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dump on Trump

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2015 at 09:06
Now that it looks like Hilary may get the Democratic nomination my support for Trump is waning.  While I would like to see a moderate Democrat like Hilary win the presidential election she is not my first choice.  Trumps popularity means that no moderate Republican is likely to win the nomination but I could be persuaded to vote republican if they find one.  

Trump in some ways represents a hiatus in the neo-conservative movement and a return to the old days of blue blood republicans.  Neo-conservatives represented a turn toward more fascist like manifestation of conservatism among republicans where the traditional line between government and the private sector were blurred.  There were two faces to neo-conservatism, the public  face of less government and the actual policies that favored financial institutions who supported the political machine. 

While conservative policies were always intended to prevent the "masses" from gaining too much control of government in many ways the private sector historically maintained independence from the government in ways not seen in say the conservatism of the British Empire.  Trump as far as I can tell is more of a traditional U.S. conservative if a bit on the nutty side. 

"It's the war the neoconservatives wanted, Friedman says. It's the war the neoconservatives marketed. Those people had an idea to sell when September 11 came, and they sold it. Oh boy, did they sell it. So this is not a war that the masses demanded. This is a war of an elite. Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.


In the above article   White Man's Burden   the author points out something that people only sensed about the neo-conservatives and that is the underlying prejudices that were so common in the "good ol days" of previous centuries.  When neo-consevatives talked of returning to traditional values few people understood those values to include the justification for western cultural domination not seen since the days of manifest destiny.

Who does extreme nationalism and the use of military force remind you of?  I suppose you could argue almost any colonial power of the 15th to 19th century.  I would argue that in the 20th century that there is only one example where the kings of industry and a dictator worked closely together to bring those forces into cataclysmic realization.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2015 at 05:26
you might google Trump University and fraud.  People claim he has bilked them, but I think his lawyers are delaying it right now.  Who knows, if he's elected maybe he would pardon himself.

Oh, its old news, but to say Carly Florina is too ugly to be president, shows his vile nature.
He may be a billionaire, but he is white trash.  Of course, if you do white trash in a big way, 
people tend not to call it, probably because if Trump had a vendetta, he could pour on a world
of hurt for other people in the public eye.  Still, he is a vindictive, petty monster.  But he does
have some intelligence, in a conniving, vicious kind of way.


Edited by franciscosan - 17 Dec 2015 at 05:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2015 at 08:14
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

you might google Trump University and fraud.  People claim he has bilked them, but I think his lawyers are delaying it right now.  Who knows, if he's elected maybe he would pardon himself.

Oh, its old news, but to say Carly Florina is too ugly to be president, shows his vile nature.
He may be a billionaire, but he is white trash.  Of course, if you do white trash in a big way, 
people tend not to call it, probably because if Trump had a vendetta, he could pour on a world
of hurt for other people in the public eye.  Still, he is a vindictive, petty monster.  But he does
have some intelligence, in a conniving, vicious kind of way.

Fair enough I have grown tired of listening to him, as you say he sounds like someone from a trailer park. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2015 at 00:26
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

you might google Trump University and fraud.  People claim he has bilked them, but I think his lawyers are delaying it right now.  Who knows, if he's elected maybe he would pardon himself.

Oh, its old news, but to say Carly Florina is too ugly to be president, shows his vile nature.
He may be a billionaire, but he is white trash.  Of course, if you do white trash in a big way, 
people tend not to call it, probably because if Trump had a vendetta, he could pour on a world
of hurt for other people in the public eye.  Still, he is a vindictive, petty monster.  But he does
have some intelligence, in a conniving, vicious kind of way.

Fair enough I have grown tired of listening to him, as you say he sounds like someone from a trailer park. 

Don't you think that equating Trump with someone from a trailer park is denigrating those people who live in trailer parks?

From what we've seen of him here in Australia, the man's a buffoon, pure and simple, and the fact that anyone would consider him as the potential next leader of the free world is terrifying.


I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2015 at 02:06
Trump is the choice of people who want to give "the system" the bird (the finger).  I doubt they are thinking much past that.  Trump is for those people who say "I'll vote for him, because it can't get any worse than it is already."  Little do they realize it could get much worse, that whereas they might not like politics or President Obama, but politics is okay, the economy is okay, not terrific, but not that bad.

Trump is into beauty pageants and gambling and trades in his old model of a wife for a new model every so often.  He has a wonderful scam in Trump University, and his construction deals overlap with figures in organized crime.  Some people would be jealous of him, and wish that they could do that too.  To me, it is a little twisted, but it is worse because he and his followers don't realize that there is anything wrong.  As Bob Dylan said, "there is something you can't hide, when you're crippled inside."

I have a friend, and often when I go over to his house, there is the crisis du jour.  There are some people that seem to go from crisis to crisis, they are usually nice enough people.  It is not clear whether they bring it on to themselves or not.  I knew a girl, who, walking down the street, walked into a chlorine gas cloud, escaped from a nearby tank.  On the other hand, at age 13 she had a miscarriage after her best friend beat her up for sleeping with her (the best friend's) boyfriend.  There is Cary Grant karma, and Charlie Brown karma, she had Charlie Brown karma.  I hope her karma has changed in life, but I wouldn't bet on it.  It may be a little mean to call someone "trash," but only because usually the person cannot help having chaos in their life.  Trump however, seems to embrace the ugliness, and so appropriately deserves the name.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2015 at 11:32
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

 

Don't you think that equating Trump with someone from a trailer park is denigrating those people who live in trailer parks?

From what we've seen of him here in Australia, the man's a buffoon, pure and simple, and the fact that anyone would consider him as the potential next leader of the free world is terrifying.


First I would call the U.S. the mercenary of the "free" world not the leader.  The U.S. was hired by those unwilling to keep the peace with their own blood and paid in proxy petro dollars.  If nobody in the so called free world listens to the U.S. and blames it for everything that goes wrong how is it a leader?  It's like blaming the guard dog you trained for biting someone not your training.

As to comparing trump to the denizens of trailer parks it is true that it is a cruel cliche.  I would  however argue it does capture the willful ignorance of both the upper and lower classes fairly well.  The difference between the parasites at the top and bottom is that those at the top are drunk on power and ego and those at the bottom mostly on mind altering substances or self pity.  I have always argued that if you can't blame the poor you can't blame the rich.

The argument that you can't blame the disadvantaged for their condition is no more accurate than you can't blame the rich for following their self interest.  We are constantly inundated with the idea that those with an "education" and advantages should know better.  This idea even extends to western cultural hegemony but that is really just patronizing the underdeveloped world.  For example why should we believe that westerners should have known better than to brutally colonize North America?  Didn't the aboriginal tribes who acquired the technology of horses brutally colonized the Northern plains?  Shouldn't the Sioux have known better? 

The historical evidence certainly contradicts the idea that Europeans had the self awareness necessary to make any claim of moral superiority.  The same kind of tribal violence that we see in underdeveloped cultures just translated into larger and more destructive violence in the tribes we call nations.  The main difference between the crimes of nations and the crimes of tribes is that those of nations tend to be better recorded.

What has keep the larger tribes, the U.S., Russia, Europe, China, Australia from killing each other in recent decades seems to be more the threat of nuclear war than enlightenment.  Liberals of course like to credit their enlightenment for world peace but the evidence that it has played a major role is minimal.  The left has not and does not have that kind of moral influence over a diverse planet.  It is also clear that without external threats the "enlightened" socialist nations would be less constrained from warring with each other, for example the recent war between China and Vietnam.

On a final note how is it that enlightened views and peaceful demonstration for justice so often turn into riots and flaming cities?  Are we to be so condescending and patronizing as to say that certain disadvantaged groups can't be held responsible for their actions?  Contrary to liberal views it seems far more likely that the major flaw is in human nature not in any particular culture.  One thing that Trump and the trailer park denizens got right is that in it is incredulous to believe that illegal immigrants do not know they are breaking the law.  If we continue to patronize the disadvantage out of some misguided belief they cannot be held responsible then we undermine the rule of law that hopefully someday we can hold the rich accountable for under.  The banksters and the street thugs both seem to be having a good time of it because we no longer hold anyone accountable.

I personal blame it on the disadvantaged and unenlightened poorly educated hippies but that is just me Wink      



      






 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2015 at 20:24
Most people are fairly morally obtuse.  They say, "I didn't do anything illegal!" and they probably are correct.  However, what is moral is different than what is legal.  Something can be legal and not moral, or moral and not legal, or moral and legal, or neither moral nor legal.

I would say that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are fairly morally obtuse.  An ambassador (Spain?) was fired for having a private server, but apparently the rules are different for Hillary.  Trump insists he did nothing wrong, he means he hasn't done anything that good lawyers probably can't get him off of.  Of course, when you get to that level, it is pretty easy to self-justify cutting corners.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2015 at 00:06
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Most people are fairly morally obtuse.  They say, "I didn't do anything illegal!" and they probably are correct.  However, what is moral is different than what is legal.  Something can be legal and not moral, or moral and not legal, or moral and legal, or neither moral nor legal.

I would say that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are fairly morally obtuse.  An ambassador (Spain?) was fired for having a private server, but apparently the rules are different for Hillary.  Trump insists he did nothing wrong, he means he hasn't done anything that good lawyers probably can't get him off of.  Of course, when you get to that level, it is pretty easy to self-justify cutting corners.  

I have made this point repeatedly in regards to ethics.  For me there are two kinds of ethics what you have referred to in other posts as "Roman piety" which is the public face of morality and there is your personal belief system.  For me they are often in conflict because what is needed for law and order often conflicts with my sense of personal justice and empathy.  It is easy to put your personal sense of morality above the interests of the state but is that right?

Ignorance of the law may be no excuse but ignorance is certainly relevant to morality.  We could assume that Hillary and Trump both have sufficient education to determine what is moral but I suspect that is not really the case.  The law you can memorize and apply but personal morality is complicated and some people may feel obligated to ignore one or the other on some more abstract basis and then morality takes on a competence quality.

Many religious people object to what they call situational ethics but while the ends may not justify the means surely morality is about the consequences of your actions.  The more authority you have the more difficult it becomes to reconcile your personal morality with your public responsibilities.  Christianity captures this conflict fairly well in just a few lines:  "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  "And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”   "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." 

The question I think becomes do we want leaders who have such a strict personal morality that they must act contrary to the law or who have no regard for the practical and would give up everything on principle including our vested interests?   Being a politician may simply mean you can't save your own "soul". 



Edited by wolfhnd - 21 Dec 2015 at 00:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2015 at 06:43
People with a low education or intelligence are often more moral than those with extensive education.  Highly educated people can rationalize and self-justify their behavior much easier than more simple people.  For this reason, smart people often have problems with addiction that simple people do not.  Simple people are more inclined to surrender to help, whereas smart people think they can think their way out of their problems.  
Actually in Machiavelli, it is "the ends justify a means," not "the" means.  If you wanted to, say, stop the possiblity of a school shooting somewhere, you could blow up the entire school with daisy cutters (fuel air bombs), the school would be gone, and there would be no chance of a school shooting there.  When someone inquired about such drastic steps, you could say, "well Machiavelli said that, the ends justify the means.  Of course this scenario is ridiculous, but the point is that, if "the ends justifies the means," well then anything goes.  I tend to think that instead Machiavelli is saying that there is a means appropriate for the ends, also he is kind of saying where there is a will (or virtu), there is a way.

Sometimes putting your personal sense of morality above the interests of the state is taking a moral stand (and you should also should expect to pay the consequences, jail time or whatever), sometimes it is an ego trip.  Hypocrasy recognizes that there is a moraity (which the individual recognizes), even though they may not be able to meet it.
There are leaders who have a strict personal morality, but in general they are not in politics.  The only individual in the running today that I might worry about having too much moral scruples in Carson.  I think he would be an interesting guy to talk to, but in general I like my politicians to be politicians.

Aristotle wrote two works on ethics, the Eudemian Ethics and the Nicomachian Ethics, named after individuals, no other of his works are named after individuals, and I think that is because these 'Ethics' were addressed to particular individuals, meant for them, although others could get a lot from reading them too.

There is a story about Al-Kidhr, the Green man, who was Moses' teacher, Moses wanted to follow him, and Al-Kidhr said, "alright" but I don't want you to interfere with anything I do."  Well, one thing Al-Kidhr does is he gets a hammer and starts destroying a wall in barn, and of course Moses interrupts.  And then he finds I guy coming out of a bar and beats him up, and Moses interrupts.  Finally, after a night of these kinds of activities, Moses asks him what did he think he was doing.  Al-Kidhr reminds Moses that Moses promised not to interfere and explains to him that there was a hoard of gold under the wall of the barn, and now that the farmer has to replace the wall, he will find it, and save his farm.  Likewise, the drunk's wife was about to leave him and now that he should up in such bad shape, she will take pity on him, etc, etc.  The point is that some action appearing on the one hand to not be moral, from another perspective are shown to be moral.  But whereas where Al-Kidhr tears down a wall breaking the rules for a greater morality, I suspect that is not what Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is doing.  What they are doing is about Number 1, and full of ego.  I know that Hillary has a ghost written autobiography, I wouldn't be surprised if Trump has one (or More) also.  I don't know if it takes someone who is morally obtuse to get elected.  President Obama has a lot of ego, but I don't think I would call him morally obtuse, I might not agree with his morality, anti-business, pro-big government, but he does have a morality.


Edited by franciscosan - 22 Dec 2015 at 06:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M M Kubba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jan 2016 at 12:13
Yep. Really nothing to disagree with on this one.
All I would add to the discussion ( since this is about history) is where we as a nation stand on determining our fate.
From the technology advances since the late 1970's and the things we have found pleasantly entertaining (sports, I pads, I phones and on and on) we have reached a point of giving re-birth to the Madison Ave empire.
Therein lies the danger with someone like Trump. The American masses now "buy" anything advertised and promoted as the best the latest the coolest the most popular what everybody's gotta have.
Trump has proven he is really good at this. Good enough to get a few billion dollars by promising alot of stuff.
Add to the that the change in our nation's economy from production/manufacturing based to a consumer/service based economy; which,by the way, on a very good year can only get us about 2.25% growth in GDP (isn't China around 4.5 to 5% right now)......
Need I say more??
What do you think? Hopefully logic will prevail!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2016 at 08:12
I don't know if I want logic to prevail, logic is cold, freezing, no heart.  Usually when people break their word in order to get elected, they are doing what "it" takes to get elected, or at least what they think what it takes.  Hillary Clinton was urged to run in 2004, but she had promised that if she was elected as a senator, she would serve at least one term, and she did.  Barack Obama made the same promise when he was elected to the senate, and broke it when it turned out to be inconvenient.  I don't like either of them (that is not quite true, I don't know them except for the image they put out), but I do respect Hillary on that matter, for keeping her word.
I wonder if the US might learn some lessons in regards to Trump by looking at Italy and its former Prime Minister, Media Magnate Silvio Berlasconi.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2016 at 00:35
Would someone who lives in the USA, and;

a. Understands the electoral system;
b. give an unbiased opinion

please explain to me if in fact Trump has a snowflakes chance of becoming POTUS?

All we see on Australian television is a man making some outrageously stupid statements on race, immigrants etc.
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2016 at 04:55
That is a good thought.

the electoral college acts as kind of a buffer against populism.  The parties choose representatives per state, to the number of senate plus house seats.  The popular vote decides which parties electoral college cast votes.  It usually is just a rubber stamp, but in theory, the electoral college could vote for other than the popularly elected candidate.  I believe a few from California voted for Reagan in the Carter-Ford faceoff.  They of course, would have had to go against the party to do so, and would have been taken out of the electoral college for the next Presidential election.  But theoretically, yahoos could elect Trump, and the electoral college could go against the popular vote, in either one or many states and thus cause an upset, probably leading to the democrat winning (because the electoral college would cause a loss in a state that had been "won" by the popular vote.  It would have to be more than one or two individuals, and the stink it would cause would probably be smelled all the way to Australia.

Cruz won Iowa, at least Trump didn't.  I like Kasich who has been endorsed by the NY Times.  Kasich didn't make a play in Iowa, I think that he is hoping on a good push at NH.

Trump probably does have a chance, its hard to tell, they say that a lot of the people who are big on Trump, don't usually vote.  That is the appeal he offers, he is kind of giving the establishment the finger. There could be a revolt at the Republican Convention.  Also, if he was elected, he could have a lame duck Presidency, because face it, he has insulted just about everybody, and his proposals are not very well grounded in political reality.  He can _say_ that he will build a wall on the border and no one will get in, but if he was honest, he wouldn't say that because he can't promise that.  Either he is promising that because he is delusional, or naive, or most likely, he is talking out of his backside.  
We have a lot of checks and balances in our government, and of course when one party is in power, they find those checks and balances annoying (particularly the democrats).  After all 'we' know that 'we' are good guys, and want what is best, and these things get in the way of "us" doing good works.  But, if a Donald Trump gets elected, then I hope (particularly the democrats) will see the checks and balances in a new light.  btw Republicans are _more_ the party of small government and original intent in interpretation of the constitution.  Not that they don't also have their excesses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2016 at 05:30
Francisco:

Thanks for that. I agree with the view that he's talking out of his rear end, but I shudder at the thought of what he could do with the Executive Power that POTUS has.
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2016 at 01:08
I think we need to keep in mind that Trump represents a backlash against the intelligentsia which in many ways has replaced the parasitic priestly class in older societies.  When the priests came down out of their ivory towers to share their wisdom they were at first welcomed and embraced but people soon discovered that they had little understanding of the general population's hopes and aspirations.  It is the failure of this class of individuals to provide a workable moral foundation to replace the one they displaced that is our major failing. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2016 at 21:28
Which class are you talking about, the priests? or the intelligentsia?  There is a saying in philosophy that if you "vague" it up enough, it (anything for that matter) will make sense.  Is that what you are doing?

By parasitic, I assume that you mean that priests are not decent, hardworking individuals, of the "arbeit macht frei" or "workers of the world unite" kind?  
Of course, monasteries kept literacy alive (well, on life support) through the middle ages, and these days monasteries have to be self-sufficient, brew beer, make wine, paint icons, raise and train German shepherds.  You may not like what priests do, but this one minister that I know says its like have 2 school papers to do a week for the rest of your life.  It is a kind of "work," although maybe not "productive" in your eyes.  Of course, that is not all he does, he is an FBI psychiatrist who was called in for San Bernadino, did a threat assessment for a bunch of bikers who mouthed off for Obama's convention in 2008, and before that was at Ground Zero to (psychologically) pick up the pieces.
I think production is overrated, it begs the question, what is it all for?  I think seduction is much more interesting as a concept.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2016 at 23:33
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Of course, monasteries kept literacy alive (well, on life support) through the middle ages, 

That has to be weighed against the suppression of general education for fear of heresy.  It may be something of a myth that the church actively suppressed science but there was certainly a tight grip on how education was practiced.

More importantly this discussion is a distraction from the analogy I was making between the personality types that at one time to priesthood and those that today live cloistered lives in academia.  I was recently chatting with a young man who tells me that his professor of ethics encourages the worship of Marx.  One thing Marx was not was a decent human being.   Marx abused his one life long servant never paying her made her pregnant and abandoned her and the child. He borrowed heavily with no intention of repaying his debts to the point of alienating his family. His children committed suicide largely as a result of his abusive child rearing and he drove his wife mad.  As it relates to this discussion Marx never accepted any invitation to actually mingle with the workers he was writing about.

Getting back to the point I wanted to make, the way the church suppressed heresy is very analogous to the way discussions of IQ are currently suppressed.  Once you set yourself up as the keeper of truth without any empirical information to base policy on you have created a religion not a rational political system.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2016 at 23:34
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Of course, monasteries kept literacy alive (well, on life support) through the middle ages, 

That has to be weighed against the suppression of general education for fear of heresy.  It may be something of a myth that the church actively suppressed science but there was certainly a tight grip on how education was practiced.

More importantly this discussion is a distraction from the analogy I was making between the personality types that at one time turned to the priesthood and those that today live cloistered lives in academia.  I was recently chatting with a young man who tells me that his professor of ethics encourages the worship of Marx.  One thing Marx was not was a decent human being.   Marx abused his one life long servant never paying her made her pregnant and abandoned her and the child. He borrowed heavily with no intention of repaying his debts to the point of alienating his family. His children committed suicide largely as a result of his abusive child rearing and he drove his wife mad.  As it relates to this discussion Marx never accepted any invitation to actually mingle with the workers he was writing about.

Getting back to the point I wanted to make, the way the church suppressed heresy is very analogous to the way discussions of IQ are currently suppressed.  Once you set yourself up as the keeper of truth without any empirical information to base policy on you have created a religion not a rational political system.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2016 at 01:09
I don't think that Trump has a low IQ, I think he has a speech impediment and can only talk in superlatives.
I don't know if IQ is suppressed, and I don't know what it is good for,  I have a friend who likes to
talk about people with low IQ, which in some cases merely means people he doesn't agree with.  I think
IQ has been misused in the past, and people are cautious about misusing it again.  If there is a reluctance to use IQ right now, well I suppose if it is legitimately useful, it will be revived.  These things go in waves.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2016 at 02:19
IQ test are not very useful for anything I would guess.  Then again most of our education isn't "good" for anything.  If you have to choose between education or ignorance I think the risk that people will misused their education is worth the risk.

While IQ test may not be perfect they do provide us with as good a measure of expectations as we have.  Instead of trying to shove people into the same intellectual box we need to build a society that values everyone regardless of natural ability.

My main interest in this topic is to deconstruct the "blank slate" hypothesis of human malleability which has caused more misery than liberals are able to understand.  If your answer to every conservative argument is charges of racism or narrow mindedness you force the debate to the level of Trump. 

As it relates to this thread the people that support Trump may be delusional but in many ways they are no more delusional than the liberals.  The advantage the liberals have is that they can hide their delusions in intellectualism. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2016 at 00:12
It is always a mixture of nature and nurture.  People feel that if it is all nurture then we are "free" to create ourselves.  But it also means that (if that is accepted as true) then there is no end to the amount of manipulation government can justify (and no end to the mischief they can cause) in the name of molding the perfect population.

I suspect that with Trump, it is not that he is shallow, if he was shallow, he would have _some_ depth, and what he is is a matter of seduction, a denial of depth entirely.  He is not "producing" anything, which probably why he is so hard to answer.  There is no substance there.  It's like a sword fight against loose feathers.  Not a razor sharp scimitar or katana, a claymore.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2016 at 04:24
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

It is always a mixture of nature and nurture.  People feel that if it is all nurture then we are "free" to create ourselves.  But it also means that (if that is accepted as true) then there is no end to the amount of manipulation government can justify (and no end to the mischief they can cause) in the name of molding the perfect population.

I suspect that with Trump, it is not that he is shallow, if he was shallow, he would have _some_ depth, and what he is is a matter of seduction, a denial of depth entirely.  He is not "producing" anything, which probably why he is so hard to answer.  There is no substance there.  It's like a sword fight against loose feathers.  Not a razor sharp scimitar or katana, a claymore.  

To be honest Trump scares me but unlike my European friends I do not demand absolute security nor do I think it is the appropriate goal.  Sanders like all good socialist believes that the state has a duty to provide absolute security to everyone.  It's too early to tell but it looks like we may have a choice of Trump or Sanders.  I could vote for either one.

I understand that a lot of people dislike the caricature that is Trump and almost pity Sanders the passe' aged figure.  That said our financial institutions have run amuck under Republicans and the political correctness that the Democrats indorse is undermining our social institutions. If either of these things got fixed the U.S. would be a better place. Both however could do a lot of damage Trump in foreign relations and Sanders if he expands the failed welfare state.

I lean toward socialism but as I have gotten older I find myself questioning the wisdom of allowing the state too much power.  The abuse of power by the republicans to favor certain financial interests and the abuse of power to employ the violence of the state to establish social justice by the democrats are equally frightening.  Now that absolute poverty has almost been eliminated the only serious issue of social justice for me is health care.

Of course racial prejudice and sexism still exist but the ability of the state to use it's violent confiscatory power and or actual force to eliminate these problems is questionable.  One thing that is clear is that the  state and movements such as feminism, ethnic diversity, and the welfare state have caused their own share of misery.     
 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penderyn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2016 at 13:38
'Socialism' is, historically, not about the State but about the political power of working people.   In most capitalist states that is now so minimal as to suggest to those who are allowed to know about him that Marx had more to say that was useful than anyone is allowed to know.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2016 at 21:22
Originally posted by Penderyn Penderyn wrote:

'Socialism' is, historically, not about the State but about the political power of working people.   In most capitalist states that is now so minimal as to suggest to those who are allowed to know about him that Marx had more to say that was useful than anyone is allowed to know.

Nothing is stopping anyone from reading Marx except laziness.  The conspiracy to hide the truth is much exaggerated me thinks.


Hero worship is unhealthy so I recommend you learn about the man as well as his writing.




Edited by wolfhnd - 10 Feb 2016 at 21:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2016 at 00:10
Yes, 'socialism' is all 'about' the political power of the working people, like a cannon trying to hit a target, and missing.  Instead, someone always comes to the fore, a demagogue who is willing to tell the people what they really think.  Marxism is by no means neglected these days.  True, in the Soviet Union, Moscow University had 200+ full time faculty members in the philosophy department (I am not exaggerating), working at the details of five year plans.  With the collapse and opening of Russia, suddenly all these philosophers were exposed to the broader world academic community, and discovered that there brand of Marxism was backwards and ossified compared to the West.  In the West, however, Marxism had gone in new directions,  Postmodernists such as Baudrillard and Foucault are influenced by it, although with the student revolution in Paris of 1968, French philosophy does switch from an interest in Hegel and Marx, to more of an interest in Heidegger and Nietzsche.  The radicals try to seize the means of production, but by 1968, the means of production and power in the French state is decentralized and defused amongst the entire state.  But in areas (alienation) Marxism still has a message which is useful for those who need grist for their Mill.

One reason why I don't like statistics is because 90% of statistics are made up.  Having said that,
80 % of Americans believe that they live in a better neighborhood.  If it is pointed out that another neighborhood is nicer, they will point out that it doesn't have the same sense of community that they do, or that people in that better neighborhood are slaves to the paycheck, trying to keep up with their mortgage or their rent, or just trying to be one better than the Jones.  My point is, is that statistically not everybody can live in a better neighborhood (as opposed to a worse one), and yet in their minds they do.
There is a great deal of optimism in the American outlook.  Traditionally, most Americans have identified themselves with the (moderately) wealthy.  They may not be there right now, but often they have planned to be there quite soon.  Or they may have had some bad luck recently, but they dislike the notion of class warfare because they do plan on getting there someday.

This is part of the attraction of Trump.  He has "made it" and the fact that he has had a few bankruptcies just means to his adoring fans that he has worked hard, has had a few setbacks (like they have), and that just means that he is human.  In their enthusiasm, they think he is a rugged individualist like themselves.  But like many of the wealthy, he is sucking on the teat of big government, paying the mob to get his fancy hotels built, and defrauding ordinary people with his courses at "Trump University."  Of course, a fan would say that "of course in order to get where he is today, he has had to cut a few corners."  They see him as like themselves, but fact is, generally, they wouldn't want to do what he has done.  They see politicians as immoral, because politicians are willing to be convinced otherwise if the evidence is presented.  Trump on the other hand, is someone who thinks he knows it all, already, and is not willing to be convinced otherwise.
One question to ask, is what would a Trump cabinet be like?  Would he get a bunch of "yes" men, or would he get the best experts he could?  Also, does anything he says about China remotely resemble what he would actually do in office?  On the other hand, he has worked hard and basked in the fact that he has pissed off a lot of people, can he play nice with others, or will all offenses be excused because of success?
SC is an open primary, which means that democrats can vote for republican candidates. democrats in areas in the past have voted for the more extreme candidate in order to insure that the democratic candidate will appeal to the middle of the road voters, as well as those on the left.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2016 at 00:26
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Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

Socialism has failed anywhere it reared its ugly head. God forbid Sanders or Hilary win this election.

I think what discredits Marx more than anything else is that he didn't see how capitalism was already erasing the meaning of class.  I'm sure he never foresaw a time when absolute poverty would become an obsolete concept and social warriors would have to invent relative poverty.  The signs were all there for him to see in the middle 19th century as industrialist had come wield as much power as nobility had in earlier generations.  During his life he must have seen the remarkable increase in the middle class.  He should have seen how workers would soon join that middle class because capitalism requires consumers with expendable incomes.  Marx lived a life of privilege on the backs of workers he refused to even associate with.  In many ways he was as delusional in regards to the nature of productivity as the financial wizards he so despised.  Too often we assume that intellectually gifted and successful are wise and that is a trap that not only liberals fall into but also conservatives.   

With the advent of neo conservatism we have taken a remarkable step backwards in the natural evolution of economic prosperity for workers.  Income inequity has not been higher in almost a century.  In a very real sense the economic engine of capitalism has been distorted not by the industrialist class as Marx predicted but by financial markets that have learned to feed at the tit of socialism.  In the recent housing crisis you can see how easy it was for the financial markets to become the middle man in government giveaways and wipe off the cream of tax papers supported government programs.  This system where the government and financial interest are almost indistinguishable is called fascism.

I don't feel that Trump is a neo conservative fascist as that club is largely off limits to people like him who work outside banking and wall street.  I also don't think that people like Reagan actually understood how deeply they were getting in bed with a corrupted system that uses government to protect it's interests.  Conservatives it seems are just as oblivious to the effects of their ideological blinders as socialist are.  So the question becomes is Trump in his oblivion potentially a tool of the financial oligarchy?  I suppose so but there is no reason to believe that electing a socialist will solve the problem of a corrupt government.  After all the current situation evolved under the protection of the government.

It is bad enough that the corruption of our financial system has started to reverse the great improvement for the average worker that has taken place over the last 200 years but it has also infected our legal system.  After we made steady improvement in this area in the 60s, 70s and 80s the banksters are now once again immune from personal responsibility.

"Former litigator William S. Lerach explores the chasm between the ideals and the reality of the American legal system, one that promises equal access and accountability but often shields the financial elite from civil liability and criminal prosecution. Drawing on his extensive experience with class action lawsuits, Lerach shows how major court decisions have skewed toward defendants"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WucxKDaLv-s

Of course it is not only conservatives that legislate from the bench.  When liberal judge Stephen Reinhardt says "they can't catch them all" he is referring to his ability to influence cases law with liberal rulings without the risk that they will all be overturned by the supreme court.  That is not to say that there have not been times when the courts were forced to "legislate" to protect civil liberties but the real precedent it sets is one of lawlessness.

For those that think Sanders will be better able than Trump to address this deep rooted illness in our financial system consider the following.

"Wall Street hates him because he is a class traitor, he has bought into the populist rhetoric that Wall Street is greedy and makes too much money, he sounds more anti-Wall Street than Elizabeth Warren."

Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group.






      


 

        
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penderyn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2016 at 17:04
Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

Socialism has failed anywhere it reared its ugly head. God forbid Sanders or Hilary win this election.


Socialists, as you know, have been murdered in vast numbers whenever they tried to establish socialism.   State Capitalism works no better than any other form of the system, obviously.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penderyn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2016 at 17:07
The thing Marx didn't fully understand was hegemony, which is the way class rule is preserved.    I was fascinated the other day to hear that a famous folksong collector was 'a Liberal' because he belonged to the Fabian Society, and who now has heard of Shaw, or even Wells?    1984 is entirely capitalist: liars control the present and therefore the past.
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