concept if it came creeping out of your nose...

Here, I'll give you a hand: learn how to be an Israel apologist in 4 easy lessons.

The Pagan Temple said...

Holy fucking shit Gert where do you meet these fucking people? I couldn't finiosh that crap, I feel like I have to take a shower now. Oh well, at least I know where to go if I ever get the urge to pick up some Nazi paraphernialia just for grins. Wow!

FJ said...

In essence you're whitewashing any future Arab efforts to violently overthrow Israel, as long as they're successful in their bid.

That's what war is all about, Gert. Of course if the Pseudostinians ever do win, they'll have to hold it... or they'll have to try again. Only next time around, I wouldn't expect a naive and newly naiscent UN to subsidize them w/UNWRA welfare benefits while they sit in camps licking their wounds, re-arming and breeding the next generation of terrorists/ enemy combatants.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Pagan:

You do know that calling people Hitler and a Nazi is a sure fire way of losing the argument and is a sign that the cause is lost?

It's not needed really is it?

FJ:

"I believe in a zero tolerance policy for violent revolutionaries."

"And all that needs to happen now is to crush the dissenters like the vermin they are."

You sound like a violent revoltionary that you think deserve zero tolerance? Your thinking is confused and polarised. Why?

The Pagan Temple said...

Daniel-

Yeah, it might be a bit of hyperbole there, but its not too far off the mark. It didn't take me long to figure out Israel is supposedly the biggest evil in the world today.

You don't have to read much of it to draw that conclusion, and I am not even one of these people who automatically knee-jerk the opinion that Israel can never do any wrong.

I can only read so much of that stuff. I had to get out of there, as I knew it was only a matter of time before I ran into the Bilderbergs, Illuminati, the Rothschildes, etc.

FJ said...

So Danny, do you really enjoy decontextualizing disparate statements and trying to make strawman arguments out of them?

You sound like a violent revoltionary that you think deserve zero tolerance? Your thinking is confused and polarised. Why?

The cornfuzed "thinker" (*giggle giggle*) is obviously you.

Violence contemplated, spoken and yet unacted upon is not "violence". ACT upon those violent thoughts as these Brit hooligans are intending and the Pseudostinian terrorists frequently do (Can you say, "Let's launch rockets to Israel?"), and you deserve to be CRUSHED like vermin.

Still cornfuzed? Or are you still "contemplating" (giggle giggle*) establsihing a Thought Crime Division at the Precrime Enforcement Unit along with the other Stalinists?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Pagan:

A bit? Loads, I've read what is here and nothing smells like Nazi I'm afraid, I'd ease up on the Nazi based insults, its an argument loser. Nothing has come across as anti-semitic.

FJ:

It's not decontextualizing, it's taking two quotes and using them to illustrate what you often do, one rule for your 'side' and one rule for 'the other'.

Take it on the chin and explain why you can hold both beliefs and justify it please.

Rather than rambling on and giggling like a child.

Over to you.

Here we go...

Gert said...

FJ:

[...] the Pseudostinian terrorists frequently do (Can you say, "Let's launch rockets to Israel?"), and you deserve to be CRUSHED like vermin.

Despite the lofty texts that seem to inspire you, you hold the Palestinians to a ridiculous double standard. There's nothing 'lofty' about that, it's plain old boring and blatantly pro-Zionist. To you Israel can do whatever it wants because 'Might makes Right', but heaven forbid that a relatively small number of Palestinians use homemade, inefficient weapons to try and strike against the occupiers.

Your 'zero-tolerance' on violence then results in a 'crush violence with more violence' stance. It's the macho pose of the powerless (like you personally), who adopt violent fantasies that can never be enacted completely. Even Israel's long and brutal assault hasn't really achieved its stated goals (unless you believe their doublespeak). Perhaps they should have tactically nuked? I think CRUSHING could fall in that category.

Despite the erudition you like to display you're nothing more than an armchair general Zionutzi. Nothing original about that.

FJ said...

Despite the lofty texts that seem to inspire you, you hold the Palestinians to a ridiculous double standard.

I don't hold the Pseudstinians to a double standard. I hold them a single standard. Either "win" or get called a stupid sore loser.

Success is everything and the Pseudostinians have been losing for going on 60 straight years now. Survival of the Fittest.

...and Danny, asked and answered. What part of the word "violence" or the concept of meeting the perpetrators of violence with counter-violence don't you undertsand?

FJ said...

Iapetus had four sons, all Titans. Crafty Prometheus (forethought), Foolish Epimetheus (afterthought), Atlas (rash endurance) and Menoetius (ill-fated force).

To date, the Pseudostinians have rotated their worship of these four brothers, and therefore never achieved success. Should Europe cut off their UNWRA payments, the Pseudostinian Atlas would finally shrug.

Face the fact that the Olympian Jews have defeated them in the Titanomachy.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Olympian Jews?

Ha ha ha.

Where can I buy one?

FJ said...

Try the souvenir counter in the sacred grove of the Eumenides just outside Athens.

The Pagan Temple said...

FJ, I'd like to know what time they ever worshiped Epimetheus or Prometheus either one. I can't think of any time they ever put a whole lot of thought into what they were doing, and they never seem to learn from the past. Ares at his most impulsively brash and headstrong, maybe. Luckily, Athene seems to always be somewhere back in Israel's corner ready to rein in her impetuous brother, as always.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Great and I'll also buy an EPIC CHRIST.

FJ said...

Well, several Pseudostinians split from the "brotherhood" and formed Hamas. They consolidated their power through use of the Intifada. That took foresight and hindsight, as Fatah's zeal to destroy Israel and reunite the caliphate was apparently fading.

And the boys from Al Azhar aren't stupid. As you can see, they've removed all references to their Brotherhood connections from Wikipedia... and even give one the impression of their being "against" the brotherhood.

FJ said...

...and Danny, they don't have any Epic Christ's. They do have Pope Soap-on-a-rope's, but in your case, the rope would be a little superfluous.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'm taking the piss out of your empty phrases rude boy.

Keep 'em coming.

FJ said...

That's them pissing on you, addled brain.

Gert said...

FJ:

"Survival of the Fittest."

Funny how someone who probably rejects Evolutionary Biology (EB) seems to embrace the pseudo-science of Social Darwinism. Not uncommon in how Conservatives see the 'economic struggle' either: 'God made everything but we're the economically fittest'. The phrase [SotF] is often misunderstood to mean 'right of the strongest' but Natural Selection more often than not has nothing to do with actual strength.

With 'survival of the fittest', a phrase that's hopelessly misunderstood by the opponents of EB anyway, Palestinian defeat has nothing to do whatsoever. Post WW II (and even before) the Jewish state had powerful backers, never more so as after 1967 of course.

If having the good fortune of obtaining powerful backing for the creation of a state on someone else's land and civilisation, largely due to a succession of often miraculous lucky breaks counts as an analogy to Natural Selection, then by such reasoning even the more primitive of primates would never have come about.

FJ said...

Someone who probably rejects evolutionary biology? Who would that be, Gert? Social Darwinism is a pseudo-science?

The powerful get to decide who they help and who they don't. If they're really powerful, they sometimes even choose to save their enemies. Ask a Roman in the Coliseum

Nietzsche, "Genealogy of Morals"

As it acquires more power, a community no longer considers the crimes of the single individual so serious, because it no longer is entitled to consider him as dangerous and unsettling for the existence of the totality as much as it did before. The wrongdoer is no longer “outlawed” and thrown out, and the common anger is no longer permitted to vent itself on him without restraint to the same extent as earlier— instead the wrongdoer from now on is carefully protected by the community against this anger, especially from that of the immediately injured person, and is taken into protective custody. The compromise with the anger of those particularly affected by the wrong doing, and thus the effort to localize the case and to avert a wider or even a general participation and unrest, the attempts to find equivalents and to settle the whole business (the compositio), above all the desire, appearing with ever-increasing clarity, to consider every crime as, in some sense or other, capable of being paid off, and thus, at least to a certain extent, to separate the criminal and his crime from each other—those are the characteristics stamped more and more clearly on the further development of criminal law. If the power and the self-confidence of a community keep growing, the criminal law also grows constantly milder. Every weakening and deeper jeopardizing of the community brings its harsher forms of criminal law to light once again. The “creditor” has always became proportionally more humane as he has become richer. Finally the amount of his wealth even becomes measured by how much damage he can sustain without suffering from it. It would not be impossible to imagine a society with a consciousness of its own power which allowed itself the most privileged luxury which it can have—letting its criminals go without punishment. “Why should I really bother about my parasites?” it could then say. “May they live and prosper; for that I am still sufficiently strong!” . . . Justice, which started with “Everything is capable of being paid for; everything must be paid off” ends at that point, by shutting its eyes and letting the person incapable of payment go free—it ends, as every good thing on earth ends, by doing away with itself. This self-negation of justice: we know what a beautiful name it calls itself—mercy. It goes without saying that mercy remains the privilege of the most powerful man, or even better, his beyond the law.

FJ said...

Of course, some parasites you just squish like bugs. Why? Because you can.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

You're talking to yourself again rudeboy.

No one cares.

He he.

FJ said...

Sorry Gert, it sounds like Poopsy wants his echo chamber back.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

YEAH!

THAT MUST BE IT!

WORD UP!

FJ said...

You're shouting Poopsy... is it because nobody ever listens to you?

Shouting won't help. Try saying something 'pertinent' for a change.

Gert said...

FJ:

Social Darwinism is pseudo-science in the sense that 'Social Evolution' is at best based on a poor analogy with the evolution of species. It pulls out of context and distorts almost beyond meaning concepts like 'survival of the fittest' and then tries to retrofit them to the 'evolution' of human societies, which superficially speaking at least appear involved in a 'Darwinian struggle'.

But how species arise from others and why some survive and others not has little to do with 'survival of the fittest' in the narrow sense of the word ('survival of the strongest', 'right of the strongest').

There is a rather shallow analogy between how societies develop and intra-species competition between individual members of predatory higher animals. But in reality different mechanisms are at work.

The most 'successful' species are in many respects the microbiological ones: in total they make up some 80 % of the earths biomass, outnumbering all other species by far. But we wouldn't associate a bacterium with 'strength'.

Most of the ideas that make up 'Social Darwinism' were around well before Darwin arrived at his 'dangerous idea'.

I made the point because most who accept a Divine Order (like you do), reject EB yet many of you accept SD.

Gert said...

I suppose that one could construct a theory (or theories) of 'Social Evolution' (the evolution of societies), based on simple hypotheses of underlying mechanisms (drivers) but it would be almost impossible to empirically test it: you can't run societies in a laboratory in controlled conditions to allow verification of the starting hypotheses.

Philosophy is interesting but we have to accept its limitations.

FJ said...

You are correct, empirical science (practical reason) is an extremely limited tool for testing evolutionary hypothesis. That's why philosopher's tend to favor dialectic (pure reason), but even that tool has it's limits unless one has the skill required to proceed by induction to first principle's as well as correct deduction from true premises. And I'll admit, I haven't the skill in manipulating absolutes demonstrated in Plato's "Parmenides" dialogue to perform induction, but I can sometimes successfully proceed deductively.

But regardless, "social" systems in the vast majority of non-human species (ie - bees, ants) were all at least at one time partially based upon "chemical" forms of communication. Pheromones and scents. Especially when it came to mating behaviors and their corresponding cues.

Now in the early twentieth century Freud and his good friend and nose-specialist Wilhelm Fleiss speculated that somewhere in man's distant past, whether by genetic chance or radiation exposure or the simple act of standing "upright", man's "nose" got partially genetically cut off from the rest of his brain, requiring him to rely more heavily upon visual and auditory clues for his survival. And given that Freud spent many years performing comparative anatomy, I tend to believe him. And as when a man handicapped in one sense grows to rely more heavily upon those not so limitted... the part of the brain previously used for scent processing these intra-species "social signals" was thereafter dedicated to developing and sorting out some nuovo-critical visual and auditory (now expanded language) signals out.

And several natural reproductive strategies also influenced human social systems. Western tribes became largely exogamous, Eastern tribes more endogamous.

Both survival strategies were suitable to different geographic and cultural environments. These became documented almost universally throughout differing human societies in the form of "totems" and "taboos".

So, I'll admit that the term, survival of the "strongest" is perhaps inferior to that of "fittest". But I would prefer to believe that latter concept is perfectly amenable to the Nietzschean concept that states that everything in the universe strives to achieve one end. Power. And the most successful human societies tend to be those that "have it".

Although the rise of Christianity and Fall of Rome goes to show that sometimes being physically weak and compensating through successful evolution into higher or more paradoxical forms of social structures and means of governance, can be a real strength.

FJ said...

It seems that the more "physically constrained" one becomes in being able to react to one's adversaries breeds a particularly "clever" animal. Just look at the Ashkenazi's IQ in comparison with your typical Ethiopian Olympian runner.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

This isn't real.

FJ said...

Are you sure it isn't you that's phony?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'm as real as they come Mr. Verbose.

FJ said...

So you say.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Yep, I do.

FJ said...

That makes 1 uninformed opinion.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

No, wrong again.

Gert said...

FJ:

On Freud and the "nose theory":

That's a typical example of a theory based on reason alone but empirically neither verifiable nor dismissible. Today we'd call it "Evolutionary Psychology". Considering how easy it is to construct an entirely bogus theory in that field, I'm not terribly inclined to buy. Interesting to speculate though.

Interesting question is also whether such theories are really built on pure reason alone? Theories that cannot be formulated using a homogeneous and logically verified formalism? Using concepts with inherent fuzziness?

Einstein's Relativity was based on pure reason and was of course later empirically verified. But if it hadn't been, would it be in the same class as say, an Evolutionary Psychology theory on... I dunno, 'male philandering'?

On IQ:

I've worked using statistical empirical techniques like F.E.D. most of my professional life. It makes me naturally sceptical to response measures like IQ. Had I suggested to my team leaders to conduct controlled experiments on something as hard to define as 'human intelligence' and using such a crude measuring response as IQ, they'd have laughed me out of the lab. Not so in the field of Psychology.

I believe IQ is a culturally biased technique and therefore self-fulfilling: your average Ashkenazi may show higher IQ but your average Ethiopian is a better runner: the fact that this seems to correspond to their relative habitats (which allegedly formed the elusive 'intelligence') only confirms what we already knew.

Inevitably IQ studies are used to prove 'they' are 'dumb' and 'we' are 'smart'.

On Nietzsche:

But I would prefer to believe that latter concept is perfectly amenable to the Nietzschean concept that states that everything in the universe strives to achieve one end. Power. And the most successful human societies tend to be those that "have it".

N. (Will to Power) is interesting but quite reductionist, IMHO. You seem to look only at outcomes, not intentions or mechanisms. The principle of 'will to power' is easy enough to understand and not easy to dismiss. Isn't it so though that in humans traits like empathy and cooperativeness are great contributors to our 'success' as a species? Summing the various human drivers up and then concluding: 'it's all down to will to power' seems far too crude to me. N. was, incidentally, influenced by a number of precursor theories to Darwin, several of those over-emphasised concepts like 'strength'. In Darwinian theory 'survival' and 'fitness' can come from many situations and traits that no one would normally associate with 'strength' or even 'speed'. These early theorist were definitely anthropomorphising, at least to some degree.

FJ said...

I agree that many theories base upon pure reason are inherently unfalsifyable and therefore scientifically unverifyiable. This does not mean they are not useful. Lets take Freud's "nose theory" as an example. Before Freud became a famous psychoanalyst, he spent several years dissecting human and primate brains and tracing and comparing neural pathways. He noticed a genetic asymmetry in humans in the frontal cortex area of the brain that wasn't being used (neurally disconnected from) for "sensory" (smell) data processing... it appeared from human case files in which damage was documented (either by disease or physical trauma) to be related to higher brain functions related to advanced planning. This asymmetry was not present in the brains of other primates. Freud began to search for a possible cause that made sense, from a perspective of pure reason.

Now, how is this theory in any way useful. Well, it is useful to think of neural pathways as a "dynamic" rather than a static organism that evolves over time. Human infants have well documented behavioral stages, and are not born capable of exhibitting a full range of human emotions. It takes some time for the proper neural connections to be formed, and then for the axons to myelinate with subsequent use. It was a revolutionary "brain theory" for its' day.

More later...

FJ said...

Theories that cannot be formulated using a homogeneous and logically verified formalism? Using concepts with inherent fuzziness?


SOCRATES: And while he has true opinion about that which the other knows, he will be just as good a guide if he thinks the truth, as he who knows the truth?

MENO: Exactly.

SOCRATES: Then true opinion is as good a guide to correct action as knowledge; and that was the point which we omitted in our speculation about the nature of virtue, when we said that knowledge only is the guide of right action; whereas there is also right opinion.

MENO: True.

SOCRATES: Then right opinion is not less useful than knowledge?

MENO: The difference, Socrates, is only that he who has knowledge will always be right; but he who has right opinion will sometimes be right, and sometimes not.

SOCRATES: What do you mean? Can he be wrong who has right opinion, so long as he has right opinion?

MENO: I admit the cogency of your argument, and therefore, Socrates, I wonder that knowledge should be preferred to right opinion—or why they should ever differ.

SOCRATES: And shall I explain this wonder to you?

MENO: Do tell me.

SOCRATES: You would not wonder if you had ever observed the images of Daedalus (Compare Euthyphro); but perhaps you have not got them in your country?

MENO: What have they to do with the question?

SOCRATES: Because they require to be fastened in order to keep them, and if they are not fastened they will play truant and run away.

MENO: Well, what of that?

SOCRATES: I mean to say that they are not very valuable possessions if they are at liberty, for they will walk off like runaway slaves; but when fastened, they are of great value, for they are really beautiful works of art. Now this is an illustration of the nature of true opinions: while they abide with us they are beautiful and fruitful, but they run away out of the human soul, and do not remain long, and therefore they are not of much value until they are fastened by the tie of the cause; and this fastening of them, friend Meno, is recollection, as you and I have agreed to call it. But when they are bound, in the first place, they have the nature of knowledge; and, in the second place, they are abiding. And this is why knowledge is more honourable and excellent than true opinion, because fastened by a chain.

MENO: What you are saying, Socrates, seems to be very like the truth.

SOCRATES: I too speak rather in ignorance; I only conjecture. And yet that knowledge differs from true opinion is no matter of conjecture with me. There are not many things which I profess to know, but this is most certainly one of them.

Exactly. Plato "Meno"

FJ said...

SOCRATES: I will explain. If a man knew the way to Larisa, or anywhere else, and went to the place and led others thither, would he not be a right and good guide?

MENO: Certainly.

SOCRATES: And a person who had a right opinion about the way, but had never been and did not know, might be a good guide also, might he not?

MENO: Certainly.

SOCRATES: And while he has true opinion about that which the other knows, he will be just as good a guide if he thinks the truth, as he who knows the truth?

MENO: Exactly.


A man could certainly make use of a map drawn by someone who had right opinion as to how to get there. One man who used Freud's map was Herbert Marcuse, who unfortunately through in a little "Marx" to sweeten the pot. Freud had tremendous influence on the Frankfurt School.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

And this has what to do with "Britain: Preparing For a Summer of Rage"?

FJ said...

Who give a flyin' F, Mr Potato Head?

This is simply one simplistic reductionist's digression into exposing the powerlessness of Britains workers which is the likely 'cause' of their rage. They've obviously ceded too much control and power over their affairs to the British government and must now petition for its' return.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Clearly you know you're well off topic and your precis of what UK workers feel is also far off the mark.

Again.

Is the toilet the only thing you hit?

FJ said...

LOL! If these lazy-assed so-called "workers" are doing anything more than trying to exert a "will to power" then I'm a limp wristed English actor.

btw - Trying to keep this thread on topic is off-topic. Please take it to the thread dealing w/off-topic remarks.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Again, great comment to show:

a/you know nothing about the UK

b/you have taken this thread off topic

Keep up the terrible work.

Gert said...

Daniel:

If anybody has taken this thread off topic it's both of us (FJ and me). Why does it bother you?

Gert said...

FJ:

In short Freud's 'nose theory' could be right and it could be wrong. But there's no way of verifying that either way by means of direct observation.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Gert:

Two reasons...

1) Many threads here get dragged round to FJ's hot button issues and then degenrate into a ranting space for his extremist beliefs.

2) Being 'on-topic' is an argument FJ has thrown around in the past, so best not to feed the troll.

Just a thought.

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