[Discussion] The government shutdown thread

Where we talk about where the Shutdown will lead

Robear wrote:

But moving, while a practical individual choice, does nothing to fix the situation for those who stay. Either the system changes from within, or from the outside. And history shows that changing the system from outside its rules (even if it is caused by internal factions which topple it and make a new system) is usually far less pleasant than change that occurs within the existing structure.

Of course, history also shows us that violent change is often the way countries and societies (and corrupt systems) are uprooted.

I agree 100%. Change from within is less disruptive and much less murderous. But if we look at the list of systemic issues with the current system:

  • Gerrymandering
  • Campaign Finance
  • First Past the Post
  • Lack of critical thinking taught in public schools

Which can be permanently fixed from within? The current two parties will never actually fix these issues because they both benefit from them. Yes, hopefully there will be a swing back to normal-ish in 2018/2020, maybe 2022. But that will be the pendulum swinging to a temporary normal before it goes even further right again, as has every pendulum swing going back decades. A little left, a lot right, a little left, a lot right.

A third of Americans don't want Democracy, they want Authoritarianism and power at all costs. That will not get better within the current system, because there are no incentives for legislatures to break out of it.

jdzappa wrote:

Just to be clear, I never said half that was somebody else. My idea was more limited revolution, possibly a situation similar to the 60s where there is enough social strife the powers that be recognize that making major concessions is worth avoiding even further conflict. I also admit that you’re right in that while a lot of good came after wars like WW 2 and the Civil War, that doesn’t mean the next war would turn out well.

Any good that came out of WW2 came at a cost measured in tens-of-millions of lives. Over 400,000 Americans lost their lives as a result of that war. Poland was literally decimated - death tolls well in excess of 10% of their population.

Stacked against the "good" that came out of the war, it's a very big lift to claim that that was a worthwhile trade-off.

Your example of the 60's also ignores the rivers of blood that ran in the streets during what you euphemistically term "social strife".

Jonman wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

Just to be clear, I never said half that was somebody else. My idea was more limited revolution, possibly a situation similar to the 60s where there is enough social strife the powers that be recognize that making major concessions is worth avoiding even further conflict. I also admit that you’re right in that while a lot of good came after wars like WW 2 and the Civil War, that doesn’t mean the next war would turn out well.

Any good that came out of WW2 came at a cost measured in tens-of-millions of lives. Over 400,000 Americans lost their lives as a result of that war. Poland was literally decimated - death tolls well in excess of 10% of their population.

Stacked against the "good" that came out of the war, it's a very big lift to claim that that was a worthwhile trade-off.

Your example of the 60's also ignores the rivers of blood that ran in the streets during what you euphemistically term "social strife".

I don’t see any other way that could have stopped totalitarianism that ran deep in societies like Germany and Japan. A couple generations later, both countries are well-off and the average citizen has a lot more protections, paid health care, etc that Americans don’t have. Overall, I see a Europe that is far more egalitarian and just than America, and I think WW 2 played at least some role in that.

This discussion also ignores that Trump and friends are guaranteeing the destruction of all life on earth. All the bad stuff mentioned in earlier posts WILL happen if major changes aren’t made soon.

Anyhow, this is probably worth taking to another thread.

PS - I will personally continue to work towards changing the system peacefully and not try to indulge in fantasies of playing IRL PUBG with some of the far right a-holes who continue to plague my life.

jdzappa wrote:

A couple generations later, both countries are well-off and the average citizen has a lot more protections, paid health care, etc that Americans don’t have. Overall, I see a Europe that is far more egalitarian and just than America, and I think WW 2 played at least some role in that.

Oh sure, but that's no good to the people who were piled up like firewood in mass graves, is it? The reason I'm picking on this point is that the notion that "we have to secure the country for the good of coming generations" is a tactic that facists/authoritarians/tyrants commonly use to justify heinous acts. And it ignores the fact that the improvements you're talking about are only better off for the survivors.

JD, thanks, I didn't mean to hammer you in particular but I hear the "Are you ready for the coming apocalypse?" from so many of my acquaintances that I just wanted to put a stake in it. We Americans have this idea that revolutions are panaceas for serious political problems. But that's not true until the country is so damaged that a few million deaths would be an improvement on what is coming otherwise.

I tend to react badly when my friends bring this stuff up. Again, I know you to be reasonable and thoughtful. I just don't take this stuff lightly.

Jonman wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

A couple generations later, both countries are well-off and the average citizen has a lot more protections, paid health care, etc that Americans don’t have. Overall, I see a Europe that is far more egalitarian and just than America, and I think WW 2 played at least some role in that.

Oh sure, but that's no good to the people who were piled up like firewood in mass graves, is it? The reason I'm picking on this point is that the notion that "we have to secure the country for the good of coming generations" is a tactic that facists/authoritarians/tyrants commonly use to justify heinous acts. And it ignores the fact that the improvements you're talking about are only better off for the survivors.

I'm not sure what your point is here. Obviously large scale depopulation isn't good for the dead individuals. Obviously only members who are still alive reap the benefits of, you know, being alive. Neither of those ideas mean that there can't be population-wide benefits to drastically reducing the number of individuals, especially when the population in question is a voracious invasive species.

Also, using stated intention to equate motivation is a very tenuous argument. I would tell my scared 6-year-old with a splinter to hold still while I remove it because "this is for your own good"; an abusive partner might same the same thing. Doesn't mean the two actions have anything in common.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Also, using stated intention to equate motivation is a very tenuous argument. I would tell my scared 6-year-old with a splinter to hold still while I remove it because "this is for your own good"

Except in this example you're holding a meat cleaver while you say that.

Yonder wrote:
Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Also, using stated intention to equate motivation is a very tenuous argument. I would tell my scared 6-year-old with a splinter to hold still while I remove it because "this is for your own good"

Except in this example you're holding a meat cleaver while you say that.

Sure. I've missed where the analogy got stretched to.

What I'm responding to is

Jonman wrote:

The reason I'm picking on this point is that the notion that "we have to secure the country for the good of coming generations" is a tactic that facists/authoritarians/tyrants commonly use to justify heinous acts.

If I said that I think we should move away from coal (a relatively cheap and easily available fuel source) to something like solar energy (which is still comparatively expensive) because the environmental impacts in the future need to be considered, that is saying very directly "we have to secure the country for the good of coming generations". That doesn't mean a switch to solar energy is a heinous act, aided by a tyrant's justification.

If a shepherd runs out of grazing land and culls his herd, would people object, saying that it doesn't help the dead sheep stacked like cord wood? Would people decry the act, saying it only benefits the survivors? Let's not get super emotional in Theoryland simply because people are the population in question.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Yonder wrote:
Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Also, using stated intention to equate motivation is a very tenuous argument. I would tell my scared 6-year-old with a splinter to hold still while I remove it because "this is for your own good"

Except in this example you're holding a meat cleaver while you say that.

Sure. I've missed where the analogy got stretched to. ;)

We started this with you saying that it would be acceptable if half of the country died in a civil war, to carry over anything like that damage into your "6-year-old with a splinter" analogy, you would have to be removing that splinter--along with the rest of the limb--with a meat cleaver.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Let's not get super emotional in Theoryland simply because people are the population in question.

and people say I play Devil's Advocate! : D

Mixolyde wrote:

But that will be the pendulum swinging to a temporary normal before it goes even further right again, as has every pendulum swing going back decades. A little left, a lot right, a little left, a lot right.

One difference is that the pendulum swinging to the right has, in America at least, depended on finding out TheyWereWhitePeopleAllAlong! from what I know of American history. When the right starts running out of people on their side, all of a sudden they start offering people admission to the club called Real Americans. They offer it to people they'd previously scapegoated and oppressed.

What seems different this time around is that the right fumbled hitting the Racial Reset button. Or maybe it wasn't their mistake, we just hit Peak Norwegian so long ago that this was unavoidable. Whatever the mix of incompetence and destiny, I don't think we're going to see that pendulum swing the way it used to.

This thread got super dark really quick.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Yonder wrote:
Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Also, using stated intention to equate motivation is a very tenuous argument. I would tell my scared 6-year-old with a splinter to hold still while I remove it because "this is for your own good"

Except in this example you're holding a meat cleaver while you say that.

Sure. I've missed where the analogy got stretched to.

What I'm responding to is

Jonman wrote:

The reason I'm picking on this point is that the notion that "we have to secure the country for the good of coming generations" is a tactic that facists/authoritarians/tyrants commonly use to justify heinous acts.

If I said that I think we should move away from coal (a relatively cheap and easily available fuel source) to something like solar energy (which is still comparatively expensive) because the environmental impacts in the future need to be considered, that is saying very directly "we have to secure the country for the good of coming generations". That doesn't mean a switch to solar energy is a heinous act, aided by a tyrant's justification.

Well if you said that we're going to move away from coal to save the environment by executing everyone with a coal fireplace in the country, then you'd be closer to the point I'm making.

When people say things like "maybe a revolution wouldn't be too bad, it worked out OK for Europe in the long run", my response is "get the f*ck out, how is millions of your dead countrymen not too bad?".

Way off topic and last I checked the government is "functioning" again. Locking this thread, you can make a new one in a couple weeks by the look of things.