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Author Topic: Wall Street Protests  (Read 19086 times)

Corsair

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #60 on: October 08, 2011, 09:15:42 am »
In order for a morality base to degrade, there has to ahve been one in the first place. We shouldn't look at history through rose-tinted glasses.

Klarth

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #61 on: October 08, 2011, 12:59:08 pm »
In order for a morality base to degrade, there has to have been one in the first place. We shouldn't look at history through rose-tinted glasses.
That's very true.  The moral supremacy narrative we have weaved forgot to include the threads of mass murder, cronyism, greed, and not admitting mistakes.  Our history contains the genocide of Native Americans, slavery, napalming and nuclear bombing Japanese citizens, lies leading to Vietnam, prolonging Vietnam to save face, lies leading to Iraq, massive profiteering during WW1 (and recently Iraq/Afghanistan too), justification of torture, creating foreign revolutions and militant groups, to foreign cronyism involving foreign military aid bribes.  It's a wonder how we've been able to market ourselves as well as we have.

Spooniest

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #62 on: October 08, 2011, 01:43:31 pm »
The standard of good conduct must be upheld, no matter how insipid it may seem in the face of current corruption, or we will lose something valuable. Cynicism is a dead end, and produces no solutions, nor does it bother to really state problems in a productive way.

If we haven't lived up to our standard of good conduct yet, then that just means we have more work to do. The time for negative attitudes seems to have come and gone.
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Corsair

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #63 on: October 08, 2011, 03:46:23 pm »
The standard of good conduct must be upheld, no matter how insipid it may seem in the face of current corruption, or we will lose something valuable. Cynicism is a dead end, and produces no solutions, nor does it bother to really state problems in a productive way.

If we haven't lived up to our standard of good conduct yet, then that just means we have more work to do. The time for negative attitudes seems to have come and gone.

Well, i'm not saying "humanity is fucked, get over it" or anything like that, I'm just thinking; people often act like there was at some pint, A moral "golden age' with which we should gauge our current situation, when at no point was that really ever the case. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't *try* to aim for it, but we ought to look at our history as a laundry-list of thigns *not* to do, rather than as something to aspire to.

I recall watching a documentary on the Dark Ages, and one of the historians they were interviewing scoffed at the notion that they should be called "dark" because of how pious people were supposed to ahve been. That's an extreme example, but I for one, enjoy occasionally taking showers and reading heretical literature without fear of death.

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #64 on: October 08, 2011, 05:27:56 pm »
I for one, enjoy occasionally taking showers and reading heretical literature without fear of death.
“One of the most stupid calumnies on the manners of the Catholic Middle Ages that bathing was forbidden, that it was seldom practiced, and the like.” –Thomas J. Shahan

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Spooniest

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #65 on: October 08, 2011, 05:51:22 pm »
Well, i'm not saying "humanity is fucked, get over it" or anything like that, I'm just thinking; people often act like there was at some point, A moral "golden age' with which we should gauge our current situation, when at no point was that really ever the case.

Oh, by all means, I agree! That isn't what I meant by "standard of good conduct" at all. I was kind of unclear in my spontaneous outpouring on it, so I'll rephrase myself. What I mean is not that "In the good old days, people dealt fairly and everything was hunky-dory." I'm certainly not that naive.

But there needs to be some kind of adherence to a standard of good conduct. What has happened in this country since World War II is that the wealthiest people have continually, robotically exploited every loophole they could find/introduce into the system that was set up, and now 99% of us are getting screwed over as a result. I suppose what I mean is that there needs to be a revolution in the enforcement of the standard of good conduct. 1% of the people in this country are looting the rest of us so they can have fine crystal slop buckets and "those guitars that are like...double guitars." Or whatever. I'm just a passionate bystander myself; I can write you a very catchy pop song, or tell you how to improvise minor pentatonic scales on the guitar, but all you read here is simply moderately educated passion at work. Please take my rantings with a grain of salt.

The point remains that something had to give, and it seems to have just given. People have been pushed to their breaking point, and it's quite invigorating.

Edit: "In der guten alren Zeit, lebten die Menschen noch ruhig und in Frieden."
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 06:14:26 pm by Spooniest »
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KaioShin

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #66 on: October 08, 2011, 06:05:14 pm »
People have been pushed to their breaking point, and it's quite invigorating.

You think a few students with too much free time who are angry over not being able to afford a new flatscreen is anywhere close to a breaking point? You haven't seen anything real yet.

Spooniest

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #67 on: October 08, 2011, 06:17:50 pm »
After the decades of apathy and rolling over we've seen here in the States, it's refreshing to see anybody doing anything about it. And many of these people are deciding between food and rent, Kaio. What the hell are you talking about?
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Nec5

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #68 on: October 08, 2011, 10:32:32 pm »
In order for a morality base to degrade, there has to ahve been one in the first place. We shouldn't look at history through rose-tinted glasses.
That is a battle that is at the the heart of what's wrong with this country.  We should not look at history through rose tinted glasses nor should we look at history through shades. 

Before that battle between (and the use of labels here is problematic at best unless we want to get into name calling) "progressives" and "traditionalists" can take place, the system folks represented by our 2 major parties have to be moved aside.  They wish to preserve the status quo; they care little for principles as long as one of their friends retains and shares power/money.

Ironically, both the progressives and traditionalists despise the "system" class (Bush, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Boehner, Cheney, etc.) and could possibly work together to get rid of it.  Then the real conflict over actual principles and ideals could occur.

In reality, I don't think any of this will likely happen.  There are just too many sheep who proudly argue "I'm not an extremist. I'm in the middle."  As long as they have their social security, NFL, and t.v. dinners (bread and circuses), they'll gladly side with the status quo.  I don't know.  Maybe Putin will win his 50th term in office and conquer everything.  Long live the kgb. :crazy:
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Corsair

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #69 on: October 08, 2011, 11:14:57 pm »
“One of the most stupid calumnies on the manners of the Catholic Middle Ages that bathing was forbidden, that it was seldom practiced, and the like.” –Thomas J. Shahan

(do the research, kids!)

SHOOSH! It was a facetious statement and you know it!

Quote from: Nec5
shades.
No, really. At what point in the history of the US - or even most of European history- was real honest-to-God morality ever a big determining factor in internal or international politics or business? I'm pretty confident  that there were no halcyon days, and reference to any supposed ye goode olde dayse is essentially just rhetoric describing a future ideal anyway.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 11:24:11 pm by Corsair »

Spooniest

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #70 on: October 09, 2011, 12:08:27 am »
No, really. At what point in the history of the

I don't think it's productive at all to ask a nation to work in an environment where we have to constantly be clawing our way out of layers upon layers of cynicism in order to get anything done. Sure, history class freaked me out, too, man. It's no excuse for a negative attitude. We're agreed that barbaric behavior was/is barbaric. Why don't we just focus on the work of trying to live up to our ideals, instead of bemoaning our past failures? There are going to be failures in the future, too, but I, for one, am tired of dwelling on it all.

Jackson Browne performed a song called "The Road" on his album Running On Empty. It contains the line

Phone calls long distance
To tell how you've been
You forget about the losses
And exaggerate the wins


This is the only way musicians, who are essentially regarded as the garbage of society, are able to keep our spirits up on the road. It can work for us as a country, too, I think. We've got to keep our heads held up. This is no time to be feeling sorry for ourselves.
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Nec5

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #71 on: October 09, 2011, 02:12:19 am »
No, really. At what point in the history of the US - or even most of European history- was real honest-to-God morality ever a big determining factor in internal or international politics or business? I'm pretty confident  that there were no halcyon days, and reference to any supposed ye goode olde dayse is essentially just rhetoric describing a future ideal anyway.
I'd answer but doing so would require me to make a ton of moral judgments on issues that would turn real ugly real fast.  There are no perfect moral eras but some eras are clearly more moral than others, and this defines politics and policy.  This is pretty much the main theme of the Old Testament.  When Israel follows God's laws(morality) closely though imperfectly, they prosper.  If not, they get taken over or suffer. 

Consider the difference between the 1950s culture/policies and today.  This is the argument that many traditionalists would make.  Progressives would point out the flaws(i.e. race) in that period and point to some other age as better or no age at all being worth a damn.

I'll pick an issue that hopefully isn't quite as flame ready as say abortion or McDonalds serving spaghetti. 

Marriage and Culture. 
1950s= Divorce relatively rare and scorned.  Single parent homes rare.  Normal was nuclear family.  Fornication frowned upon, etc.
2011= Cohabitation and divorce are normal and accepted.  Marriage is optional.  Single parent homes are normal.  Fornication embraced, etc.

Policy implications:
1950s-> No fault divorce not allowed in most states.  Government views nuclear family as the standard for child rearing and ownership.No gay marriage (whether you think that's bigotry is not my point here). 
2011->  No fault divorce is the law virtually everywhere.  Courts dramatically adjust to new reality of single parents, numerous custody battles, and new living arrangements.  Gay marriage is all but a done deal (again if you think this is immoral, that's not my point here).

I'll throw another one out there.  Take the Iraq war (or overseas contingency operation ::)).  Our international war policy over there was to limit civilian casualties.  We could have turned the place into a coke bottle and not have suffered any casualties (again, my point here is to argue that morality in a culture has far reaching ramifications, not argue a particular moral judgment).  The US instead opted for, well you all know what happened: occupation, surge, nation building, police presence, elections, insurgency, taco bell, etc...
The point is that was a moral decision.  Yes, the US was concerned with the reaction of foreign powers, but our leaders constantly stressed the "limiting of collateral damage" in our political debates.  Whether you think it's true or not doesn't matter; the point is that morality influenced policy.
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Talbain

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #72 on: October 09, 2011, 02:36:33 am »
War's not really something that can be debated in the same manner as other moral debates.  War is the world stripped of morality.  Or as General Sherman once said, "War is cruel.  War is cruelty."

While you might think that the way in which America went about attacking Iraq was about "morals," it would be more accurate to say that it was about efficiency.  You should watch McNamara's film "The Fog of War."  And yes, I mean that when they sent troops over there, they essentially "knew" or "thought they knew" that it would be the most efficient/best way to deal with the situation.  It wasn't about morality; effectively, troops (i.e. people's lives) have a certain cost.  They are simply cheaper than many of the other options, and thus troops are being sent into war zones because they are cheaper.  They also allow companies to profit (Smedley's "War is a Racket") at the expense of those lives, and I am talking about a lot of money, billions by today's standards.  It might seem cruel that lives are being traded for money, but, as Sherman said, "War is cruel. War is cruelty."

Spooniest

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #73 on: October 09, 2011, 04:12:15 am »
It might seem cruel that lives are being traded for money, but, as Sherman said, "War is cruel. War is cruelty."

It's certainly doesn't seem as cruel as sterilizing it off the face of the earth, which, I shit you not, I actually heard a club owner in Brainerd, Minnesota say he thought we ought to do in October 2001, when I was 19. I was just there to play some guitar. My eyebrows went up a bit, but I kept my mouth shut.
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KaioShin

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #74 on: October 09, 2011, 05:03:24 am »
Marriage and Culture. 
1950s= Divorce relatively rare and scorned.  Single parent homes rare.  Normal was nuclear family.  Fornication frowned upon, etc.
2011= Cohabitation and divorce are normal and accepted.  Marriage is optional.  Single parent homes are normal.  Fornication embraced, etc.

Policy implications:
1950s-> No fault divorce not allowed in most states.  Government views nuclear family as the standard for child rearing and ownership.No gay marriage (whether you think that's bigotry is not my point here). 
2011->  No fault divorce is the law virtually everywhere.  Courts dramatically adjust to new reality of single parents, numerous custody battles, and new living arrangements.  Gay marriage is all but a done deal (again if you think this is immoral, that's not my point here).

Hm, but this wasn't cut and dry "better" back then either. Many people would argue that it was a nice statistic, but the reality back then was that people stayed in extremely unhappy and unfullfilling marriages only because it wasn't accepted to break out. This lead to tons of pent up frustration and unhappy lives. Monogamy isn't in human nature, it's another of those things forced down on society thanks to Christianity. Now don't get me wrong, I hope I'll get married some day, I like the symbolic value of the institution marriage. But the pseudo perfect families of the 50s were just a smokescreen over the turmoils that raged through tons of families under the surface.

Talbain

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #75 on: October 09, 2011, 06:34:15 am »
It's certainly doesn't seem as cruel as sterilizing it off the face of the earth, which, I shit you not, I actually heard a club owner in Brainerd, Minnesota say he thought we ought to do in October 2001, when I was 19. I was just there to play some guitar. My eyebrows went up a bit, but I kept my mouth shut.
:D
My older brother (military Vet from Iraq) believes similarly.  General LeMay believed we should have nuked Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis (and ironically, were it not for McNamara, we probably we would have done so).  Given the terrible things that weaponry does to countries, I'm not honestly sure which is more cruel.

Klarth

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #76 on: October 09, 2011, 01:22:35 pm »
I believe the people who advocated for nuking Iraq or Afghanistan are completely ignorant to the repercussions.  We've spent almost 7 decades since WW2 trying to make nuclear warfare an off the table option.  Using them again would give other nations the notion that nuclear warfare is an acceptable option.  That's much more unpalatable for the world than the loss of a few thousand US lives.  (The hundreds of thousands of foreign deaths would both occur under nuclear or conventional warfare)

I'd say the reason for public acceptance of our two current wars is two-fold: 1. Common people don't understand large numbers. 2. People buy into an emotional narrative created by top-level politicians and strategists whom are not morally fit to lead.

The following is my counter-narrative to the US response since 9/11:

On September 11, the US experienced the worst attack on its soil since Pearl Harbor.  Approximately 3,000 people died between 1-WTC, 2-WTC, the Pentagon, and Flight 93.  3-WTC was crushed by the collapse of the twin towers.  7-WTC became the first modern skyscraper to collapse solely due to a structural fire.  We will have a thorough investigation into structural integrity so our next generation skyscrapers will be safer.  On that day, our security policy failed us.  Despite decades of hijacking experience, we failed to implement a policy to keep flight cockpit doors locked and failed to keep off small weapons which could have kept Americans safe.  Our intelligence community failed to communicate and was not able to piece together what information we did have.  We are as responsible as the terrorists who committed this.

We believe the terrorist group Al Qaeda perpetrated this crime and they are sheltered by AfPak governments.  We believe Al Qaeda to amount to a group of approximately 1500 radical Islamists.  Their motive is the destruction of Western civilization and the establishment of an Islamic caliphate.  But they should not be confused with the many, decent Muslims around the world.  So America and its partners must be responsible in our mission to bring Al Qaeda to justice.  Invading and occupying these countries will bring about hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and many deaths of our own military personnel.  We will instead pursue them through counterterrorism and intelligence means.  This will be a long, difficult war vs an asymmetric enemy.

Some of you might be wondering about if Saddam Hussein has links to Al Qaeda.  While it is true that Saddam Hussein has used chemical weapons of mass destruction before, we do not have a solid body of evidence that leads us to believe that he wishes to use them on American soil.  As Aum Shinrikyo in Japan has taught us, once chemical weapon knowledge has been developed, these programs can be dismantled today, reconstructed tomorrow, and have a viable chemical weapon the day after.  Furthermore, there is no valid evidence that Saddam Hussein is seeking nuclear weapons.  We will continue monitoring the situation alongside our partners in the nearby area.

Corsair

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #77 on: October 09, 2011, 03:04:16 pm »
Quote from: NEC5
1950s= Divorce relatively rare and scorned.  Single parent homes rare.  Normal was nuclear family.  Fornication frowned upon, etc.

And it was also considered normal and legal for a man to rape his wife, and god forbid a woman try to get -work- instead of being a house-slave. There was also the whole United Fruit fiasco, where we were out toppling democratically elected regimes in South America in order to help corporations, and did similar things with Project AJAX in the middle east. This isn't conspiracy nutjob shit, these are publicly available CIA declassified docs, that you may wish to go and read. It might change your mind regarding how fucked up things actually were in the 50's.

OH God, and don't even get me started on the Vietnam War. Fat load of good that did us. No sir, that wasn't a corporate venture at all.


No the 50's absolutely sucked socially. Sure the average white male was more economically buoyant, but everybody else was pretty much screwed. This is what i'm talking about here, the "ideal" is pretty far removed from the reality; the "morality" you're talking about is just a different kind of bad - it's just a shifting of who gets to dominate everyone else. Regressing to a point where we're out toppling democracies certainl...Wait, we never really stopped doing that.
But hey, on the plus side, Violent crime is now lower than it was in 1993 :) That's an objectively positive thing we can all agree on.

Also, Kaio's post. Sure people may have taken marriage more seriously before we were born, but looking at the culture of the time..I'm pretty sure i'll take not being able to buy five cars over not having to utterly conform socially, or get weird looks when I only date women with educations.

While I'm not saying that *all* social change is for the better, I don't really see that women no longer being viewed as property, or socially inferior to men as a bad thing.


tl;dr - the culture of the 50's was only beneficial to *some* people, People in general weren't really any better off if they were either female, nonchristian, or nonwhite. And our gubmint was doing things just as screwed up now as they have ever been, and looking at a few questionably ethical social mores with an idealized view won't rally change the fact that the 50's actually really sucked pretty hard.


Which, incidentally, ends up being *most* people.



However,I do agree on the point that, given the values dissonance the US is currently seeing, we can't logically continue to exist under the same set of laws, at least as our government is currently structured. People living in New York, think differently than people living in Alabama, who think differently than people living in California, so I'm of the mind that it's in most folks' best interest to divvy out the social power more regionally, rather than centrally, Give people more leeway to govern themselves and those who think like them rather than having everyone trying to tell everyone else how to live. I mean, It's pretty clear that you and I, politically, socially, morally don't have much in common, except maybe a belief that the fed can sit n' spin, and as such, I really don't see how we can be governed by the same set of laws.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 03:48:24 pm by Corsair »

Nec5

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #78 on: October 09, 2011, 08:35:34 pm »
Hm, but this wasn't cut and dry "better" back then either. Many people would argue that it was a nice statistic, but the reality back then was that people stayed in extremely unhappy and unfullfilling marriages only because it wasn't accepted to break out. This lead to tons of pent up frustration and unhappy lives. Monogamy isn't in human nature, it's another of those things forced down on society thanks to Christianity. Now don't get me wrong, I hope I'll get married some day, I like the symbolic value of the institution marriage. But the pseudo perfect families of the 50s were just a smokescreen over the turmoils that raged through tons of families under the surface.
If you think the 50s were far worse than today, then you are agreeing with me about my point.  My point was not about the 50s being better or worse than today.  It was answering the objection that morality does not shape internal or external politics/policy.  In your case, you are arguing that a rejection of Christianity is the new morality and its rejection has positively shaped policy/culture/politics. 
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SargeSmash

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Re: Wall Street Protests
« Reply #79 on: October 09, 2011, 09:43:21 pm »
By the way, single parenthood is substantially correlated with poverty, as it is also with juvenile delinquency.  Monogamy may not be "natural", but there are a substantial number of good reasons for it.

Fun discussion over the weekend, I apparently missed out on a lot.  ;)
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36