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Author Topic: The Political Thread  (Read 1248990 times)

Funt Solo

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14580 on: 04 October, 2018, 07:02:26 PM »
so like you don't believe in unicorns?

It's Scotland's national animal.

(I'm not sure why we got a mythical one.  We could've gone with a hedgehog.)
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IndigoPrime

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14581 on: 04 October, 2018, 07:11:52 PM »
And so long as we're not hurting each other, why should we give a toss about how each of us lives our lives?
I agree entirely with you. The problem is, not everyone does. So what happens when there's discrimination in this society? And therein lies the problem.

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14582 on: 04 October, 2018, 07:13:08 PM »
I think what I believe in is a snidge more common than unicorns. But we have genetic engineering these days, so I guess you never know...
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The Legendary Shark

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14583 on: 04 October, 2018, 09:05:59 PM »

Lawfully, people have every right to discriminate. Now, before you hit the roof... :D

We all discriminate. I discriminate against expensive shops, because I'm skint, I discriminate against thieves, because I don't want to be robbed, I discriminate against bullies, because I don't want to get my head stove in, I discriminate for pretty girls, because I want to get laid, I discriminate against my mother, because I don't want to eff and blind in front of her. Discrimination is simply treating some people differently, for whatever reason. But I suspect this isn't what you mean.

If a shopkeeper decides not so serve a person, for whatever reason, there's no crime there. It's immoral, I'd venture, in the case of cultural, racial or religious reasons, but not actually unlawful. In such cases, other shopkeepers might take advantage of extra customers being available or new shops open. Trade is and always has been a voluntary arrangement. To refuse a trade can be practical, in the case of a known swindler, immoral, in the case of persecuting someone different, or just plain bad business.

But, hold that thought for a digression, an idea as to how discrimination can work for the good of society. Imagine that things have gone way too far and the police, now operating under a higher moral code stressing non-violence, have no right to physically arrest a suspect (not a criminal caught in a violent act where use of force would be permissible) and force them into court. Oh dear. But we have tools for dealing with suspects who refuse to submit to a Lawful court. The choice; voluntarily go to court or refuse. Go to court, examine the evidence, discover the Law and apply a solution. Don't go, all your accounts will be frozen and your name will be put on a national database to which all reputable businesses subscribe. No business will hire you. No business will serve you; no landlord, no shopkeeper, no cab company, no train service or airline, no restaurant or roadside burger van, no publican, no tobacconist, no Mighty One. You might find a few dives to take you in, a few charities or parasites to feed you and the hospitals turn none away but, apart from that, you'll be outside of all society's privileges until you turn yourself in. In this country, we don't like people who run from their responsibilities. You'll be almost universally discriminated against. Now, you coming, or not?

Discrimination can be a powerful tool for good and ill and is not always either bad or evil. It is the role of us all, and of schools in particular, to educate away as many reasons to discriminate as possible. If this can be achieved, discrimination will be a powerful tool in maintaining social order from the ground up. But I suspect this isn't what you mean, either.

I suspect you mean violent discrimination. In such a case the word "discrimination" would be secondary to the word "violent." Initiation of violence is the root crime, the excuses for doing so being less relevant. You can want to hurt somebody all you like, it's your brain so you can do what you want in it, but if you initiate actual violence against another person, that's the crime. Hate speech? I wouldn't allow it on my property and I think it's irresponsible, sub-human and dangerous, but a mouth is private property too, and so is a voice. There's nothing Unlawful about it. But if I listen to that hatemonger and go off and beat another person up - that's on me. "If I told you to stick your finger in the fire, would you do it?" "I was just following orders," is no excuse. Unless he actually hurt someone, the hatemonger would remain free. By punishing actual criminal and not the orator we reinforce the concept of personal responsibility and demonstrate the folly of accepting Unlawful orders. From anyone.

Which leads me on to the worst kind of discrimination, gulags and gas chambers. Now, I suppose it's possible, in a free world, for a murderous faction to rise up and inflict a genocide by force but by that time the society is already broken. Education has failed. Economies have failed. Courts have failed. The media has failed. Law has failed. But, at the absolute very least, the genocide would be plainly unlawful.

Now, you know what I'm going to say next. It's inevitable. Coercive government has it within its magic powers to discriminate indiscriminately and make it legal. And all the statists believe it has this right, often even the victims. They may not like it, but its legal and if you disagree with the government, well, maybe there's a list somewhere soon to have your name on it. This genocide is, too, Unlawful - but shrouded in legality.

The power to discriminate, or not, belongs to the individual. If people can be taught to understand it then they will learn how to use it responsibly, even if some don't - and there are always some who don't. Give that power to define and use discrimination away to government, and people like Uncle Joe beam from ear to ear.

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JayzusB.Christ

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14584 on: 06 October, 2018, 04:42:04 PM »
So we have a referendum coming up to remove a blasphemy law that was interested introduced in two thousand and fucking nine.  I lobbied my local TD (that's MP to you Sassenachs) and he didn't even respond.

Let's hope my country remembers that it's not the 15th century any more - though the last two referenda (?) give me a bit of hope.

PS please, Sharky, don't make this yet another discussion about Libertarianism - I'm a different kind of anarchist, as I said before, and believe in using the political tools we've got instead of ignoring them.

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TordelBack

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14585 on: 06 October, 2018, 04:52:51 PM »
But we have tools for dealing with suspects who refuse to submit to a Lawful court. The choice; voluntarily go to court or refuse. Go to court, examine the evidence, discover the Law and apply a solution. Don't go, all your accounts will be frozen and your name will be put on a national database to which all reputable businesses subscribe. No business will hire you. No business will serve you; no landlord, no shopkeeper, no cab company, no train service or airline, no restaurant or roadside burger van, no publican, no tobacconist, no Mighty One. You might find a few dives to take you in, a few charities or parasites to feed you and the hospitals turn none away but, apart from that, you'll be outside of all society's privileges until you turn yourself in. In this country, we don't like people who run from their responsibilities. You'll be almost universally discriminated against. Now, you coming, or not?

So how would this leper,  who by definition has not been convicted of any crime,  other than refusing to submit to the authority of the court,  be identified to society at large?  Big billboards,  news bulletins, maybe spray him with indelible dye when you see him,  or have some kind of universal implant that lights up when you are accused of something?  Not sure I'm seeing the practical improvement over arrest and remand and/or bail. Indeed,  I smell nightmare dystopia.

Also,  if this chap has non-computerised resources,  can't he just pay people to succour him. Or draw on his wealthy family or cronies? Again,  not seeing the improvement.
« Last Edit: 06 October, 2018, 04:54:46 PM by TordelBack »

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14586 on: 06 October, 2018, 08:48:32 PM »
No problem, JBC - we're all looking for a better way, in our own way, anyway...

Tordels, (are you getting my PMs by the way? I never know if you're getting my PMs) excellent questions again.

Firstly, this is an unashamedly Utopian idea. It represents the kind of system I think we should be aiming for. So, in the hypothetical above there would already have been a fundamental shift in society over perhaps a few generations. With voluntary systems in place and a culture of self-ownership established, public attitudes will be different than they are today. With proper education from an early age people will learn about conflict resolution themselves - they'll have learned to rely on themselves and each other first, only going to court as a last resort. The courts, too, would not be as they are today, with the emphasis on repair rather than punishment (which would still be within its purview for cases involving violence).

This idea wouldn't work today, the time isn't right. It's a way of thinking to work towards, I think. If one takes my central premise that government is inherently immoral as true (or at least possibly true), then doesn't it follow that a change in thinking might be in order? And I ask this question with all respect and humility because I don't understand it all, either. Not by a long way. The hardest part is figuring out what we want and charting our way from here to there won't be a picnic either, not even taking into account actually getting there.

But in the spirit of debate and exploration, Tordels raises excellent points concerning public surveillance - a thorny topic even today - and how it can be abused. Governments are increasingly giving themselves the "right" to spy on their citizens, so this is a modern worry.

However, let us Utopianise the Mark of the Beast. In essence, keeping tabs on where everyone is is a logical idea. It's especially useful in emergencies. So, let's assume that everyone who wants one can get some kind of card or number or tracker and some central database, or network of central databases, keeps tabs on the subscribers. There'd be contracts on how the data is displayed; you might want to be on the system for all the world to see, or you might want your location shown to just friends and family, or just the emergency services, or nobody at all. In the case of nobody at all, it might take a court order (or a contractual clause) for the stored data to be examined in case of a criminal investigation. Such a system, used properly and openly, could do a lot of good.

But, what about the Pariah, cast out of all systems? How does one make it preferable to face one's responsibilities rather than run away or cheat? How does creating the Pariah help or harm society? Can the process be abused?

By creating a society worth living in. I don't know. Yes.


TL;DR - Sharky's full of shit. As per.
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Leigh S

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14587 on: 06 October, 2018, 08:56:15 PM »
To be honest Sharky, I see what you are saying, but to get there, as you say would require massive fundamnetal shifts in peoples thinking.

And the only way to get them is to KEEP VOTING for the lesser of two evils, so we slowly, on an evolutionary scale, move peoples mindsets towards your utopian way of thinking.

By refusing to engage in reality as it stands, you are ensuring that such utopias are moving further and further away from ever coming to pass.

I'm sure you would be  the first to agree this utopia can;t come into being overnight, so how is allowing us to shift further away from ANY kind of utopia, allowing people to suffer NOW, an acceptable stance?

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14588 on: 06 October, 2018, 10:50:18 PM »
As Rosa Parks famously said: "Okay, I'll go sit at the back of the bus, I don't want any trouble and what's one person making a stand on an issue as big as this really going to achieve?"

Weirdly, Novaro just did an interview with Socialist Register's Leo Panitch where he covers the idea of libertarian communism and how it both cannot be voted into place, but also - crucially - cannot be achieved outside the existing political system because - and this is the mind-bendingly difficult bit to comprehend - there isn't any alternative to the existing political system on offer.

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14589 on: 07 October, 2018, 12:04:27 AM »

I get what you're saying, Leigh, and it can seem like refusing to engage is doing nothing. It's not easy, though - disengaging from the system is like trying to climb out of a bucket of randy squid.

I'm still not free of it entirely, and probably never will be. But I have to try. I cannot impose my views on anyone else. I just don't think that's right. I, personally, cannot support a coercive system. All I want to do is live my life, do my bit, help whomever I can and hopefully enjoy a few giggles along the way. And so I do.

And bollocks to anyone who tries to stop me, no matter who they are. If anybody wants to negotiate with me then I'm perfectly willing, but I bow to nobody, and nobody bows to me.

Not engaging is more than just not voting - for me at least. It's about not supporting immorality. I can't fight the system on its terms, only on mine. All it really wants is my faith - and it does not deserve that.

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JayzusB.Christ

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14590 on: 07 October, 2018, 06:54:34 AM »

I get what you're saying, Leigh, and it can seem like refusing to engage is doing nothing. It's not easy, though - disengaging from the system is like trying to climb out of a bucket of randy squid.

I'm still not free of it entirely, and probably never will be. But I have to try. I cannot impose my views on anyone else.

So if a referendum arises that could give equality to minority groups (as it did in Ireland a few years ago), the moral thing to do is not impose your view on the bigots who WILL use their vote to keep the queers from getting uppity?

Or a racist far-right candidate is getting popular, and because there shouldn't be governments anyway, the moral thing to do is sit back and let them be elected
as the persecution begins?
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TordelBack

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14591 on: 07 October, 2018, 09:05:55 AM »
It is a tough one, though.  Participation in any system amounts to an endorsement, as anyone who was ever baptised to get into a school or organised a funeral for a relative will attest - churches aren't shy about claiming your lifelong support despite your protestations that you don't believe and were only involved for the briefest of moments because there was no better option.  And we've seen how politicians can cynically  defend the cruel and irrational by reference to "the will of the people", aka putting the blame on democracy itself.

In a way our objections to Sharky's position sound oddly like those attacking Quakers and other conscientious objectors in WWI - "but you're letting the Kaiser win! Don't you care about the fate of the small nations?".

If you really do believe the whole system needs to go, if you believe it's inherently immoral,  it's possible you do need to turn your back on it entirely. You or I may believe that the immediate/medium term consequences of doing that are too terrible to risk, but I can certainly see the argument for following your conscience and hoping your example contributes in some way to the change you seek.

« Last Edit: 07 October, 2018, 09:11:47 AM by TordelBack »

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14592 on: 07 October, 2018, 09:37:23 AM »

In a way our objections to Sharky's position sound oddly like those attacking Quakers and other conscientious objectors in WWI - "but you're letting the Kaiser win! Don't you care about the fate of the small nations?".


Well, not really - putting an X on a ballot slip to advance social equality isn't quite the same as signing up to murder hundreds of innocent conscripts in freezing trenches. 

I absolutely believe the system is immoral and should eventually be scrapped and replaced with something else.  But I also believe that boycotting it entirely just makes it worse. Even Sharky has conceded in the past that voting in a referendum can improve the system whether you agree with its existence or not
« Last Edit: 07 October, 2018, 09:38:56 AM by JayzusB.Christ »
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TordelBack

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14593 on: 07 October, 2018, 10:12:27 AM »
Well, not really - putting an X on a ballot slip to advance social equality isn't quite the same as signing up to murder hundreds of innocent conscripts in freezing trenches. 

Unless you believe that by enabling the system of representative democracy by voting and participating you must take responsibility for the wars and other outrages that system carries out.  In your name, "the people".

Obviously it's simpler to be clear about your moral intentions in the case of referendums with specific aims (and in a country that generally doesn't invade or bomb other coubtries...), but referendums exist as a component in the wider system.  In voting on the same side as the government in the abortion referendum,  weren't we also allowing them to claim our support for their health and housing policies?


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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14594 on: 07 October, 2018, 10:16:36 AM »
JBC, I don't need a referendum to tell me to treat all people Lawfully. In fact, the very idea of holding a referendum to decide whether a minority is valid or not is repulsive to me.

It's up to me, as an individual, to stand up to bigots and bullies and, in my mind at least, the very idea of allowing even the possibility of these people being handed power is the biggest danger of all. There will always be bigots. In a world without government power the damage these people can do is limited, in a world with government power bigots can shred societies into bloody lumps and protect their bullies by putting them into uniform and under protective legislation.

With the systems and technologies available to modern governments, the potential exists for unimaginable damage. I don't think it's worth the risk.

As a wise man often quotes, “Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” Then the illusory power, invented by the priests and perfected by the kings, will finally be gone and we will be free. I always loved that quote - who said it originally?

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