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    1. Fellow Canadians, what's on your mind this week?

      I'm preoccupied with a couple of things. The first being that the federal budget was just released and I'm feeling like a national school lunch program and an injection of money into housing with...

      I'm preoccupied with a couple of things.

      The first being that the federal budget was just released and I'm feeling like a national school lunch program and an injection of money into housing with the expectation that cities build higher density dwellings is... Something they should have done mid mandate?

      Is there even time to implement this stuff? Are we getting close to the point where we've spent too much?

      Second is a quote from a compilation of personal accounts from travellers into this country's north in the 1800s. Farley Mowat assembled the stories and wrote the forward for "Tundra" in the 1960s and says the following

      "Until 50 or 60 years ago, the Arctic was a living reality to North Americans of every walk of life. It had become real because men of their own kind were daring it's remote fastness in search of pure adventure", unprotected by the vast mechanical shields that we now demand whenever we step out of our air conditioned sanctuaries".

      He goes on to talk about how -- most of all -- easily heated dwellings and running water had a softening effect on people, and that (basically) we fear and avoid Canada's climate far more than our forebearers did.

      Wondering what people's thoughts on this are.

      From what you learned from grandparents or earlier generations about spending time outside, would you agree that the comforts of home are just too damned seductive?

      11 votes
    2. Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of April 15

      This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate...

      This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      8 votes
    3. As I get older, I get more and more disillusioned with "activism", and I'm fine with this

      Long story short, I grew up believing that a great deal of worth of someone's life was effecting change, especially politically. That's why I valued activism. It took courage, especially...

      Long story short, I grew up believing that a great deal of worth of someone's life was effecting change, especially politically. That's why I valued activism. It took courage, especially considering I don't live in a developed country.

      The older I got and more problems I faced, I started to realize how unsatisfactory, even hollow this was. Modes of activism I engaged in didn't seem to fulfill me emotionally anymore, they were mostly impersonal, and they didn't seem to change anything. I have a lot of views that are extremely unorthodox for the place I live in, and I don't see any political movement that internalizes those values. I am extremely alienated from the "nation" I am supposedly part of, and from the political movements within it.

      Another angle is that I recently realized how misguided I was. I was mostly doing mental labor, believing in the axiom that ideas can change things. But after some time and readings, I started thinking activities that aim for collective action and concrete changes (e.g. syndicates) were much more important. These are not available to me.

      I feel like I have wasted a lot of my time. I pursued ideals more than my own emotional needs, believing they would make me happy and fulfilled, and they didn't. I pursued a way of engaging in politics that felt good but didn't effect change.

      Don't get me wrong, while this is exasperating, it's also extremely liberating, joyful even. I enjoy the moments of quiet destruction that bring about the new. I no longer feel ashamed to admit I want comfort and stability in my life, and I don't want to take unnecessary risks. I have enough problems as is.

      With this being said, I haven't given up on effecting change. I think it's much more convoluted and different than what I imagined when I was younger, and it's not generally about "going out there and showing up" or writing political texts and such. There are also levels to creating change, as it's not a binary thing.

      At this point, I want to primarily live for myself, participate in some kind of change without risking myself to the point of overwhelming anxiety, and make more personal and real connections with people in general, including during effecting change.

      What I've written here is a bit rough, but it's still an ongoing and raw process for me, and this post is more of a conversation topic, rather than a properly structured argument. I am interested in hearing your opinions. Has anyone had similar experiences, or things this post reminded you of?

      44 votes
    4. Creating an official politics group?

      So this topic is something that could very easily just be bothering myself, but I figured I’d share before unsubscribing to ~misc. If this is the wrong group, I apologize, please feel free to move...

      So this topic is something that could very easily just be bothering myself, but I figured I’d share before unsubscribing to ~misc. If this is the wrong group, I apologize, please feel free to move it to the correct location. I will also preface this by saying I only really view Tildes occasionally, and am not the most active user, so those two things might be contributing to this.

      I am wondering if creating an official Politics group would be beneficial to Tildes. I’ve noticed that the majority of recent posts in ~misc is mostly regarding politics. I don’t want to necessarily just unsubscribe from ~misc, in case something non-political and interesting to myself ends up getting put there, but if that’s the solution I’m more than happy to do it.

      I just figured that with the amount of activity going on there fairly regularly, either a dedicated ~politics group or a sub group (maybe ~misc.politics or ~news.politics?) would be better? That way other users similar to myself could unsubscribe to that instead of unsubscribing to the much broader ~misc group.

      I personally do enjoy the way that Tildes is setup, and don’t see any bad interactions in those posts. It’s definitely more of a personal thing.

      That said, I don’t want to make people think that I’m telling them how things should be run, merely throwing my two cents out there, no matter how worthless they are.

      Thanks to everyone for posting, and to the mods/admin for keeping everything running smoothly. This really is a solid community!

      19 votes
    5. Is climate change driving the global rise in populism? If so ... how? If not ... what is?

      Preamble ... this is another rambling, jumbled soliloquy that may or may not make any actual points ... or, you know, sense. "Climate Change is causing the rise in populism". That is a theory I...

      Preamble ... this is another rambling, jumbled soliloquy that may or may not make any actual points ... or, you know, sense.

      "Climate Change is causing the rise in populism".

      That is a theory I have entertained for many years -- going back to before the 2016 US Presidential election. And--confirmation bias being what it is--since I believe the theory, I keep seeing anecdotal evidence all over the place connecting the two.

      But, thinking about it this morning, looking at it logically ... I still think there is probably a connection, but I'm not really sure. It may well just be a coincidence of timing. And even if there is a connection, I'm just not quite sure what it is. If it is true ... why? What is the actual connection?

      So ... why do countries keep electing populist "Trump-like" leaders?

      That's already a hard question to answer clearly, without quickly descending into personal attacks and ad hominems and such.

      Plus, of course, generalization is problematic ... we're talking about different countries, different cultures, different histories driving each vote. It's not all the same. And yet, over and over again, election after election, it sure looks the same.

      I think the main reason is a tribal "fear of invaders" reaction, mostly against the rise of immigration, particularly immigration from (to paraphrase Trump) "the shit-hole countries". Maybe it's an even more basic "fear of change" reaction. But I definitely think, in the US, the rise of Trump was a direct result of the illegal immigration issue -- not exclusively, but that was a big piece of the puzzle. In particular, Trump equating Muslims with terrorists, and Mexican immigrants with criminals, etc.

      Here in the EU, immigration -- particularly the 2015 refugee crisis caused by the wars in the Middle East -- was probably the top reason for Brexit, as has been most of the populist surge over here since then. One country after another here keeps electing right-wing leadership based on the "we'll keep out the dirty immigrants" campaign promises. Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, the list just keeps going. I live in Germany these days, and I gotta tell you, there is nothing scarier than seeing a huge surge in popularity in the German far-right.

      The other top reason that seems to be driving it is some kind of sense of nationalistic self-determination. People feeling like their country--their home--is being changed by Outside Forces, and trying to lock it down, trying to find a way back to the good old days when the white people ran things and the brown people cooked and cleaned for them.

      In Hungary, Orban routinely gets massive support with his constant rants about "Brussels" (meaning the EU) trying to force their gay liberal anti-Christian agenda down the throats of decent God-fearing Hungarians, and I see variations of that theme in most of the populist movements.

      Right now, I want to say the populist trend is a response to (or rather, a denial of) the consequences of Colonialism and resource depletion. I think (again, over-simplified), people here in the Industrial Western World do not want to hear that the problems in the rest of the world are our fault, and that we have a responsibility to the people there, to try to help address some of the problems we've helped cause ... and instead, people are electing leaders who tell them the rest of the world is going to hell but it's not their fault and if they just lock down their borders, everything will stay "nice" in their country.

      Something like that, anyway.

      Okay ... so, resource depletion and a backlash against the consequences of Colonialism.

      Does that seem like a fair and reasonable generalization of what is driving the rise in populism?

      Because none of that is really connected to Climate Change. Sure, it depends on "which" resources we're talking about, but even in a magical hypothetical world where burning fossil fuels doesn't cause the planet to heat up ... wouldn't we still be seeing just about the same results from the Colonialism-and-resource-depletion issues?

      But then again, at a global level, everything is pretty much connected to everything else. I feel like, coming at it from that angle, I could make a fairly good argument that Climate Change and resource depletion are pretty closely related, regardless of which resources you're talking about.

      Oh yeah ... one more wrinkle. I'm primarily talking about populism in the US, Canada, UK, EU. I actually know a lot less about the situations in other regions. Asia. Latin America. Bolsonaro. Millei. I know there are others, but names elude me at the moment, and I don't have an understanding of why they are getting elected. Are they part of this trend? Do they blow a hole in my logic? IDK.


      tl;dr

      Okay ... I guess that's my new thesis -- populism is primarily being driven by a denial of the consequences of Colonialism and resource depletion ... which may or may not be closely related to Climate Change itself; I'm still just not sure.

      Or, more broadly, more Climate-Change-inclusive -- populism is about people seeing that the world is dying, and electing leaders who A) tell them it's not their fault, and B) promise to save their country, even as the rest of the world burns.

      Thoughts?


      21 votes
    6. Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of April 8

      This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate...

      This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      6 votes