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3e-avr-2004 07:43 pm - Non-violence
Vinyl Doll by Zawieruszynski
"If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way: they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse. When we are struck at without reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should - so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again"

"Jane Eyre", Charlotte Brontë

Thoughts? Can you teach somebody not to strike by striking it? I don't like that thought, but I don't like the opposite position, which is never to retaliate and not get involved into a world of violence. Even monks and nuns have to protect themselves in their monasteries and nunneries. Kung-fu was invented by religious people. Maybe the secret is to retaliate in a non-violent, non-lethal way, maybe there are ways to "teach" violent people without using their methods? I don't know.
18e-mar-2004 04:58 pm - Long live the revolution
Blossom
Communism is the best economic and social organization in the world, and people at Oxford agree with me.

"To say that history's greatest economic experiment--Soviet communism--was also its greatest economic failure is to say what many consider obvious. Robert Allen argues that the USSR was one of the most successful developing economies of the twentieth century. He reaches this provocative conclusion by recalculating national consumption and using economic, demographic, and computer simulation models to address the "what if" questions central to Soviet history. Moreover, by comparing Soviet performance not only with advanced but with less developed countries, he provides a meaningful context for its evaluation.

Although the Russian economy began to develop in the late nineteenth century based on wheat exports, modern economic growth proved elusive. But growth was rapid from 1928 to the 1970s--due to successful Five Year Plans. Notwithstanding the horrors of Stalinism, the building of heavy industry accelerated growth during the 1930s and raised living standards, especially for the many peasants who moved to cities. A sudden drop in fertility due to the education of women and their employment outside the home also facilitated growth.

While highlighting the previously underemphasized achievements of Soviet planning, Farm to Factory also shows, through methodical analysis set in fluid prose, that Stalin's worst excesses--such as the bloody collectivization of agriculture--did little to spur growth. Economic development stagnated after 1970, as vital resources were diverted to the military and as a Soviet leadership lacking in original thought pursued wasteful investments."

http://pup.princeton.edu/titles/7611.html

In summary: Communism attained exceptional results in the USSR and its supposed failing is only due to 1) Errors by Stalin which were not concomitant with the nature of communism 2) Misallocation of resources after the 70s due to excessive State power 3) Failing to understand the appropriate yardstick is other developing countries, not current developed ones.

Say what you want, but the fact that the USSR was able to stand up to the US for many decades while coming from a much lower base is proof of the superiority of communism.

We communists have not said our last word and you will hear from us again, that is a promise to you Americans.

We won't make the same mistakes again, and will combine a good dose of anarchist disrespect for the State with proven communist organizational principles, plus some of your best progressive thoughts.

We will prevail once we and our terrorist allies succeed in bringing you to such a state of irritation and madness you finally crumble under self-inflicted blows and your own paranoid authoritarian tendencies.

We will fight you with the same weapons you used against us, so as to finally bring peace, prosperity and justice into this world of oppression. We will bring fire, death and destruction to the center of your power structure, in the same way you destroyed the Soviet dream.
2e-mar-2004 02:30 pm - George W. Bush for 2004!
Vinyl Doll by Zawieruszynski
"The candidates are an interesting group, with diverse opinions – for tax cuts and against them, for NAFTA and against NAFTA, for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act... and that’s just one senator from Massachusetts."

President Bush, February 23d

When President Bush can make a good joke about you, then you are in trouble. I know this is Super Tuesday and John Kerry is due to be quasi-officially anointed Democratic Party representative. I also recognize the fate of the Democratic Party is not of much concern to many of us here. We recognize the basic irrelevance of the classical but now obsolete opposition Democrat-Republican in the US. Both parties merely represent different but equally loathsome lobbies. Alternatively, we do not have voting rights in the US, either because of age or because of nationality.

However, and for the sake of argument, do you think John Kerry has any chance of beating George Bush? I think for my part that the Republicans will have a field day entangling Kerry into his mesh of contradictions. Kerry is not a Clinton-style charismatic politician. He also does not propose any new ideas of programs. When he does, his words cannot be trusted due to his repeated volte-face in the past. I do not think he has any chance of winning against George Bush. I am not even sure I wish he would; Kerry belongs to the same group of aloof ‘elite’ politicians as Mr. Bush. He would merely ensure the preservation of the ultra-rich’s hold on the American power levers.

Mr. Bush did begin to mobilize opposition to his projects, and thus, even in a negative way, promotes progressive ideals and practices in reaction to his vagaries and lunacies. That kind of argument, of course, will arouse negative reactions. I am not sure I would stand by it if pressed on, but there is some truth to it: four more years of Bush’s insanity would definitely change the political landscape in the US, while giving him the boot now would merely mean the resumption of business as usual.

The game will probably end up being a three-way choice between Kerry, Bush and Nader. I am interested in your vote for the next presidential election. I therefore include a poll into this debate topic. However, I am especially interested in any justification you can provide for your choice and only debate can capture this.

Sondage#256652 US elections

Assume you could vote: if given the choice between those three candidates only, whom would you vote for in the next US presidential election?

John Kerry
20(62.5%)
George W. Bush
6(18.8%)
Ralph Nader
6(18.8%)
I would not vote
0(0.0%)
28e-fév-2004 10:32 pm - Mein Kampf
Vinyl Doll by Zawieruszynski
I found "Mein Kampf" on the Internet, at http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/. It is forbidden in France, and in most European countries, I think, which is why I never had the opportunity to read it. I have not been exposed to much racist propaganda, and reading this is fascinating. His description of his life in Vienna and the formation of his anti-semitism is interesting, especially when he begins with stating his early "cosmopolitan" belief that Jews were like any other, and then, gradually goes into descriptions of the supposed domination of the Jews over the media or of their moral failings and lack of artistic capacity. He also comments in another part about his frustration at Marxist-Jewish (for him, Jews and Marxists were the same) debate tactics.

His writings struck me as those of an incredibly frustrated individual, who would never accept he could be wrong and had a rather limited intellect. BUT he was fascinated with propaganda, and was probably a master at it. I found it interesting how he unapologetically describes the power of propaganda and the way to use it (I must say, I didn't actually yet read much of what he wrote on the topic, but it will probably be a good read).

An interesting question is whether Mein Kampf should be banned. I wonder how I would have reacted to it when I was an adolescent, or even later. I am now quite able to know the true character of this book, spot its failings and the ugliness (truly despicable) character of its author. And in his time too, many people could see his book as the jumble of ignorant ideology it was. Yet, many others adopted his beliefs.

My opinion is that Mein Kampf is a good read (by good, I mean useful, because the writing itself is of poor quality and the ideas are quite absent or weak-minded) if you are well armed to analyze it, or are accompanied through your reading by a knowledgeable person who will provide you with some critical comments. I will even go further, I think some parts should be required reading in school (history), so as to debunk the myths that, anyway, will find their way into the airwaves, newspapers, or the Internet.

For debate: Do you think Mein Kampf should be generally available to the public?

My position: Yes, but it would be preferable that the book be accompanied with commentaries and a good introduction.
22e-fév-2004 12:53 pm - War on Venus
Blossom
This whole gay marriage thing is so entertaining. This is a perfect example of my kind of political paradox. You get idiot bourgeois gays and lesbians who want their sexual relationship and love recognized by the State and society. They all queue in SF to get that all precious little paper saying: "Yes, it is OK, you can fuck each other in the butt and lick each other's genitals with the approval of the all-knowing benevolent State if not God, yes, that big boy in the sky who is watching you".

Oh, I am all in favor of that movement, this is just perfect; I don't need the State to tell me it is OK to sleep with my girl and live happily ever after, but by all means, go on, smile, cry and jump up in joy at your great achievement, the general recognition of same-sex love and long-term relationships. Yes, I am all in favor of that because eventually, people will finally understand that no; there is nothing sacred about marriage.

Imagine all those Christians and other traditionalist dolts getting outraged that the State, and even some churches, finally give the legal approval and religious sacrament of marriage to gays and lesbians. They will have to reconsider their outlook, and, without any reference on which to rest their beliefs, with no special recognition by Society, they will finally realize they are mere privately owned, state-subsidized children's factories, whose sole reason to exist is to procure money-earning flesh that will finance their retirement and the retirement of others -- which BTW is the only justification for the tax-breaks and welfare support they get.

And the paradox finally comes here: those gays and lesbians who now marry will, in the future, not get the special, money-substantiated recognition that will go to baby producing couples. Except of course for those lesbians who get artificial insemination. How amusing. They starve for recognition, and will not get any. This is like inflation, the State prints so many marriage certificates that soon they will be worth nothing. I love that.

There is a cherry on the cake: With people shedding their illusions about the real purpose of breeding will logically come the industrialization of pregnancy and of that whole pain inducing labor process. Women won't have to go through having to bear some living being into their own belly (eew) and then expel it forcefully and dolorously through their vagina (ouch). I personally reject with the utterest disgust the idea of growing a parasite in my own body and welcome any progress toward artificial insemination and extra-uterine fetus growth.

At the moment, I am perfectly happy with the continued existence of those women who seem to enjoy the whole thing: get babies, girls, you seem to find that so exhilarating I wouldn't want to knock off your enthusiasm. Raise them, educate them, do that for a miserable tax-break, welfare benefits, or the love and protection of your husband (i.e. no pay at all, precarious living and emotional enslavement). You are so cheap I wouldn't want you to change your mindset.

For debate: With the legalization of homosexual marriage should come more recognition for the role of women as breeders, and this means a salary commensurate with the effort they put in the task. This of course should come in addition to other progressive measures, such as getting men to do more of the job of raising children, getting better health care for women, providing more baby care facilities, etc, etc.
21e-fév-2004 07:37 pm - Community poll
Vinyl Doll by Zawieruszynski
This is a poll to have an idea of the community demographics and political interests. If you do not want to answer a question, check "other". Note that you can also choose not to answer to the poll! Whenever no possible choices seem to fit you, check the box "other" and comment on this post to give more details. Thank you.

-- The maintainer.

PollRéduire )
19e-fév-2004 02:04 pm - More than I can explain
I'm having a moral dilemma and I thought I'd put it up for debate.


My aunt works for the municipality and two days ago she contacted my mother saying that the city told her to get the resumés of 10 somali youth that they're going to give well paying jobs to. Apparently the pay will be in the $23 range.

My aunt wants me to be one of those youth, however I'm slightly disturbed by that. I find it to be repugnant to so cynically benifit from ethnicity especially when I don't even believe that ethnicity has significance beyond the social sphere. Additionally, I'm sure that this was done because of the poverty amidsts some parts of the somali community. Except, I'm not poor.

What do you think?
30e-jan-2004 12:39 am - Geniocracy
Geniocracy

“First of all, let us look at the political and economic aspects of life. What kind of people allows humanity to progress? The geniuses. Therefore your world must appreciate its geniuses and allow them to govern the Earth.

First of all, power was in the hands of brutes, who were superior to others because of their muscular strength. Next in power were the rich, who used their money to employ many ‘brutes’ in their service. Then came the politicians who ensnared the people of democratic countries with their own hopes –not to mention military men whose success has been based around the rational organization of brutality.

The only types of people you have never placed in power are the ones who help humanity to progress. Whether they discovered the wheel, gunpowder, the internal combustion engine, or the atom, the geniuses have always allowed less intelligent people in power to benefit from their inventions. Often such people have used peaceful inventions for murderous ends. All that must be changed.

For this to happen, you must abolish all your electoral and polling systems because in their present form they are completely unsuited to human development. Each person is a useful cell in this huge body we call humanity. The cell in your foot should not decide whether or not your hand should pick up a given object. It is the brain, which must decide, and if the object in question is good, the cell of your foot will benefit from it. It is not up to the foot to vote. Its job is simply to transport the body – including the brain – and it is not capable of judging if what the hand takes is good or not.

Votes only have a positive effect when there is an equivalence of knowledge and intellect. Copernicus was condemned by a majority of incompetent people because he was the only one at that time who had a sufficiently high level of comprehension. Although the Church – this is to say the majority – believed the Earth was the center of the universe, this trued out to be wrong. The earth really revolved around the sun and Copernicus – the minority - turned out to be right.

When the first cars were invented, if we had asked everyone to vote to establish whether cars should be allowed to exist or not, the majority, who knew nothing about cars and did not care, would have responded negatively and you would still be riding in a horse and cart. So, how can you change all that?

These days, you have psychologists who are capable of creating tests to evaluate the intelligence and aptitude of every individual. These tests should be applied systematically from infancy onward in order to define each individual’s orientation towards subjects studied.

When individuals reach a responsible age, their intellectual coefficient can be measured and included on their identity or voter’s card. Only those with an intellectual capacity of at least fifty per cent above the average should be eligible for a public post. To vote, individuals would need an intellectual coefficient of at least ten per cent above average. If such a system existed now, many of your present politicians would not hold the positions they do today.

This is a totally democratic system. There are many engineers, for example, who are of lower than average intelligence, but who have very good memories and have obtained several academic degrees because of this.

On the other hand, there are many laborers or farm workers who have no specialized education at all, but whose intelligence is fifty per cent above the average. What is totally unacceptable now is that the voice of someone whom you might vulgarly call “a cretin” is worth as much as that of a genius who has thought maturely about the way he or she is going to vote. In some small cities elections are won by the candidate who buys people the most drinks – not by the individuals whose policies are the most interesting.

Therefore right from the start, the right to vote should be reserved for those people whose brains are more suited to thinking and finding solutions to problems – that is to say an elite group of high intelligence. This does not necessarily mean those people who have done the most studying.

We are talking about placing the genius in power, and you may call that ‘Geniocracy’.”

The Message given by Extra-Terrestrials pp.85-87
27e-jan-2004 01:33 pm - ideology
fuzzy
if jesus were able to share his perspective, do you think he would be a democrat or a communist?

as a democrat, he would believe in everyone has a voice in government, but also forms of nobility, and conflicts would arise between parties.

in a communist government (non-fascist), everyone would be treated equally, but there isn't enough freedom...

i would elaborate on more details, but i thought it would be better if you guys debated on it..
21e-jan-2004 11:41 pm - An Introductory Thought
fleur de lis
Last night, I was walking to a class that never convened at the time and place stated in my university's catalog. But, on my way to this non-class, I passed a car with a bumper sticker, which read "Pro-Woman, Pro-Child/ Pro-Life." Pause.

What do you think about these words?

These were my initial thoughts:
* "Choose Life"--that's not so bad a slogan, if you just think about the language--just those two words in combination--rather than the campaign it's connected to.
* What do the owners of "Pro-Woman, Pro-Child/ Pro-Life" bumper stickers mean by "Pro-Life"?
* What does & can "Pro-Life" mean?
* Essentially, if you combine the sentiment behind the words "Choose Life" with "Pro-Woman, Pro-Child/ Pro-Life," you're presented with a tolerant perspective on the abortion issue--one which is not Anti-Choice.
* Jailing & Fining Women (i.e. overturning Roe v. Wade) in combination with Bush's abstinence-only programs cannot possibly be the best or even a satisfactory route to the amelioration of the abortion problem. However, the Pro-Choice Advocate who does not ponder the ability of the fetus to feel pain is an advocate in denial and ignorance.
* Abortion is not necessarily a clear-cut moral wrong, but the Pro-Choice Advocate must acknowledge that the issue of its ethical nature is at least a bit murky.
* I wonder if people understand that Pro-Choice and Pro-Life are not competitive but compatible concepts.
* I wonder how one goes about enabling and inducing critical analysis, beyond common-held polarized perspectives, in other people.
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