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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #14561
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Definitely, but a decision was still made about when and why it happened, and that was really up to Bush. Why not wait until after the next election? Why not invade it instead of Afghanistan, since the US government was willing to blame Iraq for 9/11 anyway?

    I think it's a mistake to assume that just because a leader had better information than the public, that they actually used that information in a rational way. I think it's better to assess the nation's and the leader's emotional state, and look at how that might have caused them to interact with the information they had.

    The US was still feeling pretty weirded out about 9/11. Yeah, we went into Afghanistan, but it wasn't really satisfying. We didn't get Bin Laden, we just sort of showed up and found ourselves occupying. We hadn't really changed anything, and everyone knew it, so the boogeyman of a second 9/11 was lingering out there. I think a lot of people, Bush included, felt a need to confront that fear. At the time, Iraq sort of stood out for several reasons, most significantly, because we'd recently had a war with Iraq. Iraq was still being antagonistic because Hussein needed to keep Iran on it's toes. We wanted a fight, and it was easy to allow our imagination to run wild with what Iraq might be able to do. The administration was probably still compensating for their mistake to do nothing about their information on Bin Laden pre-9/11, and they wanted to make it right this time. Bush probably thought that unless he found a way to really take the war to the "terrorists", he'd end up as another Neville Chamberlain.

    I think Bush was in a position where he had a ton of confirmation bias towards the evidence. He *knew* that Iraq was up to something, and to him, the lack of evidence just meant that they were super good at hiding it. Every little thing was interpreted in terms of this narrative, and they built up nothing into a sure thing in their minds.

    For that reason, the way to understand the recent oil tanker attack is as a form of asymmetric warfare: we hit them by hurting their economy, and they're hurting us by attacking oil tankers. It's a form of retaliation. Which takes us to the danger of war. It's very possible, given the current situation, that there will be a cycle of escalation that could spiral out of control. The problem then would be that we wouldn't really have any objectives, or any strategy. We'd just have a back and forth of exchanging increasingly destructive retaliatory measures.
    There are a lot of motives Iran might have that aren't obvious to us. It might not even be about us. There could be a faction in Iran that knows that things won't escalate to all out war, but think that provoking an air strike or two would help them gain greater political power.
    Last edited by Obi_Kwiet; 06-20-2019 at 02:34 PM.

  2. #14562
    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    The US was still feeling pretty weirded out about 9/11. Yeah, we went into Afghanistan, but it wasn't really satisfying. We didn't get Bin Laden, we just sort of showed up and found ourselves occupying. We hadn't really changed anything, and everyone knew it, so the boogeyman of a second 9/11 was lingering out there. I think a lot of people, Bush included, felt a need to confront that fear. At the time, Iraq sort of stood out for several reasons, most significantly, because we'd recently had a war with Iraq.
    That’s a good description of the kind of void that existed after 9/11 — the hopelessness and the desire to just do something after the country had been wounded.

    There are some who point out that Al Gore may even have invaded Iraq had he been president. There was no shortage of antagonism between Iraq and the US during the Clinton admin, and through much of the 90s no shortage of liberal interventionist and neoconservative types in the beltway who’d been pushing for a more direct confrontation with Iraq than the “cruise missile diplomacy” of the time.

  3. #14563
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    Moderates and liberals: Conservatives are just normal people who happen to disagree with us on many issues, we should respect our differences and welcome debate.

    Conservatives: https://edmontonjournal.com/news/pol...-labour-debate

  4. #14564
    I have pretty clear childhood memories of my parents watching dateline and 60 minutes and other Sunday night network news programming in the 90s, where they’d talk about Saddam Hussein and Iraq chemical weapons program and how he was a danger to the US homeland, etc etc. The US public had been primed to see Iraq as an adversary for a while.

  5. #14565
    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    The administration was probably still compensating for their mistake to do nothing about their information on Bin Laden pre-9/11, and they wanted to make it right this time. Bush probably thought that unless he found a way to really take the war to the "terrorists", he'd end up as another Neville Chamberlain.
    Also true too that that was the thinking in the administration. They thought the next attack would be on a scale multiple times greater than 9/11, and so they believed that it would be worth it take risks to stop attacks, even if the threat was relatively minimal, because the negative consequences and loss of life that could follow not responding to a potential threat could be extraordinary.

  6. #14566
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    https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/...gee-politician

    The far right continues to get worse.

  7. #14567
    Reid, why do you think right-wing violence is a problem right now (and has been a growing problem for the past few years)? What do you think the causes are?

  8. #14568
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    I thought that’s what we’ve been discussing for 365 pages

  9. #14569
    We have, but I wouldn’t assume that what anyone thought about this two years ago is what they think about it now.

  10. #14570
    Plus, the question of what are the causes of far-right white identitarian violence isn’t the same question as what are the causes of far-right white identitarian politics.

  11. #14571
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    I think the answer is obviously the same, but technically yeah, fair enough.

  12. #14572
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    Rich people stoking the furnaces of class discontent out of fears that the left wing will rise to power and seize the means of production are worrying about the wrong thing, they should be a lot more worried about the normalization of political violence among a public that will sooner or later realize that doing everything the rich say isn’t making life better for them. Because today we’re only debating a wealth tax. If you let violent populists simmer in their discontent then eventually the debate will be about how short to make the guillotines. And I’m not sure whether I hope to live to see this or not.

    Which I guess is to say, my answer to both questions hasn’t changed.

  13. #14573
    Many of those things arguably have been happening for more than just the past few years, though. Why’s this happening now?

  14. #14574
    And why do economic grievances take the form of racial politics and Nazism (or Nazi-adjacent politics)?

  15. #14575
    Any sympathy for the idea that a central cause is that:

    1. the party system is breaking down, because the parties are immensely unpopular in the wake of the patently obvious failures of the Bush administration, and in the wake of Obama’s failure to overcome Republican obstructionism, making but it evident that the governing system makes it effectively impossible for either party to govern and implement its vision.

    2. new forms of media are making the parties and their associated apparatus (e.g., legacy media) less capable of defining consensus values and beliefs, enabling new groups of individuals to define what the objectives of the right-wing coalition should be, after for a business-minded libertarians have had a monopoly on that? And that this process is enabling all of these different points of view, that have been largely subterranean, burst out into the light as they contest for control over the GOP and mainstream conservatism?
    Last edited by Eversor; 06-20-2019 at 09:29 PM.

  16. #14576
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Many of those things arguably have been happening for more than just the past few years, though. Why’s this happening now?
    Last happened in the 30s. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    People don’t like being wage slaves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    And why do economic grievances take the form of racial politics and Nazism (or Nazi-adjacent politics)?
    Because the rich people responsible for the misery find ways of blaming an out-group for the crimes they’ve committed. e.g. you’re poor because of the dirty jews so we need to persecute them, but don’t think too hard about it when we lay you off to use Jewish slave labor.

    So right wing violence happens because the rich people frame this all as a violent attack upon them by the out group. It’s not terrorism to them, it’s just fighting back against the people who have attacked them first. Like jews. Or university professors.

    That’s also why it is actually antifa who is violent, not the right. They’re blood traitors who are helping the out group in their violent economics. The left of course doesn’t believe the rich, so it’s important that they’re always part of the outgroup somehow (e.g. Jewish Bolshevism)

  17. #14577
    I don't know how convinced I am that "the rich" are really the culprit here. Sure, I don't rule it out as a viable explanation. It seems entirely feasible that wealthy donors are pumping out anti-semitic and Islamophobic memes in order to redirect and exploit the anger of the masses -- or that they buddy up with Tucker Carlson, or whatever. It seems feasible enough. I suppose I'm just generally inclined to find top-down explanations unsatisfying.

    I suppose one reason why is because I'm inclined to suppose that lot of out-grouping behavior doesn't function to define the in-group, but rather that the out-grouping is actually a function of a sense of solidarity that members of an in-group feel. The out-grouping is intended to provide some kind of rationalization or explanation of a concern. So just to go a boiler plate white supremacist concern, I think white supremacists care about white fertility and declining demographics, and blame the Jews or whatever other minority group for it. They don't begin with hating the out-groups, and then find reasons to hate them.
    Last edited by Eversor; 06-20-2019 at 11:44 PM.

  18. #14578
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    Racism against black people came before the southern strategy, but the southern strategy still happened. Don’t take this to imply the rich create these prejudices, but they use them for their own advantage constantly. It’s a lot easier to convince people a Jewish person did a bad thing if they were predisposed to believe it in the first place.

    What, he said he didn’t poison the well? Who are you going to believe, a Jew, or me, billionaire who created dozens of jobs for you at my lead mine upstream?

  19. #14579
    I suppose, in some respects, my views on this issue haven't changed that much either. In some respects, I found this Vox article to be vindicating: https://www.vox.com/2019/3/22/182598...ing-trump-2020

    Why? Because I've for a long time thought that the radicalization of the right has largely emerged as a response to changes that have been occurring on the (corporate aligned) center-left, namely, a growing emphasis on race and gender. As the dominant liberal views on race have become increasingly uncompromising and triumphalist, and have asserted that ways of life and ways of seeing the seeing the world had become anachronisms, those who don't adhere to those views have staked out an equally uncompromising alternative. Whiteness has become salient in part because, while well-educated, wealthier and urban whites have generally been disparaging about their own whiteness, less well-educated, poorer, rural whites have responded by asserting that their are whiteness is something to be proud of, and they have tried to find dignity in their racial identity (which is a really bad thing). I'm still of the view that it's impossible to have "enlightened racial awareness," because racial awareness is inherently hierarchical and bad.

  20. #14580
    I think I'm more inclined to blame the hypocrisy of the upper middle class, while you're more inclined to blame the exploitation of the upper class? heh
    Last edited by Eversor; 06-21-2019 at 12:12 AM.

  21. #14581
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I suppose, in some respects, my views on this issue haven't changed that much either. In some respects, I found this Vox article to be vindicating: https://www.vox.com/2019/3/22/182598...ing-trump-2020

    Why? Because I've for a long time thought that the radicalization of the right has largely emerged as a response to changes that have been occurring on the (corporate aligned) center-left, namely, a growing emphasis on race and gender. As the dominant liberal views on race have become increasingly uncompromising and triumphalist, and have asserted that ways of life and ways of seeing the seeing the world had become anachronisms, those who don't adhere to those views have staked out an equally uncompromising alternative. Whiteness has become salient in part because, while well-educated, wealthier and urban whites have generally been disparaging about their own whiteness, less well-educated, poorer, rural whites have responded by asserting that their are whiteness is something to be proud of, and they have tried to find dignity in their racial identity (which is a really bad thing). I'm still of the view that it's impossible to have "enlightened racial awareness," because racial awareness is inherently hierarchical and bad.
    ueah it’s super neat how liberals and conservatives have both invented social critiques and neither of them involve rich people doing anything

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I think I'm more inclined to blame the upper middle class, while you're more inclined to blame the upper class? heh
    The upper class eats the middle and blames the immigrant. The middle puts immigrants in ovens. What makes you think I’m only blaming one of them?

  22. #14582
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    it’s neat how mainstream democrats discovered their sterile interpersonal interpretation of social justice just in time to call Bernie a racist for caring more about the economic issues of black people than the mean names racists call them.

  23. #14583
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Reid, why do you think right-wing violence is a problem right now (and has been a growing problem for the past few years)? What do you think the causes are?
    I was thinking about this earlier, and unfortunately I'm going to have to note:

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Plus, the question of what are the causes of far-right white identitarian violence isn’t the same question as what are the causes of far-right white identitarian politics.
    In my view, the rise in far-right violence is due to the rise in far-right politics. I don't know if it would be possible to see a rise in such politics without violence. I mean, when you stance is essentially that specific groups of people need to be forcibly removed, yeah you're going to see violence. The question reduces to why we're seeing a rise in far-right politics at all.

    The causes for that are complex. We live in an age where the problems humanity faces are the most complex they've ever been. Lives are effected by the math someone pumped out based on theories and spreadsheets. People are told they need to stick needles into their baby because invisibly monsters will cripple them. They're told China, someplace which they've never seen, with inferior politics and people, is better and is taking away their livelihood. They're told the same people who killed thousands of their countrymen are our allies and are the reason why the gas for their commute costs more/less. People are told that the beef they're eating is directly related to the extinction and mass deforestation. All of this is deeply confusing. Anyone who thinks they really understand it all is deceiving themselves. No one person is capable of even seeing the forest anymore, all any of us can hope to really know is a couple trees.

    We all have to rely on experts to get a grasp of the problems we face, whether they effect us immediately or they're larger societal problems. When losing your job isn't because of you, but because of global economics, you have only another person to trust to explain why you feel worthless and useless to the world. People need to be able to trust experts. I think one of the issues liberals face politically is they stop their analysis here, they see the issue as being only one of trusting institutions. I think it's more complex than that. As a quick aside, people believe experts a bit more than we realize sometimes. When the experts tell us that wages still haven't risen, is there any person alive who doubts that?

    Generally speaking, trust of experts is in decline. The far-right offers solutions and narratives that fill in the gaps when the expert narratives are no longer trusted. This, of course, applies to Germany's defeat after WWI - the government was straight lying to the people, still promising victory right up to the armistice (iirc that was true even after the armistic for a long time - the government just kept lying). The reasons for Germany's failure were complex, of course - not issuing war bonds leading to inflation (had nothing to do with the Treaty of Versailles, btw), a humiliating blow to German nationalism. All it took was a few high-ranking generals to start promoting "simpler" stories about communists and Jews subverting the war effort to bolster the Nazi zeitgeist. So that's it, really - the far right is little more than people with bad ideas colonizing a society with high levels of distrust and a general perception that things are bad.

    There's also the question of where the distrust is coming from. This is where we'd have to discuss politics and the use of experts, the development of society and so forth. My view is that Western democracies were slowly hijacked by special interests, whose short term profits have turned out the ordinary democratic process. Aside this is using dubious experts to provide opinions which increasingly turn out false, such as the promises associated with Trump's tax returns. As time goes on and this disconnect widens, people's distrust increases, and thus they're driven away from traditional experts altogether, and along the way pick up whatever fantasy fairy tales people need for psychological cohesion.

    So really the answer is not much different than what we've been saying all along - the slow march of our politics driving ordinary people poorer, fat cats get fatter, the perception is that everything is bad and getting worse until people buy into a politician's promise and get burned. As to why it's more dramatic lately, the 2008 recession seems to be one of the biggest causes of distrust in our institutions.

  24. #14584
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    And why do economic grievances take the form of racial politics and Nazism (or Nazi-adjacent politics)?
    It's the avenue of least resistance.

    The thing about western politics is that our democracies do not work. I mean literally, if you're in the bottom 50% of income earners, your political opinion is negatively correlated with political outcomes, which means it is not functionally democratic. I haven't attempted a comprehensive review of the literature, but I have found little evidence against studies such as this, which suggest that, in practice, the political opinions of the average voter are just not relevant.

    The people whose political opinion does seem relevant on outcomes, of course, are interest groups who sharply oppose labor, true democracy, or anything which would interrupt normal functioning. The perception is moving ever toward the perception that democratic victory is impossible. So, well, if you can't win there, you're going to have to win in opposition to democracy. The failure of democracy drives people towards the periphery, i.e. either leninism or far-right politics.

    This is discussed in the book Why Nations Fail, which caveat I have not read the full thing. But the book's thesis is that the inclusiveness of a society's institutions is the most important feature for a society to remain stable long term.

  25. #14585
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    Looks like Trump ordered a strike on Iran but backed out in the last minute. I hope any Americans still here are ready for a war with Iran, this one's gonna be more expensive and difficult than Iraq. Hey, at least I can't be drafted now.

    I wonder if Twitch streaming combat will be the hot new thing?

  26. #14586
    I think there’s a reasonable argument to be made that the chances of war will be greater if the US doesn’t retaliate than if it does.

    I’m not sure I find the argument very convincing. But regardless, a strike on Iran or on some if it’s assets wouldn’t amount to an act of war, and wouldn't likely be the start of a war.
    Last edited by Eversor; 06-21-2019 at 08:23 AM.

  27. #14587

  28. #14588
    So I’ve got from Reid:

    1. Globalization and the anxieties it provokes
    2. Increasing complexity makes Elites/experts untrustworthy
    3. Government corruption and dysfunction drives people away from trusting democracy and leads the them to embrace authoritarian solutions

  29. #14589
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    So I’ve got from Reid:

    1. Globalization and the anxieties it provokes
    2. Increasing complexity makes Elites/experts untrustworthy
    3. Government corruption and dysfunction drives people away from trusting democracy and leads the them to embrace authoritarian solutions
    Yeah, I think that's about the long and short of it. Should add that distrust of experts makes people's minds fertile for conspiracy theories and otherwise ridiculous lines of thinking.

  30. #14590
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    it’s neat how mainstream democrats discovered their sterile interpersonal interpretation of social justice just in time to call Bernie a racist for caring more about the economic issues of black people than the mean names racists call them.
    I think one way the two parties has flipped since the Bush-era GOP has to do with the role of ideology in holding the coalitions together. Both parties have always had fractured coalitions. But in the 2000s, the GOP had movement conservative ideology as a way to paper over those differences, but the Democrats didn’t really have much of anything. In the past few years, the GOP hasn’t had a cohesive ideology, but the Democrats have. One key value of intersectional/woke politics is that it papers over the differences amongst the various groups that makes up the Democratic coalition, and enforces the idea that their are no conflicts of interest between them.

  31. #14591
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I think one way the two parties has flipped since the Bush-era GOP has to do with the role of ideology in holding the coalitions together. Both parties have always had fractured coalitions. But in the 2000s, the GOP had movement conservative ideology as a way to paper over those differences, but the Democrats didn’t really have much of anything. In the past few years, the GOP hasn’t had a cohesive ideology, but the Democrats have. One key value of intersectional/woke politics is that it papers over the differences amongst the various groups that makes up the Democratic coalition, and enforces the idea that their are no conflicts of interest between them.
    One key value of intersectional/woke politics is that it provides a reaction to leftist economic critiques without having to correct the role capitalism plays in reinforcing historical inequities. Or to paraphrase [political scientist] mark Blythe: billionaire says “ok, I acknowledge that black people have gotten a ****ty deal. I still get to keep all of the money.”

    So yes I think it’s obvious that woke politics is designed to reinforce the democratic coalition, but in the historically convenient way by which they’ve incorporated socialists and social democrats, suppressed their ideas, and forced liberalism on them. Don’t you know, it’s fine? We’re fine. We agree it’s terrible that the economic tyranny of 100 white men is driving this planet to become uninhabitable. At least 30 of those men should be women of color!

  32. #14592
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    http://www.kennethcobonpue.com/desig...easy-armchair/



    Insert your own negative comment about the society which makes such things here.
    Last edited by Reid; 06-22-2019 at 12:56 AM.

  33. #14593
    cool

  34. #14594
    If I neg that chair, will it offer to **** me?

  35. #14595
    it'll let you sit on its face

  36. #14596
    i see what you did there

  37. #14597

  38. #14598
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    Impossible, false news stories are only pushed by Soviet politburo in Pravda.

    Real talk though, more people should be paying attention to public relations and how easy it is to plant stories into credible-looking news sites.

  39. #14599
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    Hah. Reddit "quarantined" The_Donald. Many tears are being spilled over this terrible tragedy.

  40. #14600
    D E M O C R A T I C
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