Posted: Sep 01, 2018 7:03 am
by Thommo
jamest wrote:
Thommo wrote:I'm not convinced by a lot of this. I have a preference for one form of politics - liberal, free, democratic, intelligent, mature, rational and evidence based, but that leaves open a lot of different positions someone could take. On the other hand I think it's safe to say I don't like bullshit (pretty much by the definition of bullshit), and there's at least one form of politics I can't stand (Nazism, communism to name a couple)

I've just come back from the USA - that showpiece democracy which is supposedly the home of liberalism and the free - and apart from there being plenty of money for a minority of its populace, I'm wondering what it is about that which still has you hooked in, line and sinker?


Nothing, that clearly isn't what I said. I'd rather live in the USA than a lot of Eastern countries mind you, for all its failings (of which I agree there are many) the freedoms and opportunities afforded to regular folk are still a lot better than most places in the world today and basically anywhere historically.

jamest wrote:Politics is utterly corrupt and unfair and I will never place my trust in any system which allows a minority of its population to be homeless and starving, with the majority just plodding on, so that a minority can live 'the dream'. Fuck that shit.


It's corrupt, but it's corrupt by degrees rather than utterly. The problem is that every way of organising societies has also been corrupt - and those which afford huge power to a single central figure have been among the most corrupt. Any solution which exacerbates the problem is no solution at all!

jamest wrote:The term 'East/West politics' was meant to denote the whole gamut of political experience across the globe. I accept that I could and should have made that clearer.


Alright, thanks for clarifying.

jamest wrote:We've as a whole been trusting rulers/governments for millennia and the fucking lot of them have taken the piss and still are. Even the communists, supposedly the epitome of being "for the people".


Yeah, society has to be governed, it has to have rules and ways of enforcing the rules or there is no society. There's still a long way to go, but abandoning government is no solution, it's like cutting your leg off to get rid of the pain of a stubbed toe. It took a lot of work to get to the point we're at now, where people don't claim to own other people, where the physically strong don't tyrannise the physically weak, where people accept their neighbours as equals whether they are women, of a different ethnicity, a different sexuality or anything else.

jamest wrote:
Uncertainty grows exponentially into the future, but the near future shows few signs of a one world government, I don't think it would be easy to convince Xi or Putin or Kim to give up power, and it's not exactly clear what problems such a government would actually be able to solve anyway.

Well, my prediction wasn't for next week.


Well, yes. If it was then the exponential growth of uncertainty with time would hardly be a factor. It's precisely because it's for an extremely vague but long term period I gave the reply that I did. For the forseeable future the world isn't coming together. For the future that isn't forseeable, then saying you see what will happen would be foolish in the extreme.

jamest wrote:t's just that social media, which is relatively new even here in The West, now allows for strong collective ideas opposed to the status quo. Indeed, if I remember correctly social media was directly instrumental in causing the Egyptian revolution which occurred a half-dozen+ years ago. It certainly comes as no surprise to me that you sometimes hear about governments imposing severe internet restrictions/bans in places like North Korea in order to prevent the spread of negative propaganda.


Egypt is an interesting example, they had a revolution and overthrew a dictator and appointed a new one instead. Whether this pattern is really so different to the hundreds of revolutions that have occurred in the pre-digital age is perhaps less clear. The internet was, I would agree, used as a significant medium in that case. However, were the outcomes different to those that came before? And do the factors that existed in Egypt exist all across the world? I think the answer to both is a clear no.

jamest wrote:The significant thing with social media is that it allows for 'common people' from all around the world to communicate on a regular basis, to share experiences and ideas. As time progresses, more and more people across the globe are acquiring access to this means of communication. One assumes that in a handful of decades it will be as common a theme across Third World countries as it is here in The West, where nearly everyone has a phone/pc and access to the internet.


Yes, but the 'common people' as you call them don't agree. If you're a flat Earther the internet is wonderful for reaching out and finding people who agree with you, there's a thriving online community of flat Earthers now. It doesn't mean much though, their idea isn't going to supplant the alternative, they're just going to draw up the wagons and talk amongst themselves in their own circle, while everyone else does the same. And that's before we even get to the amount of incorrect, or deliberately malicious false information that floods the web. A tool is only as good as the hand that wields it, and the internet is being wielded to misinform to a huge degree when it comes to politics.

Contradictory lies about Novichok spring readily to mind.

jamest wrote:People in general are not utterly ignorant any more. They won't put up with shite for very long when they can connect with masses who feel the same way, who are willing en masse to do something to change said shite. Even when we were still largely ignorant and had few if any means to evaluate opinions, massive revolutions still occurred. There's plenty of evidence of that in your history books. So don't underestimate the value of social media. It's going to have a big impact on the politics of the future, globally.


People weren't utterly ignorant 10 years ago, 30 years ago or 50 years ago either. Or probably ever. It's a question of degree, and I'm not convinced that people are better informed now than they were 10 or 30 years ago at all. If you want to reduce things to black and white, and argue for white, that's fine, but don't make the mistake of assuming that means those who disagree think everything is black.

From what I've seen of the masses, in recent years populists seem to want to withdraw to smaller nations, far more than the reverse. This has certainly been the trend in Western Europe. Scotland, Catalonia, Britain, Italy and more. None of these places are surging towards a unified world government, whether or not we can say social media has played a profound role in how politicians get their message out.

The reality is that there are a lot of people who don't like the way we run society, and a lot that do. Social media won't change that, humans are individuals and they disagree. Society needs methods of resolving these conflicts, and free and fair elections are the best method so far proposed. Change for the sake of change isn't a good idea and a lot of people see that, from all across the political spectrum.

jamest wrote:In my opinion, this Trump malarkey epitomises the madness and greed/corruptness/injustice of 'democracy' (not that you cannot find evidence of its many flaws throughout history in general), to the extent that many people are fucked-off with the whole shebang. It's fubar on a plate, every night on the news. How the fuck you can still buy into the ideals of democracy is a mystery to me. Perhaps you're one of those few rich people enjoying the material benefits of its ideals, in which case you should be ashamed of yourself for promoting a political ideal for your OWN ends. I dunno, but from where I'm sat democracy looks like it's rapidly sinking down the plug-hole. And thank fuck I live in an era which allows me to evaluate the situation, and not just for myself, james.


You were doing really well at not making this personal, I suggest you stick to it without guessing about my life circumstances. If they were relevant, I would share them. They aren't.

But I'm no Trump supporter, I'm deeply troubled by his position in the world. I just recognise the danger of getting rid of the machinery that provides the only method for getting rid of Trump. If you want to talk more broadly about the reforms the US system needs to make we could, but those aren't inherent failings of the world as a whole or even democracy in the main. They have too much money in politics, lobbyists are too powerful, the two party system polarises and entrenches opinion, the electoral college distorts election results, there are almost no meaningful restrictions on malicious or false adverts and no meaningful restrictions on advertising budgets.

Obviously, as we all know by now what they should really do is simply copy everything done by the one perfect country in the world - the Netherlands. :shifty:

I do have one question which should be asked. What specific, concrete benefits are supposed to arise from having a one world government, that would not arise from the alternatives?