Boone Spaulding's picture
Boone Spaulding from Coldwater, Michigan, U.S.A. is reading Solarcide Presents: Nova Parade August 2, 2012 - 11:24pm

First I've seen of this discussion, since I've been away for so long. I didn't read jack other than Courtney's intitial post and the last ten or twenty to see how divergent the discussion must have become in this election year...

So if you were asked by a stranger to define your political beliefs, what would you say? Do you ever feel the need to quickly explain that even though you, say, define yourself as a democrat, you support tax cuts for the rich, or do you feel like you lean heavily enough to one side that a single departure matters?

If asked by a stranger to define my political beliefs, I would tell him that as a descendant from a long line of tavern/saloon/bar-owners, I was raised to believe that you don't discuss politics or religion in social settings.

And besides the beliefs that are ingrained in me due to my upbringing, I've found that if an individual answers a stranger's questions about political beliefs or religious beliefs and the answer given doesn't match the stranger's beliefs, the stranger usually uses this info to dismiss that individual as "not one of us."

However, I do like reading stories that contain political/religious conflicts. Good luck Courtney, look forward to the story...

Courtney's picture
Courtney from the Midwest is reading Monkey: A Journey to the West and a thousand college textbooks August 3, 2012 - 10:49am

It's in its earliest stages -- preliminary drafts, in some cases it's not even outlined -- but I can genuinely say that this thread has done wonders for my writer's block by giving me so many goddamn thoughts that my mind is working too fast to get it on paper.

Frank Chapel's picture
Frank Chapel from California is reading Thomas Ligotti's works January 28, 2013 - 8:18pm

An answer to the original posters question:

I'm a Centrist Libertarian, just left of the Dalai Lama. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal. I support Progressivism in the truest sense of the word, not in a way that declares you non-progressive if you dont agree with my views--which is how some liberals (ab)use it--but in a way that advocates real change for the betterment of society.

cosmo's picture
cosmo January 29, 2013 - 1:36am

Oh my, IT'S ALIVE!!!

G. X. Bradbury's picture
G. X. Bradbury from Corvallis, OR is reading The Modern School Movement: Anarchism and Education in the United States, by Paul Arvich June 10, 2013 - 8:36am

Libertarian Socialist/Anarcho-Communist

simulacrum's picture
simulacrum from Las Vegas is reading shit June 10, 2013 - 11:10am

I can define my political concerns with a lyric from The Repos:

"I don't care, I give up, waiting for death."

G. X. Bradbury's picture
G. X. Bradbury from Corvallis, OR is reading The Modern School Movement: Anarchism and Education in the United States, by Paul Arvich June 10, 2013 - 11:20am

That would be, "nihilist".

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics June 11, 2013 - 11:24am

After literally reading every post in this thread... again, I've realized that when Avery said all of us have only accomplished contradicting ourselves and only said insane things that make no sense, she was wrong at least in my regard. I never once contradicted myself, and everything I said made sense. One doesn't have to agree with another person's view to at least admit that it is comprehensible. I read many people's views here that were diametrically opposed to my own views, but they made sense. I'm sure it was just a bit of hyperbole in her part in saying that bit about no one making any sense.

What amazes me is how this thread essentially disappeared till recently. With the events of the last year or so, I'd expect this to be a thread into the hundreds of pages size by now.

Having read it all for a second time, I do think that this thread, and the issues it attempts to explore, makes me wish and hope even more for that one great meteor strike, that is inevitable, to come sooner rather than later.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated June 12, 2013 - 3:13am

I'll bite. What about this last year seems like it would make us talk more about politics then what was going on when this stopped?

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics June 12, 2013 - 4:44am

Well, despite the handful of posts after Augst of 2012, the real pulp of the thread ended at the start of August. So, EVERYTHING after August began ought to have spurred on more debate and discussion. For example:

* The 2012 Olympics

* Hurricane Isaac and the handling of recovery

* The Benghazi attack and the ongoing Syrian civil war

* The ensuing investigation that lasted for months

* Hurricane Sandy and the handling of recovery including some people's problems with Chris Christie being so chummy with President Obama

* The 2012 Election (a lightning rod for political discussion)

* The supposed Fiscal Cliff situation

* Sandy Hook shooting

... and that's in 2012 alone.

This is not even listing the ongoing Palestinian oppression at the hands of Israel; the Arab Spring and Egypt's President Morsi struggling with the balance of a younger more tech savvy and democratic populace and his main benefactors in the Muslim Brotherhood; the ongoing sexual assault problems in the military; the recent attacks on civilians by crazy people in the US and the UK; the hacking done by China; the rampant threats by North Korea; Russia trying to shut out American adoptions in retaliation of the US calling them out on human rights violations; and most recently, the NSA issues. So, yeah, PLENTY to keep discussion moving steadily downstream.

Sure, this thread is predicated upon a discussion of one's own political affiliations and how one defines them - but it would be foolish to think that the course of human events doesn't alter one's perspective. If the world around you doesn't have any effect on what you believe, you're a fanatic, and dangerous.

 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated June 12, 2013 - 5:10am

It isn't that political things didn't happen, I just don't see how those are more likely to drive the conversation then any other year. People are forgetful and lazy, so it would really need some insanely cool motivation to keep something like this going. Like posting kittens with every reply.

 

VOTE ANDERSON IN 2014! I'm pro kitten.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics June 12, 2013 - 5:32am

Kitten pics make everything ok.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated June 12, 2013 - 5:42am

Well they do keep people coming back.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics June 12, 2013 - 5:50am

Wow... and I always assumed Yoda was the last of his kind.

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond June 12, 2013 - 7:25pm

I always assumed Yoda was the last of his kind.

Who says a galaxy far far away isn't forward from where we are now. Imagine if the BattleStar Galactica crowd blundered into the Trek universe right after the Borg were dominated and with the Dominion Wars behind them or even if they found the Babylon 5 crew in mid war.. 

So if you were asked by a stranger to define your political beliefs, what would you say? Do you ever feel the need to quickly explain that even though you, say, define yourself as a democrat, you support tax cuts for the rich, or do you feel like you lean heavily enough to one side that a single departure matters? 

I don't have those kinds of discussions. They don't go well.

- but it would be foolish to think that the course of human events doesn't alter one's perspective. If the world around you doesn't have any effect on what you believe, you're a fanatic, and dangerous.  

For better or worse that's exactly how it affects people. Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias do wonders to hold people in thrall. By the time you actually reach the actual exercising of power you are fully integrated into situational ethics where weighing is done but a decision has to be made. Anthropomorphically based interpretation of animal traits, remember the kittens, is akin  to feeling that another culture's reactions to events is rooted in the same belief structures as ours. Once you start with the political viewpoint  the divergence between citizens of the same society and their belief structure become rapidly apparent then you must make the jump to a radically different mindset rooted deeply in a completely  different culture.

Basically you have the same event interpreted through many many lenses operating from many different angles.

 

 

H.I.Marcuson's picture
H.I.Marcuson from Toulouse is reading a book on spelling June 13, 2013 - 12:00am

In my heart of hearts I am an Anarchist. A Blue Mars Anarchist (a la Kim Stanley Robinson) ideally.

Anarchism does not mean no society, just no hierarchical governance. On an interestinng note in Spain it  proved itself more productive than capitalism. This freaks out a lot of capitalists who refuse to believe it possible, then they read about the spanish civil war and say "okay, so maybe they were a more productive, working, egalitarian, society BUT look how quickly they got crushed by Franco's faschists." and they were. But it isn't an impractical ideal against human nature as was/is communism. It worked, and it wasn't based on personal greed and exploitation.

You don't try when your working for the state. But you will when you're working for yourself. A personal reduction of Communism vs Capitalism. But Anarchism says you'll also try for your family/community and when your community trades directly and directly sees the returns, you'll keep trying. In large scale action working Anarchism had many clearly tribal aspects, and I would suggest that an affinity for tribalism is deeply bred into us. Anyway, it's a big subject and I'm doing it no justice.

It's just a shame warfare favours the heirarchically minded. If you want to find out more, a little known but far sighted author scribbled a bit about Anarchism and his experiences in Spain and his fears of where state controlled societies were headed. His name was

Eric Arthur Blair

but you all might know him better by another name.

That's it. That's all I've got. It's time for beddy bye's for Harry, who's very tired of dealing with drunken idiots.

 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated June 13, 2013 - 1:02am

@Fport - 

Who says a galaxy far far away isn't forward from where we are now.

The opening crawl of every film. 

@H.I. - 

But it isn't an impractical ideal against human nature as was/is communism.

But is that really a good standard to use? I wouldn't think so.

how quickly they got crushed by Franco's faschists." and they were.

Which goes back to my point, governments are only good at breaking things. And sometimes there are things, like fascists, that need broken. It isn't ideal to give up resources and freedom to have a government, but it beats letting crazies come take everything, which is pretty much what happen in the Spanish Civil War. 

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics June 13, 2013 - 4:58am

I'm with Dwayne, a little bit.

Government is inherently damaging, but if there were no government I - and people like me - would be far more damaging. There are many of us in the world who would enjoy watching the world burn (to steal from The Dark Knight) just for the hell of it, if it weren't for legal consequences. Since there are consequences, and we have to endure government, then it should be the kind of government I roughly outlined in my comment a couple pages ago.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated June 13, 2013 - 5:13am

I think that most people have the ethics of the Joker, just not the guts.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics June 13, 2013 - 5:28am

I really like that phrase.

When I was in my early 20's, I thought I had the guts. I let my Joker ethics dictate my behavior. I got caught - but only for the really minor stuff - and the consequences were enough to teach me that guts are overrated. Sadly, learning to play the game like everyone else is far less painful than acting on guts when the world is controlled by those without any guts but with all the power.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated June 13, 2013 - 8:05pm

Oddly, I've always thought of the world as controlled by the people who are most willing to stick to their ideals.

H.I.Marcuson's picture
H.I.Marcuson from Toulouse is reading a book on spelling June 13, 2013 - 5:23pm

Hmmm, don't know if I agree with that Dwayne.

You've both been talking about ethics, Ethics are supposed to be created through evolved consensus. But how often is that the case? I've always considered ethics to be the accepted imposition of one or more someones morality upon our own. Supposedly to enforce standards or offer guidelines but often just freeing us from a feeling of personal responsibility and from our own morality as long as they are adhered to. Look at Lawyers.

 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated June 13, 2013 - 8:19pm

You seem to be interjecting desire into observations. Things are what they are, people have the ethics they have, and how things 'should' be doesn't directly relate to that.

The groups/people with the most impact on events seem to be the ones who stay closest to the ideals they hold. Terrorists have more impact then pacifists in most societies because most societies discourage violence. A relatively small number of rebels/protestors have over thrown many governments, because a trouble maker has more impact then an easily governed citizen. They might have evil ideals, they might be horrible people, but that doesn't change their impact.

H.I.Marcuson's picture
H.I.Marcuson from Toulouse is reading a book on spelling June 14, 2013 - 7:00am

Perhaps. But I wouldn't say desire. Are ethics internally formed? morality is, I can't be bothered to look it up.

As for impact, I'd say well timed ideas have more bang for their power to change than fervently followed ideals. Maybe I'm nitpicking definitions and sub-sets, but for every idealistic radical group that is able to rise from the waters of consensus, thousands have had their ideals drowned by the inertia of society. It's just we dont get to hear about them. Ideas trump ideals I think.

And unlike ideals, well timed ideas don't have to be passionatley followed to elicit change.

(Scene) A group of lemmings running over the prairie, the sun is setting on a particularly beautiful day. A popular one shouts out "Hey guys, lets all run thataway!" followed by murmers of assent from the rodent mass. One lemming, old and wise in Lemming lore dissents. "No my brothers, it is passed down through the ages that the Lemmings of the plain must never run west!"

The one to his left kicks him and says "ahhh, shuddup stinky" and the wise old one aquiecesses - for now. 

H.I.Marcuson's picture
H.I.Marcuson from Toulouse is reading a book on spelling June 14, 2013 - 7:18am

Oh, and a bit off topic, but I just found two really neato miniseries. One's called "Utopia" and the other's "Real Humans". The seconds swedish, but the subtitles are on the net. Are you reading this or do I have to PM y'all? Sean, drea, Ms Summers.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated June 14, 2013 - 1:34pm

You've gotten so abstract I'm not even sure what your point is. But the lemmings thing is a myth.

http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.asp

H.I.Marcuson's picture
H.I.Marcuson from Toulouse is reading a book on spelling June 14, 2013 - 6:16pm

Dwayne, have you ever considered doing standup?

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated June 14, 2013 - 7:03pm

I have, but I don't think I'm funny long enough. In person I can make people laugh really hard for about 5 minutes, and after that not so much.

H.I.Marcuson's picture
H.I.Marcuson from Toulouse is reading a book on spelling June 14, 2013 - 7:10pm

Well, ya made me laugh like hell. I get called abstract alot. But I never thought I'd get called it here.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated June 15, 2013 - 12:08am

Yeah, I'd be better as like the intro guy at a comedy club. Get them warmed up tell one good joke, and then I'm done. Because after one good joke I am done.

G. X. Bradbury's picture
G. X. Bradbury from Corvallis, OR is reading The Modern School Movement: Anarchism and Education in the United States, by Paul Arvich June 17, 2013 - 11:16am

Same for me, but with porn.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated June 17, 2013 - 8:16pm

Sigh.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics June 18, 2013 - 6:00am

I wonder, does Bradbury mean he makes people laugh with his porn? heheheee

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond June 28, 2013 - 9:24am

There is help in understanding the basis for the state and what has gone before in traditional societies or the ways things were. Jared Diamond in his latest book "The World Before Yesterday" winds out how tribes and clans lived and what lessons we can take from those practices and contrasts it all against what we have now with the state. Diamond is the author of "Guns, Germs and Steel" as well as "Collapse" which I consider to be seminal works for understanding our world.