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    1. In 2016, I was an ardent supporter of Bernie. But come the general, I voted 3rd party, because I was "Bernie or Bust." Many people accuse me of indirectly voting for Trump, allowing "the worst...

      In 2016, I was an ardent supporter of Bernie. But come the general, I voted 3rd party, because I was "Bernie or Bust." Many people accuse me of indirectly voting for Trump, allowing "the worst thing ever" to happen (esp since I'm in a swing state that went Trump). But here's the truth as I see it: Voting Democrat regardless of candidate, with their only qualification being "Not Trump," will only increase the USA's slide (deeper) into fascism.

      The reality I see is that even if Trump had never entered the 2016 race, 90%+ of the policy, judicial appointments, and everything else that he has done since being elected would be identical no matter which "R" candidate won the race, because all of these things are exactly what the GOP has been doing for decades. In that regard, I consider Trump more favorable than any other R candidate, because he is at least failing to do his "real" job: Hiding fascist, imperialist policy behind a charismatic smile and some clever words.

      Ultimately, this is the reason why I don't generally support Democrats either. Hillary's policy wouldn't have been as immediately destructive as the GOP agenda, but it also would not have stopped the march towards fascism. I voted my conscious in 2016, and will do so again in 2020. I just hope there are more people willing to do the same this time around.

      I like to picture that the government of the USA is digging a hole. With every shovelful, we're sliding ever closer to a fully authoritarian fascist regime, and the destruction of our planet. While Trump (and the GOP as a whole) has been calling in for backhoes and drills to speed the process....as far as I can tell, only two candidates in the 2020 primary are calling to stop the digging: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. At best, the other candidates are conveying messages akin to: "We need to compromise with the GOP and maybe slow down the rate at which we allow new backhoes to be brought to the pit."

      In my mind then, it makes more sense for 4 more years of Trump, than to allow another center-right candidate for his opposition. Because at least Trump isn't able to pull off the charismatic smile and/or intelligent language that the Regan's, Bush's, Clinton's, and Obama's of the world have that allow terrible things to continue behind a cloak of "incremental change." It wakes up those who would otherwise tolerate these horrendous acts, and perhaps inspires them to become more active. By allowing for the political discourse to end with "Anything is better than Trump", it just permits the overall platform to gradually, but continually shift to the right.

      And in my mind, it is the total death of real, dissenting voices in public discourse that is far, far worse than Trump winning another term could ever be.

      I would love to hear if anybody else in this community has had feelings akin to what I've described here, as I've only been described as "insane" by most of the people I've discussed this with in person.

      30 votes
    2. Someone posted an article on a subreddit I frequent. It was an extremely long and rambling hit piece against antifacism, littered with long academic words, written for a completely fake Sociology...

      Someone posted an article on a subreddit I frequent. It was an extremely long and rambling hit piece against antifacism, littered with long academic words, written for a completely fake Sociology college in London. While checking the source's reputability, I found out that it's part of what is known as the Neoreactionary movement.

      Here's an article about it: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/behind-the-internets-dark-anti-democracy-movement/516243/

      Here's a more "fun" write-up from RationalWiki: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Neoreactionary_movement

      It's the most bizarre thing. They are basically a pseudointellectual alt-right who quite literally advocate for a monarchy. They are very secretive of their identities and write contrived "theses" under pen names (which, strangely enough, seem to be stolen from actual published academics both living and dead). They think they are a secret society attempting to overthrow existing governments, but in reality they are little more than a collection of fanfic authors.

      Has anyone else come into contact with any of them? I am particularly interested if any of our Reddit moderators have anything to say.

      18 votes
    3. Accelerationism: most of us have heard of it, few of us have read into it, and a fair amount of us have shared memes around it (gotta go fast), but have any of us formed substantial opinions on it...

      Accelerationism: most of us have heard of it, few of us have read into it, and a fair amount of us have shared memes around it (gotta go fast), but have any of us formed substantial opinions on it yet?

      With a variety of authors of various views each weighing in on it, like Mark Fisher and the notorious Nick Land (alongside his genderswapped, trans, slightly less-racist partner-in-crime, Nyx Land); it really does seem to be (slowly but surely) gaining considerable mindspace. Have any of you ever read any works in the genre you adored? If so, feel free to share!

      14 votes
    4. I have stood on both sides of the abortion debate. I was raised conservative. Most of my family is conservative. But I became more liberal as an adult. In listening to both conservatives and...

      I have stood on both sides of the abortion debate. I was raised conservative. Most of my family is conservative. But I became more liberal as an adult. In listening to both conservatives and liberals argue their side of the debate they have something fundamental in common: both are motivated by a desire to care and protect. Liberals want to protect the rights, autonomy and health of women. Conservatives want to protect the life of the unborn.

      Both sides see the other as monsters out to attack. They think that because the other side works to thwart their efforts to protect, that the other side intends harm. But that's not true. Neither side wants to inflict harm. They may be willing to inflict harm to protect another, but that is not the same as wanting to inflict harm. Those who are pro-choice don't want to kill babies; they want to protect women and sometimes killing the unborn is the unfortunate cost. Similarly those who are pro-life aren't necessarily motivated by a desire to control women*; they want to protect the unborn and limiting some rights of women is the cost.

      * This of course comes with some sticky caveats. There is plenty of sexism among many who are pro-life, and plenty of hardliners who think women should be subservient. And those people's sexism does color there views of women's reproductive autonomy. But there are also moderate pro-lifers who otherwise value the rights of women. You don't have to be sexist to be pro-life. Anecdotally the pro-lifers I know personally are in the latter group.

      soundtrack for this post

      22 votes
    5. The one thing people didn't learn regarding Trump and is repeating itself with AOC. When you consider a politician stupid, it actually empowers them to be crafty. I think Trump would love for you...

      The one thing people didn't learn regarding Trump and is repeating itself with AOC.

      When you consider a politician stupid, it actually empowers them to be crafty. I think Trump would love for you to think he is stupid.

      When you constantly attack a politician, you actually give them more followers. It's strange, but the Streisand Effect is real, especially in this Internet era.

      The biggest weapon in someone's arsenal is to actually just talk about what they are for. Not attack their opponent and give them press. The rules have changed.

      6 votes
    6. In the US the tax rate on the bottom 78% of earners taxes was less than 7% England has a tax rate for the same income of 11.5% The top 6% (Avg Adjusted Gross income 514,000) paid $840 Billion of...

      In the US the tax rate on the bottom 78% of earners taxes was less than 7%

      England has a tax rate for the same income of 11.5%

      The top 6% (Avg Adjusted Gross income 514,000) paid $840 Billion of the income taxes

      The Bottom 49.1% (Earning less than 45k AGI) paid $97 Billion of taxes, but 27.4 Million Households filled for $66.7 Billion in EIC tax credits

      If the taxes on the bottom 78 percent were increased 6% to a level similar to England the USA could have universal health care

      The US Spends 3.4 Trillion on Healthcare.

      Just 5% of Americans Account for 50% of U.S. Health Care Spending. So taking away the top 5% means the US spends about 5,500 per person. More than UK, but with a long term approach we can tackle that.

      1. Saying no to covering all issues. See above. Total cost down to 1.8T

      2. Accepting a tax increase

      • Doubling the Medicare withholding will provide 500B
      • Down to 1.3T
      1. Reallocate state spending In 2015, state governments across the country spent a combined $605 billion on health care
      • Down to 700 Billion
      1. Increase taxes 6% across the board, like those of countries that provide healthcare. 600B in Funding
      • Down to 100 Billion
      1. 1/3 of expenses in 2017 was payable for hospital room rentals and 21% was to doctor's office billable hours
      • Increase utilization to make hospitals & Doctors more efficient so cost can be cut
      • 1% reduction in billable hours and room rates Down 100B
      • Adjust pricing based on cost savings
      • Repeat

      If the US had higher taxes for gas we could have a better Infastructure. Using rough math we in 2017 underfunded the highway dept about $21.5 billion

      • 40 Cents per Gallon vs 18.4 cents currently
      • 33 Cents vs 17.5 cents for Highway maintenance at fully funded for at least the next 5 years
        * 1 Cent vs 0.9 cents Gas Safety and storage. Round it up to a full penny better saftey funds for better clean up
        * 4 cents a new Green energy tax for Green projects
      • 2 Cent New Metro Projects tax

      $5.5 Billion annual funding for projects, plus using funding not going to covering the underfunded highway dept means who doesn't want to announce a 10 year $250 Billion Green Deal Project. Get States to match it 40/60 and its a $600 Billion Project

      $96 a person more and With this Major Cities can tackle major projects and Rural cities can apply for the Metro Funding. $1.5 Billion each state gets on average can be applied however but that's encouraging moving to a Green plan.

      The U.S. combined gas tax rate (State + Federal) is According to data from the OECD, is the second lowest (Mexico is the only country without a gas tax).

      The average gas tax rate among the 34 advanced economies is $2.62 per gallon. In fact, the U.S.’s gas tax a rate less than half of that of the next highest country, Canada, which has a rate of $1.25 per gallon.

      We want to have the European advanced economy of our peers but we arent wanting to pay for it

      26 votes
    7. I think we can all (generally!) agree that the right-wing is too easy of a target here, and most of us seem to be left-ish. So, waves, what's leftism currently doing wrong, or on track to start...

      I think we can all (generally!) agree that the right-wing is too easy of a target here, and most of us seem to be left-ish. So, waves, what's leftism currently doing wrong, or on track to start doing wrong?

      45 votes
    8. First let me say that I long considered myself an independent until I realized I always voted Democrat a number of years ago because I find they best represent my interests, so that's my POV...

      First let me say that I long considered myself an independent until I realized I always voted Democrat a number of years ago because I find they best represent my interests, so that's my POV coming into this. I consider myself generally liberal on most issues with a few exceptions (gun rights, against college for all, etc)

      Some observations:

      • There was much there to please Republicans regarding the economy, etc
      • There was much there that I'm not sure will play well with Trump's base: economic programs for women in other countries (Ivanka's influence?), criminal justice reform, lots of praise and visuals of black Americans including several guests, seeming to waffle a bit on the "wall" - I think he reduced it to fencing, did I get that right?, he stated several times he was in favor of legal immigration (something his actions have indicated otherwise and his base seems to be against)
      • We're going to make peace with the Taliban - that was a jaw-dropping moment for me and I could tell from the reaction of the Rs in the crowd that it didn't play well with them
      • Democratic women wearing white - smart political move and I didn't catch they did it during his first speech
      • Pelosi was great to watch. Calm as a cucumber. She had several little subversive moments where instead of immediately sitting down after clapping she shuffled some papers or pretended to read something, sending a clear message of what she thought of POTUS' remarks
      • Trump's anti-immigration push still isn't focusing on any facts...sigh.
      • Russia investigation was only mentioned once or twice so he didn't succumb to temptation there
      • I thought this was by far his best and most presidential speech
      • The Rs at work were not impressed so I thought that was interesting

      Regarding Stacy Abrams' response:

      • I was totally disappointed
      • She completely lacked energy and I had a hard time following along because of it
      • Kennedy was 100x better in his response (even with the excessive lip balm)
      • I don't have much else to say...it was bland

      What did you think?

      EDIT: Forgot he announced we're back in a nuclear arms race with Russia and China. And what was up with bringing in all of the Holocaust survivors and WWII vets? Was that a blatant appeal to the oldest members of his base or simply to recall the last "good" war the US fought?

      20 votes
    9. Privacy and Politics

      I was thinking about the intersection of internet privacy and politics. You could even say I was having a bit of a mini-crisis. I like to think of myself as being pretty liberal, but I wondering...

      I was thinking about the intersection of internet privacy and politics. You could even say I was having a bit of a mini-crisis. I like to think of myself as being pretty liberal, but I wondering how that fits into privacy. I was a little upset when I learned that Obama called Edward Snowden unpatriotic. I was kind of thinking that what he did was patriotic. Wasn't the NSA monitoring US citizens without warrants. That's morally wrong right? I think I would be pretty fine with the government monitoring someone if they had a warrant given to them by a non-secret court. I'm wondering if anyone here can give me some insight on this or if anyone else feels/has felt this way.

      4 votes
    10. I was recently reading a reddit post about a 15 year old speaking out about climate change. In the comments there was a depressing amount of people dismissing her thoughts, opinions, and arguments...

      I was recently reading a reddit post about a 15 year old speaking out about climate change. In the comments there was a depressing amount of people dismissing her thoughts, opinions, and arguments simply because of age (and possibly because of the topic, but most stated reasons were age). In my own opinion I think young people should have just as much consideration given to their arguments as older people, if not more. They are the ones that are going to live in the world the older generations are leaving behind, and they want to make it a good place to live in. Admittedly, I am biased towards giving her a stage. I myself am still pretty young, especially here on Tildes. Maybe I only view it this way because of that. It's hard to tell, which is why I want some other viewpoints. Do you think younger people should be given consideration, despite their age?

      23 votes
    11. If so, what were your previous beliefs, what did they evolve to, and what do you think has caused the change? I am curious about your general disposition, but it would also be interesting to hear...

      If so, what were your previous beliefs, what did they evolve to, and what do you think has caused the change?

      I am curious about your general disposition, but it would also be interesting to hear how that applies to specific policies.

      46 votes
    12. I know that I might be opening a can of worms, so please allow me to start my post with a request to not create deep comment chains with back-and-forth unproductive discussion. Let's do it...

      I know that I might be opening a can of worms, so please allow me to start my post with a request to not create deep comment chains with back-and-forth unproductive discussion. Let's do it scientific-ish, and share our answers as top-level comments that expose our perception, thoughs and answer. If you disagree an answer, post a toplevel comment that exposes your view, instead of direct refutals to individual comments. I believe that's a more productive approach.

      The right-left distinction in US politics is quite different to what it is in other parts of the world. Your right wing politics supports free speech for example, which in most parts of the world is an oxymoron. Could you explain me which ideas and stances are classified as right wing and which left wing in the US politics? Please read the above request before responding, I really don't want to start a political flame war and would be sorry if this turned into such a thing and became a burden on the mod(s).

      21 votes
    13. I was recently watching this video about whitewashing in films, and it started me on a chain of thoughts that I'm slightly confused about. I'd like to get some alternative viewpoints on the...

      I was recently watching this video about whitewashing in films, and it started me on a chain of thoughts that I'm slightly confused about. I'd like to get some alternative viewpoints on the matter, to hopefully clear up some issues I'm having.

      In this video, the person presenting the opinion goes on to define whitewashing as:

      [...] when Hollywood takes a character who is a person of colour in the source material, and casts a white actor for the final portrayal we see on screen.

      This definition is good, and I agree with it. I can also clearly see how "Whitewashing" is a problem. However, later on in the video she says:

      But this thing some people like to call "Blackwashing", is not a problem. It's not even a thing.

      This is what I have trouble agreeing with. If we take the definition provided for whitewashing as a good source, how can "blackwashing" not be the opposite, where a person of colour plays a traditionally white character?

      She provides some examples from comic book movies, such as Nick Fury from the MCU. I think that Samuel L. Jackson does a great performance as Fury in all the MCU films; I wouldn't cast any other actor for the part. However, I do have a problem accepting that "Whitewashing" is a problem, but "Blackwashing" is not. Logically, would not either one or both of these be a problem? I'd love to hear what everyone thinks about this, as I'm pretty clearly confused myself.

      17 votes
    14. Before elections or just in general, what do you do to get to know people in power? I personally use Wikipedia as a clear, quick way to learn about politicians from front to back. Also, near...

      Before elections or just in general, what do you do to get to know people in power?

      I personally use Wikipedia as a clear, quick way to learn about politicians from front to back. Also, near elections, I tend to do a quick web search alongside this to try and get a feel of what current events are saying about candidates, now that they're in the limelight.

      14 votes
    15. This started as a sub-thread in a topic about possible contenders for the 2020 US Presidential race, but it generated enough interesting discussion that I thought it'd be worth spinning off into...

      This started as a sub-thread in a topic about possible contenders for the 2020 US Presidential race, but it generated enough interesting discussion that I thought it'd be worth spinning off into its own topic, particularly so we can include people outside the US who are ignoring or filtering out topics about American politics.

      To expand on the questions in the topic title:

      • What level of education should be required by law of every citizen?
      • How should schools be funded? What role should taxes play vs. tuition paid by the student or their parents?
      • Should homeschooling be allowed, and if so, how strict should the educational requirements be?

      And if you want to go really deep:

      • What is the purpose of education in the first place? Is it to make better and more productive workers; to create an informed electorate; to learn for the sake of learning?
      16 votes
    16. Several states around the United States have "Stand Your Ground" laws. The basic gist of them is if you reasonably believe that you face imminent death, serious bodily injury, rape, kidnapping, or...

      Several states around the United States have "Stand Your Ground" laws. The basic gist of them is if you reasonably believe that you face imminent death, serious bodily injury, rape, kidnapping, or (in most states) robbery, you can use deadly force against the assailant, even if you have a perfectly safe avenue of retreat. In non-stand-your-ground states, when you face such threats outside your home (and, in some states, your business), you can only use deadly force against the assailant if you lack a perfectly safe avenue of retreat.

      The Washington Post has an explainer on this here if you are interested in more detail - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/06/27/what-stand-your-ground-laws-actually-mean/?utm_term=.d1738c2f1086

      Just a couple weeks ago in Florida a white man, Michael Drejka, shot and killed an unarmed black man, Markeis McGlockton, over a parking dispute in Florida. The shooter Drejka started an argument with the victim's girlfriend, was then shoved to the ground, and while on the ground pulled his weapon and killed McGlockton. Djerka argued that he feared being attacked again and the police has decided not to press charges. Djerka also has a history of aggressive incidents, including two in which he has brandished his weapon.

      http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/Records-show-road-rage-gun-threats-in-stand-your-ground-shooter-s-past_170719109

      https://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/No-arrest-in-fatal-shooting-during-argument-over-handicap-parking-space_170174041

      Florida's Stand Your Ground law was also a deciding factor in the George Zimmerman trial for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. *edited for clarity

      I have seen many criticisms of these laws, mainly that they serve to protect aggressors in assaulting others, mainly minorities, and lead to increased gun violence and homicides.

      Do you think these Stand Your Ground laws are appropriate or ethical?

      Do you think that these laws target minorities?

      14 votes
    17. Tweetstorm related: https://twitter.com/bioxcession/status/1028322450910732289 Upfront: the basic premise of the book is that Theranos was an exploitative, evil company headed by two exploitative,...

      Tweetstorm related: https://twitter.com/bioxcession/status/1028322450910732289

      Upfront: the basic premise of the book is that Theranos was an exploitative, evil company headed by two exploitative, evil people. It makes an effort to not apologize for Elizabeth, or blame her actions on anyone else. She was sucked into the vortex of literally being a bloodsucker. In fact, the book - at one point - goes so far as to suggest she may be a sociopath.

      Now, the book was a good read, and I think the point makes sense - bad company is bad. But it's stirring up a ton of music in my head - especially since it compared Theranos to "vaporware companies" - practices that the Valley has engaged in since forever (promising endlessly and not delivering).

      Vaporware: software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed.

      Theranos was no different, except it tried selling vaporware in the form of a healthcare device. Insisting that this device worked (it didn't), and insisting that most of their received blood tests were running on it (they weren't).

      It's my opinion that Theranos would have been hailed as an enormous success if they had delayed for long enough to make this technology work. I believe that my point is furthered by the fact that Walgreens waited through two years of delays, of and tolerated outright lies. If the tech ever came out, all would have been forgiven.

      My argument boils down to this: Elizabeth wasn't a shitty person, she operated correctly in a shitty system.

      She took risks, yes - but they were necessary to maintain the illusion that she had a product that amounted to anything. Eventually, she hoped, her team would crack the nut and she'd come out unscathed.

      The problem amounts to our system encouraging this type of behavior - she was visited by the vice president, Kissinger, Mattis, had dinners with the Clintons, and was a fellow at Harvard medical school. Nobody thought twice because the tech was so exciting.

      Tildes, what can we do to prevent this type of behavior, and am I overlooking something?

      11 votes
    18. I've been feeling SO HAPPY this Monday, so I'm hoping y'all will be able to ease my light existential dread. That dread is based on cultural conflicts in the US and elsewhere, where people seem to...

      I've been feeling SO HAPPY this Monday, so I'm hoping y'all will be able to ease my light existential dread. That dread is based on cultural conflicts in the US and elsewhere, where people seem to want to have things their way or the highway and no resolution is in sight.

      "Culture war" is a term that assumes at least two sides fighting out their differences in an effectively zero-sum atmosphere; one side wins, one side loses. It would apply tons of different questions, a couple which we've discussed here in ~talk already. I see a "Culture War" as any conflict of opinion focused on cultural values, rights, mores, etc., in which the participants feel there must be a clear winner and a clear loser to the conflict. Abortion, discrimination/affirmative action (of any kind to any group), and gun control/rights are the three big culture-war issues that I think currently divide Americans.

      Escalating an issue to culture war status means that issue will likely not be resolved for decades. While other issues ebb and flow, the culture war issues persist largely unchanged. I think the main reason for the doggedness of these issues is there is no possible way to deescalate them. The participants want too badly to be right to hear many reasons for seeing things differently, and almost any act to persuade has "complete capitulation" in mind as the primary goal of the rhetorician. The result is that no one hears or respects the people who disagree with them.

      I have very little reason to be optimistic about any of these issues being resolved in my lifetime. Too many people use these cultural issues to identify themselves. Too many people use these issues to identify "others," or people who don't belong in their group. The room for open discussion on any of these issues is nil unless the discussion is held at the horns by a determined and skilled moderator.

      My challenge to you, if you choose to accept it: find me a realistic path toward deescalating a culture war once it has begun. Historical examples would be much appreciated, if possible.

      Edit: Someone told me privately that I went too academic, so I've adjusted the wording to be easier on the mind. Mondays all around, y'all.

      26 votes
    19. I just read this article in the Washington Post and was interested to hear what you all on Tildes thought?...

      I just read this article in the Washington Post and was interested to hear what you all on Tildes thought?

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2018/08/01/feature/school-shootings-should-parents-be-charged-for-failing-to-lock-up-guns-used-by-their-kids/?utm_term=.48913fda4b09

      The TL;DR is since 1999, children have committed at least 145 school shootings. Among the 105 cases in which the weapon’s source was identified, 80 percent were taken from the child’s home or those of relatives or friends. Yet The Washington Post found that just four adults have been convicted for failing to lock up the guns used.

      Personally, I think the parents should absolutely be charged. If you are going to keep deadly weapons in your household, it is your responsibility as a gun owner to keep them safe. If your child takes your weapons and commits a mass shooting, I believe the parents are absolutely to blame.

      Tildes, what are your thoughts?

      14 votes
    20. In all the discussions about whether "alt-right" should be tolerated, I tripped over the curiosity rock about what causes people to form or change political beliefs, what constitutes extremism,...

      In all the discussions about whether "alt-right" should be tolerated, I tripped over the curiosity rock about what causes people to form or change political beliefs, what constitutes extremism, whether or not people come to realize they hold an extreme position, and how we can restore balance.

      I got caught having a bad knee-jerk reaction here, and while I don't think my conclusion was wrong, it's taking a bit of work to unpack all of the knowledge, experience, and ideological biases that underlie it.

      So, Tilders, was there a formative moment in your life (or close family/friend's experience) that set you on a course to uphold and defend a particular ideology, or did your position evolve over time?
      Do you feel your adherence is "radical" or "extreme", and/or have others told you that you're an extremist/radical/ideologue?
      What (or who) does your position make you unable to tolerate, if anything (or kind of person)?
      Has your belief changed over time, or what do you think would change it?

      29 votes
    21. There's lot of academia out there that suggests that everyone has blindspots, topics and issues that we take with so much certainty that we would not even think to question them, people who so...

      There's lot of academia out there that suggests that everyone has blindspots, topics and issues that we take with so much certainty that we would not even think to question them, people who so rarely enter into our concerns that we do not think to consider their needs or concerns, etc.

      It's hard to know exactly what our own blindspots are because by their very nature as soon as they are identified they lose some of their power. This sort of self-awareness is difficult even on the best day, but it allows us to more reasonably address people who don't hold our views, so I think the exercise is justified.

      This topic is intended to be introspective. Wherever you identify politically (left, right, moderate, anarchist, libertarian, the works), what are some topics and groups that your political people tend to struggle to focus on?

      13 votes
    22. I've been consuming the darkness that is wartime histories from the past three or four centuries and I feel like I've encountered a lot of people who had what they believed to be justifiable...

      I've been consuming the darkness that is wartime histories from the past three or four centuries and I feel like I've encountered a lot of people who had what they believed to be justifiable reasons to launch wars against other powers. There are people who thought they had divine right to a particular position of power and so would launch a war to assert that god-given right. There are people who believed in a citizen's right to have some (any) say in how their tax money gets used in government and so would fight wars over that. People would fight wars to, as John Cleese once said, "Keep China British." Many wars are started to save the honor of a country/nation. Some are started in what is claimed to be self-defense and later turns out to have been a political play instigated to end what has been a political thorn in their sides.

      In all this time, I've struggled to really justify many of these wars, but some of that comes with the knowledge of what other wars have cost in terms of human carnage and suffering. For some societies in some periods, the military is one of the few vehicles to social mobility (and I think tend to think social mobility is grease that keeps a society functioning). Often these conflicts come down to one man's penis and the inability to swallow their pride to find a workable solution unless at the end of a bayonet. These conflicts also come with the winning powers taking the opportunity to rid themselves of political threats and exacting new harms on the defeated powers (which comes back around again the next time people see each other in a conflict).

      So help keep me from embracing a totally pacifistic approach to war. When is a war justifiable? When it is not only morally acceptable but a moral imperative to go to war? Please point to examples throughout history where these situations have happened, if you can (though if you're prepared to admit that there has been no justifiable war that you're aware of, I suppose that's fine if bitter).

      20 votes
    23. This is a hard topic for me personally, so please be gentle. I am at my core an institutionalist and an incrementalist, so I tend to want to both value and improve institutions through incremental...

      This is a hard topic for me personally, so please be gentle. I am at my core an institutionalist and an incrementalist, so I tend to want to both value and improve institutions through incremental (bit-by-bit) change.

      A common concern and criticism of people who are impatient with incremental changes is that there would be tons of unintended consequences. While that concern resonates with me, it clearly doesn't seem to resonate with much of anyone else right now.

      So in this I feel alone, frankly, and a lot of the reason for that loneliness is because incrementalism seems to have been firmly rebuked by both left and right wing political groups around the world. Help me understand what's happening. Where is incrementalism failing for you? Do you see any role for bit-by-bit change?

      The scope of this thread could expand to the high heavens, so please understand how widely varied the examples might be that we each might bring to this discussion.

      20 votes
    24. In opposition to the post about incrementalism, I wanted to talk about a truly revolutionary and designed based approached to a policy called experimentalism. When I was a believer in public...

      In opposition to the post about incrementalism, I wanted to talk about a truly revolutionary and designed based approached to a policy called experimentalism. When I was a believer in public policy, this was the final stage for which I believed a benevolent state would move towards. Incrementalism doesn't work unless you have a dictatorship or some unchanging party like in the soviet union or China. This is because incremental changes need people to agree with the degree of which to increments and need to have the shared goal to continue adding them. Also, incremental change might bring little effect on their own or even make things worse rather than just enacting what you think is the final policy. It is politically impossible in a democracy. Instead what I argue for is radical experimentalism. This is a position people of radically different ideas can take an appeal to a general audience to test their political ideas on large groups of willing participants to see what effects policy has on them after certain periods of time. Isolating variables to really see what society works best. Regardless of general political will, the evidence wins out as we test ideas in different parts of the state as they compete to see who provides the best results for people. The only thing that is required is a dedication to results based on political decision and commitment to evidence. Lastly, an acknowledgement that we must dive into the unknown to truly find some answers. A scientific approach to policy that is consistent with democratic values and structures. I find that this spirit of democratic education on a societal level is much like John Dewey would have described as really necessary for democracy to continue to function. Without a dedication to experimentalism and skepticism there is no way I see democracy working very well over time if faced with structural problems and public ignorance.

      7 votes
    25. Living Rules

      Today, I had a dream. In this dream I have confronted the idea that systems are much like entities, they are living creatures of a sort. Just as groups have some selection process that makes them...

      Today, I had a dream. In this dream I have confronted the idea that systems are much like entities, they are living creatures of a sort. Just as groups have some selection process that makes them more likely to survive over time so do systems. Rulesets are not made for human beings but for themselves. Sets of rules beget their own continuation. Their constant reproduction. But this is no reason for an individual or a group to submit to a particular ruleset but a reason for them not to submit to her because she has no interest in the specific survival of a group or individual but in the survival of herself. The survival of herself can easily misalign with that of the group and the individual. Rulesets much like the State or other such things are self-interested. And to complete self-interested systems with altruistic systems would be a grave mistake . And since all systems are infact selfish we we cannot conflate the interest of the system with the interests of the people within the system, that would be the fallacy of composition. If a system existed that perfectly aligned its ideals with that of the people that lives under them there would be no need for such a system to be coercive because all would act according to the system regardless. Competing interests of human beings and of different proofs makes such a system impossible. we are then left only to consider the ruleset in decision-making processes but under no obligation to operate in its interest. We are only able to operate on our own.

      4 votes
    26. I'll level with you right now: I hate both of these terms. "Political Correctness" is a term that gets used by a lot of people to talk about what I would consider to be basic politeness ("don't...

      I'll level with you right now: I hate both of these terms.

      "Political Correctness" is a term that gets used by a lot of people to talk about what I would consider to be basic politeness ("don't intentionally offend someone if they've made it clear they don't like a word, or would prefer to be referred in a certain way; just try"). I have suspected for a while that what these people typically really mean when they talk about political correctness is a fatigue with feeling like they're being forced to meet standards of politeness that are decided by others, and which they do not share.

      "Civility" is a term that gets used just about every way you can imagine. It can mean politeness, it can mean "nonviolent protest," it can mean voting, it can mean only certain kinds of protest, and it can mean meeting decorum (which is a more formal way of saying politeness, but it has its nuanced differences, so I suppose I'll list it, goddamn, twist my arm why don't you). The range of possible meanings makes it pretty annoying, and borderline useless to talk about directly.

      The title of this thread is an intentional play on one of my frustrations with a munk debate which was shared about a month ago. I believed the terms were too dependent on who "you" are in the statement. So rather than have them redo the munk debate, I thought we could have one of our own.

      I definitely have my own views on this claim (that I'll be sharing below), but this has been such an awkward issue on this site that I think it's worth exploring directly. So explore with me:

      1. Is there a difference between "political correctness" and "civility"?
      2. Is either term valuable to society?
      3. Why the hell are so many people so hot and bothered about these two terms, and also seemingly unable to interact meaningfully with anyone else?
      22 votes
    27. I have been reading a lot of the articles on uncivility. A big complaint is politicians don't like the power it gives people. Which I understand can be bad, but it also seems like for the first...

      I have been reading a lot of the articles on uncivility. A big complaint is politicians don't like the power it gives people. Which I understand can be bad, but it also seems like for the first time in a long time, the average person has a way to impact these high powered politicians. Ordinarily there is nothing we can do, we can't touch them when they continually do things not in the best interest of the people they represent. They do shady things, and we have to go with it.

      They are arguing uncivility is dangerous because it creates the problem of officials being scared to make decisions based on how they will be impacted. If a judge rules one way, and the masses start making his life hard, they say it isn't really fair to the judge. Which makes sense.

      This is the information age. We have access to so much more going on than adults did before us. We actually have platforms to be heard on a large scale. Which means pressuring these people to do right through "uncivility" could be harnessed and used positively to enforce change. If the people making these decisions that are not in our best interest have something to lose, maybe they will finally start doing right by us.

      What are your thoughts on this aspect of the uncivility debate going on right now?

      17 votes
    28. The USA in particular has one of the lowest voter turnouts and the lowest registration levels of most developed countries....

      The USA in particular has one of the lowest voter turnouts and the lowest registration levels of most developed countries.

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/05/21/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/

      In 2016 only 61% of eligible citizens voted and only 70% were registered.

      https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/voting-and-registration/p20-580.html

      And that was a good year.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout#Trends_of_decreasing_turnout_since_the_1980s

      11 votes
    29. Today's political climate has all sorts of terms being thrown around with varying meanings and history behind them. There are Liberals (political ideology for FREEDUM), and Liberals (foreign...

      Today's political climate has all sorts of terms being thrown around with varying meanings and history behind them. There are Liberals (political ideology for FREEDUM), and Liberals (foreign policy), and Liberals (economic policy), and Liberals ("conservatives"), and Liberals ("centrist, anti-absolute monarchists"), and Liberals ("democrats"), and Liberals (some other field that annoys the shit out of me). There are Progressives, and Conservatives, Nationalists, Socialists, Social Democrats, unreconstructed Monarchists, Reconstructed Monarchists, Anarchists, and I'm sure some other political identity that I've missed.

      So, given the rather long list of ways to identify politically, and the just about as long history for those ways to identify politically, I thought we should have a discussion focused exclusively on the political history of the terms we used.

      So, the questions:

      1. What terms do you commonly use to describe yourself and others in your political environment? 
      2. What is the relevant history that informs the way you use common political terms to describe yourself and others?
      3. Got any links, movies, books, etc., that delve into that history?
      

      This has the potential to get hairy because of how broad it is, so I'm going to try to remind people of some best practices that I use when engaging in meaningful discussion:

      • Understand before criticizing. - Be able to frame someone's view in a way that they can agree with themselves before critiquing their view. Questions are your friend, but make sure the questions are focused on better understanding someone's view, not on biasing reactions to a view.
      • Assume good faith. - Calling people "trolls" makes me very angry. Don't do it. For any reason. To anyone. If your case is so bulletproof that you'd be willing to call someone out for it here, take it to @Deimos instead. I don't want to read it here.
      • I Could Be Wrong - There is nothing wrong with having confidence in your view, but there should be some part of you that recognizes you can be wrong about whatever claim you make. Nothing is 100%. Absolutely Only Sith Deal In Absolutes, etc.
      11 votes
    30. I'm a bit behind the news cycle, but I saw the first images of the families being separated on the news last night. I'm aghast. I'm just so utterly confused. Not addressing the issue of...

      I'm a bit behind the news cycle, but I saw the first images of the families being separated on the news last night. I'm aghast. I'm just so utterly confused. Not addressing the issue of immigration or even the splitting up of families...

      We don't fucking lock people in cages.

      (Sidepoint: I know prisons exist, but this is a very different situation.)

      36 votes
    31. This thread isn't supposed to be about debating issues, just more of a conversation about the consequences/responsibilities for holding certain views. So what's the best way to talk to people with...

      This thread isn't supposed to be about debating issues, just more of a conversation about the consequences/responsibilities for holding certain views. So what's the best way to talk to people with fundamentally different values from you?

      38 votes