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Thread: Dispute with Betty here

  1. #1
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    Default Dispute with Betty here

    Why are you so afraid of radical ideas? Are you so used to the world you're living in right now that you feel you need to midstream and shun change? Are you content with the way the world is right now, enough that you'd discourage social activism of any sort? What brought about this contentmen? Have you serious diluded yourself so much that you believe social currents set the basis of right and wrong? If so, and I mean no offence whatsoever by this - it's a friendly observation, you're the type of person who'd only mildly question Hitlers policies if you were growing up in Nazi Germany, passing off the anti fascist movement as youthful radicalism.

    You just don't seem to look outside the box enough, which is surprising for someone of your intelligent. It surprising me because even babbling commies like wheelchairman have social convictions, but you don't appear to have any. Why not?

  2. #2
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    Yeah Betty, I like Ted Leo, but he's NOT the greatest thing the independent rock n' roll world has to offer right now. Listen to some Clair De Lune, Q And Not U, Engine Down, maybe even These Arms Are Snakes(I'm trying to only list stuff that I think you might be able to get into). You'd be doing yourself a world of good to challenge your own expectations of what "good music" should & should not be.

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    Q and Not U is fucking incredibly. Maybe your taste in music is salvagable.

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    Whoa. Jake, I don't see why you're deciding to pick on me regarding music. Sure, I don't listen to as much as you do, but I try. Unfortunately I can't listen to as much as I'd like. I know Ted Leo isn't the best thing out there... obviously... but he just released an album and I've been really enjoying it. Also, I'm going to see him in a week. So I gave it a mention... so sorry. I never claimed anything about best. I guess it makes me sad that you say I'm so close minded about music. I'm still trying to expand what I listen to, and I always try and give different things a few listens. Also, I've listened to a bunch of Q and not U and enjoy most of it. It would be the kind of thing I would buy if I saw at a used CD store... although I haven't gotten around to finding out enough about them to buy an album. The singer sounds very... straight out of the local band... sounding... I actually recommended the band to you a while ago. I wrote down those other bands on my "to listen to" list. (Which does really exist!)

    Now, politics is definitely fair game.

    Sic, I'm really having a hard time finding what to say. In a way it's discouraging that I come off like I'm mainstream, satisfied with the way things are, "not thinking outside the box" etc. You will probalby get a lot of babbling, because I'm not quite sure how to approach this. I guess I'm allowed to have ridiculously long post since it's my own topic?!?

    I feel like I am very conflicted in my views. Like, what was a major influence on my life? Punk rock. That was what I related to during those soul searching teenage years. It got me interested in music which is super important to me, and made me think about a lot of things, which seemed very profound at the time. Punk is super radical and involves a lot of social activism.

    About activism... the problem I have with it is that I am too much against the idea of "all talk and no action"... Like, I always have problems with "meetings" because very often they're a whole lot of nothing. People feeling like they're talking about important stuff but it really isn't that productive at all. I definitely support discussing stuff, but not in the form of a "meeting" where it's supposed to be useful, and not just entertaining. That's a digression. But the point is that I think a lot of activism is all talk and no action. Like, I respect the person who goes to help in the soup kitchen way more than the people who go and rally regarding the homeless people. All those hours spent rallying and protesting could have been so much more productive in terms of the cause. And I feel like a lot of people who support causes are just totally full of hot air. Everyone's an armchair philosopher... some are hypocrites, most will never do anything about it besides talk.

    So that's that.

    I feel like I do support causes... just different ones than you might. I do not feel like I'm mainstream in the least.

    So, what DO I believe...

    Well, I am very pro environment... but I am also pro technology/pro progess. I kinda have to be as a scientist, I think. Like, I don't think we can just regress and stop trying to discover new things. And technology is pretty much automatically against the environment, although in varying degrees. So, there has to be a balance. And I feel like a lot of environmentalists take things to the extreme, to an unrealistic level. Like kyoto... it's unrealistic because... well... here's how it was explained to me... say you take Canada that is fairly environmentally friendly in terms of its pollution levels... it is supposed to bring DOWN its level, WHILE still trying to expand. So even if all of the industries became more environmentally conscious, they still might not pollute less if there are more industries due to growth. But then if you take countries that are just developping, they produce way more pollution since they're using older technology, yet they wouldn't have the same constraints under the protocol. Basically it's just not the most realistic system. As a chemist, I will definitely work towards pro-environmental technology and that could make a real difference. And I would take part in the "clean up your neighborhood" program, and I sort every single last bit of my garbage which is a pain in the ass. (although how much recycling is effective could be debatable). I just think that really DOING stuff is more useful. And if you're not willing to do it, you shouldn't just complain about it.

    There's a little flyer thing I have from the Conservative party here and the message is "Protest or Progress? Your choice." I like it.

    I am very liberal in social views such as abortion, gay marriage and the like. But I really feel no need to rally for it.

    Where we really differ is our views on the social structure of society, and what is best for it. Maybe I do not emphasize enough that we should better our world, and mostly just make it sound like it's okay the way it is. This is tricky... Okay, things I strongly believe in are 100% equal opportunity (maybe not in the traditional sense) for everyone. That means, people are equal. Women are not more equal than men. And blacks are not more equal than whites. Therefore I do not support "quotas". I think everybody who applies for a job should have an equal opportunity to get that job. The counter-argument is that some groups have inherently less opportunity and thus must be granted more opportunity? I just don't think this is the best solution. I think that this helps to support inequality in recognizing that these groups are different and thus less capable of achieving what anybody else could. I believe in the theory of a meritocracy, which should not depend on what conditions you were born into it. But that everybody is able to achieve anything they deserve based on what they do in life. And no, society doesn't always quite work that way. But I don't think giving extra help to specific people is the right way to do it.

    I think a lot of the time, I get frustrated with people complaining about everything and feeling like they're oh-so-profound with their conspiracy theories and philosophies, etc. So a lot of the time I provide counter-arguments... I really like to try and see both sides of every story. But this makes me sound like I'm okay with everything the way it is. "Bush is an asshole" "He's really not that bad" ...case in point. Is he perfect? Certainly not. Am I satisfied with everything? No.

    Also, I guess I will have to admit that I'm a little selfish. I'm trying to live a good life for myself. I'm fairly happy with it so far. I try and help others and the world around me to an extent, but I probably should way more than I do. I really respect people who are truly selfless, but I think they're rare to come by. For those who are totally selfish but act like they care about everyone else and just spout philosophies to be contradictory, I give much less respect.

    Okay, well, to tell you the truth, I feel like I'm going nowhere in my answer and am not sure what to say. I have mostly just back-spaced a lot.

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    Hmm one note. While I spiritually think that people who work at homeless shelters etc. are good people. I certainly don't think they are really doing anything to help. It's the system that put these people here. The form of economy that we are structured under does not provide jobs for every single human being. If you meritocracy means equal opportunity with a capitalist economy. Then it will fail. Or quite being very merocratic.

    Also, what about people who are naturally more susceptible to problems. These people do not have the same chances. There is a lot of proof that schizofrenia, depression, alcoholism, etc are all genetic. A person with acute schizofrenia for example, would just be left for dead in a purely capitalist meritocracy. Would your meritocracy help these people? Or is it because they can't help themselves, that they didn't really want to help themselves? That they are just lazy?

    And Sic will probably say that Western European social democracies help these people. But he'd be wrong, I live in Denmark (I believe Sweden is one of the few countries with a stronger social democratic tendency.) Yet you can see schizofrenic people on the streets. Alcoholics as well.

    That's my problem if people believe that activism doesn't involve major social change.

    Now let me understand, do you disapprove of protests or demonstrations?
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    Well, I wouldn't say I approve of them...

    I suppose you will argue back that it is the only way to make yourself heard, and you need the lobby groups, etc, etc.

    I think there are better ways though. And if there were some sort of demonstration, I think it should be conducted very maturely. I would much more support that than a bunch of people being destructive or rude. I guess then you could argue that sometimes they have to be destructive or else the police/security will force them to leave...

    Regarding people who are naturally susceptible to problems... I think they should be taken care of... within reason. For those who can still work and be a funtional part of society (e.g. mild mental retardation, mild physical handicap) they should be able to get the best job that they are able to do. If they are capable, then they would have an equal chance at it as anybody else who was just as capable. However, they could not expect to get a better job than what they were capable of because they simply aren't mentally/physically able to do such a thing. These jobs should be at least minimum wage and therefore they will be able to live at least a semi-comfortable life. For people who really aren't able to work a full time job (e.g. severe handicap/disease/etc.) I think they should be provided for by the government and I would support tax dollars going to that. They should not earn more than someone with a minimum wage, unless it was for healthcare costs, etc. For people with mental diseases like depression, alcoholism, etc... I think it's really tricky because it's such a gray area. How much of it can they or can they not control. Are they using it as a crutch? Are they abusing it? It's not really fair for me to say since I'm not in that position. It could go both ways... I underestimate the impact of the problem, or they exaggerate it. So overall, everyone should be able to live a comfortable life (food, shelter, clothing, etc.) but if you're not capable to advance, you're just not capable and you should not be put above somebody who is because that is not fair to them. I don't think that everybody has the same life abilities genetically and that's when it comes down to the "social darwinism" thing. If you want to argue that everybody should be treated exactly the same, then I WILL get out the Harrison Bergeron link which somebody so kindly introduced me to from the BBS maybe a year ago and I think it's a great example.

    In terms of the people on the streets... Basically, either they can seek help at some sort of institution (which would also be necessary) or shelter and if they can't do that then what can we do about them? If you don't support forcing them to get help at an institution then there's really nothing you can do.

    I don't know enough about economics to know if it's possible to provide jobs for everybody. There are usually solutions to finding a job that people don't like. Such as taking a shitty job... at least here I know you can pretty much always get a job if you do those "independent sales" things... or work at a fast food place... or work at a call centre... or deliver pizza... or maybe get a factory job. I'd like to think that if somebody actively looks for a job and is willing to settle, at least at first, that they can find one. Also, sometimes moving is an option... to somewhere where it's a lot easier to find a job. Is it possible to just NOT be able to find a job? I'm not sure... That would throw a kink into the plan.

    Also, I don't know if a PURELY capitalist system would work, there might need to be a bit of moderating to it... But I think at least leaning capitalist is a good thing. I don't think a lot of the extreme theories would work very well totally on their own. But maybe... it has never really been tried right? In theory there can pretty much be a solution to everything.

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    Demonstrations caused the US to pull out of Vietnam. If it wasn't for demonstrations, we might have stayed in Vietnam throughout the 80's, which would have been catestrophic. The one thing I like most about demonstrations, more then the direct effect that they have, is that they bring public attention to certain problems. If it wasn't for mass demonstrations against the WTO nobody would be aware of it's crimes and it would work in reletive obscurity. Since most western countries don't have independent presses, then demonstrations are the only true reflection on problems the people have.

    Also, demonstrations can and have made differences. In 1968, what started with one demonstration ended with anarchists taking over the city of Paris for a period of a few days. They didn't even have a leader, but their mass demonstration gave so much attention to their cause that the streets erupted, and Du Gaulle had to isolate the military out of fear that they'd start demonstration to. If they did, a true anarchist revolution may have occured in France. The demonstrating masses have potential to change the world, and they're the only way that people can have their voices heard in a country that's truly undemocratic like the United States. I know you don't consider an anarchist revolution a good idea, but wouldn't you think that it's good large numbers of people have a means of bringing attention to their qualms. Isn't that what democracy is all about?

    Also, if you believe in capitalism, does that mean you believe that under the proper system, classes could work together and help divulge inequality, or do you believe that inequality is an okay thing? If it's the latter, I'd like to know how you rationalize the majority of people working very small salaries and living medically unsafe lifestyles for a small minority can get incredibly rich? As much as you might disagree, the classes are not properly divided to the extent of neccesity. Westerners put so much emphasis on freedom of speech and the press, but there's never any mention of more important values, such as freedom of food, and freedom of a home, etc. Do you believe that these should be entitled to every human?

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    Okay, although I don't LIKE demonstrations, I guess I could concede that they would be necessary. Basically the flaw I kept thinking of, even while inititally stating my case, was a comparison to war. I don't LIKE war either, but I'll argue that it can be necessary in some cases because if one party JUST WON'T LISTEN, then agressive means must be taken if something is to be done. So, I think if I were to argue that war can be justified, than I would HAVE to argue that demonstrations can be justified as well. I still don't like them though. Maybe because a lot of them are for things I don't entirely agree with. This comparison is a bit extreme, but I think it's good, demonstrations can in theory get pretty nasty. So, okay, you win, kinda.

    Also, if you believe in capitalism, does that mean you believe that under the proper system, classes could work together and help divulge inequality, or do you believe that inequality is an okay thing? If it's the latter, I'd like to know how you rationalize the majority of people working very small salaries and living medically unsafe lifestyles for a small minority can get incredibly rich? As much as you might disagree, the classes are not properly divided to the extent of neccesity. Westerners put so much emphasis on freedom of speech and the press, but there's never any mention of more important values, such as freedom of food, and freedom of a home, etc. Do you believe that these should be entitled to every human?
    I feel like I've pretty much made my case concerning most of this already, but I can rehash if you'd like.

    I don't really think classes can work together to promote equality. If I did, it would definitely detract from my case, since it's not realistic. I don't think they're necessarily AGAINST each other... you can compare it to parasitism/mutualism relationships. Parasitism being a parasitic case where one organism feeds off the other (like a tapeworm in a human) and mutualism being where both species benefit (like a bee/flower thing)... not sure if I'm spelling this out too much but not sure if you remember your highschool biology. Anyway, I'd say the poor/rich relationship would be somewhere in between. In a way the rich feed off the poor, but in some ways the poor benefit from the rich but it works more one way than the other.

    I guess I would have to say that I think inequality is an okay thing. Now, I don't thing inequality between men/women (aside from basic abilities e.g. strength if appropriate) or between races or the like is okay. But I think inequality between inherent abilities in human beings is a part of life. And if you're more capable, then so be it. And I said I would get it out, so I will.

    http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/hb.html

    You may have read it before, it was posted on here before.

    I don't know if you believe that everybody, no matter who, should get exactly the same benefits from life. The real big flaw in that, even if I decided that it's not fair for people who are just genetically gifted to be more successful, is the issue of hard work. I strongly believe in that. And I think that even people who are less fortunate in terms of their abilities (be it looks, intelligence, etc.) can be successful if they have the drive. I truly believe they can. I just can't imagine somebody who works really hard to succeed not succeeding. And so I can't see a society where everybody is truly EQUAL, because there would be no way to discriminate between those who work hard and those who don't. And people wouldn't need to work since they'd get what they needed anyway. I don't see how it would function, and I don't believe it to be fair at all.

    I also said that everyone should be able to live comfortably (food, shelter, clothing). I stated that, very clearly. So for those who can't provide for themselves, yes, society should provide them. For those who can provide for themselves but just don't want to, there should be some sort of motivating factor. Hence not 100% capitalist, just capitalist leaning. I said that too.

    Also, you guys totally exagerate the rich get rich poor get poor thing. That's not how it works at all. And no matter what you say, I won't agree. Yes, a very small minority get very rich. But there is a HUGE middle class. And then a smaller lower class. You cannot underestimate the value of the middle class, and it won't become totally polarized under capitalism. Like, we have the service sector, which is so huge.

    I think this is my best post yet in this topic, the others were too roundabout.

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    It's true, though, Betty. The middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate. People are getting wicked fucking poor, and wicked fucking rich. I am tired and in pain right now, but when i'm more with it I'll find you something useful like an article.

    However, I feel like I need to step in and say a word in the name of sisterhood. You guys are having a remarkable discussion here, and Betty you are holding your own nicely I'd say. But I call foul on the musical elitism. Break, you can come up with a better argument than that. That's the kind of shit someone's boyfriend pulls just before his ass gets dumped.

    Testosterone wars are boo-ring.

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    Just a quick reply since I have not much time. I won't cover everything. I'll try and make a longer reply later.

    You talk about success for being for those who work hard. Well I certainly wouldn't say it's there own hardwork. I think the factory worker works far harder than the CEO. Especially if the factory worker is Indian for example.

    And Miss 1565 said exactly what I would've said on the middle class.
    Quote Originally Posted by T-6005 View Post
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