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Today: Rise of The Machines Edition
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I slept in until late.

Today I am almost out of coffee.

Today I can't believe it's sunday already.

Today I'm glad Tenshi is alright. Don't get yourself squished! ^_^;

Today I thought about anarchy. I shall characterise this as a debate, since that was what created the thoughts.

Responses have been reworded to protect the identities of others involved, and cut down the length a bit. They were significantly longer but I don't think they really added that much - most of it was about how capitalism sucks.

In response to this

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8395436.stm

Nem's sister quoth: 'In a society that destroys all adventure, the only adventure left is destroying society.'

Of course

'I'm bored and so I want to break stuff and murder people. Can't particularly be bothered to go to one of the less pleasant areas on earth where people are liable to do the same to me either - I'll go find some civilians to do it to.'

sounds less romantic when you put it like that. Less like adventure and more like pulling the wings off of insects because their twitching amuses you.

What's the difference between the police and the rioters? I just see applications of another man's force.

If they're both the same, if you don't see a difference; then you should support the police. They're the larger force, they generally exercise higher standards of behaviour than fire-bombings and assassinations since they're to a certain extent accountable, and with them in charge fewer people have to get hurt since a larger force can get away with using less brutal tactics than a smaller one to control the same number of people.

If they're both different then you have to ask what the vision of the rioters is, whether it might be preferable to the current system and if it is how many lives you're prepared to destroy to get it. Because that is the ultimate consequence of this kind of thing - it's just dumb bloody luck no-one was hurt in the firebombings.

Both groups seek to exercise power, that goes without saying, and yes you're right; strictly speaking there is no difference in the regard that both of them use violence to achieve their ends. But if you're going to ask who's going to be the master, and make some practical assessment of the number of lives it's worth to you, then what's the positive vision of the rioters; what are they actually trying to get to? And is this even a practical way for them to go about trying to get it? Will we just end up with some tyrant in power if they carry some new political party into power on the back of fire-bombings and assassinations?

Personally I suspect the people in charge of things like this; these acts of disorder, are not very nice; that they're the sort of people who have poker-player faces and don't give two craps if those involved live or die. I don't want them ruling, I can't think why anyone would who didn't stand to make a profit from it.

Of course realistically I think there *is* a difference, I don't think they want to win or rule. There's going to be a power structure involved here, in organising this sort of thing; and that inevitably means a lot of money, a lot of prestige - and thus a lot of reason to keep it going for a while.

In other words:
'Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.'

Or perhaps a good deal worse.

And in the mean-time what? A lot of decent folk dead, a lot of lives destroyed, that's what. To change the background on a flag, or set some guy up with a bit more power. There's a difference, if nothing else in the amount of blood you have to pay. Only a fool pays that price to get nothing in return.

Nem's friend then enjoined: There's a difference between oppressed and oppressors that must be drawn. Only force will change anything

Why do I have to draw that line? The man who buys a cup of coffee is ultimately a component of the same economic system as the policeman who guards the money. He has given power to to support the actions of someone else - and that's what economics is, a way of trading power relationships - just as surely as the policeman has contributed physical force. Why should I even draw the line between you and the oppressors, since you aid the very system you now advocate the destruction of? None of us get to play at being saints here.

If you want to advocate the moral right of an ideology you've got to be ready to roll around in the mud for it - you don't get to draw those neat lines. Civilians are going to get killed - whether as 'collateral damage,' (which considering your mention of the wars I doubt you approve of; ) or as direct targets. If you've got something worth fighting for it's worth fighting dirty for, and if it's not worth fighting dirty for you should forget about it since that's inevitably what it will take.

But do you have something worth fighting for? You say actions are what matter but actions count for nothing if done without a cohesive ideology backing them - and the ideology backing these actions may not be what you think. How do you know your leaders are any more honest with you than the ones you're seeking to supplant?

You can run around and blow some things up but change is a process, not an aim. You've effectively congratulated yourself on demanding something be done; but you've given me no idea of the system you would like to introduce, how such a thing would work, or why it is superior.

Why should I trade one master for another; at a cost in blood; unless you transform reason into force? Becoming, in turn, the next oppressor as would seem to be the general pattern for revolutions of this type.

This is a few violent people trying to decide the direction for the majority - who are it must be said largely apathetic as to their rulers as long as there's food in their guts and violence on TV - and there's just as much reason to doubt the virtue of the leaders here as these is in a capitalist system.

Say they win, and all you advocate comes to pass - then what? Why will this not serve to concentrate power to a selected few - say the people whose ideas you support, who will in their turn be corrupt, or replaced by those who are?

People divide, politically speaking, into two groups: Those who primarily want people to be free and those who primarily want people to be controlled. Everything else is just aesthetics. I don't see why what you're advocating is superior.

Your understanding of anarchism is a bit flawed there, they are not trying to supplant the existing elite with another one.

The problem is while you might not be trying to supplant one power elite with another it's nonetheless what's going to happen. Unless you replace it with a new one someone else will do so for you - the more organised gangs or companies for instance.

It's a basic rule of human nature that organised systems triumph over disorganised ones. If I'm organised I can direct the majority of my forces against the minority of yours, it's simple maths - unless there's a massive disparity I'll win if I'm in a hierarchy and you're not. This has only become more pronounced as the tools of war have become more effective. The most organised groups outside of government will be in a good position to take over once you've done the anarchy thing. So stick government at one end of the scale, as the great evil, and work your way down from government.

You take out the state who are the next most organised group? Companies. They're the ones who're going to be in charge if you get rid of the government. Work your way down from them to the next; probably the more organised gangs; and then the next. Keep killing them off. I'm sure you'll find freedom somewhere in all the blood; probably when there's only one person left alive.

It should, of course, be noted that you can't keep killing them off since at a certain point you destroy the infrastructure you rely upon to coordinate your own efforts.

So say you smash the old system; first off you've created a power structure of your own in order to do that; I doubt that the people at the top of that are going to be too keen to just stand aside - and they'll have supporters; you can pattern violence to benefit people - the British Empire did it for hundreds of years with great success. Second off even if they don't, which is incredibly unlikely, then others will.

Well that's why we have anarcho-communism and anarcho-capitalism. The latter is what you've described. The former is where the means of production are held in common by autonomous self governing communities. While law is an internalised thing, society will not simply break down.

The ideas of having the means of production – land, factories, whatever – held in common by the people and of having autonomous sovereign communities are mutually exclusive. In order to be autonomous I must exercise total control over the stuff within my reach, I must in effect own it. Already then you have concentrated power over a thing to a few people; and as resources are unequal the power distribution among these groups will be unequal.

What do you imagine these autonomous communities will look like? How are they to provide for themselves, or protect themselves from the dominion of other, more powerful, communities? As far as your argument for the nobility of man goes on this point; law as an internalised consciousness; I agree, but find nothing in that contradictory to the idea of future oppression. The current moral nature of man is a relatively recent invention, descended in large part from his wealth, and may well ebb and flow back to the more pragmatic concerns of yesteryear.

If my community has within its area of control better resources than yours then I can trade with you at an advantage; I will become the coercive force in the relationship; until one day my community is strong enough that I may gather my men to go over the hill and take what I no-longer need to trade for. Will love of my fellow man truly stay my hand? Perhaps, for a short while. But it will not be so for everyone and people are, as a quick observation of society shows us, easily moved to violence.

...

I can think of a limited number of moves the friend could make from here but they kinda devolve into either metaphysics or speculative history which I don't think he's studied before.

Ho-hum, the thoughts are tricksey.
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Maen: How did it go? Are you feeling better?

@Asa: Thank you, now I feel properly cared for. ^_^ I don't know why, but I've always felt much happier when someone is overprotective. Strange, since I so often try and play the guardian role myself. Case of the tough outer shell hiding a soft heart or something, maybe. How cliche..

@Nem: I find that, in arguments of anarchy, the arguer often is not the type of person who will excel in anarchy. I find that a lot of people tend to take for granted that government provides a high level of personal security. In a world where we worry about identity theft more than muggings, about distant wars in other countries more than burglary and vandalism, we tend to forget that we are, in basic terms, "soft".

You're also right in that humanity tends to cluster together. It's a basic instinct, a form of survival. Though we have the ability to reason, think, organize, and make tools, we lack very important fundamental qualities of a hunter: natural weapons. We're little more than highly intelligent monkeys, in terms of ability to wound.

So, in anarchy, it ends up coming down to one simple fact: how far you're willing to go to force someone else to do what you want. And even then, there are mitigating factors. Methods of force need to be considered, with the average person not having a great deal of force at their disposal. Therefore gangs will rule the people, companies will rule the gangs, and companies will band together or absorb one another until there is only one ruling body. And hey, lookit that, another government is born.

Anarchy, in my mind, is impossible. There will always be people who try to grab power, and they seem to collect it. Without a system of checks and balances (however flawed or corrupt), those people WILL rise to positions of ultimate power. Even with those systems of checks and balances, sometimes they do anyway. There are many tyrants in the history of the world who do so, and then wage wars against the world, motivated by hatred and greed.

Anarchy isn't "freedom". Anarchy is fear, constant fear of death or injury. Never having a moment's peace. Always having someone guarding the door, the windows boarded up, the lights down low. Anarchy is burning of books for heat, because companies can charge you a life's saving for a day's heat. Anarchy is, in a word, barbarianism. I'll take my flawed capitalist society over that any day of the week.

Now, socialism, I like that. I'm just of the opinion that, given human nature, socialism is pretty much impossible as Marx envisioned it. Truly a utopia, but so long as humans are greedy and prideful, we won't see the day come. Instead we have pseudo-socialism, which works rather well in it's own right.

Today I play Guitar Hero: Metallica, and enjoy myself VERY much.

Today I want to feed everyone my family's secret recipe, because I love cooking and showing off said secret recipe. ^_^

Today, so far, is quite nice. Quite nice.
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"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 3690
Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*hugs Tenshi* Glad you're ok! I'm not going to call you an idiot though. I was unaware that one could really do much if you hit a patch of ice. Of course, where I live we just mostly get ice - no snow, just ice. So, if it's below 32 and it's precipiating (or even on up to about 40), you stay inside. Here, hitting ice is something that's pretty much inevitable that you just have to ride out and pray won't end nastily. So, you're not an idiot. I'm glad you got through it. =)

Today I had a minor nervous breakdown over the thought of doing a fundraiser. I told my boss I would rather clean someone's house top to bottom before I'd go up to a stranger and ask them to buy something from me. So we made a deal. I have to have the money by the due date, but it doesn't really matter how I get it (unless I rob a bank or something).

Today I'm sad because I've yet again failed to peel myself off the wall.
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Maeniel



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1081
Location: Next to Waldo

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Tenshi: It went well! I'm still not feeling well, but I've got the routine down pat; it's for an exhibition at New Years. Smile Also need to choreograph a Britney Spears medley... :O! Anybody have ideas for songs?
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Tinalles
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
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Location: Grand Forks

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I got half an hour of not-quite-sleep, and then hopped into a car with my dad, whereupon we drove seven hours from Denver to Santa Fe (Dad did all the actual driving). The roads were snowy and visibility was poor till we got to the San Luis Valley, after which it was bright, sunny, and dry. I am now posting from the hotel room.
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YatesOfYore
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I enjoy both Nem's and Tenshi's posts.

I watched the Christmas devotional that my church broadcasts from Salt Lake every year today. 'Twas okay. But I dislike it very much when the person asked to give the invocation has obviously prepared it in advance and practiced saying it in front of the mirror (or might as well have). It's a prayer, not a sermon, buddy.

I'll take sincerity over eloquence any day.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 3690
Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate those, they always sound terribly fake (though I always assume that they are meant to be sincere).

Today I aced my Tree I.D. test. That's one major test down, two and a presentation to go . . .
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DarkwingPsycho



Joined: 22 Jun 2009
Posts: 86
Location: Utah, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Tinalles: Ooo, Santa Fe! Have fun! Very Happy

Today I'm working yet another 13 hour shift and playing around Teh Interwebs to keep from falling asleep in the office.
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Ravenna



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 637
Location: Toward The Terra

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Mane: 'Womaniser' and '(You Drive Me) Crazy' are pretty good tunes for setting routines to methinks. Does it have to be kept to a specific era in Britney's career, or are you allowed to go all over the place.

Today was fustrating at work. >_<

Today I enjoyed a nice long bath.

Today I go back to editing and finishing my NaNoWriMo - I'm planning more scenes in my head, but I don't know how long I want to be writing my characters on the road yet.
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Maeniel



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1081
Location: Next to Waldo

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Rav: It can be anything. Smile I already have some choreography for Circus I'd like to use, as well as some for 3. I'm currently tossing up Womanizer or Toxic, neither of which I have moves for.

Yesterday, I spent 2 hours making a zombie contingency plan. Today involved a little of the same.
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spellingmistax



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
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Location: Asa took this ^ I stole it ^_^

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I watched four episodes of the west wing and wrote an interpersonal discussion/argument (Spellingmistax Vs Anthrax) about capitalism. I wonder about me sometimes.
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while Udina asked the usual inane civilian things that came about while under attack: "What's happening? Who is shooting at us? I'm squishy and not wearing armor and I'm a liability, get me to safety, etc.
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Spellingmistax = mistax = ax = anthrax
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Miho



Joined: 11 Apr 2008
Posts: 436
Location: Wouldn't you like to know.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spellingmistax wrote:
I wonder about me sometimes.


Ditto. But about you. Not me.

Today I made killer greek chicken.
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Tinalles
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
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Location: Grand Forks

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I got into downtown Santa Fe at the stroke of 9 AM, only to discover that almost nothing opens down there till 10 AM. So I found a french restaurant that was open, and had hot tea, french onion soup, and an apricot crepe, which were good. Then I went out and discovered that all the museums in Santa Fe are closed on Mondays. DOH! So I found the local public library and read my book for a while. Then I went back to the hotel, where Dad and I spent a good long time on the Internet looking for something to do, before concluding that Santa Fe just doesn't have a lot to offer in December. It's probably better during the tourist season.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They've probably got a pool somewhere, swimming's a decent enough way to pass a couple of hours I guess.

Today I watch Sword of the Stranger. The style of it really reminds me of that awful Wizard of Earthsea animation they did a while back except, unlike the WoES adaptation, it's not a bad movie.

Today I did little else, went to an ethics lecture, slept some.
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TheBritishInvasion



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 1859
Location: The couch

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I accidentally turned up an hour early for my lecture.

Now I am in the library "working."
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