RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive424

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PM Sunak

How long is he going to last (I don't how incompetent he is. Is he like May? Is he like Johnson? Is he like Truss, but as a male equivalent?)? Still 3 years until new elections (28 January 2025, apparently...). Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 18:04, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

That's actually closer to 2 years (2 years, 3 months). That which is destroyed in days, can take years to repair. Bongolian (talk) 18:18, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
If he's smart, 3-4 months. If he's stupid, 25-27 months. If he's really stupid, perhaps 6-9 months.
However, the first one holds out the promise of 48 months starting in 2027... (see the bottom of 'westminster circus' for details) KarmaPolice (talk) 18:39, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

Oh my god

It’s a complete upset folks, he came outta nowhere. But Sunak has backed down and now JEB BUSH will be the next UK prime minister! Give it up for our unlikely winner, Jeb!!! Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:54, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

Considering the clusterfuck that is UK politics recently, this wouldn't surprise me if it had happened. Hell, Martin McGuinness being made Conservative Party leader wouldn't be such a surprise anymore, and in his current state, he'd probably do a better job than the previous four holders of the position. Cardinal Chang (talk) 21:08, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
We need a candidate of proven ability and experience with dealing with a myriad of people and the media. One who's got a track record of 'getting things done' and is well-known in the country for his antics. One who's distinctive voice and smile is known to all. Their manifesto is both clear and the most convincing one since 2015.
I am speaking, naturally of Mr Blobby. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:41, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
i actually thought you were serious before mentioning jeb bush lmao--April Chat? 23:42, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA!!!!!!! Vee (talk) 01:16, 25 October 2022 (UTC)
Wonder if he'll improve the approval ratings for tory rule. He should not anyway.. considering how close the so-called UK is to falling into crisis--April Chat? 14:09, 25 October 2022 (UTC)
This chap.
Can I nominate [1]. Anna Livia (talk) 19:21, 26 October 2022 (UTC)

Do we have a bot that fixes double redirects?

I was fixing the double redirects for Japanese-American concentration camps manually. Do we have a bot that does this automatically? LongStylus (talk) 01:40, 26 October 2022 (UTC)

Inferno Bot has done so occasionally but you need to bug Techpriest about it, it's not automatic. Christopher (talk) 15:45, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll just fix them manually then. I don't feel like bothering other people. LongStylus (talk) 16:18, 26 October 2022 (UTC)

are we really at defcon 3 ?

if we truly are, this is some scary shit Your friendly neighborhood anarchist, Wheelson 12:18, 26 October 2022 (UTC)

Defcon levels are not known to the general public (it's generally for military intelligence only), and any webshite or other online entity that claims to know what the current Defcon level is should usually be viewed with suspicion.
What's true is the public-available Doomsday Clock (from the non-profit Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences, so it's just an opinion) is closer to "midnight" (eg likely global catastrophe) than ever. However, climate change weighs as equally on that published number as nuclear weapons do these days. 72.184.99.135 (talk) 13:09, 26 October 2022 (UTC)

Indeterminate and Undefined

I had an argument online. That interlocuter said that 1/0 is equal to infinity and 0/0 is undefined. I tried to tell him that 0/0 is indeterminate and 1/0 is undefined. I wanted to show him this video but I think the youtuber made a mistake. EMT brought zero to RHS. The only way you can do that is by multiplying both sides with zero which is meaningless. Because zero doesn't just cancel itself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W36OVt2Lx04 Leibniz Enter into the rabbit hole 06:11, 26 October 2022 (UTC)

What EMT is doing isn't rigorous, but only because the 'divide by 0' is problematic to begin with. For a moment imagine he didn't write the 'logical inference to the next step' arrow, but just considered the equation '0 = 0*n'. If you want to define a number that corresponds to 0/0 as the solution to this equation, you run into the problem that it is true for any (real) number, so there isn't a single one to single out as 'the solution' and so 'the number' that it has to be. Because of this, as a problem, it is indeterminate. Therefore it remains undefined, while with 1/0, strictly within the reals it would lead to a contradiction and so it cannot be defined, therefore it remains undefined, but there is no 'indeterminacy'. We can work with hyperreals etc. though, but then it'd be infinitesimals, not exactly '0', that remains a (non-)problem for division. EMT's start is basically just a bit of abuse of notation, to write down /0 , what it's about, and to get to his point.ConverginglyRational (talk) 08:27, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
I think the initial thing is wrong because by multiplying both sides by 0 you can make anything equal to each other. 1=2, 0*1=0*2, 0=0. Hence proved that 1=2. I think that when x->0 f(x)/g(x)->0/0. It's close to it but not exactly it.Leibniz Enter into the rabbit hole 09:50, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
Well the initial thing is wrong, because it uses a statement that cannot meaningfully be defined, 1/0. It's true that 'multiplying both sides by 0' isn't something you can use to prove anything here, but I think EMT really wants you to think about trying to find a definition, trying to see if there is a possibility that it can work out, for 1/0. And because it'd have to be related to the statement 1=0*n, because of the relation between multiplication and division within the real numbers, that's clearly impossible without breaking something. What he does is wrong, but his explanation doesn't actually really hinge on that, I think he just wanted to try and show a relation between these equations (although yes the step with multiplying by 0 is wrong, but for 'looking into division by 0', he could make the step in the other direction, tentatively, and just talk about the then initial equation 1=0*n which obviously doesn't work in the reals), when 'assuming 1/0 can be defined', or while still optimistically looking for a definition, and that you then have to conclude it's impossible. What you say with the 'approaching zero' in terms of limits isn't correct by the way. You cannot make general statements like that about such a quotient of real functions when 'approaching zero', because there are different possible limits. For 2x/x the limit is 2. For x/x the limit is 1, as is the limit for sin(x)/x. And so on (and sometimes only left and/or right limits are well defined and 'the' limit doesn't exist). This is also in a way why it's indeterminate. ConverginglyRational (talk) 10:27, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
My mistake was thinking that approaching and equal to aren't the same thing. I just realized it after I watched the Zeno's paradox video by Numberphile.Leibniz Enter into the rabbit hole 08:33, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
Technically, you can actually divide by zero in wheel theory with the definition of a nullity factor. But defining nullity has a lot of implications beyond dividing by zero, so it isn't widely used for now, but who knows, maybe years from now it will be an accepted part of math like i is today. Plutocow (talk) 20:10, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
That's true, although in wheel theory you lose the generality of things like 0*x=0 and the distributive property has to be modified, so you're not really working within the same structure as the standard reals anymore (though granted when restricted back to that it's all basically the same, it's just an extension), but it is indeed a way in which something like 'division by zero' can be done rigorously. There are other, or similar and related ways in which division by 0 can indeed also be defined, like on the projectively extended real line, where for nonzero r it makes sense to actually work with ${\displaystyle {\frac {r}{0}}=\infty }$ and similar statements and similarly with the complex plane to get a Riemann sphere. I personally hope many mathematicians still further explore all of these possibilities and alternative concepts, things like wheels and many other things, like they once did imaginary numbers, quaternions and non-euclidean geometry. It'll be interesting to see what we can get from that, and who knows, maybe some interesting application in things like physics or computer science will pop up. It'd be sad if we were limited only to some limited axiom schemes, it seems pretty pointless to me to argue, mainly with philosophy, for or against specific positions and only specific positions, like constructive mathematics or 'classical' mathematics with the law of excluded middle. Basically: just do all of it, to see what we get, that should be good fun. Any way, enough tangent. Perhaps it is also illuminating to mention zero divisors when we're talking about division by zero, a more common concept, when considering algebras, monoids, groups, rings and fields, and along that the fact that in some pretty simple finite rings like the integers modulo 6 (technically, because 6 isn't a power of a prime, and finite fields always have prime power orders), certain elements like 3 don't have a multiplicative inverse either, they can't. Obviously in other (not entirely unrelated) structures like the field of the rationals they do (just the integers actually don't have multiplicative inverses anyway without an extension to the rationals). These structures and extensions can be fascinating, while (specifically e.g. finite fields) also useful in cryptography and code theory etc.ConverginglyRational (talk) 22:24, 26 October 2022 (UTC)

Stealing Things Even Nailed Down...

The Ukrainians have had to put up with quite a bit recently, what with the load of uninvited 'houseguests' who are almost as bad as those guests in feldgrau who wouldn't leave for about three years back in the 40s (might have heard about that, was a bit noisy). Well, they've got used to a bit of sticky-fingeredness, what with the Russians seemingly hailing from a land devoid of electronics, decent shoes and toilet paper. However, I suspect even they thought heavy metal monuments several tons in weight were perhaps safe... KarmaPolice (talk) 23:43, 26 October 2022 (UTC)

I came across the argument that - those around Putin are mostly/all his yes-men - but some of them know that if they sideline him they can walk away from the war without 'loss of face' as he has taken ownership of the war (just as Nicholas II's downfall was linked in part to his taking command of the WWI army and being associated with its losses).

How valid is this? Anna Livia (talk) 15:31, 21 October 2022 (UTC)

Yes and no - the analogy is right, but not the conclusion.
In Feb 1917, it was not just Nicholas who 'sank', it was his whole regime. Generally speaking, the army officers, police chiefs, landowners and nobles who'd supported the Czar went down with him - part of the reason the Provisional Government was so weak was that so little of 'the Establishment' was left to fill the power-void. Similar can be said with this iteration; everyone in senior positions now are tainted by either support for the war and/or Putin. I believe that a lot of them have either 'got high on their own supply' re: propaganda etc and/or 'drunk the Kool-Aid' re: groupthink regarding the 'Third Russian Empire'. These elites will only move against Putin if they feel the Czar is about to unleash his Oprichnina on them - ie a 'Civil War scenario' where Putin clearly fails in Ukraine and openly scapegoats one faction for it.
Why did Nicholas II fall in the end? The elites remained loyal to him (sure they were, they were chained to him and knew it) - the problem was that they suffered a 'revolt of the captains'; aka the mid-ranking manager class turned against the elite, refused to enact their orders and said elite then discovered they couldn't find anyone to punish the 'disbedience'. Similar could be said regarding the 1991 Soviet Coup; the deluded throwouts on the 'Emergency Committee' simply couldn't find any military unit which would willingly go out and shell public buildings or mow down Muscovites. Or in the October Revolution, the Provisional Government was barely able to find anyone to defend the Winter Palace (their HQ) from the Bolsheviks.
And that, I suspect is more likely a scenario for Putin. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:27, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Because the dictator Putin has a decently firm grip on Russian media and society and because of the power of modern-day nationalism, the pro-war rallies in Russia are bigger than the anti-war protests. So the whole idea of regime change early in the war is not realistic. And even if Putin did leave office this early in the war, he would probably be replaced by a hardliner.
A more feasible scenario is something similar to the Soviet-Afghanistan War where the outcries of mothers of only sons who got killed/injured eventually played a key factor in ending the war. After a while, the gruesomeness of modern warfare causes societies to be war-weary.
Colonel Dave Grossman and Bruce K. Siddle wrote in their work the Psychological Effects of Combat which was published in the Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict:
"During World War II, 504,000 men were lost from America's combat forces due to psychiatric collapse--enough to man 50 divisions. The United States suffered this loss despite efforts to weed out those mentally and emotionally unfit for combat by classifying more than 800,000 men 4-F (unfit for military service) due to psychiatric reasons. At one point in World War II, psychiatric casualties were being discharged from the U.S. Army faster than new recruits were being drafted in.
Swank and Marchand's World War II study of US Army combatants on the beaches of Normandy found that after 60 days of continuous combat, 98% of the surviving soldiers had become psychiatric casualties. And the remaining 2% were identified as "aggressive psychopathic personalities." Thus it is not too far from the mark to observe that there is something about continuous, inescapable combat which will drive 98% of all men insane, and the other 2% were crazy when they got there...
It must be understood that the kind of continuous, protracted combat that produces such high psychiatric casualty rates is largely a product of 20th-century warfare. The Battle of Waterloo lasted only a day. Gettysburg lasted only three days--and they took the nights off. It was only in World War I that armies began to experience months of 24-hour combat, and it is in World War I that vast numbers of psychiatric casualties were first observed."
Neither side wants to end this war soon through peace negotiations. Meanwhile, the war is exacerbating food insecurity in the world. The food shortages in the third-world which this war is help causing, could kill more people than the War in Ukraine. Erik10012 (talk) 17:57, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
It just occurred to me that this war is also being fought on the economic front and that so far Putin has helped fuel leadership change in both the UK/Italy and that there are now large anti-NATO/EU protests in Europe. So far, objectively speaking, Putin is winning on the regime change front. Erik10012 (talk) 18:14, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
But - the UK and Italy etc have 'normal procedures' for leadership succession as and when necessary and there were other causes (Tin Lizzie annoyed enough people - including the MPs who were considering their losses come the next General Election). For Russia it will not be so easy - and if the options presented to the yes-men and flunkies are 'you can either wait for the [whatever] with your name/crowds of annoyed people or have a free get out of jail ticket by removing Putin' they might reconsider the matter.
What is the opinion of the Mongolian leadership on events? Anna Livia (talk) 19:17, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Ann Livia, you make a decent point about regime change in relation to the UK. But if the corporatist Rishi Sunak replaces the more hawkish Liz Truss, that would be better for Putin. More to the point, Putin wants to crack the weakest links in NATO. The UK is less energy dependent on Russia than some other European NATO countries so regime change is more apt to happen in those countries. And realistically speaking, the GOP is less anti-Putin and more anti-Ukraine than the Democrats, so by making things harder on the Democrats before the midterms, Putin can start making changes in the USA. And if the war lasts until 2024, Putin can make it harder for a Democrat to win in 2024.
There is a uniparty Democrat/GOP aspect to foreign policy in the USA as far as not losing wars or proxy wars (The GOP is as hawkish as Democrats), so the GOP may choose to keep funding the Ukrainian War, but eventually the USA taxpayers could tire of funding the war in Ukrainian because the USA eventually stopped funding the South Vietnamese. Trump is very unpredictable so if he is reelected, who knows what he would do as far as ending the war in terms of military funding. But Trump would crank up US oil and gas production which would make it harder for Putin/Russians to fund this war.
The Russians are giving signals that they are going to be tenacious in the war and so do the Ukrainians. I am not optimistic. Erik10012 (talk) 19:46, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
This has to be the stupidest f******g analysis of the Russian invasion of Ukraine I have ever read. Let me school you;
First of all, UK is not the weak link in NATO or the EU, it's Hungary. Support for the Ukrainian people is sky high in the UK.[2] A PM attempting to reduce that support would find massive resistance within their own government.
Second, Putin is in the most tenuous position. His support comes from the consent of a group of oligarchs that control state industries. You are already hearing about them complaining about the invasions effects. They can't travel abroad, they can't get certain products from the West. Recently they are struggling with producing things because they can't obtain the materials nor get the necessary parts to fix equipment. Others are seeing their workforce being the target military recruitment, with draft boards pulling entire shifts into service. Mobilization has become a complete mess.[3]
Putin has painted himself into a corner. He can no longer claim the invasion isn't effecting Russians. Belgrod has become a primary target of the UA military. Mobilization is leaning heavily on ethnic minorities, but they have been pulling from Moscow and St. Petersburg, where resistance will build the more zinc lined coffins find their way home. Hitting civilian targets has only hardened Ukrainian resolve, and made the populace even less likely to accept any sort of forfeiture of land. While Ukraine is dependent on primarily American and British support, per capita the largest supporters are Poland and the Baltic nations. They will continue to support with what little they do have until the end.
Too many people view this invasion through the lens of conflict between major powers, which it is. But that removes any agency from these countries opposed to Russian imperialism. Those who suggest suing for peace will be the end of this conflict are either delusional, or support Russia.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 21:52, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
The Vietnam comparison is not apt. The US quit because its soldiers were dying, not because the war was expensive. And South Vietnam collapsed because it had no stability or public support without the US propping it up, none of which is true for Ukraine. Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 23:31, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
It's Ken. Vee (talk) 01:43, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
Vee - which person are you referring to as Ken?
One of the points from my original query - if the support-Ukraine-alliance thought it appropriate they could say to Putin's subordinates 'let us play a game of useful idiots: we will say you were coerced by Putin, you will agree and we can come to an arrangement post-Putin.' (put into more diplomatic language)
The point being made by the other person in my discussion was that it could be #a# factor rather than the primary one.
There is a distinction to be made between the 'L'etat c'est moi' leaderships (where discussing the succession is 'problematic' at best), a few states defined by their political system (once Communism had been wound up what was the justification for East Germany?) and those where some means of leadership succession is built into the system covering logical possibilities or 'we can cobble together something' (the 'Designated Survivor' scenario (the Brighton Bomb 1984 being one of the nearest actual such), in the UK a party is elected but the Party Leader who would normally become the Prime Minister loses their seat etc).
The problem with Putin was that he had no-one capable of saying - what if initial victory is not achieved, and he cannot withdraw without losing face. Anna Livia (talk) 09:32, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
It’s a pretty good guess that Vee is referring to Erik10012 being Ken as others have done in the earlier thread on the Westminster circus. Don’t expect Erik to contribute much useful content, but do be on the lookout for trolling. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:43, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
Ken's latest sock is banned anyway. Vee (talk) 21:32, 22 October 2022 (UTC)

Yeah, I know how to do that now, so shall be a bit quicker on the uptake next time... but back OT.

I personally think 'let's all blame the dead guy for all the crap and go back to before' as a realistic option closed at the latest, in May. That like with the final phase of Czarism, the first-rankers clustered around Putin's throne are also too tainted - not just by the crimes, but Putin's own poisonous ideology and delusional reality (let's remember that most of Nicholas II's inner circle was all for *both* the Russio-Japanese War and WW1).

That even if the 'post-Putin' leadership made contact wanting peace tomorrow, I am almost certain the talks would break down within hours because they would insist on a) keeping the '14/'22 annexations, b) Ukraine to be disarmed and neutral and c) no 'war crimes' trials etc *as their starting point*. Worse, when Kyiv would tell said delegation to go fuck themselves (which they would), the Russians would then expect Washington to *make* the Ukranians accept it. Boiled down; 'they don't get it' and like say, the laughable attempts of the Germans to cut a seperate deal in the final year of WW2, the Russian leadership will need to have to have it nailed into their heads the reality of the situation.

Lastly, they cannot 'walk away' from the war because of the fascistic-nationalist wing of the elite will not allow them to. These lot are - if you can believe it - *more* extreme than Putin. They're the ones who are advocating an immediate WW2-stylee 'total war' effort vs Ukraine until they're wiped off the map, then to directly take on NATO. Chances are, like with the German plotters in 1944 realised, this 'Putin's SS' shall need to be promptly and fully wiped out as a precondition for even considering any form of cease-fire which isn't simply a breather before more war. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:59, 22 October 2022 (UTC)

Interesting article on 'Why Russia Thinks It Can Win'; in short it can be boiled down to 'The West is weak/soft', 'China will help us out' and 'sanctions won't hurt'. Interestingly, KenBot echoes the first bit often via his various socks; does this mean they're a self-hating Westerner? Or does it mean despite (presumably) living within said 'world' for the majority of their lives, they are unable to understand the 'western mindset'? Or is it simply their programming has so warped their underpants moves when they see a 'strongman' flexing his stuff by wailing on innocents and rambling monologues of hate? KarmaPolice (talk) 22:29, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
The whole "society is weak" angle that some promote is pretty much a characteristic of fascism. It's interesting to read the Wikipedia article on "model of masculinity under fascist Italy" because the characteristics of Mussolini's regime (in this regard) seem to equally apply to the present, both the leadership of Vladimir Putin (and other current "strongmen"), and certain American right-wing universes such as the one promoted by Tucker Carlson (who is also obsessed with idealized Manly Men). At any rate, not mentioned in the "Mussolini male" article, but mentioned in other places, such as Encyclopedia Britannica online's entry on "Volksgemeinschaft", was that in some quarters there also was an obsession with supposed "degenerate" or "decadent" aspects of society at the time, that modern society was becoming weak and hedonistic. The fascists attributed this "weakness" to things like capitalism, intellectualism / rationality, the bourgeoisie, and the "female" element. Sounds familiar... It's no surprise, in other words, that people who embrace modern fascist ideology support the government that is arguably the closest expression of Fascism 2.0 these days. Which is, of course, Putin's Russia (Rashism).
Now, honestly, I don't actually think the Kenbot is the Conservapedia editor who has fallen into the fascism well the furthest. But it's pretty clear that some of the populist fascist right elements have rubbed off a little on him, at least the parts that fit his worldview (fascists hated atheism after all :p). What's more notable here (as Conservapedia is not notable) is just how much the fascist elements has grown compared to older times (compare Tucker Carlson to Rush Limbaugh), and how this is "fascism 2.0" is echoed in multiple movements around the world. 72.184.99.135 (talk) 00:08, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
One thing I notice generally is that on the whole, the Euro fascisty-populists have cooled *hugely* towards Putin while the Americans have remained with mouths open on his groin. Even governments which politically 'agree with him' in many respects (Turkey, Poland and Hungary, for example) have been varying levels of 'hostile' since the invasion. Even as the continent sails into a very difficult winter and it's becoming obvious the supply pipeline for Kyiv shall have to continue effectively indefinitely, the 'defeatism' amongst the general populace appears to be lower than I thought it would be.
Naturally, this is because of percieved views of 'national interest'. Europeans feel Putin to be an external threat to their nations, while the Americans, smug behind two oceans and the world's largest military, don't. Even the semi-fascist new Italian Govt has assured the world they'd continue to firmly support Kyiv. If nothing else, it's difficult to remain claiming to be (for example) a 'true British patriot' (*cough*) by backing a bloke who's repeatedly threatened to incinerate said very country. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:47, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

Sometimes 'the facade option' ['He made us do things, and we feared for our and our families' lives [there is a very long list]') can be a convenient way of getting through the transition (or at least the initial phase).

'A fish rots from the head' - and the situation may turn into garum. Anna Livia (talk) 15:25, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

Yes... that is an option, like how a significant % of the mid-high rank German officials etc rushed to 'show' after WW2 that only Hitler and his dog were Nazis and everyone else was coerced into obeying and no, nobody knew anything about those death camps... However, there's the little issue that Hitler (and dog) were both dead at this point; Putin (and his dogs) are still alive. I don't change my view on this; the 'generals' are too tainted, tied and (I bet) scared to 'do anything' about Putin - but a coalition of 'captains' (ie the Russians who actually keep things running) may be able to do it. However, a few generals may throw their lot in with the captains if they a) feel strongly enough and b) believe Putin's star is about to hit the ground. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:09, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
After WWII some German official talked about some of his secret actions to his former superior. His superior told him that Nazi intelligence was aware of everything. It's too hard to have a decent size conspiracy in Russia given Russian intelligence. A few people plotting an assassination is a long shot, but it has a better chance. But if they fail, Putin will kill them. Elmodae (talk) 12:57, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
There is also the Stalin death-by-absence-of-action scenario, 'malicious compliance and Good Soldier Svejk' manoeuvre' and similar.
How likely is there to be a sudden tipping point? Anna Livia (talk) 19:28, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
My guess is; more likely than most of us would assume. Firstly, we're operating 'doubly outside'; not just outside of Russia but also outside of the Russian 'cultural bubble' so nuance, hidden meanings etc is lost (the common peril of cross-cultural communication; you don't just have to understand the language, but also the mindset etc of the 'other people').
But more important is the autocratic nature of the regime. The rule of thumb is this; the less 'freedom' a regime gives it's people, the more 'brittle' it is. In a 'open' country, there's a constant flood of 'information' going to the rulers – public opinion, 'opposition' activities, economic statistics, journalism, think-tanks and so on. What's more, it's normally pretty accurate info too – partly due to the simple reason messengers aren't shot.
In 'closed' country, the 'information-pipe' is a trickle and of much lower in quality. The leadership may – even before taking their own biases into account – be making 'wrong' decisions due to poor and/or missing information. This makes autocratic regimes much more unstable; the Big Public hide their discontent, 'rebels' have been silenced and the secret police gloss over any discontent they do manage to find. Thus the 'brittleness'; the regime can't save itself because it is unable to see the pot-holes ahead and it doesn't realise it's sitting on a landmine of mass sulky discontent.
So yes, it's very possible that like akin to elderly dictators (always fit and healthy until dead), Putin shall look 'strong and firmly in charge' right up to the moment he's shot in a cellar or bundled away to a distant dacha after 'retiring due to his health'.
But... this isn't going to happen – yet. Not because of KenBot's comment above (the Gestapo was never that efficient and Putin's FSB simply does not have the capabilities [yet] of the old KGB) but the point I made before – the Russian leadership still thinks it can win. This, along with fear and the 'sunk cost fallacy' is keeping the band together right now.
Personally, think April-May '23 shall be the breaking-point. If by the end of the spring 'mud season' the Ukrainians still have the means and morale to fight on hard, the West' has not cracked under the strains, the Chinese have not helped them, sanctions are degrading their regenerative capabilities and they are increasingly being bled white simply to hold onto about 10-15% of the country they have right now... well, that shall be a very uncomfortable place to be. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:21, 27 October 2022 (UTC)

relevant AMassiveGay (talk) 16:35, 27 October 2022 (UTC)

Can we at least agree that private property relations are generally exploitative and based in coercion?

As much as users like to defend capitalism on this site, can we at least agree on this much? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 17:47, 22 October 2022 (UTC)

Probably not?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:00, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
I haven't studied enough of economics in order to make a judgement on that. But if private property relations are exploitative and coercive, it could make for some good BDSM. LongStylus (talk) 20:15, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
Private property, at least the modern theory of it, has origins in the justification for the enclosure of the commons and the displacement of the peasantry (bordering on ethnic cleansing in Scotland). It also crosses into justification for land theft from the indigenous in settler colonial states. This is the historical basis, mind you. The de facto exclusion of large segments of society today from owning property by making it simply too expensive to do so is also pretty exploitative and coercive. Vee (talk) 21:27, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
I would put it this way: capitalism generally results in exploitation and coercion. The problem seems to be that capitalism is not alone in the class of theoretical systems that typically result in abusive consequences. On a scale from 1 to 6, 6 being the strongest property rights, 2 on the rating scale means that the government has not provided a framework for defining property rights clearly and that the citizens depend on informal systems which are manipulated by government officials without warning. There are nine twos in the world, and three 1.5s, namely, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Afghanistan. Evidently according to this source there are no ones.UncleKrampus (talk) 21:17, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
Doubt it. I personally agree with you, but getting this wiki to agree on anything is like herding cats. Vee (talk) 21:22, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
It's the RW way. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 21:45, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
And honestly it's probably a better way than most social media these days, whose upvote/downvote systems and "engagement" targeting tends to put one in echo chambers. 72.184.99.135 (talk) 22:10, 22 October 2022 (UTC)

Keep in mind the idea of private property relations in this context is not the concept of owning personal property, but the dynamic between business owner/employee, tenet/landlord. etc The dynamic to which one class holds power over the other through the ownership of property while the subordinate class must sell their labour to have access to said property. I am talking specifically about wage labour, paying rent for housing, etc. BDSM has to at least be consensual on the basis of affirmative consent.- Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:16, 22 October 2022 (UTC)

Capitalism sort of railroads people into wage labor and rent. It's illegal to just go out on a random plot of land and farm there, because someone else has bought that land up. Hell, in some places it's illegal to even collect rainwater, for the same reason: punishing any seeking of true economic independence. Vee (talk) 23:01, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
Put more bluntly, capitalism generally rewards those who start the race with capital aready behind them. What's more, the majority of capitalist states protect capital rights better than labour rights and tax capital's 'take' (dividends) at lower rates than labour's (wages). KarmaPolice (talk) 23:21, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
It's also why the notion of the "self made man" is a myth, or self-serving propaganda at best. Elon Musk's family owned diamond mines. Trump's daddy was a real estate mogul like him. Bill Gates' family was upper middle class. Likewise, capital needs a labor class to continue functioning. For all the bullshit propaganda about the "meritocracy," some people are just expected to not rise above their station. Vee (talk) 23:25, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
It's easy to pick out corrupt forms of corporate capitalism, but there is a lot more to it than that. Take a book publishing company, for example. The laborers vote on which books they want to publish. That will work as long as the books they choose are books enough of the public want to buy and the authors will accept the proposed payment. Same for the fashion industry. It seems many businesses depend way more on artistic creativity of a few than on the fungible labor of many. UncleKrampus (talk) 00:19, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a list of countries ranked by their social mobility. All the top 20 countries in social mobility are capitalist countries. Wikipedia also has an article called List of socialist states. Portugal uses the word socialist in its constitution and it is ranked 24 in the world in social mobility. The only other self-described socialist countries (Constitution uses the world socialism) that wound up in Wikipedia's top 82 countries in social mobility were: China (which is ranked 45th in the world in social mobility); Vietnam (which is ranked 50th in the world in social mobility); Sri Lanka (which is ranked 45th in the world in social mobility) and India (which is ranked 76th in the world in social mobility).
And it is incredibly easy to own private property in capitalist countries. For example, a friend of mine asked me to set up a totally free RobinHood.com free stock trading account because the website offers referral bonuses and he wanted to earn a bonus. Right off the bat, RobinHood.com gave me a free share of stock which I still own to this day. BullionVault.com gives its customer some free gold just for signing up for a BullionVault.com account.
I purchased the book "The Millionaire Next Door," the classic 1996 bestseller on becoming wealthy, which was written by the academics Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. According to Stanley and Danko, 80% to 85% of millionaires are self-made and millionaires are disproportionately clustered in middle-class and blue-collar neighborhoods and not in more affluent or white-collar communities. And their research indicates that millionaires most commonly become millionaires through their habits like setting aside part of their income for savings/investments. Stanley wrote a subsequent book in 2000 called The Millionaire Mind which indicated that most millionares are "not all work and no play type people" and that most become millionaires "in one generation" (The Millionaire Mind, page 1). Berek (talk) 01:19, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Private property typically refers to real estate. There's no denying that real estate has become prohibitively expensive over the years, and general economic inequality has also increased over the years. What was easier during the days of your parents and grandparents isn't necessarily as easy now. For instance, as of right now, it'll take the average worker 2.8 million years to become a billionaire through the much-vaulted route of "working hard". Vee (talk) 02:43, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Furthermore, upon reading your link, it becomes clear that you have failed to take account of the phenomenon of the idle rich, and of the impact generational wealth has on economic inequality. Also, China, Sri Lanka, and India are not socialist by any measure of the definition. They're capitalist, market-oriented economies (with some measure of state ownership in China's case). It does kind of show just how meaningless the word "socialist" has become, however. Vee (talk) 02:48, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

The Cambridge dictionary says that private property especially applies to real estate rather than typically applies to real estate. The prevalence of real estate ownership is dependent on a person's financial habits, societal values, laws and a society's socioeconomic status. Even in relatively poor countries per capita like China/Vietnam, many people own real estate (High 80s percentage in home ownership). Real estate is not prohibitively expensive to people who are industrious, savers and maintain good credit habits. In the USA it takes about 2 years to establish a high enough credit score and income track record to buy a house and the downpayment requirement is low if you go through a government mortgage program like its FHA program. You can even have poor credit and be a first-time home buyer in the USA if you go through NACA's mortgage program. Berek (talk) 03:21, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

Counter opinion: No large societal structure (>1 million people) can exist without exploitation and coercion as long as either scarcity or growth is present. Someone must be forced to work in the proverbial mines to sustain growth, and only enforcing a stagnant population can prevent growth. In scarcity, either all suffer slightly or some must suffer greatly. In growth, all are just fuel upon the burning altar of profit; be it profit for the few or for an ideal. To try and even name one system which exploits none and benefits all seems like just cathartic fiction. Could an empathetic system have the stability to last a century against warlords and would-be tyrants? To withstand the rise of fascists, nationalists, cults or conquerers? I worry the problem of exploitation hasnt been solved not because of boogeymen who oppress from ivory towers, but because humans are incapable of both concieving and running such a solution. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 03:25, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
The "idle rich" are not barriers to a determined person who wants to advance his lot in life. People who focus on the idle rich are suffering from envy which is a distraction from wealth accumulation and increases their personal unhappiness. I have met many people of very humble circumstances who became middle to upper-class. It is true that modern slavery exists in the world, but barring severe personal illness, people can improve their socioeconomic status and exploitation is not widespread in developed countries. I personally know people from poor countries in Africa, India, the Philippines who raised their lot in life. And today even many paupers in developed countries have lives that are more comfortable than rich people in previous times thanks to things like HVAC systems, indoor plumbing, refrigeration, modern medicine, construction equipment, robotics and social safety nets. In the USA, there is a lot of talk about inequality as of late, but inequality hasn't really changed much if you count government transfer payments as income. Berek (talk) 03:59, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Does anyone here freaking out about private property actually own anything? I do, and it's nice to have. I work a job that people frequently look down on as menial, so who am I exploiting by owning the place I live? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:06, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
1) Poverty and inequality are complex phenomena with many causes, and you seem to be ignoring structural inequities and advantages that the privileged/wealthy have that those who are lower class don't.
2) You cite things like "indoor plumbing" and "modern medicine," but here in the States many people can't afford medicine, and due to how expensive rent has become, they're lucky to even have a house.
3) It's a fact that home ownership has been becoming increasingly unaffordable.
4) It is a fact that economic inequality has been increasing as of late. Vee (talk) 04:11, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
I agree with The Blade Northern Lights. If you don't like private property give all your money to charity or join a monastery or a cult. Socialistic/Marxist railings against private property is mental masturbation that is a waste of time. There is upward social mobility to those who want it. Homeownership in the USA is more difficult due to a shortage of housing, higher interest rates and the USA increasing its population. But most of these problems are caused by big government (Onerous zoning laws that prevent multifamily buildings, onerous building codes/permits that add to building cost, high-interest rates cause by excessive money printing and government spending). And at the end of the day, it is easy to become a homeowner if you really want to. As far as health in the USA, NBC makes a valid point: What's Killing Us? It's Mostly Our Own Bad Habits. Most of what people's lot in life is due to their habits. If you have bad financial habits and bad health habits, it easily leads to poverty and sickness. And one can definitely find USA statistics which don't take government transfer payments as income to "prove' inequality is growing, but it is not meaningful and it is misleading. Berek (talk) 04:35, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Oh, it's Ken. Vee (talk) 05:49, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

This style of argument can be used to justify any kind of social ill from rape to racism as inevitabilities of any society provided constraints that are seemingly necessary. Which just makes it kind of inherently a reactionary/conservative argument. It’s not as if imagining a society without a certain social ill is inconceivable even with such constraints, and being coherent as thought that makes it a logical possibility and it’s not as if it’s a physical impossibility. A society without any kind of wrongdoing does seems highly implausible — but there is a difference between individual actors choosing to go against social norms to engage in anti-social behaviour (which I would even admit is a sort of inevitability) and having such wrongdoing legally sanctioned and backed by social institutions. We abolished unjust systems before so it stands to reason we can do it again. It’s also not an argument against a social system being unjust if there is no seemingly apparent feasible means to abolish it. Rape could be something that is impossible to rid of from the world, but that wouldn’t therefore make rape morally permissible nor not worth fighting against. (Anticipating a potential straw-man that I compared rape to capitalism you can change the idea for any commonly accepted wrongdoing i.e. theft, murder, harassment, etc. The particular act isn’t that important to the overall point). - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 08:07, 23 October 2022 (UTC).

and in regards to scarcity that scarcity is only technically true in that the resource isn’t literally unlimited. The degree to which the scarcity is actually relevant is arguably grossly overstated for human necessities, and economic growth arguably isn’t itself a necessity to any sustainable society - it is in alot of ways a cultural value not a natural state of things. The “proverbial mines” can still be incentivized in the absence of relevant scarcity. Productive labour can exist in the absence of wage labour. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 08:29, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
sorry the first post is sort of half-relevant tangent but the idea that argument in question is a counter-point would seemingly imply that given it’s inevitability it is therefore permissible or at the very least it isn’t “true” exploitation and/coercion if the initial thesis I am making is being rejected. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 08:35, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Capitalism is a really crap system which it is easy to criticize. Exactly the same can be said of Democracy.
The problem is coming up with a workable system which can replace Capitalism. The best that I am aware of is Social Democracy which tries to reduce capitalism's worst excesses by law and then harness the beast via taxes for the good of sociality. In fact, and in my opinion, all western democracies practice "social democracy" in its broadest definition - though they differ in how much law and how much tax.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:56, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Trump, Musk and Gates are all three notches on the axis of 'rich businessperson'. Gates is perhaps the nearest to 'self-made'; and even he hailed from the upper-middle classes which held a lot of educational/social capital which really helpled him (Gates mother knew the CEO of IBM, which was looking for an OS...). Musk, as everyone knows got that and a butt-load of 'seed money' from Daddy - though to his credit, he did get those seeds to grow. Trump... well, it's very possible that ultimately he is a very unsuccessful businessman - I remember working out a couple of years back that he'd be worth about ~$2bn if he'd invested all the cash he got from Daddy in T-Bills and about ~$3.5bn if he'd simply put it in blue-ship stocks (both assuming you only spent the dividends). If Forbes' estimations of $3bn is right, well the thing which made Trump a billionaire was inflation. Anyway, back to the original question. Private property relations are 'exploitative' in the respect there's a set limit in the amount of 'surplus' and well, everyone desires to maximise their cake-slice (meaning less cake for others). Take, for example the relations within a company; more cake for shareholders invaribly means less cake for someone - workers, suppliers, consumers and/or the state. This is true even for other types of concern - even co-ops and charities (I mean, charities often 'exploit' their workers by paying them below-market rates for their occupation). Stylus - accidentally, I think - highlights the issue at the top of this. When I use 'exploitative' I use the technical term of it; as in 'making use of'. However, in 'normal' speech the term is almost a synonym for 'coercive'. This is an important difference. Most forms of social democracy and socialism desire to remove the 'coercive' aspect, or at least sand down the edges. Take, for example unemployment benefits. If the state shall pay$X a month for a person doing 'sod all' any prospective employer is going to have to beat this offer (often beat by a fair margin because employment has extra costs, like travel, special clothing etc) to make it in the unemployed person's interest to work. Which is why low-wage shit employers hate unemployment payments, minimum wage laws etc; it removes the 'iron hand of brute starvation' to compel the workers to accept 'crap' - not just poor pay, but sexual harrassment, unsafe working conditions, toxic management, unethical practices and so on. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:33, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Sorry I was being a doomer. You're right. Things can and have improved over time. It can just feel hopeless sometimes. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 12:22, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Being against capitalism is like being against the devil. It is only right that you should be so inclined. Brother Bob points to it when he alludes to the well-known Churchill quote about democracy. The trouble is, being against the devil may only result in a number of innocent witches coming to a bad end. The devil remains. OSD is right that this sort of criticism can be levelled at any social ill. Perhaps because it is always the case that human frailty is at the root of our problems. How does one design a system that can resist the corrupting influence of wealthy interests? How do we select overseers who will not themselves become corrupted as the entire republican party has done in America? We can be against ruthless wealthy people in theory. Russia and China, at one time strongly socialist, rank in the top five for the most billionaires, with US #1 and UK #9. "Our list of allies grows thin."--Elrond. Ariel31459 (talk) 17:39, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Yes, but now we're in the 'perfect is the enemy is good' territory. The proposed solution doesn't have to be perfect, it merely needs to be a better iteration than what we've got currently - and between 'removing coersion', 'destroying hereditary accumulations' and 'trust-busting' (I still think y'all are overly fixated on the uber-rich individual vs the threat the oligarchic companies are and their 'managerial class' which runs everything), we can do a *lot* of this in the democractic-advanced world. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:40, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
The question is: "Do Conservatives want that aswell?". To which the answer is "No". Centre-Right is and will always be protective towards the Big Tech industries and Right-Wing will call stuff like that "Communist" or "Socialist" and start b*tching about Cuba, China & Venezuela afterwards (or Bin Laden for some reason...). The EU's Centre-Right (EPP) & Right-Wing (ECR) are literally like that (and some members from the Centrist/liberal faction (RE), which has some Centre-right (Conservative Liberals & Economic liberals) parties in it (FDP from Germany, VVD from The Netherlands, Venstre from Denmark, Open VLD & MR from Belgium, L & C from Sweden, NEOS from Austria, ANO 2011 from Czechia, Horizons from France, LRLS from Lithuania, USR from Romania). This shit is also very concerning. As long as people keep voting for Conservatives or Centre-Right, that change will never happen or you'll get something being suggested by a conservative scumbag or a Neoliberal twat, that would be even more protectionistic towards Big Tech industries or in case of the ECR, Blaming migration or minorties for all these problems, which is already borderline happening in some countries... Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 12:12, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Lately, it seems that events and trends are more influential than politicians or Big Tech executives. The gale force events and trends are pushing politicians and Big Tech executives around. Elmodae (talk) 12:38, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
In regards to Europe, I'd say 'you're wrong', Arcadium. None of those policies are automatically/inherently 'socialist' in nature and generally speaking, the Euro Overton Window already allows such policies to be achieved (as they have in the past). Problem is - as you sorta point out - is that the 'forces of oligarchic "fuck you I've got mine" vampire capitalism' won't wear it, coupled with the 'friendly' pressure from the likes of the USA, UK etc (not 'conservatism' in general). For many nations, there's a nationalist element to this too because many of the biggest culprits/pushers are often foreign-owned/controlled. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:47, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
"Being against capitalism is like being against the devil" not the first time commies are sounding like evangelicals... MeowPurr 17:26, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
Eh, I'm not a communist, so I don't have a comment on that. I'll just say from the perspective of socialists a lot of capitalism apologia isn't much better than what you hear from tankies. "That's just the way things are, there's no point trying to improve things." It should go without saying that's a fallacious argument through and through. Vee (talk) 18:07, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
Which is why I have a bit of grudging respect for the 'pessimistic conservative' who outright says they don't think it's possible to have a society without exploitation, class/caste divisions and oppression (of some extent). They at very least admit the existence of the problems, they simply don't believe that the future can promise anything better.
The usual lines are more outright denial or handwaving them away, then a load of guff along the lines of 'these things are self evident' squeezed out a like a load of ink by a squid. If you press them, the chances of 'reductio ad Stalinum' rapidly rises to around 85% per round. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:00, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
Iunno, to me at least they deserve no more respect than the slavery practitioners who say "slavery is evil" and then refuse to free any of their slaves because their social status depends on them being landed slaveowners. Churchill's quote about capitalism is the same to me, he was the leader of a capitalist empire after all. It's hard to see how things can be improved when you benefit from such a system of oppression and exploitation: you have a vested interest in maintaining your privilege and the system that makes such privilege possible in the first place. Vee (talk) 21:16, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
Nah. Saying 'slavery is evil but without it those jobs simply won't get done!' is perhaps a bit better. Your one is more nakedly self-motivated. As with Churchill... I remember the quote from Upton Sinclair; 'It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it.' Though Churchill was in reality a bit more complex than that; for example, he never liked landlords and in his 'Liberal phase' openly flirted with Georgism. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:01, 27 October 2022 (UTC)

There's a fucking moth in my living room

I hate moths. Vee (talk) 05:36, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

I hunted the mam-moth. Bongolian (talk) 07:33, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
The mythical man-moth 71.174.81.154 (talk) 19:39, 25 October 2022 (UTC)
Boo! Vee (talk) 08:50, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
At least they do not jump in your face as a spider would-!--April Chat? 15:36, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Wasps are worse. Luigifan18 (talk) 19:48, 25 October 2022 (UTC)
I'm fine with spiders. Moths are just fucking revolting. Irrational, I know, but phobias aren't rational. Vee (talk) 10:45, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
they are all easily disposed of. bed bugs on the other hand can do one AMassiveGay (talk) 11:28, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
Take a dusting cloth, or a tissue, pick it up, and throw it out. Simple three-step process that always works for me. MeowPurr 17:23, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
I've always been rather squeamish. Vee (talk) 18:04, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
kill it with fire. or empty a can of raid onto it and then runaway because it didnt kill quick enough like i did when a hornet ventured into my house. i may or may not have screamed like a little girl as i ranaway AMassiveGay (talk) 18:24, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
or, like the time a beautifully coloured white and black striped moth land on my ny yankees baseball top, drown it with a bottles worth of diamond white while sreaming like a little girl. ive been banned for life from the butterfly house at the zoo. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:29, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
or better still get ya mum to deal with it (while screaming like a girl. dont judge me) AMassiveGay (talk) 18:37, 27 October 2022 (UTC)

0.999.. proof is wrong

Don't get me wrong the statement is correct. 0.999.. = 1 but the proof is incorrect according to this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMTD1Y3LHcE https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/0.999...#Proof_that_0.999.E2.80.A6_is_a_rational_number Leibniz Enter into the rabbit hole 08:34, 27 October 2022 (UTC)

Maybe you could fix it? Andrew5 (talk) 18:45, 27 October 2022 (UTC)

Is there REALLY a epidiomological studies for GMO safety?

I KNOW that there is a scientific consensus (Where scientists stopped debating, junk theories thrown out & scientists now relying on other studies) that GMOs are safe but I google the "epidemiological studies on gmo" and some research said there's no epidemiological study. Some gone far claiming there is no consensus at all. Can you tell me how TF the scientists agreed that GMOs are safe without epidemiological studies? And what do you think about the consensus denial? And also if you are wondering, here is the evidence that shill gambit is not useful argument against GMO. (Pls Glorious Goat Psyops remove me from vandal bin I will edit carefully next time)--Notable1984Agent (talk) 05:44, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

You were in the Vandal Bin? Oh shit. Vee (talk) 06:18, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Epidemiology is mostly concerned with studying the distribution of diseases in a population, it’s literally derived from the word “epidemic”. I am not sure why epidemiology is the most relevant to accessing the safety of GMO’s. There have been no increases in diseases for livestock since switching to GMO feed. Every genetically modified patent needs FDA approval and safety evaluation before commercial use. It’s one of the most heavily regulated class of products within the US, multiple meta-analyses have been published accessing no known risks in commercially approved products, there barely even is an established plausible biological mechanism to which would make many of these food products generally harmful. Large scale epidemiological studies seem like they would be too burdensome to design, have no real justifying precedent, and would be way too expensive to carry out. There is also the trouble of establishing what a GMO product even is, which complicates the ability to make for controlling factors. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 08:19, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Also the Centre for Food Safety is just an anti-GMO charity not a scientific organization. You also have to deeply consider the fact that a lot of anti-GMO is actually being funded by organic-food lobby groups - given organic farming doesn’t use GMO’s it creates a wedge issue to the benefit of organic food corporations at the expense of conventional farming practices - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 08:25, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Also that open-access article is sort of misleading given that when people talk about GMO’s being “safe” we are talking about the regulated products already in use. No one is arguing that we stop accessing new genetically modified products for safety prior to commercial use. There is no “consensus” that every and all potential genetic modification is going to be safe and that’s true. But the anti-GMO side of the argument isn’t even focusing on yet to be implemented modifications or technologies, they are talking about all forms of transgenic modification that is currently in use be banned all together. It’s still a scientifically baseless position. The consensus is about already regulated existing GMO crops. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 08:33, 24 October 2022 (UTC).

The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products in the United States.

The Mayo Clinic indicates:

"Some data shows possible health benefits of organic foods when compared with foods grown using the usual (conventional) process. These studies have shown differences in the food. But there is limited information to prove how these differences can give potential overall health benefits.
Potential benefits include the following:
Nutrients. Studies have shown small to moderate increases in some nutrients in organic produce. Organic produce may have more of certain antioxidants and types of flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties.
Omega-3 fatty acids. The feeding requirements for organic farm animals (livestock) usually cause higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These include feeding cattle grass and alfalfa. Omega-3 fatty acids — a kind of fat — are more heart healthy than other fats. These higher omega-3 fatty acids are found in organic meats, dairy and eggs.
Toxic metal. Cadmium is a toxic chemical naturally found in soils and absorbed by plants. Studies have shown much lower cadmium levels in organic grains, but not fruits and vegetables, when compared with crops grown using usual (conventional) methods. The lower cadmium levels in organic grains may be related to the ban on synthetic fertilizers in organic farming.
Pesticide residue. Compared with produce grown using usual (conventional) methods, organically grown produce has lower levels of pesticide residue. The safety rules for the highest levels of residue allowed on conventional produce have changed. In many cases, the levels have been lowered. Organic produce may have residue because of pesticides approved for organic farming or because of airborne pesticides from conventional farms.
Bacteria. Meats produced using usual (conventional) methods may have higher amounts of dangerous types of bacteria that may not be able to be treated with antibiotics. The overall risk of contamination of organic foods with bacteria is the same as conventional foods."[4]

Columbia University's Climate School says about the environmental sustainability of organic plant production: "it turns out there isn’t a definitive answer to my question. When the costs and benefits are weighed for both organic and conventional agriculture, experts have argued that the most sustainable diet should ideally be sourced from both organic and conventional agriculture, depending on the type of food. Fruit and vegetables, for which nutritional value is the main priority, should be grown organically. Grains and other staple crops, in which caloric density is the main priority, should be grown conventionally."[5]

During a time of inflation in much of the world when it comes to food, it is worth noting that organic food is more expensive. Elmodae (talk) 10:42, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

Those claimed benefits of organic food probably have nothing to do with GMO content, and most can be explained by other causes (e.g. if you don't give animals antibiotics then the animals won't develop antibiotic-resistant bacteria; likewise pesticides; most animals get many nutrients from their diets rather than synthesizing them, so feeding them more nutritious food will result in more nutrients in the meat.) Some GM crops have more nutrients, or require less pesticide, so they may have similar benefits. And if you measure by nutrients per dollar rather than nutrients per gram, you may get a different figure. --Annanoon (talk) 12:29, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
National Geographic points out that organic fruits and vegetables taste better and are more nutritious. Just on the taste alone, I would rather pay more for organic food. Elmodae (talk) 12:44, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Not weighing in on this. Seems personal tastes, no pun intended, factor heavily on certain responses here. Quick overview of GMO vs Organic here https://www.europeanscientist.com/en/environment/organic-vs-gmos-six-recurring-a-priori-of-an-ideological-debate/ Cardinal Chang (talk) 13:06, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
There is also the issue that (at least in my UK experience) 'organic' varieties of fruit/veg are more often than not 'heirloom', 'classic' etc versions which were chosen for stuff like taste (rather than the conventional varieties normally chosen for long shelf-life) and the former is allowed to grow more 'naturally' than the latter which often shall be forced up quick/cheap in polytunnels etc (which often damages both nutritional content and 'experience rating'). Lastly, conventional is more likely to be picked too early, chilled into a Siberian oblivion and then "stored" for eons - which will hardly improve the experience.
So there has to be questions regarding whether these tests are truly 'like for like'; as in organic vs conventional of same quality standards KarmaPolice (talk) 13:30, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
I gave up red meat for health reasons. But I would like to try a big, juicy steak from a grass-fed cow. Elmodae (talk) 14:10, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Comparison could also be made with 'Garden-/Allotment- grown ' foods Anna Livia (talk) 14:14, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Well, in the UK we *do* have 'luxury conventional' fresh produce options too (just ate an Egremont Russet from Waitrose) as well as the stuff sold by 'ethnic' groceries which are outside of the UK supermarket dominated supply chain. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:01, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

Whenever the topic of organic farming comes up I feel compelled to share what fellow skeptic Steven Novella wrote about the subject in 2018 in response to an article published in Nature that year.

There is an issue with efficiency and land-use in organic farming that will be increasingly problematic in the coming decades as Novella writes ...

“Organic farming is less productive per hectare, and any decreased CO2 production from avoiding fossil-fuel based fertilizers or other methods is more than offset by the decreased production and increased land use. This disadvantage will only become greater with time, as the advantages of conventional farming increase and the greater inefficiency of spreading into suboptimal land increases. Further, we have to consider the nitrogen cycle. Where is all the nitrogen to grow crops coming from? Organic farming relies heavily on manure, and that is not sustainable. Scientists are increasingly coming to the firm conclusion that we have to optimize our farming, and organic farming just doesn’t cut it.” - Novella 2018.

He also cites another study which I’ll link below. I will link his blog as well.

The problem here is that if we don’t mitigate the effects of climate change we will lose a considerable amount of farmland coupled with population increases by 2050 we may need to increase our crop output by a quarter. Organic farming is extremely detrimental to that goal.

Regards to health outcomes which I will treat as a proxy to nutritional content Wikipedia states in multiple meta-analyses no clear health benefits or outcomes have been identified in the consumption or organic food. Calling into question that national geographic article which by stating organic food “tastes better” already raises methodological red flags.

Novellas blog: https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/more-evidence-organic-farming-is-bad/ - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:56, 25 October 2022 (UTC)

Personally, I think we need to be *very* wary of dismissing the 'tastes better' angle etc on this; we ignore the 'human element' at our peril - the very worst outcome for humanity here would be to hurtle headlong into a 'chemical meal paste' future which if left to the free market alone, will lead to many getting their calorific needs but little else. You think I'm wrong? It's already led us into the present where in the Anglosphere alone millions of people are overweight but malnourished, our shops filled with 'affordable' fresh produce which scores mediocre at best on the experience scale and often even worse when viewed nutritionally (this is actually a lurking problem; many of the 'nutritional information' we work off is sometimes up to 75 years old as it was assumed the levels in produce didn't really change).
Then there's the waste levels; as a vague guestimate organic yields are about 20% below conventional. However, food waste is between 20-40% in the advanced world. We also have the fact that over a quarter of humans are overweight or worse; clearly, we have a bit 'too much' consumption going on there. 'Organic' has different levels of cachet between America and Europe; in the former I'll argue it was a reasonable backlash from the tendency of producers to throw gigantic amounts of chemicals, hormones and antibiotics onto everything 'just in case' (Europe seems to have long been more circumspect). The gripes against artificial fertiliser etc can also be seen through a similar lens; those farmers around the world who desire to 'trick nature' by importing all the inputs, in some cases making the native soil not much more as a rooting substance.
It's this (and more) which makes me believe that organic (or near-organic) GMOs may be part of the solution... KarmaPolice (talk) 13:07, 25 October 2022 (UTC)
but “tastes better” is a subjective value and the article in question doesn’t make mention to how it was determined. At best you can note a general population preference as a psychological phenomena, but if it’s not blinded it can not be separated from expectancy effects and personal bias; so it wouldn’t mean much unless the preference was found unknowingly by participants unaware of the organic status of the food. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:22, 25 October 2022 (UTC)
Which is exactly why I *do* warn about simply dismissing it - human experience can be summed up as being a collection of 'subjective values' and there's a tendency for 'logical' people to do the above as the easiest way to 'deal' with the issue. Perhaps more importantly, the forces of 'Big Food' have traditionally dealt with such concerns 'rationally' by working on a loss-minimisation strategy; aka to make the numbers of 'negative' responses to the product as low as possible (to make the possible market as wide as possible) which has the effect of normally destroying the 'positives' too.
The logical conclusion to all this is the loaf of industrially-made sliced white bread. Like with the supermarket apples I bitched about earlier, the offense is not in the experience itself (normally), more the fact that it fails in comparison to other 'bread experiences'. It's almost a 'bad cover version' of bread - assuming that you've experienced the original.
Like I said before, I think one of the main planks of the 'organic cult' in the USA is a general qualitative improvememnt vs 'conventional'. However, I've noticed this cult is less in the UK, and I think our (EU-vintage) protections on conventional farming is partly why. Take beef; UK conventional is still mainly 'grass-fed' (yeah, thank BSE in tightening that bit right up), welfare standards are higher and the plying of growth hormones is illegal. Thus, any UK beef farmer does by default what is much more often an 'organic-only' option in the USA.
And doing a quick comparison with a couple of websites, purchasing power etc tells me that basically, when everything is done the average Brit is paying about the same price per kg/lb for their 'baseline beef' than Americans are. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:35, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
I personally haven't noticed any big taste difference between food with the "organic" label slapped on it at the grocery store and those without. No surprise to me that the meta studies seem to be pretty mixed on "taste". Organic at the grocery store is "the agricultural system" without pesticides, true, but it's still "the system". To me the biggest differences in taste tends to be if you can actually source the item locally and get a fresher product (or, at least, less homogenized). It seems like farmer's markets are also becoming more popular in urban US centers these days; IMHO this is a better trend than the organic one.
Some US food standards are definitely pretty bad compared to European ones, yes. I've seen on social media Irish amused at the "cult of the Kerrygold" here, which in the US it's a premium product. To them, it's just butter. 72.184.99.135 (talk) 15:53, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
Ultimately, I do suspect that a decent % of shoppers - not just in the USA - do 'buy organic' in the belief that they're of higher quality regarding production etc. And to some extent they're right; as with the beef example above, 'organic status' does stop some of the worst abuses of the 'industrial system'. But, as you rightly note it doesn't stop much of it - a Red Delicious shall be a crummy experience whether conventionally or organically grown partly due to the traits it's been picked for, young harvesting and long storage times.
In fact, I'd argue that the 'organic quality' may have decreased over the last ~15 years or so because it has gone much more mass market - and thus allowing the same, defective 'agricultural system' to move in (as the market is now large enough to support them). Similar could be said of vegan foods; that I've seen a lot of vegan 'junk' / 'convenience' foods appear from the same old faces in the last ~5 years or so for the same reasons (and mainly committing the same crimes as before). KarmaPolice (talk) 17:54, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
used to have a dwarf apple tree in my backgarden growing up. discovery apples they were. fucking delish. buy em the shop and they were wank. i remember growing up grapes were generally smaller - tiny compared to whats on the shelves these days, and with thinners skin and so so much sweeter, tastier, so much juicier. now they are big and tasteless. i have half an idea that this is a uk phenomenom. uk supermarket veg are essential rubber fruit. they look nice on the shelf but thats it. the tasty fruit i remember as a kid cant handle the rough treatment they endure in transit to supermarket shelves. i dont usually seek out organic produce but i can well believe it is better quality for this reason alone AMassiveGay (talk) 02:36, 28 October 2022 (UTC)
a yootoob AMassiveGay (talk) 02:42, 28 October 2022 (UTC)
From what I can tell, the American fresh produce industry suffers from the same defects as the British, but on a heavier scale and a lower base standard for it too ('cause fweeedom!). And you've hit the nail on the head; 'rubber fruit' lasts for eons, doesn't get damaged in transit and can be ordered in from big packers like pallets of beans or bog roll. Which is good, as we seem to expect strawberries to be all fucking year round. And stuff which tastes of nothing offends nobody; like 'ol Mighty White.
As I've said above, the UK isn't so deformed a market, as we do still have the 'luxury conventional' in the big supermarkets now and then (season permitting). Learning what stuff is genuinely in season helps too - for example, Euro tomatoes are from June-Oct, meaning if you're looking at one now it's been polytunnelled and the experience is not likely to be good. But we've got other problems, including Brexit (estimated to increase the Euro packer > supermarket chain by 1/2 days), a fertliliser shortage (Putin's fault) and that summer from hell (shrivelled crops). Even the push to remove date labels is partly a scam; it's not just to 'cut down on food waste', it's to gloss over the increase ship dates and make it easier to keep shelves full. And I can no longer fucking tell how long the thing's been sitting on the shelf now, esp if the thing in question is all cuccooned in plastic.
Anyway, there is a few things you *can* do. Now, living near a decent, affordable greengrocers is hen's teeth these days - but worth a look if you're lucky. Similar goes for old-school market stalls. I normally try to get my greenery at either 'ethnic' supermarkets (will need to shop around) or failing that, posher shops like Waitrose or M&S. They cost more but I think it's generally worth it. A decade ago I would have suggested Lidl/Aldi too, but in the last 5 years they've gone to shit by hooking up to the same machine which supplies UK supermarkets. Depending on your situation, looking into a fruit/veg box might be worth it. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:53, 29 October 2022 (UTC)

Deadend (talk) 11:14, 28 October 2022 (UTC)

It's good to see that Christian activists are interested in environmentalism. The Adam and Eve with dinosaurs thing is cute.Ariel31459 (talk) 17:49, 28 October 2022 (UTC)

A QAnon and New Age prophecy of positive financial system transformation

The "Quantum Financial System" is a non-existent technology and new paradigm which is said, by QAnon followers and some New Agers, to soon replace the banks and empower people to do their money stuff without banks, and without the nasty things which banks impose on people. It actually sounds nice, but like the New Age prophecy of consciousness and world transformation in 2012, there's no basis for it. Q drops about system-shattering "gold-backed" solutions, rumors about Musk's "new Internet", and a range of technobabble which throws around many acronyms and terms in wild new ways, form key ingredients in the brew.

I was recently pointed to it by a believer. (It's not new; here someone mentioned it on a subreddit for QAnon casualties 2 years ago.) Specifically, I was invited to watch a video about it on a YouTube channel called "Make Sweden Great Again", which shared a prophecy of change coming soon beginning in early November, based on the adoption of the real, but decidedly not quantum anything, ISO 20022 standard for XML-formatted messages sent between financial systems. (This stuff is not mainly from Swedish circles, however.) I also saw a more entertaining comment about it for another video I didn't watch: "Special announcement for Lobstr wallet holders from the Pleiadian Creator and an 11th Dimensional Being from the Elohim who shared 2 problems Humans on Earth have that impact the Quantum Financial System" (list of quantum and "you create your own reality" mind over matter stuff following).

I'm not sure if I'll be motivated to start an article about it, but anyway, this is more on the lighthearted side as far as covering conspiracy stuff goes. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 16:11, 28 October 2022 (UTC)

In the real-world, I'd say it's "technology in theory". Quantum computing is a thing, though in a very early stage (I don't think there's any real world applications yet). Subsequently, if you Google "quantum financial system", you do actually get a lot of people in finance and other hype articles conceptualizing what-ifs about how quantum computing will supposedly possibly revolutionize finance. It's a pure hype cycle at the moment, of course, with a lot of words and very little math, so to me it's not something to take too seriously for now. The point with quantum computing (if it doesn't end up being like fusion or something and never really develops) is that any benefit to it will come with math that runs way better on quantum computers. There is no math quantum computing does that a conventional computer can't do, the quantum computer just possibly can do some calculations way faster than a conventional one can. So until actual math is posted in these papers, it's just "noise" to me.
But yeah, since quantum cryptography is one of those theoretical things, naturally this also creeps over to cryptocurrency. And crypto is a part of the QAnon universe (if only because, sadly, some scammers enjoy fleecing the rubes...) 72.184.99.135 (talk) 16:59, 28 October 2022 (UTC)
The more general idea of using quantum computing in finance settings is technology in theory, but the specific ideas of QFS seem to be fantasy.[6] "Some financial institutions are interested in quantum computing, but it has nothing to do with QFS. They want, instead, to use the new technology for instantaneous analysis, not to transfer money nor become part of the fictional global financial system based on gold-backed currencies." --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:23, 28 October 2022 (UTC)
Yep. The conspiracy side is a fun Google.
Apparently there's an old conspiracy about a NESARA (National Economic Security and Recovery Act), which is not a real bill at all, but some gold bug / libertarian sounding bullshit a certain Harvey Barnard concocted up in the mid 1990s to send to Congress. This was picked up in the 2000s by a follower of Ramtha called "Dove of Oneness" on the Intertubes, expanded (eventually including Pleiadian / lizard shit), and (per the Wiki) became a bit of a battle between the New Age woo / conspiracy theory / cult of "Dove of Oneness" and the gold bug woo of Barnard. We don't have an article on NESARA either, I just mention it because someone tried to claim that their mortgage was forgiven because a GESARA (not just national, it's global!) was going to implement a quantum financial system and all money woes would be taken care of or something. Apparently per another article a certain Canadian QAnon "influencer" named Romana Didulo (Another one? Can't keep up...) has been all over the NESARA / GESARA concept. More proof that QAnon is just a hodgepodge of practically every conspiracy theory ever told mixed together, like a failure pile in a sadness bowl.
Also LOL this bullshit made it to r/Superstonk. The Pleiadians obviously will accomplish this task by riding Gamestop shares to the moon! 72.184.99.135 (talk) 18:53, 28 October 2022 (UTC)
I changed my opinion, if the apes, the financial masterminds of out time, say it, it must be true. Otherwise it was the fault of the SHF and Kenny committing crimes, obviously. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 19:33, 28 October 2022 (UTC)

In terms of cryptocurrencies, I am not truly against them. That said I would not trust any of them as they are unstable, nothing to back then up and very prone to cyber attacks. Cryptocurrencies are an inevitable form of currency but not in it's current form. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 23:24, 28 October 2022 (UTC)

Trans people in pop culture

Okay I have been watching the anime Zombieland Saga (not related to the American movies). It is about girls who died but were brought back as zombies (by supernatural means I assume) and they become an idol singing group.

Anywho one sentient zombie named Lily, when human was born male and was already a child star. When she hits puberty and stated to grow facial hair. She goes into severe mental distress and drops dead from a heart attack. But as a zombie, she got to be the girl she wanted. Perks of being a sentient zombie.

From my knowledge, few anime actually depict trans people in a positive manner. Zombieland Saga is one of the few pieces of media that actually depict trans people in a positive manner.

It is much like American TV shows to do that (I am American and am aware that most media doesn't depict trans people at all and if it does, it is in a negative light. Rarely will you find media with positive depictions of trans people. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 23:56, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

I see your point. Literature is perhaps a better medium for trans issues because the author can tell the reader the thoughts of all the characters. Visual media works best as performance. Because trans people appear to be just about the same as non trans people, it would require some real imagination to create a way to perform being trans. Ariel31459 (talk) 01:44, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
I think LGBT+ portrayals in anime and manga are a mixed bag. Komi Can't Communicate's Najimi Osana and Ren Yamai are poor representations of transgender people and lesbians respectively. Same goes for portrayals of women in anime and manga. Women who pursue a male mate are often portrayed as hostile yanderes, while men don't get the same treatment when it's the other way around. Blue Period is an anime that has a good portrayal of an LGBT+ character named Ryuji. Since anime and manga tend to target young people, especially young males, I wonder what's the reaction of Japanese youth to LGBT+ portrayals in those media. Are they generally apathetic? Also we need to consider that not even same-sex marriage is legal in Japan. LongStylus (talk) 02:32, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Does Gren from Cowboy Bebop count as Trans? He was given hormones against his will, so I don't know what he is exactly. Corgi (poke) 19:49, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Whether or not you're trans is a matter of gender identity. Forcibly being given hormones does not a trans person make. Vee (talk) 01:17, 25 October 2022 (UTC)
Being trans is not the same as merely taking hormones, especially involuntarily. So no. Someone is trans if they say they are.--April Chat? 14:13, 25 October 2022 (UTC)

Coercion into gender change, which has never happened, is not the same. That would be like when Islamic extremists would kidnap people and force them to renounce their country or convert to Islam at gun point.

That is just one example but I believe you get the point. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 00:22, 26 October 2022 (UTC)

The Persians do it, but your point still stands. Vee (talk) 10:44, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
Yes, I've heard the standard in Iran for gay men is either death or what they call transition. Not a nice place.UncleKrampus (talk) 19:13, 26 October 2022 (UTC)
And yet somehow Iran is a more progressive place than its chief rival in the Muslim World: Saudi Arabia (which is a close ally of the Americans. Freedom and democracy, what's that?) Vee (talk) 18:01, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
Saudi Arabia is arguably the most oppressive dictatorship in the middle east. Makes the Gaza Strip in Palestine look progressive. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 00:22, 30 October 2022 (UTC)

Florida

The Florida medical board committee voted to ban all gender re-affirming treatment for minors. All of it. Surgical and otherwise. If this proposal advances, Trans youth in Florida who want gender-affirming treatment will no longer have access to hormones, puberty blockers, and surgeries; Trans youth will, by force, detransition. The final proposal is next week.

They are just going to get more and more explicit about their transphobia. Pay attention.--April Chat? 04:42, 29 October 2022 (UTC)

It is part of the creeping fascism in Florida that DeSantis has been spearheading. Jason Stanley's book How Fascism Works (Fascism#Stanley) does a good job of putting this into larger perspective. Bongolian (talk) 05:08, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Republicans in the House have already signaled that they want to ban trans care nationwide. Why is why it’s important for Americans to FUCKING VOTE for the party that doesn’t plan to do that. Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 06:30, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
A vote for red kills morality dead! Catchy slogan, right? It's my way of saying that anyone who votes for the Republican Party is declaring themselves to be an enemy of America and mankind. Luigifan18 (talk) 06:35, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
They want to ban trans care nationwide? B-b-but what about state rights???? LongStylus (talk) 06:38, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Unbelievable. And it's not just America. In fact it seems almost every country in the world has a phobia about doing sex changes on children. Jeremy Nimrod (talk) 08:18, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Due to my work, I deal with Florida people all day long. It's not a state filled with fascists. By in large, they are pretty nice people who often come from other parts of the USA or other countries. And there is a large Hispanic population and most of the Hispanic people I deal with are very nice. Vice regent (talk) 09:54, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
That can be deceiving due to it being work-related: employees, especially in sales, have to be nice at work if they come into contact with customers/clients. There is also the stereotype of Southern hospitality, that notably did not extend from whites to non-whites. Bongolian (talk) 17:16, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Notably, the Islamic Republic of Iran has long been extremely homophobic, but subsidizes gender reassignment surgery.[7] Bongolian (talk) 17:19, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Like many places, Florida is generally split into many little subdivisions and cultures. It does have plenty of nice folks that hate everything that DeSantis stands for (especially since when elected, he really wasn't playing for the national angle like he is now). Unfortunately, Florida is a state full of old people and has plenty of rural areas. Generally speaking it is the elders and "common clay" types that are most caught up in this "culture war" bullshit. There also is another, probably more dangerous type (due to the unfortunate importance of money in American politics) hidden among this crowd: the "I got mine" rich folks you sometimes find here, and probably elsewhere, who hate seeing taxes go to anything but helping themselves. They certainly don't mind hating on the transgender because they tend to hate anyone who is not rich. (Classism is more of a thing than America tends to let on.) At any rate, "employed people" is not a good representative sample for this sort of thing at all, unless you include the employed sort that get their hands dirty. 72.184.99.135 (talk) 17:23, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
To be honest, I don't think in most cases it's well, 'greedy maliciousness' behind the 'Country Club Republican' crowd supporting DeSantis on this (if anything, the vast majority - if not all - of such treatments would be paid privately in some manner). I suspect instead it's that they simply don't care about it. That they don't know anyone who has a trans kid and may have never even (knowingly) met a trans person so it's all very hypothetical to them and that's assuming they've bothered to even think about it, which a lot of them wouldn't have (a lot have a 'cross that bridge' mentality for stuff like this). But this 'do not care' swings the other way too; they don't really hate trans persons either.
So in this case it's something about a type of person you've never met not being able to do something you don't understand and (you believe) will not ever be relevant to anyone in your own personal circle. Might as well be banning cigars for the under-5s or the eating of quagga steaks for all it's worth. Some of the savvier folks might think it's a bit 'stupid' / 'petty' and so on, but consider it the price paid to keep the 'useful idiots' on-side so they can get politicians in who will then make them personally richer.
As for 'nice people'... you simply cannot judge people on how they behave at work, period (or any other forced-closeness situation, like education and so on). As you won't actually 'know' a lot of them. First, scratch off any 'minority' from the list; chances are, they're 'code-switching' so they fit in to the dominant culture of your workplace better - you don't know them, you know their 'work persona'. Next, anyone who is a clear over/underling - power dynamics always throw spanners into that game of interpersonal relations. Lastly, scrub anyone who is reserved/private/'professional' about stuff - you shall know, again their 'work persona' (normally a rather vanilla thing which nobody shall really object to but seems 'pleasant enough').
Very lastly, it's quite possible for fascists to 'seem nice'. Or even be 'nice'. Case in point; one of the people the journalist Louis Theroux seemed to actually like *as a person*... was a hardline long-term member of the Aryan Nations. In the book he mulled over the fact that he found his 'subject' a perfectly reasonable, 'nice' person save the whole Neo-Nazi thing. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:15, 29 October 2022 (UTC)

A point of clarification: In my work, I mostly deal with the Florida general public over the phone in a sales setting. But I sometimes deal with the company's employees. I help solve people's financial problems or just improve their financial situations. So I deal with all ethnicities such as Whites, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jamaicans, Haitans, Jewish-Americans, etc. And I talk to people from a broad range of economic statuses from rich people to poor people. And I can say without reservation that Floridians are some of the nicest people in the country. And I have been all over the United States. Vice regent (talk) 22:30, 29 October 2022 (UTC)

There are a lot of people in the United States moving from dysfunctional states to functional states. And Florida is the second most popular state that people are moving to. 300HierPandis (talk) 22:45, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Good for your and your alts, I happen to live in Florida, so meh to your "work mode" conversations. :p There's a lot of nice people here as well as many an-asshole. Not too different than elsewhere, of course. It's mainly the big cities (eg Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa) that are growing, along with the "retiree" areas such as the Villages and southern Gulf coast (though Ian will probably put a stop to the later for a bit.) Generally speaking, the growth is heavily driven by Boomers retiring and desiring some place sunny and perhaps near a beach (beaches are pretty nice around here...) I think people are less fleeing "dysfunctional states" (whatever that is) than snow.
It's not like every Floridian is going to be some overt KKK-style Confederate flag waver or even a Donald Trump fanboy driving around in their "pavement princess" lifted truck with the oversized Trump flag attached to the bed (these guys frankly look ridiculous). Most aren't like this at all. A lot of the racism and phobes are more subdued or hidden (only coming out on social media like Facebook or Nextdoor in some cases, sometimes with rip-roaring effect, sometimes more coy) and won't come out in a casual meeting where culture dictates politeness (even with the backstabbing talk in private, bless their hearts :p). Also, despite this, a lot of Floridians (in the cities especially, but even in rural areas) really are quite accepting and tolerant, meaning DeSantis's "culture war" will fall flat for many of these voters, or even perhaps piss them off. Florida's kind of a weird microcosm as the fun page describes quite well. Some areas are very diverse and attract wide variety of backgrounds. There are several well known large LGBTQ areas in Florida (generally in big cities or in the Keys). Still, the "just a little bit (or even a lot) racist" crowd isn't small.
Also, as I mentioned, the "I got mine" crowd exists and frankly isn't small either, and even though the New York Times isn't going to come down here and interview Naples golf club retirees or all those beach condo dwellers like they do for the Kansas rurals, I see this crowd as a pretty big factor for the Republican vote. KarmaPolice is right that (as a good clarification) it isn't overt minority hate per se all of the time (though there are some flat out racists in this lot too). But the net effect is one where they don't want to see any of their tax dollars support anyone that isn't themselves or their ilk. For instance, during our Ian evacuation, someone chatted up my wife, and for whatever reason started to go off on how he hoped his taxpayer dollars wasn't going to support the hotel stay of another family staying at the hotel, who happened to be somewhat obviously lower class. Lower class and white, that is. It's a classism frame more than a racism one, in many cases, for this lot.
The problem here is that DeSantis is clearly playing the Viktor Orbán playbook in my mind, you can see this with his attacks on business and education that go well beyond prior Republican dog-whistling. Many Floridians probably aren't full on fascist, I'm sure, but their casual racism or classism might lead them to vote somebody in that is climbing the on-ramp into the fascism freeway, so to speak, with visions of taking things nationally in this direction. I mean, even a National Review columnist in 2020 realized that the GOP embrace of Orbán was a shitty idea, as while Orbán may please the nationalist conservative rurals, his policies and ideas have led to a country that is stunted compared to other Central Europe post-communist nations. Yet, it's two years later and we are at a point where Orbán was cheered at this year's CPAC, right? 72.184.99.135 (talk) 01:28, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
Some additional clarification: In my work for the Florida company, one of the most important things to do in the first few minutes of the call is to develop rapport. And many times I notice accents related to where I have lived or been to before such as New York City, the Midwest, the South, etc. so sometimes I break the ice by asking them where they lived before moving to Florida and I tell them I also lived there or traveled there. And I can tell you that there are a lot of Floridians who have moved to the state from states like New York and other blue states enclaves (Democrat enclaves). While some people move to Florida for the sunshine, it is more often other factors, but even if it was the sunshine states like California, Hawaii and Georgia also have sunshine. People often move to Florida due to the state’s: low taxes, job opportunities, and the light regulatory and business-friendly Florida government - all of which make the cost of living affordable for many lower- and middle-class Americans. The rich people I talk to living in \$1M+ home areas are more apt to like the business-friendly Florida government and its low income taxes. The middle and lower income people move to Florida because of its job opportunities. And I have noticed that Florida is very culturally diverse so that is attractive to some people who move to the state - especially overseas people. I spoke to one of my fellow workers yesterday and she told me that many people from her country of Panama move to Florida because of all the inflation/corruption and other problems in her country. The small company I work for has an English-speaking sales team and a Spanish-speaking sales team. The company I work with would love me to move to Florida so I can go to appointments face to face and moving to Florida is very tempting to me due to the state's low-income taxes and its cultural diversity. I have already studied Spanish in the past and learning more Spanish interest me for a number of reasons.
I try to avoid talking politics with my company's prospects/customers, but since I am somewhat eclectic in my political views sometimes I use politics to establish rapport if they bring up their political views. And I don't talk to many political extremists on either side of the right/left spectrum. Vice regent (talk) 06:49, 30 October 2022 (UTC)

Communists, Leninists, Marxists, Leftists...

Putin/Xi are not your ideological allies. This seems pretty cut and dry but I continue to see people on the left continue to try to carve out a justification for Russians actions in Ukraine and Chinese actions towards Taiwan. For any of you lefty's out there struggling to communicate this, or who find themselves defending the arming, training and intelligence sharing with the Ukrainian army, let me try to provide the context necessary to refute some of these claims.

1. Ukraine doesn't have national sovereignty: There are different versions of this claim, but the one from 2021 Putin[8] claims shared heritage going back to a loose medieval federation, and it's creation of a state in 1918 is a Soviet mistake, which Russia is entitled to correct. Mid 19th century is when Ukrainian language and culture begins to develop, and while there are shared historical roots, Ukraine develops a cultural identity that is wholly different from Russia. Historical context aside, Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances from 1994 which this first point is: The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine. The language here is pretty clear, and claiming some sort of mystic historical connection is a trait of Fascism.
2. Ukraine is run by Nazi's: Here again, Putin is attempting to use history to shade the current situation. Ukraine is a democracy, a weak democracy for sure, but they have elected representatives, an elected executive and a kind of independent judiciary. Far-Right/Neo-Nazi parties have attempted to get a foothold in national politics, but never received significant support at the national level.[9] These parties platforms are equivalent to National Rally in France,(who Putin supports) Neo-Confederates in the United States, or AfD in Germany.(Who had members that conveniently showed up in occupied Ukraine in support of the "referendum"[10]) The other evidence offered by Putin is the existence and incorporation of the Azov Regiment. One of the groups founders wrote this in 2014:“The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.” However local support for the group isn't because of their ideology, it comes from the fierceness of the defense of Mariupol in 2014. This group was instrumental in pushing Russian proxy forces back. Ukrainian military leadership incorporating them into the National Guard was essentially a marriage of convenience. However, before the 2022 invasion, Ukraine's armed forces totaled a quarter of a million, it's National Guard boasted 50,000, and only 1,000 of those soldiers were a part of the Azov regiment. It's important to be wary of groups with histories of Nazi ties, Russia's military has plenty of neo-Nazi ties,[11] specifically the Rusich Group and the Russian Imperial Movement. Also, the Ukrainian president is Jewish, and efforts to claim Jewish people were responsible for the action of the Third Reich is a common anti-Semitic trope.[12]
3. Russia was threatened by NATO:This to me is perhaps the most frustrating, because it clearly is rooted in anti-American sentiment masquerading as anti-imperialist sentiment. It is also rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of NATO. It is a defensive treaty, and it's defining article 5 is explicit:

“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.”

There is nothing in the article that could construed in any fashion to support an armed attack. It also explicitly references UN charter Article 51 which says:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

NATO is not responsible for any armed attack against the Russian Federation. Ukraine is also not a NATO member. Article 5 has actually only been triggered once in NATO history, and that was to come to the aid of the United States after 9/11[13]. Admittedly, much of the consternation about NATO is directly related to the US, especially questionable military operations across South East Asia, Iraq, Africa and South America during the Cold War. NATO also has a spotty record for humanitarian interventions in the Balkans and Libya. But neither NATO nor the US are parties to this conflict. And their support of intelligence, training and equipment is being requested by Ukraine. We have a moral imperative as member of the UNSC, to provide support in the name of defense. There is a long list of American foreign policy failures. This isn't one of them. Russian imperialism has an equally violent and I would argue more brutal history dating back to medieval Russian, but most recently in Syria, Chechnya and the 2014 seizure of Crimea.

Imperialism is bad. Putin is a by definition, a fascist.RipCityLiberal (talk) 18:36, 27 October 2022 (UTC)

Regarding point 1, this is actually irredentism that you describe, which a trait of both fascism and imperialism. Regarding point 2, Putin and his cabal are definitionally fascist as shown in Fascism#Paxton. The tarring of non-fascists by fascists is what historian Timothy Snyder has called schizofascism. Bongolian (talk) 20:25, 27 October 2022 (UTC)

I'm surprised his party isn't listed as "Right-Wing To Far-Right", given that it also has parties like this one in it. Also Centristpedia has changed his former party from Right-Wing to "Big Tent" ¬¬... Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 20:41, 27 October 2022 (UTC)

Erm...
1; This reads like the kind of thing which would read better as an essay.
2; The main issue I'm finding from the hard-left is not an argument that China/Russia 'is right', but more a 'they're as bad as the West is'. The most common line is generally a variant of 'this is an imperalist war' - that it's simply the Russian capitalist class fighting the NATO capitalist class and the Ukrainians are simply the immediate prize/victim/pawn.
3; Therefore, I feel the most important thing to do here is to argue that the 'Russian/Chinese' model is worse than the 'Western' one - and I do this by stating by firm belief that the former is worse because it offers no space for organic development, while our side *does*. Our side may be shit, but we can still generally speak our minds, convince others, publish, organise, moblilise. You try that in Moscow or Beijing, and see how far you get before you're in a labour camp, suffer an 'accident' or find yourself discovering how having your fingernails being pulled out feels like.
KarmaPolice (talk) 20:49, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
I could see 2 countries become as bad as China & Russia. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 21:05, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
Another argument to put forth would be that the United Nations was founded to reduce worldwide conflict,[14] establish basic norms for international relations, and to begin the process of decolonization.[15] Since Ukraine was and is a sovereign member of the United Nations since the breakup of the Soviet Union and based on the aforementioned Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances. If one supports Putin's war of aggression against a sovereign state,[16] one is supporting Putin's claim that Ukraine never existed a sovereign state (a falsehood because of Ukraine's UN membership), and therefore one opposes those principles behind the United Nations. Bongolian (talk) 21:07, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
Belarus already is a puppet state of Moscow. Vee (talk) 21:10, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
Ukrainian nazis are passé - it's satanists now...seriously - you couldn't make this stuff up.... Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:23, 27 October 2022 (UTC)
I don't think proving that Ukraine 'is a sovereign nation' is required in this. It operated as de facto one by ~1993 and got 'the world' to accept it as such, so it is.
The whole argument strongly reminds me of the kinds of discussions heard in the UK in the early-mid 20th regarding Ireland; it took perhaps three political generations in London to accept Dublin a) had the right of self-rule then b) was an independent country and finally c) was a truly sovereign nation which had the equal right of independence as the UK did. And long after that, sections of British (or more correctly, English) society still find it difficult to grasp this 'fact' - the amount of times I've heards often unconscious comments that suggest that 'Ireland isn't really a proper country' of which the zenith had to be some old idiot saying 'they didn't understand the 'Irish problem' for Brexit because weren't they leaving with us?'
In this respect, it's like a former owner of a house believing they still have the 'right' to sit in the garden and use your bathroom even after they've sold it to you. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:49, 27 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I recall that a large amount, perhaps most, of Communists, and more particularly Marxist-Leninists, do not support the modern People's Republic of China or the Russian Federation. I largely agree with you, Russia is a capitalist-imperialist power, and China is very similar, and both do not support the cause of international revolution. The people who you are talking about are nothing more than a small faction of self-decleared "tankies" and "anti-imperialists" who falsely call themselves Marxist-Leninists, and who are largely westerners. Most of us do not support China nor Russia. My only major disagreement would be you usage of the term "imperialism". Imperialism is not "when a country invades another", it is really a distinct stage in the development of Capitalism as a mode of production. Further, while Russia is imperialist, it is not as bad as American Imperialism. Russia does not kill millions of people in East Asia and the Middle East, do coups around the world, etc. Of course, I am in no way saying Russia deserves support due to this. These few pseudo-Marixsts on the internet are not what most of us think, we understand that China and Russia are Imperialist (here's a source for further research on this topic). Wisconcom (talk) 01:31, 28 October 2022 (UTC)

That definition of imperialism is not something universally accepted by scholars, it's something that Lenin arbitrarily came up with. It's just a means to create ideological cover for nominally socialist nations to control the resources of another region through the use of colonialist and expansionist violence; which the soviet union did do. Imperialism is when a country extends it's power through diplomacy and military force. You can't simply state Lenin's definition as de facto the true meaning of imperialism; that is just an appeal to authority fallacy. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:17, 28 October 2022 (UTC).
There is no single "universally" agreed upon understanding of Imperialism by scholars anyways. Lenin concocted the Marxist understanding of Imperialism by viewing trends in the development of transnational capital export, banking sectors, monopoly firms, etc. It was certainly based on something material. Correct, the Soviet Union was, after 1956, Imperialist. However, by that point, the Soviet leadership had firmly disregared Lenin's teachings in that regard. Wisconcom (talk) 02:37, 28 October 2022 (UTC)
But it still subjects itself to counter-examples namely in the acts of imperialism within modes of production that predate capitalism. As many if not most historians would acknowledge. As someone who is more Wittgensteinian I would argue that what "imperialism" means has to be reduced to ordinary language usage -- which is definitely not what Lenin provides. If we are going to talk about material conditions that can be referenced, you can do so to the actual means to which conquering is performed and the means to how resource extraction and exploitation happen. Especially so in the technology that give rise to these capabilities. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:48, 28 October 2022 (UTC)
The modern meaning of imperialism does predate Lenin (as per OED), going back to the 1870s, with a related meaning dating back to the 1600s. Bongolian (talk) 05:01, 28 October 2022 (UTC)
There is, in fact no contradition between the 'conventional' and 'Leninist' definition of imperialism. Lenin merely describes the economic aspects of imperialism (one which so many at the time missed); the use of the 'lesser' for cheap materials, a market for the 'major's' capital, exported products and so on. Lenin was clearly thinking of the likes of Cecil Rhodes, who openly admitted as such some 20 years earlier regarding southern Africa. Also of James Connolly; who argued that only a socialist Ireland would be truly independent from the UK because it would continue being an economic colony of the British otherwise (a prediction which proved to be very true). Capital, flags and guns - normally, when one turns up the other two are shortly to follow.
Now let's look at the situation. Ukraine is undergoing a forcable attempt by Russia to force them into their 'sphere of influence'. The level of 'national loss' threatened is perhaps close to total and their new masters shall not be mild ones. Therefore, this is a 'reduction' of the stage of Ukranian development and so their resistance to the reduction should be supported.
Ukraine was a developing capitalist-democratic state, Russia is an authortarian-oligarchic one; rather oddly similar to the Russia of 1914. Marxist thought makes it clear; Ukraine was undergoing her 'bourgeois revolution' which allows the promise of further revolutions, while Russia had her bourgeois revolution firmly aborted between 1994-2014. Therefore, Ukraine is the superior societal form and thus, should be supported in her resistance to forced 'devolvement' by Russia.
The point about 'Western crimes' etc is irrelevant in this issue. Now, while the reasons the American/Euro 'spheres' offer aid to Kyiv may be purely motivated by self-interest but a) Kyiv is in no position to refuse and b) the possible future 'costs' of this help are in the future - she is having to deal with the immediate question of an attempted destruction by Russia. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:05, 28 October 2022 (UTC)
Lenin, like most true weasels of his kind, liked a definition of imperialism that didn't apply to the kind of shit he was pulling. Academics can fart around with obsolete definitions, but today Webster says an imperialist country should be doing exactly what Russia is doing, execising dominion over the former Soviet Republics and attempting to expend into familiar territory based upon the folklore of past eras. Familiarity breeds contempt among nations it seems. This arguing over the correct definition of terms that connote different things at different times reminds me of the one true Scotsman fallacy. According to census data the population of the Soviet Union decreased from between nine and ten million people from 1932 to 1939. I wonder where they went? "According to official figures there were 777,975 judicial executions for political charges from 1929–53, including 681,692 in 1937–1938, the years of the Great Purge. Unofficial estimates estimate a total number of Stalinism repression deaths in 1937–38 at 700,000–1,200,000. There were also operations of mass ethnic cleansing against various minorities living in Stalin's USSR, known as the National operations of the NKVD, with the largest one being the Polish Operation of the NKVD during which over 111,000 Polish communists and other Poles were exterminated." Russia was and is a horrible violator of human rights. American imperialism is quaint next to that of Russia. Stalin alone is said to be responsible for the deaths of twenty million people.Ariel31459 (talk) 05:01, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Calling Lenin 'a weasel' is a bit harsh, esp as the things you're citing happened after his death. And citing Stalin's crimes - a man riddled with paranoia and bigotry - is neither fair or to be honest relevant to the point under discussion. Arguing about what he might or might not have done too is pointless, as he pulled the best thing for a reputation - dying before he had to show the omlette he'd finally made from all those cracked eggs.
With Ukraine, there's ultimately a pretty simple question to ask - will the Ukrainian working class 'win', 'lose' or be about the same if their country is forced back into Moscow's empire? Well, it's pretty obvious that in this case they'll end up with a lower SoL, less freedom, shall be subjected to sometimes violent harrassment, run the risks of their very children being taken from them, be indoctrinated and that they'll be drafted as fodder to shoot down the working class in other nations resisting another of Putin's takeover. That's assuming that they get to survive the takeover in the first place, that is.
https://freedomnews.org.uk/2022/03/04/fuck-leftist-westplaining/
KarmaPolice (talk) 07:30, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
I suppose I should admit my own bias, being that of a dedicated nominalist and also a kind of post structuralism appeals to me. I don't want to troll you over any personal historical interests. But it should be said that Stalin was Lenin's creature. Apart from that let's just say they are both characters found in historical narratives of the Soviet era; a time during which the mood and character of the population was accepting of fatal authoritarian tendencies. Socialism could not change their nature; their ideological fever, or desire for retribution or revenge. It wasn't Stalin who did the murdering. The Germans suffered from a very similar social affliction under the national socialists. The same situation may be active in Russia today. Ariel31459 (talk) 17:10, 29 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is nothing but Western Chauvinism and Eurocentrism. While I agree that Stain was a follower of Lenin, everything else is false. What "fatal authoritarian tendencies"? How can a population be "accepting of that"? Are you saying Workers' Democracy, large-scale industrialization and modernization, mass-education of the people, and so on are "authoritarian"? Further, by your standards, would not people in, for instance, the United States of American or Cananda be "accepting of authoritarian tendencies", given how both countries were created off genocide, enslavement, etc., and how their economies and political systems are ruled by oligarchs with no care for the common people? But of course, whenever people like you talk about non-westerners, they are always ultra-collectivist hive-minds with no rational thinking. Socialism is not built off "revenge", it is built of rational and people-based economic planning, a desire for a equal society, freedom from exploitation, and so on. Go attempt to fool somebody else with your archaic and bigoted views of "oriental despotism". Wisconcom (talk) 18:26, 29 October 2022 (UTC)

Calling what was practiced under Lenin "worker's democracy" is kind of ironic considering the banning of trade unions, the refusal to accept election results, etc. Also keep in mind this "mass-education" was solely to ensure that workers would be indoctrinated with the correct ideology, as Lenin thought the workers were too full of false consciousness and reactionary political tendencies to recognize their own "class interests". A good chunk of where Lenin departs from Marx is in that Lenin didn't think the workers themselves were capable of liberating themselves, or self-direction in governance. That's how he justifies the whole politics of a vanguard party doing all that work for them. It's actually a deeply classist and pretty fucking elitist political philosophy. If anything deeply prejudiced about individual members of the working class. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)
I think authoritarian in this context could be in reference the level of state-interference in the life of the individual/ the organization of politics into vertical hierarchies of increasingly concentrated power. Leninism isn't exactly about horizontal organization or the implementation of egalitarian communes. Individuals are not free to act without state intervention, and income, property, and decision making ability was not equally shared among all members of the union. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:56, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
So governments, regardless of their ruling class, doing anything is bad and "authoritarian"? Yet megacorporations putting their workers into wage slavery is "freedom"? Liberals clearly can not think clearly. Wisconcom (talk) 23:03, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Yes, that's right OSD. I am writing about the death from executions, the gulags, forced labor, ethnic cleansing, deportations, forced settlements. Yeah, fatal authoritarian tendencies. By the way, if you read carefully, Wisconcom, you would have noticed that I didn't blame socialism for human weaknesses; socialism is economic in its scope and has its uses in a democratic state. I implied socialism can't eliminate human error, greed and malice. See, in a democracy, if people don't want a leader that kills a lot of people, they vote them out of office ( e.g., pandemic consequences in 2020 election). In an authoritarian state (Russia), the government gets to just keep killing until they get their way or until the state collapses.Ariel31459 (talk) 20:51, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Of course; expected Anti-communist propaganda. Firstly, the gulags were never larger than the American prison system according to numerous documents from the Soviet Union. At the largest, only around 2 million were ever sent to the gulags. The gulags were simply corrective labor camps anyways, not "death camps". There was no "forced labor". With such logic, nearly all labor within Capitalism is forced as well (which it is in a way, but that is not related in this context). There no ethnic cleansing, in fact, the rights of ethnic groups were greatly protected in the Soviet Union. While you are correct that Socialism is a mode of production, your wording greatly implies that you understand Socialism to be "when the government does stuff", which is false. Socialism is incapable with Capitalism; only one can exist. Lastly, disregarding your baseless and disproven "human nature" argument, the United States of America or any other Capitalist country is not a "democracy"; leaders are chosen based upon their wealth, with them always being of the ruling class. Did people want Bush to maintain his power, not a majority, yet did he still maintain his leadership, despite killing millions? Of course. From what I have seen with Liberals such as yourself, nearly every criticism you make of Socialist states is merely projection of the American empire and Capitalism. Forced labor? people have to work in unbearable working conditions with little pay while billionaires make unthinkable amounts of profits off their labor. Prisons? the USA has the largest prison system on the planet. Oligarchs and corrupt Party officals? the economy and political in the West is ruled by oligarchs. and so on. Both the United States and Russia are plutocratic and imperialist. Wisconcom (talk) 23:00, 29 October 2022 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That's really the problem with dictatorships. The leader can be a visionary and benevolent genius, but eventually he'll die and get replaced by a bum or a butcher. And the people will have no way to fight back. Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 21:07, 29 October 2022 (UTC)

This style of argumentation is just a whataboutism. I for one would conclude that labour is forced under capitalism (though we should make a distinction between chattel slavery and wage labour as both may be forced but the former is much much more abusive and morally objectionable). I would also agree that “democracy” under capitalism is a sham. From my perspective you are just comparing one authoritarian system for another. I know you aren’t responding to me in particular but if you are say a prison abolitionist why would the comparison between Gulags and Prisons be any more/less objectionable? We’re are talking two fucked up deplorable institutions. Though at least we can give the US credit for not sending people in their “gulags” for simply being jewish. You are confusing prisoner numbers for the reported death toll by the Soviet Union. According to the union’s own documents about 1 to 2 million people died in the camps. Sure there are inflated numbers out there, but the Soviet Union had methods to officially decrease the death toll by simply releasing prisoners once they got sick or were near death so they “technically” didn’t die in the camp. So the actual death may be in fact much higher. Official estimates for those sent to the gulag is closer to 15 million. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:51, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Once again, you outright deny the class-character of the state. Under Socialism and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, which the Soviet Union under Stalin was, the government is fundamentally under the rule of the workers, and serves the interests of the workers. However, in the United States for example, the government is made up of the capitalists, and serves the interests of the capitalists. Under each system, one class opresses another, for instance, in the United States, capitalists are able to brutally exploit their workers, collect massive amounts of profits, have the labor movement be cracked down upon, have the poor been thrown into prisons, etc. Whereas in the Soviet Union during Stalin, capitalist forces were no longer able to own the means of production, were no longer able to exploit their workers, were no longer able to project their class-interests and bourgeois ideology into the greater society, and so on. Therefore, in the Soviet Union under Stalin, the penial system naturally served the interests of the working class, and fought bourgeois figures and ideology. So no, not all prison systems are the same. Ideally, there would be no prisons during the development of socialism, but then again, how are you to protect the socialist government from counter-revolutionaries and other reactionaries? The Soviet Union did not send people to prisons for being Jewish, they is an absurd piece of cold-war era propaganda. Rather, the Soviet Union protected Jewish people, with many people of Jewish orgin having given government posts, such as Lazar Kaganovich. With regards to figures, offical documents released show that only around two million were sent to prisons, and not even necessarily gulags. Note that these numbers are not "Communist propaganda", and they have indeed by retrived by rather Anti-communist historians such as Arch Getty. Wisconcom (talk) 01:04, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
to the point about class character, Well no not entirely. See Marx never defined the DoTP as being characterized by the use of representatives acting on the workers behalf. He did describe it being democratic however, and his stance of it being a centralized or decentralized form of governance depends on the period of his writing. Regardless though Marx’s concept of the state was much broader then the traditionally Weberian definition. For Marx the state was the apparatus of class rule regardless of it’s form and structure — while for Weber and most anarchists the state is the institution that hold the monopoly on legitimatized violence in a given territory. You can have a Marxist conception of a state in the absence of the Weber’s conception of the state. I recognize the current bourgeois state’s role in enforcing the status of bourgeoise as the ruling class; but you see that is also in part because the majority of the members of the state are in fact of the bourgeois class themselves (or at very least financially incentivized to act within their interests). To me the only genuine workers “state” is one under direct non-hierarchal democratic control of the labouring class themselves. The only people who can represent their own interests are themselves. Denying equal decision making power among the entirety of the working class just cannot be a system of government that can effectively and accurately act in the interest of workers. Denying them the ability to vote, to dictate the terms and compensation of their labour, to act as independent unions where they directly voice and act upon their own desires cannot in any sense of the term be a system acting in service of worker’s interests. The bourgeois state extends such decision making power to the bourgeois class, a vanguard party that ignores the individual needs of the worker and refuses them a voice absolutely is not extending power to the worker. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:53, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
also no that stuff about Jewish prisoners was not cold war propaganda that was actually one of the conditions of the moltov-Ribbentrop pact. The party was required to purge Jewish members from certain ranks, and many of them ended up in the Gulag. It’s also no secret that Stalin was anti-semitic; his own daughter wrote as much. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:53, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
I have to congratulate you, OSD, for having the patience to deal with Stalinist apologists. The thing about economics from the POV of worker justice is, so far, it has not been self-sustaining, the Soviet Union being the paradigm of that failure. The fallacy of supposing philosopher kings will always be available to provide the right management decisions presents itself as the elephantine resident. Who are the smart guys running things, and how does one keep them from taking over entirely? Will we purge the people doing well in our theoretical social economy? Can anyone do well, apart from the ruling class, after such a purge? Clever people tend to occupy higher economic positions in social economies. This is an implicit class structure that appears to be unavoidable without courting economic disasters. Give them authority and they start to make self-interested decisions. People are not starving in western economies. One could argue that 3rd world peoples go hungry because of the exploitation of their labor by western interests. Without western intervention, it appears, they would likely continue to go hungry. Money is fungible with power. Where ever the power is, that's where the money is. Can one eliminate the corrupting influences on human beings? Those with the money don't need more power. Those with the power don't need more money. Still, the desire to acquire power and wealth continues unabated in our species. UncleKrampus (talk) 17:58, 30 October 2022 (UTC)

Visa Mills: The hardly noticed but major role in diploma mill operations

I have been thinking about an article on Visa Mills. For those who don't know what a Visa Mill is, it is a fake or substandard "college" that offers education visas but doesn't give any actual education. Often goes hand in hand with diploma mills. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 02:00, 29 October 2022 (UTC)

Never heard of visa mills. How repugnant... it would make for a great page though.--April Chat? 07:25, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
A number of language schools in Ireland, closed recently, seemed to be embroiled in such behaviour Cardinal Chang (talk) 10:40, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
At the very least, it might well make a decent added paragraph or three in the diploma mill article. Kencolt (talk) 15:32, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
I am aware that plenty of immigrants have landed in hot water due to visa mills. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 00:24, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
It's an odd situation. Sometimes, the 'con' is on the country - 'college' and 'student' know it's just a way to get a visa etc. Other times, the 'con' is on the 'student' - they genuinely believe it's a legit facility. Shocking to none, but ICE has been caught entrapping people... https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/12/10/who-went-fake-university-farmington-and-why
Personally, think it's too different a MO for a 'normal' diploma mill (though one may also be the other) so deserves it's own page. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:23, 30 October 2022 (UTC)

Visa mills are an interesting case. There have been times that fake colleges have operated as visa mills. I am also aware of some cases of entrapment set up by ICE. There is the interesting case of Regan National University which didn't exist beyond a website. It's purpose seemed to be both a diploma mill and visa mill. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 12:39, 30 October 2022 (UTC)

Capitalism is finally nearing its end...

 Ahoy, matey! Beware, for there be a great sea ofConcern Troll Bullshit ahead!

Capitalism, and its product, Imperialism, are finally ending. Indeed, this has been an ongoing process, for, in Lenin's words:

The transition from capitalism to communism represents an entire historical epoch. (Lenin selected works, Vol. XXIII, p. 355)

Yet, presently, our society is being witness to the final pulses of Capitalism.

As Imperialism reaches its furthest possible extent, to the degree in which there exist no more peoples to plunder and markets to exploit abroad, the last choose for the ruling class of the Imperialists states is nothing but war between rival imperialists themselves. They commonly say that history repeats itself, and in this regard, it is true. Our society is facing all the hardships of the early 20th century - wars, increased class warfare, and economic downturn.

Yet, these factors, along with new and major factors such as Capitalist-induced climate change, are seemingly concurrent with each other.

The economy in the West is in a similar state to 2007-2008, a bloated housing market, massive amounts of debt, and so on. In the span of the entire 2020s so far, we have already seen a recession, and now, we are expected to see another, much more impactful one. Thus is the natural state of Late-stage Capitalism; a economic crisis every 5-10 years.

Wages have reached an all-time low, with them barely being able to pay for basic rent or sustenance. Union-busting is omnipresent, and many other trends are being seen. In other words, the Capitalists are augmenting their efforts to repress the working class.

Russia, needing to gain more markets and secure the power of its ruling class, are militantly invading Ukraine, while the NATO imperialists likewise wish to empower themselves as well. It is a similar trend with the People's Republic of China and the United States of America in Asia.

Due to our lack of a planned economy and development of Socialism in general, private bourgeois are building new oil industry and polluting at a massive rate, resulting in wanton pollution. With the bourgeois democracies under the "lobby" money of oil-oligarchs, no change is going to happen, even if the world will burn, due to Capitalism being a system where a small ruling class exploit the workers for nothing but self-interest; profits before people, with totally no regard for human life.

However, this is not a sign to entire into a state of malaise ("doomerism"), but a sign of hope; hope for society, hope for humanity, and hope for progress.

As the international Proletariat sees the opression nature of Capitalism, they are forming into labor unions, protest movements, and most importantly, Revolutionary Socialist Parties. All over the world, we are seeing the workers prepare to fight for their class-interests. A new militant labor movement is coalescing, and a new epoch of Proletariat governments and Socialism will appear. Wisconcom (talk) 00:18, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

I hear this said from ML's literally every year. They also have been saying this for literally over a century, and compare to a century ago the labour movement is basically dead. ML's in my experience tend to make really bad prophets. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:55, 8 October 2022 (UTC).
That is false. My claims were based off a number of factors. Most people, particularly youth, who are particularly suffering from the lack of free housing, employment, good pay, etc. are correctly turning to Socialism. Moreover, the housing market in the United States of America has entered into a "bubble" of sorts, that is not to speak anything of global warming. All these factors are clear. @OnlySortaDumb
Marxists sound a lot like evangelicals sometimes. "It's gonna happen! Any day now!" I'm not to worried. Props on your jargon and pseudo-intellectual diction, also very Marxist! An Advocate (talk) 01:11, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
You're too polite. This screed is a load of horse shit that is best sweeped off the floor of the stable and into a dumpster. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 01:13, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
My article user:GeeJayK/Criticism of socialism will save capitalism! GeeJayK (talk) 01:16, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
The OP sort of looks like an abridged version of the Communist Manifesto. Except without the latter half bashing other socialists for not being communists (they started early). Or any of the arguments. Or the urgent emotional weight. Or the sense of impending revolution (which failed...). It's more like a press release: Next Season: Communism is Coming. Also, since the economic conditions right now are broadly similar to those described in the CM, it seems like 'late stage capitalism' been the status quo for at least 180 years now. Also I think the CM puts the bourgoise as arising from imperialism, which would make capitalism the product of imperialism. But what do I know from communism. Namako (talk) 01:31, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
What do you mean failed? You are saying the revolutions of 1848, the Paris Commune, Russian Revolution, etc. failed? They are not similar, Marx did not mention anything of massive monopoly-firms, Imperialism, and anything else. Are you saying billionaires existed in 1860?

You project nothing but a lack of understanding of economic development. Everything I said is proven fact. Wisconcom (talk) 22:58, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

I mean I personally wouldn't be worried about capitalism ending because I would want it to end in the hopes of something better replacing it. I also don't think that will happen unless a substantial amount of the working class is organized -- and I am not deluded enough to think that systematic changes will just happen suddenly all at once any time soon. Regardless if capitalism were to end I definitely would not want it replaced by some vanguard command economy; seriously fuck that noise even the soviets were eventually privy to that simply not working - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:36, 8 October 2022 (UTC).

My goto "gotchya" question for every would-be socialist is whether or not a group of doctors establishing their own clinic is part of the socialist ideal. The medical Means of Production is the hospital and equipment therein, and it's through the doctors' hands and sweat off their brows that the doctors create wealth. So naturally, a group of doctors owning their own clinic should be just as lauded as any other worker co-op establishing their own business. Yet that doesn't ever seem to be the case in a lot of people's minds. Corgi (poke) 03:00, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
That's not really much of a gotcha, and I think that comes from a pretty limited understanding of socialism. Worker co-ops are not de-facto good by default even if it is workers owning the means of production (in a partial sense). The clinic itself would need to be under collective ownership of the community or all the healthcare workers who work within it in a economic context where the means of production are predominately under collective/communal ownership. The power structure there within would have also have to be organized along horizontal lines. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:05, 8 October 2022 (UTC).
Speaking purely personally, I think a hybrid model is best; that smaller-scale concerns should be held by both workers and consumers. It lessens the risk of one group trying to gouge the other for their own advantage. Though to tell the truth, most forms of socialism-in-practice generally have not objected to small-scale 'owner-operated' businesses (family farms, shops, industrial concerns) though with limitations (which generally exist anyway, like labour laws).
Anyway, I personally think we all should be better than the traditional knee-jerk 'this mumbo-jumbo won't fly!' response. The top may be somewhat badly argued and thus, with lots of holes to pick at but that doesn't explain away the main criticisms Marxists lay a the door of current capitalism; such as the fact mass consumerism is in a direct collision with ecological reality and that the 'inherent contradiction of capitalism' is coming to be (basically, the 'proletarianisation of the middle class' is crushing consumer demand, which shall ultimately lead to a crisis in finance (democracy too), leading to increasing 'bread and circuses' to distract the proles while the elites squabble with their international competitors over control of the remaining resources and markets to keep capitalism's fires burning a little while longer). Throw in technological advances too... we're getting to the stage where it's quite possible to build a capitalist neo-feudalistic nightmare which escape from shall be difficult (which echoes Lenin some 120 years ago; that Russia was a 'goldilocks' position because she was advanced enough to have enough of a proletariat to lead a revolution but too backward to have developed the means to crush it).
There's a simple reason why the Marxists' prediction of doom has not yet come to pass; because capitalism is rarely allowed to run to the brink. That normally, someone (often several someones) ends up kicking back; from the formation of militant trade unions and governmental trust-busting to whole sectors being removed out of private hands and legal restrictions being put on 'enterprise'.
I would argue here that now in '21-'22 we are starting to see that 'kickback', which has started to build in '07-'08; it's taken time, but it normally does to get it into people's heads that 'things really ain't right'. And no, memberships of unions aren't the only sign – though union membership is on the upswing (part of the issue is that the workforce is very different than say the 1970s where most folks worked in large plants etc). Aspects like 'lying flat', 'quiet quitting', 'the great resignation' and 'downshifting' are all sides of the same coin; millions of workers telling their overlords that they see crapitalism for what it really is and they ain't playing no more. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:09, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

Capitalism is not collapsing. Marxism is far from economically sustainable. Capitalism, while fairly bad in it's own right, is more sustainable. Now a mixed economy usually most sustainable. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 12:26, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

A "mixed economy" or Social-democracy is still Capitalism, it is simply a state where the ruling class gives the workers more "loot" from Imperialism. Most examples of Social-democracy are built off either extreme exploitation of poorer nations (such as with Germany, the Netherlands, etc. Where they rely largely on the export of workers from poor areas within the European Union, such as the Balkins), or the increase in natural resources, such as oil. Social-democracy can only exist off the backs of poor nations. Capitalism is unsustainable, regardless of which forms it takes. I suggest you view this Wisconcom (talk) 23:05, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
1. Germany & The Netherlands aren't SocDem (Christian Democrats have been more in power in these 2 countries over the past 3 decades, than SocDems have. And the later one has a Conservative Liberal in charge (4th Cabinet by now, iirc).). 2. Do you even know what "Imperialism" means? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 17:28, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
Imperialism refers to a stage in the development of Capitalism that is characterized by transnational megacorporations, syndicates, a financial oilgarchy, and so on. I suggest you read Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, by Lenin. Wisconcom (talk) 19:15, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
I would argue that "sustainable" is highly debatable considering the current environmental conditions we live in and the possible need for economic degrowth to radically reduce the amount of production society engages in. Capitalism and ""mixed systems"" (which isn't a real "mix" of capitalism and socialism because they are not compatible systems as one is defined by the absence of other and it just runs the gambit of "socialism is when the government does stuff" myth) are not really themselves compatible with degrowth. There is a very real tendency for the rate of profit to decline, and capitalism seems to run through cycles of boom and bust. I don't agree with Marx's prediction that this requires the depression of real wages, nor do I agree that this will lead to capitalism inevitable collapse. But given the current threat of climate change I think any model of sustainability that ignores ecological sustainability is sort of irrelevant. In this sense capitalism is very much not sustainable; no other systems has produced nearly as much carbon output as industrial capitalism and that is demonstrable by simply looking at Ice Core data. Global warming and and rise of Industrial capitalism are highly correlated and that is strongly in part that industry of that scale is only made possible through the use of fossil fuels. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 15:49, 8 October 2022 (UTC).

Why I am being labeled a "Wingnut"? I am doing nothing but spreading rational socioeconomic ideas and liberation! I could atleast be labeled a "moonbat". Wisconcom (talk) 23:10, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

To add my two cents, I believe what is happening(in the United States in particular at least) is an erosion of the “current model” of captialism as societal attitudes towards work have shifted, technological advances have made certain amounts of labor in certain industries becoming more automated(e.g the job of cashier probaly won’t exist by 2030), and the Boomer nonsense Outdated work model/myth in U.S such as the 40+hr a week full time devotion to 1 company for 30+ years and hope to enjoy retirement at 60+ will finally die.SensaurC-137 (talk) 14:27, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
That is impossible, the superprofits from transnational Imperialism cannot sustain a Social-democracy. The revolutionary removal of Capitalism is the only way. You should read Marx. Get with the times! Wisconcom (talk) 14:33, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
Yes, because a man who's been dead for a century and a half is "with the times." While Marx's writings aren't without value, I think anything that's been said by Marx has been said far more eloquently and coherently by others, without all the baggage that goes with reading Marx (teleological historical materialism, certain Eurocentric assumptions etc etc etc). Vee (talk) 21:01, 9 October 2022 (UTC)

So a few weeks ago, I found out that this site had some problems with someone called GodlessRaven. I can only imagine how chaotic the Saloon bar would be if this person wasn't permabanned a few years ago and read this Commie's post... Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 17:02, 9 October 2022 (UTC)

It's bullshit alright. Capitalism does not require humans to be greedy and selfish miscreants to create great wealth. Unfortunately, a lot of humans are greedy and selfish miscreants. Economic phases are cyclical and likely to remain so. Who knows if world economies can support 10 billion people in 2030? Not me. Capitalism doesn't make people greedy fucks. Power in the hands of a few, suffices to do so. Ariel31459 (talk) 00:46, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
well it’s good thing that the primary argument of anti-capitalists is not that capitalism simply requires greed and selfishiness. The argument is that capitalism given it’s incentives for growth and profit is unsustainable given it’s reliance on economic exploitation and the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. The requirement of gross exploitation of the worker class and natural resources and the necessity of coercion to make it happen is the real reason that capitalism is objected to. I would be hard press to find an argument that convincingly argues that capitalism doesn’t require coercion and the exploitation of the working class. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:33, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
The problem as pertains to this thread (eg with the Hail Lenin crowd) is that I am not aware of any so called "communist" system that didn't end with the same old shit, or in fact ended up worse. Russia tried, and at present is an autocratic kleptocracy whose primary economy is unsustainable resource extraction. China tried, and ended up with a worker-exploitative corporatist / illiberal capitalist model. To wit, humans are assholes in general, and as long as you don't allow one group of assholes to dominate everything, you get probably the best system we are going to get. Unchecked capitalism certainly allows a different kind of asshole to rule (compared to the authoritarian models the supposed Lenin countries tended to end up with), but a checked capitalism (where pesky government assholes can hip-check business assholes and vice versa) seems not to do too terrible. Unfortunately, we're at the point where few contemporary systems can do well with tragedy-of-the-commons type scenarios (a lot of current systems, capitalist or otherwise, in certain nations have weak checks on things like environmental havoc these days), and climate change is a doozy of one. 35.140.177.2 (talk) 02:54, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
These "human nature" arguments people such as yourself keep spreading are, simply, a Didit fallacy, or at the least, built off a very similar mindset. "Human nature" is firstly, and most importantly, totally undefined, meaning it can be brought up in a very flexable manner, it secondly has no proof for its existance, and is indeed seemingly relative (for instance, the Romans during the Classical Age considered slave-holding to be "Human nature", and it was similar in the case of feudalism), and it is so simple to where people with even the most primitive economic or historical understanding will use it, particularly when somebody suggests an idea which goes against the "natural order" (or in this case, Capitalism, which has only existed for about 150 years in its primary form). By using a "Human nature" argument, you are able to wish away doing research on this topic and having it develop your view of society. Communist states (or rather, Socialist states as they did not develop Communism as a mode of production) were not just "Capitalism with a new coat of paint" as you claim. The Soviet Union had free housing, free education, little taxation, no surplus extraction, and so on. The reason it fell were complex, but certainly not "human nature". China similarly made much progress from its backwards economy, but Socialism fell due to a counter-revolution in the party. Your view is bourgeois, saying "well, the Capitalists are assholes so that means all humans are assholes" lacks any sort of understanding of economic relations, classes, or historical materialism. Lastly, "mixed economies" can only ever be sustained from a large increase in Imperialism, I have sources for that above. Wisconcom (talk) 03:19, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Nah, historical record isn't a "didit fallacy". And we know what one of the assholes you seem to endorse did with the "bourgeois" at one point. (By "bourgeois", of course, Mao meant "anyone sort of smart".) Dismissing points as "bourgeois" for no real reason is a bit of a red-flag to me...
That being said, I do feel that we are at a point where a little bit more of the ol' hip-check is needed towards Big Capitalism (namely those monopolies that have popped up that harken to an earlier Gilded Age). To me this less calls for a revolution of the entire order, and more nudges towards the portion of the market that has gotten out of balance. The one thing that sweeping arguments seem to miss (even KarmaPolice's) is that "capitalism" involves a lot of little guys as well as big ones. Small scale goods sellers / crafters / farmers / etc. and the like simply doing what people have done for eons, exchange one thing that is made for another (albeit these days through "currency"). I don't think a lot of things operating in this space need the ol' hip-check at this point. For the rest, that's where things like unions and trust-busting come into play.
Karl Marx's theories in other words aren't wrong, but historically I don't see Marx's "revolution!" answer working out as well as Teddy Roosevelt's "big stick" against monopolies and the parts of capitalism that can be abused. I don't see any reason for things to be any different this time around. 35.140.177.2 (talk) 14:13, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
What is it about this wiki that keeps attracting commies? Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 03:59, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
I dunno what I like more; the blithe 'capitalism is fine' statements, the gratuitous points about the Soviet Union or the general (shoddy) defence of the status quo. I don't agree with the OP's conclusions, but they do lay several charges/points which are generally speaking, being ignored/deflected in a manner which (generally) I wouldn't tolerate with KenBot. They are...
1 – Capitalism keeps on having to be saved... from itself. Take the '07-'08 banking crisis; in their desire for personal profit and ranking up the shareholder returns, a tiny group of people truly fucked over the global economy. When it comes down to it, those folks had a huge net minus effect on the economy, as they directly and indirectly led to a huge amount of wealth destruction (the resulting recession) of which the share returns and a small amount of property price increases (the 'wealth creation') really don't balance out.
2 – The world's economy is still an imperialistic one. The formal empires have gone, but the economic domination and exploitation by multinationals and international finance remains. This is the inherent contradiction to any First-World socialist movement; while I argue that British workers deserve more of the cake (for example), I am forgetting that much of the UK cake in the first place is based on cake being denied to people in the more undeveloped nations. Even if my country became a fully socialist society, it would still have to interact with a capitalist world and trade on capitalist terms with it.
3 – All economic forms (not just capitalism) relies on 'exploitation' (of some form) to gain a surplus. If there was no surplus, there would be no investment or development because all production would be going into immediate consumption (no taxes either). Major Marxist complaints to this was that much of this surplus was being drained off to be another's unearned consumption (for example, dividends and finance) while much of the investment capital was wasted. And never was the workers consulted on these figures either.
4 – We are getting to the stage where capitalism is becoming utterly divorced from 'human society'. Our world (and lives) are dominated by the activities and decisions of (overwhelmingly) faceless suits who run the large institutions etc only paying attention to the orders of other faceless suits who run the institutions which are the shareholders. They in turn, are tugged about by more faceless suits who can destroy and create oodles of 'capital' by merely changing figures on a computer screen.
Even worse, 'labour' is very soon to be utterly obsolete – as in, we have reached the point where the 'labour' inputs can be completely replaced by 'capital' alone. Products can be designed by AIs, produced by robots using materials created by other robots, then shipped to wherever required by programmed transports. This breaks the whole consumerist model, as capital's consumer needs plus maintenance of our robot slave-army won't consume near enough product to keep the economy ticking over. It will require labour to still consume, but it shall not have the means to do so.
Now, Marx didn't know about robots, naturally – but he suspected that something akin to this would happen eventually; that we would enter a place where labour cannot consume, capital has mass unsellable surpluses and finance would seize up. And that is the point where he predicts a revolution would happen.
KarmaPolice (talk) 09:56, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Vee (talk) 13:29, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
I do dislike how this wiki treats all anti-capitalist sentiment as "COMMIE SHIT" when it's very obvious that you can have a nuanced opposition to capitalism as a whole. This wiki attracts anti-capitalists and socialists because this wiki takes a left-wing lean, no matter how much some people want to delude themselves into thinking that this wiki is "moderate" or "centrist". It isn't. This wiki is overtly liberal and even leftist at some points (and that's fine). I, myself, am a socialist, and I believe that capitalism is bad. It's very strange how some users shut their brains off at even the slightest hint of someone having any level of opposition to capitalism, like a thought terminating cliche or something. I'm not saying this wiki should become some socialist utopia echo chamber, but at least give like, 5 seconds of thought regarding an opposing viewpoint before immediately jumping on the commieposting bandwagon, lol. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:09, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
I would honestly place the origins of this tendency in the origin days of the wiki, when it was very much a free speech, "classical liberal" new atheist haven. (I'm a long time lurker, and only recently decided to actually make an account.) Many people here seem to dismiss political science entirely, or at best cherrypick from it. You can see this in this wiki's promotion of horseshoe theory, which is very much considered to be a fringe hypothesis amongst political scientists. Vee (talk) 16:15, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Probably. This wiki has a notable conservative and liberal population. There's nothing wrong with that, but it is at least a bit concerning how some users place being a 'moderate' over everything else (like being correct). Yes, socialism is an extremist ideology. Extremism is not inherently bad. You can have an extremist view against something that is extremely bad (like capitalism).
I don't believe we should keep pretending that being a moderate is always the 'rational' thing to be. Taking a moderate stance on capitalism is trying to find a middle ground between potentially making things better for people (socialism is an inherently progressive ideology, it's just that not all progress is inherently good), or continuing the exploitation of the working class for the profit of the rich. I don't believe there is a middle ground here, especially not the middle ground some users think there is. (Yes, neoliberal social democracies have issues related to capitalism as well.) ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:25, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Sweden in particular has profited from selling weapons to third world dictatorships. Social democracies still profit from exploitation and oppression, they just export the harshest forms of said exploitation and oppression elsewhere. Vee (talk) 16:31, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
I will also add one other thing, since this is a pet peeve of mine. No, the USSR was not communist, or even socialist for that matter. The definition of a communist society (at least according to anyone worth their salt) is a stateless, classless, moneyless society. The USSR was an extremely oppressive authoritarian oligarchy (I;E, had a state and extreme differences in class), and while money technically didn't exist, private property DID. You just had to be a member of the state or party to actually own any. It was a state that ran like a business from the top down, not a communist society.
Anyone claiming the USSR was communist or socialist is always incorrect, without fail. I do understand that there is a colloquial definition of communism, but no one claiming the USSR was "communist" can actually get a definition for that beyond "MUH GULAGS", so I don't consider it valuable to any level of intelligent good faith discourse about socialism or communism. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:39, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Neither the USSR nor Marx would have considered the USSR to be communist. A lot of users here misuse the "No true Scotsman" fallacy to dismiss criticism of labeling the USSR as representative of the communist movement, but as a user on the communism talk page said: "a Russian calling himself a Scotsman is not a True Scotsman even if he calls himself one." Vee (talk) 16:42, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Are you 2 socs done with calling everyone that isn't as far to the left as you, for being "lIbErUlz", "CenTRiZTs" or "C0nsERvatIves"? That's a fallacy on it's own. Just because we aren't moonbats, doesn't mean we don't think that there's something wrong with the system, ok?? Also, this & this. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 16:55, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
QED. Also, whatever happened to "assume good faith" and "we welcome critics of this wiki to engage in constructive dialogue"? Because what you just posted certainly isn't constructive dialogue. Vee (talk) 16:57, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
I find it incredibly funny how immediately after multiple people made the point that there is an issue with users being irrationally dismissive of socialists or anti-capitalists, your best rebuttal against anything we've said for the past 30 minutes is to dismiss everything we've said in a condescending and smug way. Again.
It's so frustrating to try and engage with this topic in good faith when this is the only response given like, ever on this forum. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 17:03, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
It's good for ironic self demonstrations of this tendency, tbf. Vee (talk) 17:04, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── By the way, if you are not a socialist, what is the alternative? In a completely objective sense, if you're not far-left but still understand capitalism has issues, you're a liberal, that's not an incorrect statement. That is literally just how words work. It's not a fallacy to call people that are right of socialists (that are far-left) liberals, moderates, centrists or conservatives because that's literally the rest of the entire political spectrum aside from socialists. I'm sorry I called you a word you don't like being called without attaching any malice or bad faith to it. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 17:27, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

Well, they could also be called a fascist, but I doubt that said user would appreciate being called such... Vee (talk) 17:30, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
The idea that you could ever create a modern society without some equivalent of money is laughable. Even if everyone works together for The Common Good, some homes are in better locations, some seats at the theatre have better views, some meals require more difficult to procure ingredients. Maybe one person is willing to eat cheaper meals if they get to live in a bigger house, maybe another person will live in a tiny house so they can spend more time at the theatres, but whatever the case, you need some sort of record-system of some form to divide up everything even if everyone gets the same amount of credits. Corgi (poke) 18:07, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Perhaps today, sure, but in the future I wouldn't be so sure, of course. Especially if a post-scarcity economy ever becomes a real thing. That being said, gift economies are a thing, and while this criticism might be valid against hard line communists, I'm not so sure it'd work against market socialists and the like. Vee (talk) 18:10, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
You do realize communists do realize some form of monetary value and organization needs to exist, right? Hence why they advocate for labor vouchers. Communists advocate for the abolition of capital and profit, not monetary systems as a whole. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 18:13, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Communists also do not also believe in absolute equality, that's impossible. What they want is absolute equity, or at least the closest we can possibly reach. Vee (talk) 18:16, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Labor Vouchers are just currency with a different name. Corgi (poke) 18:18, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
That.... is pretty much what Ozzy said. Did you fail to notice where Ozzy said, and I quote: "You do realize communists do realize some form of monetary value and organization needs to exist, right? Hence why they advocate for labor vouchers." Vee (talk) 18:20, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Yes, and it's a distinction without a difference. Because if those vouchers are transferable, they are money, and people can make a profit even from something as trading sex for vouchers. Corgi (poke) 18:23, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Vouchers aren't transferable, that's what makes labor vouchers distinct from money. You don't understand what a labor voucher is. Even a 5 second search on Wikipedia immediately blows your argument wide open because labor vouchers do not circulate like money. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 18:26, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
You're failing to notice that in order to make capital, you need to have a structural advantage over other people in a way that benefits yourself and creates a class monopoly. Communism seeks to undo these structural advantages. Again, communists don't want absolute equality, they want absolute equity, or the closest that can be reached to such a state. Vee (talk) 18:28, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
If you think vouchers aren't transferable, you're a fool, even if it's as simple as using your vouchers to buy vodka which you trade for other goods/services. That's literally what people did in the Soviet era; if you wanted your TV fixed, you either waited the six months for the repairman to show up or you just let him know there was a bottle on top of the set. And on the larger scale, there was a system of Blat, a shadow-economy of favors and goods/services traded behind the scenes that kept the country vaguely functioning. Corgi (poke) 19:13, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
By definition, the thing that makes a labor voucher a labor voucher is that it's not transferable between individuals and doesn't circulate like money does. What you just described is bartering. The USSR had a system of bartering because the USSR was capitalist. There was an incentive to hoard and gain capital and wealth, but because there was no money, they used bartering instead. Those incentives would not exist under a communist system. It's very telling to me how you and others who think communism can't work always assume a profit motive, or an incentive to gain and hoard wealth. These incentives are only exclusive to a capitalist society, they do not exist under communism. This is why communism is not solely an economic movement, but a social and cultural movement as well. Communism cannot function in a society that has incentives to gain and hoard wealth or capital, which is why it must go in tandem with broader social and cultural changes as well. I'm not a communist, I don't agree with the abolition of the state, but I at least know what communism is and what it entails so I can engage with it in good faith. You don't know what communism is, you're arguing from ignorance. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 19:21, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Capitalists often make the error of assuming that just because capitalism incentivizes profit-seeking behavior, that therefore this is a natural part of the human condition. It's a sort of self-reinforcing type of logic. "It's how things work here, so it must work like that everywhere." Vee (talk) 19:25, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Are you in real life also arrogant & bluntly calling people that you don't know Facists? You're literally comparing me with a fucking Far-Righter! There isn't anything that I have posted thus far in the bar in other topics that literally proves that shit. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 21:30, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
You misread my post, or I didn't write it coherently enough, for that I apologize. I was responding to Ozzy saying "if not a socialist, what else could you be?" I put "(you) probably wouldn't appreciate being called a fascist." I thought the implication that you aren't one would be enough. Again, my mistake. Vee (talk) 21:32, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

Oh I do appreciate Vee and Ozzy’s dialogue. Really puts some thoughtful voices to the sort of problems I have with the part of the userbase on the wiki. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:35, 10 October 2022 (UTC).

Thank you! That's high praise certainly coming from you (and that's not an insult, in case my complement is misunderstood). Vee (talk) 23:38, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Thing is, it's not an inherent 'left-wing' position to critique capitalism; for example the Catholic Church has always been critical of it. You can still be supportive of capitalism while accepting it has serious defects (in fact the ones who don't accept this are normally the blinkered cultists a la Randoids and other vulgar-libertarian nutjobs like the ones now in charge of the UK).
Ozzy is right in regards to money. 'Money' can be seen, in the base level to be a ticket for a claim on a % of the nation's resources. In normal 'capitalist' economics the aim is to end up issuing roughly the same amount of tickets to output - in fact, the early USSR got back to an even keel because it accepted this rule and the late USSR fell apart economically because it forgot it. It is perfectly possible to have a market economy without capitalism.
Now, the collection of 'wealth' might be a human instinct, but humans are products of their environment. And the general motivation for said collection of wealth (after immediate consumption needs are met) is primarily *fear*. Of old age, ill-health, unemployment, homelessness, a lawsuit, the children needing help, of more remote Black Swan events. Even in an advanced, 'stable' capitalist nation such as the USA, even the upper-middle classes have the fear that a few 'wrong steps' shall lead to the trap-door opening and dumping them in the shit-tank. Remove those fears, remove the primary drivers for the human 'squirrel mentality'. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:48, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
That fear is known as "Thanatos" in Freudian psychology, but the other major motivating principle is "Eros". Men don't desire more money just because it reduces the possibility of death, but because it helps get them laid with more attractive women, the same way that women try to make themselves more beautiful. We can't all be married to Chris Hemsworth, we are all going to fight with each other one way or another to pair up with the best person we can. You ain't ever going to get rid of that, at least not until the Summer Glaubots take over. What we can do is work to change the nature of the game to some degree, where a Man's Worth is measured not in money alone but skills/talents and so forth, a world where speaking multiple languages and playing multiple instruments is valued more highly than having a fancy car. Corgi (poke) 16:19, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
This is such a weird argument. Capitalism is a thing because men are horny? And yes, you just described what a cultural revolution is. To have a functioning socialist or communist society you need to change the culture of society as a whole. Also, did you literally just cite Freud as an argument? I hope I don't have to explain why citing Freudian psychology is a bad and stupid thing to do.
The main driving force of capitalism is not men fighting over women, it's fear. The consequences for not playing along in a capitalist society are much greater than not being able to get laid. It's homelessness, poverty, and starvation. The fact that you consider "EROS" a motiviating principle rather than fear over your own safety speaks to your privilege. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:28, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
It's also worth mentioning that not everyone can "play along" in capitalist society. Intergenerational wealth contributing to economic and social inequality is very much a thing. The notion of the "self-made man" is a myth. You're much more likely to become a successful capitalist if your family already has wealth, whereas if you're born to the lower clases that chance for social mobility is effectively nil. Vee (talk) 16:34, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
How about I cite Maslow's Needs Hierarchy? The need for sex is at the bottom of the pyramid, the same as food and shelter, for a reason. That you don't think it's a motivating factor speaks to your privilege. Corgi (poke) 16:36, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
There's some evidence that economic freedom improves social mobility. Although, granted, there's also evidence that government spending increases intergenerational mobility. GeeJayK (talk) 16:47, 11 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Maslow's Hierarchy has major flaws, it's not the end all be all you think it is. Vee (talk) 16:50, 11 October 2022 (UTC)

Every model has flaws. The point is that sex is absolutely a motivating factor for the majority of people, and any model that ignores sex is one that basically ignores what it is to be human. I could also cite General Strain Theory, the idea that Crime and Terrorism happen because people's desires and actual achievements differ causing psychological distress, which does include available and desired romantic options; the entire Incel movement is made up of a bunch of wankers, and I could also refer to the tit-biter speech from The Midnight Gospel as to why Incels hate women so much. The nature of the game can change, but the game is impossible to eliminate entirely without going full 1984; The Ministry of Love was dedicated to exactly that goal. Corgi (poke) 17:09, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
But the question is is it the most relevant factor when considering "the main driving force behind capitalism"? Vee (talk) 17:21, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
I love arguments like this because it lays bare just how utterly detached from reality some capitalists are. What do you think is more likely?
A; The economic pressures generated under capitalism such as risk of homelessness, starvation or otherwise are a primary motivator for most workers in a free market economy. (Basically, people work so they can afford basic needs), which is why many people have the need to gain and hoard wealth, as there is a genuine consequence and risk to one's own physical safety if they don't get enough wealth (e;g homelessness)
B; People want money because of sex. There is a "sexual marketplace" that is primarily bought into through personal wealth, and this is the primary motivator for workers (especially male workers) to work under capitalism.
Maybe I'm not an enlightened psychologist like Freud, but my guess would be option A. Sex is not as bare a need for survival as housing, food, and basic essentials are. Sex is not a human need, you do not die from not getting enough sex per month. I am talking material conditions. One's primary motivator under capitalism is their material conditions, and even pre-capitalism, material conditions have always affected their environment and the people within said environments. (Historical materialism)
There is such a weird emphasis placed on sex. Yes, sex is arguably an emotional need for many people, but if you were going to choose between spending your money on sex or spending it on rent when you have a short budget, which would you pick? Don't pretend that the choice is not obvious. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 17:25, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
"Sex is not a human need, you do not die from not getting enough sex per month." Don't be so sure about that. Incels have a suicide ideation rate of 68%. Corgi (poke) 22:31, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
I would argue that the 'sex angle' is merely the fear angle, one step removed. Studies have shown that hetro women find men who appear successful/established more 'appealing' and I would argue this is because it allays the woman's fears of the above (also for any possible offspring). We cannot even blame capitalism for this; for this more 'pragmatic' view of coupling was both much more overt and prevalent in many parts of the world in earlier centuries - on both sides.
One thing that changed under capitalism, however was what Marx called 'the commodification of women'. This was 'proven' (according to Marxists) by bourgeois claims that Communists advocated the 'nationalistation of women'; that it was psychological projection on their part, that *they* saw women as a piece of property, to be a used as a means of production or as an ornament. The apex of the latter in the European world was perhaps the 19th Century, where 'ladies' were encouraged to have a head full of fluff, the physical abilites of an invalid, the emotional fortitude of damp cardboard and trussed up like a joint of meat to ensure they were unable to do anything strenuous even if they wanted to.
Thus, the turning of women into status symbols throughout the 20th. To be able to attract a mate in itself is often (though not always) a sign that a male has had at least a modicum of 'success' in their life to date, and how high 'valued' the woman is a rough indicator of how much success. Then there's the status assigned to how the partner is 'kept'; one of the old working/middle class divisions in the UK was whether the wife *needed* to work. The more idle you could afford to keep 'your' woman, clearly higher-up you were on the socio-economic spectrum. A life lesson I learned as a little kid, on first realising that some richer kids mummies stayed at home all day, and then later on discovering families where not only did mummy stay at home all day, but hired people to do the housework etc too.
The 'incel problem' is that quite a lot of them are 'capitalist losers'. Capitalist propaganda is all Horatio Alger, 'get on or get out' and all failure is the fault of you etc. Men are still being pumped heavily the image of 'success', and it's all about those symbols - the house, the nice car, the designer shit and yes, the partner. Prod hard enough any straight Anglo guy, and sooner or later you'll find his inner Don Draper. Incels are fucked up not because they can't get laid, it's because they're not 'successful' in the lights of the Game of Life and they're hugely resentful for it (and blaming women for this). I mean, to put it bluntly; if it was just about sex they'd be fufilled by prostitutes, and if it was about human connections, they'd be filled by friends and family. KarmaPolice (talk) 04:00, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
Some of them do complain about "not getting laid". Like this guy did, for example. And he saw prostitutes as "filthy dirty whores". I've seen several posts like this in the past on r/mgtow, before this subreddit was removed and came back as r/mgtow2, aswell. They want a "pure woman". Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 12:28, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
To me one of the whole silly things about the whole incel worldview is it does heavily lay into a sort of cartoonish view of sexuality, what with their Chad and Stacy archetypes and overemphasis on looks alone for dumb binary "alpha" classifications. I don't see sex per se as the primary motivation per se for the business elite or capitalism as a whole. It's certainly present (duh) but someone like Elon Musk, with his celebrity-hopping casual boinking, is the exception among the CEO class, not the rule. A more typical story among the richest CEOs (and others in the business world, or the college educated in general) would be: guy meets girl either at college or at work, the two married, had a family, and thus they remain. That's it. People with college degrees tend to stay married for a while. I'm not even sure the "kept woman" angle applies quite as much anymore, the "power couple" where both man and woman have successful careers has been a thing in Western capitalism at least since the "latchkey kid" days of the 1970s-1980s. (The stay-at-home Mom angle still happens a lot, but it's more a deliberate choice these days among this class of workers. Which makes it more of a class angle then a sex angle, honestly.) 35.140.177.2 (talk) 14:22, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
"someone like Elon Musk, with his celebrity-hopping casual boinking, is the exception among the CEO class, not the rule"
You sweet summer child.
Bill Gates tried to project the image of the nerdy family-man, but after his divorce it came out that he had a girlfriend from before his marriage that he was constantly seeing, to say nothing of having been removed from Microsoft for sexual harassment and then being a bit too close to Epstein for comfort. Bezos was cheating on his wife constantly with his new wife, and is probably cheating on her in turn. Corgi (poke) 15:02, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
Gosh, you mean some CEOs are human and do the sort of boinking around that ends up getting you divorced. Who knew? That obviously means that all of the other rich families out there, like Warren Buffett or the Waltons or the Mars family or the Kochs or hell the f'n Cathy family of Chick-Fil-A fame are just in it for the "fucking"? Mmm... yeah, no. The IT / Silicon Valley scene has (*cough*) a wee bit of "boy's club" swagger... sure the "nerd angst" included in this means it's not quite the misogynist playground like Goldman Sachs, but it's no surprising that the scene that spawned Uber might have a few higher up techie types in it that treat women like dirt.
Does your theory apply to, er, rich women too? There's a few of them in the Forbes 400. There's a few well paid female CEOs, in spite of the glass ceiling. And you think they are motivated by just... fucking? 35.140.177.2 (talk) 15:30, 12 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You can always expect the conversation to get weird whenever Cory jumps into the thread - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:41, 13 October 2022 (UTC)

Perhaps he has been blessed by Sheogorath? Vee (talk) 00:56, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
@BoN
Never said sex was the only need, but that's a pretty big reason.
As for the women in the Fortune 500, sex is less of motivator because the nature of the game is different. Becoming ultra-wealthy does not significantly increase a woman's ability to date hawt men in the same way becoming ultra-wealthy does for men. Corgi (poke) 02:00, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
I love how you entirely derailed this conversation from genuine and serious critiques of capitalism to a weird, sort of misogynistic conversation about the sexual marketplace. I support us completely ignoring this absolutely ridiculous bullshit and actually having a well-thought out discussion that isn't shit on by Cory's weird opinions on sex. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 15:55, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
Vee (talk) 16:00, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
Complaining about 'not getting laid' is often only the tip of the iceberg - I remember skim-watching some incel 'documentary' and what struck me was while on the surface that was the primary complaint, if you listened long enough you'd hear their 'reasoning why'; normally it was that they lacked ranking in the 'sexual marketplace'. And a lot of these markers are socio-economic in nature; 'I am poor', 'I am in a low-status job', 'I am living in nowheresville in my parent's basement' and so on. We don't like to admit it, but their idea of such a marketplace is correct enough in the respect a lot of (moderately successful) women *would* think twice before having a long-term relationship them, even before we take into account the average incel's emotional/personality issues. Or the fact some other guys will label them 'losers' too, which produces a feedback loop of self-loathing.
The 'power couple' thing actually partly explains why; it would appear a 'successful' woman basically doesn't want a guy freeloading off her. In Marxist terms, the woman sees herself as a particular class now, and so doesn't desire to 'marry down'. To paraphrase the Nietzsche quote, she desires a companion, an ally - not a millstone. Our average incel has nothing she wants nor needs - for the ways he could assist, he would refuse to on principle because it would cause a core clash with his Don Draper programming.
When you boil all this down to the base level, there's not a lot of difference between an incel or a person bitching about their lack of other trappings of a SoL they feel 'they deserve'. Which ties back to the 'commodification of women'; they hate feminism (consciously or not) because it encourages women to escape their commodity status. Thus the 'sexual marketplace' again; capitalism encourages the commodification of everything - it could be said in this respect incels are merely taking the idea to the logical conclusion.
Which brings us back to the increasingly shaky foundations of capitalism - replace 'cute wifey' with 'own home', 'a decent pension', 'healthcare' and so on. The tacit agreement between the populace and elites of advanced nations is this; that we'll put up with inqualities, iniquitous treatment (for some NotUs people) and a semi-caste class system as long as our SoL continues to rise, the structure of government services functions and there is a few 'meritocratic ladders' in society. However, this agreement is all but forgotten by the capitalist class - they've ripped off the state to the point it's now wallowing in debt, govt services are increasingly hamstrung and they're doing all they can to burn those ladders. This is the 'neo-feudalism' situation I spoke of at the start; a land where most of us contantly toil to service our eternal debt to our corporate lords with no chance of escape - a world I realised was coming to be when I saw adverts to get school shoes on hire-purchase and here in the UK, our ruling party becoming utterly overt about not giving a toss about the non-rich class. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:01, 15 October 2022 (UTC)

A study of 37 cultures found that ambition and industriousness of a prospective mate were more important for women than for men. And women are more apt to marry up than mary down or marry someone of the same socioeconomic status. In the U.S. about a decade ago, women were 93 percent more likely to marry men in higher income deciles than themselves among couples in which the wife had more education than the husband than among couples in which the wife had less education than the husband. Even in something as unimportant as height, women prefer men who are taller than them. Erik10012 (talk) 05:24, 17 October 2022 (UTC)

My points are 1) Fear is not the only motivator in Capitalism 2) Fear is not unique to Capitalism 3) Sex, for instance, is also a huge motivator in Capitalism and 4) Sex is also not unique to Capitalism. Corgi (poke) 15:32, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
And my counterpoints are 1) Fear is the primary motivator of capitalism, it's the thing keeping people in line. 2) Fear is a human emotion, no one is arguing that fear itself is unique to capitalism, but capitalism causes specific, unique kinds of fear. Fear of eviction because your paycheck is going to be cashed in late, fear of bankrupcy because you had to go to the hospital, fear of being fired if you have to call in sick when you don't have any more days off, these are all unique to capitalism. 3) Any influence sex has over capitalism is tied to fear. You cannot separate the two. 4) No one is saying anything to the contrary, no one even made an argument otherwise. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 15:42, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Pretty sure these aren't specific to capitalism. Or before capitalism there was no fear of starvation? Indeed, in countries where private property rights are not secured, like the ones in Africa, these problems are far more common.
The primary motivations in any political and economoic system are incentives. Let's just say that socialism, in any of its forms, is incapable of producing good incentives. GeeJayK (talk) 15:49, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Did I list starvation as a unique fear to capitalism? You're making a semantic argument. Yes, the primary motivators under economic systems are incentives, I do not disagree with that. My argument is that the incentive under capitalism for most people (the ones that cannot make profit off of private property) is fear. What is a good incentive to you? The incentive to generate profit? Maybe for people who can afford and maintain private property that is a good incentive, what of the people who can't? ---Ozzyboo (talk) 15:55, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
(EC) Sidestepping whether Fear is the primary motivator, I fail to see anything making Fear unique to Capitalism beyond having its own flavor of fear. Heck, I'd argue that Capitalism has less Fear as a primary motivator than other systems. In Theocracies, people Fear the wrath of whatever gods they have, or at least the wrath of the Priesthood. In Feudalism, the Serfs might not have feared eviction the way the working classes of today do, but they certainly feared starvation and disease. Soviets feared stepping out of line and becoming designated an "unproductive", where they could in fact be evicted from their homes, and they also feared starvation and other problems. I don't know what fears your ideal Socialist system has, but if you think that system won't have any fears, well... Corgi (poke) 15:59, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Cory, cory, my friend, my fellow editor, I literally said fear was not unique to capitalism. Fear is a human emotion, but the thing unique to capitalism is that it creates unique fears to capitalism that keep people in check. Yes, systems of government that are not capitalistic also exploit fear, no one said otherwise, and your argument that people also feared eviction in the Soviet Union is very funny to me. Yes, exactly, people living under a state capitalist autocracy did fear eviction from their landlords (the state), thank you my socialist comrade for realizing that the USSR was not, in fact, a socialist utopia. A socialist system will also have fear. Again, fear is a human emotion, but what a socialist system will not have is the fears that capitalism creates and exploits to further individual profit. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:06, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Yes, incentives do work under capitalism.
(ec) You didn't use the word "starvation", but you implied that when you said " Fear of eviction because your paycheck is going to be cashed in late, fear of bankrupcy because you had to go to the hospital, fear of being fired if you have to call in sick when you don't have any more days off, these are all unique to capitalism." Are they? Did these problems appeared after the independence of the United Provinces, ie when capitalism was born(at least according to Marx)? Regarding incentives. First, A good incentive is an incentive that works. Do incentives work on capitalism? Second, when you say "fear", I can also say dream. A dream of buying a luxury, or to travel to the French Polynesia. Does that sound stupid? Because it is. But people don't work under capitalism because they have fear. They do because the resources are scarce and you need to pay if you want stuff. Is there any alternative to this? Unless we manage to create a Star Trek Replicator, I don't think so. And no, saying tax the rich does not resolve the issue. GeeJayK (talk) 16:06, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
I did not imply anything. "An incentive that works"; works for who, though? Certainly fear of being evicted is a good motivator, I'm not going to deny that if my options were to work myself to the bone so I could afford to pay rent or to end up homeless I'd pick option 1, but what's the outcome of said incentive that "works"? Well, it works just fine for the landlord, your profit is almost certainly guaranteed due to the system you live in, but for the renter, this incentive is exploitative. At this point we get into the concept of artificial scarcity, which is something I doubt you think actually exists. Let's take housing as an example. Housing is, for all intents and purposes, a necessity to live a comfortable and happy life, and at least in the US, we have a lot of empty houses. Millions of them, millions more than the homeless population, so why can't these people afford housing, and why is housing so expensive if there's so much? Artificial scarcity and economics. People realized that people will pay basically anything to avoid being homeless, and if your competitors have high prices, you can have high prices too. So, what's the outcome for the worker? Well, the worker shouldn't have to work themselves to the bone at all, ideally. There's enough housing to house them and the rest of the country for free with millions of dollars to spare. There is of course a cost of upkeep, but we can pay for the costs communally through taxes. Instead, the worker has to essentially work for a private landowner, in a system built from the ground up to ensure that they get fucked over, and the landlord gets paid. You said it yourself, fear is a good incentive, and these incentives "work" under capitalism, but they don't work equally, not in the slightest. Someone gets shafted and someone gets rewarded because the person under them gets shafted. We do not have to do this. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:17, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
If the first image does not convince you that things are getting better under capitalism, and it's easier to pay for your rent now, check this one.
First, you said that all those fearswere unique to capitalism. Were they? Again, assuming that capitalism was born in the XVII century. Didn't these problems exist before?
Second. These incentives are working. The world is richer than ever. Never in human history buying a house was so easy for so many people. Part of the reasons of why the rent is too them right is because of the Baumol effect. You can't blame capitalism more than you can blame the government. You might wanna chech this study. GeeJayK (talk) 16:24, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Yes, no one was going to stress about being evicted because their paycheck is going to be cashed in late before we formed a system of private land ownership and leasing. No one was going to stress about going into bankrupcy from a hospital visit before medical care became a privately owned, profit-motivated system. No one was going to stress about being fired from their job for calling in sick before a system that prioritizes profit over human necessities was created. And, again, working for who? "The world is the richest it has ever been" is a nice thing to say, but who owns most of that wealth? Yes, it is true, by average most people have a higher standard of living today, but the world is not richer for all of us. And yes, rising wages to also lead to higher costs for services and goods. This does not explain or refute the fact that we have millions more homes than homeless people in the US. Rent is high and will keep getting higher, but the reason for that isn't "rising wages for unproductive labor" (as much as people like to imagine that the only reason why bad things happen is because lazy people get a handout). ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:33, 17 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "No one was going to stress about going into bankrupcy from a hospital visit before medical care became a privately owned." Sure. Wanna know why? Because doctors hospitals weren't avaiable back them for most of the population. Just check the life excectancy charts after and before capitalism? The most capitalistic healthcare system in the world is the Swiss one. There are no public hospitals. Guess which country has the highest life expectancy in Europe? Regarding the rest of your post, well, I'll be blunt. You should check a microeconomics textbook. GeeJayK (talk) 16:41, 17 October 2022 (UTC)

Also, [inequality is dropping. The years between 1988 and 2008 saw the first inequality drop worldwide since 1700 at least. GeeJayK (talk) 16:44, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
The system in Switzerland is not free market capitalism. For one, everyone is required to buy private medical insurance to even have access to healthcare. For two, if you're too poor to afford the insurance premium, the government helps you pay for it. For three, everyone has the same quality of medical care, regardless of how much you pay for health insurance. This is not a bad system, and it is a capitalistic system, but it's a government regulated capitalistic system, which is better than the alternative. This is not how things work in the US. Your measure of how "capitalistic" something is is how much money the government spends on it. So, by your metric, yes, the US healthcare system is less capitalistic than the Swiss healthcare system. Of course, this is a stupid way of measuring this, and ignores the fact that you can have laws and regulations regarding something without having to spend much government funding on it. The US spends billions on healthcare, and it's still the most expensive country in the world for medical care on the part of private individuals. Why? (The answer is that there's not enough government regulation on what private insurance companies and hospitals can or cannot do, leading to private hospitals and insurers making deals with each other to maximize profits that then get shifted to the person getting medical care, or the government through subsidies, because this system is not productive and does not generate productive labor, leading to the government paying billions to keep the system afloat, and those billions don't go to making medical care cheaper, they just get pocketed and the cost is shifted onto the patient as always. THIS is a capitalistic system, and despite it having far more government funding than the Swiss system, it is still less regulated, and more profit-motivated.) ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:54, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
(EC) You're joking, right? Ancient peoples were evicted from rented properties all the friggen time for non-payment, and with far fewer protections than today. That's part of why Christianity spread as quickly as it did, with it's basic protections for the poorest. Serfs were tied to the land, sure, but they were maybe one step above slaves when it came to actual rights.
Also, the idea that the USSR wasn't socialist should not go unchallenged, because that is a big fat No True Scotland. In general, Capitalism is private ownership of Means of Production, Socialism is State or Worker ownership of MoP, and Communism is worker ownership without a state. There are many forms of socialism. The USSR was brutal, but it was Socialist. Likewise, Fascists were brutal, but they were predominantly Capitalist. If you need to redefine words to win arguments, you already lost. Corgi (poke) 16:49, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
But no one's saying that the government shouldn't regulate the healthcare, Ozzy. Of course it should. Capitalism means that the means of production are private. So yes, the model that Bismarckian Model (the one that even Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman supported) is the most capitalistic. GeeJayK (talk) 16:58, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
(EC) Ah, yeah, the "calling the USSR capitalist is a No True Scotsman" argument, I was wondering when someone would say it explicitly. No, no, not even in the slightest. Did the workers control the means of production, distribution, and consumption? No, state autocrats and oligarchs did, as they always did. The USSR was state capitalist. If you don't understand what that term means, it was a state that ran like a business. Every citizen was a worker, and the shareholders were party members and state officials. Private ownership did exist under the USSR, you just had to be part of the upper class. Socialism is not "state ownership of the means of production", it is the worker owned means of production, something the USSR was not. Fascists are state capitalists too, they only allow private ownership of the means of production if it furthers the agenda of the state, like the USSR did. The USSR was not socialist, you calling it socialist means you fundamentally misunderstand the structure of the USSR, capitalist systems, or even what socialism is in general. I'm not redefining words, I'm using words correctly, you just don't understand what the words I'm using mean.
Okay, so, how is one model more capitalist than the other, then? If your criteria is the technical criteria of "privately owned means of production", how is the government regulated but privately run Swiss model MORE capitalistic than the privately regulated, privately run American model of healthcare? ---Ozzyboo (talk) 17:05, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Few people referred to the USSR as State Capitalist until after it was basically undeniable just how awful the place was. Corgi (poke) 17:12, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
(EC) First according to Wikipedia:
Healthcare is subject to extensive regulation at both the federal and the state level, much of which "arose haphazardly".[112] Under this system, the federal government cedes primary responsibility to the states under the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Essential regulation includes the licensure of health care providers at the state level and the testing and approval of pharmaceuticals and medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and laboratory testing. These regulations are designed to protect consumers from ineffective or fraudulent healthcare. Additionally, states regulate the health insurance market and they often have laws which require that health insurance companies cover certain procedures,[113] although state mandates generally do not apply to the self-funded health care plans offered by large employers, which exempt from state laws under preemption clause of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
Hardly a "privately regulated", I'd say. Second. Public hospitals. While they are rather common in US, they don't exist at all in Switzerland.
Regarding Socialism. The definition of socialim "public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources"[17] Was that the Soviet case? According to every scholar I can think of (Malia, Service, Nove, Kornai, Gellately, Gregory just to name a few I've read, Soviet Union is my favorite history subject) yes, it was. Even trots, like Jean Jacques Marie will say that the Soviet Union was a socialist country. According to Britannica:
Following the 1917 Revolution, four socialist republics were established on the territory of the former empire: the Russian and Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republics and the Ukrainian and Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republics. GeeJayK (talk) 17:17, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, virtually the only serious intellectuals that refer to the USSR as "state capitalists" are themselves ardent Anarchists/Socialists, e.g., Chomsky. Corgi (poke) 17:27, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Aside, anyone mind if I make a poll re: "was the USSR socialism"? Corgi (poke) 17:28, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Few people knew enough about the USSR's system of government until Glastnost to call it anything. This is a non-argument.
The regulation American healthcare is subject to are most often regulations to prevent things that aren't medicine from being called medicine, there are not nearly enough regulations on healthcare costs, insurance companies, or even drug pricing and negotiation. Public hospitals in the US do not provide public medical care to take the pressure off of the patient. You would know this if you lived in the US. You still need to pay out of pocket or through private insurance for treatment at a public hospital, but public hospitals often take ALL insurance at an equally insane price rather than private hospitals providing discounts to specific insurance companies they're partnered with. I consider the US healthcare system more capitalistic because the US healthcare system is a monopoly that only exists because they have the money to lobby against government regulations and oversight while still getting billions in government subsidies and bailouts. It is a prime example of unproductive labor.
I mean, it is an active, contentious debate. There is no consensus regarding if the USSR was socialist or not. Your last argument is funny to me, because it literally just boils down to "They call themselves Socialist so they must be!". I'm not a Trotskyist, Trotskyists say the USSR was socialist because Trots think the USSR was a fundamentally good socialist system that was just "led astray" by Stalinism. I don't believe this, the USSR as it ran was not socialist. I'm also not a Trotskyist and I don't fall into any specific camp of socialism so consider my opinions biased.
(EC) CU, socialism is not dogmatic, different socialist groups will call the USSR different things. This is also a non-argument. Saying "ONLY SOCIALISTS CALL THE USSR CAPITALIST" is just, like, dumb? I literally have nothing else to say, it's literally just not an argument for anything. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 17:33, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, going to make that poll. Corgi (poke) 17:45, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
I have no clue how "pointless polls" have any relevance to serious debates of political science, as it seems to be an argument from popularity. Also, just going to throw this out there: A Russian calling themselves a Scot are not a True Scot by definition, no matter what they call themselves. Vee (talk) 18:34, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
I was the one who added Well Defined Scotsman and Idi Amin to the No True Scotsman article, so... Corgi (poke) 18:41, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
People still make mistakes, and like Ozzy pointed out, this is a matter of serious scholarly debate, as there are valid criticisms of the school that the USSR was socialist. Vee (talk) 18:45, 17 October 2022 (UTC)

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There is never going to be a "pure" system of any form, countries are almost always mixes of various ideologies, but I wouldn't say that the US is a socialist country just because the public owns the post office. Corgi (poke) 20:06, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Technically it's owned by the state, not the public. Just because one facet of a society is nationalized does not socialism make. That's just nationalization. Either way, the workers at the Post Office still receive wages and don't control their workplace, they take orders. Vee (talk) 00:24, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Well, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, public ownership is "a situation where the government owns property, a company, or an industry". I'd say that there are many forms of socialism, collective ownership is one of them. GeeJayK (talk) 00:36, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Just to point out, there is a difference between socialization and socialism. Vee (talk) 00:47, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
I believe REP be a good source on this:
[S]ocialists have typically argued for the replacement of private by social, public or common ownership of the means of production, they have differed about what exactly this should involve – ownership by the state, by functional associations or local communities, by the members of producer cooperatives, and so on – and indeed about whether it is ownership or control that is crucial. Likewise, different solutions to the problems of economic coordination and allocation have been proposed: centralized planning by the state, decentralized planning, or even a market system shorn of its distinctively capitalist property relations. These different proposals are themselves often related to different views as to precisely what it is about capitalism that is objectionable and/or causally responsible for its ills: whether all relations of market exchange are undesirable, or only those involving the sale and purchase of labour power; whether it is private ownership of the means of production that is chiefly responsible for unjust inequalities in the distribution of economic goods, or the operation of a competitive market; and so on.
In other words, while the type of socialism that you and Ozzy mentioned indeed exist, that doesn't mean that a socialist system where the State owns the means of production is not socialism. GeeJayK (talk) 00:57, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
- Does anyone even *remember* the original point about fear? It was simply why 'greed' (to put it simply) was seen as 'human nature', and thus why capitalism then appears to be 'natural'. Nobody said it was only particular to capitalism. Part of the major argument of Marxists was that human society (at least in the advanced bits) has gotten to the stage where these base 'fears' were no longer necessary from a structural point of view (I cite Beveridge's 'Five Giants' in the 1940s here for a non-Marxist variant) and the arguments of anti-consumerists that capitalism deliberately stimulates activity on the greed/fear axis for products/services which are not really required.
- With GDP performance and so on, I cite the old small print for investment funds; 'past history does not ensure future performance'. Has capitalism 'worked' historically? Yes. Marx himself pointed out; without the capitalist 'revolution' there would have been no industrial revolution as the former used exploitation of peasantry, slaves and colonies to generate the capital required to fund the latter. What's more, capitalism cannot help but 'develop' a colony (if only a bit) to exploit it – building infrastructure to get at natural resources and so on. Marxists argue that there shall be a stage where capitalism quits being 'a force for change' and becomes a 'force for stasis' (or even reaction), and for each region that 'stage' is different.
To which means I shall not even bother looking at statistics on global inequality. I do not know enough about other locales to comment intelligently on them for starters.
- However, those above stats ignore one important issue; the huge concentration of wealth in corporate and financial hands vs everyone else. One aspect of the development of advanced industrial civilisation of the 20th was the division between 'ownership' and 'control'. Noted in books like The New Class, The Managerial Revolution and so on was the realisation that with the occasional exception, large corporate entities were no longer run by those who owned it, instead controlled by a smallish group of generally faceless, homogeneous executives who only really 'answer' to themselves (as a class). Couple this with the natural capitalist tendency towards monopoly means that we've sleepwalked into a world where a shockingly small amount of execs control the world's wealth (and thus, our world).
- Whoever put the 'Tankie Bullshit' thing at the top of this topic can go screw themselves. KarmaPolice (talk) 06:31, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
I interpreted it as referring to Wisconcom's post. Because nothing we've said counts as Soviet apologia. I have to admit, it's a good way to piss people off and shut down discourse (also reiterating several people on this thread's point about a certain segment of the userbase here having an irrational hatred for political science and anti-capitalist politics.. Vee (talk) 06:56, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Other than that I found it amusing more than anything else. I'm not going to pontificate further, since I think this thread is just going around in circles. Vee (talk) 07:25, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Well, I have tried to break that circle... and I do get a strong whiff of similarities between let's call it 'capitalism apologia' and the American pro-gun maximalists. For example, shoddy examples, demands for complete perfection and missing the main points by tangent derails. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:48, 18 October 2022 (UTC)

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This discussion now contains 13,259 words (not including this comment). The Communist Manifesto on marxists.org (not including the prefaces) has 12,279 words. So this thread is now longer than the Communist Manifesto itself. Congratulations, everyone. [18] LongStylus (talk) 10:00, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
That's a cheap shot; just because something is long doesn't mean it's bad. It's like a relative of mine who asks me to explain X and then complains that 'I am boring' if that reply is more than three sentences (even if the topic is a difficult one). I'd be more critical about the quality of the discussion, like the rather pointless tangent about sex, or the diversion about the USSR. If I'd not been so RL heavy right now I'd have called it out earlier. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:23, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
I'm not saying it's bad. I just thought that it would be a slightly amusing fact. LongStylus (talk) 10:28, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
It's also important to remember that the manifesto was written in 1848, in the middle of basically all of Europe in crisis. Marx just wanted a piece of the action. Corgi (poke) 16:29, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Why is that important, exactly? ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:53, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
The manifesto was only short because it had to be rushed out the door.Corgi (poke) 16:56, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
It was also a manifesto. A bare-bones precis of the programme, not a discussion. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:02, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

Remember not to confuse correlation with causation though. Just because something arises with a given economic system does necessarily indicate it is because of that economic system. It be the result of factors that could show up just as frequently under alternative systems as a factor independent of the dominant mode of production. I.E. Life expectancy can be due to certain technological advancements, scientific discoveries, public policies related to public hygiene, etc. An anthropologist certainly wouldn't look at the dominant economic system and conclude that anything observed under such a system must be due to that, even if it was not found outside it. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:16, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

Plus, a lot of the reduction in extreme poverty and increase in GDP occurred in China and Vietnam, which are nominally communist. LongStylus (talk) 04:35, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
(EC) Also I know Gee is aware that GDP is not a great measure for economic health generally (GDP increased during Thatcher's run in the UK but so did the family poverty and unemployment rates). It doesn't "prove" proportional rent decreases either. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:46, 20 October 2022 (UTC).
I'm even more aware that correlation does not imply causation. Economic historian Douglass North won a Nobel Memorial Prize explaining why institutions that protect property rights are the key to development. MIT economist Daron Acemoglu will probably win the same award within a few years conducting a research on the same line. The most cited of all papers published by the American Economic Review, Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization, also explains why private property is so important. The body of literature on this matter is huge, I can recomment many other books and articles on this suvject. :::
Regarding economic growth, of course it's not everything, but as I usually say, it is good for the poor.
Finally, about china and Vietnam, well, they only start to get rich after they abandoned communism. Now, that property rights are not as secure as they were 20 years ago thanks to Xi, their economy is slowing down, with some people even questioning if China will ever surpass the US. GeeJayK (talk) 12:41, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Wow a private institution named after a rich capitalist rewards those who use economic theory to defend private property? Who would of thought! What an objectively correct and totally unbiased way to judge the quality of academic work — which is apparently largely produced by almost exclusively white men. How could we ever dare question the epistemic reliability of such a insitution? It’s not as if they given rewards out to people who turned out to be cranks...oh wait. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:27, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
I'm trying to find your argument or your sources on your post. Unfortunately, I can't. GeeJayK (talk) 22:31, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Probably that the source you used has an inherent conflict of interest, which, let's not kid ourselves: it does. Vee (talk) 22:54, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
You know when you make an “Nobel prize laureate won their prize because they argued x” with the implied conclusion that X is true that is an appeal to authority fallacy; also it’s sort of rhetoric that leaves out the actual premises/evidence of said argument so they can not be evaluated on their own terms. You couldn’t get published in academia if you wrote essays like that - especially not in the philosophy of social science. It’s borderline anti-critical thinking in regards to social sciences. I don’t appeal to Daniel Dunning’s and Justin Kruger’s citation record for the reality of the dunning-Kruger effect — I appeal to the actual statistical data. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:10, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
You very well know my argument isn't "Nobel prize laureate won their prize because they argued x", my argument is that private property leads to economic development. Unlike you, however, I posted sources, and the links in case you wanna check their statistical data, I just wanted to point out how serious their research is. You can't criticize a body of work because you said they're "mostly white". It showed you don't even know the authors I've mentioned (Acemoglu is Turkish and Alchian is Armenian, so half of my sources aren't white). I'll be a bit blunt with you, Sorta, don't take it personal, because it isn't. By your own admission you suck at Math. That means you can't even read anything in economics post the Neoclassical synthesis. You don't see me talk about gender very often, do you? That's because I'm ignorant on the subject. You are illiterate on economics (as you can't read the articles). You shouldn't have strong opinions on a subject that you're this bad. GeeJayK (talk) 23:24, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
I assume you went to college right? So you know you don't need to provide a citation for every proposition in your argument right? You do so for contentious empirical claims that require empirical evidence to support, or for claims that you found by another source. If it's a matter of general principle, ethically normative, or common-knowledge you absolutely do not need to cite a source. It's not contentious that the Nobel Prize was founded by a capitalist, and it's not a contentious empirical claim to state that appealing to authority in an argument is in fact appealing to authority. I don't recall saying I was bad at math but even if I did it isn't even a relevant premise so it is in fact an ad hom fallacy. That goes too for going off about how I am "economically illiterate" I didn't even make any specific claims about the empirical content of economics; you just assume because I am not willing to do the work for you in an argument you need to provide and summarize given the burden of proof is on you -- that I must not know how to read primary sources. Also it should be said that think tank and non-profit private institutions are NOT academic peer-review sources. Also appealing to empirical data for normative claims runs up against the is/ought problem so you have to reason more sophisticatedly than x leads to y therefore x is good (secret premise y is good).

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Gonna just butt in here for a sec. It's amazing this thread is still going on. Vee (talk) 23:38, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

Yes, not only I went to college, I work on a college and I actually study public policies (and write about the subject) most of my day. You don't need to provide a citation for every proposition, but the fact that I'm the only one posting sources is indeed frustrating. I'm still waiting for your sources. If property rights weren't the main reason of the development of the last two hundred years, what was? It's not contentious that the origins of the Nobel are just genetic fallacy, so I won't address that. If you want to understand why I think property rights matter, you can see here. Yes, you said you're bad at math before, I can dig the post if you want to. It is a relevant premise because, in order to understand basic economics, unfortunately you need to be good at math. So my point is that you shouldn't have such strong opinions if you can't even read the articles and don't know even the most basic authors on the subject.
Also, which I posted is a think tank work? I don't think the AER and JPE are think tanks. They are the flagship of the economic science.
Furthermore, I don't think I need to explain why economic development is a good thing (unless you think lifting millions from poverty and make technology advance are bad things. GeeJayK (talk) 00:28, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
What exactly am I supposed to be providing a source for exactly? I have only been arguing from general principle critiquing some of your methods of rhetoric. Why do I have to provide a source for that? Also I never claimed that property rights weren't the main reason for development (but I would argue that development being measured by GDP is inherently biased as a form of measurement -- which again that is a premise based in general principle so that does not require a source). You can appeal to your own authority all day, and the genetic fallacy barely applies because you haven't even really established why being a Nobel prize winner is even relevant to begin with (also the genetic fallacy is supposed to apply to critiquing the source of a claim when it isn't relevant to it's factual content so it's a fallacy of irrelevant premise; it does not apply to the origins of an institution and why it's not a source of neutral judgement or prestige). . It still has a conflict of interest as an institution and it has given rewards to cranks (frontal lobe lobotomies anyone?), to bring it up at all is to appeal to a cultural reputation which has no bearing on the factual content of the claims being made. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:46, 21 October 2022 (UTC).
You its not true. You said "Just because something arises with a given economic system does necessarily indicate it is because of that economic system". In other words, you said that property rights might not be the the reason why the world is getting better for most of people. That was your first post on this subject, and the one I've been answering from the start. I still want a source saying that this might not be the case. Regarding the Nobel, you're not even aware that the Nobel Memorial Prize is not the Nobel Prize, and it wasn't created by Alfred Nobel, so even saying that it was founded by a rich guy is wrong (although even if it was true, it would still be irrelevant). You can argue with the fact and distort the meaning of fallacies, but if you cannot answer my main point here, capitalism is making the world a better place for most humans for 200 years at least and post sources, than we're done. GeeJayK (talk) 00:59, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Also when talking about non-profits/think tanks I am talking about the data provided by organizations like the world bank. Also your job doesn't make you more credible in my eyes if anything it makes you inherently incentivized to protect and defend the status quo, to look for reformations most compatible with the dominant system; and to work within ideological constraints required by your employer. You wouldn't have your job if you had the politics of Emma Goldman, but that doesn't make Emma Goldman epistemically less reliable then you (especially in regards to normative claims to which nobody, I mean nobody can claim an objective standpoint to evaluate). No one is a special authority to prescribe what makes for an ideal society that is NOT your job. Also critiquing that correlation does not equal causation in pointing out a logical possibility does not really make any concrete claims about the actual world we occupy. There is no twisting here. Unless you think there is a necessary relationship between the mode of production and things like Life Expectancy, but that goes beyond empirical data that's not a contingent claim -- that would require a rigorous logical proof to show that there is a necessary relationship akin to the law of non-contradiction. That is not something you can even plausibly have. Also you can't just throw around terms like "better" without analysis to what that even means in this context. "Better" is an evaluative claim which can not be judged objectively because objective values do not exist. At the end of the day that shit is just opinion. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:09, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
So, do you have any source saying that property rights aren't the engine behind the the rise in the quality of life over the last 200 years? I've asked it four or five times and you still haven't answered yes or no. The article by Dollar was cited by over 5.5k authors and was originally published by the Journal of Economic Growth, not by the World Bank, that's peer reviewed enough for me.
I think you don't understand very well how to find causation on social sciences. If you want to learn, you should take a loot at a book called Mastering 'Metrics, but the author is from Norway and he won the Nobel Memorial Prize, so you can read Gujarati's textbook on Econometrics, it's just as good. GeeJayK (talk) 01:19, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Do all segments of society benefit equally, or at all, from a "rise in quality of life"? Do those without property, like the homeless, benefit from this rise? Your analysis seems to leave out structural inequities that may, on paper, make life seem better, but as OSD said, "better" is a subjective value. Vee (talk) 01:28, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Would you rather be homeless in 2022 in Switzerland (where property rights are respected) or be homeless on the Ottoman Empire 300 years ago, where they weren't respected? I'd say yes, everyone befenit from the rise. And as I said before, inequality is dropping, not rising. GeeJayK (talk) 01:36, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Gee, That was never an argument I was making and you are cherry picking related sources irrelevant to my critique to pretend they were the objects of my critique to begin with when I was clearly directing the critique somewhere else. I have a degree in social science I don’t need be mansplained to as if the standards for determining causality is entirely uncontroversial and 100% reliable across discipline. Critical thinking isn’t simply regurgitating credible sources and refusing to engage in any critical thought. No matter how rigorous a study in economics may be you and I both know it’s an absolute myth that any study exists without relevant limitations and caveats. You don’t seem to understand that there is a philosophical dimension to all of this that you are not seriously engaging with. “Causality”, “being better”, etc are not metaphysically unproblematic notions that we can simply identify. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:40, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
(EC) Again, you said "Just because something arises with a given economic system does necessarily indicate it is because of that economic system", so yes, you challenged my argument that the quality of life is rising due to property rights. I'll ask you again. Do you have a source to back this claim? Your degree is irrelevant here, just like my job, one can have a degree in social sciences and don't understand the subject. Of course, to quote Gujarati, the causation question is profoundly philosophical, but that doesn't mean we can't find some ground (see the Granger causality test for instance). That's also true when it comes to "better". Quality of life is rising. That's because property rights are now more secure than before. Can you post a source that disagrees with this? That's my argument since we started this conversation hours ago. GeeJayK (talk) 01:53, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Or better, don't post. I'll pack my bags, I have a ten and a half hours flight. No hard feelings, but the discussion is not productive anymore and you're just sealioning. GeeJayK (talk) 02:13, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Again that is a claim of general principle. Do you think it is false that "Just because something arises with a given economic system does necessarily indicate it is because of that economic system"? It doesn't negate the possibility of there being causation it just states that the co-occurrence of those two things is not by necessity because they are causally connected which simply means such co-occurrences can happen without such a causal connection. That a basic principle of informal reasoning -- not a concrete claim about the actual absence of connection itself. There is no logical connection what-so-ever between that statement and the proposition "it is not the case that quality of life is casually connected to property rights" -- though we are talking about pretty abstract objects being causally connected to one another so a whole whack of metaphysical considerations are abound in such a statement. Regardless you did not (and cannot) prove any logical implication whatsoever that I am arguing that "it is not the case that quality of life is casually connected to property rights" my claim is logically consistent with both disjuncts of "quality of life is casually connected to property rights, or quality of life is not casually connected to property rights". My stance is completely ambiguous about the truth value of the primary proposition. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:20, 21 October 2022 (UTC).
also this isn't sealioning, sealioning would involve me asking way way more disingenuous questions. You have zero evidence of this, and I am barely asking you much besides rhetorical questions because you are assigning me a empirical conclusion I repeatedly state I am not making and even demonstrate there is no logical implication from I have said that remotely implies that conclusion. Just because I am not agreeing with what you are stating about the things I said does not mean I am sealioning. The alternative explanation for my behavior is that you are not understanding me and not representing what I am arguing very well back to me. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:54, 21 October 2022 (UTC).

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Nah, I think you are literally sealioning, and you know it. You can read the methodology of the work I've mentioned here if you want to. If you disagree, you can tell me the reasons, but please, read the whole thing. It's not even heavy on math. But once again, you're giving me the impression that you don't know very well how modern research take place in social sciences and you don't understand how causation is estabilished, just like you didn't know the difference between the Nobel Prize and the Nobel Memorial Prize. GeeJayK (talk) 05:04, 21 October 2022 (UTC)

You took this example of "hey correlation does not imply causation" to the non-sequitur inference to "the causation does not exist". I made a sarcastic criticism of conflict of interest of Nobel institutions, but admittedly I was referencing the wrong institution. Regardless an appeal to authority is still being made when presented the argument "notable figure x argued y" (which is an argument you often use not just here but all over this damn site). You showed me that the methodology for why y is believed is available in thread, but I criticized you for not really summarizing or critically engaging with the source well enough, given you bring out a pretty shallow presentation of what y even means. You kept going back to this mythical point of "the causation does not exist" to put the burden of proof on me that is not the responsibility of you to establish a causation; no, rather the burden of proof relies on me to disprove the causation otherwise the default assumption is that it exists. But I never stated or affirmed that the causation did not exist to begin with. I just saw a repeated argument of country x has system y and as a result has z therefore y causes z -- noting that isn't a good argument for the causality referenced to begin with. I am skeptical of the legitimacy of establishing that given the fraut metaphysical problems therein (something I don't you are even capable of appreciating at this point). Because it's not the job of the social scientist to determine what causation even is, that's the job of physicists and metaphysicians. You can create models to infer the likelihood of x causing y given certain controls as being reflective of the actual social phenomena but that is at best all you can hope for. To take all of that and say "this can never happen in the absence of private property rights" is more then you can possibly know given what we have. We have no idea if that is true or not because we have next to no viable alternatives to study from, and we have no idea what technology will make possible in the future that we can not do now. To make your case against any potential for socialism you have to grossly understate these limitations; which is what you do. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 06:34, 21 October 2022 (UTC).
Like do you have any idea how fraught and problematic the concept of “rights” is? Do you know the meta-ethical issues of determining what makes something “better” or “worse”? Because if these are objective things they need to be independent from us; but what is “out there” in the world to grounds these things? Or do they exist as abstract objects in some platonic realm?
Arguably, nothing really grounds these things independently. Which means such standards are socially constructed and culturally contingent. Now what does that mean when white European academics decide what is “better” or “worse” for cultures they are not apart of?
What exactly makes something like “economic development” and inherent good?
These are not straightforward questions but to ignore or dismiss them would be blatant anti-intellectualism. These are also inherently philosophical questions that cannot be empirically answered, so citing data won’t mean shit. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 06:48, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Again, if you think that the correlation might not imply causation in this point, why don't you read the articles I've posted? Honest question. More than half of their work is on the methodology. And yes, they do define "property rights". An academic definition does indeed exist.

Also, I'll repeat, your personal experience doesn't mean anything here, it is just another appeal to authority. You haven't so far posted anything other than "I've studied it during college years ago" that makes me believe you know how to solve this issue. Have you read the authors working on the correlation-causation problem? Guido Imbens, David Card, Joshua Angrist, Alan Krueger, Jörn-Steffen Pischke or Clive Granger, just to name a few. If you haven't, well, than you are unqualified to talk about this subject. An no, the fact that they are "mostly white" is not an argument either. GeeJayK (talk) 13:48, 21 October 2022 (UTC)

GJK, you know how socialists without an actual argument default to saying "read theory" instead of actually having to prove their point? That's what you're doing. You keep defaulting to authority and asking us to cite sources or studies for arguments that don't need one. I don't need empirical evidence to make the argument that fascism is worse than capitalism, I don't need empirical evidence to make the argument that capitalism is worse than socialism, these are complex philosophical questions and queries that can't be solved by blindly throwing citations around like they're candy. You have not made an argument for why capitalism is good beyond throwing sources around and appealing to authority, you are unable to engage with this beyond empirical evidence and I find that both incredibly fascinating and ridiculous. You keep saying that economic development is "good for the poor", but when asked to consider that statement philosophically rather than empirically you KEEP throwing around studies and sources on GDP and economic development as if that actually answers the question you were posed with. OSD is absolutely qualified to discuss this because he is not engaging in this discussion empirically as you are, he's engaging with it on a level beyond that, something you cannot do in good faith. My advice is for you to actually reconsider how you engage with this shit, you cannot win philosophical discussions and arguments by throwing around empirical evidence and appealing to authority. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:58, 21 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Let's resume our collegial regard for one another. You guys could argue about the economics issues themselves, rather that deferring to ideological categories. Getting too abstract conflates too many of the ideas. I see a lot of the fallacy of ambiguity in these sorts of argument. This has been mentioned earlier in this thread, e.g., that "socialism" for example means different theories to different theorists. "Socialism is better than capitalism," for example is a meaningless statement unless one knows exactly what one means by each general term. I know you guys already understand this. You should try to get really specific if you want to talk about issues that fall into grossly incoherent categories, like socialism and capitalism.Ariel31459 (talk) 17:18, 21 October 2022 (UTC)

As for the question about would I rather be homeless in Switzerland or the Ottoman Empire? My answer is neither, because I'd still be homeless. I don't think it's been pointed out that while classical barefoot poverty may be on the decline, it's being increasingly replaced by precarity. I don't think I need to explain what precarity is. Most of us here know it all too well. Also, as for private property, the costs to own property nowadays are extortionate, thereby creating a permanent "renter class" and increasing that precarity (which is itself another form of poverty). If you lose your income you lose your housing. The carrot and the stick. Vee (talk) 20:11, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Really there are a number of considerations. Switzerland is a cold climate and I happen to be a Muslim with no money. I can hardly choose to go to Switzerland. This type of question is curious and distracting, but not useful to advance an argument, I think. Some people are prone to worry more than others. Many people are content to have a place to stay for the indefinite future, like an eternal childhood. If there were a way to eliminate homelessness one would think it had been already discovered. The Soviets were quite perplexed with their own homeless problem Precarity is a state of mind until it isn't. Homelessness in the US ran between 500,000 and 760,000 in the last decade. Like illness, it really isn't a problem until it happens to you.Ariel31459 (talk) 21:15, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Having an "academic definition" (I think you mean either an operational definition; or a definition specific to a certain discipline) doesn't by default give that definition construct validity. This runs against the thought experiment presented by Peter Hacker in which if you found someone who was measuring coffee grinds based on different quantifiable factors and they claimed to be measuring intelligence; you would probably be inclined to tell them that they weren't really measuring intelligence. But if they responded with "yes but as you can see I have quantifiable data, that model and make reliable predictions off of the empirical evidence I have gathered meanwhile you have no empirical evidence to the contrary" you probably wouldn't change your mind about it. Would things change if they had a institution backing them? No. Conceptual analysis is required and to determine whether we are actually measuring what we purport to measure we need to ensure that our definitions and measurements reflect general intuitions. I take it that for something like property rights there is probably a much more intuitive basis to fuel the definition that economists use, but that still requires something external to ground the validity of their defined construct. What that is exactly I don't think is entirely obvious even for constructs in the social sciences that are pretty damn intuitively valid. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:59, 22 October 2022 (UTC).
and its not as if socialism is defined by or characterized by the absence of property rights. It removes certain kinds of property rights sure...but the same is true of capitalism as well. At least in the modern day we do not extend property rights to the ownership of other persons. We all draw the ethical limits somewhere regardless of what positive effects expanding property rights may have. Regardless if property rights are to be a kind of legal or moral right then it needs to contend to what grounds such rights to begin with and how they are determined - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:17, 22 October 2022 (UTC).
To take also something as simply as "correlation does not necessarily imply causation" a fucking informal logical principle known for literally thousands of years that is critical thinking 101 as only the topic of domain of expert economists is fucking dumb. You don't have to read Tarski to understand the rule of universal generalization in formalized first-order logic, that's not how principles in logic work. I don't need to read economists to understand a basic fucking principle to point a flaw in how you specifically (read you) reason. You are basically boiling yourself down to "you can't criticize what I say unless you read these 5 economists. nothing I say is a fallacy unless you have the economic papers to prove it" and "my sources don't make this fallacy therefore I didn't. Checkmate sealion". - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:31, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
Being homeless in Switzerland, there's a decent chance a government program will get you back on your feet. In the Ottoman Empire, the empire practiced slavery, so in all likelihood you wouldn't be on the streets for too long. Corgi (poke) 08:57, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I am not a concern troll! You Liberal-imperialists are merely envious of my understanding of the class-based nature of society and the development of higher stages of economic modes of production! Wisconcom (talk) 01:46, 28 October 2022 (UTC)

is someone now impersonating Wisconcom? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:05, 28 October 2022 (UTC).
You might wanna check out who put it there, instead of calling people "Liberal-Imperialists". Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 13:18, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
Before this comment, the discussion is 121,950 bytes. Perhaps we stop discussing here. Andrew5 (talk) 00:01, 31 October 2022 (UTC)