Time to admit: U.S. polit powers might be in typical,if not unique, type echo chamber-Halts Progress

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Doublegee:

Revnak:
Pioneers went west because they wanted their own property. The "rugged individualism" and "Protestant work ethic" of American settlers was a product and significant engine of the economic system of their country, which was, inarguably, Capitalism. Trying to seperate the concept of individual ownership and individual prosperity from Capitalism is a fool's errand. That is what Capitalism was all about, and that is exactly what motivated American settlers.

Nobody is "trying to separate the concept of individual ownership and individual prosperity from Capitalism". We're saying that the displacement of the Native Americans had nothing to do with either of those things. Pro tip: when one group of people wants to use the force of government to take shit from other people and redistribute it to themselves, that has more in common with socialism than capitalism.

Except that that government was being pushed to do so by it's land hungry citizenry. And the Imperialism of the 19th century was motivated by the desire of the varying countries of Europe to create financially viable empires (among other things).

Revnak:
And the specific Imperialism of the 19th century couldn't have come into existence without the revolutions of the day

You mean the revolutions that didn't happen anywhere in Europe except for France, after which France started shedding its overseas possessions? Sure, that makes perfect sense.

Well, the main Capitalist power had already gone through it's revolutionary periods (England). However, multiple countries did go through many revolutions during 1848, which, while they did not completely change their governments, they did propel them towards new systems of government, led to their transition from Feudal-States to Nation-States, and generally led to more capitalistic systems of government. And France went through a couple more revolutions itself, some of which led to increased imperial holdings.
Protip- Germany (as a singular nation) didn't even exist prior to the 19th century, during which they built a pretty big empire. That's probably something to consider.

Edit- I just realized you said some truly crazy stuff in the part of your comment I edited out, so I'm gonna post a bit of a reply to that all here.
1. Fascism is a system of government and an ideology, communism is solely an economic system. They can be related, but only in some cases.
2. I could get some pretty big numbers for the evils of democracy that way too.
3. I'll skip this, as I really don't care.
4. Yet every single person who has died due to mismanagement or injustice in a communist country can be called a victim of Communism. Weird. Also, I'm pretty certain that we all have Feudalism to thank for the wonderful economic bounty which we enjoy as well. Probably even more so than Capitalism in the greater scheme of things.

Revnak:

Also, I did not say that other societies were not expansionist, I said that they were not expansionist in the particular way that America was.

That's not even an arguement then. "They weren't expansionist in the particular way." You may as well say they weren't wearing purple socks at the time. If the action isn't unique to capitalism or at least notably worse, why even bother mentioning it? "Sure, everyone was doing it, but only the capitalists were doing it while also being capitalists, therefore capitalism is bad." That's just not logic.

The individual people pushed for expansion as they continued to settle further and further west. And, generally speaking, the government and military wasn't that interested in making Natives leave their lands, settlers who were already encroaching on them were, and after Natives rightfully got pissed and fought over that the military would intervene.

And if the people had no personal ownership of that land, that would have changed. If the government had permanent claim to the land and people couldn't sell it, then that would stop them from wanting to live there or stop the government from using force to secure it? I don't think so, if anything that would just get the army involved faster.

tstorm823:

Revnak:

Also, I did not say that other societies were not expansionist, I said that they were not expansionist in the particular way that America was.

That's not even an arguement then. "They weren't expansionist in the particular way." You may as well say they weren't wearing purple socks at the time. If the action isn't unique to capitalism or at least notably worse, why even bother mentioning it? "Sure, everyone was doing it, but only the capitalists were doing it while also being capitalists, therefore capitalism is bad." That's just not logic.

My whole argument is that Capitalism can be linked to those atrocities to the same degree that Socialism can be linked to its. And the particular form was definitely different. Expansionism solely for the sake of economic gain is fairly unique, expansionism mixed with extensive economic exploitation of the native people's was as well, and expansionism pushed largely by industrial interests and desire for new land by common people was totally unique to Capitalism.

The individual people pushed for expansion as they continued to settle further and further west. And, generally speaking, the government and military wasn't that interested in making Natives leave their lands, settlers who were already encroaching on them were, and after Natives rightfully got pissed and fought over that the military would intervene.

And if the people had no personal ownership of that land, that would have changed. If the government had permanent claim to the land and people couldn't sell it, then that would stop them from wanting to live there or stop the government from using force to secure it? I don't think so, if anything that would just get the army involved faster.

If the government had claim to all of those lands, or if landlords did, or whatever, the people never would have been able to settle beyond the agreed borders, and their appeals for new land for themselves (solely themselves, not their country, not their people, themselves) would have been ignored rather than celebrated.

Revnak:

My whole argument is that Capitalism can be linked to those atrocities to the same degree that Socialism can be linked to its.

By which you should mean almost not linked at all. The source in this thread of this discussion was big willie styles referncing mass killings by communist regimes, not accidental or coincidental issues. The person I found fault with was the one claiming those deaths pale in comparison to those caused by capitalisms imperialism and genecide, which is bullocks. I'm not claiming that socialism started these problems, and I'm not saying capitalism stops them. There's just that guy claiming capitalism causes them, and you sort of half claiming that because I'm pretty sure the source of this debate has been lost. It'd be silly of me to try and say American expansion can't be described in terms of capitalism, just as it'd be silly of you to claim that the events wouldn't have happened to the same degree of badness under a different economic system.

Can we just agree that badness of people is independant of government style, and it's unfair for someone to claim American pioneers are more atrocious than the Cultural Revolution?

tstorm823:
Can we just agree that badness of people is independant of government style, and it's unfair for someone to claim American pioneers are more atrocious than the Cultural Revolution?

I don't know. There were some pretty shitty pioneers...
That was a joke.

Revnak:
Manifest Destiny was, in many ways, a collection of ideals based around ideas of American individualism, as well as concepts of individual ownership and prosperity

No, manifest destiny was the belief that the USA would continue expanding Westward until it reached the Pacific Coast. It was strictly nationalist, not individualist.

Vegosiux:
So, when a communist government causes people to die, that's "communism being responsible for people dying", and when a capitalist government causes people to die that's not "capitalism being responsible for people dying".

Ummm, yes. An economic system that is inextricably integrated with government shares the blame for the actions of government, and an economic system that exists independently of government is not to blame for the actions of government. Why should this be news to anyone?

Revnak:

Doublegee:
Nobody is "trying to separate the concept of individual ownership and individual prosperity from Capitalism". We're saying that the displacement of the Native Americans had nothing to do with either of those things. Pro tip: when one group of people wants to use the force of government to take shit from other people and redistribute it to themselves, that has more in common with socialism than capitalism.

Except that that government was being pushed to do so by it's land hungry citizenry. And the Imperialism of the 19th century was motivated by the desire of the varying countries of Europe to create financially viable empires (among other things).

Neither of those has anything to do with capitalism.

Revnak:
Well, the main Capitalist power had already gone through it's revolutionary periods (England). However, multiple countries did go through many revolutions during 1848, which, while they did not completely change their governments, they did propel them towards new systems of government, led to their transition from Feudal-States to Nation-States, and generally led to more capitalistic systems of government.

Spain, the Netherlands, and Portugal were already in decline by the beginning of the 19th century. Italy and Germany did not emerge as nation-states until the end of it. Russia, Austro-Hungary, and the Ottomans didn't really do the "overseas colonies" thing. What countries had revolutions in 1848 and became more imperialist as a result?

Revnak:
Edit- I just realized you said some truly crazy stuff in the part of your comment I edited out, so I'm gonna post a bit of a reply to that all here.
1. Fascism is a system of government and an ideology, communism is solely an economic system. They can be related, but only in some cases.
2. I could get some pretty big numbers for the evils of democracy that way too.
3. I'll skip this, as I really don't care.
4. Yet every single person who has died due to mismanagement or injustice in a communist country can be called a victim of Communism. Weird. Also, I'm pretty certain that we all have Feudalism to thank for the wonderful economic bounty which we enjoy as well. Probably even more so than Capitalism in the greater scheme of things.

1) They both revolve around authoritarian, single-party governments. Both attempt to rally people around completely bullshit divisions (class warfare in the case of communism, national borders in the case of fascism) in order to hide the fact that they themselves are the real enemy of the people. Both believe in imposing their own system of governance on other countries by force. Again, this is assuming that "communism" refers to every system of government that has ever called itself communist in the real world, so if you want to pull a No True Scotsman, then that's a different conversation altogether.
2) I do not advocate democracy
3) then why the fuck are you numbering it? What the fuck are you even responding to?
4) Yes! Everyone who was killed by Communists, acting in the name of Communism, to advance a Communist agenda, is a victim of Communism. Why is this so hard to understand?

Revnak:
My whole argument is that Capitalism can be linked to those atrocities to the same degree that Socialism can be linked to its.

You've definitely failed to make that point. An economic system based on maximizing the power of government and another one based on minimizing its power do not share equal responsibility for abuses of government power. Herp derp.

Doublegee:

Ummm, yes. An economic system that is inextricably integrated with government shares the blame for the actions of government, and an economic system that exists independently of government is not to blame for the actions of government. Why should this be news to anyone?

Mhm. Well, I'll get back to you once you actually back up what you're saying about those economic systems. Until then, I'll merely agree that I believe that's what you truly think.

Vegosiux:

Doublegee:

Ummm, yes. An economic system that is inextricably integrated with government shares the blame for the actions of government, and an economic system that exists independently of government is not to blame for the actions of government. Why should this be news to anyone?

Mhm. Well, I'll get back to you once you actually back up what you're saying about those economic systems. Until then, I'll merely agree that I believe that's what you truly think.

If I assert that 2+3=5, would you ask me to back that up as well? Obvious logic is obvious.

Doublegee:

Revnak:
Manifest Destiny was, in many ways, a collection of ideals based around ideas of American individualism, as well as concepts of individual ownership and prosperity

No, manifest destiny was the belief that the USA would continue expanding Westward until it reached the Pacific Coast. It was strictly nationalist, not individualist.

Yeah, and I bet every American settler really cared about the beliefs of Romantic poets. No, they went west because they wanted land and wealth for themselves, an opportunity they only had because of the Capitalist system that they lived within.

Revnak:

Doublegee:
Nobody is "trying to separate the concept of individual ownership and individual prosperity from Capitalism". We're saying that the displacement of the Native Americans had nothing to do with either of those things. Pro tip: when one group of people wants to use the force of government to take shit from other people and redistribute it to themselves, that has more in common with socialism than capitalism.

Except that that government was being pushed to do so by it's land hungry citizenry. And the Imperialism of the 19th century was motivated by the desire of the varying countries of Europe to create financially viable empires (among other things).

Neither of those has anything to do with capitalism.

The citizenry only had the ability to own their own land because they lived under a government that recognized their right to do so. Those countries were pushed to expand by industrial interests and created a number of corporations carried out the actual exploitation of the native peoples that was the major issue with those empires.

Revnak:
Well, the main Capitalist power had already gone through it's revolutionary periods (England). However, multiple countries did go through many revolutions during 1848, which, while they did not completely change their governments, they did propel them towards new systems of government, led to their transition from Feudal-States to Nation-States, and generally led to more capitalistic systems of government.

Spain, the Netherlands, and Portugal were already in decline by the beginning of the 19th century. Italy and Germany did not emerge as nation-states until the end of it. Russia, Austro-Hungary, and the Ottomans didn't really do the "overseas colonies" thing. What countries had revolutions in 1848 and became more imperialist as a result?

Uh, the imperialism of the 19th century occurred at the end of it, and was carried out by the nation-states that emerged during it. And you just mentioned those two nation states which did eventually emerge as a result of the revolutions of 1848. It was those revolutions which built up their emerging national identity.

Also, Britain. Britain, an really Capitalist country was out building a really Capitalist empire at the time. Maybe not one which embraced free trade between nations, but definitely one which embraced the laws of supply and demand, and markets.

Revnak:
Edit- I just realized you said some truly crazy stuff in the part of your comment I edited out, so I'm gonna post a bit of a reply to that all here.
1. Fascism is a system of government and an ideology, communism is solely an economic system. They can be related, but only in some cases.
2. I could get some pretty big numbers for the evils of democracy that way too.
3. I'll skip this, as I really don't care.
4. Yet every single person who has died due to mismanagement or injustice in a communist country can be called a victim of Communism. Weird. Also, I'm pretty certain that we all have Feudalism to thank for the wonderful economic bounty which we enjoy as well. Probably even more so than Capitalism in the greater scheme of things.

1) They both revolve around authoritarian, single-party governments. Both attempt to rally people around completely bullshit divisions (class warfare in the case of communism, national borders in the case of fascism) in order to hide the fact that they themselves are the real enemy of the people. Both believe in imposing their own system of governance on other countries by force. Again, this is assuming that "communism" refers to every system of government that has ever called itself communist in the real world, so if you want to pull a No True Scotsman, then that's a different conversation altogether.
2) I do not advocate democracy
3) then why the fuck are you numbering it? What the fuck are you even responding to?
4) Yes! Everyone who was killed by Communists, acting in the name of Communism, to advance a Communist agenda, is a victim of Communism. Why is this so hard to understand?

1. Fascism is founded on the notion of conflict as the end all of government and society. It argues that all people are unequal and they must be tested through conflict, with the strong emerging as leaders. It also upholds the nation state as the core of society, and that it should be structured around conflict. Communism is about identifying the greatest conflict of the age (that of the rich and the poor) and bringing an end to it (possibly through violence). It argues that all people ought to be treated as equals and granted their needed share of wealth held by the collective regardless of their "worth." Communism was invented before nation states had really begun to emerge and therefore considers them somewhat irrelevant, and in some cases calls for an eventual end to all government once all wealth is held in common.
2. Democracy just may be better off without you then.
3. I'm lazy.
4. Yet those who died because of Capitalists, acting in the form of Capitalism, to advance Capitalism, did not die because of Capitalism, because Capitalism (apparently unlike Communism) is solely an economic system?

Revnak:
My whole argument is that Capitalism can be linked to those atrocities to the same degree that Socialism can be linked to its.

You've definitely failed to make that point. An economic system based on maximizing the power of government and another one based on minimizing its power do not share equal responsibility for abuses of government power. Herp derp.

I don't think I've mentioned an abuse of government power as one of the problems yet, now have I? Trade in and between Imperial colonies was largely managed by different corporations, and the settlement of the West was carried out by individual pioneers, not the American government.

I don't know what an echo chamber is or what its intended purpose is. Why would you need a place just to hear yourself repeated word for word back to yourself? That makes no sense

Revnak:

Yeah, and I bet every American settler really cared about the beliefs of Romantic poets. No, they went west because they wanted land and wealth for themselves, an opportunity they only had because of the Capitalist system that they lived within.

Where are you getting the notion that people were really anxious to settle west and were demanding the government acquire the land for them? They had to pass the homestead act to get more people to move west. Most people didn't want to spontaneously conquer the wilderness. Sure, the capitalist system offered them free land as an economic incentive to move, but if it wasn't capitalism and there was just public ownership of all the land, they could have just told people "the land you own is in the west now, deal with it." The government wanted people to move into the new aquisitions and encouraged it, not the other way around.

tstorm823:

Revnak:

Yeah, and I bet every American settler really cared about the beliefs of Romantic poets. No, they went west because they wanted land and wealth for themselves, an opportunity they only had because of the Capitalist system that they lived within.

Where are you getting the notion that people were really anxious to settle west and were demanding the government acquire the land for them? They had to pass the homestead act to get more people to move west. Most people didn't want to spontaneously conquer the wilderness. Sure, the capitalist system offered them free land as an economic incentive to move, but if it wasn't capitalism and there was just public ownership of all the land, they could have just told people "the land you own is in the west now, deal with it." The government wanted people to move into the new aquisitions and encouraged it, not the other way around.

The whole history of westward settlement actually went like that. The Homestead act is basically the one time they were told to expand. Prior to that there was the expansion into the Midwest, the central United States, and honestly, expansion into California didn't even rely on the Homestead act. Just expansion into the Pacific Northwest, which was an attempt by the U.S. government to keep Europe out of the Americas as part of the Monroe doctrine, though, yeah, it was also a blatant attempt at a land grab.

Revnak:
Yeah, and I bet every American settler really cared about the beliefs of Romantic poets. No, they went west because they wanted land and wealth for themselves, an opportunity they only had because of the Capitalist system that they lived within.

The motivations of the settlers are irrelevant.

Revnak:
The citizenry only had the ability to own their own land because they lived under a government that recognized their right to do so.

Irrelevant.

Revnak:
Those countries were pushed to expand by industrial interests and created a number of corporations carried out the actual exploitation of the native peoples that was the major issue with those empires.

Hmmm, people using the force of government to take other people's shit and redistribute it to themselves. Yup, that sounds like capitalism. (/sarcasm)

Revnak:
Uh, the imperialism of the 19th century occurred at the end of it, and was carried out by the nation-states that emerged during it. And you just mentioned those two nation states which did eventually emerge as a result of the revolutions of 1848. It was those revolutions which built up their emerging national identity.

You still haven't connected the dots from "capitalism" to "increase in imperialist warmongering"

Revnak:
Also, Britain. Britain, an really Capitalist country was out building a really Capitalist empire at the time. Maybe not one which embraced free trade between nations, but definitely one which embraced the laws of supply and demand, and markets.

Apparently you seem to think that taking other people's shit at gunpoint is a "market".

Revnak:
1. Fascism is founded on the notion of conflict as the end all of government and society. It argues that all people are unequal and they must be tested through conflict, with the strong emerging as leaders. It also upholds the nation state as the core of society, and that it should be structured around conflict.

Hahaha. You obviously haven't read any actual fascist literature.

Revnak:
4. Yet those who died because of Capitalists, acting in the form of Capitalism, to advance Capitalism, did not die...

Exactly. NOBODY has been killed by capitalists to advance the cause of capitalism. Many people have willingly given their lives to protect it, though.

Big_Willie_Styles:

Communism killed 100 million people last century. It's the only argument I need to say, yes, totally evil. Nelson Mandela, freed from prison on the exact day I was born (seriously,) may have been a communist, but he did so only because the communists were more open to his aims at the time. He was in bed with terrorists and communists at the time, so, in the middle of the Cold War, Western nations didn't support him (for obvious reasons.)

They're a healthy approach when discussing a self-identified group of people. It would be like never discussing the actual sports teams but just the individual players. "Hey! The Raiders don't suck because X player is totally OK!" See where that gets you.

I grew up on a college campus, one of those many heavily-packed liberal enclaves.

[snip]

He's supported Holocaust deniers in the past and then denied his association with them. He doesn't seem to believe anybody will actual hold him accountable for his past positions when they were quite detrimental. He's got a rabidly protectionist fan base the likes of which only Ron Paul (who cribbed his insane foreign policy beliefs from Chomsky) has. He's insane?

Those people died under communist governments? The theory was applied. It killed millions in practice. It cannot work. That was the big philosophical debate of the 20th century. The communists lost.

Because people have principles, dude. Liberals don't really have those, at least the politicians. Or shame. Or morals

You're doing it again. You're ignoring certain aspects of my statements and heck, even your own. And you seem to have missed my point on Communism. Communism as a philosophy has a noble goal. Authoritarians abusing and manipulating people by exploiting the endearing qualities of a philosophy is nothing new. I don't support Communism, but I do understand it. Meritocracy tries to solve the same sort of problems (Not the governance philosophy part of it but the political philosophy part that examines standard of living and power. You know? It's the idea that people get what they deserve based on merit and acceptable minimum standards for humans to survive. Communism tries to solve this too). Any philosophy can be abused. Isn't that why the term "crony capitalism" exists?

Moving on, they can be a healthy approach but again you're using a false analogy. A sports team has all trained for the same goal and has a assigned purpose by the team leader or captain towards that goal. People who associate with a political group agree with a majority of the beliefs, but they often are not all "trained" to reach the goal in the same way. All of their individual life experiences are different in ways both big and small while athletes on the same team all tend to train in a very similar way (as a former athlete I can attest to this). I've definitely seen people of the same political persuasion argue on how to reach the goal of a good economy or a good medical system. Nobody assigned them their roles; who would want to cite a discord because of difference of opinion here and there, even if they're minor? Besides, people who self-identify aren't always in line with who they identify. They might be in it to gain some brownie points rather than because they believe in it, they might be looking to fit in and found just barely enough things to agree on, and then there are the "sub-movements" via third parties. When I say sub-movement I don't mean it's a sub-group that essentially agrees with the main party's points. I mean they broke off because there is disagreement and subtleties in approach. In such a large and vague generalization as liberal you can't generalize the members. As I said, to call that ridiculous number of people (I even gave you leeway saying AT LEAST 1/7 of the world is liberal when I could have said more just based on simple observation, polls, governmental policies, trends, etc.) greedy, immoral, intellectually deficient, and lazy is just not right. It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the human condition and a severe lack of respect.

Okay, so you grew up on a college campus and had no chance but to make at least one liberal friend? That doesn't explain why you can have friendly conversations with them when you said only liberals shun themselves into enclaves. You even said the feeling is mutual, that you and your friends do discuss for fun. Are you trying to tell me it's because you tamed their hostilities or because you're careful about what you say and how you say it? Because the first one would just make you arrogant and the second tells me you aren't comfortable enough with your friends to be yourself. I suppose you could make the point that only liberals do it, but not all liberals do however small such a hypothetical group of them are. That raises the question of what sets your liberal friends apart along with the other things I mentioned in my other post like the talk shows and the conservative/liberal marriages.

I'm also curious. You didn't just grow up on this campus, right? You actually attended the college, right? I get the feeling you feel like you know all you need to know about the liberal perspective from personal discussions, probably just occasionally sneaking a peak here and there at liberal news coverage to keep up to date and keep your debate skills up. Why attend college at all? It's full of liberals and there's only so much you can take right?

Actually, that holocaust denial does sound familiar for some reason as does your point on accountability. I feel like I've heard that somewhere. Perhaps, when we discussed him in my Linguisitic Anthropology class (Yes, believe it or not the class was not just all praise and no shame on the guy; in fact, we called out some of his debunked theories). Good to know that, while you identify as conservative, you're no Ron Paul supporter. We can agree on that at least.

Liberals don't have principals? Why would you be friends with people who have no principals? You only seem to say these things when they suit you. "Hey, I've been in discussions with other opinionated people, but I don't respect them or pretend to understand their perspective! Hey, they're my friends but I also think they're monsters".

Big_Willie_Styles:

This is a far left forum with like five right of center people on it. This is an echo chamber. That's primarily what I was responding to.

Fair, enough I do agree where this forum leans.

Big_Willie_Styles:

Each side loves to pretend they don't engage in an echo chamber by complaining the other side is one while having these discussions in their own echo chambers. I found it funny that a guy would post that topic and only use conservative examples. It's like parody in action.

Annnnnd you're doing it again. Ignoring aspects of my statements or refusing to believe or acknowledge them is not any way to counterpoint something. I'll just quote myself again.

jamail77:
I'd say the same thing if they identified as liberals.

[snip] both perspectives have good things to contribute.

Now, some of you might say that there is a greater proportion of ignorance or bigotry on an individual political side. Studies are suggesting your political allegiance may influence your understanding of and acceptance of scientific facts. So, there is merit in this criticism. HOWEVER, my response to that would be, "So?". The thing is I've seen nasty comments and attitudes directed towards the opposite side...from both sides. To justify this infighting with such an excuse is lazy, cynical, and, to many people, just comes off the way a bratty kid does. "They started it, they're worse, they're more wrong than me!". Even if you're right it's better to be humble about it.

jamail77:
Our political leaning says much about our morals, our character, the way we were raised. And sure, it's difficult to discuss something with someone that seems to have terrible morals to you (assuming your politics informs your morals as well). The thing is, we are more complicated than our political opinions.

Understanding the other side, even associating with it in terms of having friends and family, IS HEALTHY. It's what we need. No great debate or progress came about because everyone agreed all the time. [snip] You might find there's a reasonable aura in an opinion opposite of yours and realize you're not so different even if you still disagree. Polarization has never been good for government of for a government's people.

So, did I not make it clear I am upset with both sides? Did I not make it clear I consciously WANT to discuss outside of an echo chamber? The thing is you seem to have this notion there needs to be equal coverage; if I mention a conservative example I NEED to mention a liberal example. But, I already said this example was something I saw the other day and it was a good way to center the point I was trying to make. In fact, it's what got me thinking about this in the first place. I don't need equal coverage of both sides. I'm not trying to prove both sides do it. In that case, I'd need equal coverage. What I'm trying to demonstrate is a point on what is happening as well as how it starts, why it happens, and in what situations it happens in.

The other thing is you make it sound like I'm a liberal by saying one side complains about the other side's echo chamber while talking in their own echo chamber. I don't associate with liberals or conservatives for that matter. I lean slightly to a side, yes. But, I don't associate with either side. That doesn't necessarily make me a moderate either. I do and think for what is right at the moment for the situation. Admittedly that is a bit of a cop out and makes it sound like I'm above it all. I don't think I'm above it all. I just don't want to associate. It lets me stay free from unnecessary baggage and vicious situations with my friends, which consists of both liberals and conservatives. So, you see, at least I'm not like the South Park creators, seeing as how your avatar is of that show's design. They always talk about how they make fun of both sides and thus are neutral and can be excused from criticism that they're biased or misrepresenting the situation or not even trying to understand the other perspective. The thing is they clearly lean towards a side and attack one side/have a worse opinion of one side more than the other. They want to seem like they're above it all while still getting the privilege of their sided opinion. They're hypocrites. Don't get me wrong, I like South Park, but they need to stop pretending they're neutral. I'm getting off topic though...

Because you need equal coverage, did you forget I said this

jamail77:
Even when there is a good article like one I read recently about a liberal falling in love with a conservative despite what their friends thought there had to be "that guy". You know, that guy who ruins the whole sentiment of the article?

To be fair, that is, in reality coverage of both sides as friends of each politically sided person were upset with said person. I did mention it though. That's not a conservative exclusive example. Since, you need equal coverage here's a few more stories:

I had an argument with a complete hippie sort of stranger about vaccines. She was convinced a certain ingredient was still in ALL vaccines. I told her the facts, it's not. I also told her how, as a doctor, my Mom makes sure I get safer vaccines to eliminate the ones that do still have unnecessary and possibly overly toxic ingredients. She got pretty upset and said something about being an advocate and a teacher and knowing more than me. She got very smug. It was pretty annoying. Her husband also said something about the Black Panthers that I disagreed with and when we got off the bus to buy snacks at a local gas station(I was taking a bus from college to home during a intersession break) they said something borderline paranoid about healthy food choices.

When I said some people were hoping Chris Christie would run for President because of his no restraint attitude, seemingly stubborn, good morals, etc. a different woman (this is a more recent story, so not the same woman that was on the bus with me) asked me more about him. When I said he was a Republican, she put her head in her hands and said, "Oh, God, please not an another Republican!". Little too dismissive for not knowing much about him, right?

I think the "Old, white, male, privilege, whatever. racist" caricatures of the Republican party do go a bit far sometimes and is a lazy analysis of a more complicated situation than the liberals who use this can see. Is that better?

dyre:

jamail77:
Generalizing an entire diverse political persuasion is not okay though and implying an inherent laziness and greed in that many people is utterly offensive.

I agree, but I suppose generalizing an entire diverse nation and implying an inherent intellectual laziness in 300 million people is okay?

Sorry, dyre I never responded to this part of your point. Not to be nitpicky, but since I mentioned political persuasion it wouldn't be all Americans. It would be the some you disagree with based on your perspective and political leaning. If you were to take both sides' opinions together and their many varieties across left-leaning and right-leaning third parties and Independents I do suppose you'd get the whole country. Is that what you meant?

tstorm823:

jamail77:

That would assume I place blame on conservatives for this. I didn't. I blame both sides; heck, I blame Americans in general.

And frankly that's a little silly. Look around this forum. It's plenty multi-national and circle jerks constantly.
Look at history. The French Revolution, the revolutionaries successful enough to start beheading their enemies went so far into their echo chamber that they thought renaming the months of the year was a truly inspired movement towards progress.

You're gonna have to try really hard to justify the claim that the era and country of rapidly rising independant voters is uniquely faulty for having too firmly divided a populace.

Is it not true though that we are getting more independent voters because of all the people sick and tired of the arguing and circle jerking? The two-party system is still in place, so the two parties both among government and among the public wield the power. Independents can't stop it the way they structure themselves. And to be fair, a lot of people only say they're independent because their political understanding and knowledge is limited, so they don't really understand the parties or the process. It makes them sound smart too because their opinion is more complicated than a "side" or so they would say. I'm not saying all do that or even a majority, but it is documented. In reality, most Independents have a slight leaning towards a side at the bare minimum just by probability due to the wideness of the spectrum. There are very few true Independents. So, a left-leaning Independent will circle jerk with the next best thing to fellow Independents, Democracs.

How many third party candidates stand a chance exactly? We have so many independent voters, but no real Independent candidates or legislation. Off the top of my head, there's only Bernie Sanders who some would argue is basically a Democrat anyway. If the populace is not divided, fine, I can consent I could be wrong on that. You can't deny government is though, what with the obstruction, lack of compromise, lack of legislation, lack of understanding, and the rest. The "Do Nothing Congress" of the old days has got nothing on the current one even accounting for modern bureaucracy and process difficulties to be dealt with.

senordesol:
The 'Echo Chamber' is not something unique to America.

I am well aware. There is something about the "Echo Chamber" here that I think is different though no less serious. I don't mean this in an arrogant way. And, it's not like I've really personally experienced other countries (though if you're careful international news research may be all you need; sometimes people overrate personal experience in certain contexts): I've only been out of the country once. Even some foreigners on this topic agree there's something about my country that is fundamentally different when it comes to politics. That doesn't mean it has merit, but the opinion isn't centric among just me, an American it would seem.

Vegosiux:

So, when a communist government causes people to die, that's "communism being responsible for people dying", and when a capitalist government causes people to die that's not "capitalism being responsible for people dying".

I'm not sure I can wrap my mind around that one.

Nor should you wrap your mind around it, because you are absolutely right already.

Nothing about communism or capitalism inherently demands the sacrifice of people on the altar of ideological ends. However, in practice, it occurs in both. Communism's were more visible for being a large number of people in a relatively short space of time to attempt to enforce collectivisation and so on. But capitalism has racked up a pretty huge toll itself, whether you want to include invasions for money, kicking populations hither and yon to take their land, exploitative work practices, and so on.

jamail77:

And to be fair, a lot of people only say they're independent because their political understanding and knowledge is limited, so they don't really understand the parties or the process. It makes them sound smart too because their opinion is more complicated than a "side" or so they would say.

I'm not saying the rise in independant voters is a good thing. I'm not an independant; I'm a Republican. And honestly, I believe the refusal of so many people to be represented by a party is a large part of why the parties presently can get away with being so absurd sometimes. They don't have to represent most of the reasonable people because a lot of them jumped ship, all this stemming from the weird notion that parties have set opinions and you join the one you agree with. Parties don't at all have set opinions, and if all those independants joined a side, the party talking points would be very different because fundamentally people don't follow the will of the party, the party follows the will of its members.

But none of that really matters in this discussion because whether or not it is good and noble, if a massive chunk of people decide to be independants just to be different, be more complicated than a "side," or just admit they don't understand the process, it isn't an echo chamber. Maybe after registering that way, they go and echo their republican or democrat friends, but that one action of registering independant is the opposite of participating in an echo chamber.

jamail77:

dyre:

jamail77:
Generalizing an entire diverse political persuasion is not okay though and implying an inherent laziness and greed in that many people is utterly offensive.

I agree, but I suppose generalizing an entire diverse nation and implying an inherent intellectual laziness in 300 million people is okay?

Sorry, dyre I never responded to this part of your point. Not to be nitpicky, but since I mentioned political persuasion it wouldn't be all Americans. It would be the some you disagree with based on your perspective and political leaning. If you were to take both sides' opinions together and their many varieties across left-leaning and right-leaning third parties and Independents I do suppose you'd get the whole country. Is that what you meant?

Well, most Americans have a political persuasion of some sort. It's just absurd to notice the flaws of three guys at a dinner table and then superimpose that onto all Republicans/Democrats, or that intellectual circle jerking is somehow unique to Americans.

As we discussed earlier, it exists to some degree in all political groups, but it's incorrect to claim that our "culture as a whole" is an echo chamber (though I'm sure the media wishes it that way).

jamail77:
Communism as a philosophy has a noble goal. Authoritarians abusing and manipulating people by exploiting the endearing qualities of a philosophy is nothing new. I don't support Communism, but I do understand it. Meritocracy tries to solve the same sort of problems (Not the governance philosophy part of it but the political philosophy part that examines standard of living and power. You know? It's the idea that people get what they deserve based on merit and acceptable minimum standards for humans to survive. Communism tries to solve this too). Any philosophy can be abused. Isn't that why the term "crony capitalism" exists?

Because TL;DR, here's the part I actually bothered to read fully.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I don't care if it has a noble goal or sounds nice in theory. It's what happened in practice that made it evil. Because Hobbes was wrong. Giving over your rights to an overbearing government who promises not to abuse that power just won't logically happen.

And "crony capitalism" isn't free market capitalism. It's Big Government-Big Business collusion (or as Timothy P. Carney put it, Obamanomics.)

tstorm823:

And honestly, I believe the refusal of so many people to be represented by a party is a large part of why the parties presently can get away with being so absurd sometimes. They don't have to represent most of the reasonable people because a lot of them jumped ship, all this stemming from the weird notion that parties have set opinions and you join the one you agree with. Parties don't at all have set opinions, and if all those independants joined a side, the party talking points would be very different because fundamentally people don't follow the will of the party, the party follows the will of its members.

I do agree with this to an extent.

tstorm823:

But none of that really matters in this discussion because whether or not it is good and noble, if a massive chunk of people decide to be independants just to be different, be more complicated than a "side," or just admit they don't understand the process, it isn't an echo chamber. Maybe after registering that way, they go and echo their republican or democrat friends, but that one action of registering independant is the opposite of participating in an echo chamber.

That's not what I meant. Of course, most of those people aren't actively involved in an echo chamber aside from the fact that they lean just by probability and have x side friends. See, I'm not saying every single American is in an echo chamber. I'm saying those that are have a powerful hold on the government and our way of life. As I said, we still have the two-party system for good or for ill. With others jumping ship those that remain can crawl more into their bubble more than they did before, the politicians especially so as you already said. I'm not sure if those of you saying this or something similar to this are saying this because you're extrapolating my statements or because I'm not making myself clear.

dyre:

Well, most Americans have a political persuasion of some sort. It's just absurd to notice the flaws of three guys at a dinner table and then superimpose that onto all Republicans/Democrats, or that intellectual circle jerking is somehow unique to Americans.

As we discussed earlier, it exists to some degree in all political groups, but it's incorrect to claim that our "culture as a whole" is an echo chamber (though I'm sure the media wishes it that way).

I already covered this in a response to someone else. I only used that dinner table as an example to phrase the question because it centers the point home and it is what got me thinking about this in the first place. It's not so much me superimposing them as it being an analogy of a larger problem I feel like I notice, not just in news or Internet comments but among everyday people including people I know and stories covered on real life events. I could very well be wrong. The effect feels so palpable to me though that it's hard for me to accept it's something else that is wrong and/or a more serious problem.

I also said this to senordesol:

jamail77:

I am well aware [an echo chamber is not unique to Americans]. There is something about the "Echo Chamber" here that I think is different though no less serious. I don't mean this in an arrogant way. And, it's not like I've really personally experienced other countries (though if you're careful international news research may be all you need; sometimes people overrate personal experience in certain contexts): I've only been out of the country once. Even some foreigners on this topic [as in, in this forum topic] agree there's something about my country that is fundamentally different when it comes to politics. That doesn't mean it has merit, but the opinion isn't centric among just me, an American it would seem.

Big_Willie_Styles:

Because TL;DR, here's the part I actually bothered to read fully.

On the one hand, I do say a little more than is necessary. On the other hand, this isn't Twitter or Facebook. This is a discussion. I didn't write a 50 page paper. It's respectful to read the whole thing fully. I've been doing that with your statements.

Big_Willie_Styles:

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I don't care if it has a noble goal or sounds nice in theory. It's what happened in practice that made it evil. Because Hobbes was wrong. Giving over your rights to an overbearing government who promises not to abuse that power just won't logically happen.

Fair enough.

Big_Willie_Styles:

And "crony capitalism" isn't free market capitalism. It's Big Government-Big Business collusion (or as Timothy P. Carney put it, Obamanomics.)

When did I say it was? I said authoritarians abuse philosophy all the time hence why better capitalism deforms into crony capitalism. That's just what happens when someone abuses a philosophy and twists it to their own ends. Do you not think "crony capitalism" has led to same bad things over free market capitalism? Because it is still connected to capitalism, that means capitalism isn't exempt from the consequences just because crony capitalism is a sub-philosophy that branches off and screws things up.

And this doesn't help your point when I make cases like this either:

jamail77:

You're doing it again. You're ignoring certain aspects of my statements and heck, even your own.

I get that my posts are too long, but can you at least take these points into consideration seeing as how I split them up into parts instead of one long quote snip, cut parts out, and took the time to go over my own posts?

jamail77:

Okay, so you grew up on a college campus and had no chance but to make at least one liberal friend? That doesn't explain why you can have friendly conversations with them when you said only liberals shun themselves into enclaves [snip] Are you trying to tell me it's because you tamed their hostilities or because you're careful about what you say and how you say it? Because the first one would just make you arrogant and the second tells me you aren't comfortable enough with your friends to be yourself. I suppose you could make the point that only liberals do it, but not all liberals do it however small such a hypothetical group of them are. That raises the question of what sets your liberal friends apart along with the other things I mentioned in my other post like the talk shows and the conservative/liberal marriages.

jamail77:

I get the feeling you feel like you know all you need to know about the liberal perspective from personal discussions, probably just occasionally sneaking a peak here and there at liberal news coverage to get a good laugh, keep up to date, and keep your debate skills up. Why attend college at all? It's full of liberals and there's only so much you can take right?

jamail77:

Liberals don't have principals? Why would you be friends with people who have no principals? You only seem to say these things when they suit you. "Hey, I've been in discussions with other opinionated people, but I don't respect them or pretend to understand their perspective! Hey, they're my friends but I also think they're monsters".

jamail77:
The thing is you seem to have this notion there needs to be equal coverage; if I mention a conservative example I NEED to mention a liberal example. But, I already said this example was something I saw the other day and it was a good way to center the point I was trying to make. In fact, it's what got me thinking about this in the first place. I don't need equal coverage of both sides. I'm not trying to prove both sides do it. In that case, I'd need equal coverage. What I'm trying to demonstrate is a point on what is happening as well as how it starts, why it happens, and in what situations it happens in.

jamail77:

The other thing is you make it sound like I'm a liberal by saying one side complains about the other side's echo chamber while talking in their own echo chamber. I don't associate with liberals or conservatives for that matter.[snip] I don't think I'm above it all. I just don't want to associate. It lets me stay free from unnecessary baggage and vicious situations with my friends, which consists of both liberals and conservatives.

So, you see, at least I'm not like the South Park creators, seeing as how your avatar is of that show's design. They always talk about how they make fun of both sides and thus are neutral and can be excused from criticism that they're biased or misrepresenting the situation or not even trying to understand the other perspective. The thing is they clearly lean towards a side and attack one side/have a worse opinion of one side more than the other. They want to seem like they're above it all while still getting the privilege of their sided opinion. They're hypocrites. Don't get me wrong, I like South Park, but they need to stop pretending they're neutral.

jamail77:

Because you need equal coverage, did you forget I said this

jamail77:
Even when there is a good article like one I read recently about a liberal falling in love with a conservative despite what their friends thought there had to be "that guy". You know, that guy who ruins the whole sentiment of the article?

To be fair, that is, in reality coverage of both sides as friends of each politically sided person were upset with said person. I did mention it though. That's not a conservative exclusive example. Since, you need equal coverage here's a few more stories:

I had an argument with a complete hippie sort of stranger about vaccines.[snip: You say things are too long, so if you're curious go back to my post and read this longer story for yourself]

I said some people were hoping Chris Christie would run for President [snip] When I said he was a Republican, she put her head in her hands and said, "Oh, God, please not an another Republican!". Little too dismissive for not knowing much about him, right?

I think the "Old, white, male, privilege, racist, whatever" caricatures of the Republican party do go a bit far sometimes and [are] a lazy analysis of a more complicated situation than the liberals who use this can see. Is that better?

jamail77:
snip

That was the longest single post I've ever seen on The Escapist. There's little wonder why I didn't read it.

Crony capitalism can only happen with big government. If the federal government has as little say over the economy as possible, the lobbyists won't exactly get anywhere. Because in a free market economy, collusion between businesses won't last (especially with the Internet) but government-business collusion persists, especially with groups like corn farmers (ethanol and the RFC,) wind energy (all those subsidies,) and PhRMA (they made a deal to sell the exact same drugs for higher prices in America than Canada because politicians are assholes.)

jamail77:

That's not what I meant. Of course, most of those people aren't actively involved in an echo chamber aside from the fact that they lean just by probability and have x side friends. See, I'm not saying every single American is in an echo chamber. I'm saying those that are have a powerful hold on the government and our way of life. As I said, we still have the two-party system for good or for ill. With others jumping ship those that remain can crawl more into their bubble more than they did before, the politicians especially so as you already said. I'm not sure if those of you saying this or something similar to this are saying this because you're extrapolating my statements or because I'm not making myself clear.

I think most of the opinion of disagreement here is that e think you're making a point out of nothing. "Possibly American culture as a whole is an echo chamber of sorts" even with all the qualifiers is a big claim to make with so many examples of that not being the case and an odd statement to make with even more examples of other places and times being worse. It's not that what you're saying is entirely wrong. It's not that I disagree with the idea that all it takes is two people to convince themselves they're right. It's not that I think there aren't many American political figures guilty of this problem. It's that you framed it in a way that makes it sound like its a ubiquitous feature of the US or a particularly sinister problem here. If you say "Americans are all stuck in an echo chamber of there own opinions and its so much more of a problem in America than everywhere else" we're gonna be like "what you talkin' 'bout Willis?" But if you say "Some people in America, particularly political figures, just repeat each other until they believe it's true" we say "yeah, duh, so what?" I, and I assume others, entered in thinking the conversation was more like the former fake quote, but if all you want to say is more like the latter fake quote, its just been a miscommunication, to which I say "yeah, so what?" Why start a thread pointing out American politics has the same problem as every other politics in history other than you only noticed the problem when the things you heard being echoed you didn't agree with?

Big_Willie_Styles:

That was the longest single post I've ever seen on The Escapist. There's little wonder why I didn't read it.

That's not exactly the best of excuses. That's the kind of attitude that gets kids who don't have ADD diagnosed with ADD. Like I said, it's not a 50 page paper and these discussions, through their nature, involve more than a few sentences, the likes of which you'd see more on friendly discussions about small things on Facebook or Twitter.

Big_Willie_Styles:

Crony capitalism can only happen with big government. If the federal government has as little say over the economy as possible, the lobbyists won't exactly get anywhere. Because in a free market economy, collusion between businesses won't last (especially with the Internet) but government-business collusion persists, especially with groups like corn farmers (ethanol and the RFC,) wind energy (all those subsidies,) and PhRMA (they made a deal to sell the exact same drugs for higher prices in America than Canada because politicians are assholes.)

That doesn't answer my question. You say my posts are too long, so you might as well forget about bothering to read any further. I'm not exactly known for my conciseness. I get how exhausting reading is, having been an avid fictional reader myself at one point, especially when the writer writes the way one would rant or ramble the way I do. I'm doing the best I can though.

tstorm823:

I think most of the opinion of disagreement here is that e think you're making a point out of nothing.

What's important here is that I don't think it's nothing. To dismiss my concern because you think it is no big deal doesn't really contribute to the discussion or us enlightening each other. You're welcome to continue saying that. That's just how I feel about such an attitude.

tstorm823:

If you say "Americans are all stuck in an echo chamber of there own opinions and its so much more of a problem in America than everywhere else" we're gonna be like "what you talkin' 'bout Willis?" But if you say "Some people in America, particularly political figures, just repeat each other until they believe it's true" we say "yeah, duh, so what?" I, and I assume others, entered in thinking the conversation was more like the former fake quote, but if all you want to say is more like the latter fake quote, its just been a miscommunication, to which I say "yeah, so what?" Why start a thread pointing out American politics has the same problem as every other politics in history other than you only noticed the problem when the things you heard being echoed you didn't agree with?

I didn't say it wasn't obvious. I said it has a palpable effect on peoples' lives to the extent of worried concern. From my international news reading, my one time out of the country, and the foreigners I've talked with, both those visiting or studying in my own country and those outside the country, this problem is unique to American politics because it has a worse effect. Some people in these forums outside of this topic and in it have expressed their befuddlement at our politics, so again I don't seem to be the only person who thinks so because I'm an American and my life is more centered around American stuff. Other countries have barriers preventing this from turning to a problem whether they're cultural or have something to do with the structure of their lives due to government, size of populace, geography, education or whatever.

I didn't just notice the problem either. I've noticed it since I was a little kid. I'm sorry if that sounds like bragging or alternatively if it sounds like a big mis-analysis by a naive kid; I was into this stuff when I was young too, at least to a certain small extent. I just wanted to have a discussion about it because it may be getting more serious and because I enjoy discussion and welcome any and all who can demonstrate basic respect and well thought out opinions.

For some reason, despite forums being all about discussion they seem to create an opinion among a certain sect of contributors that some discussions are pointless either because it's obvious, I don't like this guy, he's dead on wrong about everything, and other such thoughts. I guess I can stand certain discussions better than other people.

Sorry about leading your around in circles. It's nice to know you get my point a little better. That tells me that maybe I'm getting better at this whole "concise and clear" thing.

Phantom Kat:

I was going to post a couple paragraphs in disagreement but I realised I was basing it more on politics in my country (New Zealand) rather than in the USA. The key difference is that New Zealanders are a lot more laid back so it's more common to have somewhat casual political discussions. We generally don't take political disagreement to heart as much as in the USA, as far as I am aware.

In the context of the USA, you're probably correct. It'd be healthy for people to sit down and have an intelligent discussion about their political views though I get the feeling the people who need it most are the ones incapable of having an intelligent discussion. Too many people seem to want to determine "who is right?" by "who shouts the loudest?"

I don't blame you. We all can't help basing our opinions on what we know best. I've certainly done it; I've done it in this very thread.

Fun fact: I knew someone from New Zealand actually. I applied to be an admin on his Facebook fandom page. I was bored, had some extra free time, and for some bizarre reason I enjoy the unproductive hobby of making memes so it sounded like it might be fun. I did it for a while. I quit because he could be pretty insensitive and a little over-demanding. I don't blame that on him being from New Zealand though; didn't even know the guy personally let alone the country. I blame it on him being 15, which is really sad because I generally defend teenagers and younger as being smarter and better than people give them credit for.

BiscuitTrouser:
Could it be on the scale of long term governing being where the democrats are doesnt work but moving slightly left pushes it into functionality? Thats how it seems to be from here.

Liberals don't really have those, at least the politicians. Or shame. Or morals

A grim reminder that american politics makes you guys crazy as balls. What the hell is this?! ALL of europe, for being more liberal than the USA lacks morals and shame? What? Seriously? ONLY american republicans in the WHOLE world have shame? How the hell do you conclude this?! Can you not see how insane this sounds?

Liberals are people. Conservatives are people. Youre getting REALLY weird in your attempt to make liberals sound like subhuman filth.

I like you. As for the slight left being the ideal functionality of a government (over extreme left, that is), I have pondered that myself and think you might be right. *Cue someone saying "Ha! See! You are liberal after all! Extra points if you say that makes me subhuman filth.* Haha. All in all though, this forum thread is far more respectful and far more of a discussion than what you'd see on YouTube or heck, what I've seen in real life.

jamail77:
snip

Brevity is the soul of wit. And length is the core of filibustering.

It does answer the problem you pointed out. I said crony capitalism is only found on the government level because it's the only way to sustain it long-term with the Internet and the media being a thing.

Big_Willie_Styles:

It does answer the problem you pointed out. I said crony capitalism is only found on the government level because it's the only way to sustain it long-term with the Internet and the media being a thing.

No, it doesn't. That only answers the part of my question that relates to where you find crony capitalism and what sustains it, which comes off to me as a cop-out to exempt capitalism as a whole from the consequences. It's called crony capitalism because it is still capitalism in philosophy. If it weren't for capitalism existing would crony capitalism exist? I don't know, but I feel like the answer is no. It's just a deformity of pure capitalism is all. My question was, as follows:

jamail77:

Big_Willie_Styles:

And "crony capitalism" isn't free market capitalism. It's Big Government-Big Business collusion (or as Timothy P. Carney put it, Obamanomics.)

When did I say it was? I said authoritarians abuse philosophy all the time hence why better capitalism deforms into crony capitalism. That's just what happens when someone abuses a philosophy and twists it to their own ends.

This was when I pointed out philosophies can get abused, so to call communism evil because it was abused is unfair. You did come up with an acceptable response, like I said though, so let's not continue that sub-debate on where communism stands on the good-evil scale.

My point is that I never said capitalism is bad because crony capitalism is the capitalism you endorse. That's what your response indicated to me, that, somehow, I was bashing capitalism as a whole, which I never did.

jamail77:

I didn't say it wasn't obvious. I said it has a palpable effect on peoples' lives to the extent of worried concern. From my international news reading, my one time out of the country, and the foreigners I've talked with, both those visiting or studying in my own country and those outside the country, this problem is unique to American politics because it has a worse effect. Some people in these forums outside of this topic and in it have expressed their befuddlement at our politics, so again I don't seem to be the only person.

Yeah, they're all full of it. Every political ideology has had its group of people sitting around patting each other on the back. A lot of those people become leaders. It's everywhere.

Don't listen when people say that Europe is so much more left leaning they can't even see America, they live basically the same lifestyle as Americans and have just pulled that line so many times they're convinced that it's true. The same is true of the laid-back New Zealanders. It doesn't take much googling to find New Zealond having a debate about changing the flag between conservative war veterans and proponents of change wanting to represent the Maori people as a social issue. Everyone's the same. People just pretend that they're different.

For some reason, despite forums being all about discussion they seem to create an opinion among a certain sect of contributors that some discussions are pointless either because it's obvious, I don't like this guy, he's dead on wrong about everything, and other such thoughts. I guess I can stand certain discussions better than other people.

It's not a matter of standing, it's a matter of caring. It's not that we can't stand your discussion. It's the you gave a very wrong impression of what you were saying, and we came in willingly to discuss how wrong it was. As it turns out, the discussion you were trying to have, we don't have anything we care to say. That's not a black mark on us, it's not that we can't stand the discussion, it's that we have no value to add to the discussion. People echo opinions amongst like-minded people. We know it, we're not terribly concerned, and we have no solution other than telling people when we think they are wrong. That's it, every possible result of the prompt here other than the totally needless bickering going on. And if we got that in the beginning, few people would have cared enough to say it.

jamail77:
snip

It's not free market capitalism, which is all I ever claimed to be for. That's my point. Corporatism mandated by government does not a free market make.

tstorm823:

Yeah, they're all full of it. Every political ideology has had its group of people sitting around patting each other on the back. A lot of those people become leaders. It's everywhere.

Don't listen when people say that Europe is so much more left leaning they can't even see America, they live basically the same lifestyle as Americans and have just pulled that line so many times they're convinced that it's true. The same is true of the laid-back New Zealanders. It doesn't take much googling to find New Zealond having a debate about changing the flag between conservative war veterans and proponents of change wanting to represent the Maori people as a social issue. Everyone's the same. People just pretend that they're different.

I've heard this argument before. You may be right. I can't say though. Perhaps, saying that my country's problems are unique makes me feel better when another country gets past the same problems better. I'm not one to go into comfort denial, yet that may be why I think this in the first place. Perhaps, it's just under the hood, something subconcious I don't want to acknowledge.

tstorm823:

It's not a matter of standing, it's a matter of caring. It's not that we can't stand your discussion. It's the you gave a very wrong impression of what you were saying, and we came in willingly to discuss how wrong it was. As it turns out, the discussion you were trying to have, we don't have anything we care to say. That's not a black mark on us, it's not that we can't stand the discussion, it's that we have no value to add to the discussion. People echo opinions amongst like-minded people. We know it, we're not terribly concerned, and we have no solution other than telling people when we think they are wrong. That's it, every possible result of the prompt here other than the totally needless bickering going on. And if we got that in the beginning, few people would have cared enough to say it.

I understand that sentiment. Like I said earlier to Big_Willie_Styles and another 1 or 2 people I'm not very good at getting my point across, though I'm even worse at keeping something concise or clear so when I do get the point across it's hard to sift through all the ranting, rambling, and off topic side notes.

If people don't care enough to say they're not concerned then they can just skip the discussion altogether. If I had made my point clearer, I feel like they wouldn't have done that honestly. From my experience, at least a few people feeling this way would feel the need to say something along the lines of "Duh", "So?", or "This isn't a big deal."

Big_Willie_Styles:

It's not free market capitalism, which is all I ever claimed to be for. That's my point. Corporatism mandated by government does not a free market make.

Okay, you're welcome to your opinion, but why bother saying that? That is completely irrelevant to the confusion I was having with your statement. You have to understand, that by saying what you did you made it sound like you took my response in a way that made you think I was saying something I was not.

jamail77:
What do all of you think? Is the country just an echo chamber within echo chambers impeding compromise and progress? Or am I missing something?

I think you're missing the rest of the world, which is a consistently baffling perspective to encounter in serious discussions. Censorship, group-think and insulated social structures are practically normal. Why you appear to believe this is an American phenomenon is unnerving.

Take a look at social media, such as reddit and imgur (which are globally accessed) for an illustration of insular thinking. Heck, turn it into a sociological experiment and examine things like fashion and music trends, or social circles in schools. Amazes me how people continue to see America as some sort of black hole where rules and understanding of the world breaks down and weird things happen which cannot be explained or observed elsewhere.

Danny Ocean:
That's what happens when you have a very free media market.

Agreed. Nations with State media don't let crony corporations tell their people what to believe, makes it hard for governments to do that.

AgedGrunt:

I think you're missing the rest of the world, which is a consistently baffling perspective to encounter in serious discussions. Censorship, group-think and insulated social structures are practically normal. Why you appear to believe this is an American phenomenon is unnerving. [snip] Amazes me how people continue to see America as some sort of black hole where rules and understanding of the world breaks down and weird things happen which cannot be explained or observed elsewhere.

Oh, for pete's sake! I'm tired of this criticism. I made it very clear in my follow up posts that I'm not so arrogant or self-centered to think such a thing. I get it that my original post was unclear, lacking conciseness with too much rambling and off topic references and not enough emphasis and whatever else it may or may not have had that I'm not thinking of (I don't feel like rereading my post to analyse it intensely and really think about what I SHOULD have said). But all you had to do was read my follow up posts to see where I was going with this, what I meant, and what I ACTUALLY think.

Here, I'll just quote myself:

jamail77:

senordesol:
The 'Echo Chamber' is not something unique to America.

I am well aware. There is something about the "Echo Chamber" here that I think is different though no less serious. I don't mean this in an arrogant way. And, it's not like I've really personally experienced other countries (though if you're careful international news research may be all you need; sometimes people overrate personal experience in certain contexts): I've only been out of the country once. Even some foreigners on this topic [as in, this forum topic] agree there's something about my country that is fundamentally different when it comes to politics. That doesn't mean it has merit, but the opinion isn't centric among just me, an American it would seem.

jamail77:

tstorm823:

If you say "Americans are all stuck in an echo chamber of there own opinions and its so much more of a problem in America than everywhere else" we're gonna be like "what you talkin' 'bout Willis?" But if you say "Some people in America, particularly political figures, just repeat each other until they believe it's true" we say "yeah, duh, so what?" I, and I assume others, entered in thinking the conversation was more like the former fake quote, but if all you want to say is more like the latter fake quote, its just been a miscommunication, to which I say "yeah, so what?" Why start a thread pointing out American politics has the same problem as every other politics in history other than you only noticed the problem when the things you heard being echoed you didn't agree with?

I didn't say it wasn't obvious. I said it has a palpable effect on peoples' lives to the extent of worried concern. From my international news reading, my one time out of the country, and the foreigners I've talked with, both those visiting or studying in my own country and those outside the country, this problem is unique to American politics because it has a worse effect. Some people in these forums outside of this topic and in it have expressed their befuddlement at our politics, so again I don't seem to be the only person who thinks so because I'm an American and my life is more centered around American stuff. Other countries have barriers preventing this from turning [in]to a [worse] problem [than it already is] whether they're cultural or have something to do with the structure of their lives due to government, size of populace, geography, education or whatever.

[snip]

Sorry about leading your around in circles. It's nice to know you get my point a little better. That tells me that maybe I'm getting better at this whole "concise and clear" thing. [<- You can see how we cleared up the miscommunication that you and I now have AgedGrunt]

jamail77:

tstorm823:
snip

[snip] Perhaps, saying that my country's problems are unique makes me feel better when another country gets past the same problems better. [To clarify for you AgedGrunt: I meant this in the sense we have the same problem but amplify it or make it worse due to our culture or propagation of it or other factors. At the very least, if it's just as bad and certainly not any worse, I don't like it and want to point it out even if it is obvious to most people in this thread, including myself for a VERY long time now by the way.] I'm not one to go into comfort denial, yet that may be why I think this in the first place. Perhaps, it's just under the hood, something subconscious I don't want to acknowledge.

tstorm823:
Are you joking? It sounds like you're suggesting those things are unique to capitalism.

Not at all.

I'm saying that if one is going to condemn communism via the many causes of death over the 20th century it only makes sense to also condemn capitalism for doing the same things (and other worse things) to a significantly greater degree.

Observe.

tstorm823:
Half of that list is things that were at their worst during the times of fuedalism and mercantalism and have fallen with the rise of capitalism.

Apparently this does not matter when it comes to the anti-communist's "deathtoll argument". Most of the deaths under the various claimed Socialist states were common occurrence in antiquity (and were quickly reduced under many of these regimes mind you) however they are considered to be "crimes of communism" ergo it only seems appropriate to condemn capitalism for the very same things.

tstorm823:
Child labor (as a bad thing) is new to capitalism because previously, nobody cared if kids worked.

So you concede child labour.

tstorm823:
The most imperialistic things at present are Americas wars which are a vain attempt at cleaning up soviet Russia's mess.

I legitimately laughed out loud at this.

Trust me I'm well aware of latter Soviet Russia's status as a social Imperialist superpower however it much to its chagrin it was second to the U.S when it came to dominance as a world imperialist power.

Truly the idea that the U.S is merely "cleaning up Soviet Russia's" mess is laughable. For over one hundred years the U.S has been cementing its status as an imperialist power and since WW2 it's dominated the globe as the number one imperialist empire. Today's modern imperialism is merely a continuation of that.

tstorm823:
And there have been so many major wars lately not involving socialists or fascists.

I apologise but I'm not really following your point here.

However while on the subject of fascism although it is politically different to conservatism and liberalism the 3 major fascist states of the 20th century (Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan) were all functionally capitalist so it only makes sense that their crimes lay at the feet of capitalism too.

tstorm823:
Slavery and worker exploitation? That's basically the entire history of humanity before the modern era.

That's basically all of human history including the modern era.

Besides, this should not matter to the anti-communist. Famines had been a regular occurrence throughout the history of Eastern Europe and China however any famine under these regimes is obvious evidence of their "evilness". Ergo any 'evil' that existed in antiquity and still persists today is obviously an "evil" of capitalism.

tstorm823:
Capitalism has risen with the fall of those. And clearly capitalism has more inherent poverty then... oh wait, we have the wealth and places that cooperate catapult up their standard of living practically every time.

And those that don't 'cooperate' are victims of siege warfare, chemical warfare, invasion, rigged elections, assassinations, government overthrows etc, etc.

Those who do 'cooperate' will subjugated and exploited by national and international bourgeoisies while a large majority toil in poverty to varying degrees.

tstorm823:
And genocide you're just pulling out of your butt.

Native American genocides, Rwandan genocide, the Holocaust and any other genocide that happened under a functionally capitalist economy.

Since it appears you missed the point of my original post I'll expand a tad. Although indeed true capitalism is 'responsible' for more deaths than the socialist and faux socialist regimes of the 20th century this is not the critique I rely on nor is it the point I was making. Rather my point is to point out the blatantly obvious hypocrisy and flaws in the overly simplistic analysis that is nothing more than looking at contextless death tolls and then drawing conclusions.

Thankfully many non-communist posters (Vegosioux, Revnak, Agema etc) are able to see why the deathtoll argument is both hypocritical and ridiculous.

Big_Willie_Styles:
First sentence of this Wikipedia article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_killings_under_Communist_regimes

"Mass killings occurred under some Communist regimes during the twentieth century with an estimated death toll numbering between 85 and 100 million."

Now let's look at the source this claim provided shall we:

"Courtois (1999) Introduction". Now if we click on that link it takes us further down the page and reveals it's source as "The Black Book of Communism" the very same book I already pointed out was the source of this claim. Now if you take the effort to look at said book's Wikipedia page you'll see a list of criticisms of the book's historical accuracy.

Here's an especially interesting one:

Two of the Black Book's contributors, Nicolas Werth and Jean-Louis Margolin, sparked debate in France when they publicly disassociated themselves from Curtois's statements in the introduction about the scale of Communist terror. They felt that he was obsessed with arriving at a total of 100 million killed.

And I'm amused you haven't responded to the implications of this methodology when applied to capitalism.

As I've already said, I'm not too fond of the "deathtoll argument" however when applied to capitalism the death toll has been reported to be somewhere between 1.2 -1.6 billion deaths and counting.

tstorm823:
Don't listen when people say that Europe is so much more left leaning they can't even see America, they live basically the same lifestyle as Americans and have just pulled that line so many times they're convinced that it's true. The same is true of the laid-back New Zealanders. It doesn't take much googling to find New Zealond having a debate about changing the flag between conservative war veterans and proponents of change wanting to represent the Maori people as a social issue. Everyone's the same. People just pretend that they're different.

Wait wait, so how are New Zealanders and Americans the same?

Nil Kafashle:

Thankfully many non-communist posters (Vegosioux, Revnak, Agema etc) are able to see why the deathtoll argument is both hypocritical and ridiculous.

After all you said, this particular line becomes an admission of guilt. By asserting the points you are, you're being rediculous and hypocritical. If you're doing this on purpose, why would you then try to refute me for pointing out your rediculousness.

The only solution to all these questions is that you actually believe that practically every problem of the world is the fault of capitalism. And if you're being serious with all your claims, you really think the nazis were capitalist. You really think the nazis were capitalist. YOU REALLY THINK THE NAZIS WERE CAPITALIST! My god, that's nonsense.

Phantom Kat:

Wait wait, so how are New Zealanders and Americans the same?

In almost every possible way. People are people. Most governments are doing mostly the same thing. I'm not saying that New Zealanders and Americans are identical in every way. I'm saying that when someone says "New Zealand is just so laid back compared to America" it doesn't actually mean anything. It's hardly true, only a thing because people keep claiming it over and over, and isn't actually really a difference in the first place.

tstorm823:

After all you said, this particular line becomes an admission of guilt. By asserting the points you are, you're being rediculous and hypocritical. If you're doing this on purpose, why would you then try to refute me for pointing out your rediculousness.

I'll admit you're wording here is a tad confusing so I may be misunderstanding however from what I can gather you are accusing me of "hypocrisy" and "ridiculousness" for using the deathtoll argument back at capitalism, yes?

If it wasn't clear, the first few responses in that post were merely that metholodology being applied to capitalism to point out said methodology's obvious hypocrisy and implications.

You really think the nazis were capitalist. YOU REALLY THINK THE NAZIS WERE CAPITALIST! My god, that's nonsense.

This really isn't a contentious issue. I've already provided an overview of the Nazi economy before so I'm merely going to repost that.

the Nazi economy was characterised by close cooperation between the state and leading industrialists with state's primary function in industry merely being the suppression of organised labour. Under Hjalmar Schacht the Nazi economy was largely similar to many parts of Europe at the time with an emphasis on high public spending and large deficits. In 1937 power shifted to Göring and now the Nazi economy was being shifted to operating as a war economy which sustained itself by having the private economy controlled by price, wage and financial controls. Similar measures would actually be introduced, except at a far greater scale in the U.K in the lead up and duration of WWII.

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