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Welcome, BoN
This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.
Friends.gif For previous conversations, see the automagic barchives.Guinnesssmiley.gif

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(talk) (talk) (talk) (talk) (hic)

Pointless poll

Spicy food, yay or nay?

Spice is nice!

70

Vote

Can't handle heat, must avoid at all costs.

16

Vote

Should Azureality be the site mascot?

Heck yeah!

42

Vote

That thing is so cool, I love it!

3

Vote

Needs more goat

19

Vote

What am I looking at, and whose hairbrained idea was it to make a frickin' Pokémon our mascot?!?

85

Vote

Who is the better rapper?

Tupac Shakur

21

Vote

Biggie Smalls

20

Vote

Both are equally great

21

Vote

MC Goat

49

Vote

To do list

Progress & Regress Pokémon — Help Wanted[edit]

Hey, I've been working more on my Progress & Regress Pokémon concepts, and I'd like to get some feedback on them. I'm also running out of ideas to expand with (I'd like to end the chains with a Fire/Rock Progress Pokémon and a Poison/Fighting Regress Pokémon, to be hard-countered by Crimsolusion and Azureality, respectively), so I need some more ideas on things RationalWiki endorses and opposes. Luigifan18 (talk) 17:47, 10 February 2024 (UTC)

…Hello? Luigifan18 (talk) 18:48, 11 February 2024 (UTC)
I'll check it out. Carthage (talk) 06:02, 12 February 2024 (UTC)
I can hardly wait. (I also need some help fleshing out the ideas I do have. Like, for instance, was Leavanny really the best Pokémon to turn into the avatar of hippies? I still have some doubts about that.) Luigifan18 (talk) 05:06, 13 February 2024 (UTC)
I have nothing whatsoever against you Luigifan (I'm a big Ingress player) but if you expect RW to endorse your Pokémon enthusiasm I think you may have to wait a long time. :-( Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:04, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
…Can I get some feedback on my ideas, please? Luigifan18 (talk) 04:35, 15 February 2024 (UTC)
I got a Gameboy and Pokemon Red as a Christmas present back in 98. there were two other kids in my 5th grade year who knew anything about pokemon, and they liked the anime, so they were making Pokemon noises at each other for fun. You have to understand that this is incredible for me, not the first I've seen it but do you really get what being a fan of Pokemon would afford you in the late 90's? The game was awesome, the fandom was getting beat up. To see somebody so confidently be like 'don't y'all know Pokemon?' Like, no, I don't. I know about around 150 pokemon. But I am a little jealous of current anime fans. Their taste is bad, but everybody's taste in everything is bad, so whatever, at least they get to watch anime without being called the f word. Torrent (talk) 10:18, 15 February 2024 (UTC)
…Uh… should I take this to the saloon bar talk page? Luigifan18 (talk) 17:46, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
Any ideas on what sorts of woo I can represent with a Grass/Ground-type? (Aside from herbalism, since Creikipath has that covered.) Luigifan18 (talk) 03:50, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
@Bob M By the way, what does Ingress have to do with this, aside from being developed by the same peopleWikipedia as Pokémon Go and using basically the same servers? Luigifan18 (talk) 16:21, 21 February 2024 (UTC)
You walk about and interact with locations in the real world. All the PoGo gyms and poketops were originally imported from waypoints created by Ingress players. I only mention it in the context of having nothing against these games in principle. But, as I said, I kind of doubt you will get the community very interested in this.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:56, 20 March 2024 (UTC)
Things are progressing pretty smoothly, but I do need a few more ideas. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:43, 24 February 2024 (UTC)
BTW, I'm in the process of commissioning artwork of Azureality from BaeFakemon on Instagram (who previously drew my Paradox Dragonite idea, Noble Wish). Luigifan18 (talk) 19:43, 25 February 2024 (UTC)
I now officially have a rough sketch of Azureality! Would anyone like to see it? Luigifan18 (talk) 15:43, 27 February 2024 (UTC)
Here's another rough sketch. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:59, 29 February 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── …I dunno how much longer I'm willing to keep this open without responses. I'm currently waiting for BaeFakemon to finish the drawing. (And can someone please help me think of a few more ideas?) Luigifan18 (talk) 17:51, 2 March 2024 (UTC)

I've now got the finished drawings of Azureality, for those who are interested! (But seriously, if this continues to get no responses, I'll probably archive it myself and recreate it in the talk page.) Luigifan18 (talk) 17:40, 3 March 2024 (UTC)
Maybe a military or war one? It could be like a tank or bomber plane. maybe steel/dark or steel/fire. steel/dark with an ability that powers up fire type moves could work. Koafox (talk) 16:36, 5 March 2024 (UTC)
I already have a war one. It's named Inceruction, and it's Steel/Fire. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:08, 6 March 2024 (UTC)
Hey @Carthage, did you ever check out the project? Luigifan18 (talk) 21:48, 8 March 2024 (UTC)
@Carthage? Hello? Luigifan18 (talk) 00:39, 11 March 2024 (UTC)
…I do wonder what the holdup is on Instagram… Luigifan18 (talk) 05:06, 14 March 2024 (UTC)
I just PM'd BaeFakemon; Azureality is due to appear on Instagram this week. Luigifan18 (talk) 18:13, 18 March 2024 (UTC)
…Maybe I need to send another PM. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:37, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Never mind, the Instagram post just came up! Luigifan18 (talk) 02:25, 24 March 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── After reading (and editing) the pages on numerology and new gematria, I can't help thinking that maybe one of the remaining Regress Pokémon should be based on it. Should it be the Ground/Grass one or the Fairy/Ground one? (Also, apparently none of the Regress Pokémon represent conspiracy theories yet. What?) Luigifan18 (talk) 20:15, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

…Still not sure what woo I can represent with Ground and Grass… Luigifan18 (talk) 22:57, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Okay, conspiracy theories it is, at least unless I get a better idea. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:01, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I also decided to make the Fairy/Ground Regress Pokémon represent freemen on the land. (I've named it Legandeeract — a (admittedly somewhat butchered) portmanteau of "legal", "land", "free", and "contract", with "legend" semi-coincidentally mixed in.) I even made the symbolism a pun on the typing, since the legal system devised by the freemen on the land is, well, a fairy tale — a mere fabrication, not accepted as valid in reality. Luigifan18 (talk) 17:38, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Still waiting for BaeFakemon on YouTube… Luigifan18 (talk) 01:48, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
I should probably PM Bae on Instagram again. I'd like to keep this topic alive until I have a chance to show off the drawing process video… Luigifan18 (talk) 03:54, 19 April 2024 (UTC)

Common ground between rationalists and the alt-right?[edit]

…Anyone have any ideas what rational leftists and alt-rightists both dislike? All I've got is communism. (Conservatives don't like communism because it bashes their self-interest, and rationalists don't like it because it requires the absolute suppression of self-interest, which only works for eusocialWikipedia animals like ants, bees, and mole rats — not for humans, so attempting to implement it results in shitholes like the Soviet Union and North Korea.) Luigifan18 (talk) 22:43, 16 March 2024 (UTC)

I think you might be conflating rationalism and rationality. A rationalist is a person that adhere to the epistemological view of rationalism, not someone that is "rational" (indeed, everyone thinks they are rational). GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 12:06, 20 March 2024 (UTC)
I did indeed mean "rationalism", but "rationalist[ic] lefties" would have been a bit of a mouthful. Luigifan18 (talk) 20:03, 20 March 2024 (UTC)
There are also definitely leftists whom I met who identify as a rationalist (of the less wrong variety) and as a communist on the internet. Many folks who self-identify with the term "leftist" rather than liberal, specifically do so because of their explicit support of socialism, or their sympathy for communist ideals. You have to remember that communism broadly speaking is like egalitarian "communal living" as an economic system. Small-scale "egalitarian" or "intentional" communities exist throughout the United States and elsewhere that live by the norms of "each according to their ability, and each according to their need" in small commune communities. The issue is with applying such norms nationally, or upon economies of scale. Not everyone who identifies as a communist is sympathetic to the model of state socialism practiced by the likes of Russia, or China. And folks sometimes can recognize the applicability of "commune-living" on a small scale, or among hunter-gatherer tribes (as what Marx would call "primitive communism") without embracing it as a political ideal on a national or international level. Even those who may identify themselves as social democratic, and may not fully embrace communism as a national political system, or even socialism for that matter, can still be argued to have some sympathies with these political philosophies regardless and hence the overlap between social democrats and democratic socialists in terms of supported policies. It is weird and kind of politically loaded to assume that to be a "rational leftist™" would entail some unnuanced rejection of communism as a general idea. It also seems to be at least partially crediting the alt-right as having some rationalistic commitments.
And as with what GJK said accurately, rationalism is an epistemological view, and you are confusing rationalism with rationality. They are not both conflatable, and it should be said that "rationality" itself is a term with no consensus definition among those within cognitive science and philosophy who study the concept. What is rationality supposed to be here? Responsiveness to reason? Logical coherence in one's set of beliefs? And instrumental relationship between what means reliably produce what ends? And inherently valued state of being? The maximization of personal utility? Why would any of these definitions per se rule out any particular political philosophy? Some seem more inclusive to certain political philosophies over others, and some seem compatible with any particular ideology dependent on the particular ends of the individual who is applying it. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:12, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Yes, social democracy, democratic socialism, socialism, and communism occupy a spectrum of equality (economic and otherwise), [enforced] altruism, focus upon the whole community, etc. There's a reason why Karl Marx called socialism an intermediary step before the full implementation of communism in the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, and that's because socialism is, in many ways, a "diet" version of communism. The idea behind why I think a rationalist could support socialism yet reject communism is that socialism (and its one-step-below variants, social democracy and democratic socialism) is workable in practice, but full communism, as you said, is not practical, at least not on a national scale (or anything above the scale of individual villages, really). Socialism, social democracy, and democratic socialism allow for some degree of reward for above-and-beyond effort, individualism, and other things that can channel humanity's innate selfishness in productive and communally-helpful ways, while still being… unamused with "look out for number one" antics; communism expects humans to behave like ants, with all effort being directed towards the well-being of the group as a whole, and then gets flabbergasted when humans turn out not to act like that. (BTW, I'm not crediting the alt-right with having any rational thoughts, let alone commitments; I'm asking what things they might dislike that might also be things that rational lefties would dislike. The two groups can and probably would dislike those things for very different reasons. For instance, conservatives tend to skip all the practical reasons to be skeptical-at-best of communism and zero in on it being a huge change to the status quo (which makes it scary) that seems to be out to hurt them in particular (which, to be fair, it kind of is…).)
As for rationalism versus rationality, well, I do tend to conflate those and treat them as equivalent. I think I go a little more in-depth when I talk about Azureality (i.e. what I'm hoping will be the site mascot), but "rationality" and "rationalism" as I see it entails responsiveness to reason and evidence, i.e. a skeptical, empirical, scientific point of view. Rationalism is not hostile to ideas that came about largely through the exercise of solid logic, and can have a grudging respect for beliefs that are logically consistent even if their truth value is shaky-at-best when put to the test (for instance, the ideas behind the concept of qi). However, while rationalism can respect ideas that are logically well-formulated and conceived with good intentions (especially if the people who came up with those ideas legitimately didn't know better and lacked the ability to properly gain the information that could have helped them know better), that respect tends to go out the window when people start getting hurt and/or ripped off or when those ideas are presented as some sort of [empirically]-verified truth when they're not, and it does not accept ideas that do not have supporting evidence and/or do not pan out within perceivable reality; for instance, rationalism does not hate religion and attack it on principle (unless the religion in question is something really abhorrent and/or stupid), but given the lack of evidence for religious claims, it is strictly secular and does not incorporate religion into its philosophy. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:27, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Actually, Marx never claimed socialism as a interperiod transitionary state, That was something introduced by Lenin. One thing GJK and I would agree upon is that socialism is best thought of as a economic system where the means of production is predominantly under collective and/or public ownership as opposed to being predominately privately owned. Communism is therefore a proper subset of socialism, but socialism is not a subset of communism.
As for the rationalism conception, that is way too broad. I know of philosophers who use that exact definition as a basis for moral naturalism. “Responsive” to reason is so vague, it’s hard to see who isn’t a rationalist besides those who have no language capacities and are completely indifferent to their sense experiences. You need to determine what is and what is not an appropriate response to reason and/or evidence. Regardless, by your definition, most philosophers throughout history could be conceived as rationalists, communists included. Also most philosophers of rationality (and many a cognitive neuroscientist) would discount one as being rational if they rejected inferences of classical logic.Wikipedia I don’t think you are really describing rationalism if implicit to it is a skepticism of logic, that seems to be a more radical empiricism than that of W.V.O. Quine - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:05, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
*sigh* Not skepticism of logic, that's just silly. I'm talking about skepticism driven by logic. Luigifan18 (talk) 02:27, 24 March 2024 (UTC)
Oopsies, I misread. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 09:05, 24 March 2024 (UTC)
Whoops, I was not aware that the idea of socialism as an intermediate step towards communism started with Lenin rather than Marx.
For my interpretation of "rationalism"… if it helps, you can think of intuition and pure logic as being useful as starting points — the process of forming ideas that make sense, given what is known about the world. Then the next step of empirical rationalism is to see if those ideas actually work in the real world, i.e. experimentation. This is what I mean by something like qi being logical but lacking truth value — the underlying concepts are logical and consistent, but they fail to actually explain reality.
As for zeroing in on communism, that is largely being used as an example of something that both rationalists and alt-rightists would dislike — the alt-right hates it because it directly challenges their ambitions to achieve complete… economic… domination, keep them there dirty minorities in their place, and/or rule like kings over all of mankind, and rationalists don't trust it because it's been tried several times and ended catastrophically damn-near every single time. Why communism seems to consistently fail is a subject for debate — I'm sure tankies would blame it on the U.S. and other capitalist nations relentlessly sabotaging and undermining communist nations like the USSR to force them to fail, but that sounds like a baseless conspiracy theory to me (if communism is really such a perfect and optimal way to run a country, one would think that a communist nation would be able to be a prosperous state and a great place to live, even with the rest of the world doing everything in their power to turn it to shit; it makes more sense to attribute communism failing to plain old weaknesses of human character that it doesn't account for, which results in stuff like government corruption and excessively-optimistic hair-brained schemes (like Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward)Wikipedia that hamstrings it before it can even get going). Anyways, I'm sure there are other things that both rational, sensible people and fascist fundie nutters would have a noted dislike towards. Communism was just the first and main thing I could think of; to me, it is the prime example of something that the reality-based community and the Religious Right Trump's coterie of Worst People Ever People With More Hate-Boners Than Sense would both dislike. (That, and I blame the Cold War for shifting the Overton window far enough to the right for fascism to not only become viable in America, but to get strong enough to flat-out utterly consume the Republican Party. (Well, I partially blame the Cold War. I'm sure McCarthyism and other facets of struggling against communism wasn't the only factor that made the American political climate scared shitless of anything left of center and hospitable to the far right; just one of the bigger ones.)) Luigifan18 (talk) 18:00, 26 March 2024 (UTC)
I think there are some conceptual problems from the outset here. Given the inclusive definition of communism here, including what Marx called “primitive communism” — not every historical attempt can be called a failure. Are the small intentional egalitarian communities that have populations of a few hundred people or less who have managed to sustain themselves for decades failures? What about the various hunter-gatherer tribes or horticultural tribal communities that survived for centuries sometimes even for millennia without any semblance of a class, state, or currency?
If you are versed in communist theory as you claim, than the issue of “communism” here is not per se in the possibility of a classless or stateless society. There something more so the matter with the means to which states have tried to direct society towards an advanced communism that has consistently failed in the last century.
That being said I think the sustainability of such an advanced communism is underdetermined, because as an end-point stage it has never successfully been reached. Every state project has turned into something that would resemble a capitalist market economy with more or less of a presence of state enterprise. To talk about a “communist country” is a contradiction in terms if used under its economic meaning. The only sense of “communism” that is applicable is as an ideological orientation of the ruling party. The problem with that being that none of these nominally communist states actually have a wholly consistent or shared ideology. Hence all the variations from Classic Marxists, Leninists, Trots, ML’s, Maoists, etc.
There is also an issue of simply accepting state’s definition of itself. Is China really a republic? North Korea a democracy?
Also “reality-based community” isn’t a genuine social group. Have a little more analytical of a mindset then relying on the positive association of terms. This is on par with calling one self a “goodist”. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:07, 26 March 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── What is RationalWiki if not an expression of the reality-based community?

Also, @OnlySortaDumb, can you give me a source on Lenin being the source of the idea of socialism as a transitory state to communism? Our list of forms of government article's section on communism seems to attribute the view of communism following Socialism to Marx. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:25, 29 March 2024 (UTC)

Everyone thinks they are part of a “reality-based community”. It doesn’t genuinely pick out anyone specific. Hardly anyone thinks they are not believing on the basis of what is real. That is almost what it means to believe in something. The only purpose of such a term is to allege a special insider status for oneself to insult an outgroup. It’s unhelpful, prevents meaningful communication, and only speaks to illustrate how far your head is up your own ass.
As for the claim about socialism. It’s a basic fact about the very notion of a socialist mode of production.Wikipedia Wikipedia says “Marx himself did not use the term socialism to refer to this development. Instead, Marx called it a communist society that has not yet reached its higher-stage. The term socialism was popularized during the Russian Revolution by Vladimir Lenin.” Don’t think Wikipedia is reliable? Similar claim is made in Marx: a very short introduction by Peter Singer published in the Oxford University Press. Most secondary literature I have read has suggested that Marx didn’t make the distinction between socialism and communism, and instead spoke of higher and lower stages of communism. Even the DoTP is never described as “socialist” within the communist manifesto. That which I have read several times. When socialism is mentioned in the manifesto is often used disparagingly by Marx to describe german and french socialist projects that Marx saw as failures, or doomed to fail on the basis of being largely petit-bourgeois projects. Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 18:43, 29 March 2024 (UTC)
I'm inclined to disagree with both of you. I believe it was Engels who, in fact, coined the term "scientific socialism".[1] If you want my opinion, he was far more of a sophisticated thinker than most people give him credit for, but for some reason he'll live forever in the shadow of his friend. It is true, however, that Marx (especially the older Marx) hardly ever wrote about communism, he was studying capitalism. Heck, the tiny communist manifesto at least had a list of ways to achieve communism IIRC, Das Kapital basically only focus on capitalism. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:54, 29 March 2024 (UTC)
Nope, nope, nope, to the land of 10 thousand nopes, nope. These are not people we should be finding common ground with. They need to eat shit and die alone, they do not deserve to be legitimized. Fuck off with that liberal bullshit. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 17:47, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Normally, I would agree. But the Progress and Regress Pokémon are still Pokémon. Pokémon is a very idealistic franchise that has historically been averse to depicting any of its titular monsters as pure evil; it's not afraid to depict humans as being evil (Ghetsis, Lysandre, and Volo being some excellent examples), but the Pokémon themselves are usually only as good or evil as their trainers shape them to be. Thus, I felt the need to force the Progress and Regress Pokémon to set their differences aside in my hypothetical post-game, and the most feasible way to do that was with a common enemy. (The Regress Pokémon will still be very much Reformed But Not Tamed at best (the situation is Enemy Mine, not the Regress Pokémon having a miraculous change of heart), and the alliance will be a case of Teeth-Clenched Teamwork. I'm not letting the fascists off that easily.) The best candidate I could think of for the common enemy was communism — as I said, rationalists don't like communism because it doesn't work, and conservatives see communism as an existential threat. So while rationalists and conservatives don't have to like each other, they might agree that it's in both of their best interests to put tankies in their place. Luigifan18 (talk) 04:06, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Historically liberals have sided with fascists to protect their economic interests, so your uncritical take here has some historical precedent. Usually this would take the form of overthrowing socialist regimes (democratic or otherwise) and replacing them with reactionary dictatorships, or enacting fascist policies and supporting fascist politicians that would break up labor movements, often violently. Our article on liberalism is quite enlightening as to the degree liberals have cooperated with fascists to protect their interests. You know the old saying that fascism is capitalism in crisis? Carthage (talk) 04:41, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

What the heck is "everybodywiki"?[edit]

…Huh. What is this "en.everybodywiki" that vandal cited in his "fishhook theory" tirade, and is it trustworthy? Now I'm curious. (I'm not restoring the vandal's comment itself because the way it was phrased was clearly more of an attempt to pick a fight than to contribute to the conversation, but I did take a peek at that link he posted, and it looks decent enough aside from a typo (and being a stub… and not being updated since 2020). Do we mention that subject on our horseshoe theory article?) Luigifan18 (talk) 15:12, 22 March 2024 (UTC)

Just checked… yep, fishhook theory is there. Right in section 1.1 after the intro, even. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:34, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
Horseshoe theory is hot garbage, and the article we have on it is hot garbage. "Anecdata". Seriously? That's your standard for evidence? Carthage (talk) 16:41, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
Everybodywiki is a Wiki with no notability requirements whatsoever. Predictably, a lot of the recent changes therefore are self-promo spam.
My take on "horseshoe theory" is that it has some "merit" mainly because binary "left-right" political classifications in itself are often problematic. But only because of that. It's like music genres - everyone uses these terms as shorthand. And by-the-numbers genre artists certainly exist. But when you look deep into the detail of many artists classified a certain way, though, it's often not like the genre stereotype at all. BobJohnson (talk) 16:55, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
I am inclined to say it's got something to do with the 'Overton Window' than anything else. Folks [of all stripes] who fall outside of it end up having rather similar views towards the various horrid mainstream anything - for example, a Nazi will bitch at 'the MSM' because it doesn't report how whites are being screwed-over by 'da Jews' etc while Communists will equally bitch at them being nothing but flunkies for 'international capitalists' but fundies also hate it for not taking seriously their claims that Satan is physically present on Earth right now and organising their minions to conquer the world. Occasionally, you can get a situation where several, unrelated groups end up hating the same person for overlapping reasons - good example being George Soros. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:42, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
I think Horseshoe theory is valid in that authoritarians often come to similar conclusions and use similar methods once in power no matter what ideology there is behind it.-Ryan1257 (talk) 00:23, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
I love how we keep pretending a theory considered garbage in political science is worth taking seriously, and the fact there are so many interpretations of this garbage theory just within this very thread doesn't make a charitable case for its analytical utility. Carthage (talk) 00:33, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
So we have different opinions on why extremists seem to come to similar conclusions, we just recognize a common phenomena and don't quite have any better term for it besides "horseshoe theory". How would you explain far right/left similarities, or do you seriously believe they are nothing alike?-Ryan1257 (talk) 02:51, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Horseshoe theory is oversimplified rubbish that does away with the political spectrum entirely. I think a better question we should be asking is if these similarities are stylistic or substantive. As for the problems with authoritarianism, that's just how power works. It's not limited to the "far left" and "far right," no matter how vague and useless such terms are (horseshoe theory ignores the top down axis entirely), as Tikitime illustrates on the horseshoe theory talkpage. So do I believe that authoritarianism is a real thing? Yes. Do I believe that horseshoe theory does a good job of explaining it? No, and neither do political scientists. Carthage (talk) 02:58, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
I think Bob's take is pretty defensible. If there is any merit to the idea, it is only because the left/right political spectrum is itself not particularly unambiguous or distinctive. I think it is more than possible to make "similarity" arguments superficially that can come off as equally compelling to someone of a particular political background simply because it permits them to hate on the groups of people they were already inclined to hate on anyway. Like it wouldn't be hard to make the argument to lefties that liberalism is openly compatible with and benefits from far-right authoritarianism based on the active interests of neoliberal institutions to help establish far-right dictators in South America during the Cold War, highlighting the subsequent gross human rights violations. I can hear the centrist cries of non-applicability already, given that such violations or policies weren't established domestically, but I can already predict the leftist response in not finding that particularly compelling considering that there is an open history of human rights violations against certain disenfranchised groups within the US, and the sheer fact that countries like Canada and the US founded upon liberal ideals, were also established through acts classifiable as genocidal. Then we can devolve into the discussion of the various leftwing atrocities and attempt genocidal acts until the cows come home, with nobody realizing how not fucking innocent any particular point of the spectrum is in any of this. We need to build a new house that is not made with the master's tools. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:20, 23 March 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Anything which is 'overfitted' becomes 'rubbish', Carthage. Horseshoe is a fair (though simple) explanation of how various types of nutjobs can end up at similar conclusions. Consider it more a 'lie-to-children' answer for laypersons than a fully fledged pol/sci theory which you'd use in an academic debate. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:07, 23 March 2024 (UTC)

Is it though? You run the risk of false equivalency with such oversimplifcations (as can be seen in our own article), especially when an argument can be made that they don't fit. An argument can be made that centrism just as easily runs the risk of authoritarianism as any other ideology used to justify power, as has already been expressed both here in this thread and elsethread. I am not convinced that this "confused, semi-illiterate" reading of politics is worth the digital paper it's being printed on. Carthage (talk) 11:06, 24 March 2024 (UTC)
However, you run the risk of folks not getting your argument at all if you subject them to a multi-minute, polysyllabic monologue detailing why at times folks on the fringes of political debate appear to end up holding suprisingly similar views at times despite being ostensibly being ideologically opposed to each other. Similar complaints can be made towards, say Occam's Razor, Dunning-Kruger, the Grass/Rabbit/Fox ecoystem, 'Outside Context Problem' and so on - that they are simplifications which some can either over-apply or not understand at all.
This is basically the 'lies-to-children' debate; it is better to give 'children' [laypersons with no specialist interest/knowledge] a simplified, though technically incorrect view of the subject/issue so they can at least grasp the principle [and run the risk of overfitting etc], or do we try to drill them in the correct technics straight away, knowing full well that a large % will most likely mentally give up before they finish your lesson? KarmaPolice (talk) 16:06, 25 March 2024 (UTC)
Arguably the former suggestion is based in a kind of epistemic injustice and a slight sense of intellectual arrogance. People can be genuinely curious, and be provided with the epistemic capacities to understand a subject, or at the very least you can debunk common misconceptions. Something like an oversimplification, is not merely a simplification, as “over” is built in to the terminology it’s worth considering what could amount to such an overcorrection to be bordering on disinformation. As skeptics, we end up perpetuating the exact thing we are supposed to be committed to combating. “Lies to children” (putting aside the deep condescending nature built into the term) is often how pseudoscience gets born. It’s how a lot of quantum woo came to be. It is how climate change, framed as an inevitable apocalypse, motivates doomerism. This isn’t to say there isn’t a place for necessary simplification, but in stating that we have to keep in mind that simplifications can distortive, and over-simplifying can be overly distortive. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:07, 27 March 2024 (UTC)
Yes, simplifying can be distortive. That kinda happens when you throw nuance and accuracy out the window to make sure the dumb less-educated rubes get the overall message. Luigifan18 (talk) 14:03, 31 March 2024 (UTC)
If you throw "nuance and accuracy" out the window, then what is that message worth? People are not inherently stupid. This more implies a laziness on your part to adequately explain the topic (which, yes, impedes the "overall message") than the intellectual capacity of the person you are condescending to. Carthage (talk) 05:01, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I think we're referring to something that requires specialist knowledge to comprehend, and thus has to be dumbed down to be communicated to laypeople — for instance, the Talmud or an advanced scientific paper. (See our page on "release the data" and why acquiescing to such demands can be… impractical.) Luigifan18 (talk) 01:51, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
What specialist knowledge is required to understand the 14 characteristics of fascism? It doesn't take specialist knowledge to understand that fascism is a separate beast from, say, council communism. Likewise, what specialist knowledge is required to understand that liberal societies have engaged in authoritarianism to protect entrenched interests before, and this has gone as far as to include open cooperation with fascists? Carthage (talk) 02:39, 14 April 2024 (UTC)

The collapse of Western anti-war/disarmament movements[edit]

This is just an observation but it seems like most major anti-war/disarmament movements in the West have collapsed into tankie-ism, or at best appeasement of Russia (and to a lesser extent China) in the name of peace. Many groups that were opposed to the Iraq War like Veterans for Peace are now openly parroting Russian propaganda. Similarly, it's difficult to find any relevant anti-nuclear weapons groups who focus just as much on Russia's and China's nuclear expansion rather than solely blaming the West and the U.S. in particular. For example, recent leaks of Russian military doctrine shows that they have a much lower threshold for using nuclear weapons than previously thought mainly to compensate for their crappy conventional military forces, with targets including civilian infrastructure. Yet the most recent anti-nuclear video to pick up any traction by Emma Pike seemed to completely gloss over and ignore this.

The worst part of this is that not only are anti-war groups declining in influence, the most visible groups remaining are tanking their own credibility by engaging in this kind of appeasement attitude or outright being apologist of Russian imperialism. And the fact is, if the U.S. nuclear deterrent is reduced, it's very possible that it may encourage nuclear proliferation, because smaller countries will no longer trust the U.S. umbrella and see nuclear weapons and the guarantors of their sovereignty. Maybe I'm not paying enough attention, but how did it all come to this? — Unsigned, by: 130.76.113.198 / talk / contribs

'Nothing new under the sun'. Orwell noted this tendency during WW2; that 'pacifism is objectively pro-fascist' (ie by hindering the war effort you're ultimately helping the enemy). During the Cold War, NATO states had ready various plans to 'detain' various far-left/pacifist/anti-war types (as well as 'suspicious foreigners') in internment camps during any 'WW3' scenario - the British plan (partly leaked in the 1980s) showed they'd already had roundup lists, training guards and earmarking the Butlins camps they'd convert etc.
And Russian/Soviet military doctrine re: NBC usage has always been different to 'the West's' - I have read texts from the 70s which detailed this. So this 'leak' is a 'bears shit in woods' type. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:10, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
I noticed it years ago with regard specifically to what groups favor improved relations with North Korea. I came to think the typical "Korean Friendship Association" groups are a bunch of stooges (actually last I heard one of their leaders was even wanted by the FBI for sanctions evasion or something). I thought it was really unfortunate. You do not need to parrot the propaganda narratives of these governments to realize US policy towards them could be malformed. Chillpilled (talk) 12:01, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
Do we, er, have some evidence to support the "most major anti-war/disarmament movements"? This sounds like a hasty generalization to me. Mind you, from a US perspective, I don't doubt the existence of anti-war movements like this -- some of these groups truly start out with an "anything anti-US / anti-West" paradigm, and thus they are overly receptive of tankie propaganda (which online Russia trolls are happy to dish out; they don't just target the MAGA dumb, after all). I'm just not convinced it's permeated the entirety of anti-war movements; peace groups tend to be scattered on the underpinning philosophy and the mission. For instance, some of them operate more at the think-tank / NGO level (think UNESCOWikipedia), while others operate from, shall we say, a wee bit different underlying motif than a "hard-left" anti-West activist (e.g. the peace organizations driven by religious faith). In environmentalism, there is a world of difference between, say, the WWF and Just Stop Oil. Likewise, I would expect that Emma Pike is not the first and last word on nuclear disarmament. BobJohnson (talk) 13:58, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
Likely not the entirety, but certainly the most vocal that I've seen on platforms like Twitter/X i.e. Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, even Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists sometimes. Granted I know that being vocal on these platforms doesn't necessarily make them the most influential, just what I personally witnessed as a somewhat casual observer. The sad part is that I think we are currently in a geopolitical situation where an arms build-up is necessary, because sadly I don't think Xi or Putin would be deterred otherwise, and I say this as someone who's traditionally been leery of neoliberal/neocon foreign policy and opposed to the Iraq War. — Unsigned, by: 130.76.113.198 / talk / contribs
Their social media sites may skew to non-members, so is perhaps not the most reliable metric for where a group stands. The Veterans for Peace does include some peculiar non-veteran "big names" (e.g., Ralph Nader, Phil Donohue, Cornell West, Medea Benjamin) on their advisory board member list.[2] Code Pink and VfP have what appear be tankie talking points on the Code Pink site with regard to Ukraine.[3][4] Bongolian (talk) 17:47, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
Allegedly current Code Pink leadership was captured, i.e. linked straight to the Chinese government via Jodie Evans' husband, who provides a quarter of the org's funds. This kind of thing will be familiar to anyone who knows about the way that Cold War spy wars spilled over into Soviet agents taking control of some left-wing activist groups, I'm thinking specifically of the CPUSA but there could be a lot more that happened with. With CPUSA, that ended with the FBI sending so many agents into the group in retaliation that it pretty well wrecked the org, not least its reputation, for a few decades. Chillpilled (talk) 00:26, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
You act like the US military desperately needs all that funding, when the US is light years ahead of any other country on the planet. It could go toe to toe with both China and Russia and still win. You could also make an argument that for a lot of countries, they view the US the way the US views China and Russia: as an unjustified aggressor. Why exactly should the response to jingoism just be more jingoism? Carthage (talk) 18:47, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
The Pentagon does not agree with that, and nor do I. Now, in qualitative terms the US military is still the world leader and in size is still the strongest on earth - but she lacks 'staying power'. US 'pinch-points' include relative lack of 'war reserve stocks', a thiness in her native matériel production capabilities and a general 'lack of personnel' issue [both regular and reserves]. You tell me; how powerful is a Abrams with no ammo, a Nimitz-class with her F-35s unable to fly due to chip shortages or an mech infantry division which is down to 25% capabilities but unable to replenish due to lack of reserves? Most of the Euro members of NATO are in even worse shape; the Brits, for example recently showed that they could only deploy a single armoured division [about 160 tanks] to Europe and they would only have the capacity to fight for two months. This is why Russia is winning the war; 'quantity has it's own quality' and she sure does have tons of 'obsolete' tanks/artillery/APCs from the Soviet era, colossal stockpiles of everything from ammo to boots and a functional conscription system 'just in case'. Western 'national resilience' is in even worse shape; due to a major lack of cash and will I suspect no government actually has a plan if we woke up tomorrow to learn China's just sunk a US carrier group in the South China Sea and is carpet-bombing Taiwan.
'Why exactly should the response to jingoism just be more jingoism?' Simple; because if the West does not prepare itself it shall find the Russian 'jingoism' run them over in their tanks. You know how much damage a peace sign does to a T-72? Absolutely none. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:06, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Is Russia actually winning the war? Two years in and they still haven't seized Kyiv. Ukraine has been mounting an effective resistance for two years using NATO's surplus. Assuming Russia does win the invasion, they'll have their hands full dealing with the occupation. Why do you assume Russia would be in any shape to successfully invade and occupy NATO held territories after this war? Carthage (talk) 13:37, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
I keep wondering about this. I see many news articles telling us that we should be ready to resist Russian aggression. And I don't doubt Russia's bad intentions.
But after two years of pretty intense fighting they haven't managed to invade their much smaller neighbor. OK, that neighbor has had a lot of western help, but we were all initially calculating their defensive capabilities in days or weeks.
So it has taken them two years to capture like a quarter of Ukraine: and that at a terrible cost in manpower and equipment. Are they really going to be in any condition to take on the rest of Europe? Let along NATO.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:57, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Is Russia actually winning the war? Two years in and they still haven't seized Kyiv.
The war has turned into one of attrition [a la WW1 or the Iran-Iraq War] and Ukraine is not getting enough advanced Western kit [and more importantly, ammo and replacement parts] to give her a sharp enough qualative edge to counterbalance the Russian numerical one. If current rates continue, I believe Russia will win in around two more years.
Ukraine has been mounting an effective resistance for two years using NATO's surplus.
Ukraine is doing sterling work in doing a defensive 'fighting retreat' on her southern/eastern fronts. But it is still a retreat. And it was not 'NATO's surplus', it was NATOs reserve stocks. We do not have the industrial capacity to replenish these any time soon [let alone supply Ukraine with the gear to continue fighting]. What's more, N Korea in one deal supplied Russia with more artillery shells than the whole of NATO managed in a whole year. Remember that.
Assuming Russia does win the invasion, they'll have their hands full dealing with the occupation
Putin shall create a Ukranian wasteland and call it peace. Chances are he hopes to find enough Quislings to place in charge of a puppet rump Ukraine so he doesn't have to worry about 'occupation' - there's enough of them hiding in Russia right now [starting with the ex-President Yanukovych who was driven out in 2014].
Why do you assume Russia would be in any shape to successfully invade and occupy NATO held territories after this war?
If Ukraine falls, Putin will almost certainly come to the conclusion that he can win if he simply 'toughs it out'. I don't think he will go for NATO itself [at least not on purpose], but any bit of the 'near abroad' [aka what Putin thinks should be a Russian vassal, such as the whole of the old USSR] which tries to escape his control will be fair game [so Moldova and Georgia will be his next victims]. Putin shit-stirring in the Balkans [using his vassal Serbia as a front] shall also be very predictable and is an old bomb neither NATO or the EU wishes to have to deal with again. Lastly, a Putin win shall embolden the wannabe Quislings in Europe, which shall weaken NATO as a whole. Even if we leave out of the matrix the possible emboldening of China/Iran etc that 'America can be defeated if we simply drag it on long enough' it is fairly obvious that a Putin win is not in the interests of either Europe or the US. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:17, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
I think you're underestimating the costs of occupation and overestimating Russian capabilities. The US won the war in Iraq, but lost the occupation, and that's because the US didn't have the numbers to effectively secure the country. Why do you think Russia would have the numbers to effectively secure Ukraine if the US wasn't able to effectively secure Iraq? Carthage (talk) 14:23, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
The Americans lost the Iraq War because the Pentagon was unwilling to 'do anything it took' to win. Shoot anyone who resists and dump them in mass graves, throw cluster-bombs into rebellious villages, turn the nation's kids into hostages, make 'getting food/money/fuel/medicine' dependent on public collaboration, have 'collective punishment' for anything bad, find enough Quislings [however nasty they are] to do most of your dirty work etc. It is in fact rather easy to subugate a land if you have zero qualms about how you go about it and plan to be there forever - this was the lesson that both the Nazis and then Stalin showed in the 1940s. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:34, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
It's universally recognized by counterinsurgency experts that collective punishment is generally bad counterinsurgency practice. If anything, these tactics would only result in a strengthening of any potential insurgency. Here's a handy dandy manual from RAND Institute detailing what's generally considered good and bad counterinsurgency: [5] Carthage (talk) 14:40, 3 April 2024 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Ukraine may end up being a situation like the Soviet–Afghan WarWikipedia for all we know, though of course in all probability different in the details. Still, the USSR was never able to *completely* capture Afghanistan despite nearly 10 years of trying. Some point this conflict's failure as key to the dissolution of the Soviet Union (though there were other factors). Likewise, Ukraine might end up being a similar "conflict that never ends", devastating Ukraine of course, but doing considerable damage to Russia as well.
One thing that seems somewhat different compared to that conflict is there are multiple articles that Russia is experiencing a brain drain. Multi-national companies pursuing globalization had started tip-toeing into Russia prior to the invasion, and some tech companies in Russia likewise flirted with international markets. So in contrast to the prior war, it seems like it has been easier for the "brainy skill" workers to find jobs elsewhere. How this affects Russia's future, who knows, but in general "brain drains" are never a good thing. (Since the Nazis were brought up, the brain drain from Nazi Germany had the direct result of transferring the heart of the world's scientific community from Germany to the Anglosphere, for instance.) BobJohnson (talk) 14:45, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Afghanistan had geography to help in their resistance, as well as external support via Pakistan. And the suppression doesn't have to be completely effective; simply to atomise/depress the people enough that organised active resistance is effectively neutralised.
Personally, I think the most likely result right now is another Korea - that we end up with a rump 'West Ukraine' joining NATO and a wasteland 'Eastern Ukraine' under the Russian thumb, with a thick DMZ along the middle and the world's largest minefield. And yes, the Russian future here is an even faster decline than previously predicted; and a rapid morphing into an effective Chinese colony. So the US/EU need to not only help Ukraine 'not lose the war' but also to inject trillions 'after the war' to get them not just back on their feet, but better than before. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:02, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
And so Russia still fails its initial victory conditions, which was to install a new puppet state for all of Ukraine. Russia has very much failed in its attempt to reestablish itself as a superpower. You are also still failing to recognize that collective punishment near universally fails as a measure of counterinsurgency. There's a reason it's considered bad counterinsurgency. What tends to be more effective to prevent sustained resistance is a combination of police action and investment into development. People are less likely to fight if they have a stable source of bread. Russia does not have the numbers. If anything, attempts at "suppression" will only galvanize resistance, which is also part and parcel of the insurgency playbook. Attempting to initiate crackdowns that generate moral outrage, which feeds into recruitment for the insurgency. Carthage (talk) 15:12, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
In a way, this 'meat-grinder' war benefits Putin, because a swift blitzkreig would have left lots and lots of Ukranians behond the 'Russian line' both angry with the invasion and capable of resisting. Instead, it's possible he ends up with a Ukraine which has been totally bled white, with those 'most desiring/able to resist' now dead/in gulag/in exile and with a profoundly tired and depressed civilian population remaining which is rather reigned to their fate.
Nor does Putin give a damn on your lecture on 'how to deal with insurgencies'. He will simply re-apply the 'Chechnya solution' to Ukraine; bomb it flat, loot it, then turn it over to corrupt Quislings to make it their plaything as long as they bow to the Czar [which I suspect he views as fairly successful]. Will it fail? In the end, yes. To paraphrase Churchill, you cannot ride a tiger indefinitely - at one point you either fall off it or are knocked off. But 'the end' can be a long time coming; decades, perhaps even centuries. Look at North Korea; people have been predicting it's collapse since about 1992. Ultimately, Russia will run out of steam to hold their 'empire' together [again], but that could be some time coming. This means we have to attend to reality; which is a deeply paranoid, cynical klepto-fascism on the edge of Europe with a rusting, though still functional war machine funded by China and ruled by a ageing Czar who dreams of being 'Vladimir the Great'. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:02, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Chechnya also has a lot less people than Ukraine. Russia had the numbers to effectively occupy it. Even then, it still took Russia years to fully pacify Chechnya. Pacifying Ukraine would be a lot more costly than Chechnya. Carthage (talk) 16:14, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
These facts may be true [I accept them as such, for starters] but it doesn't mean Putin accepts them as such. Or has even been told of them to deny them. It is quite possible he is not being told that there is even 'Nazi resistance' in the bits of Russia he has recently returned to the Motherland. Even more importantly, he might know somewhat but simply not give a fuck - after all, who now talks [or cares] about the Crimean Tatars, the Volga Germans or Pontic Greeks? KarmaPolice (talk) 16:49, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Who cares if it's more costly Carthage? It's a cost they're ready and willing to accept since they believe it's worth it no matter what. After all, going to war and invading Ukraine to begin with was once considered too costly, yet here we are. Russian politicians have said they want to go after The Baltics next and Lavrov can't be taken at his word since he once said Russia wouldn't invade Ukraine. Rather than pretend we're just idiots or "warmongers", maybe you should take Russia at their word.-Ryan1257 (talk) 01:54, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Are we just going to continue to ignore how generally speaking the "measures" that people here are proposing Russia will use to crush any insurgency in fact are recognized by experts as strengthening insurgencies? Anyway, why strawman me, Ryan? My question is if Russia will even have the ability to effectively occupy any NATO territory after what is by all accounts a draining war, and what is going to be an even more draining occupation? Perhaps you should consider that saber rattling is a real thing. Russia has by all accounts proven itself to be a paper tiger. Japan probably has a stronger military than they do. You are all overestimating Russian capabilities. After all, Russia has failed in its initial victory conditions. No matter what way this war turns out, Russia will not be a superpower again. You are all ignoring that. Carthage (talk) 03:17, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
You forget something, it doesn't need to be a super power, it just needs to be a nuclear power willing to use its nukes as a threat against any retaliation against its military during an offensive action [6] [7]. Why do I "strawman" you? I simply see all self-proclaimed socialists as two-faced individuals who woke-wash anyone who is "anti-west" in some form or another by default, even if it's spreading disinformation like, "X would never do that", followed by, "X did that, but it's actually your fault". Considering you call weariness and preparation against Russia "jingoism", I suspect I know who you're really rooting for.-Ryan1257 (talk) 04:20, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Your hasty overgeneralizations get really tiresome. Karma's a self-declared socialist, but they're taking the opposite position of me: that Russia isn't a paper tiger. Where do Karma's loyalties lie? Also, do you honestly believe that calling for an increased nuclear arms race isn't somehow jingoistic? Even Russia's nuclear arsenal is a paper tiger, Ryan. Carthage (talk) 04:26, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I never called for a nuclear arms race (something which will inevitably happen if more countries feel threatened by Russia and aren't sure if NATO, and by extent, The US will protect them), I just simply think we should boost military industry again and start building up weapon stockpiles again to not give Russia or China the idea that they just need to "tough it out" long enough to win. And the difference is Karma has demonstrated to be someone with more than just "America bad, west is bad" contrarianism. Meanwhile, you once told me "China and The US are no different" which told me enough about your politics.-Ryan1257 (talk) 05:14, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
They are the same in that both are aggressive superpowers who pursue their interests without regard to ethics. You know, like any state does. You are evidently an American exceptionalist. Try telling someone in Iraq that the US is any different from any other would-be hegemon. To much of the global south, the US is viewed the same way the US views China and Russia. This is a fact. Are the countries and peoples who have been victimized by American empire wrong in that perception? Who are you to tell them so? As for building up nuclear stockpiles, you may not have argued for that, but such an interpretation can be easily read in the BON's posts. Do you just jump into threads without reading them beforehand? And don't try to pretend you weren't committing a hasty overgeneralization: you yourself stated that all self-declared socialists are "two-faced individuals who woke-wash anyone who is "anti-west" in some form or another by default." Carthage (talk) 05:20, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I've seen socialists claim the rape of German civilians was "corrective", laugh at Israeli rape victims, then claim they're morally the superior ones in the same breath, so yes, I suppose my interactions with socialists have damaged my ability to want to parse out the "good ones" from the "bad ones" as of late. It's become worse after October 7th, especially now that I hear any lethal force against me at any time is justified and in self-defense since I'm inherently violent for being a "colonist". And I really don't care about what you claim the opinion of "The Global South" is when: 1.) All we tend to hear are just the opinions of their ruling elites (surprise, they're not your third-worldist maoist comrades!). 2.) The "Global South" is just a general label given to a bunch of countries regardless of their different histories, geopolitics, and ethnic cultures. But no, I'm not an American Exceptionalist, I just believe Russia and China are worse alternatives who you wouldn't last a long under without being disappeared. Lastly, I respond to what people say in a thread, not to the whole thread at once since I believe conversations change over time.-Ryan1257 (talk) 06:14, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 1/ The 'policies of repression' I outlined earlier don't when taken as a whole policy 'strengthen insurgencies'. You cherry-picked one aspect, then hoped [apparetly] that the exception proves your rule. Insurgencies also require external support to be sustained - the USSR faced insurgencies within it's territories which it defeated - qv: 'Forest Brothers' in the Baltics after WW2. I'm not arguing that it would be easy to stamp resistance flat, but it's best to make the assumption that it shall prove effective enough at least in the medium term and Russia still have enough capacities to move on to the next victim.

2/ Does Russia have the power to 'defeat NATO'? I suspect not - even if it was 'minus the USA'. But I do know he could seriously fuck up Europe in his attempt and will cost a mountain of treasure and a sea of blood to defeat [and that is assuming that it doesn't end with mushroom clouds]. I don't want us to go through that again, esp as this time around the USA might not have another Marshall Plan to get us out the soup afters. But the thing is, what I think is irrelevant [also, what you think]. The only view which is relevant is Czar Vlad's and, well he thought Ukraine would be a walkover - he could miscalculate again. Perhaps one of the few things Europe can do to 'turn the dial' is to restore some of our military capacities so the Czar becomes convinced that NATO can win. Thus the old maxim 'if you want peace, prepare for war'.

3/ The analogy of the Iraq War is irrelevant in this case, as many factors are completely different. The Ukranian war was 'caused' by the Ukranian people choosing to defy Russia's demands to become a vassal state. They wanted to continue being 'masters of their own home', to decide for themselves how to live. Historical materialism also shows us that Ukraine is a superior societal form than the Russian; a developing 'bourgeois democracy' vs an 'autocratic fascism'. Why is the former 'superior'? Because the simple fact that it has enough freedoms within it to allow further development, which is something which is not afforded by the Kims, Putins or Xis of the world [and which Ryan rightly points out]. Now, did 'the West' cause mistakes which led us to the point of '22? Perhaps. But that doesn't matter now, just like debating whether the Treaty of Versailles 'caused WW2' didn't really matter by 1941. The question now is whether Ukraine lives free or in a gulag. That's it.

4/ The truth is that the ruling classes in the 'Global South' generally don't give a toss about the war either way - as in 'who wins'. It does not directly involve them and the most are adopting a variant of 'cakeism', such as the South Africans and Indians are. The bits of the 'South' who are pro-Russian are the usual suspects; as in the ones which have a direct material interest to continuing to suck up to Moscow - for example, their use of food supplies [some of it stolen from Ukraine] to buy support in parts of Africa. If the Russian 'cause' was just, they'd have some friends which didn't need to be bribed... right?

KarmaPolice (talk) 12:32, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

OK, I'll respond to the rest later: but where did you get that I believe that autocratic dictatorship is better than bourgeois democracy? I was talking about foreign policy, not domestic political systems. How also do you get that only the elites of many global south nations are anti-American? What? Public opinion is irrelevant here, or doesn't exist? My contention of Iraq is relevant to the fact that many people in the global south view the US the same way the US views Russia or China: as unjustified aggressors. Carthage (talk) 04:13, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
Also, regardless of what you spout: Russia does not have the numbers to successfully occupy Ukraine. That is not on the table. To quote Atlantic Council:

This would be a daunting task even in the best of circumstances. Unfortunately for the Russians, they face the worst of circumstances for an occupying power. Historical cases of occupation and counterinsurgency suggest an impending disaster. There is almost no chance that Russia will successfully occupy Ukraine.

Successful occupations by foreign powers have some notable commonalities. Generally, chances for a smooth occupation increase when the occupier is welcomed by the population; is supporting an acceptable local government; can count on competent local defense forces; applies patient, humane population control tactics; has denied sanctuary to insurgents; and has kept antagonistic foreign powers from disrupting the occupation. All occupations face challenges, but some succeed. Coalition occupations of Germany, Bosnia, and Kosovo were generally successful.

Ukraine will be unlike any of these cases. Assuming Russia occupies large parts of Ukraine (Putin may still decide to negotiate a withdrawal), and assuming Ukrainians continue to resist occupation, a number of factors will line up for and against the Russians.

As for foreign support:

Meanwhile, insurgents will benefit from sanctuary and strong foreign support. In this study of 89 historical insurgency cases, the presence of an insurgent sanctuary strongly correlated with insurgent victory. If insurgents have a safe place to mobilize, rest, recruit, and train their forces, it is effectively impossible to wipe them out. In all likelihood, Ukrainians will be able to operate out of western Ukraine for years or, if necessary, decades. If international support can be sustained in the face of economic and political challenges, western Ukraine will also serve as a conduit for weapons, supplies, and ammunition the insurgents will use to kill Russian occupiers.

Given that you yourself have argued that Western Ukraine will likely remain independent, why are you so dismissive that they won't receive the support necessary to continue the insurgency? The Forest Brother insurgency was very different from Ukraine of today.
You also continue to ignore the fact that Russia is a paper tiger. It has failed in its initial victory conditions, to establish puppet rule over all of Ukraine. Even Russia's nuclear arsenal is a paper tiger. Realistically speaking Russia would not be in a state to meaningfully invade NATO territory. No amount of "special Russian willpower" can change that fact. Carthage (talk) 05:01, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
RE; reasons for support. Done from a Marxist standpoint to counteract the 'well Iraq War was bad so this is too, Russia and the US are just all imperialists' false equivilences which I have heard coming from a lot of leftists in Anglo circles, aided/abetted by shitheads like Galloway and Russian propaganda outfits such as Redfish.
RE; Global South. Never mentioned the populations of such, just their elites. Why the hell are you flogging this line anyway? To argue some 'appeal to popularity' crap?
RE; Expert Opinion. I don't trust them. They were the same ones who told us that Russia would not invade, then that economic sanctions would stop the invasion, ending with vague claims that Russia would kind of 'give up' after their first assaults failed. Now I will listen to them, but I won't hang my hat on their pronouncements alone. And as I pointed out above, Putin doesn't give a flying toss of what the Atlantic Council says. Lastly, said quotes make it clear there are assumptions within it; such as 'assuming Ukrainians continue to resist occupation'; I already laid out the conditions that it's quite possible that by the end an occupied Ukraine has been bled so heavily that it's lost the will to resist.
RE; After the War. You keep on parroting 'Russia has failed it's initial victory conditions'... why? You think they cannot learn from their mistakes, regroup, then approach their targets more systematically? [Shock; they have!] Russia is a lot larger/richer than Ukraine; she has the will and is developing the means to completely grind her into mince. Ukraine needs more matériel; tanks, IFVs, artillery shells, AA missiles, drones and so on. It's the only way she will be able to even survive as a rump state. Where is she going to get these from? Us, as in 'the West'. But our military production capabilities are terribly weak; we cannot supply gear that literally does not exist. Thus the call of folks like Ryan to 'boost military industry again' - in short, the West needs to become the new 'Arsenal of Democracy', to allow us to help our friends fight for their freedom and keep enough in reserve for 'other needs'.
But you [apparently] don't agree with that, because that is 'jingoism'. So what's your plan, then? Let Ukraine get ground up and occupied, then watch the Ukranian people have to struggle for a decade or three to get their freedom again? On the argument that a think tank or two has said that ultimately, Russia won't win this? All the while, with a hyper North Korea sitting behind a new Iron Curtain on my continent doing their upmost to split apart Europe and turn us on each other? Yes, Russia is a declining power but hell, that makes them more dangerous than ever because they become more reckless. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:04, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
Algeria, Ireland, Vietnam, we could go on,... unpopular military occupations cause a lot of damage and death but they very very rarely last in the face of a sustained insurgency. Also the idea that the western occupation of Iraq failed because "the Pentagon was unwilling to 'do anything it took' to win really downplays the problems with the western interventions in Iraq and more broadly. Collective punishment, the bombing of civilians and the infrastructure they need to live, concentration camps, torture, indiscrimante retaliatory massacres - all feature and tend to all play a role in ensuring that the insurgency has a motivated and well-supported populace to draw from. Tikitime2 (talk) 23:36, 7 April 2024 (UTC)
Also when it comes to the collapse of the anti-war movement in "tankieism", I can't help but ask whether previous anti-war movements weren't also filled with people who were considered to be "tankies" by current standards? Traditionally the far-left have always been the cultural vanguard for progressive causes as, unlike liberals, they are not too worried with kowtowing to conservative social mores. The idea that the modern anti-war movement is saturated with leftists, falsely presumes that previous anti-war movements were more representative of the views of nice electable liberal moderates. The truth is that back then, as now, most of those moderates spent the majority of their political energy chastising leftists, only joining in with their movements once they had been adequately assured that it was the popular thing to do. Songs like "Love me I'm a liberal" satirise this quite well. Tikitime2 (talk) 00:00, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
"Modern standards" would trip up any comparison here. Prior to the second World War in the United States, there was a significant pro-Communist movement in the United States. It not only was anti-war, its positions were progressive for the day, and aligned with the labor reform movement of the time. Having said that... before WW2 (and the subsequent Cold War), I don't think anti-Soviet Union ethos was quite as strong in the United States (no Cold War had started). It also probably wasn't quite as evident to some that the idealism of Communism would in reality turn into the brutality of Stalinism. From what I can recall, due to a combination of the pressures of the Cold War as well as the revelation of Stalin's brutality, the "tankie" influence on the New Left of the 1960s was quite minimal.
(Edit: At least from a pro-Soviet perspective... there definitely was some pro-Castro sentiment in the 1960s New Left from what I recall reading, if you count that as "tankie". The Wiki articleWikipedia and our own article on the New Left also mentions support in this movement for Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh as well, but my current "impression" is this element was not terribly strong.)
In fact, "modern standards" brings its own quandry. One weird aspect of modern "tankie" movements to me is that, while seemingly a "leftist" movement, I would in no way consider the governments of either Russia or China to be "left" these days. Russia clearly is currently in a modern fascist government, albeit one with reactionary characteristics, not revolutionary ones (ruscism). Such can be said to be a similar template as many reactionary other populist movements elsewhere that also typically would be "right-wing" in most people's views (such as Trump, Orban, Bolsonaro, Modi, etc.). I feel (along with others) that China has abandoned any elements of pure communism and has instead embraced authoritarian capitalism,Wikipedia which is more similar to "ruscism" in many ways than anything progressive. BobJohnson (talk) 13:47, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I probably disagree with you on quite a few issues I think you have touched on something relevant which is the expansion of the term "Tankie" to almost any left-wing position that isn't anarchism or soft social democracy. I think by today's standards, Trotts, Lenninists, Maoists, people supportive of Castro or leaders like Sankara, the Black Panthers - most conventional socialists with a Marxist view of society or orthodox beliefs about what it would take to replace capitalism would be and are considered by many liberals and anarchists to be Tankies. And if you exclude every socialist bar the anarchists and "respectable" social democrats you're not left with much of a movement.
In terms of "Tankie" commentary on China and Russia I think one has to differentiate between people who are advocating for the policies taken in context, those who view those policies as their ideal and those who view themselves as simply pushing back against misinformation. North Korea isn't my ideal society and I doubt their policies are one's I'd agree with even in context but I can still be caught from time to time arguing the "North Korean" position in the face of what I consider to often be a highly propagandised and imperialistic narrative about "the enemies of the west" - but that doesn't mean that I think North Korea is an ideal society or even a morally good one. At least a few of the Tankies who are described as "Pro-Russia" view themselves as combating "propaganda" rather than advocating for Russia as a model society, though the former activity can often bleed into and become the latter. Tikitime2 (talk) 12:43, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I agree that the most worrying thing about Western peace groups (from the OP) is the potential credibility damage they can do to the notion of peace movements in The West.
Fortunately, most of the “traditional” peace movement has recognised this when it comes to Ukraine, because there is simply no plausible road to peace that doesn’t ultimately amount to “Ukraine should just capitulate”, i.e. rewarding the Russian aggressors for both betraying their own treaty commitments to Ukraine and the invasion of a sovereign neighbour.
Hence, most “peace calls” come from either those who are outright sympathetic to Russian imperialism and aggression (and thus cannot actually by called “peace movements” by any stretch of the definition). Or they come from those who are so locked into a framing in which the US and The West are always(!) the (only) imperialists that their knee jerk reaction is to find excuses for why Russian is “really” the victim.
The problem with trying to push for a negotiated settlement is that Russia/Putin has already demonstrated a blatant disregard for such treaties with their choice to invade Ukraine in the first place. The treaty (The Budapest Memorandum) in which Ukraine gave up its legacy share of the USSR nuclear arsenal was co-signed by Russia as a (supposed) guarantee of Ukrainian independence, sovereignty and borders. One cannot help wondering a counter factual scenario in which Ukraine kept its nuclear stockpile…, but things looked markedly different in 1994 than in 2014…
That means that a settlement would involve formally splitting Ukraine to let Putin keep (some of) his ill gotten gains (not likely to be accepted in Kiev) while simultaneously securing Ukraine against future Russian attacks, which basically would mean NATO membership (unacceptable to Putin and not likely to be accepted in NATO, either, due to the demand that members should have settled borders a a condition of membership).
Because such a settlement is so obviously unacceptable to either party, there isn’t really any scope for a traditional peace movement, because it would not have any realistic endgame. The only alternatives would be arguing for either Ukrainian surrender (and thus being more of a pro imperialist than a peace movement), or for unilateral, Russian withdrawal (which is just not on the horizon).
As for arguing against military aid to Ukraine as being a “peace initiative”, it’s hard to come to different conclusions from those presented by KarmaPolice. Namely that this would be a de facto support for Russian aims, given the respective sizes of Russia’s and Ukraine’s demographic, economic and military assets and Putin’s very obvious desire to continue the war to see how much of Ukraine he can gobble up. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:58, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Oh, and as for the “well at least a defeat of Ukraine will stop the war” perspective, it’s worth thinking a bit ahead and consider what a Russian ruled Ukraine (whether in whole or in part) would look like:
The “best” case is that it would change from a corrupt and somewhat dysfunctional democracy into a Russian style kleptocratic authoritarian state that imprisons and murders dissidents. And that’s the “best” case…
Another scenario is the Chechen model, meaning that some local vassal is essentially let loose to do as he (it’s probably not going to be a woman…) pleases, as long as he crushes any sign of opposition or rebellion and heeds any orders Putin might have. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:31, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Tikitime, you hate the word "tankie" not because it's an inaccurate position, but because it's the only insult that stings people who've earned the name. Tankie is generally used against those in favor of left-wing dictatorships and violence, and almost all of the positions you mentioned that are "reasonable, orthodox socialist" positions have authoritarianism baked into their philosophy and their followers. I mean, seriously, I'm supposed to look at someone who likes the idea of a revolutionary vanguard and think, "huh, perhaps they don't mean a dictator"? You just hate that others who have objections to those philosophies are allowed to disagree, after all, we're just future class enemies who will be dealt swiftly when the revolution comes. And for someone who claims to have no love for North Korea or Russia, it seems like you're very defensive and protective of them if you have to constantly come to bat for them. You see yourself as "combating propaganda", but that often devolves into spouting propaganda on their behalf to play PR for them (while conveniently ignoring propaganda they have about us, because hey, enemy of my enemy). Plus, you ignore the topic at hand, the problem with pro-Russian activists masquerading as anti-war activists, just to say, "I hate moderates, they're so mean and their positions are fake and fascist-sympathizing! Only far-leftists, like me, are true, moral people!". On second thought, you're the exact kind of person this phenomenon is about, so it's ironic you'd post in it.-Ryan1257 (talk) 22:59, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
@Ryan1257, if you want to argue with me about democracy, revolutionary politics and criticisms of Lenninism et al, I'd happily do that some other time. Preferably once you have demonstrated an ability to carry an argument past "spraying diarrhea then going silent when challenged". You've ducked Carthage's response in this thread, you've ducked Carthage in the thread below, you ducked out of the discussion in polyamory when I pointed out the unsubstantiated bullshit you were spreading there and I distinctly remember a good few other times that you have ghosted when challenged after popping off in discussions (usually about Leftism) here in the Saloon. So for me there is simply no point in crafting yet another response to your ravings since the chance that you will respond in good faith (or at all) is so low. I will however put it in writing that I think you are being a twat.
The modus operandi that I see here is you venting your political frustration with the left and then when you get spanked (and you nearly always get spanked, because let's face it, as far as the centrists on this site go, you're not exactly Christopher Hitchens) you either change the conversation to nut-picked posts you saw on the internet or simply bow out before restarting the cycle a few weeks later. And unlike your McCarthyist fugue-state musings about me, my assessments of you are based on real observations of your posts on this site.
You are of-course, free to prove me wrong. Prove that what you said has any basis in reality. Find one example, of me going to bat for the Russian Federation or for North Korea. You can click on my username and it'll take you to my page and you can check through my contributions. Since I go to bat for them constantly and you, Ryan, would never make such an accusation without evidence I wait with baited breath. Or alternatively you can end up like Raven and AMassiveGay, getting booted when your screeds become so tiresome that even other moderates start to feel embarrased. Tikitime2 (talk) 15:27, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Checking Ryan's most recent edits find almost no constructive edits. Only one WIGO. The rest are shitposts on the Bar and other talk pages. He doesn't even do the bare minimum of reverting vandalism. Carthage (talk) 16:16, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Tiki: the issue is that all of your 'occupation' examples involve democratic states - that in effect, 'public opinion' broke the regimes' will to continue. Russia is not democratic, and thus can go along with it for much longer and bloodier. What's more, you are completely failing to see my point; that having to have a 15-30 year insurgency war against a regime which doesn't give a fuck will might leave Ukraine 'victorious', but in an utterly destavated land with a severely traumatised [and smaller] population and dealing with a severe case of cultural brainwashing in esp. their younger citizens. Even more importantly, it shall rely on the West in sustaining this resistance effort - which will piss off Moscow no end and will result in them meddling in our affairs too.
I fail to understand how this is a 'better' result for either the Ukranians or for Europe in general. The only folks I can see 'immediate peace [at any cost]' policies satisfying are [mainly] American pacifists and isolationists who can engage in such wankery behind two oceans, a nuclear arsenal and the world's biggest navy. Oh, and Putin fanbois, obviously. But thing is, these Anglo peaceniks are totally impotent and know it too. They don't have any power and minimal clout within the wider 'left family'. They have the complete freedom to proffer entirely batshit 'solutions' and policies in the certain knowledge they won't ever have to make them bleeding work.
BobJ: I'd argue that modern 'tankie-ism' is not pro-Russian/Chinese, but simply so 'anti-Western/American' to the extent they cannot see anything past that fog. The USA/NATO is supporting Ukraine, therefore Russia must be in the right and so on. I note that [for example] it's not the tankies going to fight for Russia from the West, it's the fascists. Perhaps a good example of 'nuanced tankieism' is shown by the British Communist paper Morning Star; they are under zero illusions of how shit Putinism is, but then plough an anti-NATO line leading to a 'bothsidesism' while dodging the question 'who's victory would be best for the people of Ukraine?' However, there are times in which a non-Tankie can appear to be as such [as Tiki points out]; for example, arguing the likes of the USA/UK/France lecturing North Korea/Iran on the possession of nuclear weapons is rank Western hypocrisy [though in this case, the Morning Star is pro-Chinese to the point it sickens me; they fucking send Maoists to gulags these days]. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:42, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
I shall also point out that from as far as I can tell, AMassiveGay did not get 'booted' for anything. Attendence at RW or it's Bar is hardly mandatory. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:42, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Not only that KP, but if anybody is going to boot users for being tiresome, they better bring a lunch.UncleKrampus (talk) 19:49, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
First off @Tikitime2, what you see as me "getting spanked", crumbling to opposition, and simply getting owned is more of just the fact I don't carry on arguments too long since I have a lot of other things to do with my day, like work, so I try not to make a habit of carrying on posting if I feel like the conversation will only get worse from there. I'm willing to let you get the last word in and move on if it means the argument is done. If you or Carthage stopped responding to me, I wouldn't think I "won", I'd just think you had other things to do rather than continue. Also, if others have responded to a conversation I was having, as Karma has done in this thread, and I agree with their take, then I don't feel like I have to add anymore since I doubt my take would be that much different and theirs was well said. And let's go over some of the other threads you mentioned. The thread below, that's an example of I simply didn't see a point of continuing the conversation since we simply have two different points of view on a situation that's essentially alt-hist at this point. On the poly one, you responded awhile after I had lost interest. I didn't even discover your response till way later and I'm not going to go for "round 2".
And why am I not cleaning up vandalism or contributing constantly? Simple, I'm not proficient in all things wiki and still need to take the time to learn them and the useful pages and tools for seeing them. Hell, I'm still having to figure out how to check all of a user's edits like you recommended. This isn't my hobby, so I'm never gonna be as active as more dedicated users, I mainly use this site for information and seeing topics discussed.
Lastly, I've developed a deep suspicion towards out-and-out socialists after previous run-ins in other spaces where they'd pretend to be friendly and agreeable, crowd in more of their friends and get prominent moderator positions, then finally, cement their control by banning any disagreement with the party line. I remember the days when Oxy, another socialist who was around here, where I didn't think it was worth engaging since we had a dedicated angry user who'd hone in on any disagreement like an artillery shell and do everything but threaten to come to your house and beat you up. Seeing that and how she got away with it for so long dampened my confidence in this site's ability to stand up to even one extremist as long as they're on the left, so I've just been waiting for the inevitable next one ever since to finish the job. That said, in the future, I'm gonna try and make our disagreements less personal, but getting into an argument with you doesn't mean I've signed a contract that I have to continue just because you're rearing to go, I'm gonna bow out whenever I please whether you like it or not.-Ryan1257 (talk) 00:02, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
The anti-government forces in Myanmar haven't received significant foreign support, and yet they've fought the war to a stalemate. Also, unlike your contention that France, the UK, and the US were democracies and Russia isn't, that criticism doesn't apply to Myanmar, which is a military dictatorship. Carthage (talk) 13:40, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Myanmar doesn't have a colossal amount of natural resources to sell to China, a massive stockpile of weapons to use, a huge cash-stash to spend on stuff and a large, functioning domestic arms industry. Myanmar is also made up of a lot of jungle and hills, which is a bonus for armed rebel groups while most of Ukraine is flat 'tank country' which offers little places to hide. But what's your point again? That it's better for the Ukranian people to have to spend a few decades waging a bloody civil war which most likely [if they win] leave them with a utterly trashed nation? KarmaPolice (talk) 14:20, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
No, my point is that an occupation of Ukraine would be so costly for Russia that it would be impractical to invade NATO right after the Ukraine war. They'd have their hands full trying to secure an occupation doomed to failure from the get-go. Threats of invading NATO right off the heels of the Ukraine war are clear saber rattling. Carthage (talk) 14:53, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Also do you seriously think there aren't ways to compensate for flat terrain? Urban warfare is hell for any counterinsurgency force. Hell, you can approximate the tactics of the Viet Cong in an urban setting. Carthage (talk) 14:58, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
That is so comforting to the Ukranian people. I dare you to tell them that [ideally, to their faces]; 'oh, don't worry, you'll lose this war and be occupied, but don't worry, because a think tank or two said you'll win your freedom again eventually'. You tell me, how is this situation better? No, really - this is a genuine question. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:51, 12 April 2024 (UTC)
Which is quite possible, as some folk are warning - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-68778338 KarmaPolice (talk) 10:46, 13 April 2024 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice, point taken regarding functioning liberal democracies, however the Taliban did also force out the USSR. Also it would seem to me that even against an "undemocratic" opponent a loss of public support is still a big factor in it crumbling. Dictatorships rely on the loyalty and faithfulness of its underlings and populace else they quickly become dysfunctional - a dictator who orders soldiers to shoot protestors needs to be confident that those soldiers don't agree with the protestors and won't just defect instead. I would very much agree however that a Ukrainian insurgency that wins 10 years later is going to go through a lot of misery (the survival rates of guerrillas are usually prettly close to zero) and will simply inheret a wasteland so it would be a fairly pyrrhic victory, though if it were to tie up Russian forces it would cause a problem for Russian expansionism - pretty awful for the Ukranians though.
@Ryan Bollocks. If you have time to churn out fresh batches of accusations and invective in the Saloon (I'm still waiting by the way for you to find a single example of me defending the actions of North Korea or the Russian Federation btw) then you have enough time to respond to people when they answer your posts. It seems very clear that your definition of "the point at which a conversation is not worth having", is the simply the point at which your hand has been caught in the cookie jar.
And thank you for proving my point about changing topics and nut-picking. I don't give one solitary fuck about your experiences with Oxy. I'm not responsible for their actions and your cowardly attempt to bring them into this because your accusations against me have fallen flat is exactly the kind of craven bait and switch I was pulling you up on. I live in a country where a historically socialist party was recently taken over by a group centrists who pretended to be "left wing" before they pushed out (some would even say purged) its socialist members. It's not nice but it's also part of politics and I don't expect to be able to use that as a pass to abuse centrist members here.
Finally, while you have no legal or contractual obligation to respond to me, you also have no legal or contractual obligation not to peer pressure a recovering addict into relapse - that doesn't mean people won't think you're a cunt for buying an alcoholic a 6-pack or that I won't criticise you for shit-stirring and starting arguments that you refuse to finish. Tikitime2 (talk) 20:21, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
No, the Taliban didn't force out the Soviets; it was the Americans - via their proxies, the Pakistanis. That in 1988 they signed an agreement in which basically 'everyone quits fucking about with Afghanistan', which the Soviets honoured but the Pakistanis didn't. It was only with the collapse of the USSR [and the ending of military aid] did the pro-Soviet DRA finally fall over in 1996 - which was five years of effective standing alone. Which even the most ardent anti-Soviet person would admit was a damn sight better showing than the cardboard regime which the Americans installed in 2001 which fell on their heads on the way out twenty years later.
But even then, the Taliban aren't to be hailed as amazing 'fighters'. They won because the DRA basically ran out of advanced military gear which had kept them at arms-length since 1980. Here I draw an analogy with the Rhodesian Bush War [1965-1979]; that it was only because Apartheid South Africa effectively 'pulled the plug' on the white regime re weapons and oil and Salisbury couldn't restock their dwindling supplies of increasingly clapped-out tanks/planes [which the rebels couldn't really counter] that caused the regime to give up; not that ZANLA/ZIPRA managed to win decisive military victories.
Russia has little regard for 'foreign opinion', significant technological/military/economic resources and and a Czar who has made this the hill he'll die on. While it's nice to dream that the Russians will fall apart like a cheap suit and Putin will end up perishing a la Ceaușescu, Mussolini or Indra Ghandi and be replaced by someone who cuts the losses; we have to work on the assumption neither of those will happen. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:08, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
The Taliban didn't need to be "amazing fighters," they just needed to be enough of a nuisance that it would be more costly to continue fighting than to just retreat/wait out any occupation. I remember an anecdote where insurgents in Afghanistan would literally hire teenage boys to grab a shitty rifle and take potshots at a US base from a hill. If the Americans tried retaliating the teenager would just slink away back into the general population. Carthage (talk) 22:31, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
Still waiting for you to explain to me why it would be 'better' for the Ukrainians to be conventionally defeated [due to lack of weapons] and then have to fight a insurgency against the Russians for 10-25 years, which judging from the Russian actions so far will be brutal as hell and leave them with a totally ruined country. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:02, 18 April 2024 (UTC)

Social-democracy and socialism[edit]

Hello. I’ve been seeing a lot of people on Reddit and social media, and elsewhere, claiming that « Americans don’t know what socialism is » and what not. It’s all about social-democracy « not being socialist ». And honestly, I don’t get it. To me, American ignorance on socialism is precisely that Americans think socialism/communism is just one big thing that wants to quickly and violently overthrow the capitalist system either by direct revolution or by immediately destroying democracy after winning an election and taking power. I always thought of socialism as an ideology, equal to liberalism, conservatism, fascism etc. And not an extremist ideology that is fundamentally opposed to the capitalist « ideology ». It’s funny, because I’m European. In Europe, the only people I can imagine saying that social-democracy is definitively not socialist are « social-democrats » like Tony Blair, Gerhard Schröder « third way » neo-lib style, or far-left commies (the type of commies that the left I identify with, call it radical old-school social-democracy, or whatever you want, the « populist left », takes as an exemple of what’s actually far-left, kind of like when Trump fans say « those are the real nazis » [obviously that’s just an exemple]). But what I find weird is the definition of what would be your average French trotskyst is seen as « correct » in the US of A. People just assume that Bernie supporters don’t know what socialism means because they’re American. Even though what Bernie did is precisely open up americans to socialism. With most mainstream European left-wing parties, who moved towards the center in the post-Soviet 90s, this works. But Mélenchon is a social-democrat by this definition, Lafontaine is a social-democrat, Pablo Iglesias is a social-democrat, Jeremy Corbyn etc. Most of these are social-democrats and self-proclaimed socialists. But by this definition they are not socialists. My problem with this is that these people left the traditional parties or fought them because these parties didn’t support their radical left-wing positions anymore, so saying that social-democracy has officially « moved away » from socialism is ignoring these figures. My problem with this is that it doesn’t just ignore that, it ignores most of the history of socialism in Western Europe. The split between reformists (who formed socialist parties, that’s a hint to why some people might use some words in certain ways) and revolutionaries (who formed communist parties, hey, that sounds familiar). The fathers of socialism in France, like Jean Jaurès, support de-polarizing views that might be seen as not socialist by these popular definitions. Social-democracy doesn’t exclude the possibility of socialism via, very slow, gradual reform. Some nationalizations, some social programs, a pension reform. Slowly, and I mean actually slowly, it doesn’t need to be like Venezuela, Chile or Bolivia style, and gradually that can potentially lead to a truly mixed economy or, in theory, to socialism. In Germany, SPD members call themselves « comrades ». The US and Canada both have « liberal » and « conservative » parties ruling the country, so it’s very easy to make socialism a fringe ideology which can’t work. And this restrictive definition of enabling the social ownership of the means of production immediately here and now is inevitably doing exactly this. Anyways, sorry for the rant. What do you think of this? Cheers. New world (talk) 01:37, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

You might want to consider splitting things up into paragraphs, or at least use of some sort pacing structure in your writing. Dense walls of text can easily make a reader lose their place. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:42, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
I think the conflict in this sort of thought, is that it doesn't really distinguish capitalism and socialism as being distinct modes of production. Many a social democrat in terms of political philosophy rejects the mutual exclusion of socialism and capitalism, and are less willing to accept the existence of the Marxist conception of class conflict. I think the worry is that by "watering down" the idea of what socialism is meant to entail, you actually undermine the ethical and political aims of what socialism as a concept is set out to do. It is like expanding the definition of "healthcare" to include alternative medicine, such alt-med advocates definitely think what they are providing is healthcare, and sure, expanding the concept of medicine would definitely make it more accessible. But in doing so, you also make medicine as a whole far less effective on what it is set out to do to begin with. Why is having a more inclusive conception of what a socialist is be better than a more exclusive definition? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:54, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
The thing is that I agree. Though this is only the far to radical-left version of socialism. Why can't we have Jean Jaurès and other theorists next to Marx, who’s definition wasn’t the last. The problem with this is that Bernie might call himself a socialist, some might say he’s not a socialist. But the republicans can profit from that, by taking this definition, and getting at Bernie because « socialism doesn’t work ». Bernie isn’t the most moderate of social-democrats either, he fits with the old-school socialists/socdems like Mélenchon, Jeremy etc. So it’s an actually interesting debate if his economics works, and there are historical exemples for that. Take Sweden, Danemark, you know what, those countries. And besides, revolutionary or radical socialism isn’t just Marxism. What about those crazy maoists? And I bet if Bernie said « Radical Keynesian economics work, look at these countries » less people would have got to support or know him. Take France now for a sec: Jaurès founded the SFIO, which became the PS (socialist party) later on, and Mélenchon left that party to found his Party of the left, and then his Unsubmissive France (La France Insoumise). Almost every leader of this party, from Leon Blum, to Mitterrand, to Lionel Jospin, to that guy that didn’t keep his promises, to today, is not socialist. From François Hollande, or maybe Lionel Jospin, onwards that works, call them social-democrats. But Mitterrand nationalized one of the biggest banks in France. In 1981 he did a huge amount of economic reforms. If it wasn’t for an international economic crisis, he would have continued, but then he did the tournant de la rigueur (turn of the rigor), which, while usually frowned upon by the left, was supported by young Mélenchon. And Leon Blum also didn’t overthrow the capitalist system, Leon Blum and his front Populaire in the 1930s did some very useful reforms, though. And that’s the point, he did reforms, which might eventually lead to something like socialism. That’s why many, ahem, self-described socialists in the US might identify with a certain FDR (not like he really cares about that, though). In the 1940s or 50s in France the communist (Stalinist) Party was leading a government, and it surely didn’t overthrow the system, it enabled a wave of nationalizations. Reducing socialism to « radical communist revolutionaries » is ignoring all of this history. And it separates people who follow similar principles. Democratic or reformist socialism doesn’t have to be Chavez (though all respect to Chavez. And here again, Lula is a « socialist of the 21 century », and Colombia’s Gustavo Petro is a social-democrat who is spitting eco-socialism in every single one of his speeches). New world (talk) 09:20, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
I guess paragraphs are capitalist and should be avoided.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:48, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
I am sorry for not speaking a 20 year old code which screams for an update. And besides, when is RationalWiki getting that nice "answer" function like on Wikipedia?? I don’t want to need to be hacker to edit this. New world (talk) 10:16, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
I would argue the folks who are saying 'soc-dem not socialist' in regards to Sanders etc are basically folks who have decided a variant of 'lying for jesus'; that 'socialism' is viewed as a very toxic term and thus, it's best to avoid it - even now, I suspect any American public figure who said 'I am a socialist' would then have to constantly fend off attacks from 'Very Serious People' and demands that they constantly defend Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Stalin etc. 'Social Democracy' does not have these negative connotations, which means the activist etc can actually talk about the stuff they do favour [and polling shows the Big Public also agree], like 'decent living wages for hard-working folks ', 'getting the corp welfare mammas', 'making the ultra-rich pay their whack' and so on.
We Europeans don't have the such a negative connotations for 'socialism', so we can more freely use the term - but that's because we have our own histories of 'socialism' being associated with things like the nationalisation of the 'commanding heights of the economy', a firm welfare state, worker protections etc. For example, here in the UK any screed against the 'evils of socialism' can be instantly be countered with 'oh, you hate the NHS then' which is the nearest to a secular religion in the country. Each country has their own traditions of socialism; for example the UK has a long non-Marxist tradition via the co-op movement and trade unions.
But the truth is; 'socalism' is a very broad church, in which the only real things we agree on is a) 'change is required' and b) ''unfettered capitalism is the enemy of the people'. In my time here I've had a fair view arguments with other socialists, which perhaps highlights the 'divisions' between us but masking the fact that 80%+ of the time we are in fair agreement. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:39, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
Aren't most European socialist parties also socdem too though? I wouldn't say that the French Socialist Party or the Spanish PSOE support what I'd call "socialism". In fact, I'd say that the very Socialist InternationalWikipedia is pretty much center-left nowadays IMHO. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 12:51, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
For the record, I see "socialism" as a system where the means or production are either public or collective. This is not by any means a perfect definition (for instance, cooperatives can exist within capitalism, as they actually do, so I'm not very sure about how to classify them), but scialism IMO doesn't have a lot to do with a robust welfare state, and I wouldn't call folks like Clement Attlee or Tage Erlander socialists (or at least their governments, maybe their ideas were more radical, but I'm not very familiar with their intellectual formation). GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 12:58, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
But you see, only marxists and really radical commies would argue for that in Europe. Reformist socialism means social welfare, waves of nationalizations etc. which might eventually lead to something which actually works. It can also go quicker, like with Chavez, which went badly, with Bolivia, which I suspect could potentially go badly, and with Allende in Chile, which went great before the US backed coup. When talking about this Americans often mix third way bullocks with radical social-democracy. Essentially there are two wings in Europe, one wing for radical old-school social-democracy, which wants a way towards socialism through natural development, and a wing which is now mainstream, sadly for us radicals, which is for I don’t what it’s for it claims to be "socialist" that’s all I know. Now saying social-democracy has finally moved away from its semi-socialist goal since the psot-soviet 90s is ignoring the radicals, who either left or are trying to knock the right-wings of the socdem parties out. And sometimes they are successful. Mélenchon replaced the socialist party in France, Jeremy was in power once upon a time, Oskar, now crazy conservative (Look up BSW by his wife Wagenknecht… a sad turn of events in Germany), at least managed to found his Die Linke. And as to the definition of socialism, Marxism is one courant of socialism, it isn’t the socialism. Look up Jean Jaurès, the father of French socialism, heck Lionel Jospin, a rather « liberal » fellow (but not Blair style), defined « modern socialism ». So he doesn’t have the right to define it ?(I mean the line is a crossed when Tony does it, but this guy did the 35 hour work week). The nature of moderate reformist socialism not chavez or allende style, respecting the electoral system to the very end, means that a socialist government is just that, a socialist government. And right-wing governments also occasionally do social programms, but ideologically it’s more aligned with the État providence (the welfare state), republicanism, conservative style. What’s bothering me is that in Europe US-americans we’re laughed at by the left because, you know, François Mitterrand, undeniably a socialist, wins the election in 81: Oh no, the Soviet tanks are marching to Paris! New world (talk) 13:48, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
From what I can tell, almost all advanced-nation 'left-wing' parties have been co-opted by Third Way, which often contains a fair smell of 'technocracy' about them ['populist' being a commmon snarl-word, as though they'd prefer have an inert Big Public while they pull the levers in the centre]. Thus, it is difficult to see, for example Tony Blair as 'socialist' because he showed almost nil desire to decrease economic inequality, reign in big business or even to rock the damn boat [actions, not words].
A 'robust Welfare State' is a vital piece of 'socialism in action' because it not only 'pulls the teeth of capitalists' [example, you cannot frighten workers with the sack so much if a decent unemployment system exists] but also helps to lesson economic inequalities in health, education, housing etc which helps with 'cracking open' class privilege [which isn't even really liked by classical liberals, let alone socialists].
But with Attlee... you are talking out of arse here, Gee. He headed the most 'socialistic' government in UK history - founding the National Heath Service, overhauling the education system, hugely expanding pension provision, nationalising 20% of the UK economy [mainly it's 'commanding heights'], limiting the power of landowners, putting in regulations to protect the public from businesses, starting with slum clearances and so on. However, he was a 'socialist' in the reformist 'Fabian' tradition, not a revolutionary 'Marxist' one. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:56, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
If anything, can’t we just agree that Tony isn’t a socialist or a social-democrat, but a social traitor? New world (talk) 14:00, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (EC) I'm in a bit of a hurry right now, so I can't answer everything, but I'd say Mitterrand made a soft-neoliberal government after 1983 with his "tournant de la rigueur", adopting austerity and privatizing most of the French SOEs. So, again, in my opinion most of the European "socialists" are also socdems. I do trust Karma more than myself when it comes to British history, so if you say that Attlee was a socialist I won't dispute. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:04, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

I am aware of that. Us mitterandists stand by the fact that it was an international crisis, and that Mitterrand had to do that. And as I said, Mélenchon supported that. With Jospin I have mixed feelings, he privatized more than any government before or after him… But Mitterrand, nooo. Say what you want about his « secret » past and nazis and what not, but he was a socialist. He never publicly supported the bullocks his later ministers said. (And Rocard hated him. Rocard, the French Tony Blair). He wanted to save his image. And according to Mélenchon, he was a sincere socialist. No matter Iraq, tournant de la rigueur and all that. It was a crisis, stalinist communists switched sides back then. Mitterrand didn’t, and don’t forget that the right got into power in all that chaos. What about Leon Blum, or the communist stalinist, Maurice Thorez? They didn’t overthrow the capitalist system. And again, Bernie is more the radical type, the « populist », like Méluche, like Jeremy, like Al those Latin Americans. New world (talk) 14:15, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
The wider socialist 'family' shall always have debates on what should/not be in private hands, why that is so and if so, how that is done. It is quite possible that a socialist government can easily 'sell off' a load of SOEs on the basis 'we have no decent reason to be in this business' [UKGov owning a travel agency or breweries anyone?] or that there was better ways of achieving your goal [say, having a Govt 'golden share' to block foreign takeovers, or even selling some of the shares to the relevant trade union]. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:21, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
Yes. But let’s not mix Mitterrand, and maybe even Jospin, with the Third Way guys (as a reminder, the socialist party never had a third way program, that asshole Hollande didn’t follow up on his program, that’s what happened). That’s the important thing. Observing and explaining this unsettled situation from and to the US isn’t an easy task.. Especially since the right is using the situation to its benefit (in Germany, they accuse the greens of extremism, the modern "greens" of Germany…). Seriously, I’m tempted to deny both labels to these bourgeois traitors, and to just call them social-liberals (but that’s not correct usage, at all, I admit..). New world (talk) 15:47, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
Just found this, if it helps. You might also be interested in the disputes between Rosa Luxembourg and the Jauresian socialists. I remember reading about it, and a quick google search in French shows results. Cheers. New world (talk) 20:55, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

@GeeJayK I think the definition only needs a slight adjustment to the system having a predominate collective or public ownership over the means of production.

So sure, an market economy where only worker co-op’s existed could be classed as “socialist” — but a system where the majority of firms are still traditional firms, with the class distinction between private employer and hired employee still in tact. The presence or absence of some cooperatives, or even many could still be classed as capitalist, right?

Having some state-owned enterprises would still be distinct from a system where the majority of enterprise is state owned. Your definition is the most part fine. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:58, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

I have one last question. Are there any cases of communism, as I’m going to insistingly call this, and it’s definition of a socialist, ahem, utopia, actually working? Because if not, you are reducing socialism, the ideology of the entire left-wing, with Spartakists, Jauresians, Maoists, Marxists, (Willy) Brandtists, Mélenchonists, Stalinists, Trotskyists, and co. to its impossible far-left component. And may I even make the suggestion that you are either american/canadian, or at the very least, either a radical communist, a marxist, or "a" "capitalist" (don’t know what that means, economic liberal? Conservative? You gotta have ideals man, convictions). Tell me I’m wrong, please. New world (talk) 22:36, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
I think the issue with that sort of question is that is that it comes from a bit of conceptual misunderstanding. Communism as an ideology versus communism as an economic system are two different things. Ideological communists think that a certain kind of "communism of scale" is possible, inevitable, and (arguably) desirable. Communism as an economic system is essentially "living communally" and is not at all unusual throughout human history, especially for small rural communities. Marx himself makes explicit reference to this when he speaks of "primitive communism". Communistic living is kind of the default for hunter-gatherer tribes. When speaking of "communism" we are speaking of classless, stateless, moneyless societies. They have always existed, some are more successful or more sustainable than others. "Working" here isn't a well-defined notion. For the small egalitarian communities that live sustainably among their community of about 100 or so people...are they working? Arguably, yes, as it is doing what it is intended to do. Did the "Jonestown" commune work? Arguably, not depending on what we take the "purpose" of such a project to be. The real economic controversy surrounds whether communism is something that can work as intended on scale, that's already a controversy for socialism of which communism is just a subset. When we speak about "working" it is a pretty contextual notion, and even then some communists (like, Trots for example) are not even willing to grant the current feasibility of "global" communism without the advent of certain technological innovations. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:24, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
Even for that matter, "socialism" from my and Gee's working definition is pretty inclusive of many different kinds of economic systems -- all with various problems. I would define myself as pro-socialist, but he wouldn't. This boils down to a difference in attitude about what the failures of 20th-century projects actually entail (noting that we do not disagree about them being failures). But from that angle alone, a lot of Marxists and other leftist ideologues would have issues with us both because of the whole "scientific" vs. "utopian" socialism distinction, and the belief that only a very specific conception of socialism based in historical materialism is the de facto correct conception of socialism. In that case, many Marxists and even Leninists wouldn't even necessarily grant that socialism has ever been established as they envisioned it. Keep in mind too that Lenin was the one to make the distinction between socialism and communism, Marx used the terms interchangeably. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:32, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
This is like the touching point where a lot of "leftist-infighting" comes from. With the claims that "mutualists are just capitalists", "Market socialism is just capitalism", "anarchists are just liberals", or relevantly "social democrats are anti-socialists". The other side being "the Soviet Union was state capitalist", etc. So given that history, it would be weird if figures like Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn weren't accused of being "not real socialists" because that is just sort of part of the territory. I blame the corrosive power of Marxist hegemony. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:36, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
So you are the classic exemple of far-left in Europe (and most of Latin America)? Again, Jauresian socialism, the Fabian school, German social-democracy etc. Etc. Here is a funny anecdote: France, La France Insoumise (Unsubmissive France, founded by JLMélenchon). The « frondeurs » faction of the party is currently raising its voice against the lack of internal democracy in the party. They were just knocked out of the party council. Mélenchon, officially « en retrait » (in retreat) but not « en retraite » (in retirement) is not giving away power, according to the right and these « frondeurs » [BTW, the marxists and trotskysts are crying bc of their forced "useful vote" for Mélenchon in the last elections]. The « frondeurs » usually have unusual positions, from those who want to change the « le bruit et la fureur » (the sound and the fury) populist strategy, to those who want to focus on workers’ rights and put progressive politics after those. François Ruffin is the latter type. He is the deputy of a regionalist party. He’s rather moderate compared to Mélenchon. The « frondeurs » are known for going to media outlets and saying things like « I disagree with Mélenchon. Do I have the right to? » which make amazing titles. And so, one big French media outlet has a title on its front page « François Ruffin: " I am a social-democrat " ». When he was asked about it later, he answered that 1. he said he was a "social" "democrat" (in French, social-democracy isn’t translated, it’s literally democracy social..) not a "social-democrat" and 2. that he is « a revolutionary-reformist socialist, like Jaurès, like Mélenchon ».
There are three types of people who argue for this definition: Americans/Canadians, « far-left » fellows, revolutionary or just very radical, and "capitalists". Some social scientists, but not a majority, argue for this as well. I mean, it’s not just European socialist parties (and again, do not mix this debate with Third Way traitors, please), Morena in Mexico, Pacto Historico in Colombia, PT in Brazil, the Chilean dude who’s not sure what he is (think his name was Boric). At least we can agree that this debate is far from finished. I bet Lenin didn’t like Jaurès, yet Jaurès is a socialist. You can’t take Lenin’s essays and say « those aren’t socialists », or Marx and Engles, or anyone else. Jaurès founded French Socialism, and its ideological goals. So French reformist Socialism isn’t socialism? Because it’s too soft on when and how the natural transition between one system to another will happen? Really? Let’s agree to disagree, comrades. [As to communism, the term communalism sort of fits that function when it gets controversial, like, for exemple, with the Inca Empire in Peru, or other indigenous groups] New world (talk) 00:58, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
'[Socialism] is the system having a predominate collective or public ownership over the means of production' is a wonky definition, Dumb. First, how do you judge 'predominate'? Numbers of orgs? GDP output? Number of employees? Then how to you measure these critera? What counts as 'working in the socialist sector' - is a freelancer [for example] for a SOE self-employed or a state employee? How does one rate the economic output of a teacher, police officer or social worker? What about the tons of unpaid work performed within the economy - does the parent feeding their baby have 'value'? What about partly state-owned companies, or [as you note] the myriad of what is often called 'the third sector' [coops, charities and so on]. An economically advanced nation can still be solidly 'socialist' even if the vast majority of businesses are privately owned because they are mainly small and predominate in sectors of no real interest to economic planners - such as hair salons, bars, jobbing gardeners, freelance artists and similar - because modern forms of capitalism has a huge % of economic output in the hands of a very few large companies.
The question of 'how much', 'why' and 'how' in regards to private ownership is also strongly dependent on the economic situation of the individual country. You cannot judge a country with an agricultral sector dominated by a few large landowners operating plantations exactly the same as another where the setup is owner-occupier farmers. I will also argue that the issue of 'state capitalism' is a false one. A nation may decide to nationalise a particular sector or company not because they felt the products needed to be supplied 'below market cost' to the population, but to stop monopoly exploitation, foreign capital-extraction, was deemed 'too big to fail' or that the production/distribution was 'too important' to be left to the private sector.
From my experience, most communists currently argue that communism is impossible due to consumerism. Ernest Mandel, for example pointed out [back in the 1980s] that to bring the whole world to an 'Western' SoL immediately would be either a physical impossibility or an ecological catastrophe, while I've seen it argued that the USSR partly collaped because they went from trying to improve folks QoL [ie working on Maslow's hierarchy of needs] to chasing SoL [more material stuff] which was a race against the USA they could never win. This could be said to be the crux of eco-socialism; that this chase will end up killing the entire planet and to quote WarGames; 'The only winning move is not to play'. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:35, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
Just to muddle this even further, there are anarchists who would balk at the label of socialist, and I'm not talking about ancaps either. Anarcho-nihilists, post-leftists, some egoists, some green anarchists.... A common refrain among these types is not "seize the means of production," but "cease the means of production," that's assuming they buy into the notion that a concept as vague and amorphous as "society" holds any meaning or relevance. Carthage (talk) 13:35, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
May I add that Only sort of dumbs’ definition of communism isn’t the one I was using. I was talking about revolutionary socialists, as this term is often, and legitimately so, used following Lenin’s revolution and the split between reformists (who already held pretty "social-democratic" positions) and revolutionaries. We have communist regimes, communist parties etc. Of course most of these believe communism, on a certain scale, is possible, but most importantly they are revolutionary far-leftist socialists. I’m used to economic liberals calling me extremist and a "tankie", but getting contradicted because of a- somewhat -moderate definition of socialism? I don’t know if I’m angry or stunned at this development, it’s just not what I’m used to. Sort of refreshing. New world (talk) 23:13, 16 April 2024 (UTC)

@KarmaPolice definition of predominate: "be the strongest or main element; be greater in number or amount" - Oxford Languages. Predominate social ownership of the means of production would mean that the majority of the means of production are owned socially - as in owned collectively or owned by the state. I don't see the logic in reading that in terms of per "GDP output" or "number of employees". Suggestions like that seem deliberate to read the definition with as little charitability as possible, as instead of taking the default, most obvious, most literal meaning, you decided to construct wonky measures and interpretations on the fly. You can literally measure this by the number of firms, factories, and other commercial resources that are cooperatives or state-owned enterprises in ratio to traditionally privately owned firms. Everything else following that "objection" isn't relevant to whether a definition of socialism is accurate or not. The definition I am using would capture pretty much every preferred economic model among Marxists, Libertarian socialists, and market socialists without including any examples that would more often be classed as capitalist. Most if not all of GeeJayK's common suggestions about examples of socialism would fit my definition. When the object of relevance (that being the means of production) is built into the definition, then that obviously the most relevant factor to measure things on. Notice how I do not use wonky ass terms like "socialist sector" nor do I endorse that the use of such a term as meaningful, so to ask me what "counts" as part it, is a malformed question. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 09:11, 17 April 2024 (UTC)

This revolutionary socialist definition isn’t the only "common" definition (As to "libertarian socialists", most people I know who would identify with that describe themselves as anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists or syndicalists, unionists. Libertaire in French, contrary to libertarien, is used as a synonym of anarchist). And besides, owning the means of production is also a goal of reformists, not of Third Wayers though. It’s about a slow, gradual move towards something that actually works, maybe with the help of truly protectionist economics and a break from NATO, at least in France, and a rewriting of the European treaties. Because right now, I am not convinced that Lutte Ouvrière (LO) or the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA), following the principles of father Trotsky, will be successful in their revolution against the ruling classes, when it eventually inevitably happens. Nationalizations of some industries already assure you that if socialist governments continue to govern a country democratically most of the means of production will be in the hands of the country. The only statesman that I’ve heard supporting this definition is Colombia’s Petro to fight off allegations of communism from our favorite Argentinian president. He also announced that a revolution against capitalism will come because of the ecological crisis and the impossibility of a green capitalism. I mean beyond the economic theories and all that, (theoretically I could identify with ordo-liberalism or social-liberalism, or euro-communism, and the list goes on) we are talking about the revolutionary socialists who are at maximum 5 percent in a stable country of Europe? And Sweden now, because it’s important. The "third way" of Sweden meant no direct diplomatic allegiance to either US capitalism or Soviet Communism. The Scandinavian countries might not have been fully socialist, but up until the neo-liberal turn in the 80s and 90s, let’s say at the death of Olof Palme, they were among the biggest welfare states of the world (they still are), and one of the most equal. This idea of excluding anyone except for the far-left from socialism as one united ideology split between communists (revolutionary socialists) and reformists is completely off putting. Again, it’s not not democratic socialism just because it didn’t do it as fast as Chavez did, and that went horribly with Maduro, or Bolivia, and that has a high potential to become a complete disaster too, or Chile, because the CIA couldn’t have a democratic socialist in their backyard. This completely ignores the history of Western Europe, which is important because this thing started in Western Europe, and eastern Europe was a part of the soviet unions backyard. New world (talk) 12:38, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
this is something I've said for years, decades now, and I stand by it. In the face of any Randian Goober, I, like Washington, cannot tell a lie. There are three things you shouldn't privatize. Hospitals, prisons, and schools. That is what your tax money should be going to. Political campaigns should be going toe to toe on public works. Extra capital is so easily spent on fixing potholes, the fuck we need it to buy a commercial? Nobody likes ads. Torrent (talk) 08:16, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
I would also add; 'militaries', 'law enforcement/courts', 'central banks', 'basic infrastructure' and government itself. However, when you say 'privatise', do you mean zero for-profit provision? Again, one of those things where socialists and and do argue about; for example whether private education should exist in principle. And yes, the arbitary definitions of 'socialism' and similar is stupid, very 'The Judean People's Front' about it and not helpful one bit. We may argue about the exact how and when, but we are all roughly on the same page on who/what the enemy is.
Dumb; it's perfectly clear to all you don't understand my previous point. No, my question is relevant. By your 'default, most obvious, most literal meaning' rules that Wal-Mart has the same weight as 'Bob's Window Cleaning Co' who's total assets comprise of an old van and three ladders. This is patently stupid to a point where I wonder if you even throught this through. And no, I am speaking of quite a bit of study on this topic; including [but not limited to] my reading of Soviet economic history - see, for example the NEP [pointing out that if you went on simple numbers, the USSR in the 20s was 'not socialist' (by your definition) because during this the majority of 'businesses' operating were in private hands ie peasant farms].
There is also the simple question of what constitutes 'one'; for example in the UK the NHS [socialised] currently owns 930 hospitals or major standalone clinics [well, good as]. Is this 'one' entity? Or 930? This is important because often when things are brought out of the private sector major amalgamations occour; for example in 1947 when the nationalised 'National Coal Board' came to be, it took over the assets of some 800 former private coal companies, comprising of 980 colleries and a workforce of around 780k. Yet, using your 'default, most obvious, most literal meaning' the UK would have become 'more capitalist' if 900 people had set up corner shops on the day of coal nationalisation [-800 private coal companies, +1 socialist NCB, +900 private corner shops = 'more capitalist by 99 firms'.]
This is the whole point of the Marxist term 'commanding heights of the economy'. That you need to only really worry about the sectors of the economy which effect the general structure of the economy, provide vital goods/services and/or are the biggest employers. That you don't [as some early regional Bolsheviks did, to Lenin's chagrin] run around 'nationalising' windmills, artisan workshops or small stores simply to boast of the numbers of nationalisations. I mean, what's going to be 'more socialist' in the USA in 2024; nationalising 2,000 corner shops or nationalising the 20 largest private firms, which between them directly employ 10 million Americans [6.2% the entire working age population], doubtless have millions more indirectly dependent on them and have perhaps trillions in capital assets?
But I fully expect you shall view this as more 'malformed questions' or simply 'not relevant'. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:59, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
The man speaks on behalf of "all". I think you are getting bogged down in the metaphysics of economics asking about the mereological character of socialist vs. capitalist entities when the discussion is more so about the dominant mode of production in a political economy. A single collective or cooperative is not what makes a socialist economic system, adding more co-ops into a capitalist economy does not make it "more socialist" if the conception of socialism is meant to be exclusive from the presence of capitalism. Yes, many Leninists and Trotskyists would say that the dominant economy of the soviet union was not socialist during the 1920s and in the decades following. Lenin actually openly admitted he didn't think socialism was achieved in Russia during his lifetime. He saw the Soviet Union as being in the process of building the material foundations to transition into a system of socialism, but not yet achieving it. The DoTP is not meant to be a synonym for socialism. Lenin was using socialism the way that Marx may use the term "lower phase communism", and in that, he specified that socialism would be characterized by the absence of class distinctions. Something he didn't think the SU achieved because he thought there was a present class conflict between the industrial workers and the peasant class. Mind you, they are going with a more strict conception of socialism than what I offered, but the idea that calling the Soviet Union "not socialist" at the time of the 1920's isn't the obvious falsehood you think it is. Also, I don't the term "commanding heights of the economy" originates from Marx, I think that term comes from Lenin specifically in his defence of the NEP in the strategic value of what they were doing. I think the idea you are going for is not that far off from the parody of "socialism is when the government does stuff, and the more stuff it does the more socialister it is". If your interest is in the defense of the presence of private property under a system describable as socialist, you have to recognize that you are departing from the vast majority of socialist thinkers Post-Marx within the realm of political philosophy. If we're going to wave reasons for epistemic credibility around, I studied political philosophy at a masters level, whoop-dee-fucking do. Do my "studies" account for shit? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 06:43, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Also, this aspect about "class distinctions" is sort of integral to the socialist conception of private property, and would address your distinction between walmart and "Bob's Window Cleaning Co" with the total assets of 3 ladders and a van, which I am not even sure fits the criteria of a "traditional firm" nor am I certain that "3 ladders and a van" (with suspiciously absent window cleaner) constitutes a genuine "means of production." What is Bob producing besides utter confusion at his lack of cleaning supplies? Also who is the capitalist and who is wage-labourer in the context of Bob the incompetent self-employed window cleaner? Mind you, Mutualists, a type of market socialism, is totally down for the presence of self-employed 1 person operations like Bob. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 06:52, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Oh god damnit. You could write for révolution permanente. In university, at least in France, you can verrry often meet people, who, well, study, while waiting for the revolution to come, one day or another, while preaching Das Kapital and the Communist manifesto, and Trotsky’s essays, and more. The problem is that I, sadly, similar to how many economic liberals categorically refuse to accept us old-school radical reformist "populist" left-wingers not being "far-left", cannot accept your opinion, because 1. Your thing, and the things your revolutionary ideology has tried, have not worked, so I am not convinced we can try again, (and the Soviet Union could have certainly become something if the West didn’t abandon Gorbi) and 2. you are a far-leftist, an actual far-leftist. I certainly don’t disagree with you on a lot of issues, but if you start excluding people from socialism because you, a far-leftist of the textbook, wants to dominante the left-wing, which you’ll never do, then the line is crossed. New world (talk) 11:07, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
As to theorists not defending private property, il have to agree. If we count politicians as theorists, (some of them are, basically), then the picture is different. However, it doesn’t need to be revolutionary socialism. Chantal Mouffe, one of the biggest influences on Mélenchon, is one exemple I could cite. And Mélenchon himself, based on her and others ideas (and strategies), has developed his ideas in the form of his various party programs, and sometimes essays, on the "presidential monarchy" that is the 5th republic, and so on. And Tony Blair also gave his spin at it, and I bet Bernie did too. On what exactly do we disagree, actually? Well, I don’t believe that a reformist socialist needs to have "overthrowing capitalism" in his program, with expropriations and all, to be a reformist, and to want a gradual move towards socialism. New world (talk) 11:32, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
'Bob's Window Cleaning Co' is a company because it is registered as such. You did not make distinctions on 'what was a company' and what was not - and as you deride my points as 'metaphysics', I assme you are going to do some pin-dancing to 'show' how 100% correct you are and how I am totally wrong. Which you do with your total ignoring of my points, drifting off into polysyllabic waffle and showing a general ignorance of economics in general - that questioning how things are to be measured [and why] is in fact a fairly common topic and one which normally needs to be sorted first.
If you have not noticed, I have been ignoring you for some time, Dumb, because I find your points in the Bar generally turgid, windy and at times borderline incomprehensible. However, I have let you be because they've generally been on topics I either didn't know a lot about or care about. Not this time. I will firstly point out that political philosophy is not economics. Or economic history. So no, this is not your bailiwick. Oh, but it is mine [I can actually understand you somewhat for starters] and yes, 'three ladders and a van' does count as a 'traditional firm' if Bob has an employed assistant. It's not 'a parody of socialism' to make a defence of some private property; most respect private ownership of personal possessions, their own homes [within limits, obs] and many will extend this to small-scale 'owner-operated' concerns [qv, Titoism]. Even more simply, even socialists who don't like the latter often shall come to a conclusion that our current technological level means 'state management' of very single economic unit in the country would be somewhere between 'terribly inefficient' and 'utterly impossible'.
I agree with New World on this; you cannot simply draw an arbitary line of 'this is socialist' which only fits you and [I am sure of this] a very small crowd. This completely reeks of 'The People's Front of Judea' posturing which really puts my back up as a socialist becuase it's utterly counter-productive, divisive and ineffective in doing those little pesky things like building a mass movement. Which is why, for example I am willing to give assurances to the 'petty bourgeois' that their little shops, farms, workshops and houses will remain theirs - that the only people who really have much to fear are going to be the top 5% and their hangers-on. If capitalism is animals fighting over bits of meat, there's no point on taking away their meagre scraps [and making them your enemy] on 'ideological' reasons alone. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:58, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
The SPD also collaborated with the Nazis to "own le commies", sooooooooo... PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 18:01, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
I don't know where you get this information, but I believe it is factually incorrect. The SPD was the only party to vote against the Enabling Act in 1933 and was outlawed after that. If anything, the refusal of the KPD to work with the SPD (they hated them more than they hated them Nazis) was a major cause of the rise of Hitler. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:33, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
I wonder why the KPD didn't want to work with the guys who used the Freikorps to kill Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, real mystery that is. Also Stalin being an idiot didn't help. A somebody. (talk) 18:59, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Yes, the parliament ended up with a 'negative majority'; ie that between the Communists and Nazis they had enough votes to bring down governments, but quite obviously not form one. Thalmann [the head of the KPD] was ordered by Stalin to not cooperate with the SPD in any way, mainly in the mistaken belief that if/when the latter 'failed', their voters would turn 'leftwards'. It was partly this failure which led to the resumption of the 'Popular Front' philosophy; that if confronted with a clear fascist/militarist menace, it's the duty of Communists to block their route to victory, even if this means collaborating with Marxist revisionists, social democrats or even stodgy liberals. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:55, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Fun fact: Because of Jaurès dying assassinated by a nationalist in 1914, a lot of Querfront activity was happening in Vichy France, in all the parties of the former Front populaire, out of "pacifism" (although fear also played a role). What’s funny about this is that the former socialist PM, Leon Blum, was Jewish, and had so see with his own eyes that "more centrists, Christians and conservatives had resisted and voted against the Laval project" which gave Pétain full powers. New world (talk) 19:17, 18 April 2024 (UTC)

@KarmaPolice Well it’s saying the quiet part out loud at least, when you openly admit to desiring to make assurances to the petit bourgeoisie. But if the goal is simply to “build a mass movement” then just be a populist. Assuming you have differing goals beyond that, then what exactly is the term “socialism” doing for you? What it the end goal? If it is just wealth distribution, or nationalizing certain key industries? If that is the case there is nothing per se incompatible with those aims and being a post-60’s modern liberal then identifying as a socialist. Might be easier to get people on board that way.

The issue that lib socs, mutualists, marxists, etc. have with yours and New World’s conception is that it is *overly* inclusive — and undermines the aim of abolishing the systems of exploitation of the working class. When people complain of “defanging socialism” this is exactly what folks are talking about. Marx included an entire section of the communist manifesto going at length about French and German socialist projects inclusive to the petit bourgeois as being failures. If you are so frightened by the placement of “arbitrary” (can’t be arbitrary if there is a reason for it) lines, then what exactly is your response to the claim that “National Socialists” were genuine socialists?

My aims are particular to the opposition to class distinctions and class domination. Domination as understood in the Rousseauan sense of a social relationship between a social group that regularly appreciates the role of being obeyed against a group who regularly perform the role of doing the obeying. With a republican conception liberty, as freedom as non-domination, I believe the maximization of human liberty and means of self determination requires the abolition of certain social dominance hierarchies/ social inequality.

We can have fundamentally different interests and that’s okay, but your politics is bordering on something akin to respectability politics, and that has inevitable tendency to throw certain minority groups under the bus to maintain an idea of mass appeal to the majority.

Also New World keeps classifying my conception as the “revolutionary definition” falsely framing it as incompatible with gradualist approaches. Many mutualists adopt my definition and many do not believe in the aim of violent revolution. They also keep listing “politicians” as genuine authorities to the contents of political philosophy, and that is a whole can of worms if we are going go down that route because we have a lot of politicians who use the label “socialism” with completely contradictory aims. What grounds do you have to say self-identified National Socialists before and after Hitler are not genuine socialists? I can genuinely provide an answer to that. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:43, 19 April 2024 (UTC)

@OnlySortaDumb I cited Chantal Mouffe, a defender of the populist strategy for the left, not just politicians. The problème with this is that it is a completely revisionist take on things, almost a denial of the historical and theoretical reality. There is an entire history to the moderate, not radical, gradualist approach. Jaurès taught philosophy, and he’s the founder of French socialism, so he’s a theorist, right? As to the national-socialists, as far as I know, the broader picture is that the far-right always uses a "social" element to lure the popular classes into their camp. As to liberalism, that’s a wider question. But yes, the left-wing is essentially entirely socialist, and that’s a good thing. In theory. In practice, the "mainstream" parties are neither socialist nor "social-democratic" and are rather bordering on neo-liberalism. Again, we mostly agree. If you have got nothing fundamental against gradualist approaches, then why is Bernie not socialist to you, exactly? Because he doesn’t have expropriations and co. in his program? That would make him effectively far-left. You see, I grew up in a socialist family, I’m studying the lefts and their history, socialism is something I believe in, it is my ideology. I feel socialist, as Mitterrand said in that interview I linked. Reformist literature exists, to your great detriment. But above all, I’m left-wing. I believe in the republican principles of the enlightenment and the reformist socialist tradition in accordance with it. I feel like far-leftists like you are using the situation with Bernie in the US to your benefit, and, you see, that’s to the detriment of socialism. Many marxists won’t see that it’s the same ideology with a complementary history, and the useful vote for Sanders or the future demsocs will die out. New world (talk) 00:52, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
And as to the part about goals, I do think we need to develop something akin to a socialist model. You say I might as well identify as populist, or liberal. The problem is that in practice there are only 4/3 political courants, "communism", "socialism", classical liberalism, which always includes economic liberalism, so no, we are not liberals, conservatism, and fascism. I am not a Biden supporter. The "center" and the conventional right wing, while they sometimes might have similar positions, just aren’t the left. The left-wing and the far-left agree a lot, that’s a fact, but is the far-left an instance to cite, can the far-left decide over wether the left is socialist? Even though the left has its reasons and intellectual traditions for and claiming socialism? New world (talk) 01:19, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
You are talking about historical reality while citing a contemporary political philosopher, who defines herself as "post-Marxist", so there is already a concession of breaking from certain traditions here. Also, you are reading a bunch of stuff about Bernie Sanders into what I said, expressing your "feelings" about what I am doing here -- but that has fuck all to do with the actual content of what I am saying. I didn't say one way or another if Sanders was socialist or not. If you think that my definition of socialism is socialism's detriment" then I don't care, because whatever fuck you are referring to as "socialism" isn't the thing I am interested in. I do not give two shits about validating your identity or your particular political aims. I do not care, it does not matter to me, it has nothing to do with my politics evidently. I care a lot more about ethical principles than I do about labels. If one is okay with tolerating various forms of socioeconomic oppression that I don't support, then I am not a political ally with that person. If that makes me "not a good socialist" I do not care. If socialism has nothing to do with anti-capitalism and establishing worker's control over the means of production then socialism is meaningless to me, and I don't give two shits about it. - 06:10, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
@OnlySortaDumb Oh oh oh. Is someone who fundamentally believes in something a little undemocratic getting angry? See. Various forms of oppression etc. I’m sorry. But you seem to be a far-leftist. And I do not give two shits about validating your identity, or your impossible war on capitalism. What I was telling you is that there are certain socialist traditions, histories and milieux which just don’t fit your definition. I’m telling you that my historically and intellectually already validated wider definition is the common one in many places. You are what is commonly called a communist. You say I cited a post-Marxist, which is true, a post-Marxist who greatly praises the left-wing "social-democratic" governments of the glorious thirties in Europe and the government of Mitterrand (while accusing the traditional movements of having allied with the neolibs later). Yes, that’s a fact, unless we live in an alternate dimension. You see, this is the sort logic which makes me, and a lot of other people, not far-left. If you had to make your words actions, would that be a disaster? Absolutely. It would. Are you wrong in your assertion that the entire PS or PSOE are not socialist? Yes, you are. At least for the PS, which has a left-faction, to say the least. Scholars and history have already "watered down" socialism. Only a far-leftist cannot understand that, citing Marx on previous socialists pre-1848. Socialism has developed towards this ideology, not model, with extremely gradualist approaches. These are just facts. Do you have a problem with that? If yes, one more reason not to become a far-leftist or anarchist, really. Especially not a sectarian one. You have the word communism at your disposal, though reformists might also sometimes use it. Your sectarianism is ultimately hurting the wider ideology (or maybe it’s just stoping social-democrats from manipulating the masses into supporting capitalism, huh?). New world (talk) 07:35, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
"Is someone who fundamentally believes in something a little undemocratic getting angry?" How can you know fundamentally that I am undemocratic? You have no idea what my political philosophy is. I am not a communist. You have no idea what the fuck I am. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 08:58, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
@OnlySortaDumb: Of course. And Trump isn’t far-right. I know your an American (?) far-left communist. Not more. New world (talk) 09:44, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
More so, a Canadian Degrowth Social Ecologist. I been described as a left-wing version of minarchist by student cohorts. I also concede the evidence for the necessity of markets for efficient resource allocation. That is definitely not compatible with the aim of a stateless, classless society without currency or markets. So, not really communist. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:38, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
@OnlySortaDumb: Ok. While you seem to be rather radical (no problem with that, just an observation), I re-read your comments, and it seems I mixed your posts with those of Gee. Sorry for the malentendu. You’ve made general comments about the wider and restrictive definitions. The subject of this post, however, concerns specifically social-democracy, and Bernie Sanders. I admit I am not competent enough to know the validity or invalidity of your economics, Karma seems to be well fit for that. First, on populism, Chantal Mouffe argues that left-wing populism is needed to counter the resurgence of the right-wing and far-right, by "federating the people", from the agriculturalist to the factory worker to minority politics to urban youth, fighting the 1 percent, the oligarchy, the common enemy to rally the people against. This is very much in line with "building a mass movement". My point is that social-democracy isn’t inherently capitalist, or "not-socialist", but can be, and often is, a part of the socialist movement. The unity of the left comes first, in order to have a chance at fighting economic liberalism, and creating a mixed economy, first, out of pragramatism, instead of making the petite bourgeoisie your enemy because of ideological reasons. The "populist" element is in asserting the sovereignty of the people as theorised by Rousseau.
Second, communism in this sense means the revolutionary courant of socialism that split from the reformists and founded on the Leninist interpretation of Marx. New world (talk) 23:16, 20 April 2024 (UTC)

I don't have the time/energy to answer all this (as a worker I have to well, work) but I do wonder why the hell you think 'populism' is inherently a bad thing, Dumb? KarmaPolice (talk) 13:53, 20 April 2024 (UTC)

Where did I say I do? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:38, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
nowhere, I guess, but you could answer. Y'all are so mean to each other. If every idea I ever had deserved a 'fuck you forever' I dunno what I'd even have to say for myself. Torrent (talk) 07:11, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
'But if the goal is simply to “build a mass movement” then just be a populist.'
Could hear the sneer even via text. I'm not sure what you dislike; having a mass movement or having popular policies. I don't want popular policies simply because they are popular, but because by picking a clutch of 'socialism in action' programmes can help build up a grassroots mass movement which can then lead to other things - I found this article on political machines compelling and believe that any socialist movement should build our own machines too. We traditionally relied on the trade union movement and would be well-served to work within them again, but other methods are needed too.
On the other hand, most far-left politics I've personally observed is complete wankery. A tiny group of people who I wouldn't trust to run a corner shop talking about overthrowing capitalism and/or the state with almost nil idea of how the hell they'd do it, if they [by fluke] actually ended up in power how they would achieve their revolutionary programme or even why this would actually be good for me personally. Also, absolutely terrible in communication, larded with Marxist jargonese and dialectic in which anything could mean anything - I think most communists/socialists would be well-served by taking a lesson or three in public speaking and advertising.
Anyway, I stand on 'socialist realpolitik' more than anything else. Almost nobody will vote for a communist party in Britain unless capitalism completely implodes [and then I suspect fascist/reactionary military regime is more likely then than communism], nobody believes the British state has the technical capacity to run the entire economy and lastly, any attempt of building socialism must work out how to do so without causing a coup attempt from our own capitalist class [assisted by the USA] and to continue operating within a capitalist world. In short; I have no faith a communist revolution can be successful unless under very particular circumstances are met and even then it would involve a hugely damaging civil war which would destroy much of the 'capital' which is required to build communism. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:29, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
So essentially, I didn’t say it, and it was not logically entailed by the content of what was said — you just read it in tone. I am not even sure why it would be anyone’s stance to oppose “popular policies” in concept. Does it not depend on the content of the policy itself? Surely, you wouldn’t support a policy merely because it was popular right? Some sort of ethical limitation needs to be at play here. Out of curiosity, have you ever been to lefty volunteer run bookstore? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:20, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

The Fundie Rabbit Hole Continues[edit]

This is a culmination of random search engine finds concerning the existence of right-wing traditionalist Christians. It seems like the rabbit hole of Christian fundamentalism and atheophobia is even deeper than it seems to be. I've encountered ministry, congregation, site, bot, spammer, and more endlessly sanctimoniously preaching spiritual nonsense such as "There's a Jesus-shaped hole in your heart" or "Give me your money or you'll burn in hell" or "The Bible is the infallible word of God™, and all other beliefs are invalid and so are yours", "you're being controlled by demons and I can solve everything with the power of God™.", or "Everything else is affiliated with the Devil™ and you should only listen to me" among other religious claims. What's going on with all of these bozos and con men running amok anyway with impunity, and why isn't there more education teaching people to think critically? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:06, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

The Religious Right and Republican Party undermining the education system so that people are too ignorant to question their nonsense? Luigifan18 (talk) 02:23, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
A lot of Christian fundamentalists also claim someone is "spiritually blind" or "blind to God™", using that as an sanctimonious excuse to force beliefs, claiming they can see God™. They claim "You're blinded by the Devil" or "Your blind to the 'glory of God'™" TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:39, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
@Luigifan18 People around where I´m at unironically believe that the democrats are undermining our education system. I remember a friend of mine and his dad asked a college official if the professors were liberal or conservative. Like bro? Does it even matter? Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 21:19, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
It's a "self-solving problem"... and conundrum. The Republicans' have long propagandized against and demonize education (for, in my opinion, extremely stupid reasons at the "think tank" level, usually rooted in libertarian anti-government bullshit). This seems to have had an unfortunate effect. The vast majority of Republicans in a 2019 Pew survey believed that colleges have a negative effect on American society.[8]
The GOP propaganda, of course, tends to be nutpicking. Yes, the "college scene" leans progressive, but from what I experienced, and what others I know have experienced, there are very few truly radical left college professors. Only a small percentage of people major in gender studies or whatever the populist whine claims. In other words, people who have actually been to college know that it's not anything near what the propaganda portrays. So, what's happened in the last 20 years is that the college educated bloc, which previously was more mixed politically, is moving towards the Democrat party, as the GOP has abandoned them. While the reverse has happened for non-college educated whites.
Since the groups no longer "mingle" as much, this leads to bullshit propaganda... in this case, for both sides. (An equivalent of the Fox News propaganda in my view is the endless "Cletus safari" stories liberal outlets do on rural Donald Trump Voters. They absolutely exist, but are hardly the whole story of rural America... or Trumpism.) However, the fervor of the propaganda on the Republican side though seems worse, in that the Republican party passes actual "culture war" laws. The net result? If you are in certain careers, you would not want to work in certain states, in that a culture war law actually can effect your career. Like, would an obstetrician or an educator want to work in a place like Idaho, whose legislature seems hostile to both? Small wonder there is a "rural brain drain" going on, which only makes the above situation worse.
The above GOP bullshit is also a significant reason why Christianity is in decline in the United States: as noted in the Religious Right article, a significant portion of churches have politicized, and no longer welcome liberal viewpoints, or even Christian New Testament style humility. This was a known problem even all the way back in 2004, when the United Church of Christ made their "Bouncers" ad highlighting church intolerance.[9]. It has only become more evident when multiple top church leaders embraced Donald Trump for political reasons, despite Trump's very significant moral flaws. I think the "con men" side of Christianity -- prosperity gospel and all of that -- only further adds to the woes; combined, one can easily have a "first impression" of American Christianity as a scam built on nasty values such as intolerance. A long time ago, there was a more "mainline Protestant" church that was far less political and far more restrained, but such has faded. As a result of the above, more and more Americans are "unchurched". American Christian leaders only have themselves to blame. BobJohnson (talk) 00:04, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
The sad thing is that American Christian leaders probably lack the self-awareness or humility to admit their fault and change course. The way things are going, a whole lot of Christian denominations are likely to go extinct in the next hundred or two hundred years. Hopefully there will be some sane ones left standing. Luigifan18 (talk) 01:21, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
As for my thoughts on the matter, I feel like the whole situation involving Christianity seems like a boiling pot of well water, with the water being moderate Christians and the filth dissolved into the water being the toxic fundamentalist leaders and shills that make up many churches as well as all the nasty rhetoric they churn out daily. As moderates and other people leave church for good, what remains are more and more far-right and extremist Christians that are increasingly concentrated into a more saturated form. They'll turn to more and more aggressive tactics like spiritual warfare, direct intimidation, and the old "You're going to Hell™ if you don't accept my words." handwave. Anything they can do to scare gullible people back into their organizations. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 03:19, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Religion is private. It’s not politics. Far-right Christians are far-rightists who want to make Christianity something else, something bigger. They’re just extremists. As to Christianity declining, I don’t care, and neither should Christians. For me, you can believe in whatever the fuck you want as long as it’s not Scientology and co. If your family believes your grandfather was a semi-god, and your mother just died, then your religion is practically in decline. You can still believe in your granddad. The Nostradamus believers are also getting fewer since 9/11 is passé. It’s like colour of skin. I do not give a damn about what your skin looks like (I probably have my unconscious preferences, thoo). If I don’t like my own, might as well change it. But so far I’ve been very satisfied with my skin as it is. New world (talk) 19:47, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
I suspect the continued actions of the Culty Right in the USA is making self-IDing yourself as Christian more toxic, as well as driving 'curious neutrals' away from the faith. To the point where I do wonder whether a decent % of 'unchurched' are in fact ultimately Christians, but in a quiet/private manner, fairly moderate in belief and a bit worried of the views of their peers if they got 'outed'. I also note that the current iteration of Religious Right has basically nailed their underpants to the mast re; capitalism, culture wars, denial of general reality etc and are most likely to 'go down with the ship'. This big study gives some sobering reasons of why folks leave church; interestingly, of the cult-raised folks who didn't continue in it as adults, only 14% stated 'lack of belief' but 23% said 'did not fit' [a catch-all including political views], 18% 'little love shown in church' and 15% was 'negative experiences with evangelicals'.
This suggests that Luigi's view that 'American Christian leaders probably lack the self-awareness or humility to admit their fault and change course' is perhaps correct. Young Americans [and other nations like the UK] are not rejecting Christianity per se, they are just rejecting your malign and hypocritical vision of it [or on the mainline cases, the boring and useless vision]. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Absolutely this. If fundies go acting like that, they deserve a slap on the face. When it comes to Republicans etc, they're just losers who are jealous that different values are winning. That's why they don't have trust in colleges. 🇷🇸 Serbian Arbiter (What would you have your arbiter do?) 11:33, 20 April 2024 (UTC)

Australian knife attack - insufficient force used?[edit]

A blood bath in a shopping mall :( But I'm curious about how it is a sole Australian police officer can kill an actually armed person with 2-3 shots (it's not officially stated how many yet) - whereas (cough) some other police are sometimes reported firing dozens of bullets to do the same.... (yes I'm being snarky and sarcastic...) Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 03:59, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

This is a really dumb way to think about it, and I'm glad it's snark Give this stabber an AK. The crime is strange, the weapon is, thank everything, a knife. Bullets are fucking dangerous, knives are fucking dangerous. https://www.wowt.com/content/news/Video-released-of-police-shooting-that-killed-Cops-crew-member-480827321.html Not even exactly a replica. Airsoft pistol, which is so scary that it might be a pistol that the business next door took, I don't even remember, like 20 shots to the wall. In order, and this is all in complete order, to stop a man fleeing an unsuccessful robbery of a Wendy's, which is so scary because the man has a gun, despite it being a toy gun in the aftermath, shoot at the target. Through whoever. I think two to three shots are an explanation of a scenario, and really not a good justification of police action. Torrent (talk) 07:16, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
You missed the point entirely - it is about the police officer than the offender!Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 23:27, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
It's really weird to say, as I'm actually home to school/mall shooters, ism https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westroads_Mall_shooting. no, it's not wrong to shoot a person who is committing wonton violence. Maybe that's where I have to leave it for now. Torrent (talk) 07:24, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
Now, if my Auzzie modern history is correct, traditionally their firearm availability was almost as wide as the American - until the 1996 Port Arthur massacre which led to 35 dead, and the Govt to tighten it right up [so if this was 1994 the attacker may have been armed]. Somewhat similar happened here in the UK that year - Dunblane massacre - in which the UKGovt tightened da rules too. I think that's important to note; part of the American 'problem' is that after mass shootings nothing changes. Think how many people would be alive today if politicos on all sides said 'enough is enough!' after Columbine in '99.
The other point which is lost on many anti-gun campaigners in America is that 'gun violence' is in fact 'violence which uses guns' rather than 'violence caused by guns'. Here in the UK we're in a bit of knife crime 'epidemic', and predictably we have folks saying to 'restrict blades as much as possible' without realising they're using blades becasue they can't get guns and I fully expect if they couldn't get blades they'd make shivs out of screwdrivers or similar to do the deeds. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:56, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
The "rumor mill" (as the officer has not been officially identified as far as I am aware) is that the officer who handled the Sydney knife attack was rather experienced. And we all know that the United States police force is sorely under-trained -- from the BBC (who quote an advocacy group called ICJTR), it's a little over 500 hours for the United States vs. 3500 for Australia.[10]
The officer was identified almost immediately - she is Inspector Amy Scott - 39 with 19 years experience.Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 23:27, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
If there's going to be a turning point on gun culture in America, I feel that possibly police officer safety will lead the way, given that the police officer community tends to be both "in the line of fire" so to speak and thus has a lot more at stake here, as well as being culturally conservative typically (so the usual whargarbl arguments typically thrown by 2nd amendment absolutists won't work very well.) Traditionally, I remember groups such as the Fraternal Order of Police being staunchly pro-Second Amendment no matter what (in spite of the obvious safety risks that poses to police). Hhowever, when Googling for police positions, it seems that another group called the International Association of Chiefs of Police (in 2018 at least) does advocate some relatively common sense positions (restrictions on semi-autos, body armor, etc.)[11] that nonetheless would get the NRA die-hard type extremely angry. (Given that the NRA are Russian trolls, practically speaking, they should be safely ignored, but sadly they are not... yet.) So it seems like there is some "debate" within that community, which is interesting to see... BobJohnson (talk) 12:45, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
What, a 'only Nixon could go to China' type of person? Yeah, I could see that. Or more correctly, a series of such people. Not just 'names', but local 'good ol' boys/girls' only known in their immediate circle. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:26, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
Oh, get off and forget what you're even talking about. Yes, I agree that gunned/stunned up police officer is how you deal with this disaster, but I don't agree that that that's the end of it. Absolute dipshit thinks his best form of speech is knife murder, that's not casual internet use. He 100% was on the internet, we have to accept that. I don't know if I agree with the 'pipeline' theory that anyone could 'whoops' into it, but I do agree that once they get there it's really tough to explain what's incorrect about it to them. Torrent (talk) 07:55, 18 April 2024 (UTC)

JKR has now hit Holocaust denialism[edit]

Trans activist Erin Reed has now listed on her blog, the recent Twitter storm that JK Rowling has effectively touched holocaust denialism, after claiming that the Nazis never targeted trans people in Germany, calling it "a fever dream." Euromec (talk) 22:02, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

I think it's rather "denial of Nazi crimes" (term used by a regional German court in relation to denial that trans people were targeted) than Holocaust denial, but the second is a subset of the first and they're closely related. If you want to know about it as regards JKR, I recommend this article as one of the better summaries I've seen. Chillpilled (talk) 12:59, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
How many Trans people were killed in the Holocaust? I know the Nazis targeting Gays in general, starting with the Night of the Long Knives where they killed all the Gay Nazis that had been critical to their rise to power, because Nazis, but I don't know how many Trans, Genderfluid, NB, etc etc also ended up in the camps. CorruptUser 22:35, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
An issue with that is a matter of language. For example, the identity of “gay” wasn’t a popular term of identification for men who experience same-sex sexual attraction until about the 1960’s. Similarly, identification with the labels of transgender, non-binary, or gender-fluid wasn’t really common among those who experienced gender incongruence until the 1990s. To determine the answers to these questions you have to determine the language that was used at the time, and if these sort of cultural distinctions we make today are the sort they used in the historical event of reference. I think someone else previously made mention of the use of the term “transexual” in Germany at the time of Hirschfeld's research — but like “homosexual” the term may not have been adopted by those whom the term was being applied to. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:51, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
It seems that the term widely used for self-identification was “transvestite” given a lack of alternative terminology, but it is difficult to discern the genuine identity of those who used the term as there is a lot of overlap here between demographics who experience incongruence with the sex they were assigned at birth, and those who simply experimented with presentation and expression. A similar issue happened with the Stonewall riots and the label of “queen” that was used by individuals who would more readily identify as trans later in life, and those who were simply drag performers or crossdressers. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:01, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
Wait, so what is George Santos? New world (talk) 23:06, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
An ex-congressmen and gay man? Why are you asking? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:26, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
I think that’s self-explanatory. New world (talk) 23:48, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
No, it’s deeply confusing in context. We’re talking about Nazi Germany and the holocaust. Cory was asking what the numbers were for trans people killed in the holocaust. I am giving an explanation to why we do not know an exact number. You are asking questions completely off topic. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:05, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
George Santos has cancelled you. New world (talk) 01:12, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
what the fuck are you talking about and why do you think this behaviour is appropriate right now? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:42, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Calm down, sheesh. New world (talk) 03:08, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
It might be difficult to discern if by your model the determination of whether someone is gay or trans boils down to whether they've identified with those specific words. My model doesn't so much have this problem if it considers men who solely desire and have sex with other men to be gay men regardless of their identity, or if it considers "transvestites" who get sex change surgeries, take hormones, and have sex+gender dysphoria to be trans. Those would be the clearest-cut cases imaginable and so maybe you can find some bare-minimum, but admittedly, we don't always know so much as that and may have to go off of clues. Or you can use catch-all phrases like "non-heterosexual" or "gender-variant" and be done with it, I suppose. Chillpilled (talk) 15:17, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
You’re at first misunderstanding the problem, but then you sort of circle around to getting it. The issue is identifying how people in the past who cannot currently speak for themselves, would genuinely fit these definitions, without having intimate knowledge of the details of their life.
But your conception runs into some problems, as a number of self-identifying gay men would not be considered “gay” by your definition. This is why historians of these subjects use terms like same-sex sexual activity, and same-sex attraction. That is, no doubt, a reality of human sexuality that people experience these things and engage in such activity. Human beings also no doubt across history and across various cultures, had folks who felt incongruent with their sexual traits, or how their culture classified them under the anthropological/sociological conception of “gender”.
Recall Kinsey’s discoveries that many “heterosexuals” and “homosexuals” are rarely exclusively one or the other. I am not endorsing the conceptual schema of the Kinsey Scale here , as a bisexual man I have my objections, but the basic discovery that most “straight” people have been “incidentally gay” or that “gay” folks have been “incidentally straight” (how do you think some gay people end up in straight marriages with children?) is not a shocking revelation when you realize that sexuality is more of a fluid spectrum then it is a strict fixed categorical distinction (this doesn’t imply sexuality is “willed” or is simply “socialized” either).
There is no doubt individuals who exclusively experience same-sex sexual attraction and identify as “gay”, as there are people who predominately experience same-sex sexual attraction, and very little attraction to individuals of differing sex, and yet still identify as “gay”.
You run into deeply problematic territory when you start insisting that only one of these individuals has legitimate claim to being “gay”. No different then Kinsey’s problematic insistence that bisexuality implies equal sexual attraction to same and differing sexes. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:31, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
If you want to know what “my model” entails, I actually wrote an essay on the subject Essay:Rationally Understanding Queerness. Though, it was written pre-grad student OSD, so there are definitely things I would argue differently now. Especially with respect to the concept of “essentialism”. My understanding is very similar to the biopsychosocial model of sexuality/gender. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:39, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Yeah, that kind of sounds like bullshit. Nazism is not at the bottom of everything one finds repulsive. Perhaps Trans people were not specifically targeted, but found themselves in the target range and were a small part of the genocide. One could argue that trans folks were not the focus of Hitler's blood lust, they just fell into the target range by being socially deviant. They belonged to the class of "weirdos and freaks." homosexuals, gypsies, communists, Jews and many others the Nazis wanted to get rid of. This is a semantic argument over victim status and not a disagreement over the morality of genocide. Some people can be really awful without being Nazis. Most people can, really.UncleKrampus (talk) 00:51, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Throwing the term "holocaust denier" at her IMHO needs context (only because the "stereotype" of "holocaust denier" is solely antisemitic, unfortunately, even though the Holocaust targeted far more than Jews). Nonetheless, "transvestites" (as they were known then), which would have included trans females, definitely were targeted. We kind of went over this in the Bar about a month ago.
What really sucks in this case, Rowling talking out of her ass aside, is Rowling's bullying. Apparently libel law is bad enough in the UK to in effect act like the United States SLAPP suit, in that it can be used to flat out censor people. My impression of UK libel law is that it seems like that if you've got deep pockets to handle lawsuits, you can lie and defame all you want (see the Daily Mail and other tabloids)... unless you pull some *really* shitty stunts, of course (see News of the World). However, if you are just Joe Average on Twitter, Rowling can use her hefty money and lawyers to in effect silence you by threatening a hefty defamation suit. Because the burden of proof is low enough that I guess a... well, honestly a "technically correct" tweet from Rivkah Brown... can be counted as libel.
(It's of course not *that* easy... Rowling's bullshit lawsuit ended up creating a Streisand Effect on Twitter as Rowling's "holocaust denier" aspect trended. There's other English speaking countries other than the UK who don't have to worry about that legal framework, and they are free to shit on Rowling all they want without repercussion.) BobJohnson (talk) 01:29, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Ask any religious Jew if the Holocaust targeted more than Jews and you will find yourself in an awkward argument and pegged as an antisemite. That's why the "H" is capitalized. "The Holocaust was the genocide of European Jews during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews across German-occupied Europe, around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population. Wikipedia" Semantics is no joke. Unless they were Jewish, trans people were not part of the "Holocaust." You are speaking of other genocides the Nazis committed.UncleKrampus (talk) 01:54, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
"Ask any religious Jew if the Holocaust targeted more than Jews and you will find yourself in an awkward argument and pegged as an antisemite." Yeah, I am going to say that making that broad of a hasty generalization about Jewish people who practice Judaism as incapable of acknowledging other non-Jewish victims of the holocaust is antisemitic. It would be morally objectionable to argue against Jewish people being the primary targets and making up the majority of those killed during the holocaust, and if one were to deny the facts of Jews being the primary targets, then any Jewish person would be entitled to call one out as antisemitic. That being said, many a Jewish-run organization that teaches about the holocaust (as far as I am aware) is more than willing to argue that other racial minorities, communists, gays, trans, and disabled people were all targeted by the Nazis and many put into concentration camps. Framing Jewish people as largely being ignorant of these details about the holocaust, or only looking at the Holocaust as a means to centre their own victimization is antisemitic (whether specifying only those who practice Judaism or not). - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 06:01, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
The exclusion of non-Jewish Holocaust victimsWikipedia from Holocaust memorials has been a "sore point" among affected groups. As seen in the talk page of that Holocaust victims wiki article, there is considerable disagreement at the moment among historians over whether the Holocaust should be just Jewish people, and if not, what other groups should be included (not all of those killed in that Holocaust victims wiki article were systematically pursued like Jews... but some were.)
I think the modern perspective seems to be more inclusive though -- yes, I agree with Dumb that most Holocaust memorials that I've seen do also recognize the other persecuted groups. Of course, the Jewish were the top primary target, but from my perspective, I think it is incomplete to leave out the suffering of other groups. What makes the Jewish persecution special in a way that others persecuted by Nazis in the name of eugenics and racial purity weren't? It sort of gives the "short stick" to the 500,000 Romani murdered and the 250,000 disabled murdered by the Nazis, among many others, and muddles the "root cause" of the Nazi ethic. So, I personally disagree with those that reserve the Holocaust term for Jews alone. Nonetheless, this is still why I would have not thrown the term "Holocaust denier" at Rowling so readily; Rowling might still be in the camp where "Holocaust=Jew genocide by Nazis" and no more. BobJohnson (talk) 14:38, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Yes, and I disagree with many ways some identity groups use language. I cannot just decide how language will be used by others. Religious Jews think of the Holocaust as their own religious enigma. You can think what you like. Many on the left conflate Nazism with the concept of evil and think their arguments are all the more powerful by invoking an association with Nazism, which is almost always a fallacy. I would only add that religious identity is so powerful in its gravity that non-Jewish people can not define the nature of antisemitism in any way that many Jews accept, even as white people cannot define the black condition in any way that would not generate controversy. The attempt to attach to words connotations that are not ordinarily understood by many people, is generally futile. Good luck with that. UncleKrampus (talk) 18:16, 19 April 2024 (UTC)

Vegan Argument Bingo[edit]

I think there's a bingo card missing from the list here [12]. Let's collect the many faulty arguments the radical animal rights and vegan community constantly uses in arguments to "prove" their many faulty points and force a person to become one. Just saying. Fun:Vegan argument Bingo TheEternalOutsider (talk) 05:35, 18 April 2024 (UTC)

I am not a vegetarian, but I do try to work one day a week into a vegetarian, hopefully vegan, diet. Not because I believe in it, exactly. I haven't fasted on Ramadan yet. No cheese, no butter, let's talk about by what you can eat if you want to moonlight veganism. Not all tourism is bad. Torrent (talk) 09:14, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
I am kind of curious how exactly Eternal determines what is and what is not a faulty argument, and if they realize it often has very little to do with the actual position that an argument is being made from. You can just as easily make a meat-eaters bingo, I don’t think there exists a single diet or lifestyle without it’s fair share of common yet technically fallacious arguments in support of it. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 09:20, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
The issue is the legions of sanctimonious nutcases like PETA, Vegan Gains, Forks Over Knives, Kishna, and countless other shills and influencers. Whom all seem to get impunity for their behavior more often than not. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 09:29, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
but that’s just nutpicking isn’t it? It’s also a guilt by association fallacy to take that veganism is somehow morally incorrect or intrinsically based in faulty logic, solely because some vegan people and organizations do immoral things. I know plenty of vegans who hate PETA. You don’t have to tolerate PETA, or Vegan gains, to decide you don’t want to consume animal products. Also nice dodge to avoid having to give an account of what makes am argument faulty. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 10:22, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Beyond that, shouldn’t we have this discussion? It’s about time, right? Recently I tried some vegan food again, and it’s getting better and better. Vegan is just a diet. There were lots of hippies starting fundamental discussions who were into new age stuff and mysticism. The magic pseudo-science associated with it is pretty predictable. New world (talk) 11:53, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
The bingo cards on this site are in general "nutpicking". One can enjoy certain "New Age" things (like yoga or soothing music) and still get a kick out of the New Age bingo card, which targets the more kooky "mystic / esoteric" side. Same with the conservative bingo card, which in general targets the populist pundit-generated hot air, or the politicians (hi Ron DeSantis!) that largely spout such whargarbl. Conservative-oriented arguments certainly exist that don't stoop to such trite stuff. It is also possible to make a bingo card out of, say, environmentalism or anti-fossil fuel movement excess while still maintaining positions that yes, one needs to treat the environment better and also reduce fossil fuel usage in light of climate change. As one of the purposes of this site is to document cranks, you're going to find some nutty stuff here. And fad diets or shilled diets are full of cranks (vegetarianism/vegan is not a fad diet mind you, but it does have some "overenthusiastic" shills that adapt crank positions around it). Certainly you could make a "bingo card" of some of the carnivore diet / low-carb diet fanatics too. BobJohnson (talk) 13:47, 18 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── While I don't think by any means that veganism is inherently cranky, I do think that a bingo with the worst arguments used by vegans could be fun. Yes, we would be strawmanning and nutpicking vegans, but I feel like this is true to many bingo cards we have. It's not like fun space has very high standards. Heck, a carnist bingo would just be as fun. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:04, 18 April 2024 (UTC)

The problem with veganism is the incompleteness of the diet (lack of B vitamins etc) and the tendency to 'my way or you're doomed, I tell you, doomed' (Dad's Army Private James Frazer reference). Also there is an element of 'slap the word vegan on a product and up the price' commercialism.
The human body can cope with a wide range of diets from 'carnivore and proud of it' to 'the various flavours of vegan and vegetarianism' end of the spectrum (including seasonal and other choices, and health aspects) and people can enjoy prepared foods which are vegan or vegetarian options, without considering it an issue. Anna Livia (talk) 00:08, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Over-consumption does exist, and over-population potentially too. We shouldn’t forget about that. And yea, Bio and vegan food costs too much, and that’s not changing in the near futur. Electric cars cost a lot, result: Europe is discussing if it wants to block the Chinese E-car market, because the low-prices of Chinese cars "hurt the native market", full of overly expensive cars. In the end, doing stuff for the ecology without economic considerations, like getting the prices up because 60 year old Harold from Kulz needs to finally stop destroying the planet, or banning gas-powered cars, is not going to have the same effect as, say, forcibly getting the prices down just to save the climate. Because, contrary to what those right-wingers might believe, Harold and his wife don’t really care that much about politics, they might have some questionable opinions here and there, that’s all. If it helps the climate, if it looks good, and if its just an upgrade from what he has now, Harold might as well get that E-car. New world (talk) 01:38, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
The incessant preaching and rhetoric on par with Christian fundamentalist missionaries is the main issue concerning veganism, in which said vegans hawk their beliefs as if it was a panacea. And it is still a major facet of woo in the health community, leading to the occasional schlockumentary that pops up again and again which rejects science and cherry-picks or fabricates studies just to push that panacea narrative. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 04:30, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
I am not even vegan but I feel that carnists are just as preachy. I lied about having a meat allergy for years, just because I didn't want to deal with people getting super fucking defensive about meat. Some people will sing its praises until their face is blue, I have been on the receiving end of that, and it's like listening to the sort of individual who is way too defensive about their porn consumption. The whole panacea shit comes about with "carnivore diets" and weird woo regarding raw meat, as well. The problem is with general misinformation about food, which comes from various diet fads and lifestyles. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 07:00, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
If anything, I'd want to see those quacks all get deplatformed. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 12:57, 19 April 2024 (UTC)

New Bingo Proposal / Fine Tuning[edit]

Maybe I'll broaden the scope to something that could work a lot better. Perhaps these Bingo cards, Fun:Hard Green Bingo and Fun:Food Woo Bingo, would work a lot better for what I had proposed rather than focusing on one narrow point. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 08:49, 19 April 2024 (UTC)

I know bodybuilding and gym vlog is actually big right now, so going from vegan to general food woo is somehow more difficult. Hard Green is also tough because, well, nobody is paying attention to the nutso bonkers hard green. Like, where you are getting your laughs are maybe not where ratwik would like to spend their time. Can you start either page yourself, like food woo being all carbs are bad or something? I don't have any idea how to contribute to this. Torrent (talk) 05:51, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
What makes veganism especially "nutty" compared to other diets? People here complain about preachiness, but the irrational hate of veganism itself comes off as a little preachy. It just seems like this complain has more to do with style than substance. Almost nobody here is taking up the actual arguments presented by vegans for veganism, or if they are they're simply nutpicking and ignoring the crux of the issue, or that veganism is not a monolithic entity. Ethical veganism is a separate beast from purely dietary veganism. I don't know, this is just hard to take seriously. Carthage (talk) 23:28, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
The issue with some vegans is indeed absolutism and preachiness, but as you say, that's just as true for some carnivore diet absolutists / preachers (or a lot of other "human" things, diet or otherwise, shall we say.) I don't think anyone in this thread so far has dismissed veganism out of hand. I do think that veganism is more wrapped in morals / ethic questions than vegetarianism, and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with posing the questions they do, moral debates are always going to get "touchy". As long as people respect other people's opinions, though, no issues. The loudest mouths on the issue often don't, though (this is as true of vegans like Morrissey as meat-only promoters like Jordan Peterson). BobJohnson (talk) 00:07, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
As much in mush, I would like to point out that I am for an entirely renewable resource energy grid. A lot of people are clearing their understanding and agreement with veganism, so it made sense to do that. The trouble with Hard Green and Veganism is clearly not the points they are making. Torrent (talk) 05:47, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
If the points are sound, what makes it nutty? Keep in mind "hard green" can mean a lot of things, some more repulsive to those of liberal or leftist sensibilities than others. I doubt we would be saying that ecofascism has any merit to it. So I don't view "hard green" as being a really useful term to overgeneralize about. Carthage (talk) 05:58, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
Because the nuts don't make sound points, and they don't consider any other viewpoint but their own (often whacky) position to be correct. For instance, Morrissey once proclaimed that eating meat is comparable to paedophilia and the horrors of Auschwitz. Any conversation with him on the vegan topic is a obviously a non-starter. Most people do eat meat, and most people's moral qualms about it range from "some" to "none". Morrissey's s moral high-horsing and extremely stupid hyperbole is incredibly unhelpful and will change very few minds; instead, he has become one of the poster children for those of the (overgeneralized) opinion that vegans are intolerant pricks. BobJohnson (talk) 13:46, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

How did conservapedia become irrelevant?[edit]

So between 2006-2013 conservapedia was talked about far more than it is now but now it's barely talked about and even on this website which made to counter conservapedia barley talks about it now. I think it is because of the following:

  1. Too fringe: the website believes in young earth creationism and other fringe beliefs which made many conservatives turn away from it
  2. Decline of New atheists: Due to a Split in New Athiesm which made the Movement largely dissolve, conservapedia received less and attention because it got attention from new atheists who were gone after 2013
  3. Failure to adapt to the times: the website while trying failed to adapt to modern conservatives by not focusing on Trans rights, Trump, "stealing" of the 2020 U.S election etc that much which caused less visits. Conservapedia has competitor Infogalactic while Infogalactic is started by an Alt-righter, it still tries to present itself as neutral and critize insane beliefs like YEC.

←§ Reichtangle (talk) 14:37, 18 April 2024 (UTC)

I thought the Biden Junta was ruling America. Isn’t that enough for the "stealing" 2020 part? I mean, I haven’t read it, but I’m sure they believe the capitol attack was all Antifa. Who even reads these wikis? Is it a big thing in the US? I remember Conservapedia being very nationalist, not something nationalists of other countries would enjoy. New world (talk) 15:48, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Other than a few big projects such as Wikipedia, wikis are in general less of a "thing" these days. Post 2010, Big Social Media arose, and it's easier for the fundies and conspiracy theorists and whackdoodles (and everyone else, frankly) to use Facebook or YouTube or whatever. Even the alt-tech sites that sprung up for those whose extremist opinion is bad enough to violate main social media TOS are easier to use than contributing to a wiki.
Conservapedia didn't help itself by eventually becoming paranoid about any new users and only allowing a particularly narrow range of views (some of which indeed are very green ink crazy). Which means that (from my point of view) the decline of Conservapedia was worse than much of the rest of 2000s Internet (blogs, forums, portals, wikis, and whatnot). Many of these fossils of the old Internet are still are hanging around and, even if they are not mainstream Internet anymore, are "doing alright". That's not really the case for Conservapedia due to numerous self-owns over the years.BobJohnson (talk) 16:22, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Stuff like blogs, wikis, forums etc have 'survived' because generally speaking they offer 'real content' - I would put YT in here too, as a lot of it's content is stuff like 'how-to' guides, online lectures, historical videos and similar which can't be sorted in 240 characters, a single Intra pic or a 120sec TikTok. But CP doesn't really have this becase Assfly likes being in his little pond and steadfastly refuses to allow CP to grow outside his direct, personal control or have anyone outshine him. Nor [I suspect] does he know much about how to use social media to draw folks to CP, partly 'cos he's an old fart [in his 60s] and so are folks like KenBot and RobS [though that don't really matter if you have shit content to promote anyway]. I am not so sure they would have needed to go full-Trump to 'remain relevant'; I know of some conservative types who have sort of survived as a 'stuffy old guard' if they'd have some academic/journalistic gravitas [or at least the veneer of it, like say 'The American Conservative'] but as we know, CP doesn't have this.
I also question the whole purpose of CP. To make a whole 'Dominionist WP' would have needed a ton of hands to make and well, Assfly don't play that well with others and who would use it anyway? If it's for 'homeschool kids' [as I believe the original purpose was], wouldn't it have been a lot easier to simply made a site which curated extant 'friendly' materials, along with sample curricula written by real teachers, reviews of textbooks, perhaps a forum for 'homeschool chat' and similar? Even [from what I can tell] American 'conservatives' don't even take CP seriously. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:53, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
It exist because he thinks it means he's carrying on the work of his mother, Phyllis "I've written more books then I've read!" Schlafly. Revolverman (talk) 18:51, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
At one time, there was a justifiable reason for CP to be paranoid since there were once active RW editors who trolled CP. That behavior has been discouraged by RW for a while now. CP was once slightly open to other conservative viewpoints, at least on talk pages, but it's become an increasingly narrow circle jerk of fewer and fewer active contributors, which basically dooms it to irrelevancy. To be fair, RW has also effectively closed the doors to the small cabal of active CP members, but we are still fairly open to a wide range of viewpoints, including having former moderator and sysop in good standing User:RWRW (conservative/libertarian), and sysop User:AprilIsTrying (communist). Bongolian (talk) 19:36, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
There is a fundamental difference between RW and CP. At RW, you can edit, create an account, debate, insult, revert, leave, come back, rewrite, delete, create, start, finish, drink, disagree, ban, agree, and a hole lot of other things you can’t do at CP. Also, a lot of commies here. New world (talk) 19:54, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Which is perhaps the crux of the issue; CP was hugely ambitious a project [recreating the whole of Wikipedia, which apparently as of '06 had 269k mainspace English articles], but while a) maintaining ideological 'purity', b) said Overton window shrinking over time and c) ruled over by a man who didn't want to either 'share' or to have anyone outshine them. In this it shares the same general faults as say, CZ or ASK; simply too big a project for such a small userbase [as of '23 it had reached ~55k or something, which means it's still only 20% the size of the old WP].
Which can be seen even now; as of 2024 it doesn't have a page on 'Elm tree', it's 'pear', 'tulip', 'Crohn's disease' and 'concrete' pages are stubs, 'coffee' is a semi-stub and 'chicken', 'Alexander Graham Bell' and 'National Highway System' are so dumbed-down they're almost worthless. Only 'Battle of Britain' and 'USS Constitution' are anything vaguely useful, and even then I think the average 12 year-old would get more change out of a age-appropriate book on the relevant topics from their local library. Which is the irony; that if I was a culty homeschooler parent, I would have to resort to WP to cover many basic topics because even after eighteen years it still can't tell me anything [for example] about the uses of concrete. [However, I did notice that on a couple of aspects alone their 1984 page was better than RW's... for now.]. I mean, Johnson and his small team wrote the world's first dictionary in half this time, and he didn't even have THE LORD on their side!
Though perhaps someone can tell me; why the hell didn't CP simply folk WP's content on foundation? I'm sure their article on concrete was better than theirs even then... KarmaPolice (talk) 11:34, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Aren’t there issues with the homeschooling part too? I am not familiar with homeschooling in the US, but shouldn’t there be certain guidelines and controls? Or can you just teach your kid that the earth is flat and that the second coming is soon? New world (talk) 12:40, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
In the UK, you have to provide your kid with 'an education'. However, this bar is basically 'the 3Rs' - as long as this is covered, you can teach your kid what the hell you want [or not teach]. No requiements to follow any curriculum, take any external exams or have external moderation [though some councils will make at least a cursury look]. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:07, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Homeschool requirements in the United States vary considerably from state to state. New Jersey (Andy's home state) is very "loose", essentially unregulated from my perspective. Other states have tighter regulations. Nonetheless, there is absolutely no reason why a US homeschool curriculum cannot be infected with the Jesus in most states -- this is a "feature", not a "bug", and from what I've heard, it is actually a bit of a challenge to find homeschool curriculum without religious crap in it here. BobJohnson (talk) 15:29, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
I think the plethora of 'unaccredited' places of higher learning in America makes things worse; here in the UK fundie parents would hit the 'bollard of reality' earlier when it's pointed out their precious shall not be able to attend any form of college/university/training course due to a complete lack of formal, accepted qualifications [which would then effectively shut them out of most non-slavey forms of work]. Now I think of it; what the hell do 'graduates' of fundie 'colleges' do for work afterwards with their degree in baloney? KarmaPolice (talk) 15:42, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Until recently in France, you could homeschool your kid until high-school, and many times that worked. It was very popular with the sophrology/anti-psychiatry folk, with private schools being the solution for the far-right extremists and Christians. Contrary to common préjugés, after primary school the French education system is an absolute mess. To solve this, the current government wants your kids to wear uniforms, respect authority, and go to certain "level groups". What foreign parents coming to France usually see. New world (talk) 17:03, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
I do have a sister in law who was home schooled, she's extremely well adjusted and will not allow fantasies like Santa or the Easter Bunny in her house. Raised Catholic, angry as a Chick Tract. Love her, she's my sister. Torrent (talk) 05:58, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

Rising authoritarianism in Israel: This is what will probably happen if Trump gets 4 more years in office[edit]

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/palestine-gaza-israel-hamas-west-bank-benjamin-netanyahu-freedom-speech-4277876

Israel is arresting critics of the war efforts in Gaza Strip. I still say that this is a modern rendition of the Vietnam War. Authoritarianism, police brutality and anti-war protests. --Trans Fem Agenda 11:30, 19 April 2024 (UTC)

I'm not sure the two are exactly comparable. The Vietnam War was a military occupation in furtherance of American empire, whereas this conflict is the continuation of a century long project to demographically replace the pre-Mandate population of Palestine with a Jewish majority. Likewise, I'm not sure how popular the Vietnam War was overall, but there is definitely significant support for both this current conflict and the long-term end goal of a Zionist Palestine. There is definitely increasing dissent over this war, but I'm not sure how much of that dissent has to do with rejection of the Zionist settler colonial project itself (which this war is the continuation of) and more how this war is being conducted. Israel will continue to occupy Gaza regardless of how this war ends, whereas the end of the Vietnam War saw a withdrawal of military occupation. Two fundamentally different situations at play here. Carthage (talk) 16:07, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
It's a bit difficult to really find a direct historical analogy for this, but I could imagine it would be like Americans protesting say, the Mexican–American War or the annexation of Hawaii. The thing which really needs to be noted is that Israel has morphed into a 'garrison state' where the majority of public opinion supports policies which can only be described as 'apartheid-like'. So the best analogy is of white South Africans protesting in the 60s-80s. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:06, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
Funny thing is there were Americans who protested the Mexican-American War. Henry David Thoreau was among them. I'm not so sure if there was anyone who protested the annexation of Hawaii, but that reflects more a lack of knowledge on my part than any statement of fact. Carthage (talk) 23:30, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
I hear that the Biden administration is trying to push the Israeli Saudi Arabia Normalization Agreement as a base for a State of Palestine. However Israel probably ignore it. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:32, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
I don't doubt there were people who'd protest about those, Carthage. I was mainly pointing out that they're somewhat analogous to those events [at least more than the Vietnam War]. There were also whites who opposed apartheid within South Africa. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:32, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

Running Slowly?[edit]

Salutations, good to be here. Has anyone else experienced any lengthy wait times loading pages here, or just me? I am precisely sure it cannot be my computational devices responsible for the… pause. Looking for the input of another soul. Alastor (talk) 21:04, 19 April 2024 (UTC)

I been experiencing this same thing, only for Ratwiki’s recent changes page, as of recent, but seemingly only on my phone. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:16, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
I see! I get the iffy signal especially trying to browse random page and recent changes. The chromebook in my possession loads slow on everything here but not elsewhere, and so does my phone. Is there any underlying cause established? Alastor (talk) 22:38, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Easily the worst for me is the WIGtW page. The others will load fine, and that one will take up to a min (and its just a blank page and it looks more like nothing is happening then anything "slow")Revolverman (talk) 23:23, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Slow load times have made me lose a few edits. Carthage (talk) 23:32, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Intermittent 'slow times', both on phone and PC. Too random to be really predictable, and it's not like RW eats bandwidth.
But perhaps RW is not alone... https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cxrz350qyy5o
KarmaPolice (talk) 10:15, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
Me too. Constantly. Every page. So far it’s just a few sites, including this one. New world (talk) 10:24, 20 April 2024 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This issue was raised 10 days ago on RationalWiki:Technical support#Is it just me or is the searching function getting slower? Best guess was that is another DDoS attack. As to the BBC article, that seems to be pertinent to websites going down, not slowdowns. Bongolian (talk) 16:58, 20 April 2024 (UTC)

The crux of the BBC's argument to 'why' was basically 'the bones which hold our online world are a lot frigging older than you'd think', which could also account for degrading performance issues as well as shutdowns. I recall this issue happening quite a lot with UK banks in the '10s; the main culprit was their 'bones' were from the 90s [or even the 80s] and as they demanded zero interruption of service it had been modded/patched up to hell since to the point they'd become a virtual massive 'ball of wires' with near-zero documentation. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:26, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

Conspiratards in comments[edit]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvNLvheMhqs Are these fundie conspiratards serious? All they do is claim that Lebron is Satan worshipper. They got info from some obscure conspiratard website and now make their conclusions based on this. When somebody expresses a different opinion, these conspiracy idiots play mental gymnastics to make themselves right, like "You are blind to see the truth". And most of the comments are like this. And most of them want Lebron will fail or be punished by God, instead of praying for him to be redeemed or forgiven by Jesus. How Christian of them. 🇷🇸 Serbian Arbiter (What would you have your arbiter do?) 11:49, 20 April 2024 (UTC)

I have not seen a comments section quite like this. Scrolling through newest, there’s some funny ones and some deranged ones. I feel like, that in the end, these nuts’ll contribute nothing to the discourse. People have said things like this of other celebrities. Alastor (talk) 16:36, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
Yeah, people have gotten weird about celebrities for eons. In this case, however, a Google search seems to indicate that 4chan (/pol/ and /b/) played a role in spreading this video. So apply shitpost filter - probably some of this is real and probably some might be for the LULZ. (Also a touch of racism too, perhaps, given the source? Who knows. What LeBron James did was far less weird IMHO than a relatively recent video where a bunch of fundie Arizona senators were praying over a state seal and speaking in tongues, in the hopes that abortion would be made illegal. Without context, you'd think that was some "Baphomet" shit...)
Ironically, the subject of LeBron James' weird "tribute", Kyrie IrvingWikipedia has also been a conspiracy theorist nut from time to time, getting into Black Hebrew Israelites bullshit for a time, and even briefly spouting flat earth conspiracies. BobJohnson (talk) 17:11, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
That is a very very worrying video, concerning the Arizona court. Days like these make me wish we could go back to radio…Alastor (talk) 19:00, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
it's the same weirdness that JK Rowling's political takes embody. It's never Baphomet, it's always Mammon you esoteric weirdos. Torrent (talk) 03:44, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

Is Trump going to win?[edit]

With Biden being hugely unpopular, might we start seriously asking ourselves if Trump will have his 4 years, and what they could look like? Can Trump even realistically win, something he’s never done in his entire career (with the popular vote)? And if Trump passes the popular vote, is the electoral college trustworthy to at the bare minimum keep democracy safe when it’s defenseless? New world (talk)

National votes seem to favor Biden, however, when it comes to specific states, Trump seems to have the edge, especially when Kennedy and Cornel West are thrown in the mix. Patty Pat 18:13, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
Biden is not hugely unpopular, and Trump has not won a popular vote and never will. Biden follows in a long line of moderate democratic presidents, and he has presided over a relatively good economy despite all the right-wing distortions of reality. Why all the dissatisfaction in polls? Americans today are spoiled rotten on both the right and the left, though the right has gone completely overboard in support of Trump lunacy, while the left looks in vain for a partnership with Republicans. It's funny that many people think it matters who the president will be as opposed to which party can be trusted to do what is best for American interests and the general benefit of Americans. I fully expect Trump will be soundly defeated. He should be in home detention at Mar-a-Lago by November, or somewhere in Russia. UncleKrampus (talk) 18:28, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
I'd say it's a coinflip at this point-you see Trump leading in some polls, Biden leading in others, and in either case their lead is within the margin of error. Of course, this dynamic resembles 2022, when a lot of people thought the GOP was going to have a good year, but the truth turned out to be a lot more complex.-Flandres (talk) 19:18, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
@Patty Pat: According to what I’ve read Kennedy is more attractive to non-voters than to the GOP or dem base. I could be wrong though. Biden is economically a rather Clinton-type fellow, though he’s changed some of that to counter Trump. Are there any studies on Kennedy’s electorate (aside from being tin foil people)? He seems important, hovering at around 10 percent in the polls. New world (talk) 19:26, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
Anything is possible. But at this point, I'm giving Trump 3 to 2 odds of winning. CorruptUser 20:00, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
Polling is not meaningful for the general election at this point. Rump is getting crushed in the courts. A criminal conviction might turn non-MAGA supporters off enough to stay home. Bongolian (talk) 21:08, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
There is also the unresolved issue of Palestine. Biden isn't very popular with Muslim or Arab voters right now, for very obvious reasons. There is also a growing movement within the Democratic electorate to vote uncommitted, at least in the primaries. Whether or not this will hold over to the general we will have to wait and see. Carthage (talk) 21:28, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
The flip side is the noticeable "post-Roe" bump towards Democrats seen over the last several years. It all factors together to be a "coin flip" in my mind, I'd actually give perhaps a slight edge to Biden due to pro-choice enthusiasm, but "only just". Palestine is a pretty big wildcard IMHO.
The "horse race" narrative from the media, even the mainstream outlets, was truly awful in 2022. Pundit after pundit predicted a Republican wave, even if polls didn't really support that. I suspect similar "pundit hot air" this cycle, unfortunately, there seems to already be this "Biden is doomed" narrative floating around despite an essentially tied race (by the polls, perhaps a small Trump edge, but no more). Liberal media my ass.
Polling itself has gotten a "bit shakier", due to:
A) The emergence of a ton of partisan polling outlets, or worse, garbage polling outlets that simply PIDOOMA numbers, over the years.
B) People not answering random phone calls anymore to the ton of garbage spam that pollutes the phone. This hurts even the good pollsters.
From my perspective, this means that I have "less confidence" in the polling "confidence interval" (or what is reported as the "margin of error" in polls). In statistics, sampling a population only works if the sampled population is actually representative of the whole population. I'm not *cough* confident that they can get that nowadays. You can probably predict the result if a good pollster shows a very high lead, but all these "Trump leads by 2%" polls mean nothing to me, or maybe even a fair bit higher than that (either way) due to the problems in the polling industry at the moment. BobJohnson (talk) 23:12, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
In my estimation Biden needs to lead comfortably in polling if he's to win — remember it's the electoral college that counts at the end of the day, not the popular vote. In 2020, third-party voters preferred Biden over Trump by a good margin, and if he could recreate that this year, that could be key. I've assumed for months that Trump will win the election this year. Something that gives me pause about it is just how strangely unpredictable US politics have gotten. I would tend to assume the worst, take nothing for granted, but be open to a real possibility of success. Biden is apparently preferred among supporters of Nikki Haley by a surprising margin, which could be a key element considering how many voters she got in the Republican primaries for some states.
But those are crossover voters, and Biden has also risked alienating some of his own base on some issues like Israel, or immigration. His lean into reproductive rights is probably savvy, as a significant chunk of voters are concerned about that, but as always, economy is the king of issues. If I had a line to the White House, two things I would recommend they talk about more would be specifically Trump's stolen classified documents case (some polling indicates this is the case that repels voters the most from supporting him), and also issues of pollution e.g. Trump's repeal of federal rules preventing contamination of drinking water. Chillpilled (talk) 23:47, 20 April 2024 (UTC)
People working themselves hard to convince themselves someone who's lost 90% of their "thumbprint" candidates since 2020 and is doing worse since 2020 is somehow gonna total win. Revolverman (talk) 00:50, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
That’s the danger. In 2021, following the German federal election, the media was all like: "the far-right lost a total of four percent, thats a democratic breakthrough, but let’s look out things don’t go bad", now, a war, a bunch of sanctions and an economic crisis later, the AfD is party N. 2 at 23 percent. Marine Le Pen, member of an actively fascist party until she rebranded it, is at 30 percent in polls. 30. Above Macron, the right, and the left. Polls are never really accurate, and honestly they influence election results so much they should probably be banned. But gosh, far-right pre-fascism is so damn clearly on the rise, it could take some dumb idiots in the US of A and boom. Did you see what’s happening in Peru??? Antauro Humala?!? Keiko Fujimiro? Argentina? Brazil? In Colombia, the last elections where between the left and an "anti-corruption" fellow currently in prison who literally said Hitler is his favorite philosopher (what the actual fuck?!), no danger in sight right? I could continue. Israel (sort of, not getting into that now)? Russia? Italy? Sweden (partially that one)? Austria? VOX in Spain, while not a direct danger for now, is literally admiring effing Franco! Netherlands? The entire wider West is touched. New world (talk) 01:15, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
The whole makeup of the GOP electorate is fucking strange to me, we don't want big government, we want rules, rules rules rules, except for an ability to enforce those rules and if somebody steps outside the rules which aren't regulated, law law law, but not precedent, case by case. The worst thing about the 2016 election was it got a ton of people who do not care about civics to care about politics. I do think it is still possible to put the horse in front of the cart in America. Big reason I was really frustrated and disappointed Nebraska went ruby red. The state has a unicameral, the point is to have a governing body that is actually not unified. To what end? I can't be certain, but I imagine the idea was not fascism.Torrent (talk) 06:08, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
I think it is somewhat damning of "the electorate" that this *is* a coin flip race; even if one was conservative, I cannot imagine anyone with a sober perspective seeing Trump's term as anything but a disaster; at least Biden is actually *competent* at his job. It's telling that post-presidency, Trump never was in any of the ex-presidential "ceremonial circles" (even Dubya hated Trump).
Of course, it's not quite "the electorate" per se. I generally see the root cause of Trumpism as a 30+ year propaganda effort from the asshole side of the billionaire class, the ones that probably think a China-style authoritarian capitalismWikipedia isn't all that bad of an idea, to get the rubes to associate "conservatism" with "patriotism" and "Godliness" etc. by tweaking at the innate racism and asshole personality etc. built into far too many people. Trump would not have been possible without Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and the like, with honorable mention to the consolidation of media like Sinclair and Salem, and of course a shout out to the Southern Strategy (where it all began) and Newt Gingrich (the pioneer of the modern GOP shitshow).
(In the same manner as Brexit, however, methinks the billionaire class pushing this ethos isn't quite going to get what they want out of it, even if "their guy" wins. So...) BobJohnson (talk) 15:09, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
I think Trumpism and the far-right is using the move to neo-liberalism by the various socdem and demsoc parties of Europe, as well as some traditional left-wing Latin-American parties, to its benefit. Essentially it’s the type of populism where your program is a billionaire uto- actually dystopia- while you constantly attack the establishment for unegalitarian laws, and while associating those laws with the general and all encompassing incompetence of the "woke" left-wing. The idea is that the left is just a bunch of uneducated "woke" people who go complain to the manager, while Fox News is the final intellectual instance to cite (sadly, things having made a turn for the worst, the academic elites clearly are woke retards these days).
In the US, to many, Trump had the "outsider" effect Bernie had in the democratic base, since the democrats 'never were a truly socdem, let alone socialist, or even modern liberal (post-fdr, most democrats were very moderate when it came to the economy, and since the Clinton era the dems had been bordering on neo-liberalism) party. Trump could legitimately attack an establishment, for being economically incompetent, both for the poor, and for the rich, and societally stupid and "woke".
That and the fact many if not most Trump supporters are absolute morons, not just for believing in his contradictory rhetoric. 40 percent of the US-population doesn’t vote, which explains a lot. New world (talk) 16:18, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm sure the failures of neoliberalism is driving some to embrace "anti-establishment" votes, but it's comical to turn to Trump to voice your dissatisfaction. Is the authoritarian capitalism that the Republican party is drifting towards really what these folks want? There's certainly an "establishment" and "deep state" in China, Russia, Hungary, and other places with the authoritarian capitalist model. Trump, having authoritarian instincts, would no doubt love a system like that. People who brainlessly want to "blow up the system" don't seem to recognize that what could replace "the system" could be much worse for them, with an "establishment" that not only could be deeper than ever, but could also merely arrest you for speaking out against it. (And yes, there's always been a touch of bullshit in this direction in the US, but it could be far worse.)
It has been fascinating over the years to see so many "anti-establishment" figureheads turn around and end up sucking Vladimir Putin's cock, figuratively speaking. From reporters like Glenn Greenwald to muckrakers like Wikileaks to the reactionaries that embrace ruscism to a large part of the conspiracy theory scene. In other words, they aren't really "anti-establishment" at all in the end.
Of course, keep in mind that what propelled Trump to the top in the 2016 Republican primaries was actually "saying the quiet part out loud" regarding Mexicans and Muslims. Even today, per a Feb. 2024 Gallup poll, the #1 issue that is "the most important problem" is... immigration. (28%) [13] Anger at neoliberalism isn't *completely* what Trumpism is all about. BobJohnson (talk) 17:15, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
I’m not saying neoliberalism is the reason for every problem facing America today, but it certainly helped Trump convince voters dependant on Obamacare to vote for him. I think I mentioned that the actual programs and plans introduced by these parties are very pro-buissness. The far-right has this tendency to pursue a protectionist persona during the campaign in order to lure voters away from other parties.
And just as a little side note, on Russia and the US of A, I am definitely not going to give wikileaks as an exemple. Let’s not get into the details, it’s not worth it, let’s simply and peacefully agree to disagree. I don’t know the development of post-assange wikileaks, but if your talking about Assange, I would have done the same. The US has a deep state, not like Hungary, not even like China, more like Russia’s deep state, inherited from the USSR. There are expansionist strategies, strategies to ensure stability, strategies to impose the US-american view on things etc. The US never goes into a conflict from pure altruism, never. And since the US won’t go into a conflict without profiting from it, the US has zero right to be "special" and play "world police". When leaking something, it needs to be important and shocking. Other, less impressive, leaks are also important, but less so than the leaks revealing how much of a jerk some politician or nation or military can be. I think Crimea should belong to Russia, unless a new left-wing government, and that’s really unlikely, gives it back. Mainly because, according to the latest (…) reliable (…) polls, Crimeans want to stay in Russia. The suffering of Kyiv does not justify a counter-attack on Crimea, since the Crimeans largely favored the transition, feeling left behind in Ukraine. Otherwise we’re entering revanchist thought, French-German style. Specifically on wikileaks, I prefer mentioning the fact that Zelensky is ruling on behalf of an oligarch himself, and banned some parties here and there, as democrats do, and then talk about my obvious rejection of Putin. Because saying Ukraine is the democracy is complete bullocks. I support Ukraine, and I condemn the Russian invasion, that’s all I can say. Assange seems to be a lefty type, and the leaks on some people and not others might have to do with that bias. You want proof that the US is not a very democratic nation when it comes tto opposition to the state apparatus and foreign policy, well, take the exemple of Julien Assange.
The US government, similar to many other governments of the western world, like Germany, decided, with Macarthy, to fight the communists, because they are anti-democratic. And they also let Nazis be. Literal nazis. And the US secret agencies are far more dangerous than the French or German ones, and they are more prone to observing allied leaders. In conclusion, in my opinion, the United States of America, for people outside the US, is should be a nation to stay away from. If only we could. New world (talk) 17:47, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
TrollUncleKrampus (talk) 22:24, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
Just for context a number of reliable polls from 2014 showed popular support (in Crimea) for the right of secession: [14] [15] [16]
Obviously whether or not the polls showed popular support wouldn't have changed Russia's mind, but it does add a wrinkle of nuance to the claim that the Russian annexation of Crimea was imposed on the people of Crimea without their consent. Of course, the consent of the indigenous people of Crimea (the Tatars) to rule by either Ukraine or Russia, is another matter entirely... Carthage (talk) 23:21, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
@UncleKrampus: Oh please, I’m not a troll. I have differing opinions from some other editors here, but not handing Crimea back to Ukraine is generally supported by radical left-wing movements across Europe and Latin America, as a way to find peace from the exterior. I do not think Ukraine can win this war. I support Ukraine, and if Ukraine is going to push back the Russians, then I’ll be happy to be proven wrong. However, Ukraine is not a clean democracy, to say the least, and Russia is a dictatorship. The Russian minority was ignored in Ukraine, which helped Putin by giving him an ideologically grounded justification for the invasion in the first place (to be clear, I am not blaming NATO or Ukraine, but I am saying that Russia got the needed ideological boost). The US isn’t the best protector of anything really, because the US has its own interests to pursue. In fact, if it doesn’t pursue these interests, and we saw a glimpse of that with Trump style isolationism, this will have effects on the prosperity in America. I’m not saying the US is a dictatorship similar to Putin, I am saying that the US is the exact same thing Russia is when it comes to foreign policy and direct attacks on the state apparatus.
Might as well call me a Russian bot while we’re at it, that’s equally ridiculous. Anyway, this is about Trump, right? We all agree on that guy, at least. New world (talk) 02:01, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
Why I'm glad to see you support Ukraine. I am also glad to tell you Russia doesn't stand a chance to dominate Ukraine as long as the western alliance holds and I expect it will until Putin is killed or dies of "natural causes." "I am saying that the US is the exact same thing Russia is when it comes to foreign policy and direct attacks on the state apparatus." That's adorable and troll-like. You think that they are equals. America has been the leader of the "Free World" going on a century. While Russia presides over a failed, morbid, and catastrophic empire. Google says "somewhere between 28,326,000 and 126,891,000 people were killed by the Communist Party of the soviet Union from 1917 to 1987." You really think it matters that "not handing Crimea back to Ukraine is generally supported by radical left-wing movements across Europe and Latin America...?" Yeah, you really look like a troll. UncleKrampus (talk) 19:38, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
@UncleKrampus: The USA has been nominated world leader since WW2. However, the US, with that, became the dominant superpower next to the Soviets, the sort of thing which makes nations tyrannical really quickly. The US has a deep state, that is a fact. You do realize they want Assange convicted for how many years? 140, 170, something like that? The US is pursuing its interests, it needs to. I support non-alignement. NATO is alright, if only the US wouldn’t be a part of it. Recently, US secret services decided literally spying on the UN secretary for his "positions" on Russia was a good idea. The damn UN secretary. To be clear, no nation has any special rights in any region, nation, context, continent, world. I don’t really give a damn about the US in this conflict, aside from being skeptical they support anything out of moral considerations. It’s about Ukraine, the most democratic post-Soviet state, and Russia’s invasion of it. What exactly is trollesque in my post? If, if Putin doesn’t die suddenly out of nowhere, then the little chance we have at peace lies in letting Russia have Crimea. Many Russians believe in the propaganda they see. Why wouldn’t Crimean Russians believe in it? Oh, and please, I could talk about fundamental issues with American society, but the open russophobia sometimes seen today, in connection with the Russian Government’s invasion and tyranny, isn’t a good thing. Otherwise, why not talk about the report of the commission on international religious freedom concerning France, you know, the one in favor of fucking cults. Even though the US has no special rights on France, or any other nation, not even Cuba, not even Iraq.
In order for you to understand: Either they go there, make a democratic government, spend a lot of money, and then fuck off for good, or they don’t even come. New world (talk) 20:16, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm sure that in your mind you really said something, but it was only Troll music. I'd say "to hell with the Russians," but they are on their way there on their own ticket. You keep talking about Assange as if anyone here thinks he is not a Russian Stooge. Russia can have Crimea if they can keep it, but they will have to continue to pay for it. I wouldn't stand near any open windows if I were Putin. Good luck with that comrade. UncleKrampus (talk) 20:53, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

Part 2[edit]

Is not the question, for both Biden and Trump on age grounds, in part what the Vice President Candidates' several opinions are? (In the UK 'tactical voting' is a known practice.) Anna Livia (talk) 14:46, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

The useful vote for Biden is probably justified by the fact he‘s not-Trump. New world (talk) 14:59, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
We already know who Biden's running mate is and she does not really differ from him ideologically. Since Trump is obsessed with loyalty and a key tenet of Trumpolatry is that only people who slavishly obey Trump are worthy of being included in the political process his running mate will also essentially be identical to him. There is no point, then, in subjecting the running mates to any exceptional analysis, since that just puts us back where we started.-Flandres (talk) 15:25, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

Barbados has recognized the State of Palestine as a sovereign nation[edit]

https://barbados.loopnews.com/content/barbados-recognizes-palestine-state

I find this to be interesting news. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:33, 20 April 2024 (UTC)

Barbados, as a sovereign nation who delivered us Rihanna, is allowed to do whatever they want. Their flag is pretty cool, too. Torrent (talk) 05:56, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
What I find sad is people are likely seeing the United States as an Israeli puppet that does whatever it wants. Not a good look for my country. --Trans Fem Agenda 11:31, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
Really? I thought it was the other way around, weirdly. M-ETO sure is in a bad state, holding on to Luxemburgian tyranny in Ukraine. New world (talk) 11:38, 21 April 2024 (UTC)
I doubt it's close to puppet as much as squirming. Which is also not great. I am fully unaware of Luxembourg as a power other than maybe economic. Even if it's a joke would you care to explain? Torrent (talk) 03:21, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
The US is the "iron wall" that protects the Zionist state from the indigenous Palestinians they have colonized. In return, Israel is aligned with American interests and buys and uses American weaponry. Israel is essential to American foreign policy in the region. Carthage (talk) 04:36, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
@Torrent: Middle East Treaty Organisation. New world (talk) 13:00, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

I have no clue who or why but apologies have to be made.[edit]

If you can say you're sorry ONE TIME, you can go back to eating each other alive. You will henceforth agree to the term "agreements are self evident" and start by agreeing with one point in an argument, the easiest being a mutual apology. I turned down a mod sponsorship. I think we can do this. Torrent (talk) 03:57, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

Not sure what this is about, but please sign your posts. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 12:42, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
Added Torrent's signature for them. Nowhere Man (talk) 18:05, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
Judging by his post in the Social-democracy - Socialism section, I trink he‘s saying that we‘re all total morons. New world (talk) 22:27, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

Rent and Landlordism in the US from the socialist perspective[edit]

I would consider myself sympathetic to socialism, but due to circumstances have found myself becoming a landlord. I want to charge an ethical price for rent, but I feel like that is almost an oxymoron. I would also like to be able to provide cheap rent to people who aren't just my friends as a public service, as I know a very low or no rent situation could be life changing for someone. Problem is I worry about someone coming in and ruining the property by being irresponsible. I am paying a mortgage on the house, but I don't strictly need income from renters (and I'm not sure it is even ethical to charge for rent in the first place). I worry that if I were to charge literally nothing for rent and open the door new tenants I would get someone who doesn't respect the property and damages it.

Background: Due to a combination of knowing the right people, having a well paying job, and being able to split rent for around 10+ years, I have been able to save enough money to afford a large house. I have been sharing rent with a buddy of mine for 8 years, and he decided to rent from me after I bought a house. I am currently charging him half the cost of utilities and $500/mo for rent. He makes an unreliable income from selling art, and I worry about over charging him because he would have to move to a cheaper state away from his support network and I know he doesn't want to do that. An important distinction here is that I don't strictly need him to pay rent, I earn enough to support both of us. He is clean enough, and so I don't worry about property damage.

Thoughts? I would really like the perspective of people who are socialist. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 12:56, 22 April 2024 (UTC)

Desire for clarification; is this property they're renting from you part of your home or a different property from the one you live in? In short; could you 'sell off' the bit your tenant is currently living in without having to do any major construction work and/or have to move out? KarmaPolice (talk) 13:17, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
I am living in the property, yes. There is only 1 kitchen which currently has to be shared, so it would require a lot of work to make a separate living space. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 14:36, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
Then I would class you as a homeowner with a lodger/permanent houseguest, not that you are a landlord [or running a boarding-house].
Therefore, I argue you are 100% entitied to make sure you are not 'out of pocket' from their presence. This doesn't just include utilities, food etc but also a) a contribution for wear/tear of furniture, appliances, decor etc, b) the inconvenience of you not having that room(s) they inhabit and c) the inconveniences of having them present in general. After all, I suspect you would have an 'alternative use' for that space otherwise and your 'rights' over your property are restricted by having them there. If I had a spare room, I'd have it kitted out as a home gym/visitor room, which means if I gave that up long-term I'd expect perhaps £50 p/m for a gym membership, another £100 p/m for an fund for hotel room for the former vistors etc. I'd then factor in the 'restrictions' and cost them; again, say £50-100 a month for an 'avoiding you/third wheel fund' for where traditionally I'd invite a person home or to 'simply be alone' but can't now because said wheel is now sitting in my front room. But on the other side, you should deduct any bonuses of having them there; for example if they did some household tasks you loathe [say, gardening], are present to take online deliveries etc. As you don't need the funds to pay the mortgage and [I assume] you wouldn't rent it out to other people, you can effectively 'weight the scales' in a manner which neither side is getting an advantage of the other - you are neither 'supporting' them nor 'taking advantage' of them. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:35, 22 April 2024 (UTC)