Essay talk:Let us have some equality among extremists

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First...[edit]

...thanks for the kind about me in the intro. I may define myself as a communist, but I like to think that in the real world, my political/economic views are more flexible and less dogmatic--with the exception of one central idea: that capitalism (and its close partners imperialism/neoimperialism) is at the heart of many of the injustices and inequalities affecting the world historically and today. I doubt very much that orthodox Marxism is workable, but a political/economic system that is premised on the individual, as opposed to the collective, cannot help but to bring advantage to some (because of class, as Marx would argue, but also because of "race," gender, etc...)at the expense of others.

I suppose ultimately my political views are leaning towards some sort of socialist/anarchist ideals where the state is left out entirely, in part because of many of the things you mention here. I don't fly/wear hammers and sickels, nor do I try to whitewash/justify/explain away the inexcusable crimes of, say, the Soviets and the Chinese. But the numbers of people subjugated throughout the history of the world--in Europe, Asia, Africa and America by capitalism and imperialism look as bad as a lot of the cases you're talking about here--the difference being, I think, that they are easily justified/explained away by pseudo-scientific notions of the "workings of the market" or the "invisible hand," or as aberrations or as a necessary price to pay to preserve a system that's as arbitrary--and as dependent on uneven power relationships--as any other.

Nice work....TheoryOfPractice 22:17, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Hitler and Stalin[edit]

I suspect that most of us have not had much intimate contact with the excesses of communism and therefore don't feel too motivated to write about it. Same goes for Islam. Until recently our articles on Islam were pretty wishy-washy.

I would point out though that our Hitler article says of him: Most evil human ever (or maybe he shares the title with Stalin?) and our article on Joseph Stalin mentions the famine to which you refer. Perhaps you might wish to create a Holodomor article and see if the many liberals here people object. I rather think they won't.--BobNot Jim 07:21, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't think the Holomodor is some big secret. I always knew of the mass starvation, I just thought the numbers were higher (perhaps from reading RobS' screeds on CP?), like 20 million. And I don't think "idealist" communists adore or even condone Stalin. That said, communists do tend towards "toeing the Party line" much as many other more extreme idealists do. They can seem as silly as, say, Libertarians. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:14, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Equality? Not everything that is wrong is wrong to the same degree.[edit]

Just found this, and thought there is an angle that should at least be mentioned. While Hitler and Stalin were both maniacal mass-murderers, it is still useful to differentiate between different extremists* and, more importantly, between different ideas and ideals that you do not like. One was a maniacal mass-murderer who perverted a perhaps misguided, perhaps unrealistic, but undoubtedly noble idea, and used unacceptable means to reach it: to create a society of equals, without poverty. The other already started out with an idea that is fundamentally inhumane: that one race is inherently better than all others and thus has the right to rule and / or exterminate them. This latter "ideal" is already so depraved that it cannot be corrupted any more than it already is; war and murder follow logically, and that makes white suprematism much worseby inventing the assembly line by its very definition. Compare a religious delusion with a theology of hope, peace, brotherly love and charity on the one side, and another with a theology of having to sacrifice hundreds of prisoners at regular intervals if we want the sun to live for another 52 years. Again, the first has also been used to justify genocide, yes, but the other is murderous by its very character.

  • It is also debatable whether the category extremist is very helpful at all, at least on its own, and at least for value or truth judgments. Basically, all of us would have been extremists a comparatively short time ago with our blasphemous and silly ideas that a society without serfdom could be anything but despicable anarchy, or that women should be allowed education, etc. In the late Weimar republic and Nazi Germany afterwards, Nazis were mainstream, not extremists, except if you define this word to mean everybody who disagrees too much with you, personally, and in that case it is even less helpful. --Mintman (talk) 08:24, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  1. The two groups are more alike than the Reds would like to admit; both, in theory and practice, pile blame for the world's ills upon an "other" or scapegoat. Compare: The Nazis claim that there is a conspiracy of international Jewish bankers oppressing the everyman. The Reds' answer: "What are you saying?! Those bankers aren't Jewish; they're blue-eyed!"
  2. The Nazis were extreme, all right. A large number of them subscribed to occultism, which was not mainstream in Germany at that time. Hindenburg, who was not known for having liberal views, thought it an affront to God that Hitler should be chancellor.
  3. I note that you are not offering any actual arguments in favor of your hypothesis that the Nazis' scapegoating was "inhumane" and "depraved" while the Reds' scapegoating was "noble." For my part, all your jabber about the "nobility" of the Reds' ideas is a strike against them, as I take quite a dim view of hypocrisy. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:04, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
The two groups are more alike than the Reds would like to admit; No, they aren't, but that is not even the point of what I wrote (I see a pattern emerge in your replies, I must say). The point is that the underlying ideas are extremely different.
both, in theory and practice, pile blame for the world's ills upon an "other" or scapegoat. Compare: The Nazis claim that there is a conspiracy of international Jewish bankers oppressing the everyman. The Reds' answer: "What are you saying?! Those bankers aren't Jewish; they're blue-eyed!" Ah, yes, this guy is exactly representative of all the various shades of red that have existed and currently exist, anywhere, right? One of the problems here is really the size of the brush you are using to paint your image - as I already said here, you have a very simplistic worldview. In my youth, I have known enough socialists who know full well that there is no sinister conspiracy, but rather that individual companies are forced to pollute, exploit and impoverish by the competitive system that is the free market - if they do not pay as little as possible for wages/cleanup/whatever, but their competition does, they perish, end of story. This is also how Marx thought and wrote - in terms of objectively observable conflicts of economic interest between workers and capitalists, not in terms of good and evil. Funny thing is, though, even if a much less sophisticated commie militant faults Monsanto for patenting biological resources, Chiquita for exploiting their workers, or Shell for polluting the Niger delta and corrupting the whole political system of Nigera, all for profit reasons, is that scapegoating? It could be argued that they are actually the ones who are responsible, you know.
The Nazis were extreme, all right. A large number of them subscribed to occultism, which was not mainstream in Germany at that time. This is simply factually wrong. The vast majority of Nazis were catholics (as was Hitler) or protestants, because the Nazi party members were recruted from average German people. Oh, perhaps you redefine Nazis to only include their top cadre, because that makes you right? Again, a pattern in your thinking emerges... What is next, only the pope and cardinals are catholics, the rank-and-file members of the RCC aren't? Just to state the obvious again: I think that Nazis were depraved, but not that the extremist label is a helpful one.
I note that you are not offering any actual arguments in favor of your hypothesis that the Nazis' scapegoating was "inhumane" and "depraved" while the Reds' scapegoating was "noble." I do not intend to, because I was not referring to the scapegoading, which in the case of Marxism I do not even observe to have happened on a general level, but to the underlying ideas, the political aims of the movements. That should be clear to any impartial observer, especially after my calling Stalin a maniacal murderer, and after the comparison to religious ideas.
For my part, all your jabber about the "nobility" of the Reds' ideas is a strike against them, as I take quite a dim view of hypocrisy. Sigh. The point is here, and was also the starting point in the other thread, that next to the dictatorial and intolerant ones, there have been and are nice and sensible, peaceful and democratic, pro-science, non-hypocritical socialists, marxists, even communists, who just want to end poverty and oppression that they have experienced, and/or interpret what is going on in society, politics and economy from a different perspective than you do. But there simply cannot be nice and sensible, peaceful and democratic, pro-science white suprematists, because the whole point and definition of white suprematism is to view yourself as superior than other "races", and to suppress and, in the long run, enslave or eradicate them. You can be a marxist who wants to implement their economic and social vision in a democratic way, but if you think that non-whites have the same rights as whites, then you are by the very definition no longer a white suprematist. That is why your equalization of these two kinds of "extremism" does not work, no matter how many corrupt and hypocritical communists you can name. --Mintman (talk) 21:44, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
You have a very simplistic worldview... The Emperor is naked. Get over it.
Ah, yes, this guy is exactly representative of all the various shades of red that have existed... President da Silva is representative of the more moderate end of the Red spectrum, the kind that can get itself democratically elected and (so far) play by democratic rules.
This is also how Marx thought and wrote - in terms of objectively observable conflicts of economic interest... Conflicts that he encouraged an end of through a revolution on the part of the workers. Said he: "Workers of the world, unite!" People who exerted far less influence in white-supremacist thought have been blamed for helping the Holocaust happen.
The vast majority of Nazis were catholics (as was Hitler) or protestants... Actually, Hitler was a pagan who wanted to institute an imperial cult. This is made fairly plain by a reading of Mein Kampf; all his praises of Christianity there are set in terms of cultural tradition.
Oh, perhaps you redefine Nazis to only include their top cadre... There were two kinds of Nazis: the ones who joined of their own free will (the so-called "old fighters") and those who were forced to join once the party had a monopoly. The old guard were the cranks and extremists who made the ideology. You see the same thing with Reds; whenever a communist party has been in power long enough, moderates take hold and steer the thing back toward reality. The Nazi party, unfortunately, did not last long enough for that to happen.
...the underlying ideas, the political aims of the movements. So am I. Marx talked about "objectively observable conflicts" between classes, while Hitler talked about "objectively observable conflicts" between nations. Hitler sided with one nation and went into politics on that account, while Marx sided with one class and went into politics on that account.
...if you think that non-whites have the same rights as whites, then you are by the very definition no longer a white suprematist. And if you think that bourgeois people have the same rights as proletarians, the latter being entitled to lead a dictatorship, you are no longer a Red.
The point is here, and was also... Kindly cease with the cherry-picking. The nice socialists can ignore the nasty (and vital) bits of Marxist philosophy all they want, just as one can ignore the nasty (and vital) bits of Nazi philosophy, and talk of a group of people who simply wished to restore German culture and national honor, and fight communism and British imperialism (Knut Hamsun, the Norwegian writer, was a Nazi supporter on those grounds). Ignoring it does not make it go away. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:28, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Quit conflating Nazism with Marxism/Communism/Leftism. They aren't the same, and really aren't even similar. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:56, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

I have explained why I think they are similar. It is usual in situations like this for the opponent to provide rebuttals to the given arguments rather than to put forth arguments by assertion. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:06, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh, you mean I have to refute "Winding up communists and then watching them spiel the party line is usually good for a cheap laugh, since ... they generally exhibit the rigid ideological conformity of that political philosophy by responding with the same shtick, waxing lyrical about justice and then calling me a fascist, or something similar, for being opposed to their views" garbage like that first? The nature of your essay and your defenses of it do not justify your high-minded demand. I pooped on your silly assertion, that Nazism and Communism are similar - in philosophy. In practice, sure, because most "communist" governments so far have been appalling dictatorships, not vested in the proletariat as Marx would intend, but by the powermongers. PS, the reason the US is so rich ain't the god of Mammon and Capitalism. It's because the continent is unbelievably well-endowed with natural resources - (wood), oil, coal, gold, uranium, grain fields, etc. Born on third base and arguing we hit a triple is not an intelligent argument between various economic philosophies. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:57, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Know what? I give up. ListenerX, you obviously do not even want to consider arguments, and most of your writing seems to be tailored to make the other side in a discussion angry instead of trying to convince or perhaps only reach mutual understanding. You already know everything and everybody else can only be deluded, no? If you do not want to see a difference between those of my compatriots who tried to conquer the world and exterminate the entire Jewish people (with long term plans to exterminate all slavic peoples) and those who build a stagnating, dictatorial but egalitarian and non-aggressive state for 40 years afterwards, if you do not want to see any difference between the idea that all humans should have the same access to economic wealth and the idea that everybody who does not share your skin tone must be kept in thrall, so be it. How you can have the gall to call other people rigidly ideological has to remain a mystery to me, however. You cannot convince somebody this way, but only antagonize them to the point where they give up in disgust. --Mintman (talk) 07:33, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and by the way: The Nazi party, unfortunately, did not last long enough for that to happen. Unfortunately? The only adequate way to address this statement would employ words that I would not like to write here. Every additional year of its existence was an additional year of systematic genocide. If the western powers had waited for any imaginary realists to take over, there would not have been any Jews, Sinti and Roma, Yehova's witnesses, homosexuals or disabled left in Europe, and of the slavs just about as many as they would have needed for slave labor. --Mintman (talk) 20:16, 30 July 2009 (UTC)


To Mintman[edit]

If you do not want to see a difference... I repeat that you are cherry-picking the best of Marxism and the worst of Nazism. Of course the two philosophies are wildly different in a great deal of ways, but they are also similar in a crucial regard.

How you can have the gall to call other people rigidly ideological... I hope what I say below will throw some doubt over the proposition that I am a rigidly ideological fellow.

You already know everything and everybody else can only be deluded, no? It is the Nazis and Reds that have a problem with the idea that no one can know everything, with the idea that we do not know the first thing about making a "perfect world" based on definitions of perfection that we pluck out of the air. G.K. Chesterton said of ideals, "On the day that any copybook maxim is carried out there will be something like an earthquake on the earth." The longer an ideal has existed, the greater the certainty that any attempt to realize it will only end in tears.

I am solidly opposed to communism as I am to creationism, for falsification is all we can be sure of. I support capitalism as I support evolution, both being concepts supported by a near-consensus of the scientists in the relevant fields.

I am not promoting capitalism as the only possible functional economic system, so it is not "my way or the highway," nor am I promoting the extreme laissez-faire capitalism that gets dragged out as a straw-man to bash the whole of capitalism. However, as is the case with evolution, there are very few alternatives to choose from. Criticism of capitalism comes in the same way as criticism of evolution; while with the latter the critics are usually fundamentalists, with the former the critics are usually Reds.

...imaginary realists... Were Claus von Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators just a figment of someone's imagination, perhaps? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:57, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

I think "democratic socialism" blows US-style capitalism out of the water as a way to organize a society/economy. Sometimes poorer, sometimes richer, but in the long term, far better outcomes. Just sayin' ħumanUser talk:Human 05:56, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
What about the economic stagnation caused by democratic-socialist and/or social-democratic policies? The U.K.'s Winter of Discontent, the Netherlands' stagnation in the early 1980s, the French abandonment of their interventionist policies after Mitterrand made a bad move? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:27, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I said I'd give up, didn't I? But sometimes you cannot help yourself.
Human has already made the important point that communists do not generally advocate murdering capitalists, but only to take their possession of the means of production away from them. Admittedly, you could also be a white suprematist who does not advocate genocide, but still the point of white suprematism is that your race is superior, but the point of communism is that everybody is equal. How you cannot see the difference is completely beyond me.
To Human's point I will add another important difference. If you live in a commie dictatorship, then all you have to do to stop being persecuted or suppressed is become a commie. That is still bad, and nobody is saying it is better than a democracy. I would not want to live in Stalinist Russia, seriously. But in Nazi Germany, a white suprematist dictatorship, all you could do if you were a member of the groups that the Nazis did not like was flee or die. The option of simply becoming a white suprematist in order to be left alone is not available for Jews and their other scapegoats. How you cannot see the difference is completely beyond me.
Now if I had to choose between Nazi Germany and the USSR, you can bet all you have that I would choose the USSR. The USA and Britain allied with a complete bastard like Stalin, who is probably already the cherry-picked worst that communism has to offer, to stop Hitler. You must simply somehow dimly realize that the first hypothetical as well as the second actual decision are probably based on differences between the two.
In answer to your charge of cherry-picking I would also like to reiterate that I am not saying that communists did not do bad things. I am saying that communists can do bad things or they don't, but white suprematists must do them, because discrimination is the basis of their ideology, while the basis of commie ideology is, at its core, that everybody should have approximately the same wealth and acceptable living conditions.
In answer to your charge of communists scapegoading the economic elite, well, I have already given the appropriate twofold answer above, even if you choose to ignore it. First, Marxists see the entire system of capitalism at fault and not individual scapegoats - the existence of unsophisticated commies who have a more simplistic worldview notwithstanding, but that would be like faulting Darwin for every eugenics or Social Darwinism wacko. Second, when companies pollute, exploit, bribe etc., whom do you fault if not them? Or are you perhaps completely unaware of the existence of lobbyists, environmental disasters, appalling working conditions, etc. Now you can argue that this does not mean we need to introduce communism, only that we need to regulate against these problems, well done!, but it is a bit rich to call it scapegoading if a commie complains that the undeniably powerful undeniably abuse their power.
Now that I have hopefully made clear what the big, to most people self-evident differences are, some other points.
I am solidly opposed to communism as I am to creationism, for falsification is all we can be sure of. I support capitalism as I support evolution, both being concepts supported by a near-consensus of the scientists in the relevant fields. If it only were so easy to transfer approaches from the natural sciences to the humanities and, especially, politics, the world would be a lot simpler. Unfortunately, it isn't. An important point here is that not everybody might agree with your criteria for evaluation "success" and "failure" (or falsification) of a political system, and that is why your black and white view of politics is too primitive. Just for a glaringly obvious example, there are surely people who would prefer an egalitarian stagnating dictatorship to a liberal democracy in which they, personally, live in poverty. You will have a hard time convincing them by pointing out that capitalism is demonstrably economically more successful if they do not feel that they get their share of that success. Concerning scientists in the relevant field, what I will write now will probably convince you that I am a denialist, but there seriously are areas where scientists may be motivated to propagate crap because that is the only thing those who employ them want to hear, and economics is one such field. I remember a case a few years back where a German economics research institute got, in the same year, separate commissions from the unions and the trade association, and they produced two reports advising for diametrically opposed economic policies. The press had a field day. Economists have it particularly easy there because you cannot really test most of their ideas anyway, and they are much more likely to follow the proverb wes' Brot ich ess, des' Lied ich sing' (whose bread I eat, whose song I sing) than a natural scientist, because typically no partisan (!) economic interests turn on the work of the natural scientist. This is not saying that soviet command economy was not performing worse than capitalism (although: perhaps good enough? It did manage to churn out enough tanks to rout the Nazis), but I am not surprised that you do not find a lot of professors of economy in the current political climate who would step up and say, "actually, privatizing the railroad tracks does not really make a lot of sense, does it? I mean, they are by their very concept a monopoly, and Britain had very bad experiences with the privatization..." The answer will always be "hey, somebody can earn money with that, and they give us campaign contributions, so STFU."
Were Claus von Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators just a figment of someone's imagination, perhaps? Even though they are celebrated as the prime models of resistance every year in my home country, I actually find that quite embarrassing. They had no problems with dictatorship, genocide and world conquest up to the point where they realized that they were going to lose the war. They only tried to blow up Hitler because they thought he was an underachiever, not because they gave a damn about the life or well-being of any non-German. If you want the people who gave their lives to fight the Nazi dictatorship out of ideological incompatibility, try the communists and democratic socialists. You have to realize what, unfortunately, a large part of the German people is also still in denial about: Germany was not kidnapped by a few dozen radicals, but the majority of the German people was okay with killing the Jews and taking over their companies and apartments, killing the Polish and taking over their country, and killing the disabled because they are a drain on the welfare system. There were no moderate white suprematists waiting in the ranks because this ideology did not have any drawbacks for an average German up to the point where the Red Army began to push the Wehrmacht back. --Mintman (talk) 09:44, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
...what I will write now will probably convince you that I am a denialist... What you are is a person who impugns the work of scientists in a distinctly unscientific fashion, on account of a political disagreement with their findings. I am going to hazard a guess that with your German economic think-tank, those two studies were not made by the same members of the tank, economics researchers being allowed on certain occasions to differ in opinion.
The majority of the German people was okay with killing the Jews... Bunk. It was done in secret and most of them did not even know what was going on until the war was almost over.
I am disinclined to continue debate with a person who makes libels against the scientific community, or against his own people. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:32, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Okay, so as far as I see it, the positions boil down to the following: a dogmatic commie thinks that everything is ideology and partisan interest because that is what they experience in politics, and so they believe that natural scientists must also work that way - one of the things you directly criticized those Trotzkyists for. Conversely, you think that all scientists and pro-capitalist politicians (or let us say, at least everybody who agrees with you) must be completely impartial, rational, and purely committed to finding the one most rational way of doing things, without particular interests ever entering the equation, presumably because you know that approach from the natural sciences. Oh, and you assume that there IS one singular most rational way of doing things in economy, politics and welfare to start with, that this way can actually be found as easily as the significance level of a weight difference between two bird species, and probably that everybody would agree to it if they were only as rational and enlightened as you, even if that would mean monetary losses for them, personally. Yeah sorry, I prefer to think that life is a bit more complicated, and as I said before, one clear idea does not a complete worldview make. And apparently you think that calling corrupt, let us say, on an economist who writes a report advising a city to sell their town hall to a company for 1000 money and then rent it back for 100 money per year for the next 50 years, or on those experts who told the US populace that housing prices will never fall, is impugning their work. Well, you are right in that, admittedly, they might also be complete and utter idiots, but I doubt that somebody as stupid as they would have to be for that to be the most parsimonious solution could have finished their studies with a diploma.
It was done in secret and most of them did not even know what was going on until the war was almost over. Do you honestly think that all those Germans who took over Jewish apartments, furniture, silverware and entire companies never wondered where the previous owners had disappeared to? Are you unaware that the German Wehrmacht had to employ actual soldiers for massacring entire Eastern European Jewish communities by bullet even before the gassing started? Are you not aware of the climate of antisemitism that existed even before Hitler took power? Also, when debunking a conspiracy theory like those about 9/11 or the moon landings, one of the main arguments that I keep hearing is that such a big conspiracy could not be kept secret if so many tens of thousands of people had to participate. That is rather convincing, I think. And you honestly believe that the huge industrial and logistic effort to draw together and murder millions of Jews and other assorted minorities, many of whom had German civilian relatives by the way, could be kept secret? Get real. --Mintman (talk) 18:43, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
There is, that as an aside, a deep and rich irony to you of all people calling libel the observation that economics are more easily infected by partisan economic interests than chemistry or art history (duh), and the commonplace observation of what exactly makes the crimes of Nazism so creepy in comparison to other massacres in recent history. Was it not you who indiscriminately lumped all "reds", from pacifist to Stalinist, from reformer to revolutionary, in the other debate? And was it not you who equated "reds" to white suprematists in this essay? Taking that together, you are basically arguing that Lula and people like myself are comparable to Nazis, just because we happen to disagree with you on economic policies. I wish I knew where you get your chutzpah, that could be darn useful sometimes to have so rich a supply of it. --Mintman (talk) 08:38, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

(UNINDENT) Since you have decided to contribute to the Wiki now, I suppose we can continue. I repeat that I am not in favor of any over-narrow orthodoxy in economic thinking; I much disagree with Keynesian economic thinking, but recognize it as a proper economic theory that enjoys some support among economists. I shall not accept any of your straw-man examples as accurate representations of statements made by economists, without sources.

I understand that the German people were told that the Jews were being deported rather than gassed; in many areas they were moved into ghettos prior to their moving. This covered the Nazis' tracks very well, so well that the Allies did not know that there was any genocide going on until 1942; with the Nazi government in control of all media outlets, very few Germans would have had a chance to receive news of the operations in Eastern Europe. As to pre-Nazi European anti-Semitism, it was religious rather than ethnic or racial in nature. This is the most familiar sort of anti-Semitism, and even today you see surprise expressed that Jews who had converted to Christianity, or even grown up Christian, were persecuted by the Nazis. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 01:26, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

How now? If somebody were actually libelous and contributed to the wiki, you would still respect their position :-)? Also, pointing out that something is wrong is also a form of contributing, even if you do not write articles yourself.
I notice that the talk has drifted quite far from the original topic. The first part seems to be a continuation of the debate: the merits of communism, the second could perhaps be moved to a new debate: how mainstream were the Nazis in their time?, although I am not very interested to prolong that anyway.
It should be common knowledge that the majority of economic experts prognosticate rising rates in every bubble, right to when it bursts, and laugh the few skeptics out of the room. It was that way with the dot com bubble, and it was the same with the housing bubble, it is always "the old rules do not apply any more". These are the economists consulted by companies, TV stations and governments, just read any half way critical report on the current crisis. Or just remember what was on TV a year back. Why do they do this, even though everybody should know the concept of overvaluation? Stupid or corrupt, you decide. As to the example with the sale and re-renting of public buildings in Germany, euphemistically called public private partnership, I have searched for but not found a good article that I read a few months back; probably exists only in print, but would have been in German anyway. Point is, it should be obvious that selling your municipal hall to a company that needs to make profit from it, and then renting it back, cannot be a win-win situation. Seen over the life cycle of that deal, the tax payer loses, and you could calculate this through with an elementary school class. Nevertheless, economists in consultant firms are happy to write reports focusing entirely on the short term benefits, which is probably all that a politician who needs to win the election in three years cares about.
I have now realized that you are maybe thinking more of pure researchers like professors of economics at a university anyway, and that we have never really defined what professional opinions of them you are relying on. Okay, I never meant that there were no economists who aren't corrupt, merely that economists work in an area where they are much more likely to sell their credentials to the highest bidder than a natural scientist (although I have also read an ecotrophologist argue that everybody should eat 0.5 kg of meat per day (!) to get their daily dose of iron, as if there were no other sources - can you guess which organization pays her? Hint: it is not the Animal Liberation Front). I am in no position to distinguish economists who have sold out from those who have not except in the very obvious cases like those I already mentioned, but at least I acknowledge the possibility of partiality. If a government forms a think tank of advisers on economic policy, do you think they draw lots? No, they chose the people who tell them what they want to hear, and what most western governments want to hear today is "privatize". In addition, what do I care if an economist can demonstrate empirically, and again, this is not as easy as a hypothesis test in biology to start with, that a certain tax system is the best for a dynamic economy, but I personally would pay more under it, or the state could afford less services that I rely on under it? There are many possible criteria for evaluation of policies, not only that of competitiveness, and you do not get to define the principal criterion by fiat. The feeling I get here is that you are happily bashing others for their cognitive biases, which is great, but completely ignore the material interest dimension of human behaviour, and you need that too to get a complete picture of what is going on in the world, and especially in economics and politics. See also my last comment over at the debate page where this whole argument really belongs.
I should also clarify a bit that I did not mean to say that all Germans knew how exactly and with what thoroughness the genocide was carried out. Still, the best you could say about my grandparent generation is that many of them must have been in willful denial about what was going on right next to them - not wanting to see, not wanting to think about it, but still profiting from it. But that does not excuse them much, and anyway, it simply strains credibility to argue that this could have been done in secret. Huge numbers of bodily capable German men were soldiers, and especially those at the eastern front carried out atrocities or stood idly by while the SS committed them. And at the beginning at least, they had Fronturlaub or wrote home. Transporting people into concentration camps was a huge logistic effort that was managed over the Reichsbahn network, i.e. the state-owned railroad company, and all their employees kept mum? Or did not realize what they were doing? What about the employees at companies that produced Zyklon B et al. while no gas was used in war, employed slave workers rented for a few cents from the concentration camps, or even industrially processed the hair of gassing victims? What about engineers who developed and patented gassing chambers and mass crematories? The officials of entire bureaucracies tasked with redistributing Jewish possessions, and institutes tasked with outlining plans for the Germanization of eastern Europe? I could go on, but in addition to what I already listed above I should have made my point. All these things actually happened and are documented.
As to pre-Nazi European anti-Semitism, it was religious rather than ethnic or racial in nature. This is the most familiar sort of anti-Semitism, and even today you see surprise expressed that Jews who had converted to Christianity, or even grown up Christian, were persecuted by the Nazis. Not my fault if the school system does not do its job. Thinking in racial terms in what is now known as the science of anthropology, and was then the pseudoscience known as Rassenkunde, had become mainstream long before 1933. I would say it is even true that in this, the Nazis' wingmen in pseudoscience were heavily influenced by Darwinism, although we can all agree that this has no relevance for the factual correctness of the theory of evolution, but it gave them a weird appearance of rationality that appealed to academics. At least after 1933, Germans had Rassenkunde as part of the school curriculum and were taught that a people harboring Jews was comparable to a body harboring a disease. Of course the Nazi ideology was so wacky that it boggles the mind, but that is what many actually believed then, and if you know what else people managed to believe throughout history, this should not surprise you so much. It should also give you pause that the German army fought with a fanatical devotion long after it had become clear that the war could not be won any more and up to the death of Hitler himself, in clear contrast to the common soldiers of other dictatorships like Iraq, which often crumble under the first serious attack. What does this tell you about the relationship of government and supposedly suppressed populace? Some argue that the motivation of Germans to fight to the last bullet might actually have been the fear of being punished for their war crimes and genocide. A plausible interpretation, but for that the Germans had to know of them. --Mintman (talk) 15:17, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
How now? I said I was disinclined to do it; we have had several users come here to push a personal agenda over a single page or in a single debate, who eventually fall under the header of Don't feed the Troll.
I have now realized that you are maybe thinking more... I have heard it said that there are two kinds of people in economics: the more science-oriented kind that say, "If you do X, Y will happen," and the more politically-oriented kind that say, "We should do X." I was thinking more of the former.
...selling your municipal hall to a company... One way this could save money is if the company in charge maintained the building (saving the city government that expense) and was able to do it more cheaply by avoiding all the red-tape necessary when the State employs people directly. That is, at least, why outsourcing is done over here.
Again, it was common knowledge that Jews were being stripped of possessions and deported. The only thing the Nazis had to hide was the killing, which was mostly done by SS men sworn to obedience in all particulars. Also, Zyklon-B was meant for use as a pesticide, not a chemical weapon.
Not my fault if the school system does not do its job. I am quite aware that "scientific racism" was fashionable at that time. I am unaware that it was applied to any sort of anti-Semitism until the Nazis got hold of it.
It should also give you pause that the German army fought with a fanatical devotion... This can be chalked down to the strong taboo against oath-breaking coming down from Germanic paganism. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:37, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
If you do X, Y will happen. Fine, but let me reiterate that faulting lefties for ignoring the rules of the market goes with the unquestioned assumption that we humans are best served with submitting to them, and whether that is true would be the real debate. The central weakness of arguing politics from a purely economic perspective is that this science cannot (and does not even pretend to) deal with things that, to put it bluntly, do not have a price tag. For starters, it is well possible that from a quality of life perspective, a market economy is not the ideal solution due to the increased anxiety and stress caused by having to compete on a daily basis, and the constant fear of losing your job looming in the background. And that is not even opening the debate whether a market based economy can be proactive enough to avoid the overuse of resources before it is too late to save them (at which point rising prices will do the trick). Sometimes a decision that gives your nation a severe disadvantage in free market competition with other nations might morally and/or rationally be the right thing to do - and in poorer countries, you may simply have to do it to avoid your populace from rioting for bread.
I think I have said all that needs to be said on Nazism. The programs of genocide and the eradication of other undesirables had such a scope and involved so many different institutions that the majority of that generation can at best, but not convincingly in my opinion, be excused by being in denial of something that they should have noticed. Also, and embarrassingly, that party rose to power through democratic means, and even though they later could not be voted out of office any more, my ancestors quite significantly never rose up to try to topple the system. Of course, in 1953 eastern Germany rioted against a much, much less barbaric dictatorship because of a mere increase in working quotas. Seriously, compare that and think carefully about what that tells you. This can be chalked down to the strong taboo against oath-breaking coming down from Germanic paganism. Er, what? You do not think that today's economists can be influenced by conformist political pressures and partisan economic interests, but that the christian Germans of 1940 were influenced by the tenets of a religion that died ca. 1600 years earlier? And now, another 70 years go by and suddenly oath-breaking is no taboo anymore? I mean, it is never nice to break a solemn promise or suchlike, but weighed against the hope to save a few cities of your home country from becoming rubble fields... --Mintman (talk) 09:49, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
You can try to ignore the laws of nature and the market all you want, but unlike human laws they are unbreakable, and if one does not fly with them, they are likely to come to grief. There is some merit to your remarks about the problems with operating a free market under scarce resources, although there is also the argument that in a centralized system, bureaucratic corruption will lead to much waste.
Nationalism is a very powerful thing indeed; of course the people of the GDR rose up against the Reds and the Soviet Union's hegemony over their government. On the other hand your average German during the Nazi period felt as though the Nazis were working for him, and had no reason to oppose them.
A short history of syncretism in Germany. Firstly, paganism was not outlawed in most of Germany until the 8th century A.D. and the Blood Court of Verden. Secondly, since Christianity was imposed on most of the Germans by force, they adopted as little of it as possible. The influence of pagan syncretism on the Christianity in Germany in those days was so strong that though the Germans said the name of Jesus, in truth they were praying to Odin. Pagan morals were largely retained, as was the structure of the religious establishment (complete union of church and State). This situation persisted, though with increasing encroachment by actual Christianity, until the 20th century, when Hitler was found promoting the same sort of syncretic Christianity, with racial elements added. Following 1945, society secularized on a large scale and then, truly, this heathendom was all done away with within a few years' space. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:45, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Wait, LX, don't you also worship Odin? Or did I mix you up with another editor? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:54, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Odinists have to deal with some rather outlandish polemic concerning Hitler and Germanic paganism. I make it a point to be informed on the topic. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:04, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I am not in any way equating yours' with Hitler's beliefs, hope you don't think I was. Oh, but wait. You believe in some thunder-making god or something? You kinda lost me on the "god" thing... oh well. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:12, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
in a centralized system, bureaucratic corruption will lead to much waste. My hope would be that this could be better controlled for with democratic oversight, at least in principle.
On the other hand your average German during the Nazi period felt as though the Nazis were working for him, and had no reason to oppose them. I would say "my point exactly" if not for the fact that it is only one of the points that I tried to make above, and a minor one at that.
Following 1945, society secularized on a large scale and then, truly, this heathendom was all done away with within a few years space. Excuse my bluntness, but this is one of the silliest things that I have ever read. The 50ies were a period of dreary conservatism, intellectual stagnation and denialism about Germany's war crimes. If anything changed the ideological mainstream of Germany, it was the big pull to the left we experienced in the 60ies and 70ies, coupled with the retirement and dying of old age of all those former Nazi judges, bureaucrats, politicians and officers who were allowed to remain in their positions after 1945.
I make it a point to be informed on the topic. You are aware that I was dragged through year after repetitive year of school history classes about how it could come to Hitler, so that it could never happen again? Also, I actually had a fanatical Nazi as one of my grandfathers, and have learned enough about German history to know that we had been very thoroughly christianized, much more than, for example, Sweden or Peru. Consider that Martin Luther was a German, by the way. But that is all perhaps besides the point, as nobody likes breaking oaths, be they pagans or not. The original point was whether extreme leftism and extreme rightism were basically the same, and then the tangent was whether "extremist" is a useful label at all considering that many positions that are extremist today were once mainstream and vice versa. That Nazism was basically mainstream in Germany, in the sense of a huge portion of the population subscribing to its tenets, is shown by their formally constitutional rise to power in a democratic system and the unwillingness of Germans to ever rebel against them. But the same goes for other, for example religious, views that are considered extremist today but would have been quite normal a few centuries back. Not saying these views aren't empirically wrong, just that extremism is a relatively useless label except to say that somebody disagrees with me by more than a certain minimum degree, and who is to say that I am the measure of things? --Mintman (talk) 15:57, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
You can try to ignore the laws of nature and the market all you want, but unlike human laws they are unbreakable, and if one does not fly with them, they are likely to come to grief. It could be added that you also ignore human nature at your peril, and it seems pretty likely that the rational homo oeconomicus is a rather poor model of it. --Mintman (talk) 21:23, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
The 50ies were a period of dreary conservatism... Note the absence of any other reference to the 1950s on this page. Nevertheless, when I said Germany, I did not mean West Germany only, and when I said secularized, I did not mean moved left politically.
...learned enough about German history to know that we had been very thoroughly christianized, much more than, for example, Sweden or Peru. That is true, given that pagan sacrifices were still going on in Sweden in the 18th century, under the radar.
Consider that Martin Luther was a German, by the way. Dr. Luther led a Reformation that took hold almost exclusively in Germanic countries, and for that reason (Germanic Christianity having produced a situation benefitting the German princes at the pope's expense). However, his activities were part of the "encroachment by actual Christianity" to which I referred.
The original point was whether extreme leftism and extreme rightism were basically the same... No. My point was that they shared certain common features, particularly concerning how they came to be responsible for seven-figure body counts, hence deserving equal treatment on those points. If you dispute this point I suggest that you refute the particular parallels I draw in this essay.
That Nazism was basically mainstream in Germany...is shown... No; this only means that the German electorate supported a certain part of the Nazi program that they did not feel was on offer from any other party. Compare: in the 2008 U.S. elections, large numbers of people voted for Barack Obama in California while at the same time voting in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage; this despite the fact that Obama opposed that amendment and supports gay civil unions.
...extremism is a relatively useless label... No.
It could be added that you also ignore human nature at your peril... Methinks that was the sound of every irony meter in Germany shattering. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:39, 7 September 2009 (UTC)


The original point was whether extreme leftism and extreme rightism were basically the same... No. My point was that they shared certain common features, particularly concerning how they came to be responsible for seven-figure body counts, hence deserving equal treatment on those points. That sounds much more nuanced than your actual essay. Nevertheless, it is not nearly nuanced enough an approach to deal with the factual complexities of the world. For starters, liberalism and socialism share certain features, as do conservativism and facism, or liberalism and conservatism. So what? Coming back to the particular comparison, I doubt that people like Stalin and Mao really wanted to starve millions of their subjects (that is not saying they did not want to kill thousands of so-called traitors); maybe they were just callous or incompetents, putting them more on a level with the government of Britain during the potato famine than on that of the Nazi government which actually undertook to actively murder entire peoples. I also maintain that basically any idea except maybe radical pacifism can be abused, and I would not even put it past human beings to rationalize their way into killing people under the banner of pacifism. Surely you will admit that plenty of people have killed in the defense of private ownership, constitutionality and even democracy. So equating a socialist murderer and a white suprematist murderer - fine! They are both murderers. But that does not make it any more sensible to equate the ideas of socialism and white suprematism.
If you dispute this point I suggest that you refute the particular parallels I draw in this essay. Hello? See all my posts above? Short rundown: completely different ultimate vision of society, completely different underlying theory, completely different daily-political aims. Most importantly, and I repeat myself only because you chose to ignore this, socialism implies equality of all humans, white suprematism implies inequality. Explaining why this is different is a bit like explaining why empiricism might be a good way to test ideas. It weirds me out.
No; this only means that the German electorate supported a certain part of the Nazi program that they did not feel was on offer from any other party. Compare: in the 2008 U.S. elections, large numbers of people voted for Barack Obama in California while at the same time voting in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage; this despite the fact that Obama opposed that amendment and supports gay civil unions. This is a very silly way to view elections. You cannot seriously imply that the openly broadcast ideology of a party that gets >40% of the popular vote is "not mainstream" just because not every single voter shares every single of the ideology's details. Applying the same measure, nothing whatsoever can be defined as mainstream. Or do you mean to say that any individual proposition that gets 51% of the vote is mainstream, and it starts being extremist once it drops to 49%?
...extremism is a relatively useless label... No. Wow, what an eloquent refutation. I should perhaps say that the label of extremism is nice to have as a scarecrow, and it that way it may be useful for some people, but it is unhelpful for understanding the history of ideas. As I indicated above (heck, I do have to repeat myself here, don't I? Wonder why), today's western civilization mainstream views would have made its proponents extremists in western civilization quite a short time ago.
It could be added that you also ignore human nature at your peril... Methinks that was the sound of every irony meter in Germany shattering. There are two possibilities here - either you do not understand the meaning of "irony" or you are, once again, fighting strawmen. If I had ever argued that we should implement a Stalinist command economy because this would be the best for humans, your charge would be correct. However, I did not. What I argued (mostly in the other thread) is that the current "the market solves everything" ideology is just as unrealistic and alien to human nature, which after all makes us crave security and constantly attempt to engage in nepotism, corruption and cartelization, as the leveling of all inequalities approach of the radical left. Both are equally illustrative cases of the One Big Idea To Solve All Problems Of The World Syndrome, and you, sir, still give off a very strong vibe of also suffering from it despite your earlier protestations to the contrary.--Mintman (talk) 17:58, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

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For starters, liberalism and socialism share certain features, as do conservativism and facism, or liberalism and conservatism. So what? The commonalities between those pairs of philosophies are not the sort leading to seven-figure body counts.

I doubt that people like Stalin and Mao really wanted to starve millions of their subjects... Oh, surely you mean glorious proletarian comrades? But at any rate, the Ukrainian parliament and the EU have both resolved that the Holodomor was a deliberate act on Stalin's part.

I also maintain that basically any idea except maybe radical pacifism can be abused... Pacifism, radical or otherwise, is abused all the time; we see it much used by enemy sympathizers within a country to try and keep that country from fighting. It was used during World War II to try to keep the U.S. from battling the Nazis.

Surely you will admit that plenty of people have killed in the defense of private ownership, constitutionality and even democracy. I love how you think democracy is more antithetical to democide than constitutionality. But I do not think that any such programs of killing have been to the tune of over one million people, and the proportion of fighters for private property, constitutionality or democracy who have engaged in such slaughter is quite small compared to the proportion of Nazi or communist fighters who did so.

Hello? See all my posts above? Your posts above ignore my points altogether.

...socialism implies equality of all humans, white suprematism implies inequality. Communists are for equality about as much as Nazis are socialists; they talk very loudly about it but are not really for it. Their ideological descendants are overtly opposed to it, preferring "equity," in which all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others. [1]

This is a very silly way to view elections. You cannot... You missed my point here, I think. People voted for Obama in large numbers even though they demonstrably disagreed with his position on the gay marriage amendment. Similarly people supported Hitler in large numbers because they agreed with him insofar as they were against communism and for German national and cultural renewal. This was why much of the conservative establishment at that time grudgingly lent him their support.

Wow, what an eloquent refutation. It was all that assertion deserved; spades, or apologists for spades, never like the label of "spade." Though there are exceptions to this, most extremists can be categorized by the level of respect they have for the establishment from which they aim to take power: the less respect, the more extreme.

...you, sir, still give off a very strong vibe of also suffering from it... As I stated above, I reject the entire idea of a solution for everything. When you get over the idea that opposition to socialism automatically translates to recognizing the market as the Messiah, perhaps you can ground this statement in something more substantial. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:24, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

The commonalities between those pairs of philosophies are not the sort leading to seven-figure body counts. The question is whether you can actually demonstrate that it was the philosophy that lead to the murders and not somebody completely ignoring its tenets. Hitler was a criminal and he followed a disgusting ideology of dividing people into Herrenmenschen and Untermenschen, the latter destined to be eradicated in the long run as paralleled by survival of the fittest in nature. Stalin was a criminal and he abused an ideology of equality and prosperity for all. Unless, of course, you define communism to necessarily include scapegoading, violent suppression of dissidents and wilful denial of other peoples' motivations. That seems to be your whole shtick here, but it is a very narrow definition of communism. How would you then call, for example, the Euro-communists of the 1950ies-1980ies who participated in democratic elections? I think that the definition should mostly be based on the envisioned political, social and economic organisation of society - in this case, a people's republic or workers' council system with imperative mandate, equal distribution of wealth and a centrally planned economy, respectively. Then you will find that there are people who want to reach that state of affairs with a violent insurrection, others who want to see a peaceful revolution (however realistic that turns out to be...) and others who think they can win elections with that program (ditto). Perhaps you only call the first of the three communist, and that may lead to some misunderstandings.
That I see communism as being warped and abused by Stalin and Mao, and white suprematism as being lead to its logical conclusion by Hitler is the major difference between us. This is my answer to all your points, and has been from the beginning. This is not saying anything about how realistic communist economic ideas are etc., it is not saying that I want to live in 1950ies Russia, it is just saying that yes, there are important differences that require treating these two ideologies differently. And even with the abuse in Eastern bloc practice, I would still strongly recommend living under Stalin rather than under Hitler, if you have to choose, for the practical reasons outlined way above, i.e. because of important objective difference between the two.
But at any rate, the Ukrainian parliament and the EU have both resolved that the Holodomor was a deliberate act on Stalin's part. Yeah, that is very nice of a bunch of politicians to just decide that, especially given how impartial they all are (/irony), but until I can discuss that with a qualified historian I will reserve judgement. Maybe you are right, I just do not know at the moment.
Similarly people supported Hitler in large numbers because they agreed with him insofar as they were against communism and for German national and cultural renewal. This was why much of the conservative establishment at that time grudgingly lent him their support. Makes one wonder why they did not just vote for the DNVP if that heated their burritos. It is not as if the NSDAP was the only right-wing party available.
It was all that assertion deserved; spades, or apologists for spades, never like the label of "spade." Though there are exceptions to this, most extremists can be categorized by the level of respect they have for the establishment from which they aim to take power: the less respect, the more extreme. You are completely evading the point here, although it might be better to start a separate discussion about the merits of the extremism label. Let us say I was ripped out of my place in the space/time continuum and thrown to Germany ca. 1830. Now it just so happens that I am a democrat and also a supporter of female suffrage and right to education. By which definition am I not an extremist in the political climate of the time? Consider that I have absolutely no respect for the princes because they live in excessive luxury while others do not have enough to eat, because they think that they alone know how to govern and everybody else should just shut up and follow orders. And would I not be justified to join a violent uprising to oust the princes and introduce a democracy? I would be an extremist in that case, and a monarchist would be one in today's Germany. See how useless this label is for deciding how acceptable an ideology is? The only thing "extremist" indicates is that you are ideologically far away from current mainstream, but it does not demonstrate that your positions are not actually to be preferred.
When you get over the idea that opposition to socialism automatically translates to recognizing the market as the Messiah, perhaps you can ground this statement in something more substantial. Oh, I know that, but people who see it this way usually have a more nuanced way of discussing politics and economics. Your constant and often invective tirades against everything red from Lula to European Social Democrats of the 1970ies left me no option but to conclude that you do not recognize that opposition to blind reliance on the market does not automatically translate to introducing Stalinism. In fact, you made quite clear in the debate: the merits of communism that you are notoriously unwilling to differentiate in the way that you apparently expect me to. --Mintman 21:04, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
The question is whether you can actually demonstrate... Get hold of a copy of Mein Kampf, if you can; the Nazis' program as laid out there, insofar as it touched on race, called primarily for the removal of the "Jewish influence" over Germans by sweeping Jews out of any "influential" or "powerful" positions, as well as an anti-miscegenation policy. The magic formula for both Nazism and communism leading to the mass deaths was the need to sweep a group (Jews/class-enemies) out of power in favor of a group seen as more fit to rule (Germans/Red theorists workers), combined with a radicalism that dictated a fanatical need to make a complete sweep.
That I see communism as being warped and abused by Stalin and Mao, and white suprematism as being lead to its logical conclusion by Hitler... (1) It is spelled supremacism. (2) The Holocaust is not the logical conclusion of white-supremacism. Enslaving non-whites was a far more popular idea within that philosophy.
Yeah, that is very nice of a bunch of politicians to just decide that... They did not just pluck it out of the air; the EU parliament, I understand, was responding to a large number of documents declassified in Ukraine indicating that it was a genocide.
Makes one wonder why they did not just vote for the DNVP if that heated their burritos. Surely you mean Bavarian potato salad? But at any rate, the People's Party made a coalition with the Nazis (the "grudging support") as they considered this a matter of necessity in opposing the communists. Furthermore, they were much more flexible than the Nazis on policy, so the coalition ended up helping to bring the Nazis to power with political philosophy unadulterated.
You are completely evading the point here, although it might... Acquaint yourself briefly with the political philosophy of Edmund Burke as expounded in Reflections on the Revolution in France, particularly the ideas on how social change ought to occur; perhaps then you will understand what I meant above.
Let us say I was ripped out of my place... Yes, you would have been an extremist if you had become a revolutionary for the cause of women's rights at that time, and by doing so you would probably have sunk the cause of women's rights by mixing it up with the cause of promoting every other crank philosophy floating around, as the manner was.
The only thing "extremist" indicates is that you are ideologically far away from current mainstream, but it does not demonstrate that your positions are not actually to be preferred. It is amusing that any non-creationist should put more stock in ideas plucked out of the air by fool philosophers who have not yet got it through their thick skulls that they know nothing, than in ideas established by long practice through a process of gradual change.
Your constant and often invective tirades against everything red... I have explained why I think that orthodox communist political movements, if allowed to proceed to the ascendancy unchecked, lead to Stalin types getting the reins. Since the (non-extremist) democratic socialists, etc., can be easily kicked out before such a thing happens, my opposition to their program is for entirely different reasons. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:44, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Get hold of a copy of Mein Kampf, if you can. Do not know if that is so easy, as it is outlawed in my home country. Also, I have better things to read. Even if he was not dumb enough to put the genocide part into writing, as far as I know, though, the book does make quite clear that the author intended to subjugate the whole world under the dominion of the Aryan race, whatever that is supposed to be. That is a far shot from the aim to build a society of equals.
The magic formula for both Nazism and communism leading to the mass deaths was the need to sweep a group (Jews/class-enemies) out of power in favor of a group seen as more fit to rule (Germans/Red theorists workers), combined with a radicalism that dictated a fanatical need to make a sweep. What you do not seem to realize or at least carefully avoid to address is the repeatedly raised point that there is a big difference between the removal from power in both cases - if the Jews ever had any above average power, by the way. Ultimately, the communist goal is not to murder the capitalists, but to take away their exclusive possession of the means of production. It is just because they will realistically not let it be taken away without a fight that a violent revolution is expected (by some, I must add). And ultimately, the communist goal is not to exclude the capitalists from power, to marginalize them, to suppress them, etc., but simply to remove their privileges, to reduce their power to the level of that of everybody else and not less.
Related to that difference in goals is the practical consequence, again already mentioned above, of living in a state dominated by either ideology. So you are a neoliberal or libertarian living in a worst case absolutist commie dictatorship? Well, just shut up and play along and in principle nobody will bother you (Stalin's paranoia notwithstanding, as this is no part of commie ideology as such). It is much nicer to live in a liberal democracy, but you still do have that choice even in the worst case of communism, and it allows you to have the same rights as everybody else. In contrast, so you have dark skin in a best case white supremacist society, let us say Apartheid South Africa? Elections, free markets, no genocide, etc., but as a black person, you are still pretty much screwed. There is nothing you can do about it. You cannot join the ruling party and play along and thus get equal rights, you are considered subhuman no matter what you try. And you know what happens in the worst case white supremacist scenario. Now please get it into your head that these are actual difference that matter, not only for arm chair reasoning such as we do now, but also for political strategies for dealing with these ideologies, for "lesser of two evils" situations, and for the actual welfare of people living under these systems.
It is spelled supremacism. So sue me, I am not a native speaker.
But at any rate, the People's Party made a coalition with the Nazis (the "grudging support") as they considered this a matter of necessity in opposing the communists. Furthermore, they were much more flexible than the Nazis on policy, so the coalition ended up helping to bring the Nazis to power with political philosophy unadulterated. As I may have insinuated already, I am a German, and I know the Nazi rise to power in great detail, not least because it was central part of history, ethics and social sciences classes in school. Especially in history classes, repeatedly, that is in several different school years, again and again. Seriously, you cannot tell me anything new except for your interpretation that the Germans really were quite unaware of all the evil stuff that their government did (presumably without employing any actual Germans to do it?) and only fought because as pagans they did not want to break an oath. Or something. This makes about as much sense as the moon landing hoax theory or 9/11 truthers, and for the same reasons.
Out of curiosity, by the way: Is this your general view of history? When the Roman empire conquered Gaul, did 3/4 of the Celtic population perish while nobody in the Roman empire noticed anything? When the Mongol hordes massacred the inhabitants of entire metropolises, was that a conspiracy of their top cadre, with the foot soldiers not in on the plan? When the USA expanded westwards, all the white settlers were blissfully unaware of the fact that their new farmlands constituted the livelihood of other peoples, did not notice them being exterminated, removed, locked into tiny, unproductive reservations? And if they did notice and condone it, why should Germans be any better? Maybe it is important for you to have such an optimistic view of human nature that you simply cannot imagine my grandfather having been a murderer, but this view does not match with available data.
Acquaint yourself briefly with the political philosophy of Edmund Burke as expounded in Reflections on the Revolution in France, particularly the ideas on how social change ought to occur; perhaps then you will understand what I meant above. Yes, you would have been an extremist if you had become a revolutionary for the cause of women's rights at that time, and by doing so you would probably have sunk the cause of women's rights by mixing it up with the cause of promoting every other crank philosophy floating around, as the manner was. I think I understand more of your worldview now, but I cannot agree, neither from a moral nor from a practical perspective. For the latter, I simply fail to see how it could be acceptable to wait for Nazi Germany, the slave-holding confederacy or an idiot kingdom that lets its people starve to change peacefully by itself. In all these cases, those who need and/or want the change have no chance to prod the system slowly into the desired direction because they are excluded from power. That means the system will not move into the desired direction, and that is that. Unless... you use illegal means, that is, turn extremist in your definition, and let the ruling class feel your displeasure. That, and giving up the hope for improvement, are the only options you have! If the ruling class fights back with an appropriate measure of violence, it can still defend the status quo, and your only hope of changing it is now a full-scale revolution. Or you give up. I fear many people do not see that today, as they have grown up in societies that do allow the rulers to be prodded by peaceful means, but that was not the rule in history. I mean, "how social change ought to occur" is very nice, but "how it realistically can" is another matter entirely. It is you who is plucking ideas out of the air now.
It is amusing that any non-creationist should put more stock in ideas plucked out of the air by fool philosophers who have not yet got it through their thick skulls that they know nothing, than in ideas established by long practice through a process of gradual change. I may miss some thought here but this looks like a non-sequitur to me. Again, as argued repeatedly in two discussions by now, I think that it is a category error to assume that politics and economics can be treated like natural sciences, with impartial researchers finding the one unambiguously best solution. Instead, they are messy places where the best solution is found through conflicts of interest, formal and informal negotiation and, if all else fails, violence, unfortunately, see paragraph immediately above. And that is the only way to deal with these societal issues, as in contrast to evolutionary biology, physics, pharmacy, astronomy, etc., you will not converge on one objectively best model of reality, but some interest groups will try to pull the system to a suboptimal solution from your point of view because it is the optimal solution from their point of view (i.e., economic self-interest). You can tell a Bolivian peasant as often as you want that it would be better for their country's economic growth to institute free market policies if they, personally, would then lose so much income that they cannot afford to buy food any more. Calling their vulgar-socialist leaders cranks in the area of economics simply won't cut it, even if it is correct from a certain point of view. --Mintman 16:11, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Do not know if that is so easy, as it is outlawed in my home country. Which is why there should be freedom of the press.
Also, I have better things to read. And I have better things to read than Red horse-manure (or Mein Kampf, for that matter), but I read as much of it as I can possibly tolerate, because I would prefer to be informed on these matters.
Even if he was not dumb enough... Whether Hitler was lying in the book is not of consequence, as we are talking about the Nazi program as laid out there. As far as Aryanism is concerned, Hitler stated that the world was already under "Aryan" dominion; the Nazi program consisted primarily of German nationalism and expansionism, and the domination policy extended to non-German "Aryans."
It is just because they will realistically not let it be taken away without a fight... Industries were nationalized without armed struggle in several countries run by democratic-socialist parties.
...to the level of that of everybody else and not less. Mikhail Bakunin once asked Marx, "Over whom will the proletariat rule?" Marx could not give a straight answer. We now see why.
Well, just shut up and play along and in principle nobody will bother you... If there is an objective criterion like race defining the boundaries of the persecuted group, instead of a subjective criterion like political beliefs, the objective boundary leaves much more room for the collectivist system to be opposed from within. In the "best case," many white South Africans, being opposed to apartheid, lent crucial assistance in ending it; the same with the slave trade and slavery. In the "worst case," had Hitler finished up with the Holocaust, he could not very easily have turned the same sort of persecutions on the Germans; additionally, a large number of non-Nazis were able to maintain their position in society by virtue of being German. On the other hand Stalin could define anyone he liked as a "counterrevolutionary," and did, making redefinitions as necessary to squish dissent.
Seriously, you cannot tell me anything new... As you have not read Mein Kampf, I think I can.
...except for your interpretation that the Germans really were quite unaware of all the evil stuff that their government did... That is not an "interpretation," but a factual claim. Big difference. Covert military operations are carried out in foreign parts all the time, even on a very large scale, without civilians or uninvolved military personnel being the wiser. Moreover, many such operations as have been found disagreeable have only been exposed through a free press, which did not exist in Nazi Germany.
(presumably without employing any actual Germans to do it?) ... Maybe it is important for you to have such an optimistic view of human nature that you simply cannot imagine my grandfather having been a murderer... If your "fanatical Nazi" (Blackshirt?) grandfather was a murderer, that fact alone does not make anyone else a murderer, and certainly not all his countrymen.
...only fought because as pagans they did not want to break an oath. Or something. Never underestimate the power of a cultural taboo, even after the religious milieu that spawned it is long gone; we in the U.S. have many of them as a legacy of the Puritans, though most of us are neither Puritans nor the descendants of Puritans.
Is this your general view of history? Quit overgeneralizing, if you please.
Unless... you use illegal means, that is, turn extremist in your definition... One can use "illegal means" without being a revolutionary or disrespecting the State, as the Civil Rights Movement did in the U.S
If the ruling class fights back with an appropriate measure of violence, it can still defend the status quo, and your only hope of changing it is now a full-scale revolution. The situation is not quite so hopeless, which is revealed by instead saying rulers and they.
I mean, "how social change ought to occur" is very nice, but "how it realistically can" is another matter entirely. Bunk. The best way is the way it actually can happen, since those who do not follow that path are just spinning their wheels, and usually wind up making things worse. Now tell me: In what manner was slavery first abolished? Universal suffrage first truly granted? Women first enfranchised? Freedom of religion first granted? State censorship first ended? Black Americans first ensured their civil rights? Gay rights first affirmed?
I think that it is a category error to assume that politics and economics can be treated like natural sciences... Did I say that? No. I said that science has uncovered a process by which organisms most fit for survival in their environment came into being without any intelligent input. I think that the set of ideas by which a country is run are too complex to be thought up by a single person or committee, and that there is some evidence that the evolutionary process applies as well to the cultivation of such ideas as it does to living organisms. It is not thus implied that the scientific method must be used in that cultivation.
...with impartial researchers finding the one unambiguously best solution. I am surprised that any scientist would characterize science as being in search of a single solution to any problem.
You can tell a Bolivian peasant as often... True, people are often ignorant fools on the subject of public policy. This is why functional states tend to uphold the rule of law instead of mob rule. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:01, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Do not know if that is so easy, as it is outlawed in my home country. Which is why there should be freedom of the press. While I do not personally think that allowing Mein Kampf to be freely distributed would automatically lead to a 4th Reich, I guess you would see things in a slightly more differentiated manner if you were German yourself. The Weimar Republic failed because it tolerated the mortal enemies of democracy and tolerance, and the Bonn/Berlin Republic has drawn certain conclusions from that failure, whether we agree with all of them or not.
Whether Hitler was lying in the book is not of consequence, as we are talking about the Nazi program as laid out there. Ah, that is interesting. So for judging white supremacism, I should, according to you, look into Mein Kampf, take everything at face value, and preferably ignore what the Nazis actually did and what all other white supremacists believe and do. And for sweeping commies into the same bag as racists, you get to pick and chose from the misdeeds of their craziest exponents and then generalize that to all the rest (if all else fails by alleging that even the well-meaning ones must necessarily turn Stalinist if their policies do not work out as expected), all the while completely ignoring or distorting the underlying ideas. Anyway: No, sorry, we did never talk only about what that psycho wrote, we are trying to exchange arguments and hopefully achieve a greater understanding of each others positions with regard to the question whether white suprematism and communism are basically the same and should be treated the same, although we seem to get side-tracked a lot.
Industries were nationalized without armed struggle in several countries run by democratic-socialist parties. I know. This is why it said "by some", and I also do not personally subscribe to the idea that the bourgeouise has to be shot. Mikhail Bakunin once asked Marx, "Over whom will the proletariat rule?" Marx could not give a straight answer. We now see why. I agree completely. Your answer again only makes sense if you have certain assumptions about me being a violence-loving commie militant that are not based on anything I ever wrote. By the way, I read a bit of Bakunin and must say that he comes across as a complete lunatic who actually wanted to massacre everybody who was educated, so it is quite interesting to see how you roll him out of the shed to make a point against a much more thoughtful personality like Marx.
If there is an objective criterion like race defining the boundaries of the persecuted group, instead of a subjective criterion like political beliefs, the objective boundary leaves much more room for the collectivist system to be opposed from within. In the "best case," many white South Africans, being opposed to apartheid, lent crucial assistance in ending it; the same with the slave trade and slavery. In the "worst case", had Hitler finished up with the Holocaust, he could not very easily have turned the same sort of persecutions on the Germans; additionally, a large number of non-Nazis were able to maintain their position in society by virtue of being German. On the other hand Stalin could define anyone he liked as a "counterrevolutionary," and did, making redefinitions as necessary to squish dissent. I very much like being confronted with this argument because it is interesting and addresses the main point of our discussion, but I think you are completely jumbling things up here. Yes, Stalin was a murderous lunatic, I have repeatedly said that myself. That does not mean that a society based on communist principles must necessarily brand anybody as conterrevolutionary once class differences have disappeared, just like a white supremacist society must not necessarily hunt for the next racial scapegoat once they have eradicated or driven out their local ethnic minorities. Interesting to note is, however, that the real-life Nazi system did in fact murder a lot of Germans because they were also considered inferior, among them gays and the bodily or mentally disabled, for example. The point here is that their particular and racist ideology in general means that you are considered subhuman or even unworthy of existence for characteristics that you are born with and cannot change, while communist ideology only considers somebody a Bad Guy for being rich or not a communist, both things that can be changed easily. That. Is. A. Difference. Btw, it is also weird to say that Stalinism could not be opposed from within; the USSR first dismanteled that paranoid system and much later itself from within, after all, while slave trade was basically only stopped by Britain because it became clear that it was not so economic anyway. Even weirder still is the idea that race is an "objective criterion". That from somebody who professes to be opposed to pseudoscience?
Seriously, you cannot tell me anything new... As you have not read Mein Kampf, I think I can. About the rise to power, I meant, and I thought that would have been clear.
That is not an "interpretation," but a factual claim. Big difference. Covert military operations are carried out in foreign parts all the time, even on a very large scale, without civilians or uninvolved military personnel being the wiser. We are definitely going in circles here, so I am officially giving up on this aspect after this post. I have made clear why it is, from my German perspective, unrealistic to assume that the civilians did not notice what happened. Their fathers and brothers were involved in genocide at the eastern front, sometimes cheerfully sending back descriptions of what they did and photos. Others organized the redistribution of Jewish apartments, furniture, etc., or were involved in the logistics of the transport of Jews to the concentration camps. Still others worked in companies employing large numbers of starving slave workers. Some worked for administrations tasked with developing plans for the germanization of a (miraculously?) depopulated eastern Europe after the war, while engineers designed and actually patented furnaces for the most efficient incineration of large numbers of corpses, or similarly disgusting implements. Workers processed hair and gold fillings from the death camps in German factories. Everybody and their uncle were taught by their school teachers how much better the economy were off if all the disabled did not exist. The list goes on and on.
Never underestimate the power of a cultural taboo, even after the religious milieu that spawned it is long gone; we in the U.S. have many of them as a legacy of the Puritans, though most of us are neither Puritans nor the descendants of Puritans. Yeah, that is great, but we here in Germany do not have these cultural taboos as you describe them. How convenient for your argumentation that they were supposedly extremely relevant centuries after the disappearance of the religion and a few decades ago but suddenly and tracelessly disappeared before I was born and could notice them. I would like to see your reaction if I tried to explain your own country's history to you, by the way, because obviously I understand it so much better than you after having read a few books...
Is this your general view of history? Quit overgeneralizing, if you please. That was a genuine question, even if admittedly formulated with a mocking tone. What is your view of human nature that allows you to see all these genocides and atrocities committed and/or condoned by plain average people in history and then conclude that, of all things, the nation that is responsible for the worst of all of them in the history of mankind was morally unable of committing them? I think there is some cognitive dissonance on your part going on here. Note that the concept of the banality of evil was developed as a reaction to the crimes committed by everyday, average Germans.
One can use "illegal means" without being a revolutionary or disrespecting the State, as the Civil Rights Movement did in the U.S. Some governments deserve to be disrespected.
I mean, "how social change ought to occur" is very nice, but "how it realistically can" is another matter entirely. Bunk. The best way is the way it actually can happen, since those who do not follow that path are just spinning their wheels, and usually wind up making things worse. Now tell me: In what manner was slavery first abolished? Universal suffrage first truly granted? Women first enfranchised? Freedom of religion first granted? State censorship first ended? Black Americans first ensured their civil rights? Gay rights first affirmed? How was the American democracy created? Or the German one? How did the Spanish and Portuguese colonies gain their independence? How was slavery abolished in the US? Two can play that game. I am not saying that a peaceful reform is not to be preferred, quite the opposite; I am just saying that it is naive to assume that the option of peaceful reform is always available. "The way it actually can happen" is sometimes through insurrection, as not every society in the world/in history is a democracy. And that means that the extremist label as per your definition does not help me much in defining who is sensible and who not, except in the context of a democracy, where you always have the peaceful option.
I am surprised that any scientist would characterize science as being in search of a single solution to any problem. Substitute "solution", a word that I used only because of the economic policies topic, with "the one single model currently best explaining the data" and yes, that is science. Similarly, you could give an economist a task like testing what effects a progressive vs. a flat tax have on a model economy, and they will perhaps find an optimal solution under the criterion of most dynamic economic growth. But as there are people who really want the optimal solution for having a society that can pay for a welfare system, dynamic economic growth be damned, you will not converge on a solution that is in everybody's interest. Natural science has the big advantage that interests do not generally enter; it is about what is, not what should be. In contrast, most economists unfortunately do not seem to be able to concentrate on "if we do A then B happens" and keep their opinion that we therefore must or must not do "A" (depending on individual ideology) to themselves.
You can tell a Bolivian peasant as often... True, people are often ignorant fools on the subject of public policy. This is why functional states tend to uphold the rule of law instead of mob rule. Now this is pure arrogance, and with a helping of undemocratic on top. Do you not get the concept that people may have incompatible economic interests? That what you see as the one rational economic policy is damaging to somebody else? That finding a peaceful compromise between different interests instead of having a technocrat decide by fiat is what a liberal democracy is about? And what does that have to do with mob rule? --Mintman 14:57, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

To Human[edit]

Oh, you mean I have to refute... No, that is just recounting my personal experience. What I am asking for is a refutation of the two similarities between the philosophies of Nazism and Marxism that I have listed, which for convenience I will repeat here:

  • They are both defined in terms of abstractions such as race and class (what some people call "social constructs") rather than in terms of flesh-and-blood people. On the other hand liberalism is defined in tangible terms, and this is one criticism liberal people make of totalitarian philosophies.
  • They both identify a group that has to be swept aside for the establishment of a Better World; the Jews in the Nazis' case, the business elite in the communists'. This sort of thinking is also much criticized by liberal people; President Obama, in particular, has spoken a good deal against it.

...the reason the US is so rich... It is true that our natural resources have provided much of our wealth. However, it is doubtful that we would have been able to make use of them to the degree we have done, had we labored under a command economy. Look at the mess the Soviets made of the Virgin Lands Campaign. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:57, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Whoa, "a group that has to be swept aside for the establishment of a Better World"... yeah, but the Nazis advocated murdering the Jews. Marxists/communists advocate the "disappearance" of the "class" of the business elite in society - not their murder, simply their eventual obsolescence. I guess I see a difference there, perhaps you don't? Then again, perhaps my commieism isn't studied as fully as yours. PS, Obama is not a "liberal". He's a centrist. He just "seems" liberal in contrast to whacknuts like Bill Kristol and the rest of PNAC. As far as your WP reference, "vast tracts of unseeded (virgin) steppe" are not exactly the Ohio valley, or gold in California, the trees of New England, the arable lands of Dixie. I'm not arguing that a "command economy", which I guess is your word for communism, would have exploited the resources of central north America better/worse/the same, but the Soviets didn't even have friggin' warm water ports, let alone the breadbasket of the world. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:53, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
As regards the murder vs. "disappearance" question, there is a debate among historians as to whether Hitler started out wanting to kill all the Jews or not. From my own reading of Mein Kampf, it appears that he started out only wanting to remove them from the influential position he believed them to hold.
The Wikipedia article also makes clear that the Soviets completely bungled their attempt at farming the steppes, and if the effort had been handled in a more realistic manner, they would have been able to make more use out of the steppes than they did.
Groups on both sides of the political spectrum are agreed that Obama is a liberal man; for example, Americans for Democratic Action gave him very high rankings on the liberalism scale. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:16, 31 July 2009 (UTC)


"As regards the murder vs. "disappearance" question, there is a debate among historians as to whether Hitler started out wanting to kill all the Jews or not. From my own reading of Mein Kampf, it appears that he started out only wanting to remove them from the influential position he believed them to hold." Well, dang, he wasn't so damn bad after all! "Groups on both sides of the political spectrum are agreed that Obama is a liberal man" No, you are wrong. I am so far to the left of Obama I will be forever surprised if he makes a single "leftist" move. Your source to the contrary are wrong. Obama is a centrist. He only appears "leftist" to you because you are on the "right". He appears "centrist" to me because I am on the "left". I'd call him a "rightist" but I am am smarter than you and see him as centrist. If I was not so smart - or was just calling it as I see it, I'd call him a moderate right winger. 'Cause that's what he looks like from here. And if you think I'm wrong, feel free to tell me why. ħuman'User talk:Human 06:18, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Obama is center-left, meaning a socialist would see him as center or right, rather like the American Conservative Union does not measure much difference between Obama and Bernie Sanders.
Americans for Democratic Action is an advocacy group that identifies as liberal. It keeps records of how the representatives and senators vote on certain key issues, and in this record Obama was given high "liberal" scores of 100%, 95%, etc. (He received a score of 45% in 2008, but they said that this was because he missed a lot of votes while on campaign.)
I do not trust the Political Compass at all, but it did place me left of Obama on economics (Obama at +2.5, me at +1.88). I am not, of course, but if my rating is more accurate than Obama's, that puts Obama at center-left on that scale as well. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:22, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, if you take an average across the Western World, Obama, and most of the Dems, are centre-right by any standards. What Americans call liberal isn't really that far left at all. WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 16:07, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I would agree there with regard to many Democrats (such as the Blue Dog Coalition), but not Obama. The Political Compass is supposed to measure political views on the scale of the entire Western world, it marks me just slightly center-right on economics, and I am significantly right of Obama. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:25, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Just re-reading this a bit... how does this "I do not trust the Political Compass at all, but it did place me left of Obama on economics (Obama at +2.5, me at +1.88). I am not, of course, but if my rating is more accurate than Obama's, that puts Obama at center-left on that scale as well" square with this "it marks me just slightly center-right on economics, and I am significantly right of Obama"? Also, that +2.5 isn't exactly "center-left", is it? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:03, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
The +2.5 was a rating obtained by the test's creators feeding answers into the test based on their readings of Obama's political positions — essentially, putting words in his mouth. I actually answered the questions, so my rating is probably more accurate than his; therefore, I am using my rating as a reference to estimate a more accurate one for him. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 00:12, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
This is where the US "range" of politics lies.
Did you really just type "putting words in his mouth" and then "I am using my rating as a reference to estimate a more accurate one for him"? BTW, if you load up the US political one and check off every state, every single senator is in the upper right quadrant. Even Bernie Sanders. These positions, true, are not based on the individual filling out the test, but public political figures have records (voting and campaigning and speeches) that can be used. I think you need to re-address you opinion of what is "right of center" and "left of center". ħumanUser talk:Human 03:14, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Let us look at this logically, shall we? My rating is +1.88 on the scale and Obama's is +2.5. Therefore, one of the following propositions is true:
  • I am to the left of Obama economically.
  • My rating is inaccurate.
  • Obama's rating is inaccurate.
Unless you think I am left of Obama, which I doubt, we can dispense with that proposition, instead considering that I am right of Obama. Now consider that:
  • I have taken the test and Obama has not, and
  • the test writers are solidly left-wing and have a documented tendency to take economic statements by anyone right of them as more right than they actually are, and
  • the test writers are chomping at the bit to argue that politics has swung sharp right of late.
This would indicate that my rating should be preferred to Obama's for accuracy. Anything left of me on the compass is center to center-left, unless you want to say that Mr. Schlafly is right and Obama is a Red.
Not that the test is accurate in the slightest, the way it makes a straw-man out of positions with which its writers disagree. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:41, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

There's still plenty of room to the "left" of you that is center-right. Also, please keep in mind who brought up this metric before arguing its validity into the ground. I think you might be guilty of floundering in your own data. Also, I would submit that you might be to the left of Obama and just don't know it. I also disagree with your wild assertions about the test writers, upon what do you base them? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:49, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Me, left of Obama? Give me a break. I think that almost everything the fellow is doing is only dragging out the recession by paying economic deadwood to keep it floating, the appropriate solution being to deregulate and let the deadwood be thrown aside. I also dislike his positions on school vouchers and the minimum-wage laws.
As to my assertions about the Political Compass, I have explained them more fully in my article about the test. Note that I first brought the Political Compass up with the caveat that I mistrust it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:11, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I lean towards your rating being inaccurate. Oh, and it's not "your" article on the compass, it's "our" article on it... although I guess you wrote most of it, right? ħumanUser talk:Human 23:34, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I should have linked to the initial version, which was entirely mine. Now: on what do you base your assertion that my rating is inaccurate? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:48, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think you realize how far right or left you actually are, relative to the rest of the world. You may think you or Obama are in one place or another, but you might not be right. I note your critique of the PC is lacking in refs - is it just your opinion or viewpoint? ħumanUser talk:Human 09:11, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Holocaust numbers[edit]

I enjoyed your essay, but there's one thing to mention. I haven't seen it above, but if I've missed it somewhere, my apologies. It's this: You mentioned the Holocaust as having 6 million victims. However, the estimates of the Holocaust tend to be at 11 million overall. 6 million refers only to the Jewish victims. If you meant to reference them only, I understand, although I'd prefer people remember they were not alone, with many other ethnic minorities and political or religious dissidents also killed. Mcc1789 (talk) 02:03, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Including communists :/ C6541 (TC) 20:57, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

This is a ridiculous Godwin's Law claim[edit]

While there were many atrocities committed under Communist regimes, comparing them to the Nazis in seriousness is a gross oversimplification. We can take the formation of both ideologies into consideration. Nazism was created with the intent of murdering any group of people that it did not consider to be part of the master race and dominate Europe by force for the sole benefit of Germans. In contrast, Communism was created without a nation in mind, and to create a classless and equal society. It was the failures and atrocities committed after the establishments of Communist governments that led to genocide under Communism, whereas Nazism was intended from the ground up as a murderous regime. Given the record of failures of Communism due to exploitation by the leaders, serious consideration should be given to attempting to establish Communism in any nation. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 06:42, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

We've been over this...[edit]

We've shared reams of modern academic sources with you, time and time again, and you simply refuse to engage.

Put simply, if we're 'holodomor deniers' (we actually don't deny the famine happened) by questioning the idea it was *deliberately engineered* (that's a can of worms if you apply the same standards to famines in british india - no, that's not a tu quoque; the question of your standards here is quite a pertinent one) - *THEN SO ARE THE ENTIRE MODERN CONSENSUS IN SOVIET STUDIES*. We've been through this before.

Check it out for yourselves. We've dropped entire sources for you. It's your fault if you can't even be bothered to check them out. So 'rational' of you, of course.

Also, 'deny science'? 'Deny reality'? What does that mean? Deny 'the laws of economics'? Presumably those are the 'laws' Keynesians also have a little bit of a problem with, eh?

///////////////////////////////////////////////////

As for the alleged 'similarities' between communism and fascism, the fact that you people can't distinguish between them is historically pretty irrelevant - as the entire business class both before and after world war II most certainly could (operation condor, operation gladio, counter-guerilla, delustration, elements denazification programmes etc - all after WWII).

The Nazi party came out of far right wing freikorps movements made up often of demobilised soldiers with a leadership often from the army officer corps and the aristocrats of the old german empire who colluded with the weimar government to crush an abortive attempt at socialist revolution by Luxembourg and Liebknicht in 1919 (the sparticist rebellion). In power, like all fascist parties it engaged in semi-Keynesian stimulus programmes relating to infrastructural development and re-armourment, whilst brutally suppressing trade unionism and any form of lower class conscious political activism. The first people the nazis went for were the communists and even the social democrats. They used slave labour from the east and from their internal enemies as free labour for their large private industries - Siemans, Messerschmit, Porche and quite a few other companies you might have heard of were involved at some level.

The confusion over this *generally* seems to arise from American misunderstandings about nomenclature with socialist parties - the socialist parties of the second international were in many cases founded explicitly as anti-capitalist formations seeking to effect total economic change through parliamentary means. This of course didn't work and gradually their transitional policies in effect became their entire party political platform. Some social democratic parties (the term used then for socialists) broke away from these movements as they supported the first world war and became acclimatised to their positions in power (when they got them) and settled for a rather tame reformism - one of these movements were the Russian Social Democrats (the Bolsheviks). The parties of the second international still exist, and have maintained their 'socialist' lineage and heritage, but their economic and political orientation in generally ownes more to Keynes than it ever does to Marx.

'Socialism' is not a matter of 'more state' and 'public ownership' - such a binary is pretty meaningless. Keynesian state intervention is not qualitatively 'less' capitalistic (the very existance of the market is predicated on 'the state' in any case - no, the 'market' doesn't mean two people trading a fish for a coconut on a desert island). Most fascist powers were generally failed imperialisms with a romantic nationalist background which attempted to get a 'piece of the pie' with an extremely virulent concentration of the sort of romantic nationalist ideas that had characterised european cultural conciousness in the early 19th century. They aimed at economic 'autarky', 'corporatism' (no, that doesn't mean 'corporations and the government' - it has another sociological meaning) and late attempts to imperialise. They are not comparable in form or function to the communist experiments of the 20th century. Keynesianism if anything saved europe and the US in the new deal from massive socialist movements than actually bought it into fruition - as Roosevelt himself acknowledge. Keynesian deficit spending to re-arm is not 'socialistic'.

These points about fascism again come from the modern academic consensus - Robert Paxton and Griffin are good places to start; these are two of the leading scholars in the field of fascism in the world today. They are acknowledged as such by the academy in both north america and western europe, I can say with confidence. Again, your 'rational' analysis of what 'fascism' constitutes doesn't actually engage with the academic consensus upon it whatsoever. Very 'rational' of you. Your perception of what 'fascism' is and how it functions comes more from the likes, ironically enough for you, of neoconservative Jonah Goldberg's "liberal fascism" (that paxton and griffin demolished pretty thoroughly).

Investigate your sources and challenge your 'common senses'. Something the supposed values of your wiki would make it abundantly apparent you should do. But nooope. lol