Print Story Well fuck that and the horse it rode in on.
Diary
By Merekat (Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 02:57:05 AM EST) (all tags)
Authoritarianism 2.0 with the ‘free market’ UI has obviously convinced a lot of people. I am deeply angry at how my two fields - tech and media/lit critique have been proven to be more effective for their dark side than actually building a kinder world grounded in truths. The internet platforms amplified fragmentation for $$$ and claimed they were the real victims. Skepticism destabilised rather than revealed truths, with the help of those platforms.
This is a hard century. I hope there is enough left for our kids to rescue their future.


Enough said. What can be done?
< New car, new job | Trump has been impeached >
Well fuck that and the horse it rode in on. | 44 comments (44 topical, 1 hidden)
I think about it more and more by clock (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 07:32:01 AM EST
And I come up with fewer and fewer answers. Someone will tell me that I need to be hopeful and trust that things will trend to the positive. But that is so counter-indicated by the behaviors I see in the world around me.

It's really getting hard to resist the urge to go full prepper and find a patch of woods to hole up in until the end. What keeps me away from it? There isn't an end. There is only constant change and churn. There is no walking away. And here we are back at step one: what do we do? What do I do? What do you do?


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

Fight by marvin (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 08:38:22 AM EST
Act.

Resist.

Disobey.

Teach.

Show compassion.

Set an example of change and living with less impact.

[ Parent ]
Not that I succeed in all of those by marvin (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 09:03:15 AM EST
Doing better though. I made it out to three Fridays For Future this year, one XR, one protest against local police rape culture, and lead a few local community groups.

If I deleted two items, the first character on each row would spell FARTS. Missed opportunity. My subconscious came so close, yet so far.

[ Parent ]
Prepping by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #13 Sat Dec 14, 2019 at 07:25:32 AM EST
I don’t know. What I do know is that for the first time in my life I own a gun. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Wow by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #15 Sat Dec 14, 2019 at 10:37:59 AM EST
and the worst thing for me is, I've thought about it.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Yep by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #16 Sat Dec 14, 2019 at 01:26:32 PM EST
 I actually like shooting, so owing a gun isn't a huge leap for me. I wasn't planning on getting one though. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Study martial arts by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #20 Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 12:31:10 AM EST
and how to disarm an enemy. Akido would be a good start to use their strength against them.

I studied several forms of martial arts for a mixed martial arts background. I am not a Ninja Master but I am a Ninja in training which is good enough to beat the average criminal.


"I drank what?" - Socrates after drinking the Conium
[ Parent ]
I have a second degree black belt by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #21 Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 03:25:55 PM EST
It only works up close.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Thrown weapons by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #23 Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 11:23:59 PM EST
like Shrunken Throwing Stars and throwing knives can help with that. It is like throwing darts in a way if you practice with a dart board.

"I drank what?" - Socrates after drinking the Conium
[ Parent ]
You don't need a gun by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #19 Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 12:28:49 AM EST
you can get bow and arrows, a slingshot, brass knuckles, baseball bat, wasp spray (Spray it in the perp's eyes to blind him), etc.

I got a Bo Staff, Sais, and throwing stars. Only thing to beat that is a gun.


"I drank what?" - Socrates after drinking the Conium
[ Parent ]
I don’t need anything by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #22 Sun Dec 15, 2019 at 07:09:50 PM EST
But I do own a gun. I happen to like guns. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Guns by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #25 Mon Dec 16, 2019 at 07:05:08 AM EST
I got there a couple years ago. My carry piece is a S&W 360 PD revolver. Lightweight, easily concealable, and accurate enough (I can hit an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper out to 25 feet or so) for self-defense. Supposedly a .357, I fired exactly one of those through it. Lightweight means tremendous recoil. So I fire lightly loaded .38 rounds. It's a short range weapon.

If I need more power, or range, the S&W 686 is good out to 50 feet. Longer than that I have rifles in various calibers.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
I just own the ine by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #26 Mon Dec 16, 2019 at 07:36:30 PM EST
Glock 19 9mm. When I convince my wife to buy the cabin in the woods I’ll add a shotgun. Not much use for one in the suburbs.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
A Left that is actually sensible, for a start. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 08:45:24 AM EST
At least here in USia the hard-ish left seems to be trailing the sensible centrists. Now if only we could get a centrist who wasn't either 75, or 35.

Watching Twitter I see some on the UKian left are already blaming The Jews. That certainly won't help. Maybe if Labour had opposed Brexit and given the Remainers a choice. But they didn't. Heck, Corbyn was a Brexiteer from way back. If Labour had opposed Brexit a few years ago you might not be in this situation.

And then there's this: "The positive thing is we don't need to change much." Really? You lost heavily, but don't have to change?

It certainly look like Scotland will be leaving the UK, and I don't see how Ulster remains in the UK either, given the Brexit deal. That'll be fun. I'm sure the Protestants won't cause any Trouble over that.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Hard-ish left by Phil the Canuck (4.00 / 3) #4 Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 08:58:50 AM EST
Doesn't seem so hard if you're not from the US. What is considered hard-left here is borderline centrist in most other western nations. 

The UK is a hot mess.

[ Parent ]
Corbyn is definitely left Sanders and Warren by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 12:02:45 PM EST
And Johnson is left of the entire GOP.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
A left that is sensible by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 09:25:29 AM EST
And a centre that is actually a centre. The centre has definitely lurched right.

[ Parent ]
In the US? Or U.K.? by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 12:04:55 PM EST
The center in the US is mostly in the Democratic Party, the GOP has gone far right since Bush the Elder. The British Conservatives would be a bit right of the Democratic Party in the US, mostly on immigration.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Specifically by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #9 Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 12:21:00 PM EST
The UK.
Relatively everywhere, even places like Sweden and Denmark.

[ Parent ]
Regarding the US by Phil the Canuck (4.00 / 2) #10 Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 01:46:38 PM EST
I think the Democrats are largely center-right Reaganesque conservatives. The actual left-leaning Dems are mostly in the younger demographic, barring some outliers like Sanders. Warren is campaigning on the left but only moved from the center in the last few years. The GOP isn't on the chart anymore as they are motivated by self-preservation rather than politics.

[ Parent ]
sort of by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #11 Fri Dec 13, 2019 at 05:33:27 PM EST
Economically the Democrats wouldn't look out of place in the Reagan administration. But could you imagine any electable Democrat looking at the AIDS crisis and thinking "it's killing gays, prostitutes, and IV drug users. What problem?".

Memory insists that Dr. Koop didn't go along with this and promoted condom use, but google can't seem to find it. Koop wouldn't sign off on Reagan's abortion fairy-tales, so maybe I am combining two different Surgeon Generals.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]
Electable democrats by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #24 Mon Dec 16, 2019 at 02:15:22 AM EST
I think in the UK the centrists did exactly that. They looked at policies killing minorities and the poor and decided a bigger problem was the career protest in a cardigan and so effectively said ‘ what problem?’.

[ Parent ]
Most of them. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #27 Tue Dec 17, 2019 at 01:45:32 PM EST
Economically the Democrats wouldn't look out of place in the Reagan administration. But could you imagine any electable Democrat looking at the AIDS crisis and thinking "it's killing gays, prostitutes, and IV drug users. What problem?".

In the 1980s? Most of them.  

People really seem to have lost track of how far the US has come since the 1950s. Racism and intolerance has been slowly driven into the shadows where it has been withering away, but the left acts as if we are mere moments from becoming a theocracy. Hell, in the 80s I could count the number of interracial couples I knew on one finger and the number of out gays that I knew on zero. 

I truly believe that most of the "crisis" in the US is leftists hyperventilating and the rest of us lashing out at leftists because we're sick of being denounced as monsters because our daughters are uncomfortable sharing a locker room with a biological male who claims he's transitioning.



An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Two personal observations by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #28 Tue Dec 17, 2019 at 03:20:22 PM EST
  1. I feel solidarity with trans women (inc pre op) based on shared experience such that I prefer to police them in to my bathroom space for their safety and risk some bad actors than not as the bad actors are gonna abuse a system anyway and the pro trans stance protects more overall imo. Me saying tjis is giving my leftist viewpoint. You feeling denounced by it is how trans folk are forced to experience their daily life. You can afford to give way. They can do so less easily as physical violence is a constant risk.
  2. You are right about how far things have come and what previous attitudes would have been but not about how fragile that progress is with available levers. See Kentucky’s new abortion laws.


[ Parent ]
I also have sympathy for people who aren't by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #29 Tue Dec 17, 2019 at 03:53:23 PM EST
traditionally gendered - but I have sympathy as well for people who worry about those who would abuse laws passed for good reasons.

As for places like Kentucky, like I said - a lot of that is straight up reaction to the bashing they've been receiving. That is, hostility begets hostility. (See Virginia's current "2nd amendment sanctuary" crisis.) Moreover, there's also the issue of age appropriateness. When my daughter told me that all the restrooms in her college had gone co-ed my dad instincts twitched but I recognized she was an adult who could make her own choices. People are generally much more protective of 13 year olds.

Gentle gradualism may not be perfect, but you get to where you want to be without the backlash and with the bonus creating a broad political base to support your opinion. Consider what's been happening in the US instead of that: People who voted for Obama - twice - then voted for Trump. Did they actually turn racist in the face of a more-or-less successful black president? Or were they so tired of being belittled and attacked that they decided to deliberately choose the middle finger approach? 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I am so sad. by ana (4.00 / 3) #30 Tue Dec 17, 2019 at 08:33:22 PM EST
And I am tired. When it seemed there might, just possibly, be some understanding dawning...

Now, it seems likely, two more generations of genderqueer kids will be driven to despair, to protect the delicate sensibilities of cisgendered straight white men.

Or get rabies. Also don't do that. --scrymarch

[ Parent ]
Not sure where I can go with this by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #31 Wed Dec 18, 2019 at 01:34:44 AM EST
The conservatives in Kentucky had a choice on how to handle their fears. They chose legislative force. Yet it is those who asked for equality and fairness, who for maybe the first time felt free to express the reality of their lives (which while improving is nowhere near fair) to whom you chose to attribute blame?

I’m out on this thread now I think.

[ Parent ]
Well, you could do a quick google... by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #33 Thu Dec 19, 2019 at 09:25:18 AM EST
 How to change someone's mind.

Let me be up front - everyone who's been on this site for a long time knows I tend to hold, let's call them, "ideosyncratic" opinions, and I've spent decades shouting at people I considered too stupid to recognize the rightness of my beliefs. How many people did I convince to change their opinion on a subject? 

Certainly no one on this site. Quite the reverse. People retreat into their corners, become more and more defensive and, worse, retreat into a my-side-right-or-wrong-but-we're-never-wrong belief model that refuses to even acknowledge parallels or hypocrisies in the behaviors of people they consider part of "their team".

So where does that leave me? Where does that leave politics and society as a whole? Separating my personal beliefs from the issue of politics it seems clear that this ever increasing "othering" of our opponents is undermining the very concept of democracy even as each side insists that the other ones are the "real fascists". 

You can argue that your political enemies deserve what ever name you choose to call them, or whatever segregation or isolation you choose to impose on them - and, morally, you might be right. But you can't stoop to the bad behavior of your opponents and expect to be considered superior to them by those who have not made up their minds - and certainly not by those who might have been persuaded that you are right but who you chose to belittle and denigrate.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I need help here by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #34 Thu Dec 19, 2019 at 10:19:24 AM EST
Tell me where I have belittled or denigrated anyone vs. asked genuine questions about their beliefs and approach and openly and non threateningly explained my own?

[ Parent ]
Sorry, I'm talking about you specifically. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #35 Thu Dec 19, 2019 at 10:50:03 AM EST
I'm talking about the broader political environment. In the US, the left has been demonizing its opponents in ever-more-strident terms for decades and my impression of the UK political situation is that it's similar.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
That said, you ARE engaging in the behavior I'm by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #36 Thu Dec 19, 2019 at 10:53:27 AM EST
talking about...

I'm talking about how the left needs to improve their approach in order to succeed, and you responded by accusing me of blaming them for wanting fairness.

How does making that accusation help anyone?

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I asked a question by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #37 Thu Dec 19, 2019 at 11:19:49 AM EST
The purpose was to understand  if you see how your actions can seem hurtful to others and to see if you understand and accept their fear as you ask for yours to be accepted.

You interpret this as inappropriate leftist behavior. How instead should I ask you what you understand of the experience of others? What is the correct tone? I asked the second question in order to draw this aspect out.

Thing is, I suspect there’s currently no functioning way to have a real discussion on this kind of thing as fear and hurt is too pervasive for any question or comments not to seem loaded to someone. Therefore, and because I a leftist, my definition of fair is that those who are systematically privileged can afford to give way to those who are systematically marginalized and accept some hurt feelings.

[ Parent ]
And there it is again... by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #38 Thu Dec 19, 2019 at 11:28:19 AM EST
using words to accuse and to other. "inappropriate leftist behavior" - again, accusing me of blaming and attacking, rather than the truth - that I'm suggesting a way out of that trap.

Did the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s achieve what it did by denouncing their opponents as unsalvageable enemies? Or did MLK instead emphasize the common humanity they shared?

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
For good or ill, LGBTQ are the petitioners in this by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #39 Thu Dec 19, 2019 at 11:30:27 AM EST
You keep asking why it's the left's job to change people's minds. It's straight forward - because the left is the one who wants people's minds to change. The conservatives are happy with the way things used to be and, like all living things, resent change. The left needs to overcome that resentment, and their current tactics aren't working.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
`Hey, allow me to mansplain this to you ...' by lm (2.00 / 0) #40 Sun Dec 22, 2019 at 12:59:40 PM EST
"I've spent decades shouting at people I considered too stupid to recognize the rightness of my beliefs. How many people did I convince to change their opinion on a subject?"

You might stop for a bit and consider how your words in this thread are still coming across in the exact same way.


Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Sure. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #41 Mon Dec 23, 2019 at 03:25:09 PM EST
You might also consider that me using myself as an example of how bullying fails is not the same as what you just did - but that my post does explain why I am unimpressed with your comment.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I mean, seriously, you've created a perfect by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #42 Mon Dec 23, 2019 at 03:35:48 PM EST
example of what I'm talking about. 

I'm making no judgements about who is right or who is wrong and, in fact, if you've been paying attention you know that I have a vested interest in LGBTQ rights. But instead of looking at what I wrote as a rational approach to winning the political debate, you accuse me of "mansplaining".

So, what am I supposed to do now? Grovel at the fear that you'll invoke cancel culture on me?

How does your accusation actually help advance civil rights?  

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Ah, yes, groveling in fear is what you should do by lm (2.00 / 0) #43 Tue Dec 24, 2019 at 06:12:37 AM EST
Huh?

I have no idea what you're going out about now. I hope you have a merry Christmas.


Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
"2nd amendment sanctuary" crisis by wiredog (4.00 / 2) #32 Wed Dec 18, 2019 at 06:24:40 AM EST
No one I know here in Virginia thinks it's a crisis. Heck, most of us aren't paying it any attention.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Trump won by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #44 Mon Jan 20, 2020 at 01:35:46 AM EST
Because a lot of Democrats did not even bother to vote.

Voting for Trump was a big middle finger to the corrupt system so he could drain the swamp. Now the swamp monsters want to remove Trump from power.

Hillary didn't give people much choice, a lot of her plans like eugenics were insane.

Trump will win the next election unless he is removed from power before then.


"I drank what?" - Socrates after drinking the Conium
[ Parent ]
I have no answers by jimgon (4.00 / 3) #12 Sat Dec 14, 2019 at 07:23:23 AM EST
Supporters of liberal democracy need to have a righteous anger. They don’t. I can’t make them get it. My fear right now is that they fall into hopelessness and then become angry. Hopeless anger leads to 1789 and 1917. I fear that is the long term trajectory. The world’s oligarchs have all the power and money and the ability to cause change, but they are the manipulators of the current authoritarian populism (fascism being out of vogue as a word) and I believe they are too smug to realize the danger they are moving us toward, 1789 is coming. 




---------------
Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
A couple nights ago I was driving up to Baltimore by lm (4.00 / 6) #14 Sat Dec 14, 2019 at 08:37:26 AM EST
Flipping through the radio stations, I stumbled into the middle of an episode of Richard Wolff's Economic Update, specifically the Competition and Monopoly in Capitalism episode. Wolff presented a formulation of the definition of capitalism that I hadn't heard before, that it's an economic system defined by the employer/employee relationship.

I've long thought that most people incorrectly conflate free markets in a neo-classical microeconomic sense with capitalism. A free market in the neo-classical sense is about the freedom of producers and consumers to sell and buy. This is not essential to capitalism. What is essential to capitalism is that the capitalist has the inherent right to enjoy the surplus value of production based on the premise that ownership of the capital entails ownership of the final product.

But this definition gets wonky in any business sector that isn't predicated on physical plant and material inputs. Wolff's redefinition makes a lot of sense. The employer/employee relationship feels right as an analog to the lord/peasant and master/slave relationships that defined prior modes of production like feudalism and slavery.

Starting from there, Wolff argues that a strong state is a necessary consequence of the capitalism mode of production for a number of reasons.

An interesting side effect of this view is that it makes the former Soviet Union and post-WWII China as much more aptly described as state-capitalist nations than state-socialist nations.

If we start with Wolff's neo-Marxian view on what capitalism is and its relationship to the state, it's pretty clear how technology accelerates the movement to stronger and stronger power structures, whether state or corporatist.

The only hope in this is a move towards more democratic modes of production, producers where labor is on an equal playing field with management. We gotta get there first if we want to tear down The Man and stop this move towards a new kind of fascism.


Kindness is an act of rebellion.
I don't know by Herring (4.00 / 1) #17 Sat Dec 14, 2019 at 02:43:19 PM EST
The boy and his gf are here. Unless something major happens, their generation are proper fucked. My dad's generation own the property, use most of the NHS resources, most of the welfare budget, had free university places, proper pensions and secure jobs.

Come to think of it though, the boy does know how to operate a semi-automatic rifle. That might come in handy.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

Well fuck that and the horse it rode in on. | 44 comments (44 topical, 1 hidden)