French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#21  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 17, 2016 2:42 am

jamest wrote:As for myself, I choose to live my life in accordance with what I know, which means that I do give a fuck and will [sometimes] make efforts to bring about that aforementioned paradigm shift.


Revolution means turning the tables on your 'oppressors' so you can do a little oppressing yourself. So it goes...

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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#22  Postby tuco » Apr 17, 2016 3:29 am

There is no satisfactory answer to the 'ought to' question.

Such question implies existence of goal and means to fulfil such goal. In case of politics, relating to citizens literally, I have doubts about existence of both. Observing that for action there is reaction and how stuff interacts in global world, it seems pragmatic to relate to citizens. In a universe where only single entity exists, there is no interaction, no consequences, no relation, and no politics.

What I find interesting is how diverse groups and individuals can relate to citizens according to own abilities with relation to collective needs.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#23  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 17, 2016 4:29 am

tuco wrote:There is no satisfactory answer to the 'ought to' question.

Such question implies existence of goal and means to fulfil such goal. In case of politics, relating to citizens literally, I have doubts about existence of both. Observing that for action there is reaction and how stuff interacts in global world, it seems pragmatic to relate to citizens. In a universe where only single entity exists, there is no interaction, no consequences, no relation, and no politics.

What I find interesting is how diverse groups and individuals can relate to citizens according to own abilities with relation to collective needs.


Devotion to a particular political program just helps to fill a gap left by the absent god. People who haven't dropped their belief in gods show that god is not nearly enough, often by being even more interested in politics than atheists are. You can see the feedback loop developing, the way fanaticism breeds fanaticism, and it helps to explain why a few atheists here and there have their panic attacks about politics.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#24  Postby tuco » Apr 17, 2016 4:47 am

Indeed, that is also part of diversity, to keep the fanatics in check.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#25  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 17, 2016 5:09 am

tuco wrote:Indeed, that is also part of diversity, to keep the fanatics in check.


How does that work, exactly? These days, it seems the preferred approach is gathering intelligence about known fanatics. The other side of the coin in this discussion is the trade-off between security and privacy. Don't forget to write a dissertation on that one, too. I've seen it elsewhere, so I know it's possible to produce one. If you have to do it, do it in a think tank, where dissertations are protected from unwanted skepticism.

This kind of reminds me of what I was thinking about in addressing John Platko, who recommends a positive relationship between 'self-improvement' (whatever that is) and 'prayer' (whatever that is). What made me think of that is wondering how we identify the role of diversity in preventing bad stuff that hasn't happened yet. I think we just believe in diversity because it pleases us to do so, or invent a measure of diversity and apply it so that the statistics come out confirming our biases. So it goes in politics.

Yes, I'm a vocal critic of overstating the role of the social 'sciences' and humanities as knowledge-generators. This is not to say they have no value in our intellectual lives. They help us come to terms with what has already happened, much the way religion does, but pulling fewer rabbits out of fewer hats. Parsimony is wonderful, innit?
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#26  Postby OlivierK » Apr 17, 2016 6:02 am

Ciwan wrote:What would be a good read to really get a good accurate understanding of how the French revolution happened, why it happened and what impact it had on Europe.

You could do a lot worse than Thomas Paine's Rights of Man.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#27  Postby Pebble » Apr 17, 2016 8:31 am

Cito di Pense wrote: I think we just believe in diversity because it pleases us to do so, or invent a measure of diversity and apply it so that the statistics come out confirming our biases. So it goes in politics.

..... They help us come to terms with what has already happened, much the way religion does, but pulling fewer rabbits out of fewer hats. Parsimony is wonderful, innit?


Given that diversity is to a significant degree another word for tolerance, then it has a rather longer history. Without tolerance, the powerful determine what expression is acceptable - there is sufficient information from the past to determine that that is not the optimal state of man.
What part of diversity do you believe is superfluous and why?
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#28  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 17, 2016 9:13 am

Pebble wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote: I think we just believe in diversity because it pleases us to do so, or invent a measure of diversity and apply it so that the statistics come out confirming our biases. So it goes in politics.

..... They help us come to terms with what has already happened, much the way religion does, but pulling fewer rabbits out of fewer hats. Parsimony is wonderful, innit?


Given that diversity is to a significant degree another word for tolerance, then it has a rather longer history. Without tolerance, the powerful determine what expression is acceptable - there is sufficient information from the past to determine that that is not the optimal state of man.
What part of diversity do you believe is superfluous and why?


I thought about trying to answer you, but your question doesn't seem to have much to do with the rest of your little diatribe, so I guess I'll just lecture you right back. What makes you think there's an 'optimal state of man'? What you mean is, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" Go ahead and bring philosophy into this, but unless you have a really good answer for that, fuck philosophy, OK? When you do that, then I can tell you why you're not making an argument in favor of diversity except by pulling it out of your arse, the way philosophy is usually done by folks like you. If you want to head us all toward absolute morality and an 'optimal state of man', go the fuck back to church, if you ain't already there.

And for your delectation, 'tolerance' mainly involves any politics short of active suppression to outcompete some other group you can identify. What you seem to want to talk about is 'affirmative action'. You can't lecture somebody on diversity without being a bit of a racist/sexist/ageist or whatever-ist.

Pebble wrote:Without tolerance, the powerful determine what expression is acceptable


Expression? Is that what you're on about? Whatever happened to "a chicken in every pot"? Grub first, then ethics.

Pebble wrote:then it has a rather longer history.


Longer history than what? Want to make an argument? Don't talk in shorthand. I'd love to hear a good argument for diversity, tolerance, peace, love, and dope that didn't involve either god or someone's personal fee-fees. No matter what you do, somebody's always going to be the one bringing up the rear of the parade. Technology has done more to liberate people from sheer drudgery than all the philosophy in the library.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#29  Postby Pebble » Apr 17, 2016 10:17 am

Parsimony is not shorthand. Your 'lecture' for what it is worth shows you understand my meaning adequately. You appear to suggest that there are no good reasons to believe that toleration is superior to active suppression of dissent? I would love to see your arguments in favor of an IS controlled part of Syria as an equally acceptable state of human existence to any first world society of your choosing.
I submit that humans can only survive in the long run by co-operating with other humans. Where this is achieved by tolerance of dissent the opportunities for novel solutions to issues threatening individual or larger scale survival are greater.
You may argue that survival is unimportant, yet you eat daily!
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#30  Postby tuco » Apr 17, 2016 10:54 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
tuco wrote:Indeed, that is also part of diversity, to keep the fanatics in check.


How does that work, exactly? These days, it seems the preferred approach is gathering intelligence about known fanatics. The other side of the coin in this discussion is the trade-off between security and privacy. Don't forget to write a dissertation on that one, too. I've seen it elsewhere, so I know it's possible to produce one. If you have to do it, do it in a think tank, where dissertations are protected from unwanted skepticism.

This kind of reminds me of what I was thinking about in addressing John Platko, who recommends a positive relationship between 'self-improvement' (whatever that is) and 'prayer' (whatever that is). What made me think of that is wondering how we identify the role of diversity in preventing bad stuff that hasn't happened yet. I think we just believe in diversity because it pleases us to do so, or invent a measure of diversity and apply it so that the statistics come out confirming our biases. So it goes in politics.

Yes, I'm a vocal critic of overstating the role of the social 'sciences' and humanities as knowledge-generators. This is not to say they have no value in our intellectual lives. They help us come to terms with what has already happened, much the way religion does, but pulling fewer rabbits out of fewer hats. Parsimony is wonderful, innit?


It works in rather simple manner. If there was no diversity, there would homogeneity, in our case only fanatics. Since there is no way to tell which quality is to keep and which not to keep, diversity is safeguard.

About John Platko I know he is handy and talks about what I consider nonsense. I have not stated anywhere what we .. are to believe in. I was making case for relating to citizens and diversity as pragmatic approaches to the world as we know it.

I do not see much difference between biodiversity in environment or gene diversity in individuals or diversity of opinions in politics or diversity of investment portfolio. Don't put all eggs in one basket is mechanics proven by time.

This debate is getting too götterfunken for me, too abstract. I am more of practical person. Can we have some practical examples where diversity and relating to citizens resulted in bad stuff?
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#31  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 17, 2016 11:31 am

Pebble wrote:You appear to suggest that there are no good reasons to believe that toleration is superior to active suppression of dissent?


You should really go back and point out where I said anything like that. I pointed out that your specification of 'tolerance' is incomplete at best, and nonsense at worst.

Pebble wrote:I would love to see your arguments in favor of an IS controlled part of Syria as an equally acceptable state of human existence to any first world society of your choosing.


So the Syrian revolution is something IS is doing? Being intolerant of that kind of fanaticism involves going to war, yet here you are, yammering on the internet instead of shouldering a rifle. Of course, you might be past cannon-fodder age, and are now a dab hand at sending other people's kids off to war. I didn't start this; I only took exception to your latest round of wibble. Opposing ISIS is not about promoting diversity but about derailing fanaticism. After you fix that, see if you can turn Syria into a place in the hinterlands of which you'd be comfortable traveling. Then you can tell me all about diversity. Go to Hicksville anywhere and try to find diversity, City Boy. If you're a hick at heart, then you'll handle it just fine, and will shut up about diversity when you go there.

Pebble wrote:I submit that humans can only survive in the long run by co-operating with other humans. Where this is achieved by tolerance of dissent the opportunities for novel solutions to issues threatening individual or larger scale survival are greater.


You seem to be implying that humans are in control of that whole in the long run thing. Amirite? As I say, if religion is what you want, go back to church. Simply censoring the word 'god' from all your attempts at absolute morality doesn't impress me. Tolerance of dissent is naturally important to people who aren't happy with the status quo and to people who worry that the status quo that they're tolerating might go belly up. Are we circular, yet?

Pebble wrote:You may argue that survival is unimportant, yet you eat daily!


Individuals are unimportant to anyone but themselves and their families, and after that, occasionally to historians. Got any more cheesy platitudes to spit out?
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#32  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 17, 2016 12:33 pm

tuco wrote:It works in rather simple manner. If there was no diversity, there would homogeneity, in our case only fanatics. Since there is no way to tell which quality is to keep and which not to keep, diversity is safeguard.


I don't get it. If there were homogeneity, who would the fanatics pick on? Each other? Seems like an ideal state of affairs. What you seem to be pointing out is that a two-party system is a recipe for disaster, in (to use Pebble's words) the long run. Maybe even three isn't enough for some folks. Don't coalition governments fail to achieve almost as much as bi-partisan governments do?

tuco wrote:I do not see much difference between biodiversity in environment or gene diversity in individuals or diversity of opinions in politics or diversity of investment portfolio. Don't put all eggs in one basket is mechanics proven by time.


You and Pebble seem to be arguing that long-term human survival is desirable. If humans continue to be as collectively unhappy as they are now (unhappiness about other people's unhappiness seems to dominate in this community) then long term survival is just long-term low-grade misery. Not so bad, I guess.

tuco wrote:Can we have some practical examples where diversity and relating to citizens resulted in bad stuff?


Diversity doesn't automatically result in bad stuff. It just keeps the pot boiling until the bad stuff comes around again. You can't do anything about diversity. You can try to make more of it, but people just don't want to be different in ways that really matter, do they?

Your concerns are very specific, and come from living in a society that you think is too homogeneous. The worst thing about that is that it's boring. But that's also the best thing about it. May you live in interesting times.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#33  Postby Hobbes Choice » Apr 17, 2016 1:06 pm

Ciwan wrote:Hello Friends

I am not well informed on the French revolution, but I remember watching a documentary once on how powerful an impact it had on Europe and civil rights.

I had a few guests over the other day, and one was saying that there isn't much difference between the French revolution and the Syrian Revolution. They were both uprisings against tyranny.

Is he right in thinking this? What would be a good read to really get a good accurate understanding of how the French revolution happened, why it happened and what impact it had on Europe.

I am here to learn and know very little about this, so go easy on me :)

Thanks


The French Revolution was the intellectual class mobilising the poor to overthrow the ancient regime of aristocrats and priests. Whilst not openly atheistic, many of the thinkers in the revolution were anti-religion This was achieved largely without the interference of outside forces.

The Syrian situation is misconstrued as a move to overthrow a dictatorship to replace it with a democracy. Only one small minority of western educated middle-class represent a small part of the struggle.
In truth the Syria owes more to internecine tribal (and religious) struggles, and the poorest section of the populace are motivated by these factors and not democracy. Syria is also a war of proxy in which the whole world's superpowers are involved.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#34  Postby tuco » Apr 17, 2016 1:42 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
tuco wrote:It works in rather simple manner. If there was no diversity, there would homogeneity, in our case only fanatics. Since there is no way to tell which quality is to keep and which not to keep, diversity is safeguard.


I don't get it. If there were homogeneity, who would the fanatics pick on? Each other? Seems like an ideal state of affairs. What you seem to be pointing out is that a two-party system is a recipe for disaster, in (to use Pebble's words) the long run. Maybe even three isn't enough for some folks. Don't coalition governments fail to achieve almost as much as bi-partisan governments do?

tuco wrote:I do not see much difference between biodiversity in environment or gene diversity in individuals or diversity of opinions in politics or diversity of investment portfolio. Don't put all eggs in one basket is mechanics proven by time.


You and Pebble seem to be arguing that long-term human survival is desirable. If humans continue to be as collectively unhappy as they are now (unhappiness about other people's unhappiness seems to dominate in this community) then long term survival is just long-term low-grade misery. Not so bad, I guess.

tuco wrote:Can we have some practical examples where diversity and relating to citizens resulted in bad stuff?


Diversity doesn't automatically result in bad stuff. It just keeps the pot boiling until the bad stuff comes around again. You can't do anything about diversity. You can try to make more of it, but people just don't want to be different in ways that really matter, do they?

Your concerns are very specific, and come from living in a society that you think is too homogeneous. The worst thing about that is that it's boring. But that's also the best thing about it. May you live in interesting times.


I have to admit I do not follow. Question was, the way I understood it: what is important about politics, respectively why should anyone give a fuck? I tried to answer in post #22.

What is desirable and what is not is subject to sum of individual desires. The only way to determine this sum is through democratic process, voting. To effectively assess impact of our behaviour with regards to individual desires requires analysis of such desires in context.

For example, I like butterflies. If I like butterflies, it would be counter-productive to damage environment they live in, for example, by using mechanisation tu cut down meadows. We could analyse this further, examine other aspects and details. Or we do not need to analyse anything and just declare: I like butterflies, then act out of ignorance contributing to their decline by destroying meadows with tractors. That is not pragmatic however. To declare something and not to think it over with regards to consequences of our actions.

This is my case for politics, relating to citizens, relating to matters which matter to each and everyone of us.

---
edit: Just to clarify. What is going on over here, and elsewhere, in the various "<insert name> for president" threads, for example, is not analysis of desires in context, its not relating to matters that matter. Its socializing
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#35  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 17, 2016 2:17 pm

tuco wrote:What is desirable and what is not is subject to sum of individual desires. The only way to determine this sum is through democratic process, voting.


That's assuming you live in a representative democracy, and perhaps even a direct democracy. If you're very, very young, or are suffering some sort of brain infarct, you can be excused for believing that's how your society is put together.

tuco wrote:To effectively assess impact of our behaviour with regards to individual desires requires analysis of such desires in context.


Mm hm.

tuco wrote:For example, I like butterflies. If I like butterflies, it would be counter-productive to damage environment they live in, for example, by using mechanisation tu cut down meadows. We could analyse this further, examine other aspects and details. Or we do not need to analyse anything and just declare: I like butterflies, then act out of ignorance contributing to their decline by destroying meadows with tractors. That is not pragmatic however. To declare something and not to think it over.


I guess now would be the time for you to think something over.

tuco wrote:This is my case for politics, relating to citizens, relating to matters which matter to each and everyone of us.


Theoretically. Or are you just referring to the fact that so far, your life isn't being entirely run by religious fanatics? Otherwise, you make very good points.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#36  Postby tuco » Apr 17, 2016 2:29 pm

I believe I have already addressed it in:

Such question implies existence of goal and means to fulfil such goal. In case of politics, relating to citizens literally, I have doubts about existence of both.


Involved and informed citizens is condition needed for both (to become) to exist. It does not exist yet.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#37  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 17, 2016 2:43 pm

tuco wrote:I believe I have already addressed it in:

Such question implies existence of goal and means to fulfil such goal. In case of politics, relating to citizens literally, I have doubts about existence of both.


Involved and informed citizens is condition needed for both (to become) to exist. It does not exist yet.


Necessary, IOW, but not sufficient. Free beer! Tomorrow!
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#38  Postby tuco » Apr 17, 2016 3:03 pm

Free beer for don Quijote ;)
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#39  Postby Pebble » Apr 17, 2016 3:35 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Pebble wrote:You appear to suggest that there are no good reasons to believe that toleration is superior to active suppression of dissent?


You should really go back and point out where I said anything like that. I pointed out that your specification of 'tolerance' is incomplete at best, and nonsense at worst.

Cito di Pense wrote:What makes you think there's an 'optimal state of man'? ........


And for your delectation, 'tolerance' mainly involves any politics short of active suppression to outcompete some other group you can identify. .....


Difficult to unpick what this diatribe is about, but in essence you allege that I am inferring an optimal state of man, simply because I suggest tolerance is superior to intolerance - there are two reasonable inferences. 1. that you believe tolerance is not a superior state of affairs. 2. that you are deliberately misrepresenting what I have written. I gave you the benefit of the doubt, perhaps incorrectly.

Cito di Pense wrote:

Pebble wrote:I would love to see your arguments in favor of an IS controlled part of Syria as an equally acceptable state of human existence to any first world society of your choosing.


So the Syrian revolution is something IS is doing? Being intolerant of that kind of fanaticism involves going to war, yet here you are, yammering on the internet instead of shouldering a rifle. Of course, you might be past cannon-fodder age, and are now a dab hand at sending other people's kids off to war. I didn't start this; I only took exception to your latest round of wibble. Opposing ISIS is not about promoting diversity but about derailing fanaticism. After you fix that, see if you can turn Syria into a place in the hinterlands of which you'd be comfortable traveling. Then you can tell me all about diversity. Go to Hicksville anywhere and try to find diversity, City Boy. If you're a hick at heart, then you'll handle it just fine, and will shut up about diversity when you go there.


I have not asserted that IS started the revolution, simply they are a part of the reality on the ground there. I have not suggested a course of action for Syria, simply asked if the level of tolerance shown there is equally acceptable to you intellectually as that found in the West. Sure there are parts of many countries I would not wish to live in, but when the state backs the intolerance with extreme force, one has a quantifiable different scenario.

Cito di Pense wrote:
Pebble wrote:I submit that humans can only survive in the long run by co-operating with other humans. Where this is achieved by tolerance of dissent the opportunities for novel solutions to issues threatening individual or larger scale survival are greater.


You seem to be implying that humans are in control of that whole in the long run thing. Amirite? As I say, if religion is what you want, go back to church. Simply censoring the word 'god' from all your attempts at absolute morality doesn't impress me. Tolerance of dissent is naturally important to people who aren't happy with the status quo and to people who worry that the status quo that they're tolerating might go belly up. Are we circular, yet?


Misrepresentation yet again - just because situation 'a' is better than situation 'b' does not make either a or b or even c a fundamental law of nature.

Cito di Pense wrote:
Pebble wrote:You may argue that survival is unimportant, yet you eat daily!


Individuals are unimportant to anyone but themselves and their families, and after that, occasionally to historians. Got any more cheesy platitudes to spit out?
[/quote]

Do I take it from this you prefer survival to death, but feel unable to generalise this insight?
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#40  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 17, 2016 5:31 pm

Pebble wrote:
Difficult to unpick what this diatribe is about, but in essence you allege that I am inferring an optimal state of man, simply because I suggest tolerance is superior to intolerance - there are two reasonable inferences. 1. that you believe tolerance is not a superior state of affairs. 2. that you are deliberately misrepresenting what I have written. I gave you the benefit of the doubt, perhaps incorrectly.


Pebble, are you inviting me to tolerate foolishness? What have you gained by reaffirming that tolerance is superior to intolerance? You still have provided no examples to test your notion.

When should I be tolerant, and when not? There's a lot of stuff that doesn't concern me. Silly wibble like yours is in that category, but I am interested in whether you would invite me to tolerate foolishness like yours.

Pebble wrote:
I have not asserted that IS started the revolution, simply they are a part of the reality on the ground there. I have not suggested a course of action for Syria, simply asked if the level of tolerance shown there is equally acceptable to you intellectually as that found in the West. Sure there are parts of many countries I would not wish to live in, but when the state backs the intolerance with extreme force, one has a quantifiable different scenario.


Did you want to prove a point, or something? That's an example, but it's not much of a test.
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