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Member since: Tue Sep 4, 2007, 06:36 AM
Number of posts: 7,804

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Time for me to go, too.

Thank you all for some very interesting discussions. I don't really belong here. I'm not even American!

So Long, American Left... I must turn my attentions back to my own life and my own fair isle...


Later this year Scotland is going to vote on whether or not it will become independent of the UK. If I'm going to engage in any political discussion, really I need to turn my attention to that debate.

Thanks to all of you for listening to my inane ramblings! And to those of you who may think: "THANK FUCK and piss of back to Scotland", well I'm sure you're lovely in real life.




Reposted as OP - There is a deep flaw in the human psyche...

(from a subthread on why the justification for the Iraq War was so widely believed by some and so obviously a pile of stinking bullshit to others...)

There's a switch that usually gets flipped roundabout your 20s when you realise that all the cuddly stories you've been told about how things are are made up by people and the cold hard ground you stand on is something different altogether and you'd better find out what it is.

People who never flip the switch from "I have to believe" to "I guess I'd better find out" reach for solutions that make them happy. If there's never any negative feedback that clearly impacts their own physical comfort or circumstances, they stick with the original thinking. They don't need to behave as if the world's real.

That's where the whole "they hate our freedoms" thing came from. It was the explanation that made them feel good. It had nothing to do with the enemy. They just spurted out whatever qualities they needed the enemy to possess in order to make them feel good about themselves in contrast.

It's an extremely common phenomenon. "I declare that you have whatever personality flaw I need you to have in order to make my behaviour look reasonable!" (It happens right here on this website...)

It's easier for some people than others. It's very easy for people who have never had to sacrifice anything or fight for anything, particularly the rich.

We rail against the self-absorption of the privileged but very often their lives have never in fact provided them with the opportunity to reconsider their mythology.

A lot of us are on this site because circumstances forced us to change our footing. If I wasn't gay I might not ever have developed the critical faculties to sniff out the bullshit that reeks so heavily to us and smells so fragrant to the self-absorbed bullshitters.

But... I'm sure you knew all that...

Have any of the Russian troops in the Ukraine shot anyone yet?

I've been off the radar for a while. Did anyone get it?

Running out of bullshit isn't the same thing as "being shut up".

So, there you go.

IF Bernie Sanders won the nomination as a Dem, WOULD you vote for him?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Capitalism and Socialism have differing aims and cannot really criticise each other...

And the criticisms aimed at each from the other side about how one or other of them "doesn't work" almost always take the form of an attribution of failure to meet a goal that was never part of their avowed purpose in the first place.

"Capitalism doesn't look after the poor". No, it indeed it doesn't, and unsurprisingly so, because that's the stated goal of SOCIALISM. Fans of capitalism will never care that capitalism doesn't look after the poor because as far as they're concerned they don't owe the poor jack shit as it is self-evidently morally wrong to force human beings to be their brother's keepers because it's morally wrong to force people to do things they don't wanna dooooo, no fair, Daddy!.

"Socialism doesn't generate wealth". No shit. That's the stated goal of CAPITALISM. Fans of socialism will never care that socialism doesn't generate as much wealth as capitalism because as far as they're concerned they don't owe the "super-talented with a chance to achieve their LIFE GOOOOOAALS, man" jack shit because they don't regard human reality as a fleshspace video game where your worth is measured in yachts and it is self evidently morally wrong to let people die of starvation in the streets.

Quibbling over the extent to which each system fails to meet the other goals is incidental point scoring. We live in a world where the principles behind the goals of these models are, to some extent, and in most significant arenas of human political experience, mutually exclusive.

You choose a side.

Extreme as the following metaphorically couched dichotomy may seem, the questions stands and requires an answer if you're going to have a consistent and meaningful political philosophy:

What do you want? Lots of yachts and corpses? Or not very many yachts and fewer corpses?

We are political geeks. Yes. We are.

All of us. We have to fess up.

The left is obsessive over points of order in a way that the right isn't. We don't like being told what to think, we like to think that we are establishing consensus on the truth, particularly over great big nebulous fields of cloudy human interpersonal stuff that very often isn't ever going to be amenable to "the truth".

The right aren't bothered about The Truth. Not the way we are. It isn't the axis around which their consciousnesses bend. They want RIGHT and WRONG and those are closely related to the truth, but subtly different and it's very EASY to say that things are RIGHT or WRONG just by standing up in front of a microphone, looking roughly like the people you want to think that you are RIGHT and CLAIM that you are, LOUDLY. It's not at all the same thing as establishing The Truth... which is not a process particularly amenable to standing up in front of microphones.

That's why it's easy for the manipulative freaks in the right wing to snap their fingers and get entire communities to go and vote for them, they know all the creep neurotic twisted thinking that can get people riled up and feeling all hard done by.

Our geekiness is partially our undoing. We spend so much time disagreeing with each other over the most perfect possible understanding of the political landscape that we no longer congregate en masse and just get stuff DONE.

Not that I'm any exception, or anything...


See the Mage of Legitimacy stroke his Beard of Wisdom as he places the Orb of Social Security ON the ancient, cracked slab... lightning flickers dramatically, lending the surroundings a serious, politically charged sort of air and the faces of dispossessed children dance expressionlessly and languidly in the Orb...

FLASH! MY HEAVENS! The Orb comes alive, athrob with a golden, eldritch aura of POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE! Sparkling, aetheric embers of experienced perspective and attention to context glitter and cavort in arcane spirals about the curves of spooky, mysterious, slightly-difficult-to-understand-in-some-slightly-awkward-sort-of-way Orb, as if oozing of their own accord... The children's faces are alive and talking! They need stuff like food and shoes! They have ordinary, prosaic needs like other living organisms all over the planet! WHO KNEW?!??!? The Mage's eyes gleam with glittery political magic knowledge that is beyond our ken.

But now, SEE, little muggles, as he takes the Orb, polished form the touch of many wise hands, OFF the sacred altar...

GASP! The aura of being-something-we're-talking-about-right-now... has GONE. VANISHED, as if it never was. The Orb has no more meaning than a piece of glass, humble and without consequence of any kind. The children's faces are sort of fake-looking, like cheap holograms. Guess we won't be talking about that then. Marvellous! We can admire the sexy aura of OTHER stuff.

I SO WANT a table like that. Or at least a Table of Familial Responsibility that I can put my Crazy Fundy Aunt Jill's Christmas Visits on or off. It would make everything so convenient.

Heterosexual privilege.

What is it?

Is there any? Can anyone point to any examples of it? Do we accept that it exists? Or is the concept of privilege not amenable to the political structures around homosexuality?

As a gay man, I'd very much like to know what you all think.
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